Reinstalling windows - speed boost or myth?

[quote="gnmarsh"but I thought one of the touted features of xp was that you didn’t need to do the reinstall dance anymore.[/quote]
My XP installation stopped booting properly (NTLDR missing) after a
DirectX upgrade. I know that’s the cause, because I had just installed the
latest NVidia drivers and rebooted. No other software installed (beyond
MMOs…always the friggin’ MMOs!).

I’m going to try GRUB before I bother to reinstall, though.

I haven’t noticed any slowdowns on XP after much use of several systems
over the time since release, other than spyware. People are always happy
to see me speed up their systems without a reinstallation :)
I use a few registry files I’ve collected to switch off some crap more
easily, and switching off autorun means I can also disengage my brain
for most of the time, rather than worry about what the next CD I insert
will do.

XP is a ton more stable than earlier releases, but some mishaps with
driver installation (fuck Creative for using confusing names and not
letting us download drivers that don’t require the CD) have of course
made my system explode.

My mousepointer spends most of its non-game time on Quanta over on
the Linux box, though :)

Excellent question, gnmarsh. I thought the same of XP as well. I haven’t done the reinstall dance since I built this machine. Admittedly, I do feel as if bootup has been marginally slower lately, but I have accepted that as reality, assuming regular system performance wouldn’t be improved with the half-day spent doing the reinstall.

You can also slipstream hotfixes onto the install disc with a tool like nLite and a hotfix bundle.

Like the others have said, it’s not really necessary for security if you’re already starting with SP2, but it might help avoid some of the update/reboot/update/reboot/update… dance.

If you’re using a slipstreamed release of Win2k3, (and probably XPSP2), the firewall will be turned on only allowing you to conenct to windowsupdate. This ensures that you won’t get infected with anything while you are updating your system.

OK. My reinstall went fairly smoothly, just a few hitches, nothing too bad.

Before: Installation running for 18 months or so, fairly well looked after, but with a few big no-nos: upgraded motherboard & CPU (64 bit CPU at that) without reinstalling, new ram without changing the custom timings in the bios, and so on. Stable, but with some annoyances and I wanted to start from scratch to get the most from a new video card.

After the 6-hour reinstall dance: Faster bootup, slightly more responsive desktop. Not really worth the wait, but it feels fresh and bouncy. I’ll be installing and trying games tonight!