I'm getting close to re-installing Windows 7. This is something I think some people take lightly and seem to do every few months, but I've only re-installed any version of Windows once, that I can recall, in twenty years! So I'm being careful and methodical.
A dedicated Microsoft Windows 7 Professional x64 install disk (as opposed to one of those install-everything disks) came with my computer, along with several other disks containing drivers, utilities, and any software that the vendor (Velocity Micro) had originally installed. And I have a 4 TB external hard drive for storing my personal files.
I'm sure I'll need to copy the Documents and Settings folder, as that contains (I presume all) my pictures, documents, videos, e-mails and more. And I'll want to at least note what applications I've got so that I can download and install the most important of them again. Aside from these two major things, can anyone point out anything else I might need or want? I'm referring to locations where personal data is stored, since programs can be reinstalled.
Note that I'm not interested in making an image of the drive because Windows is borked and I want a fresh install. There may be other corrupt files as well. My only way to access any of my files (or get online with this computer) has for months been through a bootable live Linux flash stick. I've learned enough about Linux (Mint) to know that I want to install it, and keep Windows around too.
I'd like to stay fairly focused on this one question about files to back up, to keep it simple, though brief related tips are ok, too. I'm just afraid of veering too far off topic, which I've found gets too difficult and time-consuming to read. I can post separate questions about subsequent installation steps. But in case it matters, I will say that my ultimate goal is to have Windows 7 and Linux Mint 16 both installed, to be able to choose one at boot time, and for the two operating systems to share all my files (if possible). But first things first, which I believe is knowing what files and folders to preserve.
Thanks so much.
Edited by Captain Dunsel, 13 March 2014 - 03:03 PM.