Author Topic: Tips on windows reinstalls?  (Read 2378 times)

Offline LPChip

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Tips on windows reinstalls?
« on: December 18, 2016, 12:58:51 »
Every once in a while, you'll be faced with a reinstall of windows.

Its always a hastle and time consuming. There are some ways to ensure that it can be done quickly and painlessly, but each approach has their caveats.

For example, you can create an installation medium and slipstream your apps and settings into it, but this only works for as long as you have this pc and operating system version (lets assume windows here).

Its not that you reinstall on a monthly basis, so the effort put into a slipstreamed os is just not worth the effort.
Then there's the option to create an image after install with all the necessary bits installed already, but this is basically the same as slipstreaming, having the same caveats, it just gets outdated.

Creating a backup regularly (or image) allowing you to go back to that point is an option, but usually a system can degrade over time and a backup is not an option then either because you may not want to lose certain things that have been done which means you have to backup them first, perform the restore, do all the tasks to get it back in line which may take as much time as a complete reinstall, where a reinstall is the preferred method then.

Then there is the ability to use 2 windows at the same time, such as inside a virtual machine or through a remote desktop connection (terminal server environment) but the problem is that if that windows fails, you still have to reinstall that. True, its less work, and inside a vm or remote desktop connection, CPU heavy programs just won't work.

There is also the ability to use portable programs which basically mean, as long as they remain on your harddrive, you do not need to install them after a fresh installation.

And certain commonly used tools can often be installed by a main installer such as Ninite or PatchMyPC.

I currently do use a terminal server where I have my webbrowser, email and a fileserver for my files. Some other programs that I daily are on there too, such as chatting, office tools and pdf viewer.

So a reinstall of windows means, I just install Remote Desktop Connection Manager, load my rdcm file and I can continue to work with email and browsing and stuff.

I still have to install programs such as steam, drivers, windows updates etc and CPU heavy programs and some games seperately.

This means I am still installing for a good few hours for a reinstall.

One or the things that takes the most time, is my music environment. I have different VSTi's, and some of them require installation in order to work. Does anyone have tips to make this process less of a burdon?

They are VSTi's that I bought and have some form of license verification, so apart of installing them, I usually also have to insert their serial code somewhere.

How do you go about this? Do you have created a dedicated place where your audio environment is that you simply never need to reinstall? Did you find a way to make installing them less of a hastle?

I'm curious. Thanks. :)
"Heh, maybe I should've joined the compo only because it would've meant I wouldn't have had to worry about a damn EQ or compressor for a change. " - Atlantis
"yes.. I think in this case it was wishful thinking: MPT is makng my life hard so it must be wrong" - Rewbs

Offline Saga Musix

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Re: Tips on windows reinstalls?
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2016, 14:34:36 »
My philosophy kind of is: Install as little stuff as possible. If you didn't use it in the last month, you probably don't need it.
As a start, the only times I reinstalled Windows in the last 7 years (since the release of Windows 7) was when I was going to upgrade to new SSDs, which happened three times. So it happens rarely and is acceptable to take a while (though it really doesn't take that long thanks to SSDs and flash drives).
All my audio stuff is on a separate drive so specifically for plugins that don't need installation, I can just continue using them. That's actually the biggest bunch of my plugins. There are only very few plugins that I frequently use which require installation (the Korg Legacy series), so those are some of the first things I install on a new system. As for any other plugins, see my philosophy: I am not going to install them until I actually need them. Which means that I am probably never going to re-install some of them. Same goes for software - I gradually reinstall it whenever I miss something, which does not happen that often.
For other stuff, I have a bunch of registry files and notes about things to change in the groups manager which quickly restore the system to the state I want.
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Offline LPChip

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Re: Tips on windows reinstalls?
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2016, 19:50:25 »
Lucky you. It takes me up to 2,5 hours or more to get my music plugins installed and configured. I don't have extremely many plugins. I think about 20 installs I have to do. They are unfortunately plugins I use often and require install, and their installation and configuration takes quite a long time for some. For example Camel Audio Alchemy takes up a lot of time.

And without installing it, it keeps saying it doesn't have permission and that I need to restart the host with admin privileges to correct the error (which doesn't work) but installing it once does fix it.
"Heh, maybe I should've joined the compo only because it would've meant I wouldn't have had to worry about a damn EQ or compressor for a change. " - Atlantis
"yes.. I think in this case it was wishful thinking: MPT is makng my life hard so it must be wrong" - Rewbs

Offline Rakib

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Re: Tips on windows reinstalls?
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2016, 20:47:36 »
Im with Saga, I only install when I have to. Last time was my upgrade to windows 10 which I still regret. So avoid it if you can, its just waist of time.
Try instead to delete files and programs you dont need and run defrag once a while if you have a regular hard drive.
^^

Offline LPChip

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Re: Tips on windows reinstalls?
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2016, 21:06:52 »
I was on windows 8.1 because I tried windows 10 before but did not get my audio working when windows 10 was out. (it worked during a preview version though).

But last night something went wrong and my soundcard drivers got corrupted somehow and reinstalling them was impossible too. It probably is due to a windows update from a month ago. Since then, my computer hang during the install and after that on each boot, it wants to scan my ssd.

So a reinstall was in order anyway, and last night I had motivation to do so.

I attempted windows 10 once more because it runs okay on my other devices and at work too and prefer it over 8.1 At first I did not get audio to work correctly, but was able to get it fixed after 30 minutes of trial and error. Yay for owning a creative card... :(

Anyway I am on windows 10 now and I'm looking into ways to make a next install less painful.

I don't install software unless I need to, because of this, which means I am not installing photoshop which sucks because I sometimes need photoshop but then I have to install it and can't be arsed.

The installation process of photoshop is not nice. I have to get my cd, install it, enter a long serial... and its a time consuming effort.

It actually makes me consider to pirate photoshop just so I don't have to go through the haslte of installing it.
"Heh, maybe I should've joined the compo only because it would've meant I wouldn't have had to worry about a damn EQ or compressor for a change. " - Atlantis
"yes.. I think in this case it was wishful thinking: MPT is makng my life hard so it must be wrong" - Rewbs

Offline Harbinger

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Re: Tips on windows reinstalls?
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2016, 07:58:21 »
Well, i'm about to buy a new laptop with Windows 10 and very high end on graphics, all so I can use a program called Chief Architect. I don't intend to get rid of my current machine which is still under XP, only because I hear horror stories about Windows 10 vs. older programs.

Are you recommending I DON'T use MPT on my new machine under Windows 10? Is there any real advantage?

Offline Saga Musix

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Re: Tips on windows reinstalls?
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2016, 14:14:28 »
For OpenMPT, it does not really matter (except that I find the look of slider controls in Windows 10 really ugly, but that's another story). It may matter for some plugins.
I have actually heard that older (XP era) software sometimes runs better on Windows 10 than it did on Vista / 7 / 8, but I have no idea how much of that is true and to which kind of software that applies. It's probably going to be different from case to case. I personally have been running Windows 7 as my main operating system since it came out in 2009, and I intend to do so for the future. Buying Windows 7 licenses becomes more difficult though and especially newer laptop hardware won't come with Windows 7 drivers, so it's probably not an option for you.
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Offline LPChip

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Re: Tips on windows reinstalls?
« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2016, 15:51:32 »
I found out that watching video files on windows 10 works better than windows XP, especially if you have a low-end pc and try to watch high-end videos, such as 720p and 1080p. Windows 8.1 already performed almost the same or slightly better than XP, and 10 performs better than 8.1

It allowed me to decently watch a 720p movie instead of trying all kinds of stuff to buffer and watch with lots of rendering errors depending on how much was happening on the screen.

By decent I mean, movies with less movement/busy scenes (most movies that are not action) would work without any problems. The faster action movies would struggle occassionally but it was doable.
"Heh, maybe I should've joined the compo only because it would've meant I wouldn't have had to worry about a damn EQ or compressor for a change. " - Atlantis
"yes.. I think in this case it was wishful thinking: MPT is makng my life hard so it must be wrong" - Rewbs

Offline Diamond

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Re: Tips on windows reinstalls?
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2016, 00:56:21 »
I still believe that images are your best option.  After a fresh installation, install everything you use most often and configure all of your preferences.  At that point immediately create an image.  That first image will generally function as well as a fresh installation if you create it as soon as possible.  Yes of course if enough time passes and you wind up having to restore the image, you may have to perform some reinstalling and tweaking, but in my opinion and experience it is definitely much less work than having to start from scratch.  There are also things you can do to minimize the amount of necessary work after restoring from an image such as configuring applications which have the ability to change the default location to keep their settings on a separate drive.  You can also change default locations such as your favorites folder to point at another drive.  In addition, you can occasionally create more recent images to act as a quick restore to as close to the current state as possible.  I create frequent registry backups as well because many issues can be quickly resolved by simply restoring the registry to a previously known healthy state.  Assuming that switching to new hardware comes up often enough to be an issue, some imaging software is capable of restoring to completely different hardware.

Offline LPChip

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Re: Tips on windows reinstalls?
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2016, 15:50:41 »
For work, I work with imaging software enough to know what it can and cannot do. The biggest problem is that your computer changes over time and if you started using a plugin, or configured things that is not in the image, you start wondering what you are missing which is frustrating by itself.

I can often fix an issue without requiring reinstalling, and I already made it so that I don't have to install as much as I currently do, but again an image is not going to be an option for me. I've done it in the past, but never needed it due to having changed something that invalidates the image or throws me back into a state that no longer is relevant, such as not using a program anymore, etc.
"Heh, maybe I should've joined the compo only because it would've meant I wouldn't have had to worry about a damn EQ or compressor for a change. " - Atlantis
"yes.. I think in this case it was wishful thinking: MPT is makng my life hard so it must be wrong" - Rewbs

Offline Diamond

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Re: Tips on windows reinstalls?
« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2016, 16:29:42 »
You can create incremental images as well, but otherwise you're starting to run out of options dude.

Offline LPChip

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Re: Tips on windows reinstalls?
« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2016, 21:03:34 »
I guess the best thing I can do is monitor each installation and create custom installers that only make the changes in the registry, given that the files already are on the target location... This would turn them into portable installations. Its hard to do but it may be the best option.
"Heh, maybe I should've joined the compo only because it would've meant I wouldn't have had to worry about a damn EQ or compressor for a change. " - Atlantis
"yes.. I think in this case it was wishful thinking: MPT is makng my life hard so it must be wrong" - Rewbs

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Re: Tips on windows reinstalls?
« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2017, 14:47:28 »
On unix you have rsync and dd commands to backup your OS. On windows you have to use some third-party utilities with non-predictable outcome. Windows is somehow linked to definite boot sectors of hdd and unlike on nix you can't copy the OS like regular files. That's very irritating.

Offline Fatarse

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Re: Tips on windows reinstalls?
« Reply #13 on: November 21, 2017, 16:00:54 »
The answer is simple create one winblows Borg box 📦 machine and copy it dozens of times!!!!

Resistance is futile !!!!!! Even for a ransomware virus!!!!

We are fatarse Borg!!!