Reimaging is when you use the recovery CDs to return the computer to the exact configuration as when you bought it. All upgrades, installations and documents will be replaced with your original configuration.
Reformatting is erasing everything in your computer and leaving nothing there. After reformatting you need to install an operating system from a Microsoft OS Disk. After that you need to relaod the drivers for your system hardware and install any applications that you want to use.
Use the first meathod because its easy but if your computer is old the resore may put an old Operating System on your computer and youll have to upgrade agian.
Reformatting is if you dont like all the crap that usally comes with a computer.
Either way make sure to back up all your important stuff first!!!!
Imaging the entire disk is only an option if you create the image at a time when the computer is in tip top shape. Imaging after the system is in trouble would only put the problems right back on the disk.
You haven't told us what your problems are, but a clean start means you backup whatever you absolutely need, reformat the disc, and load the OS back on, plus whatever you backed up.
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