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Before reinstalling Windows


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#1 Venek

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 10:12 AM

I've had to reinstall Windows XP a couple of times in the past and found out the hard way that I needed to write down the programs and other stuff that's on my computer to download after reinstallation.

So, here goes:

I suggest burning data to a CD/DVD or saving to flash drives or, if you have one, a 2nd hard drive.

1. All important documents such as resumes, letters, financial, taxes.

2. If desired, music, pictures and movies (these take up a ton of space, especially if you have a large library, don't forget desktop pictures if you have favorites).

3. Savegames from any games you play, make a note of their locations, as well as any profiles you may have.

4. Logins and passwords. This goes without saying. A good practice would be to save a list on a txt file and ONLY have it on your removable data drive and never on your hard drive. This way, you can print it out or reference it if needed.

5. Make a list of all downloaded programs that you use: Examples: Antivirus, firewall, IM programs, Flash/Shockwave, PDF Reader, Firefox add-ons, screensavers, and other various utility/protection/maintenance programs. This is usually a pretty long list.

I think that about covers all the bases, hope it helps.

As a final recommendation, a GREAT program for wiping your hard drive clean before reinstallation is Active Killdisk: http://killdisk.com/downloadfree.htm
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#2 RJM1

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 02:12 PM

You could also put all your data on a secondary hard drive. Include your drivers and all your programs. You could also create a windows xp self install disk and include all the program you want installed.

#3 Andrew

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 02:29 PM

I suggest burning data to a CD/DVD or saving to flash drives or, if you have one, a 2nd hard drive.

You could also put all your data on a secondary hard drive. Include your drivers and all your programs.

This, I think is the best practice. I keep all of my documents, music, movies, etc. on a completely different internal drive. This means I don't have to back them up when I reinstall/upgrade/switch operating systems plus it allows me to defrag the system drive (where the OS is installed) much faster.

It's easy to change the location of various "special" folders in Windows (like "My Documents", "My Pictures", etc.) I have them all pointed to folders on the second hard drive.

#4 Romeo29

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 11:34 PM

This, I think is the best practice. I keep all of my documents, music, movies, etc. on a completely different internal drive. This means I don't have to back them up when I reinstall/upgrade/switch operating systems plus it allows me to defrag the system drive (where the OS is installed) much faster.

It's easy to change the location of various "special" folders in Windows (like "My Documents", "My Pictures", etc.) I have them all pointed to folders on the second hard drive.


I used to have 2 hard disks and kept all my data and stuff on the second disk, and it was easy to format first and reinstall Windows any time. But one day, the second disk crashed and all my data was gone. Although the chances of a hard disk crashing are low, but still I make backups periodically on CD/DVD now.

#5 Guest_Jay-P VIP_*

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 11:42 PM

You could also put all your data on a secondary hard drive. Include your drivers and all your programs. You could also create a windows xp self install disk and include all the program you want installed.


Secondary partitions work good, too. If the OS on the main partition gets corrupted, the other partitions are not touched. Making secondary partitions totally makes it good to do backups and saving data elsewhere.

#6 RunningJumper

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 12:36 PM

You could also put all your data on a secondary hard drive. Include your drivers and all your programs. You could also create a windows xp self install disk and include all the program you want installed.


Secondary partitions work good, too. If the OS on the main partition gets corrupted, the other partitions are not touched. Making secondary partitions totally makes it good to do backups and saving data elsewhere.


If your hard drive fails then both partitions are compromised ;) Use two drives! They are very very cheap now a days.

#7 taly

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Posted 07 June 2009 - 02:26 PM

I've never reinstalled XP on my old laptop. Rather than get an external hard drive for the time being, can I move all the stuff I want to save onto my new laptop (with Vista) and then move it back? How would I go about that?

#8 Venek

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Posted 07 June 2009 - 07:45 PM

I've never reinstalled XP on my old laptop. Rather than get an external hard drive for the time being, can I move all the stuff I want to save onto my new laptop (with Vista) and then move it back? How would I go about that?


The quickest way I can think of is to put your two laptops on a network and just transfer the files that way.
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