Planning my next reinstall

Having been forced by winrot into rebuilding luggable, I am thinking it would be wise to plan for the next reinstall.

Last time, I was lucky because the was essentially nothing wrong with the hard drive. It was windoze that was screwed up. At least one program was lost that I know of (i.e., the Intel Wireless Configuration utility). Data and applications were duplicated. Clean up is a mess.

Why do programs have to be installed?

So my thinking is I need to identify all applications. Catagorize them as: those I can reinstall because I have media and those I can't. For the ones I can't what is my plan?

So I need to create a data strategy. That is somewhat easier. During the reinstall, I found that Windows, certain Applications, and some slovenly habits on my part allowed data to be scattered across the directory structure. I need to come up with a plan for data. Some data is by the nature of the application is automagically off-sited. For example, Corex's Cardscan saves its data on the Corex site. In recovery, it can, after the application is reinstalled, be brought down from the cloud. It's questionable if it MUST be brought down form the cloud (i.e., restoring is useless because it has to be brought from the cloud to be syncable back to the cloud). So it has it's own gotcha. Data could be restricted to a data drive and backup to something like that book drive. Or off-site service like Streamload or such?

So there are lots of apps and lots of data that all needs work.

There is also a class of stuff that needs consideration. Drivers, configurations, and other things need to be accounted for.

Keyboarding everything stinks. So there has to be scripts, batch files, or other ways to recover and minimize the amount of time and effort to do it.

So I have a lot of work cut out for me.

Since I won't move to Vista, I need to identify how I can stay behind until my move to Linux.

My thought is that ideally I'd like to get a base that I could image and then that would always serve as a jumping off point.

One idea would be to create images as I begin to beat this into shape.

So where do I start?

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