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There are articles such as this which instruct in ways to speed up your PC and I would add to the list a CCleaner run once in a while.

However I am trying not to make this subjective as I am looking for evidence or a Microsoft recommendation maybe. I am told that Linux does not need to be reinstalled regularly (correct me if I'm wrong) as it does not suffer from the same slow down after time that Windows 7 does.

Also is Windows 8 any better, maybe the fact there is a marketplace will actually normalise the install/unintsall process, preventing left behind files etc?

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closed as not constructive by 8088, Nifle, TFM, Dennis, Breakthrough Mar 14 '13 at 19:18

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Windows doesn't suffer from a slowdown over time, it suffers from bad programs being installed over time. If you never installed anything on windows excerpt for what it came with it wouldntslow down –  Toby Allen Mar 14 '13 at 13:44
    
haha! if only... –  SnakeDoc Mar 14 '13 at 14:49

3 Answers 3

from personal experience, yes, but not nearly so often. I used to feel the need to rebuild my XP boxen every 6 months, but win7 stays stable for a year or more if used with basic common sense.

Windows just plain gets gunked up more than linux, largely due to the ease with which software can be installed and forgotten. CCLeaner is great for de-gunking the user-scoped application resources, and every application wants to pre-load itself to improve its own performance. this leads to many app auto-starts, which waste resources.

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You shouldn't really need a re-install. Defrag yes but reinstall is kind of useless. Linux users make defragging sound like a huge hassle when it really isn't. Have a defrag auto run at time you know your not going to be using the computer. If you go to work simply have it run while your at work. –  Griffin Mar 14 '13 at 14:26
    
defrag does just about nothing on modern large capacity drives. defrag advice is old-school circa windows xp (EOL 2014) –  SnakeDoc Mar 14 '13 at 14:50
    
defrag does not account for the slowness that used to force me to rebuild XP regularly, but more that it was trivial for any website to install content without permission to do so. after a while, it was just impossible to determine the state of the machine. Win7 does a much better job, and UAC really helps. –  Frank Thomas Mar 14 '13 at 14:50
    
Linux does not get "gunked" up partly due to the lack of registry (magic-box of windows that just does stuff without you knowing, for better or worse). Even after uninstalling software on windows, it is extremely common to still find registry keys associated with it... poor programming? poor design? I'll let you be the judge. –  SnakeDoc Mar 14 '13 at 14:54

Windows does not need to be reinstalled regularly. Windows has been a very stable and reliable operating system. Slow downs can occur from poorly written drivers and applications. Ultimately, the fault is on the developers, but the reality is the biggest threat to a PCs health is the user. The user is the one who installs applications without thought as to where it comes from, or as to what it does.

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Actually I think that's unfair and unrealistic. Perfect software is a very rare thing, and device drivers could be (and historically in Windows NT were) isolated from the core system. Also it's not reasonable to expect users to always know why installing applications will slow down or corrupt the OS over time - that doesn't happen to the same extent in OS X, Linux, Android or iOS. –  andrewmu Mar 14 '13 at 15:41
up vote 0 down vote accepted

This article I just found actually does a brilliant job of answering the question.

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Not a bad answer though a little dated. Fragmentation hasn't been a problem on NTFS for many years - unless you let the drive fill - anything less than around 5-10% free and fragmentation begins to hit badly (I'm guessing this is true of other FS's too). Fragmentation of the registry IS a problem & registry performance is certainly an issue. Other issues include excessive fonts installed & too much rubbish in the Desktop folder both of which tie up memory when they shouldn't. Old hardware drivers are another issue. –  Julian Knight Mar 14 '13 at 13:51
    
+1 for defrag not being a factor! too many people live in old-school mindsets. modern drives are so huge that fragmentation is not really much of an issue anymore (unless drive is almost completely full, but then you have other issues to worry about). –  SnakeDoc Mar 14 '13 at 14:52

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