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Windows 7: How do i backup certain items before re-install of win 7?

15 Jun 2011   #1
Tsunamijhoe

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64bit
 
 
How do i backup certain items before re-install of win 7?

Hello

I have around 40 games installed on my win 7 64bit pc,and i would like to re-install my windows as it has begun to function poorly,this i do every 2 years or so,but everytime,there is a handful of the 40 games that won´t start as i ofcourse have deleted all registry settings and so on.

Can i export only the registry strings pertaining to the games that require new install to work,and then import after new install of win 7? Or will this not work?
I ofcourse will format the system drive during new install to really get a clean windows install,and thus have deleted EVERYTHING pertaining to old install.

Some games however work fine no matter what for example World Of Warcraft,which just makes new registry entries upon first run after new install,but alot of games won´t run if i do the same with them.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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15 Jun 2011   #2
mickey megabyte

ultimate 64 sp1
 
 

can you not just reinstall the games on your new windows? you shouldn't have to mess around with registry settings, the game's installer should take care of that.

if we're talking about steam games, then obviously you don't want to have to download them all again, so you can make local backups on a safe location such as a different partition or external drive. right-click the games in your steam list and 'backup game files'.

it depends on the individual games, but many of them save settings and single player progress in your documents folder, sometimes in 'My Games' or folders named after the games, publishers or developers, such as 'Bioware' or 'EA Games' etc. again, save these folders to a safe place where they won't get obliterated by a format, and reinstate them once the game is reinstalled on your new windows.

it's a very good idea to have all your documents, music, pictures etc on a different partition to your windows install. that way, you can 'nuke' your windows without affecting your data.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jun 2011   #3
Tsunamijhoe

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mickey megabyte View Post
can you not just reinstall the games on your new windows? you shouldn't have to mess around with registry settings, the game's installer should take care of that.

if we're talking about steam games, then obviously you don't want to have to download them all again, so you can make local backups on a safe location such as a different partition or external drive. right-click the games in your steam list and 'backup game files'.

it depends on the individual games, but many of them save settings and single player progress in your documents folder, sometimes in 'My Games' or folders named after the games, publishers or developers, such as 'Bioware' or 'EA Games' etc. again, save these folders to a safe place where they won't get obliterated by a format, and reinstate them once the game is reinstalled on your new windows.

it's a very good idea to have all your documents, music, pictures etc on a different partition to your windows install. that way, you can 'nuke' your windows without affecting your data.
Ofc i could "just" re-install the games,but have you ANY idea about how long it takes to install all these 5-10GB games?

I am fairly profecient in windows and how my pc works,so "messing" with the registry is something i do on a regular basis. However,i wanted to do it "right" this time,instead of the way i usually does it,which always leaves some games not working and having to be re-installed.

It is all about saving time,so again, can anyone help me? Is this even possible?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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16 Jun 2011   #4
seavixen32

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit
 
 

My advice would be to wipe your hard drive, re-install Windows and all your other system files and games, and then create a full system image backup of your pristine system. If you need to re-install in the future, just restore from your system image.

I think we're all aware of how long it takes to reload a lot of software, but I, for one, think the time taken is infinitely preferable to painstakingly going through the registry to change the settings.

As you said yourself, it "always leaves some games not working and having to be re-installed", which means you don't save any time in the long run.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jun 2011   #5
mickey megabyte

ultimate 64 sp1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Tsunamijhoe View Post

Ofc i could "just" re-install the games,but have you ANY idea about how long it takes to install all these 5-10GB games?

I am fairly profecient in windows and how my pc works,so "messing" with the registry is something i do on a regular basis. However,i wanted to do it "right" this time,instead of the way i usually does it,which always leaves some games not working and having to be re-installed.

It is all about saving time,so again, can anyone help me? Is this even possible?
if you want to do it "right", then reinstalling games using the installer is the way to go.

yes i appreciate the fact that it takes a long time to install 40 games.

so you currently have your games installed on a separate partition away from your windows?

well i don't know a way of knowing in advance which games will work, and which don't - as you say yourself, a lot of games won't work if they aren't properly installed.

as you suggested, you could try exporting the relevant registry branch for each individual game before the big wipe, then merge them back in after reinstalling windows. it might be a good idea to make a list of which games work, and which don't, so you know in the future in case you need to do it again.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jun 2011   #6
Tsunamijhoe

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64bit
 
 

Hmm,ok.. Seems i will be going the new system backup way,as exporting each individual string would take forever,and i might not even get all the strings..

Problem i have with this strategy, is that when i need to re-install, all drivers have outdated and i might end up with a system that runs like crap as i would have to un-install video drivers before new install,and so on,which always leaves trace files and setting no matter what you do, i usually use ccleaner for this,but are not 100% sure this will actually remove what it says it does.

So this leaves me with my old way of doing it,which works,although it takes a whole day..

Thx anyways guys
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jun 2011   #7
seavixen32

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit
 
 

You're welcome.

As time-consuming as a re-install is, I think you know in your heart it's the right thing to do rather than mess with the registry.

As mentioned before, when you're done and everything's running OK, do create that system image as a full backup. It'll save you a lot of heartache the next time your computer starts playing up again.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 May 2012   #8
colhaze

win 7 pro 64
 
 

My games drive was getting a bit suspect so I used "Steam mover," this lil beauty will move your games anywhere you want - including non steam games-
I do a "steam back up" to my big external, as well as the Steam back up I move my games to a folder that has nothing but games in it using Steam mover.
Both are free downloads not trialware.
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 How do i backup certain items before re-install of win 7?




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