Re Formatting Questions

Discussion in 'Trading Software' started by Error 404, Mar 2, 2004.

  1. My computer (main computer...Toshiba 2 gig Pentium 4 laptop, 512 mg ram) is just over a year old.

    I have been considering re- formatting my hard drive. I have done it plenty of times in the past, but probably 95% of those times were with DOS, Win 3.xx, or Win 95 (once or twice with Win 98, and it was no fun).

    While it may appear that anyone who has done this so many times would be familiar with the process, I confess to still being incompetent.

    I now am running Win XP Home. I do NOT have many programs installed, and I do have a CD burner so I can pretty easily copy my user files (I guess).

    My Outlook Address Book I suppose I can figure out how to save. Email it to myself?

    I have the disks for my trading platforms, MS Office 2003, and the new Photoshop suite. Other programs and drivers are either easily downloadable (Ad-Aware, Skype, etc.), or somehow fairly easily obtained.

    My questions are these:

    If I re-format, will Microsoft automatically start sending me all the patches I have installed over the past year?

    I am on a wireless router (Linksys). I think they give one year's support. It is just over a year. If they would not walk me through the set up over the phone (as they have more than a few times), is there a way to save my configuration? (Same with year phone support, and I am just over the year).

    I have a Creative Web Cam...I had not used it in a while. I have no idea what happened to the driver disk, but I looked on line for the driver and could not find it.....As it turned out, I was able to do a system restore and get it back. I had un-installed the driver just a day or so before I had occasion to use it (figures), so that worked out. If I re-format, this is no longer an option (also, not a major concern, but it would be nice to know there's a way to get the thing to work if I ever need to use it again).

    So I guess all in all, my main question is if there is are any real advantages (and what would they be) to going through the time intensive ordeal of doing this. My main motivation for considering re-formatting is that I think if I start clean, I may get some improvement in performance. I know my hard drive is pretty cluttered. I DO use "defrag" as needed. I run Ad-Aware once a week or so. (yet I still get plenty of pop ups). I also occasionally delete cookies and temp. internet files on IE. Yet somehow I continue to get the pop ups. (I cannot use a pop up prevents my trading platform from working correctly...(it even prevents me from clicking on MrMarket's self aggrandizing links to his own posts...we all know how important that can be).

    So is there an answer? What would Nitro do? Or Aphie? Or anyone who knows better than me (99% or so of the people on ET).

    Having re-formatted in DOS (and the fact that having done this implies I am an old hand) means nothing. There is really no relationship between how things worked back then, and how they do now....I was very comfortable writing batch files and working with DOS. This XP is so far over my head, I think I would have been better off not knowing anything at all. Probably wouldn't even be considering re-formatting.

    Any help, suggestions, etc. greatly appreciated.

    Upside and downside lists would be perfect. I really don't want to do this if it will not pay off. I also don't want my computer to become so bogged down that the day may come where it is too far gone to back up and make "good as new".

    Thanks for any help and/or advice, input, suggestions, etc.

    One last comment. The other computer I use is an old (600 mhz P3) desktop. It has a new video card (128 mg), and plenty of memory (384 meg), but has Win 98 installed, and I use it pretty much only for charts, and for "Post It" notes. And Email (Outlook Express...not Outlook, which I use on the laptop, and prefer). I think (I could be wrong) that it is not adequate to run Office 2003 or Photoshop. I have Office '97 installed on it, and that's about it....other than a few (rotating) demos that I use for extra charts. I also use it for Elite Trader the occasional times I peruse ET while I have open positions (not often). Bottom line is I would NOT be comfortable using it for trading. Even though I do like the 20" CRT as opposed to the 15" LCD on my laptop. I have been thinking about getting rid of the desktop entirely and hooking up the CRT to the laptop, but there is some comfort in having a second computer (of course if I installed more software, it might be more useful, but I have doubts about what it can run with Win98 and a 600 MhZ processor).

  2. After reinstallation, go to windows update wet site in (tools | update), scan for updates, and get all accumulated updates.
  3. When you reinstall, windows wetup program will give you choice to repartition (ntfs and fat32) that sort of things. I recommand. use one big partitiion (ntfs) or two partitions (1 ntfs system volume and 1 fat32 data ), but also leave 32 meg to 1G (almost nothing on a 160G disk) unused spaces so that you can set up two more other types of partition later for using live linux such as Knoppix, without much pain to repartition again.