Originally published at: http://www.howtogeek.com/168581/4-ways-to-quickly-install-your-desktop-programs-after-getting-a-new-computer-or-reinstalling-windows/
The Windows desktop is the sole platform without an app store-style software installation process. Smartphones, tablets, Macs, and Linux PCs all allow you to quickly install multiple programs — but this is more complicated on Windows.
Just in time, wasn't I? >
By keeping a wireless driver and a Ninite installer on a flash drive, I've been able to avoid IE for weeks.
If one doesn't mind shelling out some shekels, the Pro version of Macrium Reflect is supposed to be able to restore an image to a system with a different hardware, such as the MOBO, than the one the image was taken from.
As long as the hardware stays the same, one can use the free version of Macrium Reflect to make an image of the OS partition immediately after the OS, programs, and Windows and other updates have been made. That image can be used later to do a "clean install" without having to go through the hassle of all those individual program installations and updates.
What about if your Windows XP system won't boot up, but you were able to copy the contents of the hard drive to a separate 1 TB hard drive? Is there a way to get the apps that are now only on the 1 TB external HD to work?
Not really. With Windows, the program files are necessary, but they are not the entire picture. The reason you have an InstallShield process is so it can make all the necessary changes to the registry - some can number in the dozens or even hundreds of "tweaks", additions, changes, etc. for each program. So, if you have only copied the contents of the system drive to an external, your only option is really to copy them back - but this won't bring back the registry.
To do that, you need to create a system image backup (I can't remember if XP has this option built in or not).
I use Acronis True Image Home 11 on XP. Creates images that can be restored, no problem. Don't know about restoring to different hardware, though, but I think you simply update all the drivers via the Internet. Can restore to a new disk, no problem.
re. the subject of this discussion... installing programs is not a problem and is not time consuming.
The big problem - the one that takes me several days - is configuring those programs to work the way you want.
XP didn't have that feature. The one in Win 7 has had a lot problems reported. I prefer Macrium Reflect but there are other good ones available, many of them free.
I copy the direct links from the vendor and the put them in a SkyDrive folder as shortcuts. It works great at getting the most updated version right away, but the vendor could move the link on you.
Ho to make image on Vista? I want to re-install VISTA but want to avid the pain of re-installing all the softwares.
The free version of Macrium Reflect is compatible with Vista. However, to be able to use an image to avoid reinstalling all your programs, you have to first make an image of a clean install. In other words, reinstall Vista, download and install all the updates, then install and tweak all your programs. THEN, make an image of your OS and program partition. From then on, all you have to do to reinstall Vista and your programs is to restore the image you made.
Correct. The big difference is that Acronis creates an image (bit for bit, if memory serves) - it doesn't just do a copy.
Hi, Rather than going for imaging solution.. I have a best alternative for it, install Faronics Deep Freeze. It is a reboot to restore software which keep your system's original configuration as it is after simple reboot. I'm using it from last five years. You can refer more features of it here
I've been using Acronis Backup & Recovery 10 with Universal Restore to image and build PCs for about 5 years now. With Universal Restore (and a folder full of drivers from driverpacks.net) I can restore a "gold" image to any workstation that comes across my bench. Best $90 I ever spent. I clocked myself the other day, and it took 90 minutes from unboxing all the components of a new PC and putting it together, to up and running system with Windows 7 Pro and a complete compliment of software with all updates. I think I had to update one driver. Super bit of software!