Steps to ease a complete re install

  john bunyan 10:04 27 May 2015

A young relative's laptop became so unstable (mainly registry corruption) that a complete reinstall was decided upon. Fortunately the disc was partitioned such that her data was on an "F" partition. However , not only was the W7 Home premium reinstalled, but I am now faced with the following to do (at least!). Update w7; Install: Avast; Malawarebytes Premium (hope it accepts the code I used before for the life premium) ;Office 2007 (ditto as it was the 3rd of 3 installations);Photoshop Elements 9; iTunes; Printer drivers; Macrium Reflect; Freefilesynch;Spywareblaster, and maybe more. I am glad about the fact it was partitioned, but wonder if on future PC's , one should somehow keep Windows on its own partition and other programmes on a second, and data on a third? Can one have programmes on a separate partition? It is laborious to do all this as the programmes all have updates in their own right if bought a few years ago.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 11:18 27 May 2015

Yes I keep most of my programs on a separate partition from windows however a reinstall of the is required after a fresh install of windows if the program has registry entries in windows. The data save on the separate partition is not affected so often tweaks to the program remain the same, sometimes you get the option just to repair.

Stand alone programs are not affected.

For this reason I image the drives regularly so may only lose a weeks worth of info at most and all important info is backed up at time of making.

As for the codes they shouldn't be a problem as there are no hardware changes and they are being installed to the same computer.

  xania 13:01 27 May 2015

I keep my OS on C:, my data on D: and my programs on E: etc etc

HOWEVER - on a re-installation, all the registry entries for the programs are lost hence partition only is NOT the answer.

What I did, immediately after my last re-installation, was take an image of the C: drive, and parked that in a separate partition G:(backup up of course to an external HHD). Next time - no re-installation necessary, just a recovery, but you will still have to do all the updates. You just can't win!!

  john bunyan 18:51 27 May 2015

Thanks for the comments. On my own PC's I do as *Fruit Bat /\0/* suggests - regular images and occasional clones.

This particular PC belongs to a 20 year old undergraduate grand daughter (615 UCAS points, at UCL) who , like many at her age, is a bit careless with downloads, Facebook, music etc. I did occasionally get an image done on her machine but the latest episode, on a 5 1/2 year old machine, indicated a re install was the only option. I was pointing out how long all this takes. I wish that there were an Acronis type imaging programme that enabled one to image the non MS programmes separately so they could be easily reinstalled in their updated versions.

I will try ,yet again to get her to do more imaging (post a virus and malware scan). For a new PC an image just after installing all the ancillary programmes seems essential, it takes so long to prepare a new PC "out of the box" - the last one I did took 2 1/2 days, what with updates, on W8, upgrading to W8.1, removing W8 and updating that then adding all the other programmes.

  robin_x 23:37 27 May 2015

For your Grandaughters W7 laptop you could consider the following:-

Macrium Free allows a scheduled backup to be set from a saved xml file (Right click latest for options)

Install Unchecky

Visit for each browser she uses

(Avast Free has a similar Web Shield but it sometimes differs)


I've done loads of Clean Installs and have a mental checklist of thing I do to get my systems as I want them.

I like to have TightVNC or VNC or Teamviewer installed as one of the first things, then I can sit at a working computer and do a lot remotely

I can perhaps take a full day rebuilding then another couple of days of intermittent bits and pieces that I've forgotten

People who say you can do a Clean Install in 2 hours are being economical with the truth

(I've just had a count-up of my Installed Programs and it's 82. MS and 3rd Party) can help with some

Although the intricacies of computing and technology has been my hobby and sometimes Trade for 30 years or more, most people don't have the knowledge, time, inclination or interest to learn to do more

They just want to use the damn things. Which is an admirable desire.

  john bunyan 15:19 28 May 2015


Thanks. I fully agree. I do install teamviewer , but often she is too engrossed in revision at Uni to notice some problems, and has no land line so a mobile is in use and she gets impatient if, for example, a long recovery is needed. I have now installed Unchecky and will do the other suggested things.

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