Win7’s no-reformat, nondestructive reinstall

Fred langa By Fred Langa

Microsoft won’t tell you this, but you can do a fast, nondestructive, in-place, total reinstall of Windows 7 without damaging your user accounts, data, installed programs, or system drivers.

That means you may never have to do a full, from-scratch reinstall again, even when your system is misbehaving so badly that a full reformat-and-reinstall seems the only answer!

As I’m sureyou know all too well, from-scratch reinstalls are ordeals. They take hours. And when a reinstall is done, you still have to recreate all your settings, reinstall all your software, and so on. It can take days to fully recover from a total reformat/reinstall.

Windows’ little known, in-place reinstall takes only a fraction of that time and effort and yet completely rebuilds, repairs, and refreshes an existing Windows installation. It leaves your other software alone (no reinstallation needed!) while also leaving user accounts, names, and passwords untouched.

When you’re finished, your Windows installation is just as it was before, except that all the system files are fully repaired, refreshed, and ready to go.

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All Windows Secrets articles posted on 2011-07-14:

Fred Langa

About Fred Langa

Fred Langa is senior editor. His LangaList Newsletter merged with Windows Secrets on Nov. 16, 2006. Prior to that, Fred was editor of Byte Magazine (1987 to 1991) and editorial director of CMP Media (1991 to 1996), overseeing Windows Magazine and others.