Will reinstall W7 affect software on another HDD

  hastelloy 09:40 12 Sep 2013

My C drive has my OS and most of my software but I also have H drive which I use as a multimedia work area. This has programs such as Premiere Elements, Photoshop Elements, Audio Cleaning lab etc.

If I do a clean reinstall on C drive, am I right in thinkingg that this could change the registry so that I will not be able to use the software on H drive? Or am I over-thinking this?

  Press Man 10:00 12 Sep 2013

I do believe you are correct. When a program gets installed it puts entries in to the registry which lets Windows or other OS know how to work with the program/s. That information will be in your current installation and not available to the new installation of the OS.

  alanrwood 10:33 12 Sep 2013

Press Man is correct.

  woodchip 10:54 12 Sep 2013

as above. but what about trying first a restore, if that does not work, do a repair using the OEM OS CD, but after a repair all Windows Updates have to be downloaded and installed

  hastelloy 19:07 12 Sep 2013

I was afraid I was right.


Not sure that a restore would do it but I'll give it a try.

Many thanks to all.

  Batch 08:57 13 Sep 2013

Do you really have the software installed on H:? If so, how did you come to do that? Or is it that you just store your data (images, photos, music etc.) on H:?

If you really do have software installed on H:, then any kind of restore (of your C: drive could affect the usability of what is installed on H: (particularly registry related, although there is more to it than that).

Also, what kind of restore?

  • System Restore (using Windows Restore Points) - this might work OK (assuming all of your disks are being tracked by System Restore) as any changes to any of the dives will have been tracked.

  • Restore to factory settings. Almost certainly won't work for the reasons already identified.

This all begs the question as to why you are trying to do a re-install / restore anyhow?

Also, what is H:? Is it just another partition on the same physical disk, another physical disk inside the PC, an external hard disk or something else entirely?

  hastelloy 14:20 13 Sep 2013


H is a separate internal HDD (I have 4 - as well as 5 externals for backup - belt and braces +). I intentionally install video, photo etc software on H as that is where I put (copies of) all file which I'm working on and save working files etc. When I've finished that particular project I delete all associated files or save to external HDD(s) as appropriate. I have been doing this for many years with no problem.

I was thinking of doing a clean reinstall as my 4 year old PC is now slowing down noticeably.

  Batch 15:04 13 Sep 2013

IMHO it's not really a good idea to install software on a separate drive to the operating system, specifically because the OS / Registry / installed software are tightly bound.

By all means store the data (images, photos etc. etc.) wherever (ideally not on the same partition as the software).

A clean install really means reinstalling all the software as well (and , in any event, it would hardly be a clean install if you didn't).

If you are going to reinstall (including the software), you need to be careful that you don't end up with confusion - i.e. software installed on H (twice) or installed on H and somewhere else. Although one would be from the "old" set-up, but still confusing.

You might find that doing some thorough housekeeping improves things on your PC anyhow - although you may already do some.

  woodchip 20:30 13 Sep 2013

AS above, That's why when its running okay, its a goods Idea to Create Images to another drive with such as Acronis, these can be restored Quickly. the Image includes Partition Info OS and all Software, it does not Image Unused Drive Space as there is no point.

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