The Best Way To Reinstall Windows Without Losing Data

At one point or the other during the use of your computer, you’d have to reinstall your Windows pack. This could happen if an important file gets corrupted, there is a disk error or there is a virus attack that caused an instability to your system. Everyone will have to battle this problem at one point or the other. And when your time comes, you’ll have to be ready to reinstall your Windows without losing your files. Here are the ways to reinstall your Windows Without Losing Data:

Use Your Vendor’s Restore CD

Windows comes with its restore CD. Other vendors have their restore CDs too. This is also known as a Rescue or Boot disk. All Rescue CDs are not alike. Some just do the function of reformatting your hard drive. Others carry out rescue functions and also act as software drivers for your computer. Never reformat your computer without first extracting all your files and data to an external storage destination. Your personal files are mostly saved in ‘My document’ section or folder of your Windows suit. Extract the files you have stored in other sections of your computer too.

For Windows 98 And ME CDs

In your Windows 98 and ME, before you reinstall Windows, make sure you back up important system information. You can find this information in your Windows folder.

Step 1: Create a new folder in your C: drive. Name it Oldwindows.

Step 2: Use Windows explorer to get to your Windows folder.

Step 3: Locate the following: All Users, Application data, Desktop, Favorites, Local settings, Profiles, SendTo and Start Menu.

Step 4: Copy them to the folder you created earlier. The one you named Oldwindows.

Step 5: Restart Windows with your Boot or Rescue disk.

Step 6: Select ‘Start computer with CD ROM support.’

Step 7: Delete your directory tree. You have to do this to reinstall your Windows properly. Type c:windowscommanddeltree /y c:windows and hit ‘Enter.’

Step 8: Then, start up the Windows setup installation on your Windows CD.

Step 9: Type your CD drive letter.

Step 10: Then type setup.

Step 11: Then, in the DOS prompt from Windows, type xcopy c:oldWindows*.* c:windows /s /h /r /c.

After this, all your important system information will be restored.

Windows 2000 and XP CDs

To reinstall Windows in your Windows 2000 and XP, this is how:


Step 1: Insert your Windows CD and boot your computer. To boot, press any key after you have start up your computer.

Step 2: Hit Enter and hit the Escape key to begin a restore.

Step 3: Select C from the Menu options as your current partition.

Step 4: Select I to delete the Windows folder.

Step 5: Choose ‘temp’ as your user name when the prompt comes up.

Step 6: Reboot your system and you’ll be logged in as ‘temp.’

Step 7: Then restore your personal files.

Step 8: If you are a Windows 2000 user, log in as ‘temp.’ Then as administrator. Then as ‘temp’ again.

Step 9: Go to C:Documents and Settings. You will see an Administrator folder and a folder with Administrator: computername.

Step 10: At DOS type cd documents and settings. Hit Enter.

Step 11: Type xcopyadministrator*.*administrator.computername /s /h /r /c. This way, you are substituting your folder that was named Administrator earlier for computername.

Windows XP And 2000

Users of Windows XP and Windows 2000 need an extra step to reinstall Windows properly.

Here is how:

Step 1: Create a new folder on you C:Drive. Label it Olddata.

Step 2: Copy all the folders for each username from your Documents and Settings to the Olddata folder you just created.  

Step 3: Go to User account in your Control Panel. There, create a new account for each of the username you copied out from your documents and settings folders into the Olddata folder.

Ensure you use their names as spelled out when you copied them.

For XP users, ensure that at least one of the accounts have Administrator privileges.

Step 4: Log off and log on for each user on your computer using their user names.

Step 5: Log in as ‘temp.’ Then enter into the DOS command prompt interpreter.

Step 6: Type xcopy c:oldData*.* “c:documents and settings” /s /h /r /c. Hit Enter.

Step 7: Then confirm that you want to overwrite files.

Step 8: Log off and log on for each user.

After this, each user’s document and settings would be restored. You should install other software drivers and Window updates after you have reinstalled your Windows. You can get these software and graphic drivers from a software vendor or CD vendor. Check up all your old files to make sure they are all fully restored. If they aren’t, go to the C:oldData folder and then move the files that are not restored yet to where you want them to be. You can delete both the oldData folder and Administrator folder afterwards. In conclusion, all you need do to restore your personal files is to create temporary folders as we have described above and restore them into the new Windows installed. You would notice that you don’t have to wipe off your hard drive to get your system restored. Yes, you don’t! just by reinstalling your Windows, you can get your system back to new -just as new as when you first bought it!

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