How to Reload Your Computer

by Larry Amon

Do you frequently find yourself reinstalling Windows on your computer? Are you tired of losing personal documents and information every time you reinstall? Does it take you days or even weeks to get everything back to the way you had it and even then it’s still not right? With some planning you can simplify this process and save a lot of time, frustration and lost documents.

Keep your documents together. Save all of your files documents and such under one folder. You can separate these documents under different folders, just keep them all under one central folder.

Put things on a second hard drive. It’s a great idea to have a second hard drive to keep your files on, because you won’t have to keep backing up your information on CDs and such. Another advantage of a second hard drive is that in case your computer’s main drive crashes or gets a virus that puts it out of commission, your information will be safe on the second drive. You may also want to keep a backup on your main drive just incase your second drive goes down for some reason.

Back up favorites and other program files. Make sure you regularly backup you browser favorites, emails and program files that have personal information. For any program that uses information you input, there is a file that stores that information. For example, Microsoft Money stores your records, ftp software stores your sites and passwords somewhere and calendar programs store your calendar information in some type of file. You will need to research each program to find out where the information is saved, so you can make a backup of that file and import it when you reinstall that program.

Keep your installation CDs ready. It’s a good idea to put all of your program CDs in one folder so that you can just pull it out and start installing programs. This also might be a good place to store a piece of paper with all of your serial numbers and any other installation information. It is a good idea to have this information in a document that you back up. This way you can just copy and paste long serial numbers. But keep the paper copy in case the document gets lost or destroyed.

Reload Windows on the same drive. First, try doing a repair installation of Windows. If this doesn’t fix your problem do a complete install on the same drive without formatting and it may save some of your information. Don’t count on anything being saved however.

Tips

  • check Write down your installation process so that next time might be even smoother.
  • check Set aside a few hours to complete your reload.
  • check When installing new software you downloaded online, save the install files.
  • check Keep track of all changes you make on your computer.

About the Author

Larry Amon has been working in the computer field for more than 10 years and has experience writing scripts, instructional articles and political commentary. He has been published online, as well as in "NRB Magazine" and "Delmarva Youth & Family." He started a nonprofit media organization in 2000.