Who doesn't format Windows?

This is a discussion on Who doesn't format Windows? within the Tech Board forums, part of the Community Boards category; Just curious, how often to you format your PC, due to your Windows getting all messed up? Most often due ...

  1. #1
    Registered User C_ntua's Avatar
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    Who doesn't format Windows?

    Just curious, how often to you format your PC, due to your Windows getting all messed up? Most often due to a virus... I usually have to format 2 times a year for sure and it is always a pain in every possible body part

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    and the Hat of Clumsiness GanglyLamb's Avatar
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    An image of my whole windows partition after all updates have been installed is more then enough for me... I keep the first image on 3 different media.

    Then every week I have a rotation scheme that allows me to backup the windows partition as well but in a different location. Needless to say whenever something goes wrong really bad and I need to have the latest version I just take an image of the rotation scheme and install that one (if its really urgent).
    Else I just take the original image,install it (and of course update it with the latest windows updates before replacing this image again).

    My average swapping rate is around once a year - after I installed the original image again it feels the same as a format, everything goes somewhat faster again, but thats about the only difference....
    Last edited by GanglyLamb; 11-07-2008 at 01:26 AM.

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    how often to you format your PC, due to your Windows getting all messed up
    0 . I use Linux.

    When I used Windows a few years ago, it was something like once every month. I ended up memorizing the serial number.

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    Malum in se abachler's Avatar
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    Running XP I rarely have problems. Usually once or twice a year, but generally as a result of some crap program, not windows itself. One of the more common problems I run into is registry corruption due to either malformed entries or bloated entries, i.e. programs that use the registry for their own personal scratch pad and of course dont delete the entries when they are uninstalled.
    Until you can build a working general purpose reprogrammable computer out of basic components from radio shack, you are not fit to call yourself a programmer in my presence. This is cwhizard, signing off.

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    Jack of many languages Dino's Avatar
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    I used to do it about twice a year and it made me mad every time I had to do it.

    So I bought a Mac.
    Mac and Windows cross platform programmer. Ruby lover.

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    Woof, woof! zacs7's Avatar
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    About once a year, but I don't use it that often. The most recent was a virus that came through Firefox... so much for secure eh? Before I used FF, and I used IE6 probably about 5 times a year. But I don't use Windows much these days.

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    Never actually. I keep my Win very tidy and clean.
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    Reverse Engineer maxorator's Avatar
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    Never done it in XP. System is stable and fast. Malware fails to beat me (I've had about 2-3 in the last 3 years).
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    Woof, woof! zacs7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maxorator View Post
    Never done it in XP. System is stable and fast. Malware fails to beat me (I've had about 2-3 in the last 3 years).
    Yes but usually, it's "Can I be bothered trying to remove it?" and "How do I know it's all gone!?". Thus a reinstall is often the best means

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    C++まいる!Cをこわせ! Elysia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zacs7 View Post
    About once a year, but I don't use it that often. The most recent was a virus that came through Firefox... so much for secure eh? Before I used FF, and I used IE6 probably about 5 times a year. But I don't use Windows much these days.
    Funny... I have never received a virus for so long. Consequently, any mishap happened due to other factors than viruses. But seeing as there are no other operating systems that can fulfill compatibility, eye-candy and usability, I am still sticking with Windows.
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    You mean it's included as a crutch to help ancient programmers limp along without them having to relearn too much.

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    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    My last windows XP installation remained stable for 3 full years without the need to format and reinstall.

    Since I keep the same usage practices with this new machine I expect a similar performance.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
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    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

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    there are no other operating systems that can fulfill compatibility, eye-candy and usability, I am still sticking with Windows.
    That is the recipe for a flame war =).

    To start it off,
    http://www.youtube.com/results?searc...z&search_type=

    All the effects are configurable, of course, including the theme, unlike Aero. Oh, and it only requires onboard video, too.

    Usability... you will have to define that. Of course Linux is as unusable to someone that has never used Linux as Windows is to someone who has never used Windows.

    Compatibility with Windows programs... well, better than Windows' compatibility with Linux programs . On a more serious note, many programs have open source equivalents (in terms of functionality), eg. Firefox, OpenOffice, Thunderbird, a few open source IM clients, GCC + the GNU toolchain. Most of the popular commercial Windows programs can run under wine (an open-source implementation of Windows API on Linux).

    As for advantages -
    Open source and free (both in terms of beer and speech)

    Security - no worrying about virii and malware. Before people say it's because Linux is not as widely used, no, it's because of the user priviledge system (and Microsoft made a step in the right direction with Vista's UAC, but unfortunately many people perceive it as an annoying feature and disable it. I have never used it myself, so I won't comment on that. The idea is good, though, but it has existed in UNIX/Linux for more than a few decades already. I would imagine the introduction of UAC breaks some applications, too, since many programs assume they have admin access, and do things like writing to "Program Files", and they were right, until Vista). Being open source makes Linux more secure, too, in the sense of actual vulnerabilities/bugs (as opposed, for example, users executing a malware with admin access voluntarily). Linux also includes a sophisticated firewall (part of it in the kernel, part of it userspace). A lot more sophisticated and configurable than the one included in Windows.

    Stability - admittedly not the GUI part. Linux is still in the transition from server to desktop, and crashes still happen once every few days, just like Windows (which of course has improved since the win98 days, too). The lower level parts are good, though (kernel + command line). For example, my server (http + ftp + smtp + imap + printing + samba, on 3 harddrives in software RAID) running Linux has been up for a few months now (it was rebooted last time because of an extended blackout), and has never given me any trouble. Sure, for a more mission-critical server it's probably a good idea to update periodically, but for a relatively low importance server like mine, everything on default is good enough.

    "natural" - it just "makes more sense", perhaps because it is actually designed by users. For example, the update script won't restart the computer automatically after installing updates (sure, you can probably change that, but why have it as the default!?!?). It also makes me wonder how much better Windows would be if Microsoft spent all the effort on fighting piracy with all those annoying "features" on actually improving Windows. Perhaps they have figured that they make more money doing those things than improving the software since Windows is the only choice for the average Joe (which constitutes most of the population), and they have to buy it anyways. I know this is largely subjective, but the overall atmosphere is a lot less "commercialized" in the Linux world, which I find attractive. It feels like the good old days when people mutually share their programs open sourced and get excited when other people use them. That kind of relationships between developers and users are, I think, far more enjoyable than between, say, an average Joe and Microsoft. I have contacted a few open source developers about their programs, and most of the replies I got are very helpful and enthusiastic. Some even implemented features just because I suggested them. They are actually enthusiastic about their programs. It's the kind of enthusiasm we won't find in, for example, a support email from Microsoft.

    Productivity - powerful command line tools allow easy automation of many tasks like differential backup, file management (eg. delete files that are older than xyz, with a .txt extension, and with a length that is an odd number), batch image manipulation, and what I have actually done - a script that parses the National Geographic site and download the "picture of the day", remove the black banner, scale it, and set it as my wallpaper. All in a few lines, leveraging the power of wget, a command line file downloader, grep, a utility that searches a file for specific tokens, ImageMagick, a command line image processing program, and the command line interface of my desktop manager (GNOME). Sure, for average Joes this kind of things aren't important, but for computer literate people (people who aren't afraid of learning new things), this is quite priceless.

    Both OSes have their pros and cons, and there is nothing wrong with using both of them at the same time, each for their strong points. For me, I use Windows for gaming and entertainment. For any serious work I trust it to Linux.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyberfish View Post
    That is the recipe for a flame war =).
    ...
    To quote Master5001, "I fell asleep half way through your post".

    The problem with UNIX is that to do all those wonderful things you talk about, you need to be an expert and have tons of experience (and a good memory) with all those commands.

    I'm a software developer, not an IT sys admin. I want to spend more time programming and less time looking through man pages & learning every little detail about the OS. I also don't like typing incredibly long commands piped to other commands piped to other commands, then doing it again a few more times fixing little typos I made before...

    As for formatting Windows, I only do it when I buy a new computer every 3-5 years. After that the first thing I install is Symantec Antivirus. My computer has never had a virus in my life, and I haven't seen a blue screen of death since before Win 2000. I don't know what you guys are doing to your poor computers, but maybe you should apply to Microsoft's QA department!
    "I am probably the laziest programmer on the planet, a fact with which anyone who has ever seen my code will agree." - esbo, 11/15/2008

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    Does one need to know all about Windows to be able to use it effectively?
    What makes you think one needs to know all about UNIX to use it effectively?

    Good memory is not necessary, too. "[command] --help" will usually give a list of parameters with short descriptions. Commonly used commands will be memorized automatically (how can you not remember "ls" if you are typing it 100 times / day?).

    I don't think UNIX users intentionally memorize commands and such (well... maybe some do. I certainly don't, and I am still able to use it effectively and efficiently).

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    Registered User whiteflags's Avatar
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    It may be just me but *nix flavors do have window managers. This implies that using *nix is not all about the command-line.

    I'm pretty sure I could use the internet, write papers, listen to music and watch DVDs with a *nix setup. That's what 90&#37; of my day is about. I haven't moved completely to *nix yet (not that it seems appealing to me atm) because of college, and I'm too lazy to dual boot this machine. That's it.

    In response to the OP restoring at checkpoints is all I ever do if I encounter a serious problem. I just did this recently.

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