To format or not to format, that is the question.
Over the course of the years, yours truly have been fixing countless PCs and Laptops and so far there has not been a case where yours truly cannot fix. (Of course if the hardware is broken then that is a different story). And no, this is not a post to self brag mmmkay. =p
Just to express that the skills and knowledge if not updated will become obsolete and again the same old saying, "Learning continues until you are six feet under".
Back to the focus of this post. To format or not to format. To troubleshoot or not to troubleshoot.
There are some so called "experts" who somehow thinks that only amateur or those who don;t know their stuff would resort to formatting PC or Laptop if there are any software related problems. These so called "experts" somehow have the mentality that the "expert" and "professional" way is to troubleshoot the software problem and find a solution to it rather than resort to formatting.
This somehow is misleading.
The proper way is to diagnose the problem first to determine the severity of the problem on whether if it is software related or hardware related problem. If it is determined that it is software related problem, the next step would be to check whether the problem can be fixed in 3 hours or less or not. For "experts" this should not be a problem as they should be able to determine or estimate the length of time needed to fix the problem.
If it is diagnosed that within 3 hours the problem cannot be solved then the correct way is to just format the PC or laptop. This would save you much precious time rather than wasting time to troubleshoot and in the end still have to format. Normally it takes around 3 hours to backup, format and install all the software required. It would take even less time if the first fresh format and installation is "ghosted" or backup in a DVD (Or few DVDs) using Norton Ghost then using the ghosted DVD to format and reinstall all your previous format. For the uninitiated, Norton Ghost is a disk cloning software that clones your fresh installation after format for easy restore/format in the future. (Less time required)
There, knowing how to determine when to format and when to troubleshoot is very important. Don't just troubleshoot for the sake of troubleshooting to show "expertise" when it consumes a lot of precious time. Time is money you know. Sometimes it would be better to just format if it is diagnosed with intermittent problem that you know will consume more time to troubleshoot and fix compared to formatting. Mmmmmkay?
So, just format the god damn thing already. =p
Or not, if there is no serious problem or data corruption.