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Mexico City reporting in ..........


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Hi everyone:

New forum member here;

a long-time PC geek now living in Mexico City, a hell-hole of 24 million, where the only good things are the weather, the tequila, and the chicas (some).

Recently (4 months ago) jumped over to Vista (Ultimate), and have had lots of fun and surprises, predominantly pleasant. Installing the OS (or formatting & re-installing) is easier & faster than any previous OS. With a few tweaks, it works with all my software and hardware.

I recently did my second full re-install (format, etc) and realized that even with being prepared with external backups (full; compressed; image; every kind possible), it's still a huge pain in the butt for me. Re-installing all those Dell driver updates, programs, utilities, etc. takes days & days, and I suspect I'm doing something wrong: not prepared enough, somehow. You know? that feeling of "there's got to be a better way!" ????

So I'm searching the forums like this one (and about 2 dozen others I belong to) for some kind of simplification hints or instructions regarding this process. (btw, photos, music etc are not the problem; that's the easy part)

Anyone know of where to point me??

for example, you want to back up everything, just in case, but you DON'T want to reinstall a lot of junk you don't need, or worse: reinstall some problem/headache like corrupt drivers or even a virus. So what's the balance? and how can you do this with least headaches and without taking a piece of your life in the process?

I have used many backup programs, all of them have strenghts & weaknesses, none seem to feel quite right. everything from Windows backup to Retrospect to BounceBack to the latest one, Windows Live OneCare backup. And many others in between.

No problem restoring photos, music, videos and documents, but it gets trickier with MS Outlook files, printers, camera software, etc.

Does anyone out there have a nice, organized routine for total re-installs? (I don't mean automated, just a logical easy routine that puts all the stuff you need in one place maybe.)

It would be nice to see something like this on a forum such as this one. I'm sure I'm not the only one who likes to do complete reinstalls at least a couple of times a year; yet it literally takes at least three complete days of my time to accomplish this, namely getting my computer back to where it was before, only better (cleaner).

Thanks everyone. hope to hear from you if you've found a way to make this task a little easier and/or faster.

Rick, the mexicorider.

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Hi Rick, welcome to Neowin!

I have to admit I feel like you when ti comes the time to reinstall.. I hate it :p I used to have slipstreamed XP cd's but I found them mostly useless, by the time I had to reinstall it was already out of date. Same thing with full HD images, it doesn't save a lot of time because you have to maintain it with new drivers etc.

One thing that helps me now though is the Windows Easy transfer tool, you should look into it. It actually transfers Windows setting for mail applications, favorites, Documents folder, application settings, etc. As for my multimedia collection it's being kept safe on a separate hard drive, which I plan on moving onto my Windows Home server box sometime soon :)

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