Transfer programs on pc to back up drive?


Old 11-25-12, 08:21 AM
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Transfer programs on pc to back up drive?

pc expert says I have to reinstall Windows OS completely, means wiping out all programs and reinstalling later from disc, etc. Can the programs (Hp photo eds, Corels, scanner prgs be copied to external hard drive, then copied to my pc after windows reinstalled? Using Windows XP

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Old 11-25-12, 10:13 AM
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Install programs contain routines that interact with your operating system to install the program. Files are added to certain areas of the registry other parts of the program to various other files on your system. Links have to be established between the various components of the program operating from various places within the system. None of that can be done with out the installer. Perhaps even more daunting a task would be finding all the different parts of the program scattered through out your system.

Why does he want to reinstall? That is often a last ditch try when a repair person can't find and fix the problem.
Old 11-25-12, 12:25 PM
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Ray is right about a reinstall SOMETIMES being a quick and dirty way of fixing a problem.
I know because I have done it often.

I also know it is not practical to try to gather up components of a program and expect it to work properly.
The only sure way to have software operate without problems is to reinstall from a disk or the original file if you downloaded the program.

Hardware drivers and many utility programs can be downloaded for free from the mfr's website.
Old 11-25-12, 05:19 PM
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I agree with Gregh and Ray2047 you could use Microsoft backup already installed on your computer but it would only back up your files and not your programs. With Dells and many other brands of computer unless the back up area has been wiped you can make a disk of not only your operating system but the programs too. If you bought your computer used then probably everything was wiped and then programs put on it so you wouldn't have the ability to make a back up disk as you wouldn't have the necessary program from that manufacturer. I hope you have all of your install disks but if for some reason they are missing you can usually find drivers for printers and other things but usually not any programs that were bundled.
Old 11-26-12, 06:09 AM
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Unless you don't have the installation discs or the programs cannot be easily downloaded, I wouldn't even consider trying to back them up; I always install programs fresh on a reformat like this.
Old 11-29-12, 06:44 AM
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Theoretically, one can copy a program.

I've worked in computers for my entire life, and practically, one cannot. Registry entries and DLLs and other runtime libraries scattered throughout the drive make it essentially impossible to just copy a program.

There are companies that specialize in writing programs to install software. Many, many software companies use these third party programs to install their software instead of burdening themselves on writing the application and the installer for it.

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