//TODO (before rebuilding your machine)

I rebuilt my machine earlier in the week (the Remote Installation Service lets me flatten and rebuild to a Windows Vista + Office Enterprise 2007 image in about half an hour). Of course there's still a lot of work to do to install VS, SQL Server etc etc and reconfigure everything back the way I like it. Having separate OS / Data partitions helps a lot. All my data's still there when the OS comes back up.

However there are always some gotchas and I find myself in the embarrassing position of being gotcha'd this time around so I'm capturing a list and will refer to it next time I rebuild...

  • Documents Folder
    • I have my Documents folder redirected to my d: (data) drive (d:\Documents) so it takes care of itself
  • Outlook and *.psts
    • I locate *.pst files in my Documents folder
    • That way my pst file never gets blatted with the OS (if you leave it in \Users\username\AppData\... remember to copy it)
  • Favorites / Music / Videos etc
    • Copy any folders in the \User\username folder that need keeping (I should probably re-direct these like the Documents folder)
  • RSS Feeds
    • Export feeds from IE and save the *.opml file in the Documents folder
  • Desktop
    • Anything lying around here I copy to Documents
  • inetpub\wwwroot
    • Copy anything here that needs saving (I locate all my vroots on my d: drive so again they take care of themselves)
  • C:\
    • Do a quick scan around here just to make sure I haven't missed anything
  • EFS (Encrypted File System) Files
    • This is where I fell down this time around. Make sure you remember to export your keys or unencrypt your files / folders before the rebuild (and import / re-encrypt again afterwards). I failed to do this and now have a couple of very useless folders... Sigh...
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Comments (5)

  1. Jason Haley says:

    One thing that I’ve missed in the past is Sql server database files that get stuck up in the Program Files by default.

  2. MikeO [MSFT] says:

    Good point Jason – I’ve missed them before as well. Since then I’ve created a Databases folder on my d: drive and just re-attach them after the rebuild. For samples such as Northwind / Pubs etc I used to re-install each time which was time consuming. Mike

  3. Dan says:

    Hey, don’t use EFS anymore.

    There is a freeware option called TrueCrypt that allows you to have all your encrypted stuff in a file that can be mounted as a drive protected by a password.

    So you only have to take care of ONE file, it’s great.

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