28 Apr 2012

Win XP PC - a full restore?

My main Windows XP laptop PC is now around 6 years old. It has a small 32GB hard drive and my own files occupy around 8GB of this, yet the PC says the C drive has only 3.8GB spare. There is a small back-up partition (about 3GB) and the rest must be program files and Microsoft bloat accumulated over the years. I've already done defrags several times and deleted all the files I know are safe to delete. CCleaner is also regularly run to sort out registry issues and I have compressed files where possible. McAfree anti-virus seems to do a decent job of keeping out the malware.

Although I hope to invest in a new PC soon, I'm considering doing a full system restore back to original factory settings in the hope of recovering all the lost/wasted space.  A full restore will need a few days of work to reload updates (SP2/3 etc) but there must be a lot of unnecessary rubbish there which would be cleared by a full restore.

My plan is to use this "old" PC to run WSPR and some VLF programmes and use a new PC for everyday tasks.

Apart from the usual back-up of any photos and data that are important, does anyone have any advice before I go ahead?

8 comments:

John GM4SLV said...

I'm amazed you've even managed to keep a Windows laptop running without a few format/re-installs for 6 years!

I do it quite regularly as I see my PCs as expendable, as long as the important data is backed up elsewhere.

One tip would be to wipe it clean, re-install Windows & all the necessary updates. Install the bare minimum of user software for the jobs you want it to perform and then, when it's running just how you want it, to use a partition imaging program (I use System Rescue CD) to take an image of the hard drive, which is stored on an external drive for use in the future. When you find it's grinding to a halt again with bloatware and other Windows crud you'll be able to simply format the drive and boot from the System Rescue CD, plug in the external drive with the disk image file and re-install the pristine copy of your new installation and away you go. Simples...

Ricardo - CT2GQV said...

From my own experience there are some things to keep in mind...

-If it works, don't break-it/touch!
-There are always files that we end up needing in some place we didn't back up, so plan and backup during some days.
-Make sure you have the CD with the OS version and drivers you plan to install :)
-Try to have both systems (old and new computer) running in the upgrade process, better to have one working than none during the reinstall, you might need to download some drivers or search online for pitfalls.
-Backup your installed software configurations.
-read first idea again!...

Hope it helps!

Dominic Rivron said...

I've an old but perfectly OK PC for digimodes - thanks for the link to CCleaner. I think I'll give it a go.

Kevin ZL3KE said...

Hi Roger, do you have System Restore active on this PC? If so you could try deleting all the previous restore points that you don't need. 73; Kevin ZL3KE

Casey Bahr said...

Roger,

I guess I don't understand the problem. The only complaint you seem to have is that you have less free disk space than you thought. You haven't complained about the performance of the machine. If in 6 years you only accumulated 8 GB of data and still have nearly 4 GB left, then what's the problem? I could certainly understand the itch to get something new(er), however! :) If 'twere me I'd get at least a higher end dual core CPU and ditch XP for Win7.

Roger G3XBM said...

Casey,

What puzzles me is WHAT rubbish is still there? 32GB hard drive, 3-4GB is the restore partition and 8GB my own files/photos. Even having done clean-ups, defrags, registry cleaning I am still only left with 3GB of space. Is the rest really program files? I would have expected maybe 3-4GB of program files leaving about half the disk space unaccounted for.

LY2SS said...

Try run this and see what "eats" most of pie hihi
http://www.augma.lt/scanner.exe

73!

Anonymous said...

Dump your browser cache(s), saved histories, etc. and make the browser storage and cache smaller. Dump your restore points and make the size of the restore point disk usage less. Backup your Email to off-HDD and dump old messages. Email programs store Emails and (especially) Email attachments on disk. After six years, you probably have a bunch of old Java RTE images and Flash updates still stored on your HDD. Find them and delete them. There are probably many other things lurking around on your HDD. Have a good look around, 73's David