How to use restore disks without erasing programs?

By SonyaSD ·
Sony laptop (about 5 years old ) runs on Win XP Pro Pac 3 but the system doesn?t feel right, is sluggish, some features like internet drivers network, CD etc are erratic and I was advised it is good idea to refresh/reinstall the system because all other measures like registry cleaning and so on don?t help any more.

Just find that the manufacturers disk is nowhere to be found , only backup I have is 2 restore disks I burned a while ago following the instructions from the in-built software Wizard.

The laptop manual says that if I use backup disks they will wipe out all installed programs as well. They are large number and set in particular ways and not all of them have their setup.exe any more.

The question - how to use my restore disks to refresh my Windows system without erasing the software already installed?

Thanks for any practical advise !

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by santeewelding In reply to How to use restore disks ...

Is a Babbage Engine.

It's going to take a whole lot of your time, or that of someone else, to do it.

I suggest money, unless you are penurious with a lot of time.

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RE:- How to use restore disks without erasing programs?

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to How to use restore disks ...

Well the easy answer is you can not use a Restore Disc to do anything but restore the computer to As New Condition.

If the Software came preinstalled then when you run the Restore Disc it will Format the HDD destroying any Data and Software then load what came new with the computer. Being a 5 year old system it didn't have XP SP3 and it may not even have had SP2 which would have been added during Routine Updates.

Restore Disc's are exactly that they Restore the System to As New Condition and do nothing else. So the easy answer to your question is You Can't use Restore Disc's to rebuild the OS and keep the existing Software loaded.

Even if you could do a Repair Install with them you should still Backup all of your Data and Settings before starting and even then there is no Guarantee that it will work.

What you can do after you have finished installing the OS and all of the Software as well as making the Software Modifications that you want is to Clone the HDD to something after it is finished being loaded and working correctly so that you can reimage the system latter when it is necessary but the Recovery Disc's are useless for anything but returning the system to As New Condition.


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by SonyaSD In reply to RE:- [i]How to use restor ...

Thanks Col...

and about this clonning of the HDD - i have good external HD 500Gb but am not quite a techie anw will be very glad to know what the exact steps for such a clonning procedure are?


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Cloning a HDD can be done with several different Pieces of Software

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to cont...

The steps vary depending on the software used.

Your first choice is something like Ghost which is a propriety application from Symantec

Then there is Acronis which again is a Propriety Package but they do have a Trial version available here

Both are very good but if you want a free application something like Clonezilla works a treat as well

Then there are others that I have not personally used like

But there are many others a simple Google search of Free HDD Cloning Software will reveal thousands of them

Also some of the HDD makers have their own versions of Cloning Software Seagate has Disc Wizard

Wester en Digital has


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