How many times do you format?

Software and hardware

How many times do you format?

Postby 1UnRaTeD1 » Sat May 09, 2009 01:07 UTC

I myself atleast format 2 times a year.. well 3 the most. Due to installing games and demos testing lol. It never ends. Im not much of a defragger. takes to long and i am not gonna wait for it :king:
User avatar
1UnRaTeD1
 
Posts: 309
Joined: Thu Oct 02, 2008 17:31 UTC
Favorite map: q3dm17
Server: FFA

Re: How many times do u format?

Postby IriDeck » Sat May 09, 2009 01:28 UTC

2x a year, usually, though I have yet to this year. I'm gonna do a nuke 'n' pave, get my base set up with my favourite apps, and then use Acronis TrueImage to get a fresh image going.

At some point, I'd like to make a minimal-install, super-lightweight machine (likely Slackware) which would only serve as a host for Virtual OSes. That way, you can back up a single file which contains your entire computer. :)
User avatar
IriDeck
Former Admin
 
Posts: 1264
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2008 14:02 UTC
Location: Georgia, USA
Favorite map: Q3DM17
Server: TDM

Re: How many times do u format?

Postby mordockdotcom » Sat May 09, 2009 02:02 UTC

At least once a year... but not on any schedule.
mordockdotcom
 
Posts: 341
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 21:18 UTC
Location: Casper, Wyoming, USA
Server: CTF

Re: How many times do u format?

Postby AG » Sat May 09, 2009 06:16 UTC

my heavy windows usage and knowledge ends with 2000 and xp.

from running nt4-onward natively, i reinstalled probably four to six times a year. i had a decent backup, maintenance and optimization strategy, and i avoid using any antivirus software unless absolutely necessary... so at the first sign of trouble that signaled any amount of trouble or effort, i'd just wipe and get going again in 1/10th of the time with confidence in my system.

i had drastically less trouble with windows doing this than most people around me.

with os x, when i first started i was still into the idea of fucking with everything just because i could, and i reformatted maybe once or twice a year pre-10.3. after i started working with it instead of against it, i haven't reformated an os x machine in five or six years barring outright hardware failures.

i now whole-heartedly support virtualization. a native installation should be the most stripped down and entirely stable version of whatever host os you are comfortable with, then virtualize your "working" system with periodic snapshots that can be blown away and re-implemented at will, or even copied to another virtualization host.
User avatar
AG
Former Admin
 
Posts: 2366
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2008 18:25 UTC
Location: Texas
Favorite map: q3dm17
Server: INSTAKILL
Website: http://vogonhq.com

Re: How many times do u format?

Postby AG » Sat May 09, 2009 06:18 UTC

i'd also add the virtualization strategy i described is something i've done successfully for years on servers with linux and freebsd. it's just now become practical and easy on the workstation for pretty much any host os and guest.
User avatar
AG
Former Admin
 
Posts: 2366
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2008 18:25 UTC
Location: Texas
Favorite map: q3dm17
Server: INSTAKILL
Website: http://vogonhq.com

Re: How many times do you format?

Postby dyn » Sat May 09, 2009 06:44 UTC



Usually every few months, maybe 2-4 times per year, depends. But you don't need to delete everything, you can just image your clean OS maybe with some trusted apps already installed and then just restore image back after you finish with all demo/app testing. That way you can get rid of any known or unknown virus. Some companies do it weekly, on schedule.

There are various backup and imaging apps, i used Ghost in the past, now i use Acronis True Image. Images are not normal backups, they contain everything from your OS, including boot sector (can be restored separately from image with Acronis). On top of imaging Acronis also offers backup function, if you install it. I usually use offline backup only, from bootable media.
User avatar
dyn
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4009
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2008 07:50 UTC
Favorite map: q3dm8
Server: FFA
Website: https://vogonhq.com

Re: How many times do you format?

Postby AG » Sat May 09, 2009 08:00 UTC

periodic imaging -- same basic idea of virtualized guest snapshots.

i actually forgot about when i worked for a small company about five years ago. groups had a basic image of their machine that was updated when needed, and all their personal stuff was stored on a central win2k3 server. there was absolutely no time for futzing with viruses or crap like that, so at rollout and the first sign of trouble i'd just reimage their machine with a debian live cd and partimage. towards the end i did the same thing remotely, but i've forgotten how i did it. some painful netboot crap that has probably improved since then.
User avatar
AG
Former Admin
 
Posts: 2366
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2008 18:25 UTC
Location: Texas
Favorite map: q3dm17
Server: INSTAKILL
Website: http://vogonhq.com

Re: How many times do you format?

Postby SD » Sat May 09, 2009 10:10 UTC

NEVER! Absolutely no no no no no NEVER - EVER. The only time I'm formating a HDD is because it is fresh out of the fun blister wrap and I am about to install an OS on it. My PC goes wonky? I buy a new HDD and shove the old one in a drawer.
User avatar
SD
Former Admin
 
Posts: 1611
Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2009 18:54 UTC
Location: Wales, UK
Favorite map: Q3TOURNEY3
Server: INSTAKILL

Re: How many times do you format?

Postby dyn » Sat May 09, 2009 23:51 UTC

You can fast format it at OS install time (best option for new installs) or (fast) format it as secondary HDD when new HDD is in place and running new OS. It would be a waste and security risk to just disconnect old HDDs and leave them somewhere. At least use them for data storage.

Keep in mind format, full or fast, is not erasing data, just index and optionally it checks sectors if full format is specified. If you want your drive securely wiped you need to use apps for that, or store something on them, so old content is overwritten. Winhex is probably the best, Acronis Disk Director is very good too. Best are apps which can erase deleted filenames + data, not only data.
User avatar
dyn
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4009
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2008 07:50 UTC
Favorite map: q3dm8
Server: FFA
Website: https://vogonhq.com

Re: How many times do you format?

Postby IriDeck » Sun May 10, 2009 06:34 UTC

I use XLDelete. You can do a free space wipe with it, whereby it generates a file which consumes the remainder of your disk space for that particular drive (you have to ignore the "running out of space" errors you'll get). You can choose multiple types of wipes, from a standard DOD-7 wipe up to a Guttmann 23-pass wipe. More info here: http://www.xldevelopment.net/xldelete.php

When I have to destroy hard drives for my company, I actually remove the platens from the HDD shell and scrub them really well with a wire brush, then pass a strong magnet over them, just in case. Good rare earth or dynamo magnets usually do the trick, though I've yet to have them forensically tested.

Yes, the virtual OS solution would be best for me; now that Microcenter sells 32GB flash drives for a reasonable price (http://www.microcenter.com/search/search_results.phtml?keyword=32GB+usb&category=&submit.x=0&submit.y=0), I could easily keep my guest OS(es) with me and easily replicate my home and work machines. In-store, they sell the IPSG 32GB USB drives as well, usually for $59.99.

AG, I think you're talking about PXE booting. With a PXE NIC, the system will look for a DHCP server, snag an IP, and then look for a machine sending boot packets. If you have an imaging server out there with a launch script to recover an image, you'd have a freshly-recovered system in little to no time!
User avatar
IriDeck
Former Admin
 
Posts: 1264
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2008 14:02 UTC
Location: Georgia, USA
Favorite map: Q3DM17
Server: TDM

Re: How many times do you format?

Postby Tripredacus » Tue May 12, 2009 01:20 UTC

How about never?

This computer's OS drive has never been reformatted. Still on same XP install since it came out. Only had to do a repair install a month ago because I changed motherboards. Not to mention my Windows 98 PC which is on its first install since 1999.

There must be something you guys are doing wrong...
User avatar
Tripredacus
Former Admin
 
Posts: 554
Joined: Sat Apr 19, 2008 08:10 UTC
Location: Buffalo, NY
Favorite map: Q3DM2
Server: FFA

Re: How many times do you format?

Postby Apocalypse » Tue May 12, 2009 03:09 UTC

I never reformat as long as you clean stuff out and keep everything neat and clean it runs fine. Defrag when needed delete all temp files when not needed anymore. Get drive cleaner to clean out old driver files. I mean there are 100's of utlities you can use so you don't have to.
User avatar
Apocalypse
Former Admin
 
Posts: 1004
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 19:21 UTC
Location: U.S.A.
Favorite map: Winter_Crash
Server: COD4

Re: How many times do you format?

Postby SD » Tue May 12, 2009 07:24 UTC

My general opinion on this has always been that you shouldn't HAVE to reformat just to get your PC running smoothly, I've always used it as a last resort when I get performance related repair jobs in and it's a cool n breezy day down under before I'll format mine. Like I said, new HDD (theyre not expensive nowa days lets face it) old one in a drawer and when the time comes format and use as a backup drive (which is what I do although I forgot to point it out above)
User avatar
SD
Former Admin
 
Posts: 1611
Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2009 18:54 UTC
Location: Wales, UK
Favorite map: Q3TOURNEY3
Server: INSTAKILL

Re: How many times do you format?

Postby IriDeck » Thu May 14, 2009 14:45 UTC

Tripredacus wrote:How about never?

This computer's OS drive has never been reformatted. Still on same XP install since it came out. Only had to do a repair install a month ago because I changed motherboards. Not to mention my Windows 98 PC which is on its first install since 1999.

There must be something you guys are doing wrong...

Doing wrong? There's nothing wrong with experimentation. The main reason for a clean install is to vacuum up all the crap you've been sweeping under the rug for months or years at a time.

In my efforts to have a machine fine-tuned to how I want it to operate, I try a multitude of different tools, extensions, plugins, utilities, scripts, etc. I don't even use the Windows Explorer shell, opting instead for BBLean. My Windows box is so thoroughly hacked to my specifications on a weekly basis that I can't imagine not being able to do it. This is a primary reason why I do not use Mac machines (correct me if I am wrong regarding your customization options, guys), and one of the reasons I've fallen in geeky love with Linux in all its various forms.

I have a server here at work running Ubuntu, and I've never physically seen the Gnome desktop outside of setting up the SSH parameters. Once done, it's all been CLi from there.

At any rate, the bottom line is this: if you test a multitude of software packages on Windows, you should probably do a nuke 'n' pave every once in a while. Excessive numbers of fonts, DLLs, registry keys, and outdated Prefetch information all slow your system down and leave it cluttered.

To be fair, I'm a minimalist and a resource-freak. I don't like all of the "quicklaunch" and "agent" programs which run in the background just so I only have to wait 20 seconds for a program to load instead of 30; I'd rather have my resources free for other intensive tasks. Anyone who's done any sort of rendering or worked with more than 12 layers in Photoshop can understand that.

So hey, maybe the only thing "wrong" here is that I'm neurotic! :lol:
User avatar
IriDeck
Former Admin
 
Posts: 1264
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2008 14:02 UTC
Location: Georgia, USA
Favorite map: Q3DM17
Server: TDM

Re: How many times do you format?

Postby AG » Thu May 14, 2009 16:58 UTC

Tripredacus wrote:There must be something you guys are doing wrong...

that's like one business property owner telling another, "i see you have fire escapes and extinguishers in your building. i've never had a fire in mine -- there must be something you are doing wrong."

technology *will* fuck up. good preparedness is the exact opposite of doing something wrong.
User avatar
AG
Former Admin
 
Posts: 2366
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2008 18:25 UTC
Location: Texas
Favorite map: q3dm17
Server: INSTAKILL
Website: http://vogonhq.com

Re: How many times do you format?

Postby SD » Thu May 14, 2009 17:32 UTC

AbsolutGojira wrote:good preparedness is the exact opposite of doing something wrong.



Yes I agree completely. However I don't think reformatting counts as preparation for disaster, reformat is the action often taken after disaster. My own little version of preparedness is my backups sitting in the drawer.
Last edited by SD on Thu Aug 23, 2012 09:30 UTC, edited 2 times in total.
Reason: Fixed the quote. :)
User avatar
SD
Former Admin
 
Posts: 1611
Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2009 18:54 UTC
Location: Wales, UK
Favorite map: Q3TOURNEY3
Server: INSTAKILL

Re: How many times do you format?

Postby AG » Thu May 14, 2009 18:28 UTC

SD STRIKEBREAKER wrote:Yes I agree completely. However I don't think reformatting counts as preparation for disaster, reformat is the action often taken after disaster. My own little version of preparedness is my backups sitting in the drawer.

depends on how you look at it.

reformat and reinstall has traditionally been the last resort when there are problems. you don't replace your car's engine just because there's an oil leak.

however, troubleshooting and fixing shit takes time, energy, stress and money.

let's say you have a business with 50 people. you use disk imaging software to snapshot a fresh installation with the applications people need and any customizations. with a few clicks (give or take), you can roll that snapshot out to all 50 computers with any required user data backed up elsewhere. few weeks go by and someone has massive file corruption. reimage. you now have time to focus on problems that matter instead of menial bullshit.

as dyn mentioned many companies do this on a scheduled basis -- such as the place i'm at.

anyway, the idea has become more familiar to average users with the rise in virtualization. install the windows 7 rc in vmware for testing, snapshot periodically in case there are problems, and if there are just go back to a previous snapshot.

you can do the same thing for your personal computers. i back up my data somewhere and image my disk. if there is a problem, i reimage. girls and friends tend not to be interested in computer war stories.
User avatar
AG
Former Admin
 
Posts: 2366
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2008 18:25 UTC
Location: Texas
Favorite map: q3dm17
Server: INSTAKILL
Website: http://vogonhq.com

Re: How many times do you format?

Postby SD » Thu May 14, 2009 19:07 UTC

Yeah I completely get what you're saying and I totally understand why businesses routinely reformat. I often find I do things quite differently to others, not just in computing. I never even got into the whole backing up on DVD thing tbh. The only things I would be seriously pissed about losing on my PC are my music as I'm a sometimes DJ for some local pubs/clubs and my video collection. I back them up often as having to download something more than once makes my head turn a funny purple and smoke, not steam - SMOKE billows from my ears.
User avatar
SD
Former Admin
 
Posts: 1611
Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2009 18:54 UTC
Location: Wales, UK
Favorite map: Q3TOURNEY3
Server: INSTAKILL

Re: How many times do you format?

Postby Zoloft » Thu May 14, 2009 19:17 UTC

Well I do alot of that.. A local non-profit here gets computer donations all the time. I just wipe and clean install.. They all seem to run must faster before all the crap gets loaded in LOL
User avatar
Zoloft
 
Posts: 157
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2009 19:24 UTC
Location: New jersey
Server: FFA

Re: How many times do you format?

Postby AG » Thu May 14, 2009 19:40 UTC

SD STRIKEBREAKER wrote:Yeah I completely get what you're saying and I totally understand why businesses routinely reformat. I often find I do things quite differently to others, not just in computing. I never even got into the whole backing up on DVD thing tbh. The only things I would be seriously pissed about losing on my PC are my music as I'm a sometimes DJ for some local pubs/clubs and my video collection. I back them up often as having to download something more than once makes my head turn a funny purple and smoke, not steam - SMOKE billows from my ears.

yeah i try backing stuff up as best i can but i don't like thinking about it. last summer i had four external disks die on me... disk reliability nowadays is abominable. at this point i'd almost think a cd/dvd will last longer than disk.

regardless, i back up to two external disks, my web host and mobileme. anything really really important or private i also put on dvd. every so often i remember to update my backups.
User avatar
AG
Former Admin
 
Posts: 2366
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2008 18:25 UTC
Location: Texas
Favorite map: q3dm17
Server: INSTAKILL
Website: http://vogonhq.com

Re: How many times do you format?

Postby SD » Thu May 14, 2009 19:48 UTC

I should probably get an external HDD like one of those buffalo storage ones or something, using internal disks for backing up is probably an arse around elbow way of doing things, not to mention a messy hassle. I just wipe a disk, connect it as a slave, or at the moment since im running SATA in JBOD arrangement (if you can call JBOD an arrangement) and copy over 2 folders, one for music one for video (categorised within in subfolders)
User avatar
SD
Former Admin
 
Posts: 1611
Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2009 18:54 UTC
Location: Wales, UK
Favorite map: Q3TOURNEY3
Server: INSTAKILL

Re: How many times do you format?

Postby IriDeck » Thu May 14, 2009 20:49 UTC

I use Mozy for 2GB worth of really important stuff encrypted under TrueCrypt (but not all under one file, to save time), and replicate this with a backup to flash drive and scp to home computer. 4 copies at any given time, all encrypted. Important stuff is important. :)

Dyn and I both use Acronis TrueImage. What do you guys use?
User avatar
IriDeck
Former Admin
 
Posts: 1264
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2008 14:02 UTC
Location: Georgia, USA
Favorite map: Q3DM17
Server: TDM

Re: How many times do you format?

Postby IriDeck » Thu May 14, 2009 20:49 UTC

I can't believe how quickly my avatar annoyed me. Changed back.
User avatar
IriDeck
Former Admin
 
Posts: 1264
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2008 14:02 UTC
Location: Georgia, USA
Favorite map: Q3DM17
Server: TDM

Re: How many times do you format?

Postby SD » Thu May 14, 2009 20:55 UTC

I thought it was quite amusing!
User avatar
SD
Former Admin
 
Posts: 1611
Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2009 18:54 UTC
Location: Wales, UK
Favorite map: Q3TOURNEY3
Server: INSTAKILL

Re: How many times do you format?

Postby AG » Thu May 14, 2009 20:59 UTC

IriDeck wrote:Dyn and I both use Acronis TrueImage. What do you guys use?

used to use ghost -- now mostly partimage via debian live cd's.

IriDeck wrote:I can't believe how quickly my avatar annoyed me. Changed back.

lol it was pretty good
User avatar
AG
Former Admin
 
Posts: 2366
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2008 18:25 UTC
Location: Texas
Favorite map: q3dm17
Server: INSTAKILL
Website: http://vogonhq.com

Re: How many times do you format?

Postby 1UnRaTeD1 » Fri May 15, 2009 00:44 UTC

i pretty much backup my data when they dl'ed good thing i have a backup drive... well 2 of em and they already full lol :)

2x 80gig
User avatar
1UnRaTeD1
 
Posts: 309
Joined: Thu Oct 02, 2008 17:31 UTC
Favorite map: q3dm17
Server: FFA

Re: How many times do you format?

Postby IriDeck » Fri May 15, 2009 06:01 UTC

Heh...thanks, guys. AG, when you use partimage, do you just image to another HDD? Or do you have another DVD drive to which you send the image?
User avatar
IriDeck
Former Admin
 
Posts: 1264
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2008 14:02 UTC
Location: Georgia, USA
Favorite map: Q3DM17
Server: TDM

Re: How many times do you format?

Postby Apocalypse » Tue May 26, 2009 19:03 UTC

i just formatted LOL ! cuz of a virus
User avatar
Apocalypse
Former Admin
 
Posts: 1004
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 19:21 UTC
Location: U.S.A.
Favorite map: Winter_Crash
Server: COD4

Re: How many times do you format?

Postby AG » Tue May 26, 2009 19:17 UTC

IriDeck wrote:Heh...thanks, guys. AG, when you use partimage, do you just image to another HDD? Or do you have another DVD drive to which you send the image?

i used to have a network share for disk images, so after imaging i'd just copy it to the network share.

at home i put it on an external drive.
User avatar
AG
Former Admin
 
Posts: 2366
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2008 18:25 UTC
Location: Texas
Favorite map: q3dm17
Server: INSTAKILL
Website: http://vogonhq.com

Re: How many times do you format?

Postby IriDeck » Tue May 26, 2009 19:36 UTC

Ah, I see. Thanks!
User avatar
IriDeck
Former Admin
 
Posts: 1264
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2008 14:02 UTC
Location: Georgia, USA
Favorite map: Q3DM17
Server: TDM


Return to Tech stuff

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: CommonCrawl [Bot] and 0 guests