Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I've had a few viruses/program installs/other things that have made me decide the best option is to reinstall my operating system after backing up all of my important stuff.

Are there any downsides to reinstalling my OS? I'm using Windows 7 Home Premium on an HP Pavilion g7 and am wondering if this will at all affect my disk space/memory/performance.

I'm sorry if this looks like more of a "discussion" question, but I'm really just looking for specific answers.

share|improve this question

closed as primarily opinion-based by Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007, Breakthrough, gronostaj, Shekhar, KronoS Aug 5 '13 at 14:30

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

up vote 4 down vote accepted

No downsides.

Make sure you have a backup of all important data, then wipe the disk and reinstall from the DVD. You will be back with a clean slate with just as much disk space as you had before.

As to memory: That does not change either. (In fact it gets reset every time you power off your laptop).

If anything performance will seem to increase after a clean install. This is due to the amount of cruft (unneeded and unwanted stuff) that seems to accumulate over time on most laptops.

And yes, I say 'most', but if you do not try every toolbar, dancing coffee monkey gadget etc. etc. then there will be no performance loss and nothing to get back from a clean reinstallation.

share|improve this answer
Will any of this change if I do a Control Panel based reinstall? I don't have a DVD. – Joey Miller Aug 8 '13 at 15:05
You can deinstall and [re]install programs via the control panel. But you can not reinstall the base OS via the control panel. (for one there would be no control panel left after you deinstalled the OS). – Hennes Aug 8 '13 at 17:04

Since you're backing up your stuff, you can format the drive before installing Windows, so disk space shouldn't be a problem. Fresh Windows 7 installation takes about 15-20 GB.

RAM gets used only by operating system and software that's running on it, so you'll have more RAM than you had before reinstalling.

Performance-wise it can suck if you haven't got drivers for, in example, a graphics card. Otherwise, there shouldn't be any problems at all.

share|improve this answer
Thank you for the answer! I would mark it as accepted but I can only do that for one. – Joey Miller Aug 3 '13 at 18:00

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.