re-install XP (and preserve OE emails)

  pppc 23:09 05 Jan 07

I think I have to re-install my Windows XP sp2. I managed fairly well with W98 - are there any special problems with XP. I understand the install CD-ROM will reformat my HD for me. Do I need to know anything about the password?
And how can I preserve and reload my Outlook Express folders - I have a lot of emails I need to keep.

Any advice appreciated


  Technotiger 23:19 05 Jan 07
  Batch 08:03 06 Jan 07

The best approach is to reinstall from scratch (rather than over the top of existing). You should back-up all of your own data first (documents, emails, address book etc.).

To find out where your mailbox files are, in OE go to Tools, Maintenance Tab, click Store Folder.

To find out where your address book is, search for *.wab.

Then, when you have reinstalled, you can restore from the backups. For the emails, use the import function in OE. For the wab file, search the new system for the unused wab file and just replace it with your backup.

  pppc 16:13 09 Jan 07

Many thanks to both Batch and tecnotiger for their helpful responses.
I think I'll go for batch's oe backup solution as the most general one but I may try downloading the trial program as belt and braces!
I seem to be running out of excuses for putting this reinstall off. I do not look forward to it.

Many thanks again

Happy New Year


  Batch 09:02 10 Jan 07

My own experience of re-installs is that the Windows reinstall goes very easily (especially since XP - not even having to load any additional drivers as the install sorted it all).

The pain comes when with the process of re-installing all your applications, re-configuring all the settings etc.

That's why, like many, once a system is set-up, it is best to use something like Acronis True Image to create regular system disk images that can be restored from. My preferred configuration with this is:

C: Windows and Programs

D: Volatile Data (Documents, emails, address book etc.) that I will back-up regularly (i.e. daily).

E: Stable Data (Music, Photos etc. that I change infrequently).

In my case, the above are just separate partitions on a single physical hard drive. C: is backed-up periodically with True Image. D: is backed-up daily with Winzip.

Back-ups are done to a second physical hard drive (and being a belt and braces bloke, transferred to another PC or external device periodically).

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