Reinstalling Windows, Saving Files

I am currently upgrading my motherboard and CPU, and thought that a reinstall would be best. Here is my plan of action.
I currently only have one drive in which Windows 8 is installed upon. I am going to go out and buy another 500GB HDD, transferring files which I do not want to lose onto it. Including
-Libraries
-AppData
-Downloads
-Steam
-ProgramData

Once I reinstall Windows on my main drive, I will transfer all of these folder back onto it, replacing anything that conflicts. Should this work? And is there a more efficient way? Suggestions?
6 answers Last reply
More about reinstalling windows saving files
  1. You shouldn't need to save your AppData and ProgramData folders. For your own documents (pictures, documents, whatever) you can just copy anything over to the other drive and copy them back when you are done. Anything that's part of an application should be replaced when you install that application anyway.
  2. You might be better off getting an external drive, and actually start regular backups of your data.
  3. Traciatim said:
    You shouldn't need to save your AppData and ProgramData folders. For your own documents (pictures, documents, whatever) you can just copy anything over to the other drive and copy them back when you are done. Anything that's part of an application should be replaced when you install that application anyway.


    Application data can hold a lot of information that is a pain to replace as well if you don't save it. After reinstalling the program, having a saved data folder with all the custom settings, saved games, macros, etc to copy back into the program can be a big deal.
  4. Doesn't Win7/8 have a "transfer mechanism" for your system folders? It essentially clones your profile(s) and App folders ...
  5. I am going to run across a better idea I came up with for this. Could I buy a 120GB SSD and install windows to it, and then transfer the files I want to keep from the HDD to the 120GB. After which I will delete the partition on the HDD and use it to store large files, while keeping smaller files, such as Documents, AppData, ProgramData, ect. on the SSD. Will this work?
  6. You betcha.

    Samsung has a free data migration tool for cloning OS drives that works just dandy.
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