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Windows Questions and Answers - Fresh Install of Windows or Cleanup?

Oscar writes in with a Windows question.
Question:
My computer was given to me and it was used for a few years before I had it. I recently upgraded lots of programs and I would like it so it's just everything that I put on here besides the original windows and I was not sure what I should do? Do you think that it would be a wise choice if I reinstall the programs, delete the partition and create a new one and then reinstall the program windows XP and then every other program that I have on software? Your opinion which I need is highly recommended the reason being I use voice recognition and I can only move the mouse but so far that's what I heard would be good? What do you think? Thank you very much for your time and consideration.

Answer: If you were to wipe out the partition and reinstall Windows you would have to make sure that you have all the proper drivers for your hardware such as your video, sound and network cards as well as your printer etc. If you have a restore CD for the computer then it shouldn't be a problem because it will restore the computer to the state it was when it left the store. If you just have a XP CD then you can install Windows but may need to install drivers for hardware that is not detected. You will also have reinstall all of your programs. You need to make sure to back up your important files first because everything will be wiped out.
 
Reinstalling Windows makes for a cleaner, faster running computer without all the clutter of extra software but you need to make sure you have everything you need to get it running again. I would look at Device Manager and write down or print all of your hardware so you know what drivers to look for online if you need to download them.
 
Another option is to do a cleanup of your computer to get rid of the un-needed software and speed it up a little. You can go through Add/Remove Programs and uninstall the software you don't need. Just make sure you know what you are removing before you need it just in case it is a critical piece of software.
 
After that you can do some cleanup to get rid of temp files and other things you don't need. Check out this question from a visitor who wanted to speed up his computer.
 
So the bottom line is if you feel comfortable reinstalling everything and have all the tools you need then a fresh installation will make for a better running computer if its been a few years. But if it runs good enough as is then a cleanup may be the best route to save any potential headaches.

 

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