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backing up files

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by wootsauce56, Jul 6, 2008.

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  1. wootsauce56

    wootsauce56 Thread Starter

    Jan 11, 2008
    I want to reinstall windows, but don't know how to go about backing up my important files. Is it as simple as right clicking and sending them to my external hard drive? Also, I've bought programs, so I want to make sure that I won't have to pay for them again should I re-install windows.

    Do I have to back up the registry? Does reinstalling windows mean I have to or should reformat my hard drive?

    btw, I read the sticky about reinstalling windows ( at least the first post)
  2. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

    Mar 23, 2005
    First Name:
    Backing up important files "simply" means to make a copy of them somewhere else. Can be an external hard drive, USB flash drive, CD, DVD, etc. Another hard drive is probably the most convenient, fastest and most reliable.

    For your purchased programs make sure you still have the CDs/DVDs, or save the downloaded files and any keys or codes you need to prove that they are yours, or make sure you have the information and the right to download them again.

    Don't save the registry; depending on your type of install you will get a "fresher" or brand new registry.

    This paragraph gets into opinion and preferences. The best way to put your problems behind you (to make room for new ones) is to format your disk and then install Windows fresh. This is especially important to do if you had malware, as this will get rid of any remnants (except for what may be in your saved data). OTOH if you think you have a fairly good system but just need to "clean up" Windows you can try a repair install. When it works all your data and installed programs are preserved. The time I did this my only problem was that I had to reinstall my networked all-in-one printer.
  3. 1SillyBilly


    Jul 2, 2008
    Before your computer (HD or motherboard) crashes it is recommend that you backup everything on your computer. The best way to do this is to purchase an internal or an external HD. Usually, the internal HD will be installed by the vendor as part of the purchase price (negotiate). The external HD needs just a cable. Check the flyers from the major chains to compare prices. Buy a brand name HD rather than the least expensive one.

    You will need software to make an image of your computer - OS, photos, data, music, data . . . everything. The most recommended software programs for imaging are Norton Ghost and Acronis True Image. You can set the backups on a schedule.

    Doing it this way saves the time and effort needed to install the OS, drivers, updates, and programs.
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