I asked a question on a forum and a random guy left a passing comment. It went something along the lines of, "You could always install a fresh copy of the OS, just backup your files." The concept was alien to me.
This was in the era of XP and Vista, I was still a teenager and my naive self used the same install for months and years at a stretch. Tiny hacks all the way from defragmenting drives to purging temporary files and religiously updating drivers hadn't worked. Neither did limiting startup processes.
Although great advices, they never quenched my thirst to see the snappier desktop I so longed for. So I decided to give it a go. Only potential downside? The responsibility of having to back up my shit. The lesson was a valuable one and in hindsight, that was a welcome inconvenience.
So I started what I call a bi-annual refresh. A new copy of the
Operating System every few
months. Here’s basically a run-down of what I do when I first log in.
My shit is backed up with Duplicati to manage the offsite backups, it comes with a command line tool which can pull random chunks from the storage bucket, decrypt them, and check the file hashes against expected values. Oh and there’s monthly images of my computer's primary drive replicated offsite. The whole process is ridiculously easy and takes about 30 minutes - from starting to create a USB installation media to the last backup restore.