View Poll Results: Do my steps seem about right to you? Do you do less or more?

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  • I do no preparations at all.

    4 33.33%
  • I do less and would leave a step or more out.

    2 16.67%
  • That seems about right to me.

    6 50.00%
  • You've missed something out, i'd do more.

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Thread: How do you prepare for a fresh install?

  1. #1
    Aka Bres subucni's Avatar
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    How do you prepare for a fresh install?

    I'm just getting ready to make a new build with a fresh install. As a result i'm currently going through the process of backing up anything needed from my current C:\ drive.

    Personally i've always done the following

    1. Copy any documents/music/videos/items on desktop etc.. to another drive.
    2. Back up and copy any game saves.
    3. I used to copy my favourites folder so i could use them with IE on the new install but this is covered by Syncing in Firefox now, so i do that.
    4. I get the latest install files for gfx card drivers, internet security and maybe the mobo utilities and put them onto a disc/usb drive so they are ready to install. I don't tend to bother with many others as the install files will either be backed up on another drive already if needed or there will be more upto date ones available on the net that i can get once set up.
    5. Lastly i try to make a list of everything i have installed at present so that i can make sure i re-install everything needed and leave out the things i no longer do.


    I think this covers everything needed but as i was sitting here doing it, i couldn't help but wonder if any of you guys take any extra steps or prefer to leave any out.
    It intrigued me incase there could possibly be anything i miss that turns out to be really handy.

    So, here's my question, Do my steps seem about right to you? Do you do less or more, and if so what would you leave out or add?
    Obviously i've left out any hardware change preparations.

  2. #2
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    Re: How do you prepare for a fresh install?

    I don't do quite what you're doing, because my setup is a bit different.

    For instance, I don't do 1) because that stuff isn't on "local" machines, it's on a server, which is separately backed up anyway.

    Also, I don't do 5) because I maintain a change log for each machine anyway -when I install or upgrade anything, I update the change log. So I already have that list.

    Finally, when I build a machine, I always have two identical drives of whatever my boot drive is, HD or SSD. Periodically, I image the live boot drive to the spare, and run from the spare, so spare becomes live, and live, spare.

    So, before a rebuild, I update that image, and then use what was the spare for the new build. If there are any problems, I can always pull missing files etc off of what was the live drive, because it's now the spare, sitting on a shelf. And, if worst comes to worst, I can always put that drive back in the machine, and between it and the server, I'm back in a pre-rebuild condition, and it took about two minutes to do it.

    In other words, I can always revert if something goes wrong, and to lose things entirely, I'd have to have a disaster that wrecked the current live drive, and the spare, and the image file on the server, and the server, and it's backups.

    My procedure, therefore, is very different, but your steps above cover much the same ground if in a less robust (or paranoid ) fashion, and nothing jumps out at me as evidently missing.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Bonebreaker777's Avatar
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    Re: How do you prepare for a fresh install?

    I skip step 1. I literally NEVER store anything on a C drive.

    Skip step 2. as well. Still don't store anything on the c drive, and whatever I store on the other drives I usually store on a second drive (and sometimes on the NAS as well). Games tend to have they separated drive.

    Chrome does step 3. for me. Just have to remember my account and password (16 characters long password FTW).

    Skip step 4. as well. I ALWAYS keep a live library of the drivers/essential programs and utilities of all the computers/laptops in the house plus the recently installed ones (recent = last 3 years). Luckily these days you don't need 5429... different drivers, unlike back in the era of Win98/SE.

    Skip literally step 5. as well. If I install a program, I try to make a offline copy of it, so I can carry it around, plus/or don't have to install it a second time .

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    Re: How do you prepare for a fresh install?

    Yeah, I have to say I skip all these.

    I like to make a fresh start. If I don't notice it has gone then it's probably just as well, if I miss something I'll just copy it over later.

  5. #5
    root Member DanceswithUnix's Avatar
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    Re: How do you prepare for a fresh install?

    I start by buying a new drive to install onto. Old drive is archived just in case, drives are only supposed to last a few years which is about how often I do a new Windows install, so this gets me both backup and a better chance of a reliable machine in the future.

    Open a beer.

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    Re: How do you prepare for a fresh install?

    I pretty much follow in the footsteps of DanceswithUnix......

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    Re: How do you prepare for a fresh install?

    I always have my essential data backed up and stored on 2 seperate drives and update monthly ish. If i am doing a reinstall or new build on new hardware i run a backup using acronis which backs up all my files before which is then stored on the 2 seperate drives. Once ive installed windows ill install latest drivers from one of the drives and i run the backup to restore files. The trick is getting the right files backed up so you dont lose data. The more you do this and find out you have lost something the next time you include that in your backup. I always re install games from disk.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Pob255's Avatar
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    Re: How do you prepare for a fresh install?

    I'm with DanceswithUnix here, although I don't update OS that often, I get a new hard drive and install a clear OS onto that.
    I unplug all other hard drives just in case I install over the wrong one, this I learned the hard way back from when I used to use SCSI and IDE drives and multiple partitions, when I was going from win 2k to xp the scsi drives got reassigned so I formatted and installed to the wrong drive and lost a lot of important data, which is why I now unplug other drives, so if anything does go wrong the old install is still ok
    I'll then keep the old drive intact so I can dual boot for a while if I need anything off it.
    Games, some software and files I keep on another separate drive, I'll then reinstall software as I need it on the new OS drive, this keeps my total software down to stuff I'm actually using.

  9. #9
    Seething Cauldron of Hatred TheAnimus's Avatar
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    Re: How do you prepare for a fresh install?

    Do nothing.

    If I needed to do something, that would mean something wasn't fully and redundantly backed up.
    throw new ArgumentException (String, String, Exception)

  10. #10
    Anthropomorphic Personification shaithis's Avatar
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    Re: How do you prepare for a fresh install?

    Check last backup.....

    If successful - wipe.
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  11. #11
    Pork & Beans Powerup Phage's Avatar
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    Re: How do you prepare for a fresh install?

    Aye backed up on server and external USB drive here too.
    But for a re-install on the same disk I'd probably format the fecker and re-install from backup, or use Windows easy-transfer.

    1) Covered by backup
    2) Ditto
    3) Ditto
    4) Yes, but I have these already on a USB anyway
    5) Too lazy for this. If I don't miss it - no problem. If I do miss it, I'll restore from backup or download it.
    Society's to blame,
    Or possibly Atari.

  12. #12
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    Re: How do you prepare for a fresh install?

    Backup my user docs C:/users/(me) and off i go everything else is on the 2TB drive for backup

  13. #13
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    Re: How do you prepare for a fresh install?

    My documents and favorites and everything else useful live on my file server so I have the same available on all the home PCs. I don't bother grabbing drivers ahead of time normally. (Only exception is the SAS drivers for one of the PCs) I have plenty of PCs available so if I need network drivers I can download them on a different PC. Once the PC being re-installed has network then I download everything else I need.
    I have a fairly limited standard set of apps, anything beyond that I install when I discover I need it.

    One piece of preperation I do normally have to do is find my USB DVD drive. Only one PC and one laptop have a functioning DVD drive in them. Despite the fact that I have probably 15 of the damn things in the house, they are all IDE and none of them appear to work, the ones in PC's are just acting as big blanking plates.

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