mattdp

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Apr 14, 2005
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Hi,

I recently had to do a clean install of XP on my machine. Of course, before doing the reinstall I took a backup of everything in C:/Program Files, as you do.

Having done the install and restoring everything back into the program files folder windows no longer recognises all the software that was installed. Is there any utility or tweak I can run to get XP re-recognise all these programs in one go rather than reinstalling them one by one?
 

g-paw

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Jan 31, 2006
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I believe when a program installs it makes entries to the registry and to run the prgram you need these registry entries. Data is also copied to the various Application Data folders. Copying the program folders does not copy these registry entries so you'll likely have to re-install the programs. A friend of mine has an old program he wants to copy to another computer, he doesn't have the installation disk, and from the little research I've done, you have to copy all the required registry entries. If there is a way to do this, I would really like to know what it is.
 

llama_man

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Jan 12, 2006
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Afraid not. Most programs stick their fingers into the registry when you instal them, so unless you also backed up your registry you're stuck. Backing up your registry isn't a great idea though, since your probably reinstalled Windows in order to clear it out in the first place.

When I do a Windows reinstall, the only things I back up are my save games. These can be saved anywhere - some games save in the program folder, some in My Documents... it's a pain. Some games let you change the save game folder, which is helpful, but some (often console ports) don't.

Sorry for the bad news. Go grab your DVD collection and start reinstalling!
 

g-paw

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Jan 31, 2006
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Afraid not. Most programs stick their fingers into the registry when you instal them, so unless you also backed up your registry you're stuck. Backing up your registry isn't a great idea though, since your probably reinstalled Windows in order to clear it out in the first place.

When I do a Windows reinstall, the only things I back up are my save games. These can be saved anywhere - some games save in the program folder, some in My Documents... it's a pain. Some games let you change the save game folder, which is helpful, but some (often console ports) don't.

Sorry for the bad news. Go grab your DVD collection and start reinstalling!

In the case of my friend, would it be possible to just install the hard drive with the program he wants on it and then when he wanted the to use the program just boot the second drive, which would be the Slave assuming his current drive is PATA? The dirve with the program is using either Windows 95 or 98?
 

llama_man

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Jan 12, 2006
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If he boots from the second drive then it should work. The booted Windows will be using the registry with the program entries.

However, since the Windows will have been installed on another computer, all the drivers will be wrong. He will need to uninstall all the hardware drivers and start again. This has a tendency to mess up the registry! If he has no other option then go for it, but he's probably better off trying to get hold of a copy of the install disk for the program he wants to use.
 

g-paw

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Jan 31, 2006
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If he boots from the second drive then it should work. The booted Windows will be using the registry with the program entries.

However, since the Windows will have been installed on another computer, all the drivers will be wrong. He will need to uninstall all the hardware drivers and start again. This has a tendency to mess up the registry! If he has no other option then go for it, but he's probably better off trying to get hold of a copy of the install disk for the program he wants to use.

Unfortunately, it's unlikely he can find a copy of the program given it's on floppys. As far as installing the drivers, he would really only need the video drivers and install his printer because he wouldn't be using, sound, the net or e mail when he was running the program. Talk about working in a high tech field, the programs we use come on floppys. :D Appreciate the help.
 

llama_man

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Jan 12, 2006
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Can't he just connect a floppy drive to the machine?

Oh, and if I remember correctly, Windows 95 (and 98 too I think) will only boot from a primary master drive. Rubbish, I know. So, if both disks are Win 98, then you need to physically swap the disk cables over.
 

g-paw

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Jan 31, 2006
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Can't he just connect a floppy drive to the machine?

Oh, and if I remember correctly, Windows 95 (and 98 too I think) will only boot from a primary master drive. Rubbish, I know. So, if both disks are Win 98, then you need to physically swap the disk cables over.

Probleem is he doesn't have the floppies. He thinks the old hdd might have Windows 2000 but he's not sure. It's also possible he has a SATA drive in the newer computer, which should make life easier because then he should be able to set the old drive to Master. I think you may be right about 95 abd 98 needing to be on the primary master to boot. I guess if he does to do this, we'll have to play around and see if we can get it to work. Hope he does because it sounds like fun. Too bad someone doesn't develop software that would let you mirroe or copy an installed program including registry entries, dll, and all the other files. Wish I was a programmer, my fortune could be made.
 

llama_man

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Jan 12, 2006
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Windows 2000 runs fine on any disk you like. It's a good operating system!

If he's doing a dual-boot system, then he'll need a boot menu on the primary disk, but I think Windows sorts this out itself.

Good luck!