First, let's examine the reasons why you want to reinstall Windows. One might think that if the computer keeps crashing then reinstalling Windows is the way to go. Another reason might be that your programs keep getting errors. Still another reason to reinstall Windows might be that you are just having to many problems so it's just time to reinstall Windows. But before you reinstall Windows, have your hardware checked out, check all the BIOS settings. Bad RAM or a defective piece of hardware can cause all sorts of problems. You might be blaming Windows when the real problem is hardware.
I know, everyone tells you that you should format once a year. That's not true. There are only a few valid reasons why you should reinstall Windows which I'll go into later; let's first look at why reinstalling Windows is not always the right choice.
We all know that after we format and install fresh copy of Windows, everything is working great, no problems. Well of course there are no problems, we have all the correct version DLLs, no bad entries in the Registry. No software trying to control the computer, and we have not gotten our hands on the OS to force it to do something it can't. So the next step is to start installing all our software again. You're going to be installing all the wrong version DLLs, all the bad entries in the Registry again. What you are really doing is reinstalling all of your problems.
On the other hand many people only have a Restore CD and it will install additional software. If the computer manufacture did fix all the file and Registry errors before making the Restore CD you may have the same problems immediately after formatting and installing Windows. So you may wish to create your own Windows CD; take a look at how to Make a Windows CD.
Once we have finished this laborious job and reboot the problems reappear. So it must be time to format again, WRONG! Now it is time to fix the problems.
This scenario would be the same as buying a piece of land, building a home, and then start remodeling it. When the roof starts leaking you patch it, add an update, then the washing machine breaks down, so you carry it outside and back in again with new hoses, uninstall and reinstall the same software. Finally the heating system starts giving you a problem, Windows crashes. At this point do you call a house builder to take the house down and build a new one. When the new house is done do you then start remodeling it again? Well if you don't do that why are you formatting your computer. The only way you would tear the house down and build a new one is if the foundation was destroyed. Or a storm destroyed it beyond repair. The equivalent is you had a hard drive crash, a FAT loose or maybe a virus that destroyed so much data and you could not remove the virus from the system.
So why did you format, only to have the same problems as you did before? When all you had to do was clean up the hard drive. Replace the out dated or wrong version DLLs and fix the Registry. OK, I know that many of you do not have the knowledge to make all the repairs yourself. And even with our utilities you may not understand what really needs to be done to fix the problem. But with our utilities, a little of your time reading the help files, and the information available on our site, you should be able to fix most of your problems, if not all. The tools you will need are System Sentry and Registry Drill. These two tools, if used as directed, should get your computer up and running with no more problems.
While trying to fix a problem the first thing to do is to think about when you first found the problem, then what you think caused it. Be prepared to find out that it probably happen even before you think it happened. So not only look at what you just installed or did yesterday but go back few days.
I spend a great part of my day talking to people and fixing their Windows problems. Only a small portion of them do I ever tell to reinstall Windows, and I do that only because they are not knowledgeable enough to tell me what is really going on in their computer. I only tell people to format when the have lost the FAT or it appears that they have a virus that they cannot detect.
One important thing I want to tell you now is that the utilities that I create where created for my needs; to fix my machines. Now, when one of my programs gives someone a problem I already know that something is not right on their machine. So if I can find it, I add the fix to the software so that it will make the repairs for the next person. Let's face it, if your machine was running so perfect, what are you doing on this site. You must have better things to do, I would hope so anyway.