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I want to know – before I go ahead and reinstall Windows 7 – whether previous programs and files will be there or not.

I only have a restore point for an old date about six months ago, so I'm wondering if the system restore as well would cause losing some (or all) current programs and files.

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

All of these examples are based on a normal install where by you have documents/user/windows installed on the default drive.

  • System Restore will wipe all programs installed after that point was taken but will keep your documents and other files.

  • Reinstalling and choosing upgrade during the installation will basically delete/restore all files related to Windows, but, it will keep your user intact and will keep your programs installed.

  • Reinstalling Windows and choosing a new installation but not formatting your primary hard drive will result in a new Windows installation and requiring all programs to be reinstalled. Your files will still be there, but, you will need to hunt them down as you will be recreating your user from scratch (e.g. My username is william, my home is c:\users\william - if I reinstalled, my home would be c:\users\william.computer_name, and my original files would still be in c:\users\william)

  • Reinstalling Windows and choosing a new installation and formatting your primary hard drive will install Windows from scratch, loosing all programs and documents - basically, nothing from your previous installation will remain

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@Willaim. Big thanks for the detailed answer. My solution to re-install the windows was because of serial damage because of playing around with some silly program called "removewat". That cost me a lot of time and effort to reach a proper solution. I guess this is all I can do since Safe Mode doesn't work anymore. Thanks –  Digital site Apr 21 '12 at 20:14
    
System restore will also wipe any files on the desktop if added after the restore point you use, so many people use the desktop to store important files, which is a bad idea. –  Moab Apr 21 '12 at 20:31
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All programs and files you want to keep should be 'backed up' on CD (or whatever) BEFORE reinstalling Vista HP Some of these, may in any event, have their own installation disks

Your hard drive WILL be wiped clean, and will be as if new!

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