In the late 90s and early 2000s re-installing Windows was the go-to repair. The software (I am mostly talking about Windows XP and before here) fit on a single CD facilitating a fast install and frequently suffered from difficult to diagnosis or unsolvable problems. In this period of time re-installing the OS was often faster, and easier than fixing a problem. This is not the case today.
Changes in Windows Leading to a Decline in Format and Re-Installs
We offer our Format and Re-Install Service for $89.99, but it isn’t used as frequently or for the same reasons as in prior years. Here’s why:
- Windows is larger than ever. Windows Vista transitioned Windows from a small CD-based install to a DVD. Some version of Windows 7 and 8 won’t even fit on a DVD.
- A modern computer running Windows XP can install in a few minutes. Windows 7 and 8 take considerably longer.
- Windows 7 and 8 are more reliable and rarely need re-installs.
Windows is bigger, and bulkier than before, but that isn’t a bad thing. Modern hard drives – 1 TB, 2 TB, etc are often larger than a user could practically fill in a lifetime. If an Operating System uses 20GB of space instead of 10GB in the name of added features and reliability, it is not great loss.
Windows 7 and 8 are also rock solid compared to their predecessors. Microsoft says Windows 7 is ten times less likely to contract a virus than Windows XP. Ten times! Windows 8 further improves on the high standard set by Windows 7 by including Microsoft’s Microsoft Security Essentials Anti-Virus rebranded as Windows Defender. Purchasing, installing, and maintaining an operating system is no longer the domain of the end user. Microsoft includes a full featured AV in Windows 8 with the intent of keeping you safe and leading to less disastrous failures.
When Re-Installing is Appropriate
The common circumstance we see for re-installs in 2014 is people wanting a clean slate. 5 years ago re-installs were common – Windows XP and Windows Vista would get so bogged down by crap that hitting the computer with a Tune Up and Virus Removal produced limited results. It made more sense for both us and the customer, from a time and money invested standpoint, to just wipe the machine to square one.
Today things are different. We are confident we can remove a Virus or fix an Operating System issue from 99% of Windows 7 and 8 machines. No more re-installs. No more backing up and potentially losing files. Windows 7 and 8 have come a long way, and are legitimately great operating systems (those 1% conditions withstanding). We feel most customers no longer need to re-install – unless of course you want to.