Due to performance problems with my PC, I am thinking of doing a clean install of Windows 8.

Therefore, I am wondering what is the best way to backup my Vista data and restore into Windows 8.

Is such an automated restore possible, or do I have to manually backup my data?

I've always presumed the latter, but just interested if anyone has any ideas.


  • 1
    You will have to reinstall all applications. The data can be saved/restored fairly well using plain old xcopy, Vista's backup utility, or any of several others. Expect to spend a non-trivial amount of time getting your mail and browser configs back. Nov 7, 2012 at 5:05

2 Answers 2


Microsoft will run the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant to make sure your computer can handle Windows 8. If you're in the clear, you will be walked through the upgrade process. Those with Windows 7 will have their files, apps, and settings automatically transferred to Windows 8 Pro (though it's always good to have a backup). If you have a PC with XP or Vista, you will have to reinstall apps. DONE! http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2411438,00.asp


A simple way, assuming you only have stuff in your user folder would be to recursively copy it to an external drive, for example with "xcopy".

xcopy C:\Users\Username\ F:\ExternalDrive\BackupFolder /c/h/e/v/y

That should get you most items, even some you may not need. But verify that the folder sizes are comparable before formatting!

Then, after install - you could reverse the C and F drives (or whatever your external drive letter is).

That will not get your settings and/or programs (which is a good thing for a fresh install).

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