Question about backing up before clean re-install of XP.

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by HornsManiac, Sep 16, 2006.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. HornsManiac

    HornsManiac Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2006
    Posts:
    2
    Here is my situation. My hard drive is divided into 2 partitions. On the smaller one I have my OS installed and on the larger one I have everything else stored. I also back-up my OS to the larger partition. My XP installation is giving me problems due to viruses/malware that snuck past my anti-virus protection. I have decided I need to just re-install XP and start over fresh. The only stuff that's important to me is the installed programs, basically the Program Files folder and all of its contents. When I re-install XP I don't want to have to re-install all of the programs I have on my system. So how is the best way for me to use Acronis True Image Home to accomplish this and what exactly do I need to back-up? Obviously, I need to back up the Program Files folder but do I need to save anything else to make all of the programs work once XP is re-installed? I mean, will my new installation of XP run all of the programs correctly with me just retrieving the backed up Program Files folder? Do I need to also back-up any other files, the registry, or anything like that to make this work like I want it to? I guess I am just not familiar enough with how Windows files and program files work to know on my own.

    If there is anything else I need to know before I begin the project please let me know. My current version of XP is still working, just not as well as it should be. Please help me make sure I don't screw this up and not be able to run the programs again after I re-install. Also, I bought ATI just for this project and will be using it for the first time when I back-up before this re-install. Please tell me how exactly to use ATI to get the best results. Thanks a million for your help in this matter.

    Cheers, =KYLE=
     
  2. TheWeaz

    TheWeaz Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2005
    Posts:
    1,562
    “will my new installation of XP run all of the programs correctly with me just retrieving the backed up Program Files folder?”
    Short answer – probably not. Programs are all different and store stuff all over you system. A typical program may put stuff in Programs Files, Windows, System, System32 folders as well multiple entries in the registry. You would have to know exactly what went where and restore only those file. If you restored the whole folders, you’d be back where you started, more likely, even worse off.

    You might want to look into info on Windows Repair Install. This will usually leave other programs and data intact.
     
  3. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2005
    Posts:
    4,751
    If you want to do this because of all the viruses/malware that is present on your system then how do you know exactly where it is all located? Anyway, that is somewhat of a moot point since you can't install XP and then bring back the old Program Files folder and have it work. When Windows programs are installed they make entries in the registry, which may also be infected, and they may also copy files to various other places on your HD.

    An XP Repair will replace the XP files with the ones on the CD and you would have to add the updates. However, this is not effective as formatting and starting fresh.

    IMO, cut your losses, backup your data, format and reinstall XP, updates and your apps. Now use TI to make images of the process along the way such as after Windows installed, updates installed, apps installed. If you are like most of us, you probably do not need to install a lot of the un-used apps that are presently on your system.

    Now you have a clean image to fall back on if you have trouble.
     
  4. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2005
    Posts:
    2,318
    If you decide to install XP afresh you will also have to reinstall all the programs that you wish to keep.
    There is no way round this as a fresh installation means a new registry and none of your programs will be in it.

    There are several ways you can get your existing XP installation fighting fit again without going back to square one. I will just set out a few of them because this is really a Windows housekeeping problem rather than a problem with Arconis.

    Get the latest updates for your antivirus software and run the program in Windows safe mode. This can help pick up items that may not be removed in normal mode.
    There are several anti- malware programs about that you can run in full and safe mode. Windows defender, Spybot search and destroy, Lavasofts offering and many others. Use at least three of these and your system will be a lot healthier. Windows One Care is another product which can be a good aperient as can CC Cleaner.
    All of the above are either free or are available in a trial version. There are also some well known security software suppliers who will run live scans on your system to make sure it is clean. This approach can be a good alternative to a clean re-install of everything.
     
  5. HornsManiac

    HornsManiac Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2006
    Posts:
    2
    Thanks for all of the information. See, I know my system is free of viruses and other parasites now. It took multiple scans from multiple programs but finally my system is clean. It has been declared clean based on HijackThis logs I posted on Dell's help forum.

    The problem is once I removed all of the parasites it also corrupted some of the programs I had installed. Unfortunately, even after doing the best I can to un-install these programs and then install them again they are still not working correctly. Only three programs are not acting right but they are very important to me. It is really strange because I have never seen a program completely un-installed and then re-installed fresh and still have the same problems. It got quite frustrating which led me to think a clean re-install of XP may be my only option.

    I guess I will look into the repair install options again, but I have been told sometimes a repair install just makes things even worse. :(

    Anyway, I agree this doesn't seem to be an Acronis problem so I will not bother you guys anymore. Thanks for the information you have provided. :)

    Cheers, =KYLE=
     
  6. dld

    dld Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2005
    Posts:
    480
    It might also be a good idea to move the following files\folders to your Data partition:

    http://img68.imageshack.us/img68/517/screenshot036uu0.jpg

    All of these files\folders, except OEfiles, can be moved from within Windows Explorer by right-clicking the file/folder, Drag & Drop, and choosing Move.

    If you are using Outlook Express and want to move all your OE files to a folder in your Data partition do the following:

    1. Create a folder named OEfiles in the Data partition.

    2. Go to OE\Tools\Options\Maintenance\Store folder\Change. You should see the OEfiles folder you created in your Data partition. Highlight this folder and click on OK.

    You have now moved all your Outlook Express files (Inbox.dbx, Outbox.dbx, Sent Items.dbx, Deleted Items.dbx, Drafts.dbx, etc)to a folder named OEfiles. To see the contents of these files click the corresponding items in OE.

    The advantage to keeping these files/folders on a separate partition is that when restoring an image of your system you will not be overwriting these files/folders. For example, if you are restoring a one-month old image you will not lose all the messages you've received\sent in that period.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2006
  7. TheWeaz

    TheWeaz Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2005
    Posts:
    1,562
    "It is really strange because I have never seen a program completely un-installed and then re-installed fresh and still have the same problems."
    It's possible that the program relies on a system file like a .dll that itself is corrupted. That's why the proggy still won't work. A reinstall will not replace the system file.
     
  8. realj42

    realj42 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2006
    Posts:
    1
    Location:
    Wallasey, UK
    Good advice DLD. However if you are using a different email to OE you will need to get the saved messages from a different file. I did a similar reformat and re-install recently myself and I found that taking a complete copy of my

    C:\documents and settings\[user name]

    directory and sub-directories was very useful. Most programs, especially web and email programs, store all their data in directoreis from here, the main ones are

    C:\documents and settings\[user name]\application data
    C:\documents and settings\[user name]\Local Settings\application data ( hidden directory - you must unhide hidden directories to see these)

    Eg Thunderbird mail uses
    C:\documents and settings\[user name]\application data\Thunderbird
    and
    C:\documents and settings\[user name]\Local Settings\appication data\Thunderbird

    OK so assuming you took a copy of these directories, once you have re-installed the applications you want, take a further backup as suggested. Now restore the above directories (or if you like, only the directories of applications you want to restore) and you should find they have a lot of their previous settings restored. For example, when I did this for my Thuderbird email, I got all my email and mailboxes restored, as well as account settings and filter rules. For Firefox web browser, doing this I not only restored my favourites, but all my saved passwords as well - the one thing I dreaded losing!
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.