Can I use backup software to move programs?

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Hi. I’m thinking of buying some backup software. Can you give me some advice please? I use a PC tune-up from AVG and it wiped everything from my computer. Fortunately, it has an option to reinstall deleted files, so I was okay. That’s why I started to research the subject, so it wouldn’t happen again. That’s also how I came across your site. I’m using Windows 7 Premium and I have many programs that I use daily to manage my website (apart from other things). I have an external disk drive, but I don’t use it. I’m thinking of buying a new computer in the near future, which will have Windows 8 installed. I want to be able to move programs from one computer to another without losing the data within them. Can I do this or not using imaging software?

When it comes to imaging or backup software, I recommend Macrium Reflect. Ideally, you should be using this (or any kind of backup software) already, if for no other reason than to back up your files.

In regards to your question, however, you need to remember that backing up and moving programs are two different things. I’ll explain why that’s important.

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Can I put everything but the operating system on an external drive?

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I’ve had so many problems with Windows 7 not responding that I’m now wondering if I wouldn’t be better off to reinstall and put the stuff that is normally backed up – programs, documents, and pictures – on a USB flash drive. That way, it would be easier to reinstall Windows 7 in the future and just plug in the USB drive to use the programs or documents. My laptop acts like it has a virus, but I have Avast AV real-time installed and I’ve done scans with several other online AV scanners. They’ve all found nothing. If I leave it idle for a little while, then it will not respond. I thought it was a Firefox problem, but IE also crashes. If I have everything but Windows on a USB stick, then I could reinstall Windows 7 anytime easily. Do you think this is feasible?

This scenario both will and will not work. Ultimately, it seems impractical and it’s not going to help your fundamental issue, which sounds like a hardware problem. I’ll talk about that first.

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Can I Move an Installed Program from One Drive to Another?

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Hi. I’m running a laptop with a 120 GB SSD. I installed a game and some expansions that are actually filling this SSD. And I’m starting to have to less and less free disk space. My question is this: can I copy all of the folders from the game from C where it’s installed and put them on a external USB 3.0 disk. Would it still work? Or should I uninstall it and then completely reinstall it again on the external hard drive?

Your laptop will fill up quickly, so having another drive makes a lot of sense.

Unfortunately, the answer to your question is typically no. You can’t just copy the folders from the old location to the new. As you suggested, you need to perform a complete uninstall and then a reinstall, specifying the new installation location when you set up the program again.

Let’s look at why that is and an exception to it.

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