Preparation to (re)install Windows

Installing and optimizing Windows in 10 steps (1/2)

Reinstalling Windows is a time consuming job, where many even fear to do it. This is the reason why most keep messing around with a strongly messed up system while the accompanying annoyances are taken for granted. Do you recognize this situation? Then it's probably time to take some action to change the situation for the better because reinstalling and optimizing Windows has a big effect on the usability of the computer. When afterwards an image of the system is created, the time invested will be worth it!

Installing and optimizing Windows in 10 steps (2/2)

Most information on this website is summarized in 10 steps to install and optimize Windows, where the first four steps are discussed on part I of the 10 steps. This page describes the remaining six steps where the emphasis lays on improving the usability. Many of the tips on this page can be applied immediately on an existing installation! To summarize, installing and optimizing contains the following 10 steps:

Saving personal data, passwords and drivers

This page describes how to safe all your personal data (My Documents, My Pictures, My Music, Downloads, E-mail, Favorites, Address book,...), recover passwords (internet connection, e-mail, FTP, Live Messenger, visited websites) and safe current hardware drivers. All the tools and information you need to know about before you reinstall your Windows XP!

Partitioning hard disk (primary and extended partitions)

To be able to create a backup of your system, I advise to use multiple partitions: C for Windows, D for your data and E for creating a system backup. Separate your Windows and personal data, which makes it a piece of cake to recover your Windows XP with a system image. Here you read more about creating partitions and how to manage them.

Formatting hard disk/partitions (FAT32/NTFS)

After you have created new partitions, you need to format them. Actually, within Windows XP this is done automatically during setup.

Creating a boot disk (bootable floppy disk)

Actually not needed for installing Windows XP, but a boot disk can be useful (for partitioning purposes). Especially if you would like to create a free system image boot disk, you also need a MS-DOS boot disk.

Creating a bootable CD

If your Windows XP doesn't boot anymore, a bootable CD-ROM can be very useful for you. Here you read about different bootable CD's, which can be very useful (saving your files from NTFS partitions, cracking administrator password, ...)! Some of them are must haves!

BartPE: manual for a Windows XP based PE (bootable from CD)

This page is about a "must have" rescue tool: BartPE (known as Bart's Preinstalled Environment). BartPE is a bootable CD based on the operating system Windows XP. Because BartPE is based on Windows, it offers some interesting features in solving Windows related problems. This page describes how to create the bootable CD BartPE, how to add features and what situations the tool can be used for.

VistaPE: manual for a Windows Vista based PE (bootable from CD)

Manual for the building and the use of VistaPE, the Windows Vista based bootable CD. This CD can be used for copying the personal files to a safe location in case Windows (both XP and Vista) no longer boots. But also for editing, moving or deleting (within Windows) blocked files or to create an image of the Windows system. There are multiple options, especially because of the available plugins. VistaPE has the advantage that the tool WinBuilder to create VistaPE is a lot easier to understand than the builder used for BartPE.

Windows Vista Upgrade: upgrading from Windows XP to Windows Vista

Before one decides to upgrade from Windows XP to Windows Vista, it is wise to do an inventarisation of the possible problems occurring after installing Windows Vista. This page describes the issues which has to be dealt with while going through the process of upgrading to Windows Vista, like: the Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor (to analyze whether the current hardware and software are sufficient for the high demands of Windows Vista), the differences between the Windows Vista versions, Windows Easy Transfer (for transfering the data and settings) and the steps to take to create a multiboot system with Windows XP.

Windows 7
Windows Vista
Windows XP
AVG antivirus
Comodo Internet Security
Back-up/file Sync
Free software
Wireless network
Sharing files
Installing Windows in 10 steps
Backup data/drivers
Resizing partitions
Move personal files

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