How to save programs on computer to DVD before reinstalling vista.

I have a Dell INSPIRON 1545 with Vista.  I need to reinstall vista, because of a virus.  How do I save the programs that are on the computer to DVD without using  BACKUP AND RESTORE since you can not choose which programs you would like to restore, you have to restore all of them.  I do not want restore all the programs on my computer.  Only the ones I use.  I selected the a program in windows explorer and tried to burn it, but only the folder was saved, not the contents of the folder.  How do you save the folder and it contents to DVD. I also  have ROXIE Creator and Infra recorder.  These recorders have a data disk function, but I don't know how to save the complete program.  I know how to save files using these recorder but not the whole program.  How do you save the complete program and all its files to DVD so you can reinstall it after reinstalling vista.  After reinstalling vista, how do you reinstall the programs.  Earlier today I posted my first question on this site and it was answered with in a couple of hours. This site is great!   Thank you for reading this post and help.

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2 Replies

Re: How to save programs on computer to DVD before reinstalling vista.

I would suggest doing a fresh install of the OS and then go to the vendor site to re-install the programs, since you do NOT know for sure if any of the files are infected on the programs you want to keep?That is just my opinion,ive had to do a clean install because of a virus problem one time in the past and i did not want to risk transferring anything that COULD be infected.

E1705 T7400 2.16Ghz / Vista Home Premium SP2 / 17" LG WUXGA 1920 X 1200 / 4GB 667Mhz Geil Ram w/Heatspreaders / Western Digital Scorpio Black 500GB 7200RPM / 500GB 7200RPM My Book / Nvidia Geforce Go 7900GS 256MB / Toshiba DVD/CD+/-RW DL / Intel 4965 A/B/G/N / 355 Bluetooth 2.0+EDR / Pinnacle Pro HDTV USB Tuner / Pinnacle Ultimate HDTV USB Tuner / Sound Blaster Audigy Advanced MB / Sound Blaster X-Fi Extreme Audio Notebook / Logitech G51 Surround Sound Speakers / 2-NB-MA01 Notebook Coolers / 3D Mark06 5446 / Driver v.174.31 /

XPS M1730 Saphire Blue X9000 @ 3.2 / Vista Home Premium SP2 / 17" WUXGA 1920 x 1200 / Matshita BD\DVD Combo / 8GB 800Mhz Geil RAM / 500GB>200GB 7200RPM / 9800M GTX SLI / AGEIA PhysX Accelerator / Intel 4965 / 355 Bluetooth / 5700 Mobile Broadband / 3D Mark06 16250 /Driver 275.50 beta

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Jim Coates

Re: How to save programs on computer to DVD before reinstalling vista.

In addition to dgkpcon advice, this is how I keep my computer backed up when a virus is not an issue. I use backup hard drives but you can do the same thing with data dvd's. I don't use an automatic backup program.

Files that I create. I keep them in sub-folders in the "My Documents" folder. I usually backup important individual files to my backup hard drives but occassionally just drag the whole My Documents folder to the backup drives.

I treat my music folder a little differently, because it is too large to be re-saved en-masse. So whenever I add new music I save it on all of my drives at the same time so that all of my music files are always up to date and backed up. I did save them all onto dvd's once but it was time consuming.

Programs that I have downloaded. Their exe and/or compressed files get downloaded to "My Downloads" within "My Documents", so they get backed up with the everything else in "My Documents". Restoring those programs is a simple matter of double clicking them and letting them re-install.

Programs that I installed but failed to save the downloads. There are a number of those leftover from before I started saving downloaded exe's. I have backed up their installed folders from the hard drive where they were originally installed, usually in the subfolder "Program Files". Often the program's folder will contain a "setup.exe" file or a "program name.exe" file that will re-install the program.

Programs that came on installation disks. I  usually re-install from the discs. It is a good idea to make backup copies of discs. I have one program that came on a hard drive (the program is 60 GB's large) and I backed up the whole thing to another hard drive.


In summary, in answer to the question of how to save the complete program and its files, my method is to save separately the files created by the program, and the files needed to install the program. The latter is quite simple in the case of downloaded programs. Just save their exe's.


PS If it were me, if "Factory Image Restore" is still on the computer, I would restore it that way. That will eliminate all virus leftovers and will save you from having to re-install the drivers after Windows is installed. Installing the drivers can go smoothly but not always. You would still have to save your data and scan it for viruses. But even if installing Windows from a disk I would only format the c drive, not the entire hard drive, because I would want to keep the Factory Image Restore and the Dell Diagnostics partitions intact on the hard drive. They are both invaluable for helping in diagnosing audio problems.


Jim Coates -- 14 years on the Dell Laptop Audio boards -- since 2/6/04 

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