Trying to Backup Your Windows Files for a New Installation? — Totseans

Trying to Backup Your Windows Files for a New Installation?

DfgDfg Admin
edited August 2011 in Tech & Games
I did a clean install yesterday and it went pretty well but I fucked up big time. I lost some settings and I didn't backup some accounts. All in all, it was a cluster fuck and I should blame myself for it but hey I was getting BSOD'ed and I was tired at that point. Hopefully I won't repeat the same mistakes again but I thought I should share some tips.

I am going to talk about each program and give you some tips on backing them up.

Mozilla Firefox:
You can use an Add-on like FEBE but it rarely works correctly. What I usually do is:
  • Copy Mozilla Firefox folder from the program files folder.
  • Copy the Profile folder (Roaming> Mozilla)

Then on the new install, I just install the same Firefox version and paste things back. Once done, just start Firefox and it will have everything working. I have tried this approach on two install already and it works without any issues.

Microsoft Outlook:
I screwed this one up mostly because I forgot my mail account passwords (:faceplam:).
Close Outlook and then go to User>YourAccountName>AppData> Roaming> Microsoft> Outlook Copy the whole folder and make sure that there are .pst files in there.

Once done, in the new Windows, Install Office, and then run Outlook, create a temp account. Go to the Account Section and then add your e-mail account, then just use the option for using an old data file and you're done.

It's just that easy.

Google Chrome, SRIron:

Go to Under the hood, and use Sync. In the new installation, just install the browser and use the Sync option to get all your settings back.


As a general rule, you should make your DB folder in some other partition, this makes it easier to backup stuff. Just install DB and in the preferences select the location of your folder. Once done, wait for it to Sync, if it starts downloading things (it happened to me) it means you didn't put the path correctly.

Windows Settings/Profiles/ Files:

Don't bother using a third party solution, just use Windows Migration Tool (Wizard) and move your data to your new installation.

I messed up this one, make sure to copy the files from the AppData folder, it contains your unique ID. Otherwise you will need to get the permissions reassigned.


Don't bother, it always fucks up for me. Just finish your queue. Take a screen shot and then install it on your new OS. And the add the torrents. It's much easier that way then deleting missing file torrents.

Adobe Master Collection:

Uninstall the software's before formatting the system. And make sure to copy the files from Media Cache folders. It's better to move those folders to a Non-OS drive.

Minor tips:

  • Move My Documents folder to a Non-OS Drive.
  • When in doubt, Google things.
  • Use Manual and Automatic Backups.
  • Rename your partitions to FORMAT ME etc. It will save accidental formats.
  • Unplug any external HDD when installing Windows or Working with the file system (mostly when you're deleting things)
  • Use a Game Backup Manager to save your game profiles.

The Most important point, Check your Install DVD before preparing to format or clean install.


  • JackJack Regular
    edited August 2011
    Re Outlook, I would highly recommend using File > Export. I've seen too many customers with several PSTs scattered around who lost mail because they only manually backed up one of them.
  • DfgDfg Admin
    edited August 2011
    If you have a second HDD, create a Clonezilla image and save it there, reload OS, mount Clonezilla image and copy files back.

    Nice idea. Might give it a shot.
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