Reinstalling Windows from scratch or uninstalling everything

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I frequently reinstall Windows from scratch because it has become to slow. I wonder if I were to uninstall every application, followed by a defrag and CCleaner job, would it be as fast as a fresh install. Does anyone know?


Having too much stuff installed isn’t always what noticeably slows down your computer. Often, It’s having too much stuff running. Use CCleaner, or do a Start -> Run -> msconfig and take a look at the programs you have running on startup.

Is you notification area bloated with crap you never use? (I see this alot on computers bought from stores/Dell/Gateway/HP that come “pre-loaded”). Configure some of those applications to NOT start with Windows. (see the previous paragraph)

Of course, there is also a good chance mal-ware (viruses, trojans, spyware, etc) is causing the slow-down (or, IMHO, bloated anti-malware like Norton or McAfee). In this case, I find that starting from scratch is often the quickest path to zen.

First of all, no app can replace human sanity. Check what you install. You can also use Virtual PC, Virtualbox. Other side, use PORTABLE applications. They will run without messing around with the registry, program files, whatsoever. They can be also upgraded easily.

Something like that. And once you set up a working environment (like every driver, usual apps like firefox, foobar, what do you use), do a full backup of your disk. Much better than always reinstalling from scratch.

To the topic: You won’t get a system as fast as the original one if you installed too much… uhm.. dead-weight on it. But maybe you can tear down some fat from your sys. Give it a try. Judge which one takes more time. 🙂

If you uninstall, defrag and use CCleaner, it won’t be as fresh as a clean install. Not all the uninstalled apps will be cleanly removed, the effect of defragging is negligible if you’re using a decent high speed drive with it’s own cache memory and CCleaner won’t fix anything in Windows that’s been broken through installing, uninstalling and tweaking.

If you mean to uninstall every application, defrag & install them again, then just do defrag, there is no reason here for reinstallation.

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