Reinstalling Windows

Something great happens when you finally succumb to the inevitable fact that
you need to wipe your machine. That happened for me at 4 PM yesterday. Over the
last few weeks, I tried everything to speed it up, but no amount of defrag’ing,
deleting, uninstalling was doing it. But when you finally relent to what you
know has to be done, there is certain amount of calmness because you know your
frustrations will dissipate 24 hours from then. So I started my “Reinstall
Windows TODO List”:

  1. List all programs installed by looking in All Programs menu and in
    C:\Program Files.
  2. List out any specialty drivers you may need
  3. List all CD Keys for each program in #1.  I keep a master list
    usually up to date, so this step is pretty fast, but it is still smart just to
    make sure.
  4. If not on CD, put all your installs in one place for each program in #1
    and #2.  I like to download everything into a C:\Installs folder. I like
    to download some of the files on another computer while reformating and
    installing my primary computer.
  5. Back up all important folders and files.  Those folders for me are:
    1. Outlook Files
    2. My Documents
    3. My Music, My Pictures
    4. C:\Projects
    5. Databases
    6. C:\Installs
  6. Export data, such as:
    1. FTP Settings
    2. RSS feeds
    3. Outlook contacts (Just in case)
    4. Outlook Rules
    5. IIS Websites
    7. UPDATE: Deauthorize your iTunes account!
    8. Specific program settings

Since I have to write them down anyway, I may as well list my programs to

  1. Adobe Photoshop CS
  2. Adobe Reader 7
  3. Advanced Intellect aspNetEmail, POP3, ListNanny
  4. ahead Nero
  5. BitTorrent
  6. Bluetooth drivers
  7. Browser plugins: Flash, Shockwave, Java
  8. C:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts file
  9. Codesmith
  10. CuteFTP
  11. Firefox
  12. Franklin Covey Planplus for Outlook
  13. GhostDoc, NDoc, NUnit, NUnitASP
  14. Helicon ISAPI_Rewrite
  15. InterVideo WinDVD 4
  16. iTunes
  17. Java 2 Runtime
  18. Jetbrains Omea Reader
  19. Jetbrains Resharper
  20. JHymn
  21. Lookout for Outlook
  22. Microsoft Enterprise Library
  23. Microsoft Mappoint
  24. Microsoft Office 2003
  25. Microsoft SQL Server
  26. Microsoft Visio
  27. Microsoft Visual Sourcesafe
  28. Microsoft Visual Studio 2003
  29. Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Beta 2
  30. MSDN Library 2005
  31. MSN Messenger 7
  32. MSN Messenger Plus
  33. Musicmatch Jukebox 10
  34. Mythicsoft FileLocater Pro
  35. OpenOffice 2.0
  36. Palm Stuff
  37. Peters Date Package, Professional Validation & More
  38. Postxing Reflector
  39. SnipeRight
  40. Sound and Video Drivers
  41. Sprint Business Connection
  42. The Regulator
  43. TiVo Desktop
  44. Trillian
  45. w.bloggar
  46. Winamp 5
  47. WinMerge
  48. WinRAR
  49. Winzip
  50. Xingtone
  51. XMLSpy

Then I just go through my TODO list one by one. Once I have my list above, I
put checkmarks next to each one as I find the installs and another for the
cdkey. Once I re-install, I check next to that program again.

I have to say that I did pretty good this time around.  My only
casualties were my Outlook Mail Rules.

After my install, I started remembering those issues that nag at me each time
I do this. I never waste *too* much time on them, but it is annoying when I have
to re-solve it each year:

  1. When installing Windows, make sure to select IIS and Front Page Server
  2. In order for Direct3D to be enabled, enable hardware acceleration under
    Display Properties. This is important for games and DVD software to function.
  3. To get rid of having to comment on each windows shutdown, Start > Run
    > gpedit.msc > Computer Config > Admin Templates > Windows Comp
    > System > Display Shutdown Event Tracker.  Set to False.
  4. UPDATE: Shut down and disable Index server or prevent it from scanning your code directory. See MS Knowledge Base 329065.
  5. UPDATE 2:Install this fix to allow Windows to find files with unknown extensions (which is like all of them).

I must admit to being more impressed for it. I’ve even recommended it to all my friends.
I have been using it. Outlook Express more stable and secure than other programs.


3 responses to “Reinstalling Windows”

  1. I must admit to being more impressed for it. I’ve even recommended it to all my friends.

  2. I have been using it. Outlook Express more stable and secure than other programs.

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