View Full Version : How to do a "clean" reinstall of Win 98 SE without reformatting drive

12-23-2000, 05:24 PM
After many months of installing and de-installing various applications, patches, and upgrades I think that I need to reinstall a clean copy of Windows 98SE. (Also, I am having trouble getting my scanner to work at all). However, I do not want to simply reformat my hard drive as I have about 6 GB of downloaded upgrade and patch files on my drive. I want to keep the folders with certain applications and just get rid of my current Windows 98 installation.

Can you point me to a step-by-step guide on how to do this??
I have seen some instructions for how to move from one version of Windows to another--not what I want to do. I have seen some rebuilding Windows instructions that require a reformat of the hard drive--not what I want to do. I have seen some instructions related to Windows 95 but nothing that is specific and detailed about cleanly reinstalling Windows 98 (although I do seem to remember reading something like this a while ago in Computer Gaming World-but could not find the article when I searched the site).

I know that I do not want to simply re-install on top of the current installation but rather need to do a clean installation. Unfortunately, I am not sure exactly how.

1. What do I need to get rid of prior to an install to make it a "clean" install??
2. What else can I safely get rid of??
3. How do I save my email and address book from Outlook 2000 prior to re-install (and subsequently restore them)??
4. How do I save my Internet Explorer Favorites prior to re-install (and subsequently restore them)??
5. What about passwords??
6. What else do I need to look out for??
7. I am pretty sure that I have to actually reload all of my applications after the re-install of Windows to get the Registry synched up??
8. How often do people do this type of thing?? Or is this a totally radical plan?? I have already done ScanDisk, Defrag, and some of the Norton tools but I think that I still need a massive cleanup.
9. What about config.sys, autoexec.bat, msdos.sys, and other files like these that typically live in the C: root??
10. I am assuming that I do NOT have to mess around with command.com and io.sys since I am not reformatting the drive??
11. What about any .ini files??

Thanks for your help.

Paleo Pete
12-24-2000, 08:47 AM
To do a "clean" install, formatting is necessary. I've seen deltree suggested, but I wouldn't trust it. The only reliable way to get rid of a previous install is to format C: drive.

One thing you may consider is moving all data you want to keep to a different partition, only the C: partition will be formatted. I have 700MB of zip files and drivers downloaded up to 3 years ago on D drive and have formatted and reinstalled C twice since some of them were downloaded.

The only way I know of to save the address book is the old fashioned way...paper and pencil. Emails, I'm not sure. I have copied them to floppies before as text files. Then they are accessible, but not in Outlook.

Favorites: Find the Favorites folder in Windows Explorer (C:\Windows\Favorites) and copy the folder to a floppy. After reinstalling copy the folder back to the original location. It will ask if you want to replace the existing folder, say Yes.

Passwords: Write them down or copy the .pwl files to a floppy, and replace them later. I don't know if copying the .pwl files will work, so write them down.

Yes you'll most likely have to reinstall all applications to get the Registry straight.

How often? Whenever necessary. My last install ran for 2 years, the one before that about 6 months. This one's been going for about 6 months and shows no sign of trouble.

Config.sys, autoexec.bat etc will be recreated during the installation. Same for ini files. Command.com and io.sys will also be reinstalled.

Step by step instructions:

Quick Guide to a win98 Fresh Start (http://www.hardwarehell.com/fdisk.htm)

Hard Disk Partitioning and Formatting Procedure (http://www.pcguide.com/proc/setup/hdd-c.html) skip the partitioning part.

Windows 98 SE setup.txt file might have some useful info.

Setting up Windows 98 (http://www.microsoft.com/TechNet/win98/Reskit/Part1/wrkc02.asp)

My hairdresser charges me a finder's fee!!

Please post your questions on the forums, not in my email.

Computer Information Links (http://www.geocities.com/paleopete/)