Posted 12 June 2007 - 07:33 PM
Sometimes you can do a "repair install" which will leave all your data behind while installing a fresh version of Windows. Unfortunately, it won't remove malware, either. If I were going to do a repair install, I would back up everything I want to keep because it could all go wrong.
Some programs must be installed separately. Many programs can be broken when doing a repair install, but your data should, in theory, remain intact.
Since there are only two kinds of hard drives, those that have died and those that will die, it's a good idea to keep backup copies of everything you want to keep, which includes your files, pictures, etc, and your favorites from your browser.