Recommendations? New PC

Joined
Mar 25, 2011
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No, never. The clean install idea used to make sense back in the days of Windows XP. Nowadays it is not needed.

For me it would involve a huge amount of work doing all the software installs and doing all the configuration tweaks that I like. The last time I did a new install, I remember it took two days for one computer to get everything perfect. And I have five computers.

When Windows 10 gets its 6 monthly major update, that is very close to being a clean install. The registry still collects old stuff from programs that you install and uninstall where the developer didn't do a good job with the uninstall program. If you really want to you can run the free CCleaner to tidy that up. I do that once every few years as I don't really trust it and always have a system image backup just in case.

One thing you should be doing is the disk cleanup. Go to Explorer, right-click on your C: drive, click Properties. In the new window make sure you are on the General tab. Now click Disk Cleanup. Press Clean-up system files. Then tick all the little boxes (scroll to see them all) and then go ahead. This will also remove old versions of Windows which may still be there.

I have never seen any slow up at all since back when Windows 7 came out.

There is something very wrong if you are buying a new laptop every 4 years. Are you getting the cheapest low spec machines with old CPUs and not enough memory? Depending on what you use it for an i5 processor and 8GB will still deliver what most people need, and those have been around for a very long time. I wonder if your speed issue is really something quite different such as internet speed, or wifi speed. I went to help a neighbour who was planning to buy a new laptop and worked out that the real problem was his internet, so a new computer would have been a complete waste.

Hardware issues are probably down to buying from a poor manufacturer. Look for ones with good reliability. My old Acer laptop is 10 years old now, been all over the world, never any problem.
I second the last point.
I ran Novabench on a first generation Thinkpad X1 and it achieved the same marks as a more recent HP Elitebook 745. The Thinkpad was at least 4 years older.
The X1 has an i5 8gb ram and 512gb SSD, the HP has an A10 pro, 16gb ram, 512gb SSD and they achieved the same score.
They both cost me less than £200 refurbished.
Both good enough for office work, both on the latest windows 10 and office 365.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
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Massachusetts
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David
I do, once every couple years. I spend a couple hours before looking over what I have and getting new install files ready as needed. I also keep all the Windows default 'locations' on the D: drive (Documents, Pictures, Video, Music, Downloads), so none of that needs restoring, just point the new Windows items to each.
I've been setting things up like this since Win NT. You can also more things like Google Drive and OneDrive.

No, never. The clean install idea used to make sense back in the days of Windows XP. Nowadays it is not needed.

For me it would involve a huge amount of work doing all the software installs and doing all the configuration tweaks that I like. The last time I did a new install, I remember it took two days for one computer to get everything perfect. And I have five computers....
I do a reinstall every now and then mainly because I "try" many (probably too many) things; development tools, image applications, .... But it's one of the reasons I create multiple images during the install process including a final image with all the tweaks. Usually the main headache centers around application updates that popup when I start utilities, but I can do most of those when I have time.

......There is something very wrong if you are buying a new laptop every 4 years. Are you getting the cheapest low spec machines with old CPUs and not enough memory? Depending on what you use it for an i5 processor and 8GB will still deliver what most people need, and those have been around for a very long time. I wonder if your speed issue is really something quite different such as internet speed, or wifi speed. I went to help a neighbour who was planning to buy a new laptop and worked out that the real problem was his internet, so a new computer would have been a complete waste.

Hardware issues are probably down to buying from a poor manufacturer. Look for ones with good reliability. My old Acer laptop is 10 years old now, been all over the world, never any problem.
True "jumps" in hardware specs rarely happen every generation. 10 years for me might be pushing it, but not for the CPU/RAM. My last Laptop had a PCIe NVMe drive, that was a nice upgrade over the spinning drive in the one I had before it.
 
Joined
Aug 18, 2011
Messages
618
Location
USA
When I do a clean install and get the OS whipped into shape, I make an image. After I install all my apps and configure everything to my liking, I make another image. These become my doomsday/fail safe backups. If I'm ever faced with some crisis-induced need to do an OS reinstall, I'm way ahead of the game. Since sometime early in this century, these clean install, clean install + apps images have never been needed.
 

Growltiger

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When I do a clean install and get the OS whipped into shape, I make an image. After I install all my apps and configure everything to my liking, I make another image. These become my doomsday/fail safe backups. If I'm ever faced with some crisis-induced need to do an OS reinstall, I'm way ahead of the game. Since sometime early in this century, these clean install, clean install + apps images have never been needed.
I have never installed Windows 8, Windows 8.1 or Windows 10, except as upgrades. All my machines either started with Windows 7 and have been upgraded from that, or in several cases were bought without any operating system, and had a complete system image applied to them with Windows and all the software already installed. Then the Windows and other licenses were bought and/or applied as needed.

This shows that despite all those upgrades and no clean installs, it isn't a problem. And there are many years of accumulated software on some of the machines. Two of them also have virtual machines running Windows XP and UNIX installed as well, which run in windows within Windows 10, so three operating systems running together.
 
Joined
Feb 11, 2006
Messages
6,491
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Riverside, CA
Perhaps consider better hardware? Since retirement I have been primarily Mac-based but ran an IT consulting business on a Dell mid-tower system for 7 years and then gave it to the neighbor's kids. PC hardware, with the occasional upgrade should easily last the better part of a decade.
I have always bought DELL machines. I buy the highest level Inspiron machines (I believe that's what they call them, the name isn't on them anymore) I have an I7 with 16 gigs of ram and win 10. It will be 4 years old in March. The main hardware problem with this machine now is the touch pad sticks. I just use a mouse. It also had a problem with the display which was fixed under warranty. The DELL before this had major problems with the USB ports, none of them ever worked consistently, hard drives would constantly disconnect.
No, never. The clean install idea used to make sense back in the days of Windows XP. Nowadays it is not needed.

For me it would involve a huge amount of work doing all the software installs and doing all the configuration tweaks that I like. The last time I did a new install, I remember it took two days for one computer to get everything perfect. And I have five computers.

When Windows 10 gets its 6 monthly major update, that is very close to being a clean install. The registry still collects old stuff from programs that you install and uninstall where the developer didn't do a good job with the uninstall program. If you really want to you can run the free CCleaner to tidy that up. I do that once every few years as I don't really trust it and always have a system image backup just in case.

One thing you should be doing is the disk cleanup. Go to Explorer, right-click on your C: drive, click Properties. In the new window make sure you are on the General tab. Now click Disk Cleanup. Press Clean-up system files. Then tick all the little boxes (scroll to see them all) and then go ahead. This will also remove old versions of Windows which may still be there.

I have never seen any slow up at all since back when Windows 7 came out.

There is something very wrong if you are buying a new laptop every 4 years. Are you getting the cheapest low spec machines with old CPUs and not enough memory? Depending on what you use it for an i5 processor and 8GB will still deliver what most people need, and those have been around for a very long time. I wonder if your speed issue is really something quite different such as internet speed, or wifi speed. I went to help a neighbour who was planning to buy a new laptop and worked out that the real problem was his internet, so a new computer would have been a complete waste.

Hardware issues are probably down to buying from a poor manufacturer. Look for ones with good reliability. My old Acer laptop is 10 years old now, been all over the world, never any problem.
I am not buying the cheapest machines, no. They have been DELL with I7 processors. The machine I am using right now is 4 years old in March. Tonight, I restarted the computer and it took 10 minutes to be able to get Lightroom up and running to edit some images.
 

Growltiger

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I am not buying the cheapest machines, no. They have been DELL with I7 processors. The machine I am using right now is 4 years old in March. Tonight, I restarted the computer and it took 10 minutes to be able to get Lightroom up and running to edit some images.
Wow - something is very very wrong. Lightroom itself should load and be ready for work in under 10 seconds.
How long to just start the machine?
Is the problem just with Lightroom or is it very slow loading any program?
Have you cleared the Lightroom cache (you can do it from the menu)?

If everything is slow, install and run this disk hardware diagnostic (does normal and SSD disks) - dowload the standard edition (free): https://crystalmark.info/en/
 
Last edited:
Joined
Feb 11, 2006
Messages
6,491
Location
Riverside, CA
Wow - something is very very wrong. Lightroom itself should load and be ready for work in under 10 seconds.
How long to just start the machine?
Is the problem just with Lightroom or is it very slow loading any program?
Have you cleared the Lightroom cache (you can do it from the menu)?

If everything is slow, install and run this disk hardware diagnostic (does normal and SSD disks) - dowload the standard edition (free): https://crystalmark.info/en/
OK I will give that a try. Not everything is as slow as Lightroom, but I feel like everything is sluggish compared to when it was new. And last night light room kept giving me the not responding error. I would just wait about a minute and it would start working again.

I have all but convinced the boss (wife) to let me use part of the tax return to get the new MacBook Pro 16. I’ve been windows all my life but I use Apple at work, so barring the expense, I am excited to Hopefully get a laptop that will last me more than three or four years.

In the meantime I would like to get this Windows machine running better. So I will download that app.
 

Growltiger

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Messages
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Up in the hills, Gloucestershire, UK
OK I will give that a try. Not everything is as slow as Lightroom, but I feel like everything is sluggish compared to when it was new. And last night light room kept giving me the not responding error. I would just wait about a minute and it would start working again.

I have all but convinced the boss (wife) to let me use part of the tax return to get the new MacBook Pro 16. I’ve been windows all my life but I use Apple at work, so barring the expense, I am excited to Hopefully get a laptop that will last me more than three or four years.

In the meantime I would like to get this Windows machine running better. So I will download that app.
When you run it you see the different drives along the top, if there are several. Each one should say "Good" against it. That is all you need to know.
 

Growltiger

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Apr 26, 2008
Messages
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How much memory does the machine have?

Have you done a disk clean? Right-click on the C: drive, Properties, General tab, Disk clean-up, Clean up system files, tick every box and do it.

Did you clear your Lightroom cache from its menu?
 
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