How to backup programs and settings?
MSwhip writes in with a Windows question
Question: I have a system that contains some errors or virus or some malware which I do not want to spend time and effort trying to fix, so I decided to format the drive. I would like to backup the system before doing anything else. But I wouldn't want to use that image type of back up because that would restore the back up with all its errors and malware. Am I right?
So how can I backup and restore some programs and applications...like e.g. Firefox, OpenOffice, Adobe flash player etc, and also the drivers for Intel Chipset, printer, video and TV tuner cards, Windows Media Center with all its settings and all the rest of my installed software so that I could restore to the HDD once i reformat it?
I am running Windows 7 Home 64-bit. I have also downloaded Paragon Backup and Restore, Have also access to Acronis Free Image Backup(the one from Western Digital website), have Mini Tools Partition Wizard. And even EaseUS Backup and Restore. All of that cause I am trying to decide what to keep for future needs.
I would appreciate your input on this, whether point blank instructions over the steps to follow to do it, and/or indication as to where to read about all of this as in tutorial articles.
Answer: It is not reasonably possible to backup most Windows software because it puts entries in places such as the Windows folders, application data folder and the registry so you will have to reinstall your programs if you do a format. Some programs may have an option to backup your configuration but that will depend on the software.You can save your Firefox data by using MozBackup.
If you use any kind of imaging software you most likely will copy the issues to your image and have the same problem when you do a restore. You can try a Windows System Restore to go back to a point in time before you had these issues to see if it makes a difference.
When you reinstall a fresh copy of Windows you will also have to reinstall the drivers for your hardware but you should be able to get those online if you don't have the driver disks. If you don't know what make/model of hardware you have be sure to look in Device Manger and write down the information or take a screen shot before formatting.
Your best bet is to backup your files such as documents and photos to an external hard drive, CD or flash drive and then format your computer and reinstall Windows. Then install your drivers and other software.