Checklist for migrating/ clean installing Windows...


TheMystic

Well-known member
Power User
VIP
Local time
4:02 PM
Posts
696
OS
Windows 11
What do you backup before migrating to a new computer or before a clean install of the Operating System?

Here is my checklist:

01. Data Partition: I use the system (C) drive exclusively for the OS and Programs
02. License keys, if any.
03. Windows Firewall Policy.
04. Registry Favourites key: I don't prefer backing up the whole registry because I don't want to restore the crap that accumulates over time.
05. Browser Bookmarks exported to a file: Useful if you don't use an account to sync.
06. Browser Default folder under user data (for all browsers): This will also copy all settings and bookmarks.
07. Screenshot of 'Programs and Features' in Control Panel.
08. Screenshot of Start Menu.
09. Screenshot of Desktop including Taskbar.
10. Task Scheduler Backup.
11. Configuration files for some of the programs.
12. Device Drivers backup.
13. Windows Credentials backup.

.
 
Last edited:

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Envy dv7
    CPU
    Intel Core i7 3630QM
    Motherboard
    HP
    Memory
    16 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel HD Graphics 4000 & Nvidia GeForce GT 635M
    Sound Card
    IDT High Definition
    Screen Resolution
    1080p
    Hard Drives
    1 TB Crucial MX500 on bay 1.
    1 TB Seagate HDD on bay 2.
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender

FreeBooter

Well-known member
Power User
VIP
Local time
1:32 PM
Posts
741
OS
Windows 11
I only backup my files and bookmarks from browser.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Pavilion
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 7 5700G
    Motherboard
    Erica6
    Memory
    Micron Technology DDR4-3200 16GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060
    Sound Card
    Realtek ALC671
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Samsung SyncMaster U28E590
    Screen Resolution
    3840 x 2160
    Hard Drives
    SAMSUNG MZVLQ1T0HALB-000H1

TigerTom

The tiger's loose
Member
VIP
Local time
12:32 PM
Posts
110
Location
German Expat in Italy
OS
W10 Enterprise LTSC
Good list!

btw Win7 had a nice feature called Windows Easy Transfer (migwiz.exe) to copy Windoes settings, libraries (optional), etc to a new installation. But IMHO sadly this has been deprecated in W10...
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    W10 Enterprise LTSC
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    custom
    CPU
    i7-2700K
    Motherboard
    Gigabyte GA-P67A-D3-B3
    Memory
    24GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    MSI GeForce RTX2060 Super
    Sound Card
    onboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Samsung curved
    Screen Resolution
    FHD
    Hard Drives
    Samsung EVO870 SSD 1TB
    Seagate Barracuda HDD 8TB
    PSU
    be quiet 550W
    Case
    CoolerMaster
    Cooling
    be quiet PURE ROCK SLIM BK008
    Keyboard
    KLIM Domination k852
    Mouse
    Logitech standard cordless
    Internet Speed
    10/1 DSL (the fastest line speed available here...)
    Browser
    Mozilla FF 91.2.0esr
    Antivirus
    Defender
    Other Info
    W10 GUI heavily modified with Stardock Blinds "7 for 10" skin and Startmenu.
    No MS Account and no MS apps.
    I upgraded to W10 only for gaming purposes, otherwise I'd kept my beloved W7 Ultimate x64
  • Operating System
    W11 Pro
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    custom
    CPU
    Intel Core i5-2500
    Motherboard
    Gigabyte PH67A-D3-B3
    Memory
    4GB
    Graphics card(s)
    MSI Geforce 1050Ti
    Sound Card
    onboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    FujitsuSiemens 19"
    Screen Resolution
    1280x1024 (oldschool 4:3)
    Hard Drives
    Samsung EVO850 SSD 250GB + Samsung 1TB HDD
    PSU
    be quiet 550W
    Case
    Mars MCNW ATX Gaming
    Cooling
    be quiet PURE ROCK SLIM BK008
    Mouse
    oldschool Dell optical wired
    Keyboard
    Dell German 102
    Internet Speed
    slow DSL, 10/1Mbps, but thats the best offer here
    Browser
    Mozilla 91.2.0esr
    Antivirus
    Defender
    Other Info
    This is an older PC for testing new OS,
    Furthermore: 4 Dell/HP laptops on Win7 Ultimate x64, used for NAS, Media server, browsing, workshop and sound studio

unifex

Active member
Member
VIP
Local time
12:32 PM
Posts
251
OS
Windows 10
I don't tweak much of the system and I keep my data on a separate drive. New install means new hardware for me, so preparation starts with downloading the newest drivers from the hardware manufacturers, noting the license keys for installing software, exporting software settings (if supported), and backing up Firefox profiles (actually, just the files with bookmarks and passwords). That's it.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    CPU
    i5-10600K
    Motherboard
    Asus Rog Strix Z490-A Gaming
    Memory
    16 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    GeForce GTX 1650
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Samsung U32J59x 32" 4K
    Screen Resolution
    3840x2160

TigerTom

The tiger's loose
Member
VIP
Local time
12:32 PM
Posts
110
Location
German Expat in Italy
OS
W10 Enterprise LTSC
and backing up Firefox profiles
I am wondering if there is an easy way to do that rather than backing up the profile under AppData/Roaming and AppData/local? I wouldn't use the Mozilla sync because I have different purposed laptops and bookmarks etc are pretty individual on each of them.

Only trick i recently learned is to use about:profiles in FF, but that's not really a backup function.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    W10 Enterprise LTSC
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    custom
    CPU
    i7-2700K
    Motherboard
    Gigabyte GA-P67A-D3-B3
    Memory
    24GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    MSI GeForce RTX2060 Super
    Sound Card
    onboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Samsung curved
    Screen Resolution
    FHD
    Hard Drives
    Samsung EVO870 SSD 1TB
    Seagate Barracuda HDD 8TB
    PSU
    be quiet 550W
    Case
    CoolerMaster
    Cooling
    be quiet PURE ROCK SLIM BK008
    Keyboard
    KLIM Domination k852
    Mouse
    Logitech standard cordless
    Internet Speed
    10/1 DSL (the fastest line speed available here...)
    Browser
    Mozilla FF 91.2.0esr
    Antivirus
    Defender
    Other Info
    W10 GUI heavily modified with Stardock Blinds "7 for 10" skin and Startmenu.
    No MS Account and no MS apps.
    I upgraded to W10 only for gaming purposes, otherwise I'd kept my beloved W7 Ultimate x64
  • Operating System
    W11 Pro
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    custom
    CPU
    Intel Core i5-2500
    Motherboard
    Gigabyte PH67A-D3-B3
    Memory
    4GB
    Graphics card(s)
    MSI Geforce 1050Ti
    Sound Card
    onboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    FujitsuSiemens 19"
    Screen Resolution
    1280x1024 (oldschool 4:3)
    Hard Drives
    Samsung EVO850 SSD 250GB + Samsung 1TB HDD
    PSU
    be quiet 550W
    Case
    Mars MCNW ATX Gaming
    Cooling
    be quiet PURE ROCK SLIM BK008
    Mouse
    oldschool Dell optical wired
    Keyboard
    Dell German 102
    Internet Speed
    slow DSL, 10/1Mbps, but thats the best offer here
    Browser
    Mozilla 91.2.0esr
    Antivirus
    Defender
    Other Info
    This is an older PC for testing new OS,
    Furthermore: 4 Dell/HP laptops on Win7 Ultimate x64, used for NAS, Media server, browsing, workshop and sound studio

TheMystic

Well-known member
Power User
VIP
Thread Starter
Local time
4:02 PM
Posts
696
OS
Windows 11
I am wondering if there is an easy way to do that rather than backing up the profile under AppData/Roaming and AppData/local? I wouldn't use the Mozilla sync because I have different purposed laptops and bookmarks etc are pretty individual on each of them.

Only trick i recently learned is to use about:profiles in FF, but that's not really a backup function.
%localappdata%\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default

This Default folder contains all the browser settings, bookmarks, etc.

It is the same path for all chromium based browsers like Edge, Vivaldi, Brave, etc. Just look in the respective folders.

For Firefox, it is:

%appdata%\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles

I set up the browsers the way I like, then backup this folder for each browser. This quickly configures all my settings the way I want. I then sign in with an account, if required.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Envy dv7
    CPU
    Intel Core i7 3630QM
    Motherboard
    HP
    Memory
    16 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel HD Graphics 4000 & Nvidia GeForce GT 635M
    Sound Card
    IDT High Definition
    Screen Resolution
    1080p
    Hard Drives
    1 TB Crucial MX500 on bay 1.
    1 TB Seagate HDD on bay 2.
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender

Quandary

Active member
Member
VIP
Local time
6:32 AM
Posts
183
OS
Windows 11
Two additional steps:
- export a copy of the Windows credentials (ID & password of any network connections)
- an image copy of the existing OS. This would include the user AppData that can be accessed/restored if needed in case some configuration files for some apps were missed in the #11 step.

An alternative approach for migration to a new PC, as covered in other posts, is to restore an image of the old to the new. This preserves all your installed apps, licenses, and configurations.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP / Spectre x360 Convertible 13
    CPU
    i5-8250U
    Motherboard
    83B9 56.50
    Memory
    8GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel(R) UHD Graphics 620
    Sound Card
    Realtek High Definition Audio(SST)
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    Toshiba 256GB SSD
    Internet Speed
    500Mbps
    Browser
    Firefox, Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender

TheMystic

Well-known member
Power User
VIP
Thread Starter
Local time
4:02 PM
Posts
696
OS
Windows 11
Two additional steps:
- export a copy of the Windows credentials (ID & password of any network connections)
- an image copy of the existing OS. This would include the user AppData that can be accessed/restored if needed in case some configuration files for some apps were missed in the #11 step.

An alternative approach for migration to a new PC, as covered in other posts, is to restore an image of the old to the new. This preserves all your installed apps, licenses, and configurations.
Backing up Windows Credentials is a good idea. I will include it in the OP.

Image copy is useful during Migration, but not when you want a fresh start (clean install).
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Envy dv7
    CPU
    Intel Core i7 3630QM
    Motherboard
    HP
    Memory
    16 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel HD Graphics 4000 & Nvidia GeForce GT 635M
    Sound Card
    IDT High Definition
    Screen Resolution
    1080p
    Hard Drives
    1 TB Crucial MX500 on bay 1.
    1 TB Seagate HDD on bay 2.
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender

BunnyJ

Python Programmer
Pro User
VIP
Local time
6:32 AM
Posts
5,317
Location
USA TN
OS
Windows 11 Home 25151.1000 - Dev Channel
I like the list and I do something similar to that.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 Home 25151.1000 - Dev Channel
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Banna Junior 7000 - X Series
    CPU
    Ryzen 7 2700X
    Motherboard
    Asus Crosshair VII Hero, X470
    Memory
    Gskill 32GB, 16GBX2 PC3000
    Graphics Card(s)
    GeForce GTX TITAN X 12GB
    Sound Card
    Realtek (R) Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    ASUS VP28UQG 28" 4K, Viotek 32" 1080p
    Screen Resolution
    4K 3840 x 2160
    Hard Drives
    Primary Samsung 256 SSD
    PSU
    EVGA BQ 700w 80+ Bronze
    Case
    NZXT 510
    Cooling
    Stock AMD cooler
    Keyboard
    Corsair
    Mouse
    Amazon Generic with Cord
    Internet Speed
    Download: 350.50 mbps Upload: 12.02 mbps Ping: 15ms
    Browser
    Firefox, Chrome and Edge
    Antivirus
    MS - Defender

Quandary

Active member
Member
VIP
Local time
6:32 AM
Posts
183
OS
Windows 11
Image copy is useful during Migration, but not when you want a fresh start (clean install).
Agree, but the title of your post included Migration, but I found it a useful safety net when I clean installed my laptop. During the process I image copied the clean install, restored the old image to check something, and then restored the image copy of the clean install.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP / Spectre x360 Convertible 13
    CPU
    i5-8250U
    Motherboard
    83B9 56.50
    Memory
    8GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel(R) UHD Graphics 620
    Sound Card
    Realtek High Definition Audio(SST)
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    Toshiba 256GB SSD
    Internet Speed
    500Mbps
    Browser
    Firefox, Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender

TheMystic

Well-known member
Power User
VIP
Thread Starter
Local time
4:02 PM
Posts
696
OS
Windows 11
Agree, but the title of your post included Migration, but I found it a useful safety net when I clean installed my laptop. During the process I image copied the clean install, restored the old image to check something, and then restored the image copy of the clean install.
By image, do you mean using a 3rd party partition assistant? I don't think the System Image utility built into Windows can be used to restore to another hardware.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Envy dv7
    CPU
    Intel Core i7 3630QM
    Motherboard
    HP
    Memory
    16 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel HD Graphics 4000 & Nvidia GeForce GT 635M
    Sound Card
    IDT High Definition
    Screen Resolution
    1080p
    Hard Drives
    1 TB Crucial MX500 on bay 1.
    1 TB Seagate HDD on bay 2.
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender

Winuser

Well-known member
Pro User
VIP
Local time
6:32 AM
Posts
2,941
OS
Windows 11
When I migrate to a new computer, I use the latest Macrium image of my old computer. I first backup any drivers on the new computer and make a Macrium image of it. Then I plug in the external drive with the image from the old computer and a Macrium Rescue drive into the new computer and restart the new computer with the Macrium Rescue disk. Then I delete all the partition on the new computer. After that it's just a matter of dragging the partitions from the image to the drive on the new computer. If going to a larger drive I think you can expand the C: partition while in Macrium. It's been a while so I could be wrong about the resizing. After the image is copied close Macrium and remove the rescue disk before the computer restarts. Once at the desktop check the drivers. If any didn't install use the driver backup to install them. If anything goes wrong, I have my Macrium image to revert back. So far, I never had to use the image.

Edit: I have also just swapped the drives.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    PowerSpec B746
    CPU
    Intel Core i7-10700K
    Motherboard
    ASRock Z490 Phantom Gaming 4/ax
    Memory
    16GB (8GB PC4-19200 DDR4 SDRAM x2)
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 TI
    Sound Card
    Realtek Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Samsung SAM0A87 Samsung SAM0D32
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    NVMe WDC WDS100T2B0C-00PXH0 1TB
    Samsung SSD 860 EVO 1TB
    PSU
    750 Watts (62.5A)
    Case
    PowerSpec/Lian Li ATX 205
    Keyboard
    Logitech K270
    Mouse
    Logitech M185
    Browser
    Microsoft Edge and Firefox
    Antivirus
    ESET Internet Security
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Dev
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Envy x360 15-ds1083cl
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 7 4700U 2.0GHZ
    Memory
    16 MB DDR 4-2666
    Graphics card(s)
    AMD Radeon
    Monitor(s) Displays
    15.6"
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    PCIe NVMe M.2 512GB
    Browser
    Firefox, Edge and Edge Canary
    Antivirus
    ESET Internet Security

NavyLCDR

Well-known member
Power User
VIP
Local time
3:32 AM
Posts
922
OS
Windows 11
My data is on a separate drive so it is unaffected by clean install. I log in with a MS Account with sync turned on. I also log in with accounts with Chrome and Edge. So everything I need just reappears when I do a clean install and log back into my various accounts. User data files can be transferred to a new computer by sharing the data drive on the network. (I have one drive too, but don't use it for much).
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Homebuilt
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 7 3800XT
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Crosshair VII Hero (WiFi)
    Memory
    32GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Education
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Inspiron 7773
    CPU
    Intel i7-8550U
    Memory
    32GB
    Graphics card(s)
    Nvidia Geforce MX150
    Sound Card
    Realtek
    Monitor(s) Displays
    17"
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    Toshiba 512GB NVMe SSD
    SK Hynix 512GB SATA SSD
    Internet Speed
    Fast!
Top Bottom