One of the most common jobs that I get called for in the residential sector is reinstalling an operating system. Over filestime, the registry gets all jumbled up and your computer starts to behave very poorly. Even worse, maybe you are running out of disk space and you go on a mission to free up some space… Oops, you deleted a critical Windows file.  Or worse… You lose your documents and pictures!

*I strongly recommend asking for the help of a professional if you have personal files, pictures, software, etc on this computer.  I can do this for you.*

I can say that by far, the most complicated part of a job like this is backing up your data before a reinstall. In my office, it’s not a problem because I have the proper equipment, but a reinstall of the operating system wouldn’t be all that difficult if you had a place to put your data while the hard drive is being reinstalled.

I’ve been using multiple partition strategies foryears on my home computers. I set up 1 partition for the Operating System to live on, and 1 partition for all the personal files (email, documents, music). That way when it is time to reinstall the operating system, all I need to do is wipe the Windows Partition, reinstall and presto… all your files are still there.

I recommend that windows partition be at least 20GB these days. Windows is becoming more and more bloated and I’ve found that the old 8GB partition is no longer sufficient. However, with the low cost of hard drive space these days, you might as well just set up your windows partition to 1/4 of the disk.

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