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Is it time to format and install?




I have an Alienware PC, its a 3.06 Ghz P4, I got it in January. I use it heavily for web, multimedia, and print design for my small business. I also play games on it ;)

It is taking forever and a day to start up, shut down, and do thing like launch apps. When I got this thing it was snappy. Once Windows does startup i have to wait for the incons on the desktop to show up, the icons on the Quick Launch bar to show up, etc, before I can even launch an app. It is very annoying. I also notice running apps such as Dreamweaver, Photoshop, and InDesign have slowed down as well.

Is the best thing to do in this situation a format and clean install of Windows? Alienware makes this easy with its recovery CD, but I would rather not do this as I would have to reinstall all my apps again. If that is what it takes then that is fine, I am used to doing this anyway.

I have heard from different sources that it is a good idea to format a Windows box every six months or so. Is this true or an urban myth or what? It has been 8 months, and this machine is feeling quite sluggish with exactly the same software I had on it in January. I am running defreg software, I do not have any viruses that i know of (I use Sophos and keep it up to date).

This is imy first PC. I am a Mac Admin and own a 1 Ghz TiBook G4, and I have been back to getting more work done on my slow PowerBook these days because Windows is just being sluggish.

But I do need a fast PC, I mainly got it to do cross platform work and testing (web and multimedia) and of course for fun and games.

I have never formatted a PC before, but I am sure my Alienware tech. support will come in handy. OK im just rambling now.

Should I format it? I am about to anyway, I would just like some opinions.


Bronx Bomber

uh, how much room is left on your hard drive. cause if its full, or close to it, it will usually slow down.
for example, i have just over 280 megs left on my 120 gig hard drive. obviously, it is quite slow :)
you could go to MyComputer->rightclick on YourHarddrive->properties->DiskCleanup. that will let up some space.

also, if you want it to startup faster, you can go to Run->msconfig->Startup and then turn off whatever isnt needed.(for example, winamp). you could delete some of those icons off of your desktop/toolbar because they do take processing power. also, you could limit the number of running processes.

also, if you havent done it already, you should run Lavasoft Adaware and Spybot: Search and Destroy. These programs will search for spyware/adware. some forms of spyware/adware are programs that run in the background and usually do things you dont want.


The One and Only
wow, format every 6 months....... never thought of that concept...... but, then again, my computer is runnin a CRAP Intel Celeron 1.2 Ghz with 256 MB SDRAM. hell, i practically format my hard drive every 2 months. 3 at the most. i kinda consider myself a format-o-holic. But then again, i also take his side. hate havin to install all my games and stuff and updates and stuff again.
Definitely scan with AdAware, Spybot, and a virus scanner first. Check through your Ad/Remove programs in the control panel, and see if there's anything in there you don't recognize, especially if you find a lot of adware or have/had Kazaa, Morpheus, etc. installed at any point. Do a disk cleanup, like Mr. Bomber said, and also defragment your hard drive if you haven't done that in a while.

Go through and get rid of as many programs as you can at startup. Running msconfig works, but a lot of programs are as easy as right-clicking the system tray icon and clicking "don't run at startup" or something along those lines. If there are specific programs running that you can't figure out, one of us should be able to help. Also check your startup folder in Start > All Programs > Startup, and get rid of anything you don't want.

Give it some rebootin' love and hope for the best.


i run ad aware and spybot s&d on a very regular basis. ive never installed kazaa or morphios (really, no joke).

i do not think the HD is that full. but then i cannot check at this moment. i get no video. at all.

i called alienware tech. support and the tech had me take out the video, sound, and memory chips and reseat them, wow that was so fun!

startup and nothing.

he had me take the memory chips out and start up (to see if i get any tones, like i should). nope, nada. no tones.

so i have to send this thing into alienware. one thing i have against alienware. they will not, not even for a fee, backup the contents of the HD. what bull is that. Apple did that when I had problems with my last TiBook a while ago and had to send it in. the machine will not boot up, so i have to take the HD out and take it somewhere to salvage the data on the drive. I do not know how much data that is though. I have work on this HD that I had not backup up yet, how not cool.

well this saga will be continued once I get the machine back from alienware, or they call me about it.

All I have to say is I am REALLY glad I just bought a new 15" PowerBook and have been using it for the past month to do my work.

I am not a happy camper right now :mad:

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