Reinstalling Windows |

Reinstalling Windows

Posted April 20th, 2012 by Mark with No Comments

Reinstalling Windows

If your computer’s hard drive fails, or you have a particularly nasty virus, we might have to reinstall Windows for you.  This is one of the more involved and expensive routine services we do – but it’s not obvious why.  To help illustrate, here is a quick rundown of the steps involved in this task:

Basic Steps to Reinstalling Windows

Backup the data – this includes Documents, Email, Pictures, Music, Videos and everything on the desktop.  This can take anywhere form just a few minutes to hours depending on the amount of data you have.

Scan your data – If you had a virus infection, a separate scan (or two) is run on your backed-up data to make sure it is clean.

Backup the product keys for Windows and Microsoft Office to make sure these can be reinstalled and correctly activated.

Backup all of the system’s hardware drivers.  There are drivers for the motherboard, wired and wireless network, audio, modem, video, mouse as well as several others that vary from computer to computer.

Format (completely erase and reset the file system) your existing or a new hard drive.  This process can take a couple of hours on a large hard disk.

Install Windows – Depending on your computer, we may have to order recovery disks from the manufacturer to complete this task, which can add several days to the procedure.

Reinstall all of the system drivers and troubleshoot any problems that may arise (no sound, the video isn’t right, etc.)

Load all available Windows updates so your system is “completely patched”.  This process can easily take several hours.  For Windows XP, for example, there are over 300 updates to bring a fresh install current.  For Windows Vista expecially, this is an involved process requiring many reboots and installs.  Windows 7 is the newest version, so has the fewest updates, but there are still several dozen available.

Install and update antivirus software, iTunes, Email software, various addons like Flash and Java, reinstall Microsoft Office if you had it originally.

Reinstall the backed-up data

Reconfigure email, import backed-up messages & contacts, etc.

Check to make sure everything is ok and functioning.  Typically, there are several adjustments we make to the Windows settings to make your computer more efficient.

We typically charge between 2.5 and 3 hours labor for this process, but the actual project can take several days depending on the complexity of the particular install.

As always, call us at (412) 480-9969 if you have any questions about your computer.  We can help!