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Re-install Windows, keep office and settings


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#1
PCHH

PCHH

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Howdy all,

I need to reinstall Windows XP on a PC, but would like to keep Microsoft Office 2003 that is already installed, complete with the all the settings, styles and templates that are currently set up on Office.

ALOT of time was spent creating paragraph styles for various medical documents, and whilst they could be recreated on a clean install of Office, that would take weeks to do, and the specialist that uses the PC doesn't have the time to do so. Normally, I just back up the data, format the drive, install a fresh copy of Windows, then reinstall Office, and away you go. For the vast majority of users, the styles included with Word are sufficent, but this user has 100+ paragraph styles that he has created over a period of 3 years.

The purpose of the Windows re-install is to remove ALOT of rubbish that has built up over the years, returning Windows to the "new" clean version will remove all the startup programs that are unnecessary, remove the traces of Nortons that still tie up system resources, and all the other rubbish, etc etc.

I could use the repair windows function, but I have never trusted that to remove ALL the rubbish from the startup, and I am unsure if after repairing Windows would you still need to reinstall Office anyway?

Can anybody out there give me some advice on a way to keep the current install of Office intact after a Windows reinstall, or alternatively, a way to copy all the styles, templates etc to a safe place, then reload them onto the new install of Office if that is the simpler way to go.

Thank you for your advice in advance.

David

Edited by PCHH, 13 November 2008 - 08:26 PM.

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#2
Neil Jones

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A total wipe will never beat a repair. A repair just (attempts to) fix Windows.

A lot depends on where the styles are stored. If they're stored in the documents then you can normally wipe the computer until the cows come home and they'll still be there (the styles that is, not the cows :)). If the styles are stored in the basic Word template (which I believe is the default) then you need to copy this off the computer and copy it back afterwards.

The only other problem you may have is that if you break the link between the document and the template, the files lose all their formatting and look incredibly ugly. So the ultimate answer depends on how the styles have been applied and kept.

Edited by Neil Jones, 14 November 2008 - 04:53 AM.

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#3
PCHH

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You say a wipe never beats a repair, I am assuming that means you think the repair is the better option. Yet the next line says a repair just (attempts to) fix Windows. So I take it from this you mean that a wipe means starting from scratch, wheras a repair fixes Windows (where possible) and leaves everything else intact, including all the drivers, and software doesn't need to be re-installed. Would that be a fair comment?

Are you suggesting I try the repair option first? Will the repair return Windows to a "fresh" install state, and replace the overburdered registry, win.ini and boot.ini files with clean new versions? Drawing from another source of information:

"What Is The Difference Between A Clean Install And A Repair Install?

Clean Install or Fresh Install: An entirely new installation of an operating system or application. To perform a clean installation of an OS, the hard disk is formatted and completely erased. To perform a clean installation of an application, the older version is uninstalled first. Installing the OS on a new computer or installing an application for the first time is automatically a clean installation.

Repair Install: At some point you may need to repair the installation of Windows. This is preferable to a clean install in many cases since it attempts to only repair your copy of windows without having to delete all the files on your computer first. In many cases a repair installation is enough to fix the problem. A repair install deletes the files normally installed by windows XP and then reinstalls them off the disc. A repair install will not rebuild your computer's registry, delete applications and user settings, or fix problems being caused by a program."

The first sentence supports your view, but then the final sentence tells me that my registry will remain overburdened, applications that start up automatically on startup will all continue to start, and the problems I am having with Nortons etc etc will continue, and need to be sorted out manually. I am aware I can tediously go through every entry and application, determine its value and necessity, and remove or modify if necessary, but I have acheived much better results MUCH faster by wiping and reinstalling.

Assuming I decide to format and reinstall, where in Office will I find the template files to copy them, the styles are stored in the default template, but also on each individual document. The names of the files I need to copy, would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks in advance.

David
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