How do I reinstall software if I don’t have the installation discs or download files?

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I’d like to reinstall Windows XP on one PC and Windows 7 on another. Both have become very slow and I’ve done almost everything written about to speed them up. I have the original discs for them. However, what I don’t have are the discs for much of the software. I read your articles on that so I’ll be getting discs in the future. So, how can I reinstall Windows as well as the software on the PCs? On the XP PC, I really only want to keep Office 2007.

On the Windows 7 PC, however, I have the disc for Office 2007 Pro but not for several software packages that I bought and downloaded. One in particular was actually expensive – Dragon Naturally Speaking. I installed Macrium as you suggested. I wasn’t sure from your articles if I could somehow use the backup from Macrium to reinstall just the software. I found some freeware that allowed me to obtain the keys to some of the Microsoft software on the PCs but for no other legitimate third party software. Mainly, I want to keep Nitro PDF Pro, Wondershare Video Converter and Dragon Naturally Speaking. Everything else I can probably live without even if I bought it.

The very short answer to your dilemma is that strictly speaking you can’t do what you are trying to do. I’ll review how to prevent this in the future at least, and throw out a couple of ideas or straws you can grasp at.

Read moreHow do I reinstall software if I don’t have the installation discs or download files?

I reinstalled Windows and lost a file on my desktop, what can I do?

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I put a new motherboard in my computer and was forced to reinstall Windows 7. I lost my budget spreadsheet that I had saved on my desktop. I tried to find it in Windows old and windows old 000. I couldn’t find it. Am I out of luck because I didn’t back it up? Or are there some tips that you can give me before I give up?

Reinstalling Windows is a pretty serious operation no matter which of the installation options you choose. There’s a very small chance that the file is still there, but to be honest, I’m not very hopeful.

Read moreI reinstalled Windows and lost a file on my desktop, what can I do?

How do I restore my backup to a new machine?

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My wife’s PC, which was running Vista, died. Fortunately, we have a backup hard drive. We’re replacing our old computer with a new machine running Windows 7. Can we do a complete restore using the new machine? Or will that overwrite Windows 7 as the operating system? How do we restore all of her content including the applications that were on the old machine? Do we just copy folders? Sorry, but I’m a Mac guy and I know very little about PCs.

There are several approaches to restoring what you have from a backup. Unfortunately, when you’re restoring to a new machine,  things aren’t nearly as clean as you might want them to be.

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Can I move Office 2010 to another computer?

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Can I move Office 2010 to another computer? I’ve got it on one computer and I want to move it to another. If I uninstall from the first, can I just use the setup again and install in on another computer? I really don’t want to have to buy it again.

Most licenses allow you to do pretty much what you’ve described. You’re allowed to have Office installed on one computer at a time. You will need the original installation media that you used to install Office 2010 the first time.

I’ll walk you through it.

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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.

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

Should I upgrade to a 64-bit operating system?

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I just installed a new board and CPU that is 64-bit capable, but I have a 32-bit operating system. Would it be worth the time to go to 64-bit? I have 16 GB of RAM that (from what I read) is not being accessed with the 32-bit OS. Is this something to be concerned about?

“Concerned” is hard for me to judge, as is whether or not it’s worth your time to go to 64-bit.

Ultimately, you have to ask yourself some tough questions. How much time would you feel like spending on this? How much money is involved? For instance, if you’re running Windows, you may have to buy a new copy of the operating system. How much do you use your computer?

Let’s talk about what that might involve.

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Why Did I Lose Applications After My Machine was Formatted?

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Using Windows XP, Home Edition, 32-bit. I had my computer formatted and the technician lost my Corel Windows programs and Veritas to burn music CDs. Is this normal for it to happen?

Well, yes and no.

It’s important to realize that formatting a computer erases everything that’s on that hard drive. You start with a hard disk that contains Windows, other applications, and data and after you format, you have an empty hard disk. That’s normal. That’s expected. That’s what formatting means.

What concerns me here is that the technician should have told you.

Read moreWhy Did I Lose Applications After My Machine was Formatted?