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reformating...what files should i make sure to copy before?

i know to take the 'favorites', but what if i want to keep all the email's as well?

what else should i do before the reformat and re-install?

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In reply to: reformating...what files should i make sure to copy before?

I can't help with emails as this depends on which program you use, Outlook Express, msn, etc. I keep the .exe files of programs I wish to re-install, and My Documents, My Pictures, My music, favorites, bookmarks and profiles.

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Standard Windows XP install ...

In reply to: reformating...what files should i make sure to copy before?

has three options:
1. Install on top of existing installation.
2. Delete Windows folder and reinstall
3. Delete all (= format) and reinstall.

Why not start with #2 and keep all your files that aren't in the Windows folder (and very few user files are in the Windows folder, in XP). That's to say, until your hard disk breaks down and everything is gone. Which happens sooner or later.
Before that unlucky event happens, consider to BACKUP what you don't want to lose. Then the question becomes: what files to backup? A good general answer is the "Documents and Settings" folder of all users of the machine. And (as suggested already) put all setup programs you downloaded from the internet somewhere in there, so you can easily reinstall all of them from your backup.

And before I forget: copying (whenever you do it and wherever you do it to) is one thing. Getting it back to the right place is another thing. For example, do you know how to restore your favorites?

Hope this helps.


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Getting it back to the right place...

In reply to: reformating...what files should i make sure to copy before?

Just to follow up on Kees Bakker?s comment. I created a ?Restore Guide? word file. It is thirteen pages long. From time to time I add/delete as necessary. I recently reformatted my computer, took about five hours from start to a ?complete? finish. That was because I had my guide and I was able to put ?everything? back ?quickly? to the way ?I? wanted.
Example from my ?guide?:
Create Desktop shortcut for ?My Computer? and ?Internet Explorer? - Right click on ?Screen?/ Properties / Desktop / Customize Desktop on General tab - Check mark on ?My Computer & Internet Explorer? - ?Uncheck? Run Desktop Cleanup Wizard; Display/Appearance/Font Size - Normal Fonts O.K., ALSO, Screensaver ?Wait? to 15 minutes
Control Panel/Mouse/Pointer Options - ?Uncheck? Enhance Pointer Precision -- Scroll wheel to ?2? Also, turn off the ?Thumbs.db feature, /Folder Options/View tab - Check ?Do not cache thumbnails? - OK
My Computer / Properties / Hardware / Device Manager - Check for Yellow Exclamation Points ; ALSO, click ?Mice & other pointing devices, right click PS/2 Compatible Mouse/properties/Power Management/ ?uncheck? Allow this device to bring the computer out of standby -- Also, Mice & other pointing devices, right click PS/2 Compatible Mouse/properties/Advanced Settings - Sample Rate - change from ?100? to ?200? -- Also, Check DMA -- Click IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers to display the list of controllers and channels - Right-click the icon for the channel to which the device is connected, select Properties, and then click the Advanced Settings tab. In the Current Transfer Mode drop-down box, select DMA if Available if the current setting is ?PIO Only.? If the drop-down box already shows ?DMA if Available? but the current transfer mode is PIO, then the user must toggle the settings. That Is: Change the selection from ?DMA if available? to PIO only, and click OK. Then repeat the steps above to change the selection to DMA if Available; Disable Error Reporting: Advanced tab, Click Error Reporting button on the bottom > check box Disable Error Reporting > uncheck box: But notify me when critical errors occur. click OK to close -- Turn Off Remote Assistance: Click Remote tab. Uncheck both check boxes click Apply, OK
Change from double to single-click icons? - Windows + E / Tools/Folder options/General Tab/ Single click to open items, underline icon titles only when I point to them/Apply/OK. Also, Tools / Folder Options / View / Advanced settings - Show hidden files & folders; uncheck ?Hide protected operating system files/ ?Hide extensions for known file types?/Click Yes/ OK, Also, Tools/ Folder Options / View tab - Check ?Launch folder windows in separate process - Uncheck ?Automatically search for network folders and printers.? Click OK.

To be sure, its taken a while to create my 'guide', but since I help my sister and brother, to have all these tips written down, makes it a lot easier.
Does 'option #2' look better now.
Good luck,

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Emails Shouldn't Be Problem

In reply to: reformating...what files should i make sure to copy before?

All your emails should also be stored in your online inbox. Eg. Yahoo!, Gmail, MSN/HOTMAIL etc. they should all also offer a online inbox and emails should be there UNLESS you set it not to be there and go only to your email client, and even this you should be able to change and fix through your client and online inbox.
I would also make a note of all the Product Keys for all programs you have paid for, I wouldn't back up the *.exe files as you can always download it again!!
Hope this was helpfull!!

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