I discovered sometime ago that if my XP start to act strangely, sometime, instead of reinstalling it, I just create another account with a different name, move all my personnal data to this account and delete the buggy one. But if it is a drivers/system files/... that cause the problem, then reinstalling XP take 45 minutes on my system. All I have to do is to reformat only my system partition and have all of my drivers/utility/data on my other partition for fast access. Too, I have a text file named reinstall that has all of the serials/passwords/login for my programs/website for fast access. I just have to print it before reformatting.That good thing, I now have a clean system, the programs I dont really need are no more there and all I have to do is to move my personal data back to where they belong!
I sometime spent 4-5 hours trying to debug a installation. no more!
-Always put the blame on you first, then on the hardware !!!
I suppose that is one way to do it. Here is my suggestion.
1) Keep your OS and installed programs on C: and all your personal files and data on D:. You can set your email store folder, desktop and my documents to be stored on D: rather than C:
2) When your PC is working 100% perfect image your C: partion using Norton Ghost 2003. Store the image file on your D: partion or CDs or DVDs, whatever you like.
For me this step takes 7 minutes.
3) When your system goes bad, copy your address book and favorites folder to D: along with any other data that is stuck on C:
From shuting down my corrupt OS to booting the freshly restored OS this takes me a little over 5 minutes.
Actually this is somewhat simplified, I really keep 4 ghost images.
1) Windows XP fully updated, but no drivers or programs.
2) Windows XP, Drivers and some utiilites.
3) Windows XP, Drivers Utilities and all other Software.
4) A current backup. I update this once a week, or whenever I install software that I don't trust.
So I can have my system at 100% no matter what happens to my software in under 6 minutes.