Over the years I often had to reinstall Windows. I have all my data on a separate hard drive, so I can format my C drive and start from scratch. But this takes a lot of time, and then I also need to reinstall the drivers and often used applications like Google Chrome, Windows Live Messenger, uTorrent, etc... Then I also loose all my program data like iTunes playlists, uTorrent metadata (download progress etc), chat transcripts, ...
I'm looking for ways to make this a smoother process. Any recommendations or hints?
Btw, I'm currently still using Windows XP.
The killer app seems to be "disk cloning". And as for me, the winner is most definitely Clonezilla! It's the only one I tried actually.., but I can make disk images using LZO compression, which means that restoring an image is super-fast!
Ninite is very helpful as well. It's like synaptic package manager, but for Windows, and with a web-based UI.
I'm not sure about DriverMax. Exporting your drivers sounds like like a cool feature. The coolest feature would be the driver update manager, but brings you to a webpage that is loaded with ads, and the driver downloads require some sort of account and if you don't have such an account you must wait 30 seconds before the download starts. This is the kind of software that I usually stay away from. Still the features are very attractive so I may delve a little deeper.