Reformatting my Vista install - any tips?

I’m thinking after 1.5 years I could benefit from a Vista reinstall. (I’m not buying Win7 anytime soon, if I ever do, so that’s out. Not interested yet. Maybe I’ll wanna spend the gobs of cash some other time.) Got any thoughts or tips on good things to do to speed up the install or make it nice and easy?

I have a 2nd harddrive I’m going to back up all my Steam games, My Documents, and assorted other crap to, then nuke Vista and reinstall it. That’s the plan. Any tips?

Depending on what version (how old) of Vista you have on disk, you might want to pre-download the Service Packs and store them on the other drive before doing the format and reinstall. That way you can just download them overnight when you don’t need the computer anyway, rather than doing the download when the new install wants to. Same for all your device drivers and any other online installers you might need.

Use the Windows 7 RC. It’s free, it doesn’t expire until some time next year, and it’s much better than Vista (and I liked Vista). The official downloads for it have ceased, but it’s not hard to find. Win7 is faster and prettier (and better in other ways, but those are the most immediately noticeable).

No matter which one you install, if you’re using wireless, make sure you download the driver for your card before you blow it away - at least with my computer, Windows didn’t have a functioning driver for it built in, which was a pain.

Whoa. I’m actually considering it.

This means that come next March, when it starts shutting down every two hours, I’ll have to buy the UPGRADE or the FULL version? 'Cause the full is $200, and I ain’t spending that.

EDIT: Wow. According to this guy, Win7 RC users can buy the upgrade version, which will do a clean install on their hard drive, NOT overwriting the RC version. You’ll still have to reinstall everything. But then, if you ever want to reformat, you’ll have to format, then install XP or Vista, and THEN install Win7 again. Fuck.

backup your AppData folder.
EDIT: My advice was very good, but not complete. I was expecting some curiosity at least!

I’ve heard that as well, but it’s confusing. Supposedly, even with Vista you had to have a prior version of Windows installed to use an upgrade disk, but I’ve definitely used my Vista upgrade disk to clean install on a totally wiped drive.

Well, I’ve come back around to not using it. I’m not spending $150-200 in March for something I can’t reinstall without having to put Vista back on first. Ri-god-damn-diculous.

What all this HAS done is got me to back up all my data to my secondary hard drive and generally clean up my current Vista install quite a bit.

Given that a full version of Vista Home Premium OEM runs $99 on Newegg, I’m assuming that by next March or whenever, you’ll be able to get a full OEM version of 7 for about that price. That’s my plan, anyway, unless my university starts offering student-price versions of 7 like they do with Vista.

My institution didn’t support Vista 64. I’m expecting that we’ll get Win7 as soon as it hits the streets. I tell you, this time I want a 64 bit OS.

I don’t understand why 64 bit is good. Who cares, especially when lots of older apps don’t work on them?

RAM, man. Also, I suspect a large reason for the stability is because a lot of these older apps and drivers don’t work on them.

'sides, who said older apps not working? I had the same fear before upgrading to Vista x64, but as it turns out, all the x86 apps work just fine.

Oh, and RAM, yay.

A) Breaking the 4GB barrier (actually more like the 3.xGB barrier) means more apps at once and bigger disk caches. I’m also hoping we’ll start seeing some games with 64-bit executables which really take advantage of gobs of RAM.

B) Your fears about “lots of older apps” are exaggerated, based on my experience and what I’ve read. The only app I’ve tried using which doesn’t run on 64-bit Vista is Gametap. Oh, and Starforce - gee, big loss there.