10 Replies Latest reply on Mar 3, 2010 6:26 AM by Harm Millaard

    How do I prepare for a clean OS reinstall? Which files do I need to back-up?

    jimvt

      My Windows 7 trial has ended and I need to do a complete clean install of a retail version of Windows 7....thereby erasing all of CS4 and the rest of my apps and CODECs.  I've never done this and am windering if anyone has advice on how I handle the following:

       

      1.  Do I need to uninstall CS4 or do anything to make sure Adobe allows me to reinstall my licensed CS4 on the newly installed OS?

       

      2.  What files/folders should I back-up so that my old projects open OK in the new OS and reinstalled CS4?  All my media will stay on my RAID0, which I assume will not need to be touched during this process.  Only my project files are on the C: drive

       

      Thanks for any advice!!

                                      Jim

        • 1. Re: How do I prepare for a clean OS reinstall? Which files do I need to back-up?
          Harm Millaard Level 7

          1. DEACTIVATE Adobe first.

          2. Get an additional dive.

          3. Copy your project files to the new drive.

          4. Copy other files you like to keep to the new drive as well.

          5. Do a complete reformat and fresh install.

          6. Reinstall Adobe and re-activate and update.

          etc.

           

          Most of the steps are outlined here: http://forums.adobe.com/thread/436139?tstart=0

           

          Even though it mentions Vista, it also applies to Win7.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: How do I prepare for a clean OS reinstall? Which files do I need to back-up?
            the_wine_snob Level 9

            Jim,

             

            Along with Harm's suggestions, some might depend on how you have organized your folder system. I keep all utilities, plug-ins, CODEC's and similar in a Downloaded Files folder system. To me, that is a very important set of files, so that I can then go about adding just the needed CODEC's, utilities and any PrPro plug-ins. Harm covers this in his "backup all files that you want line," but I wish to re-enforce that, as many have forgotten such files for later. From time to time, I do DVD-Data backups of that folder structure, just in case.

             

            Also, do the same thing for all of your accumulated fonts, both the installed ones (at the system level) and any others that you have collected.

             

            Good luck, and do remember to De-Activate all Adobe programs first.

             

            Hunt

            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: How do I prepare for a clean OS reinstall? Which files do I need to back-up?
              jimvt Level 1

              Thanks Harm and Bill!

                Hopefully I can find all these files, plug-ins and fonts. I tend to allow the installers to use their default locations, so they may be all over the place. I assume that things like CODECs and any apps will need to be reinstalled anyway.

               

              Thanks again!

               

              Jim

              • 4. Re: How do I prepare for a clean OS reinstall? Which files do I need to back-up?
                the_wine_snob Level 9

                Jim,

                 

                In my case, all installers go into the Downloaded Files folder structure. I never allow any installer to Run, and always do a Save, into the appropriate sub-folder. This really helps with first a backup, and then with a situation, such as yours. I also keep the older video drivers, etc., in this structure, so I can roll-back, should it be required.

                 

                Good luck, and as Harm mentions, an external HDD just for backing up "things," might be a good investment. Heck, just the price that I have paid for CODEC's, fonts and plug-ins (including their unlock keys) would pay for a 1TB WD FW-800 drive. As mentioned, I also use DVD-Data discs, and keep those along the way. A spindle of those, and regular backups, has saved me tons of dough. Now, over the decades, I admit that I have lost some, as I thought that I had it all covered, only to find out that I missed some folder. Those are just "lessons learned" on the rough road of computers. Even when I retire a computer (to the dusty, musty Hunt Archive of Computer Oddities), I never wipe a disk. Who knows what I have missed, and with a few connections, I can get that dinosaur up and running, to recover some lost/missed file.

                 

                Good luck, and please do De-Activate ALL Adobe programs, as of CS, before you do anything.

                 

                Hunt

                • 5. Re: How do I prepare for a clean OS reinstall? Which files do I need to back-up?
                  Harm Millaard Level 7

                  Jim,

                   

                  To give you some more background, in addition to Bill's valuable descriptions, here is my setup:

                   

                  PCResults.jpg

                  Now, on my D drive, I save all downloads that are directly related to my motherboard. All the rest of tools, utilities, plug-ins etc. are saved on the software drive, which is a mapped server drive. For instance Magic Bullet Looks is saved in S:\Software\Adobe\MB Looks as I saved the file from their download page, and in each case I add a Serial.txt file that contains User name, serial number, unlocking key or whatever is required for that plug-or tool. If I need to reinstall, I know where all relevant information is and don't need to look in archived mails or old print-outs for the licensing info.

                   

                  As long as you adhere to a logical directory structure, for instance CCleaner is in S:\Software\System Tools\Tweaking & Cleaning\Ccleaner everything is readily available for reinstall.

                   

                  I maintain a TXT file on my D drive that contains all programs that I have installed. If I need to reinstall OS & programs, I simply print this TXT file and after installation of the OS, I work through this printed list for reinstallation.

                   

                  The most time consuming thing about installing is the cleaning you need to do in the Master Collection. It is finding all the license agreements and readme files in all these esoteric languages like Armenian, Finnish, Japanese, Turkish and what have you that are automatically installed and increase the footprint by several GB. Removing these and sometimes the directories as well takes time, but save a lot of space.

                  • 6. Re: How do I prepare for a clean OS reinstall? Which files do I need to back-up?
                    Powered by Design Level 4

                    I would suggest not re-formating your drive

                     

                    and just set that drive to the side and buy a new OS drive.

                     

                    Maybe a Western Digital Velociraptor ( 150GB or 300GB )

                    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&DEPA=0&Order=BESTMATCH&Descripti on=western+digital+velociraptor&x=0&y=0

                     

                    A new install is a great time for a new drive.

                     

                    You can then hook that drive up as a slave and have acess to all those files that you might miss.

                     

                    It looks like Harm has the 150 for his.

                     

                    Just a thought:  GLenn

                    • 7. Re: How do I prepare for a clean OS reinstall? Which files do I need to back-up?
                      Harm Millaard Level 7

                      Glenn, that is a good tip!

                       

                      Indeed I have a Velociraptor 150 as boot disk and keep it pretty clean. Despite having the complete CS4 MC, Audition, Ultra and some CS3 programs and all my plug-ins, tools, Sonicfire Pro, Movie Outline and a whole bunch of other programs, I only use 36 GB on this disk.

                       

                      Your tip is great in the sense that a Velociraptor is faster than 7200 disks, it is easy to do a complete install of the OS and programs and, most importantly, you can never forget certain files, because you have them all on your old disk so they are easily copied to a new location.

                       

                      Once, on an old system I had a number of PATA disks, but had a fatal CPU failure, so there was no way to restore the data on those disks easily, for the simple reason that my new mobo has no IDE connectors. So I had to mount these disks one by one in an external housing, connect them to the new system and copy everything I did not want to lose. Time consuming and everytime exchanging one disk for the next one, repeating the searching and copying.

                      • 8. Re: How do I prepare for a clean OS reinstall? Which files do I need to back-up?
                        jimvt Level 1

                        Bill,

                        Thank you - good advice.  I actually did find most downloads in one folder, so not as messy as I feared.

                        About deactivation - and I did try to ask Adobe this question, but as usual, they have not responded - do I have to open every CS4 product (I have production premium)  and deactivate it separately, or is there a way to deactivate all of CS4 at once?

                        Thanks,

                                  Jim

                        • 10. Re: How do I prepare for a clean OS reinstall? Which files do I need to back-up?
                          Harm Millaard Level 7

                          Just open one and deactivate. It will propagate to all applications.