While Windows 7 is a much more robust operating system than previous versions, there comes a time in every operating system’s life when things just don’t run like they used to. Perhaps a virus made its way into the operating system, or maybe some spyware is hogging all the resources. There’s also the likely possibility that you simply have too many programs installed and running processes (I am especially prone to this problem).
Before you Clean Install Windows 7
Before you go through the process of reinstalling your entire operating system, there are a few steps you can take to improve the performance of your computer. Maybe you don’t even need to reinstall. The Performance troubleshooter is probably one of the easiest steps to improving performance. This program automatically checks and corrects issues slowing down your computer. Open the Performance troubleshooter by clicking the Start Button, then Control Panel. In the search box, type troubleshooter and then click Troubleshotting. Under System and Security, click Check for performance issues.
It’s also a good idea to delete and uninstall programs you don’t use as well as limit how many programs run at startup. To limit the programs that automatically open on startup, download Autoruns for Windows or use Windows’ Start System Configuration.
Sometimes you simply need to run less programs and have less tabs open at once (this depends on the power of your computer of course) and restart your computer regularly. Of course, it’s also a good idea to defragment your hard disk, clean up your hard disk, check if your computer has viruses or spyware, and possibly add more memory. However, all of these factors occurring at once can make optimizing your operating system a huge pain. If you’ve been using your operating system for years, it will probably be a lot easier to just do a clean install or reinstall of the operating system.
Clean Install Of Windows 7
For all intents and purposes, a clean install is the instance of installing a new operating system on an empty hard drive or a newly formatted hard drive. Formatting your disk permanently erases everything on the partition, so be sure to back up everything you intend to keep on a second disc or external hard drive.
All applications that you previously installed will be lost, so be sure to keep your installation discs of your software. To do a clean install, you will need to boot your computer using the Windows 7 installation disc or USB flash drive:
1. While windows is running normally, insert the Windows 7 installation disc and restart your computer.
2. Press any key when prompted, and then follow the instructions that appear.
3. On the Which type of installation do you want? page, click Custom.
4. On the Where do you want to install Windows? page, click Drive options (advanced).
5. Click the partition that you want to change, click the formatting option you want to perform, and then follow the instructions.
6. After formatting, complete the rest of the instructions and a fresh Windows 7 will install.
Keeping Data in the Reinstall of Windows 7
One way of keeping some of the data on your old operating system is to choose not to format your hard disk during installation. You will still lose all the applications that you previously installed (so be sure to keep the installation discs!), but any user-created folders in the C: drive will still be intact. To reinstall Windows 7 without reformatting the hard drive:
1. Insert a Windows 7 disc into your computer; startup should prompt automatically (If not, find the setup.exe file on the disk).
2. On the Install Windows page, follow any instructions displayed, and click Install now.
3. On the Get important updates for installation page, it is recommended that you select “Go online to get the latest update for installation.”
4. After accepting license terms, select Custom (advanced) for type of installation.
5. Choose the partition that you are going to reinstall Windows 7 (usually the C: Drive). It will prompt you saying that your existing files will be backup to the windows. old files. Click Ok.
6. Complete installation.
Advanced Recovery Method For Windows 7
This option requires a little foresight. It is a very good practice, after installing all your software after your first Windows 7 installation, to save a backup system image, which you can then use as a recovery state that you can revert back to. When recovering a system image, be sure to save any new files and data created since you saved the system image.
I consider this to be your best option because it saves you the hassle of having to reinstall all your software in addition to the operating system. To access advanced recovery methods:
1. Open Recovery by clicking the Start button, and then clicking Control Panel. In the search box, type recovery, and then click Recovery.
2. Click Advanced recovery methods.
3. From here, select Use a system image you created earlier to recover your computer.
You can also recover a previous system image when reinstalling Windows 7 (for example, if your computer was too dead to run advanced recovery methods or even start in the current operating system) by clicking Repair your computer instead of Install now after you input your language. Just be sure that your system image is saved on a usable disc (either a dvd-r or external hard drive).
This is a guest post contributed by Mariana Ashley, she is a freelance writer who particularly enjoys writing about online colleges. She loves receiving reader feedback, which can be directed to mariana.ashley031 @gmail.com.