Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


how many times i can format or reinstall windows in laptop

  1. #1


    Posts : 70
    windows 8 pro 64-bits

    how many times i can format or reinstall windows in laptop


    hello helping friends.....how many times i should reinstall windows or other os or how much time i can formate my pc? is this any harfull effect by installing windows many tmes( i did 30 times till today). some of my fren tell me there is certiain coating or layering in the harddisk which may break or run out with repeated format or reinstall....and drive will crash ... is it true or not ,,,please help me

    regards to all helping hands

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 5,707
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    That's a lot of times to install Windows fresh....

    Anyways, probably not. Hard disk drives these days are loads more durable than they were 10 years ago. I don't believe there is an actual coating that is damaged, as the read/write arm is literally nanometers above the platter, so there isn't any actual wearing down on the platter, thus resulting in better life. There is of course the possibility of damaged sectors, but if you're reformatting (preferably thoroughly) that doesn't matter much.

    Actually, I think google once studied this and they found that hard drive life is codependent on its age and I think usage. Basically, older the drive, more likelihood of it failing. If you're doing this on an older drive, could be potentially an issue...

    But if you're concerned, I'd look into downloading HD Tune Pro and seeing if the disk has bad sectors or any other problems to report.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    I use to be forced into reinstalling 98 & XP at least twice a week.
    Until I talked to a clerk in Staples, Bay City, MI who happened to like computers. He explained it was probably caused by browning. Explained browning and talked me into a UPS. Best $50 I ever spent.

    Browning is the opposite of a power surge. Your refrigerator, AC etc kicks on and draws so much power it dims your lights and makes your computer get alzheimers. Resulting in popups that say "you have missing or corrupted files...." and new install.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 5,707
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    Quote Originally Posted by pcRat View Post
    I use to be forced into reinstalling 98 & XP at least twice a week.
    Until I talked to a clerk in Staples, Bay City, MI who happened to like computers. He explained it was probably caused by browning. Explained browning and talked me into a UPS. Best $50 I ever spent.

    Browning is the opposite of a power surge. Your refrigerator, AC etc kicks on and draws so much power it dims your lights and makes your computer get alzheimers. Resulting in popups that say "you have missing or corrupted files...." and new install.
    Most interesting, I've never heard about this before...
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 301
    Windows 8 Pro


    dare2winnn - I have 2 spare hard drives I keep cloned and up to date because I have lost so many; I spent about $15 a piece for 500GB. A refurbished hard drive is cheap compared to the headaches. There is a free program called "Partition Wizard Home Edition" which is extremely easy to use.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Quote Originally Posted by dare2winnn View Post
    hello helping friends.....how many times i should reinstall windows or other os or how much time i can formate my pc? is this any harfull effect by installing windows many tmes( i did 30 times till today). some of my fren tell me there is certiain coating or layering in the harddisk which may break or run out with repeated format or reinstall....and drive will crash ... is it true or not ,,,please help me

    regards to all helping hands
    No it is not true.
    The times that I have lost a HDD is the electronics drive for the spindle motor smoked the other times the spindle bearing went bad I have never had one to fail on platter read or write. A quick format does not write to the entire hard drive just to the dir file. A lo level format will write to the entire hard drive and depending on size can take hours.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 446
    Win 8 64-bit


    Quote Originally Posted by dare2winnn View Post
    some of my fren tell me there is certiain coating or layering in the harddisk which may break or run out with repeated format or reinstall....and drive will crash ... is it true or not ,,,please help me
    Maybe your friends were thinking of Solid State drives, as SSD cells have a limited number of write cycles before they can't be written to anymore (although they can still be read).
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Posts : 1,925
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    Quote Originally Posted by dare2winnn View Post
    hello helping friends.....how many times i should reinstall windows or other os or how much time i can formate my pc? is this any harfull effect by installing windows many tmes( i did 30 times till today). some of my fren tell me there is certiain coating or layering in the harddisk which may break or run out with repeated format or reinstall....and drive will crash ... is it true or not ,,,please help me

    regards to all helping hands
    Well, your friends are confused, although like many urban legends, there are some grains of fact in there.

    First, a hard drive is mechanical, and like any mechanical device, wear and tear will eventually cause it to fail, although this tends to be measure in years (or of thousands of hours). This has nothing to do with reformatting or anything like that. Unless there is a mechanical failure (or a failure in the seal that causes oxygen to enter the chamber and oxidize the platters) then you can use it until it literally breaks down.

    Solid State Drives, or SSD's are something different though. They have no mechanical parts, but they only allow a certain number of write cycles before they stop working. Sometimes they can still be read, sometimes not. It depends on how it's manufactured. Many new laptops have solid state drives.

    If your computer has a standard hard drive, then you don't have to worry. If you re-install windows frequently, at some point activation will fail and you will have to call Microsoft to get an activation code. There is no limit on how many times you can install windows, just how many times you can automatically activate.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Quote Originally Posted by Coke Robot View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by pcRat View Post
    I use to be forced into reinstalling 98 & XP at least twice a week.
    Until I talked to a clerk in Staples, Bay City, MI who happened to like computers. He explained it was probably caused by browning. Explained browning and talked me into a UPS. Best $50 I ever spent.

    Browning is the opposite of a power surge. Your refrigerator, AC etc kicks on and draws so much power it dims your lights and makes your computer get alzheimers. Resulting in popups that say "you have missing or corrupted files...." and new install.
    Most interesting, I've never heard about this before...
    He was more specific in saying "it could corrupt the files in use when power dropped." here's a link Why power failures are bad for your data
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    A very high quality power supply helps prevent damage to a PC's components due to power issues. Hard drives and SSD's can take a lot of erasing/reloading the OS, but the real question is "why do you do this so often'"? Setup VM's for this and revert back to a previous time when testing, etc...
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

how many times i can format or reinstall windows in laptop
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