Question

backing up and reinstalling OS

My question is in regard to backing up your system in order to reinstall the operating system. My problem is this, from all the info I’ve seen regarding backing up the computer evolves around documents and pictures and the like. Besides those aspects, my concern is about some of the programs I have installed. They aren’t just programs, but the programs generate mailing lists and previously form related information that I would not be able to recreate because the original information is no longer available to me. Also, in an effort to go paperless a lot of documents were scanned into my computer, whose originals aren’t available either.

Since backing up involves a program on your computer that knows where the information was placed in the pre reinstalled OS, how does it know where the info was placed on any medium since everything is addressed and when that program is reinstalled it doesn’t know the addressing it used originally.

So how do I go about making sure I can reinstall everything back and retain the information I need? My systems have become corrupt on both my computers and since the newer operating systems shipped with computers don’t have restore disks that only reinstall the operating systems without destroying the accumulated data. what’s the best method to do the job. I’m running Vista 32 bit on one and a corrupt windows 10 on the other (I have no idea whether it’s 32 or 64 bit). On my newer computer it came with 8 64 bit and ever since upgrading to windows 10. Any advise would be greatly appreciated. Thanking you in advance, Tony

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Answer
Re: backup

After reinstalling the OS you should do 2 things:
- reinstall the applications from the same setup program that you used to install the current one (although usually later versions won't be incompatible)
- reapply any non-default setting (especially those for the file location)
- restore the data used by the application to the exact same location as it was before the reinstall

Those scanned documents are just ordinary files (could be pdf or jpg or even doc, depending on how you scanned. So backup and restore is exactly the same as for any other file (like pictures or music or spreadsheets).

Kees

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Answer
Imagining is a process where

you make an image of the current system. This image is compressed into an ISO file itr backs up system files, Data files and configurations. I've used this process when I purchased a new SSD drive.

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