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I am going to reformat my Windows 7 either tonight or tomorrow but I want to have not much down time.

Is there a way that I can reinstall but save these:

  • Game installations
  • My downloads folder

everything else can go I would say - I just don't want to have to download a 2gig file and install my game again.

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Yes- zip them and put them somewhere that isn't on your Windows machine. – qweet Jul 21 '12 at 20:12

Yes, you can perform such an action without losing your installed programs.

Here's some help from Microsoft Windows Seven Forums to guide you step by step on how to reinstall windows 7 while preserving your current applications (games, programs, etc.), user definitions, documents, etc:

  • How to Do a Repair Install to Fix Windows 7

    This will show you how to do a repair install (aka: in-place upgrade install) to fix your currently installed Windows 7 and preserve your user accounts, data, programs, and system drivers.

  • How to Run a Startup Repair in Windows 7

    Startup Repair is a Windows 7 system recovery tool that can fix certain problems, such as missing or damaged system files (ex: MBR boot file), that might prevent Windows from starting correctly. This will show you how to run Startup Repair to allow it to scan your Windows 7 computer for a startup problem and try to fix it so your computer can start correctly.

  • How to Boot to the System Recovery Options in Windows 7

    This will show you how to boot to the System Recovery Options screen to select the Startup Repair, System Restore, Complete PC Restore, Memory Diagnostic Tool, or Command Prompt option to use on Windows 7.

  • How to Create a Windows 7 System Repair Disc

    This will show you how to create a Windows 7 system repair disc to be able to use to boot to system recovery options to help recover your Windows 7 installation if you don't have a Windows installation disc, can't find your Windows installation disc, or can't access the recovery options provided by your computer manufacturer.

  • Download Windows 7 System Recovery Discs

    What it does: The Windows 7 Recovery Disc can be used to access a system recovery menu, giving you options of using an antivirus, System Restore, Complete PC Backup, automated system repair, and a command-line prompt for manual advanced recovery.

    What it doesn’t do: You cannot use the Windows 7 Recovery Disc to re-install Windows – it only fixes (not replaces!) Windows.

share|improve this answer
None of the procedures given above involves a reformat, as the Question is about. – kreemoweet Jul 21 '12 at 23:39
@kreemoweet "Reformatting Windows"??? I believe OP to be trying to cleanup the Windows 7 installation. As to preserve the existent apps avoiding "down time", one can use the recovery tools, no need to remove windows and install it again. – Zuul Jul 21 '12 at 23:47

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