Originally Posted by larryc2
I have had 5 laptops. I never formatted any of them. I just remove what I do not need and use a registry cleaner. I never run into any major problems doing this.
Sorry to rain on your parade -- your way is OK, but not the best way. A reformat is absolutely the best way -- hands down -- to "purify" and speed up your Microsoft OS -- regardless of what type of hardware it's on. And every MS OS -- including Win XP Pro -- needs to be re-installed every 12-18 months, if you really want to make your machine perform "like new". I've used all the registry cleaners there are (only slight hyperbole), and there's not a one of them that will approach giving you a "virgin" registry.
It's a pain in the ass re-installing all those applications, but I would argue every 18 months you're putting new revs -- or new products -- on anyway. If you're a computer pro, you will re-install. Period. Otherwise, we're talking entropy here. Your Microsoft universe WILL be running down and heading toward chaos -- a little every day.
End of soap-box.