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Windows 7: Re-install without losing programs?

07 Jul 2011   #1

Windows 7 Professional 32 bit
 
 
Re-install without losing programs?

My Windows 7 home premium became corrupted and I was advised by Microsoft support that I needed to do a clean re-install. The first tech I spoke with said it could be done so that none of my programs would be lost. But other techs told me this was not correct. At this point I'm not comfortable with the reliability of information from Microsoft so thought I would ask here. Does a re-install cause loss of all programs? Thanks

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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07 Jul 2011   #2

Win 8 Release candidate 8400
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by susan8231 View Post
My Windows 7 home premium became corrupted and I was advised by Microsoft support that I needed to do a clean re-install. The first tech I spoke with said it could be done so that none of my programs would be lost. But other techs told me this was not correct. At this point I'm not comfortable with the reliability of information from Microsoft so thought I would ask here. Does a re-install cause loss of all programs? Thanks
In most cases it does.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Jul 2011   #3
Microsoft MVP

 

Hi Susan -

MS was probably referring to a Repair Install which reinstalls the OS while keeping all programs, settings and files in place. It's a same-version Upgrade install done from the desktop and may require uninstalling SP1 if you can't find an installer for your version with SP1 included.

However be aware that reimporting settings is a corruption path and inferior to a clean reinstall.

Here are the steps to get a perfect clean reinstall of factory OEM Windows 7, based on hundreds done here. You may not be ready to do it now, but at least you'll know what's involved and be prepared: Reinstalling Windows 7
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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07 Jul 2011   #4

Windows 7 Professional 32 bit
 
 

Greg, thanks for the response. I don't think MS attempted a repair install. They sent me a replacement disc which includes SP1. (My computer was installed with XP or Vista, and I upgraded to 7 but don't have access to the CD - it's in storage.) I'll have to read through those links to see what issues the SP1 pose.

In the meantime I upgraded to 7 Professional hoping that would take the place of a clean install. Unfortunately some of the problems I was having are still present, mostly some programs don't launch - not getting a necessary command from the operating system I guess. Do you know if I can uninstall the 7 Professional and then attempt a repair stall of Home Premium?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Jul 2011   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit
 
 

Not sure if this is what you're after, but I'll post it anyway: How to uninstall Windows 7

I have to say from experience that a clean install is the best way to go and I'm sure many on WSF would agree.

Once you've done it and re-installed your favourite programs you can then create a full system image backup to an external drive so that in the event of future problems, restoring from the image is straightforward and without the hassle of re-activating your software.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Jul 2011   #6
Microsoft MVP

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by susan8231 View Post
Greg, thanks for the response. I don't think MS attempted a repair install. They sent me a replacement disc which includes SP1. (My computer was installed with XP or Vista, and I upgraded to 7 but don't have access to the CD - it's in storage.) I'll have to read through those links to see what issues the SP1 pose.

In the meantime I upgraded to 7 Professional hoping that would take the place of a clean install. Unfortunately some of the problems I was having are still present, mostly some programs don't launch - not getting a necessary command from the operating system I guess. Do you know if I can uninstall the 7 Professional and then attempt a repair stall of Home Premium?
Anytime Upgrade from HP to Pro unfortunately doesn't reinstall the OS as a Repair Install would do. So the corruption remains intact, as it might even do after a Repair Install - although it's worth a try to find out.

I would work toward a clean reinstall which cures all ills. Follow the steps given in my tips to get a perfect reinstall so that once its set up just right you can save a backup image so you never have to reinstall again and have a quick path back to perfect working condition.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jul 2011   #7

Windows 7 Professional 32 bit
 
 

My Windows 7 has always backed up automatically to an external hard drive. It looks like the backups include a system image, plus there's a separate system image folder from November 2009. Is there a way I can use one of these to restore my computer to working condtion?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jul 2011   #8
Microsoft MVP

 

Yes boot the Windows 7 DVD Repair console (on second screen) or Repair CD, select Restore Using a System Image, let it browse to your storage drive to find the images which are available - if you moved or renamed them they must be placed back in the root of the drive and named only WindowsImageBackup.

This will reimage your HD in about 20 minutes. Back up your files unless you know you already have a set which is sufficient, or even then.
System Image Recovery
Backup User and System Files[2]=Backup%20Restore
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Jul 2011   #9

Windows 7 Professional 32 bit
 
 

Hi Greg, sorry I don't understand - what is the Windows 7 DVD repair console (on second screen)? The only disc I have is a Windows 7 Home Premium replacement CD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Jul 2011   #10

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

ME/XP/Vista/Win7
 
 

Have a look at this:
System Recovery Options
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 Re-install without losing programs?




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