| By Fred Langa |
When you do a clean install of Windows — whether the new version 7 or one of its predecessors — make sure you reload your software in the correct order.
Here’s my tried-and-true method for building a stable, secure installation of any version of Windows.
Is there a ‘correct’ reinstallation sequence?
A reader with the nom de Web of “PTL” is rebuilding his OS and wants to know the best way to proceed:
- “Is there a proper sequence for installing applications in a clean install? Obviously, the OS needs to be installed first, but what about after that? I asked several techie friends this question, and every one has a different answer. Any suggestions?”
- Back up your old setup’s data and collect your software serial numbers. It almost goes without saying — almost: Move your personal files and folders to a removable medium or online backup service from which you can restore them on your new setup. Also, gather the serial numbers for all your applications so that you can reauthorize them as part of the reinstallation.
- Yes, the OS must go first. With your data backup in place and your serial numbers at the ready, install Windows with its firewall and other built-in security functions enabled. Don’t surf to any site — none at all — until you’ve gone to the Windows Update site to download and install all patches for your Windows version. This brings your fresh OS fully up to date.
UPDATE 2009-12-10: In the Dec. 10 LangaList Plus column, Fred responds to a reader’s question about whether OEM drivers are more reliable than the generic drivers built into Windows.
I’m a belt-and-suspenders type of guy, so I make a full backup of the newly installed, fully updated OS and store the backup in a safe place. This initial backup lets me roll back to a pristine OS setup very quickly if the need ever arises (and it does).