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Updated by Ashish Gupta on Feb 03, 2014
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Ashish Gupta Ashish Gupta
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User data and software settings to backup when formatting OS

What stuff do you take away, from all the fluff, when migrating from or formatting an old computer.

37

User data in system drive

User data in system drive

When formatting the partition containing the Operating System, typically C:, goes away. Find this partition using %systemdrive% in Run command.

36

Browser profile

Browser profile

Capture the entire profile if the browser or third-party tools allow it. For example, MozBackup for Firefox.

35

Browser addons--listing and settings

Browser addons--listing and settings

Not just a list of all addons and extensions to install, but also their settings. For example, Firefox allows you to bundle all your addons in one big addon!

34

List of all the installed software

List of all the installed software

Either create a manual listing, use Windows command "dir /b > listing.txt" or take a screenshot of C:\Program Files\ and C:\Program Files (x86)\ folders.

33

Email client's archives and settings

Email client's archives and settings

User data like PST files of MS Outlook and personal contacts.

Software settings like rules and filters like RWZ file of MS Outlook.

32

Flashblock whitelist

Flashblock whitelist

If using any browser extentions or addons to block Flash content and it provides a whitelisting mechanism, then backup the whitelist. For example, Flashblock can use Firefox sync.

31

Export TabMixPlus settings

Export TabMixPlus settings

Specifically for Firefox, the TMP is one of the most-used addons and allows to export its settings in a plain text file.

30

Export and locally backup Lastpass data

Export and locally backup Lastpass data

Lastpass is the cloud-based, best password management tool out there! While it is already in the cloud, if you wish to, take a local backup as well.

29

FTP client's data

FTP client's data

If you use a FTP client, then backup its bookmarks, server listing, and credentials.

28

FTP server's data

FTP server's data

If you run a FTP server on your machine, backup its settings, shared folders, data uploaded on the server, customized server messages, etc.

For example, FileZilla Server.xml and FileZilla Server Interface.xml files for FileZilla FTP Server.

27

File sync software's settings

File sync software's settings

If you synchronize data across machines, backup the settings used.

Folders to sync, devices to sync, blacklists to avoid, sync schedule and so on.

Sync all files one last time; possibly remove/check blacklist before the last sync!

26

Backup software's settings

Backup software's settings

Take backup of the backup software!!

Folders to backup, devices to backup, remote server name and credentials, blacklists to avoid, backup schedule and so on.

25

Devices and Printers

Devices and Printers

Backup the names, types, defaults, Printing Preferences, Printing Settings, and so on.

24

Backup tracked and recorded data

Backup tracked and recorded data

If you use applications that track usage/habits/etc. then back up their tracked data.

For example, Pulse the keystroke count in Whatpulse, save FTP server statistics, screenshots of Tango, multimedia usage, music ratings, etc.

23

List of fonts

List of fonts

A list of fonts installed. May also copy fonts too.

22

Custom settings of the firewall

Custom settings of the firewall

Software, ports, and protocols configured on system firewall

21

Multimedia player's playlists and other files

Multimedia player's playlists and other files

Some audio/video player create playlists or media usage in specific folders in %appdata% or %systemdrive%/Program Files.

There may be other files like lyrics downloaded by a plugin, downloaded skins, custom equalizer settings, video player's captured frames, etc.

20

Screen captures

Screen captures

Screenshots taken by screen capturing desktop software and browser addons.

19

Local addressbook

Local addressbook

Those from SMS/chat/email clients.

18

RSS feeds

RSS feeds

Feeds from browser extensions, Outlook, or any feed reader.

17

PC games data and settings

PC games data and settings

Back up saved data, checkpoints, upgrades, etc.
Sync to the cloud statistics, playtime, etc.

16

Chat client's data and settings

Chat client's data and settings

Chat logs and custom settings.

15

Mobile data

Mobile data

Backup of SMS, Contacts, user data, including pics and videos, etc.

14

Mobile software

Mobile software

Like WhatsappClient, HTC sync and Samsung Kies.

13

Drivers

Drivers

Chipset/mobo, network card, DVD drive, Graphics card, audio, etc.

  • Ashish Gupta

    PRO CURATOR

    Ashish has several years of experience working with content. He is a technical communicator and a community builder by profession; UX advocate and a quality champion by nature; and a Chemical engineer from IIT Bombay by academic qualification.

    In his spare time he likes to spoil his son silly, test workflows, identify usability enhancements and new features in software that he uses, and indulge in the online communities. Other interests areas in which Ashish dabbles are Instructional content, eLearning, social media, SEO, project management, life skills, watching soccer, fantasize about running long marathons some day, and occasionally trekking in the Himalayas.

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