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I'm planning on formatting my pc, but I'm really not looking forward to redownloading and reinstalling my programs, as I have a download cap of about 80GB, and my games are ±50GB.

Is there any way to transfer these programs to the new installation? I guess not, because of the registry.. But I would still like to know if it's possible.

It's a Windows 7 Ultimate installation.

share|improve this question – RedGrittyBrick Dec 4 '11 at 14:59
Are the games from steam? There is a backup system in steam. – Zoredache Dec 4 '11 at 16:03
A few, but most aren't – Simon Verbeke Dec 4 '11 at 16:08
up vote 1 down vote accepted

The only way of transferring entire programs across installations that I know of is using PCmover by Laplink (not affiliated). I've used it myself, but be careful: proprietary software like Avira or Dragon NaturallySpeaking may pose an obstacle.

You can select which programs to move, though. In my experience, security software and software that is very deeply integrated with your OS (Backup, Uninstall) is a no-no. Read the documentation! The fewer programs you choose, the more likely you are to succeed.

Best case scenario: You'll spare yourself 3 hrs of work. Worst case, you will have wasted 50$ and you'll have to do a manual reinstall anyway. You have about a 75% chance of succeeding. So have a backup strategy before trying this. When you create the moving van, make sure all programs that you are sure you want to transfer are installed. After creating the van - this is what the moving file is called - you may want to uninstall all proprietary software manually before formatting your HD. This way you can keep your registrations if anything goes wrong. After that, format your HD, install Windows, install PC mover and transfer the desired programs to your new installation.

Good luck!

share|improve this answer
Alright, thank you :) Though, paying for it isn't exactly what I wanted to do.. – Simon Verbeke Dec 4 '11 at 16:08

Here's another, entirely non-technical approach:

If your download cap worries you, why don't you just download the programs you are going to need bit by bit on an external HD? Unless you're in a hurry to rebuild, you could spread the downloads over a time frame of a month or two.

Or download the programs at a friend's who does not have a download limit, do your rebuild there or take the downloads home with you.

Or use a combination.

share|improve this answer
That I didn't think about that... Probably going to do this, will have to wait for the new SSD anyways. – Simon Verbeke Dec 4 '11 at 20:09

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