Home » Questions » Computers [ Ask a new question ]

What things should I backup before reinstalling Windows 7 off my hard disk?

What things should I backup before reinstalling Windows 7 off my hard disk?

I'm using Windows 7 Ultimate version for a month. I was wondering what files/folders should I backup off my hard disk before I reinstall Windows 7. With Windows XP (the version that I was using last 8 years), I would need to reinstall XP once every 3/4 months. Of course, I backup files/folders of the partition which I uses as system drive before formatting it. Beside that, encrypted files/folders in other partitions should be backed up in unencrypted format. Is there anything else that should be backed up off hard disk?

Asked by: Guest | Views: 89
Total answers/comments: 2
Guest [Entry]

"I'm a big fan of imaging the whole hard drive so you can't forget anything. If the new install goes horribly wrong (hardware incompatability, etc), you can just re-apply your old system back from the backup (fast). When you install the new operating system, mount the image as a virtual drive and start copying your documents, etc.

Some data is more difficult to recover from a backup so you should consider these ahead of time:

A list of software on your system and where you can reinstall from (web site, CD (with keys), etc)
Configuration settings for specific programs
Registration keys
Web favorites/bookmarks

Essentially, I run through each program installed on my system one at a time and note any possible customizations or specific data I need to recover when I do a fresh install."
Guest [Entry]

"You don't have to back anything up. If you do a full ""clean"" install of Windows 7, it will keep everything on your hard drive, except for:

C:\Program Files

which get moved to:

C:\Windows.old\Program Files

to make way for the new clean versions of those folders. Vista did the same thing during full install - it leaves everything in place, except for tucking away those four folders out of the way.

But if you insist on backing something up to external storage, then backup


All your documents, files, torrents, downloads, e-mails, favorites, rss feeds, Skype conversations, Messenger pics, porn, and application data are stored in there."