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Windows 7: repair install

26 May 2012   #91
F5ing

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

I keep user data on all my machines on separate partitions so that the OS/apps are own their own partitions. User data is continously backed up to other media, the OS/apps are only imaged after relatively significant changes. Because of this setup I sometimes go a full month without imaging. There's really no need to if I've only done OS/app updates. If I had added apps or made significant changes to OS/app settings I'll image more often.

That setup can help in determining the true effectiveness of these cleanup activities. In order to reduce the size of the images (and the time it takes) you'd want to get rid of all the temporary/dead files before making the image, but there have been times I've held off the cleaning for many months, on heavily used machines, just to see how effective the cleaning actually is. I'm often amazed at how tolerant the Windows OS's really have been.

If you refrain from installing apps willy nilly, don't allow installs via family members/guests, and treat your network/machines more like corporations handle their networks you'll find yourself much better off. Instead of spending time trying to recover from some mess, invest the time in researching the stuff you will install and I think you'll find it takes a lot less work/time to manage your systems. When you do install (or update) pay close attention to the process and make sure it proceeds like you expect it to and without the add-on useless "freeware" crap they sometimes try to get you to take. And apart from hardware failures you may find that you never need to revert to any of your saved images or doing any reinstalls.

Oh, one last thing: always know ahead of time how to undo what you just did. Otherwise you may find you'll have to learn to live with the consequences, regardless of how it turns out.

You can learn a lot if you have access to some expendable hardware.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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27 May 2012   #92
drpepper

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64bit
 
 

Quote:
You can learn a lot if you have access to some expendable hardware.
If things work according to plan, I will be getting an test (sacrificial) computer on the cheap this summer.I suppose that is what you mean by "expendable hardware."

Quote:
Oh, one last thing: always know ahead of time how to undo what you just did. Otherwise you may find you'll have to learn to live with the consequences, regardless of how it turns out.
That is one of the reasons I attempt to fully understand every task I undertake.

One of the procedures I have never dealt with is segregating user data from OS and applications on the same drive. The closest thing I have done is to use an external drive attached via USB for seldom used (but important to me) data. Maybe the test machine will be a good platform for me to use for checking that out.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 May 2012   #93
F5ing

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by drpepper View Post
Quote:
You can learn a lot if you have access to some expendable hardware.
If things work according to plan, I will be getting an test (sacrificial) computer on the cheap this summer.I suppose that is what you mean by "expendable hardware."
Yes. All the better if you know of any folks looking to get rid of their old machines. Even if there's some bad hardware in there you might be able to get that part from another "donated" machine. Become familiar with any local computer parts stores around you. Some sell used parts very cheap (usually a "no returns" policy though).


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by drpepper View Post
Quote:
Oh, one last thing: always know ahead of time how to undo what you just did. Otherwise you may find you'll have to learn to live with the consequences, regardless of how it turns out.
That is one of the reasons I attempt to fully understand every task I undertake.

One of the procedures I have never dealt with is segregating user data from OS and applications on the same drive. The closest thing I have done is to use an external drive attached via USB for seldom used (but important to me) data. Maybe the test machine will be a good platform for me to use for checking that out.
Check out the tutorials here written by forum members, including some by the guy that helped you in this thread, gregrocker:

Tutorials - Windows 7 Forums

The second thread in there contains a searchable (Ctrl-F) index:

Windows 7 - Tutorial Index

Although I've never gone through any of the tutorials on user folders or accounts in detail, they appear to be written such that even the very inexperienced user can benefit from them.

The first thing you'll probably have to get done is to make an image of your working machine and then work on creating another partition for the user data.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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29 May 2012   #94
drpepper

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64bit
 
 

sounds like a good job to try out on the test manchine
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 repair install




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