All Important Files Saved? A ToDo List Before Re-Installing Your Computer!

Reinstalling Operation SystemDoes it sound familiar? Your computer is so slow, cluttered with crap of files and spam ware or there is a critical error in your operating system, you can’t get rid off except reinstalling the whole machine? Or you just want to clean up your Computer, a fresh new start.

But many times it happens that you forgot to backup important files before you re-install.

In my case I bought a new desktop and sold my old one. So I saved what I wanted to save and put it on the new one. Unfortunately I forgot to save all the log files of conversation in my chat program – bummer! Too late, I was already installing a fresh operating system on my old computer.

So which data do you need and remember not to forget?

Of course, your own files. If you use Windows it would be in ‘My Documents’ or ‘Documents’. Little advice, it’s always better to have their own files on a separate hard drive or partition then the operating system. So it would be much easier to reinstall the operating system if you have a system crash without losing your data if you reinstall your operating system.

You should have a list of all installed programs with you. The original CD with license code and password. Also where you can download some programs from the internet.

Those things are obvious, but sometimes we forget files, which we are using everyday but aren’t so essential or at least they don’t look like. Many of these files a buried and hidden in many sub folders. This is why I forgot to save some files in the past. It’s better to have a list in front of you to avoid this.

Here is my list of things I have to safe before I format my computer and reinstall everything:

  • My Documents
  • List of installed Programs with license key
  • Emails and Contacts in Outlook or other mail program
  • Login information of my chat programs like Yahoo, AIM, Skype, MSN, ICQ or Google Talk
  • Login information of email accounts, ftp accounts and wlan
  • Log files of all conversations in Yahoo, AIM, Skype, MSN, ICQ or Google Talk, since they are saved local
  • Browser history and cookies
  • Files of password program
  • Driver, if original CD of the computer isn’t there anymore
  • Bookmarks
  • Other user preferences and adjustments like in Photoshop “Actions” or in Dreamweaver “Site Management”

Fortunately there are some data you can save online now a days, like bookmarks, but many things are saved local and lost forever if you don’t backup probably.

What would you save before a new installation? I’m sure this list could be longer. Let me know and I will add your suggestions to it.

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  1. avatar #1 - PT Says:

    Interesting. I have an old desktop I should probably re-install. This list will come in handy….now if I could only learn to re-install a computer…

  2. avatar #2 - Alex Says:

    Hey PT,

    it’s pretty easy to reinstall your old computer, especially if you have the original CD of your computer. If that’s the case, just insert the CD restart your computer and the rest is self explanatory. But don’t forget to save important files first :)

    If you don’t have the original CD of your PC, just use a normal windows cd and download the driver for your hardware from the internet. If you need further help, I’m glad to assist you.

  3. avatar #3 - PT Says:

    I may give this a try soon. Thanks.

  4. avatar #4 - Technology Guide Says:

    That is the best strategy. I had 2 experience upgrading PC from NT – 2K and 2K – XP, both not good experience as I need later to downgrade because certain module of our application was not working. The best part was it happen on certain machine. That what happen when management didn’t listen to IT tech like us.

    Keep up the sense…


  5. avatar #5 - Alex Says:

    Hey Manish, glad you liked this strategy. Hope you fixed all your problems :)

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