What's the roadblock with program files

By paladin2 ·
As I'm pretty sure most people will tell you the worst part of a clean install is having to reinstall all your programs. I'm about a half wit with computers. I'm not in IT at all but am on a volcano in a rainforest with a few people who know less than I do with computers but use them for a lot of critical work. So I'm the elected IT person though I'm not qualified. Were it not for Acronis we'd probably be two years behind in our project. I've just learned the trick to move your 'My Documents' folder to a different drive and consider that to be a big deal. And I wonder why there isn't any software or procedure where you can migrate your whole 'My Programs' file into a fresh install or access the old one from a fresh install like you can with My Docs. Some programs I've found, like Perfect Disk and Registry First Aid and a few others can be moved right into a fresh install. You just open the program file and there's a shortcut to the program in there and you just find it (there's usually five or six likely looking candidates) and make a shortcut to the desktop and the program works. Or Acronis lets me backup sector by sector but I don't think it would work to restore just the program file sector to a fresh install. Though I've not tried that, I just don't have the time, it'd take me a whole day probably and also probably wouldn't work or they'd be using it in their advertising. So, long question shortened to what's the roadblock to moving the program files to a fresh install? I'd really like to do fresh installs periodically but have so many (12 programs, many of them licensed and well.....most of you should understand that. Help me out here. If it's not been done the person who does it will be wealthy in short order. What am I missing in my logic?

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The Registry

by Jacky Howe In reply to What's the roadblock with ...

is the roadblock. Every time that you install a program it gets referenced in the Registry. A new install won't have those references.

The best way with Acronis is to wipe the hard drive with a disk wiping utility, repartition it, do a fresh install and relocate My Documents. Install all of the programs that you require.

When you have updated everything boot from your Acronis CD and create a secure zone that can be used to house the Image of the Operating System.

Later on when needed you can restore the original image.

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by paladin2 In reply to The Registry

Firstly, thanks. But I pretty much figured the registry was involved but can that be overcome or worked with is what I'm really wondering. I mean the registry entries of each software program must be known and to a large degree the same. If Perfect Disk and others will run just fine by just copying the program files directly to the program files of another install, couldn't all program software do the same? Paint Shop Pro is another that can be directly copied to program files and while it's a lot of hunt and peck to find the file in the program that is the shortcut, or at least works just like a shortcut, it is in there. And PSP is a pretty big, complicated piece of software. It just seems to me, partly because it does work sometimes, that shouldn't some code writer be able to extend that ability or some damn computo thing (my knowledge is great but pretty shallow) to make what to me is a big stumbling block to clean installs easier. I know I'd do them a whole lot more often. but thanks for the info you did provide.

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You haven't been listening, have you ? ...

by OldER Mycroft In reply to and.........

JackyHowe gave you exactly the same answer I would have done.

If you seriously want to be able to recover everything easily from a system disk crash, simply wait until you've installed ALL your critical programs then GHOST the entire populated disk.

Job done.

If you want to faff about in a Heath-Robinson fashion that is your own affair, but you've been given a perfectly straight forward answer - otherwise just talk to yourself because very few peers here will be listening to your rants!

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maybe you don't understand the question

by paladin2 In reply to You haven't been listenin ...

I'm not looking to recover from a crash first off. I'm just wondering why reinstalling your programs is the big bottleneck of the otherwise quick and simple act of reinstalling the OS. I always keep at least two clones of my setup so crashes aren't even part of my question. And it's so simple reintegrating My Docs and all that it would be nice if you could do the same with the Programs file. Just idle curiousity, I've no 'problem' to solve, I'd just like to make clean installs faster and easier. And too many programs, when I reinstall them reject the key that came with them. Then when I ask for a new key they want a copy of my receipts, order number and assorted stuff that I don't keep in an indexed file for reuse. So I'm dumb maybe. But so are most users I know.

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Your 'My Documents' folder doesn't have Registry entries ..

by OldER Mycroft In reply to maybe you don't understan ...

That's why it is "so simple reintegrating" back into a fresh install.

Anything in the 'My Documents' file is purely data - data that is interpreted by the operating system in one way or another in order to display it on your computer screen. None of the data within the 'My Documents' folder is EXECUTABLE per se, although it can all be EXECUTED by another program.

Programs have Registry entries and Hooks into other areas of the operating system - that is why they require to be reinstalled (or better still, become part of your cloned image).

I don't quite understand your original question if as you now say, you appear to have CLONES at your disposal you shouldn't have any interest in reinstalling system programs.

As for your point of your Product Keys being rejected upon reinstall - I've not come across that predicament before.

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thanks and here's a bit of what I call my logic

by paladin2 In reply to Your 'My Documents' folde ...

I'm always trying to make the perfect install and so far I've gotten close but never perfect. I'm using a Dell Precision M6400 with the QX9300 processor, 8GB ram and two drives, the OS I like to run on my 64GB Samsung SLC SSD and the little line that crosses the screen as it boots, the boot screen? On my present install the moving line crosses the screen 2 and a half times before it goes to the logon screen. But I've had it do the same in one single pass of the line. But that install got erased and redone and I'm shooting for that. With this machine the order of how you install all the Dell stuff and drivers is important and I somehow manage to forget or miscue one thing or another. I've still got a lot to learn and haven't been at this more than 6 years and most everything I know I read and where I'm at there's nobody or no place to go for any kind of instruction, so I have to figure it all out myself. I'm doing quite OK but do need to ask lots of questions that probably seem stupid to the IE people and all the other posters who mostly know lots more than I. It's refreshing when I find someone who I can give advice to, but Tech Republic doesn't present me with many chances to run into someone that needs advice I can provide.

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by Jacky Howe In reply to thanks and here's a bit o ...

you have to keep copies of the steps as you install the software. If I haven't access to a second System to use Notepad I write it down and then add it to my Library of text notes.

Your not the lone ranger as a lot of us had to work it out ourselves. It's good to see that you have an interest and you are willing to learn as I must admit I'm still learning and always will be.

You just hang around, I'm sure that a question will come your way and give you a chance to earn a few Thumbs.

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Ah - the moving scroller at boot-up !! ...

by OldER Mycroft In reply to thanks and here's a bit o ...

Now - THERE is a curious point.

If you've had the scoller make two and a half passes (or even one single pass!) before going to the logon screen, I can only imagine that you are one in a million, or at least your 'puter is.

When I was running XP Pro, my rig would have that little scrolling line make between seven to nine passes before arriving at the logon screen. It was a bit of a lottery as to which figure it would achieve before arriving at logon.

However, perhaps due to my own stupidity, I never ever wished that it would have less passes of the scroller. I never realised that anyone else had less than me.

Interestingly, now that I'm booting into Windows 7, I don't have ANY scroller to sit and watch and count the number of times it crosses the screen. All I've got is a little animation of the Windows Logo spiralling out from a distant point way back in the screen, to form finally in the middle of my screen.

Perhaps Microsoft have realised the disturbing way that Users sat and counted the number of times the scroller passed across the screen.

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The Scrolling Blue Bar on the XP Load screen

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to thanks and here's a bit o ...

Is just a simple timer that is affected by the software installed and the Hardware.

The more powerful the hardware the less time is taken to boot the system but the more software that you add the longer a boot takes.

This XP Rig has 100 Processing running by default when it first starts and takes about 18 Scrolls of the Scroll Bar to reach the Log On Screen.

Naturally if I didn't have so much software involved it's considerably faster only takes about 5 passes and has 34 Process Running. But at that stage the system is unusable as it just has the Bare OS and Drivers installed no extra software or the Added Windows Components that make the thing usable.

I keep a quick track of the number of times that the Blue Bar scrolls across the screen just to see if anything has changed in the system on the few occasions when it is restarted. Generally it's left running unless a Reboot is required because software was installed or there is a Thunder Storm Warning in which all electronics get turned off and unplugged. I do have a Mains Filter that is supposed to stop a Lighting Strike at 100 Meters but that doesn't mean to say that I want to test it to see how well it works with my computers or other electrical equipment.

The Filter is more for peace of mind rather than real protection. But even then it is a One Use Only Item so once it absorbes the energy or rerouts it you need to have it replaced by a electrician. costs about $600.00 with the Sparkies Labor and I've had to have this done twice now over a 15 year period.

Still considerably cheaper than a Dual Xeon M'Board getting destroyed along with the rest of the bits that made that particular computer and I do have UPS's on all the computers which add another layer of filtering on top of the unit wired into the Fuse Panel.

As for installing the Dell junk I wouldn't bother, just install the OS then the Drivers and add what you require from Open Source Windows Applications as apposed to the Dell Supplied ones. From my experience I've found the Dell Utilities are only good for making Warranty Claims against Dell but they actually do not give a true indication of what is actually happening.

You can also mess with the System to alter the number of times that the Scroll Bar travels across the screen but all you are doing there is slowing down the timer not actually speeding up the Boot Times.

If you want a Perfect Install don't bother trying to install Windows it's a nightmare and you get hundreds of Load Errors every time that you reload the system. Just do a Clean Install add whatever Programs you need and Make an Image of the Drive to recover from latter when the OS crashes or gets otherwise corrupted.

I can recover form a image in under 30 minutes where as if I do a new Clean Install after wiping the HDD it takes several days to complete loading the system with all of the software that I use regularly. The only short cut here is to clone the HDD after you have all of the software installed.


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you'll excuse......?

by paladin2 In reply to You haven't been listenin ...

I'm not an idiot, as I must sound sometimes but I'm far away from help, no longer can just pick up the phone and have help arrive and I'm probably the first that does the IT work in a semi primitive environment and know so little that I just recently learned what IT stands for. And I'm a cloning fool and Acronis is my church. But I reclone whenever I've changed enough things to warrant it, so my pile of clones sort of resemble each other pretty much and to go all the way back hadn't occurred to me. So I'll go buy yet another drive and do as you suggest. The bare OS with a minimum, but sufficient number of my must have software. But with updates and such I'm not sure if that will be a good long term solution, as much of my software updates frequently so having a clone too old might be useless. Or maybe a clone of just the OS. I don't know at this point but have gotten the message about why my bright idea is a little dim.

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