It's too bad Windows can't keep itself running smoothly, but I'm glad you found such a good solution.
I had to do the same last week too - you bet it sure helps!
Now that you have everything set up the way you like it, delete all the TEMP files, do a full virus & spyware scan, defrag the drives, and then do a full drive image type backup. Now all the hours you put into setting up the machine can be put to use in the future. If you screw up in the future or you just want to get back the new-car-smell, you've got a starting point...just revert to the state you're in now.
A drive image backup is not using Windows XP's Restore Point. You'll need something like Norton Ghost or BootIt NG to take a snapshot of your drive. Then you can return to this pristine setup anytime you want.
Make sure you also get all the newest Windows updates, from [windowsupdate.microsoft.com...]
I wish I had some time to do the same! I am running mine for 3 years now. Loads of software that I do need anymore in program files. Old users on my computer. It's such a mess.
It usually takes a few days to get the OS back to normal after reinstall.
Yes, it is amazing what a clean install will do. But, I often just get a new system. Reformat the old one and pass it down the line.
For a medium size office network I try to replace each workstation after 24 to 36 months. The boxes keep getting cheaper and it is a matter of productivity vs. replacement cost.
is this only a windows thing? Does it happen on Mac, Linux, etc?
I had to reinstall XP recently. I didn't notice any speed difference, but it was a pain to set up all my programs again. Each one has its own unique settings, even simple programs like Notepad need word wrap turning on and the font changing. (Can't stand the default one.)
I'm hoping to get everything set up again soon then make a drive image!
yep it's defiantly a pain to reinstall Windows. Installing Windows is easy and doesn't take to long to do. But after installing Windows it just takes ages to install all those programs, getting all those settings the way you like them, downloading DAT files, downloading updates for Windows and Office. And oh yeh before installing Windows backing up all your data.
takes me 2days to do the lot
it's 2days off utter boredom!
prob only a Windows thing never had to reinstall Linux on my test machines but I don't use Linux as much as I use Windows. Linux is there to make sure any web pages I make look and work ok on Linux browsers.