Clean Install worth it?

Discussion in 'Dell XPS and Studio XPS' started by XPStester, Oct 17, 2020.

  1. XPStester

    XPStester Notebook Enthusiast

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    I've done clean installs on my previous Dell machines, but may skip it with my new XPS17. Since I only do this once in 3-4 years, each clean install takes me 5 or more hours if everything goes well (and it doesn't). I'm getting old and not sure I'm up for the adventure.

    Thinking about uninstalling any Dell/McAfee stuff I don't plan to use and using it as is.

    Curious if anyone has seen any specific performance differences between the dell OS load and a clean install, particularly for programs like Lightroom.

    Thanks, Old XPStester
     
  2. cfe

    cfe Notebook Geek

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    considering the dell installation package includes a bunch of bloatware, on top of framework consisting of a bloated windows install on an ugly partition system, and then a thin notebook with 2020 hothothot components running RAM/cycle-gobbling 2020 software and OS, I'd say it's worth it.

    the time investment sucks (I really feel you there), but honestly the combo of OEM win10 being :mad:horrible:mad: plus dell superbloat is just not worth it in the long run imo.

    i can't offer any metrics but i can definitely say the comp will run hot, inefficient as hell, and almost surely slow until you make a bunch of tweaks anyway.

    neither OEM bloat nor windows nor even the Intel Eggfryer Inside™ are anything close to even a few years ago in terms of heat and efficiency and reasonable design considerations, so you will prolly end up wishing for a clean install eventually anyway. the state of affairs for new machines right now is absolutely disgusting ..:confused: and only gets worse every year...:rolleyes::(

    so, imo, you may as well just burn the hours upfront and then you're good as you can get for that next 3-4 years (well, other than just managing the endless windows10 update nightmare:confused::rolleyes:)

    keep in mind the hidden OEM backup partition persists thru normal cleans and must be override deleted.
     
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  3. Schmoo2k

    Schmoo2k Notebook Consultant

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    FWIW I also agree with a clan install up front and then I tend to do a clean reset every time MS pushes out one of their 6 month updates, note:
    1. These days it may well be preferable to take some of Dells drivers, rather than using the stock ones (the thermal management stuff for example)
    2. The more frequent you do the reset, the quicker you can get a machine back up and running.
    3. The overall benefits IMO aren't as big as they used to be. I mostly do it these days as I tend to join the insiders program for each 6 month release, which can cause some instabilities to add up.
     
  4. pressing

    pressing Notebook Deity

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    Clean install is a lot easier to do on a new machine.

    There is some bloatware that I don't want.

    I do clean install from time to time on my old computers. But there is not much bloatware on my system. I also wrote down the steps so have a printed checklist making the process easier and faster.
     
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  5. codester

    codester Notebook Consultant

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    I'll chime in from the other side... I used to be one of those that would do a clean install on my new computers or after major updates. I still do clean installs, but not quite as often anymore. Since you aren't sure if you're up for the adventure, my personal opinion would be to just uninstall the stuff you don't want on your new computer and use it for awhile to see how it works. If things haven't changed much since I got my 2015 XPS, there really shouldn't be that much bloatware to uninstall. I believe it was just antivirus and some Dell applications that I didn't want. If after awhile you think your computer is still bloated or not running efficiently, then do a clean install.

    The reason why I like doing it this way now is that it sort of gives me baseline or feel of how my computer should work and operate. Then when doing a clean install later, it's easier figure out if something is worse than before, or if I might have missed some important driver or application. For example, on my parent's all-in-one, I noticed the the brightness slider no longer showed in the action center after a clean install. I wouldn't have known this was missing had I done a clean install right away; but since I realized it wasn't there anymore, I eventually found it in some obscure driver that I thought wasn't needed.

    Also, as Schmoo2k mentioned, you will probably want to use Dell's drivers these days if you do a clean install. This is what I had to do for a few years after getting my 2015 XPS. Now that my XPS mostly has older drivers that haven't been updated in awhile, I just rely on Windows Update to pull them in since they tend to be the same or newer drivers than Dell's - which makes the clean install much more of a breeze than it initially was when it was brand new.
     
  6. XPStester

    XPStester Notebook Enthusiast

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    Thanks all for the replies and advice.

    Most of the bloatware has been removed and performance seems good. I'm going to run it like this for at least the first 30 days (return period), at which time I may do some more cleaning/tweaking. If performance stays good I will probably pass on a clean install.

    My last Dell was also the 2015 XPS 15 (with TB15 dock), which has been a great laptop (after the first 6 months while Dell struggled to get the drivers up to snuff). By comparison this XPS 17 (with TB19) seems to be working well right out of the box.

    thx, Dave
     
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  7. kojack

    kojack Notebook Virtuoso

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    I think you will be fine. Same thing I did. I used the install direct from dell for my new ssd. I then just deleted the crap that was installed and it's good to go. No downsides or drawbacks.
     
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