Microsoft has a long history of operating systems (OS); not all of them were as lean and good looking as Windows 7. As an OS, Windows 7 has shown remarkable longevity and adaptability. Still, with enough strenuous use, any OS will start to show signs of age and slips in performance. Once these dips in performance occur, you have two options: Improving performance or doing a clean install of Windows.
Sometimes people pull the plug on their operating system way before they need to. Sometimes, rather than reformatting your hard drive completely, wiping all your data and installed programs and starting the OS again from scratch, it would be much easier to start running a few performance boosts:
- Use the Performance troubleshooter.
- Delete and uninstall programs you don’t use.
- Limit which programs run at startup through Autoruns for Windows or through Windows’ Start System Configuration.
- Run less programs and keep less tabs open simultaneously (depends on performance level of hardware).
- Defragment your hard disk.
- Clean up your hard disk.
- Check for viruses or spyware.
- Add more memory (if all of the above and a clean install don’t improve performance)
Now, I don’t recommend running all of these every time you feel your system seems like it could be running faster. I tend to prefer running clean installs over tedious OS maintenance and troubleshooting, but as a rule of thumb, if you do four of the above tasks and still don’t notice a difference in performance, I would do a clean install.
How to Clean Install
For clarities sake, a clean install is when you install a new OS on an empty hard drive or a newly formatted hard drive. Remember that formatting your hard drive permanently erases everything on the partition, so back up everything you intend to keep on a second hard drive or external.
Remember also that all applications you installed on your previous OS will be lost, so keep those installation discs around so you can reinstall them on the new OS. To do a clean install, do the following:
- Insert the Windows 7 installation disc and restart your computer.
- Press F12 in the BIOS menu, and select the boot from disc drive option.
- Follow the instructions that appear.
- On the “Which type of installation do you want?” page, click “Custom.”
- On the “Where do you want to install Windows?” page, click “Drive options (advanced).”
- Click the partition that you want to change, click the formatting option you want to perform (reformat partition), and then follow the instructions.
- After formatting, complete the rest of the instructions. Your computer will restart a couple times, and then Windows 7 will startup.
This is a guest post by Nadia Jones who blogs at top online college about education, college, student, teacher, money saving, movie related topics. You can reach her at nadia.jones5 @ gmail.com.