When should I think about a clean install

By holdum323 ยท 21 replies
Dec 12, 2017
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  1. Hi I have wanted to start this thread ever sense I registered here on TS. When should I think about a clean install? Here are my thoughts about this subject. You have tried every thing you can find on help forums, and you have exhausted Google search. You still have this issue that you can't live with. What can you do? Actually MS has made it fairly simple. It's called a clean install of windows. If the issue is still hanging around after a clean install, IMHO it's time to look for hardware problems. I'm really hoping for a good discussions on this subject with other members here on TS. Here's where you can find the ISO files for Windows. https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/home
    Yes it will require a little effort on your part, but it will be worth it. Then once you have a OS running just like you want it, and all is good and your a happy camper; start making back up images on a regular basis. There is no reason for you to not be able to restore a image of your OS after a disaster, or a problem you can't seem to solve; and have it up and running just like the day you created the image. My health permits me to do very little, but it allows me to register on forums like this one and pass forward things I have learned from others smarter then myself and I love doing that. I don't have all the answers, but I'll always give you my best shot.
    Please move this thread to the appropriate forum on TS, or if you find it inappropriate , delete it. I'm hoping to hear from a bunch of members, but I'll settle for a few comments.:D
    holdum323!
     
    DavidBailey likes this.
  2. Factory recovery disks are nice to have.
    Mine only cost $20 from Gateway.
    I've had to use them several times.
    Not lately though.
    Macrium system images really help.
     
    holdum323 likes this.
  3. holdum323

    holdum323 Banned Topic Starter Posts: 1,725   +454

    Hi David! My question to you. "Why pay for some thing you can make yourself and get for free"?
    Thanks for your reply!;)
     
  4. That's just my way.
    $20 didn't break my bank. ;)
     
  5. Rich M

    Rich M TS Booster Posts: 124   +62

    Yes but Recovery Disks, the further out you go time wise require a lot of work after doing so to get you back to where you were.
    Making an image file every week limits that time wasted bringing the system back up to date and time is also money!
     
    holdum323 likes this.
  6. holdum323

    holdum323 Banned Topic Starter Posts: 1,725   +454

    "Time is also money," if your are a computer repairman.:D For us retired people, a back up image is a way to get back up and running fast, so we can go on help forums and help PC users with their issues.;)
     
    Rich M likes this.
  7. Last year or so I installed new drivers for my keyboard & mouse.
    They quit working.
    I already had the factory disks.
    I also had a Macrium image of my last good setup.
    I restored to original factory specs with the factory disks since I did not need to use keyboard or mouse.
    Then with keyboard & mouse working again I installed Macrium & restored back to my last good setup.
    Having a Microsoft account helped.
    A bad situation but I was prepared. :)
     
    holdum323 likes this.
  8. MirekFe

    MirekFe TS Booster Posts: 91   +38

    In my humble opinion, you should only think about a fresh install when Microsoft support ends, or you messed up your computer so badly, that fixing it would work by only reinstalling.
     
    jobeard likes this.
  9. Rich M

    Rich M TS Booster Posts: 124   +62

    No Gary not talking about working but even a retired person spending time doing something is time and money because he cannot do something else while doing it.
     
  10. UmbraEmsisoft

    UmbraEmsisoft TS Member Posts: 25   +9

    I do a clean install every time Microsoft push their "big upgrades" (I never update on top of my system) then I backup my system.
    Between those upgrades, I restore my system image, update Win10 + softs then re-backup; I do it every 1-2 months.
    By following this regimen, I never had those BSODs and other issues other people used to have.
     
  11. Rich M

    Rich M TS Booster Posts: 124   +62

    Those upgrades they call "builds" are done twice a year and they are actually meant as mini installs and what you are doing is actually quite interesting. You could download and run the media creator tool to do a new install each time and while it is not necessary, it is an interesting though that had never occurred to me.
     
    UmbraEmsisoft likes this.
  12. UmbraEmsisoft

    UmbraEmsisoft TS Member Posts: 25   +9

    Exactly what I'm doing. :)
     
  13. holdum323

    holdum323 Banned Topic Starter Posts: 1,725   +454

    Last edited: Dec 18, 2017
  14. holdum323

    holdum323 Banned Topic Starter Posts: 1,725   +454

    Hi I'm curious. Are you saying you do a clean install every 1-2 months? You do a clean install, then create a backup image. Then between the upgrades, you use the backup image to restore the software. Why?
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2017
  15. UmbraEmsisoft

    UmbraEmsisoft TS Member Posts: 25   +9

    Win10 x64 Home (latest build), not unecessary, I call it "best practice".


    Not exactly, ok let me detail you my procedure:

    1- clean installed Win10 Fall Creator Update (I do clean install for every new build, which are every 6 months).
    2- I setup my OS, do all my security tweaks, install my few needed softs, etc... then do a backup.
    3- 2 months later, since stuff evolve (junk files polluting the system, Windows' cumulative updates, drivers and software updates, etc...), I restore my clean backup, do all the updates and modification needed (I made a to-do list for it, so all takes me few hours) , then make a new backup.
    4- I redo step 3 every time it is needed. (usually it is 2-3 times)
    5- when a new build is released, I restart from step 1.

    My system is static, few installed software (most are portable versions installed on a dedicated non-system partition), my system is locked down via a SRP solution (Appguard in my case). This procedure allow me to always have a clean and stable system. no leftover drivers and other junk which always cause issues and troubles.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2017
  16. Rich M

    Rich M TS Booster Posts: 124   +62

    Yes I get that and other than a lot of time involved, I mean I install and use most of 35 programs so this would be a lot of extra time twice a year. Of course with Windows 98 I was reinstalling Windows every few months because of issues, but that was what was delightful to get away from frankly.
     
    senketsu and UmbraEmsisoft like this.
  17. holdum323

    holdum323 Banned Topic Starter Posts: 1,725   +454

    Hi @UmbraEmsisoft Thanks for your reply. That's one way to have a clean OS! I think I have a clean OS, but I can't compete with you.ROFL. Nice and clear reply about your method.(y)Thanks!
     
    UmbraEmsisoft likes this.
  18. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,922   +1,279

    There are two approaches to this question, both depend upon the usage of the machine;
    1. regardless of how tweaked out the system may be, it's still a basic install w/o custom software
    2. a business, website or developer's system where there's critical user files, DBMS' and/or customer data
    For cases like (1), the clear and reinstall can be an effective means to manage the machine and the software.

    However, case (2) must take a different approach due to the irreplaceable data on the system. While a full system image offline is a good start, we all know that an offline has a timestamp and anything changed after that will be lost. To suggest that "Oh, we'll just create another image" is naive and easily discloses that approach is neither time or resource efficient.

    Having accounting, website files and a polithera of music on my system, I long ago developed the methodology of getting an annual baseline image and then, by the type of data (accounting, website, music), create DIFF copies to allow each to be restored independently (each type is in its own /rootDir to facilitate unique control).
     
    MirekFe and UmbraEmsisoft like this.
  19. UmbraEmsisoft

    UmbraEmsisoft TS Member Posts: 25   +9

    It won't be an issue if you backup your sensitive datas in several places like some cloud servers, other partitions and external drives; as I do.
    I never keep any datas on my system partition, so what happen to it is the least of my concerns; in case of issue, I just restore from my latest clean backup.
    My datas won't be affected.
     
    MirekFe and holdum323 like this.
  20. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,922   +1,279

    Yes, that's a variation of divide and conquer. When there's a sizeable case, multiple drives become a possibility. That's not reasonable for laptop users. There's already enough in the bag when traveling (the reason for portability) and even just one USB drive more is too much.
     
  21. holdum323

    holdum323 Banned Topic Starter Posts: 1,725   +454

    I have a 1TB external drive that is smaller then a pack of cigarettes.:p:p
    [​IMG]
     
    UmbraEmsisoft likes this.
  22. UmbraEmsisoft

    UmbraEmsisoft TS Member Posts: 25   +9

    Yes, the sizes and prices of external drives aren't excuses anymore, they are small and cheap; I have several external HDD like the picture above, all of 1Tb.
    also, I use only laptops, 2 of them have SSD + HDD combo, the smallest one is a 14" ultrabook, its 128gb SSD only own the OS while datas are on the 1tb HDD.

    Compartmentalizing and securing datas isn't difficult, unlike 15 years ago, now you have powerful free encryption software so you can upload your datas to any cloud services with peace of mind.

    Of course, all is about the will of the user, if he is lazy to learn or do basic maintenance, nothing will help him in case of catastrophe.
     
    holdum323 likes this.

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