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Windows 7: How to revert one disk to clean install?

31 Oct 2011   #1

Home Premium 64Bit
 
 
How to revert one disk to clean install?

Hi

I'm expecting delivery of a new computer in a few days, my first with an ssd. Having learnt how tricky it is to keep a clean install on Windows I'm wondering if i could ask some advice?

I will have the OS and programs on the ssd, let's call that c: and data on a regular hd, d:

If after time my c: has become bloated with appdata, unused folders in the users folder etc. How can I revert c: back to it's original state without changing d: ?

Can I do this with a restore point, or do I need another piece of software?

Thanks
Jon

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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31 Oct 2011   #2

Windows 7 Enterprise x64 no SP
 
 

Hi

You can always do a clean install, but then you will have to reinstall your apps. I'm not sure if a system restore to the original or any other points would delete the new app folders, but you can give it a shot to create a restore point - if you have enough space - when you feel like you installed your basic apps. If done correctly, D: will not be affected either way.

You shouldn't have any unused folders if you are taking care of windows, you can do it afterwards as well
You will need a good av and firewall as well to keep things clean.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Oct 2011   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by almightywa View Post

If after time my c: has become bloated with appdata, unused folders in the users folder etc. How can I revert c: back to it's original state without changing d: ?

Can I do this with a restore point, or do I need another piece of software?
Unless your SSD is quite small or you have an unusually large number of installed applications or you make no attempt to maintain the C drive, that is not likely to happen.

You could always make an image of C in its original state and restore it at some later time if necessary. You can make such an image with Windows itself or with software such as Acronis or Macrium.

System Restore wouldn't be suitable for the task. The more system restore points you keep, the more space they take up. If you configured SR to keep a restore point of Windows in its original state, it would take up many gigabytes of space over time--defeating your purpose of trying to restrain the size of your C drive. Ultimately, System Restore is not a substitute for an image.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


31 Oct 2011   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit
 
 

As stated, a complete system image completed of your SSD when you have it set up how you want is your best bet.

Acronis is inexpensive: Acronis True Image Home 2011

Macrium can be obtained free: Macrium Reflect is a Free and Easy To Use Backup Utility - How-To Geek
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Oct 2011   #5

Home Premium 64Bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ignatzatsonic View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by almightywa View Post

If after time my c: has become bloated with appdata, unused folders in the users folder etc. How can I revert c: back to it's original state without changing d: ?

Can I do this with a restore point, or do I need another piece of software?
Unless your SSD is quite small or you have an unusually large number of installed applications or you make no attempt to maintain the C drive, that is not likely to happen.

You could always make an image of C in its original state and restore it at some later time if necessary. You can make such an image with Windows itself or with software such as Acronis or Macrium.

System Restore wouldn't be suitable for the task. The more system restore points you keep, the more space they take up. If you configured SR to keep a restore point of Windows in its original state, it would take up many gigabytes of space over time--defeating your purpose of trying to restrain the size of your C drive. Ultimately, System Restore is not a substitute for an image.
OK thanks for the links - imaging is something I'm going to have to learn about!

With respect to keeping an install clean - any good links to tutorials out there etc? Googling gets me lots of programs that I'm not sure of the value of - what I end up with is a tonne of stuff in cache's, and loads of folders left over from programs i uninstalled months ago

Thanks!
Jon
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Oct 2011   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit
 
 

Have a look at this tutorial by our resident tutor, Brink: Hard Disk Space - Free Up and Recover

CCleaner is highly recommended too: http://www.piriform.com/ccleaner

Also, in terms of backups, Windows 7 has its own image and file backup software.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Oct 2011   #7

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

Avoid registry cleaners.

Use Windows built-in "disc cleanup" or CCleaner for routine clean up.

Be highly, I say VERY highly suspicious of other programs that supposedly "clean up" or "improve" or "optimize" your installation.

Revo Uninstaller is pretty highly regarded and free. It is hardly mandatory, but can help you get a more thorough uninstall.

Keep anti-virus and anti-malware up to date and working properly.

Try to restrain your impulse to install new programs unnecessarily. Difficult, I know.

Let Windows defragmenter operate on it's default weekly schedule.

Delete hibernation file if you don't use hibernation.

Configure System Restore to take up only as much space as you specify.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Oct 2011   #8
Microsoft MVP

 

Excellent suggestions, all.

I'm not too sure about defragging an SSD and would ask the manufacturer on that myself, since we've had some dire warnings posted - whs will know for sure.

If you have any WD or Seagate HD in the mix, you qualify for Acronis' premium imaging/cloning program to keep your regular image backups. Look on the SUpport Downloads webpage for the HD/SSD.

You'll want to get a key image after it's all set up and running perfectly but before corruption starts creeping in. Use this in place of reinstall - its' the modern way!

Tips for getting a perfect install: Reinstalling Windows 7
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