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Performing a Clean Windows Install …

without losing your files, settings and tweaks.

The key lies in preparation.  Here a couple of things you want to do:

Image representing Windows as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

First make sure you know what current programs you want to re-install.

Before you do anything else, it’s handy to have a list of all your currently installed programs so you know what settings to back up, and which programs you want to reinstall later on.

Next backup …

Windows settings

Back up any Windows settings you can so you don’t have to do too much tweaking after you reinstall. The best way to do this is with Windows Easy Transfer, Windows’ built-in migration program for just such occasions.

Documents and files

Just copy these to an external drive or move them with Windows Easy Transfer as described above, though if you back up your computer regularly (which you should), you can always just restore them from your backup later on as well.

Then after completing the Windows re-install it’s time for the restore process.  Basically it’s the opposite of what you did during the backup process.  However what you may not have known is that there are tools out there that can help make re-installs of applications quick and easy.  Keep in mind though that these tools won’t have all the programs you want to re-install.

Ninite

Just check off all the programs you want, and Ninite will create an all-in-one package to install them in one fell swoop.

Chocolatey

 If you’re more of a command line geek, Chocolatey is a handy utility that brings Linux-style package management to Windows. With a few well-placed commands, you can install a ton of programs at once, bypassing the need for all those separate installers.

Portable Apps

Portable apps essentially let you carry all your programs and settings over to another computer with no installation required. You’ll still have to search out each app yourself, but after you do it once, you’ll never have to do it again—every clean install from here on out will be much quicker because you’ll already have half your apps ready to go.

Head over to the source for all the details involved with performing a clean install of Windows.

 

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