Is it really necessary to format when installing a new video card?

jakobkraft

Golden Member
Jan 21, 2002
1,011
0
0
If you're talking about formatting your hard drive, absolutely not. You can if you'd like but it's not necessary, just uninstall old video driver first. If I formatted my drive every time I switched video cards, I'd never retain any information at all.
 

Thor86

Diamond Member
May 3, 2001
7,883
4
81
Absolutely NOT!

For some people it is easier to wipe the slate clean and start over whenever troubleshooting, rather than taking the time to research and isolate the problem and find potential fixes/work-arounds.

I don't know about you, but I have better things to do with my time, than re-install OS's everytime I switch hardware. :)
 

rudder

Lifer
Nov 9, 2000
19,441
85
91
I have simply uninstalled 3dfx drivers through the control panel and plopped in a geforce card in its place with no problems before. If you do some more research you can completly delete all the old driver files from the HD and clean the registry.

 

Soldat

Golden Member
Oct 19, 2000
1,162
0
0
no but you may have to remove any remnants of the old drivers from the registry
 

MTDEW

Diamond Member
Oct 31, 1999
4,284
37
91
Alternative to formatting & going through the whole LONG windows/drivers/apps install process


This is what Ghost & Drive Image Pro are for. ;)
(i used to use ghost, but ive recently switched to PQ Drive Image 2002 6.0 and Im VERY pleased with it)

Partition your hdd in at least 2 partitions.

Install windows on drive c: (clean install) with no drivers installed.

Install all your apps on drive d (or any other partition other than c)

Make an "image" of your clean install of windows.


Anytime you want a clean install of windows, for troubleshooting or whatever, just restore your clean image & install whatever drivers you like. (takes about 4min to restore an image on my rig)

You wont lose your games/apps cuz theyre on a different partition than windows.

Although, sometimes youve gotta re-install a game overtop of itself cuz it needs to have its keys installed in the registry on drive c:.
USUALLY you dont lose any of your savegames by doing this.

Or you can save the registry keys as you install your apps & keep them in a folder, so you can "merge" them into the clean registry when you do a clean install(image restore).
Then just create shortcuts of the apps .exe files.

Actually, none of this is near as complicated as it sounds.
And after some practice, youll wonder how you ever lived without being able to image your hdd.

To me (and many others) , its always nice to know that everything is "right" & there isnt any "old" crap left over in your registry that could cause problems when constantly trying different detonator drivers, catalyst drivers etc..

And i like to do a "clean install" (image restore) every 3 months or so, just to keep my systems running clean.

I keep these following images on my systems.

Image 1 - Clean install of WinXp / NO UPDATES / NO DRIVERS (kept this until im sure im happy with SP1..lol)

Image 2 - Clean Install of WinXP / ALL UPDATES / NO DRIVERS

Image 3 - Clean Install WinXp / ALL UPDATES/ ALL DRIVERS / ALL MY EMAIL & PROGGIES I ALWAYS USE / No games.

Image 4 - Clean Install of WINXP / ALL UPDATES / ALL DRIVERS/ ALL MY STUFF INSTALLED
( i replace this with a new one every couple of weeks as since im constantly installing/uninstalling games & apps)

My setup:

Drive c: WinXP
Drive d: My downloads folder, my backup folder with all my drivers, wallpaper,benchmark proggies, kazaa, clone cd & anything else i wanna "KEEP".
Drive e: GAMES ONLY
Drive f: CDRW
Drive g: DVD

Of course im now running 2 x 80gb hdds so i have enough space for all these images.

I know it seems like alot, but its actually SOOOOOOO much easier to keep your system running flawlessly & organized like this , than it is with only 1 partition with no backup images to help ya troubleshoot.

Also, it helps if a virus would happen to get past your anti-virus stuff, or your registry got corrupted or any other system crippling thing ya can think of that would require hrs of troubleshooting or re-installing windows.

Normal way = About an entire day formatting & re-installing all your stuff.

My way = 4 min , im back at the desktop smiling like nothing ever happened. ;) LOL


Sheesh...did i just type all that crap just cuz I had a "thought"...








 

Pauli

Senior member
Oct 14, 1999
836
0
0
For god's sake, NO. I honestly don't understand all of the people here who say something like "...Just reformat your hard disk and reinstall everything. I do it every month whether it needs it or not..."

Formatting your system should be a last resort, not a standard practice as is often recommended here. These tech-heads must not have a life outside of their computer systems.
 

Metalloid

Diamond Member
Jan 18, 2002
3,064
0
0
I did reformat my hard drive when I bought my new Radeon 9700 Pro, but it wasn't because everyone said that it is necessary, I wanted to have a fresh install anyways. Don't know about all of you other guys, but my system gets really slow when I start getting cluttered. Reformating only takes a few hours, and I just prefer to have a clean system, especially with a new piece of hardware.

MTDEW: Your idea sounds good. I might try it.
 

Pauli

Senior member
Oct 14, 1999
836
0
0
Reformating only takes a few hours...
Yeah, but getting all of my software installed and getting everything set up the way I like it takes weeks, if not months.
 

Metalloid

Diamond Member
Jan 18, 2002
3,064
0
0
True, but often times I don't use a few of the programs on my computer for months at a time. I would just assume not having them on there until I actually need them.
 

MTDEW

Diamond Member
Oct 31, 1999
4,284
37
91
Yeah, but getting all of my software installed and getting everything set up the way I like it takes weeks, if not months.
Seriously, it REALLY only takes about 4min to make or restore an image and the image can include ALL your apps.

So ya set your system up once, the way you like it. make an image.

Anytime ya wanna make a backup image of the way your system is now, start PQ Drive image Pro & come back 4 min later.

Cant get any easier than that.

I DO AGREE, a format isnt always needed when switching video cards.

But when it only takes 4min, its sooo easy to be sure & just restore a clean image.
(im assuming thats why a clean install is reccomended so much, cuz alot of us arent doin it the long way, my god that would take 4 ever!)




 

m1ke101

Platinum Member
Mar 30, 2001
2,825
0
0
to answer your question no it is not necessary to format when you install a new video card. i just went from a radeon 8500 to a voodoo 3 to a geforce 4 4200. each time i only turned off my computer and switched out cards. then i uninstalled the drivers for the previous card.

also, i don't understand why people such a big deal about formatting. i regularly backup my files and it only takes 15 minutes to do the actual formatting and about an hour to install all my backed up apps/games.
 

Pauli

Senior member
Oct 14, 1999
836
0
0
Originally posted by: MTDEW
Yeah, but getting all of my software installed and getting everything set up the way I like it takes weeks, if not months.
Seriously, it REALLY only takes about 4min to make or restore an image and the image can include ALL your apps.

So ya set your system up once, the way you like it. make an image.

Anytime ya wanna make a backup image of the way your system is now, start PQ Drive image Pro & come back 4 min later.

Cant get any easier than that.

I DO AGREE, a format isnt always needed when switching video cards.

But when it only takes 4min, its sooo easy to be sure & just restore a clean image.
(im assuming thats why a clean install is reccomended so much, cuz alot of us arent doin it the long way, my god that would take 4 ever!)
I must be missing something here. When you image your hard drive, you are imaging it with the old hardware configuration, which defeats the purpose of the reformat to begin with. So how does imaging the drive help for hardware upgrades (Motherboard especially)?
 

JustStarting

Diamond Member
Dec 13, 2000
3,135
0
76
Manually remove the drivers in safe mode, then reinstall standard VGA drivers when you reboot. Shutdown again, swap the cards, and reboot again. Windows will detect the new card and prompt you to install the drivers. DetDestroyer works good on 98 to remove registry entries, but XP programs are available as well.
 

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