Jan Leow's Press Blog

My Desktop Computer Becoming Slower, Time to Reformat

Inevitably, Windows based computer will have this annoyance. After a period of time, the desktop computer will become slower and slower. Slow to boot up, slow to shut down. Eventually it start to behave like a snail rather than the speedy computer system that you once bought or build a short couple of years ago. Even in the Windows 95 era, this kind of PC slowing was a common occurrence, in fact I had to reformat it at least once a year at that time. Would you call it an improvement if I have to reformat my current Windows Vista once every two years?

Anyway, it is more tedious to do a clean slate rebuild of the operating system than long ago, nevertheless it needs to be done. One of the few things to bear in mind whenever it is time to do a reinstallation of your operating system:

  • Back up all the data unless you store it in a separate partition, that saves some time. Make sure the data is not using the windows encryption or you won’t be able to retrieve it! And make sure you are not using the Windows Dynamic Disk Volume for spanning your hard disk as a new O/S install won’t recognize it. I have lost data just like that because I didn’t know then what I knew now. Anyway, it is still good to backup your PC just in case!
  • Make list of software that you want to reinstall. There are some software that you installed previously which you never use. For me, I installed many software just to give it a try and of course should have deleted it but never got around to do it.
  • Find all your drivers. You should keep all your driver disc in the same place and keep it properly for situation like this. I have friends that asked for help to reinstall their PC but they couldn’t find their driver disc. So can’t help them there when some of their computer devices won’t work. You may still be able to find the drivers online, but some company don’t provide the drivers online and if your computer device is a legacy device and ancient, the company may have disappeared! Anyway I got a bit smarter now and decline to offer assistance unless absolutely necessary. I rather not reformat anybody else hard disk because it is way too tedious and time consuming!

And of course find a time to do it. It takes many hours to put back everything and get them into working order. It may take several days to get your PC working like before with all your software application in place (minus those you don’t ever use of course). Because as you use, you find you will need this software, need that software, etc.

One of the more tedious aspect of re installation is the Windows update, that can take up a sizable amount of time with several reboots and update. And not to mention the re validation of your original Windows software license, which requires a phone call to their support center.

Unfortunately when your computer slows down to a crawl during boot up, shut down and start of application (even after a defrag and using any registry cleaners) then you know it is time to resuscitate your good old computer!

Related post:
Important to back up my PC

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