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Old 10-02-2007, 02:36 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Reinstalling Windows, Preserving Software

I have an 80GB HDD for Windows and stuff. I partitioned it to 20GB and installed Windows on it and put all my software and games on it.

I made a customized Windows using nlite and now I want to install that. Is it possible to make a restore point or something that will restore all my Program Files and Games and stuff and put it on a new Windows installation? Can I just copy the C:\ drive and paste it back when I'm done reinstalling Windows? And I want to increase the partition size, I was thinking of doing 40/40 or 50/30. On my second partition I want to install Ubuntu but I will do that later.
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Old 10-02-2007, 03:02 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Reinstalling Windows, Preserving Software

If you delete the partition you are going to lose everything on that partition. To be safe, you should move everything you plan to keep to a seperate drive. You will probably have to reinstall most of your software though, because when you reinstall windows it is going to nuke the registry.
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Old 10-02-2007, 03:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Reinstalling Windows, Preserving Software

Well I can back up the registry right? I'm pretty sure CCleaner lets you do it whenever you clean it up.

I know there is some stuff I can do like going into Steam and right click -> back up game files. And all the programs that just need to be unzipped rather than installed, I can just 7zip all their folders into 1 file then unzip. My main concern is with stuff like Battlefield 2 & 2142, which take a long time to install.
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Old 10-02-2007, 04:12 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Reinstalling Windows, Preserving Software

Even so backing up the registry will not just alow you to just copy the files back. Cause if there are any startup registry keys in there they will then become active and could in turn cause you more harm then good.

The best thing to do is save all your games saves, doc and everything that you can think of to another place. Then re-install the OS and all the apps. Trying to do what you rea trying to do will only cause you more grief as then you will have to find which regirsty keys are causing the machine to slow down and possibly not boot.

As for the games...that happens. That is the way of working with windows and having to re-isntall. Get used to it. I re-install at least twice if not more a month. I jsut did 2 installs of Vista in 3 days. It happens.
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Old 10-02-2007, 04:24 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Reinstalling Windows, Preserving Software

i try to format as little as possible, i like my pc being set up as it is
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Old 10-02-2007, 04:35 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Reinstalling Windows, Preserving Software

My knowledge of hard drives is pretty limited... but can I do this: Keep my existing Windows on C:\ partition, install new Windows to a new partition, and then later delete the C:\ partition and move the new partition to the beginning of the hard drive? I want to keep my current Windows installation working while I migrate to the newer one. Once everything works fine on the new one, I would delete the old partition. That way the new Windows would be C:\ and it would be just like I have it now but with a bigger partition and my new Windows.
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Old 10-02-2007, 05:15 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Reinstalling Windows, Preserving Software

I have found that you can do the migration with games. Smaller software would just be too much of a hassle. I copied my games to a different drive. Then I backed up the software portion of my registry. After the reformat, I went to edit that backup. (the only game that wouldn't run was bf2). To get them to work, you have to search for every reference to the program you're trying to fix and change the file path or whatever to where it is now ( so for me I just had to change the drive letter, because they were all still in program files). If you're going to merge the backup with your new, fresh registry, be sure to delete everything that you're not fixing, because I'm sure it will mess your registry up with the old paths and whatnot.
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Old 10-02-2007, 08:53 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Reinstalling Windows, Preserving Software

windows won't let you transfer programs. aloha bob and vcom's system suite 7 will let you
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Old 10-03-2007, 08:27 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Reinstalling Windows, Preserving Software

When you install a game or program, the installation sometimes puts system files in the Windows directory, and almost always changes the registry, which is a centralized place for settings. That's why you can't just delete a folder, you have to go through the add/remove programs and have it uninstalled the right way.

So if you restore your registry and all of your old system files to your new installation of Windows, either you'll end up hosing your system, or you'll end up with a system exactly like the one you had to begin with. That's a pretty big waste of time and energy for nothing.

If you install another instance of Windows on another partition, you still won't be able to play the games because all of the registry settings and system files for them are on your old instance of Windows. So you'd have to boot to your old Windows to play them.

Your best bet is to do what Makaveli213 said. Backup all of your personal files and saved games, install Windows, reinstall all of your software, then restore your personal files and saved games from your backup. Either it's worth it, or not.
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Old 10-03-2007, 11:51 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Reinstalling Windows, Preserving Software

Quote:
Originally Posted by forrestcupp View Post
When you install a game or program, the installation sometimes puts system files in the Windows directory, and almost always changes the registry, which is a centralized place for settings. That's why you can't just delete a folder, you have to go through the add/remove programs and have it uninstalled the right way.

So if you restore your registry and all of your old system files to your new installation of Windows, either you'll end up hosing your system, or you'll end up with a system exactly like the one you had to begin with. That's a pretty big waste of time and energy for nothing.

If you install another instance of Windows on another partition, you still won't be able to play the games because all of the registry settings and system files for them are on your old instance of Windows. So you'd have to boot to your old Windows to play them.

Your best bet is to do what Makaveli213 said. Backup all of your personal files and saved games, install Windows, reinstall all of your software, then restore your personal files and saved games from your backup. Either it's worth it, or not.
obviously he doesn't have all of the cds so his best is to follow my advice
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