Over the weekend, I had the fun experience of reinstalling Windows 7 – no, I’m not being sarcastic, I’m a geek, I like doing things like this. For one thing, a fresh install lets me pare down the number of applications I’ve crammed onto the machine to just the essentials. And despite my move to the cloud for many things, I’m always surprised at the number of desktop programs I still use. (For example, Windows Live tools like Messenger and Live Writer, Adobe Photoshop and Reader, FileZilla for FTP uploads, Microsoft Office, and Skype just to name a few.
Anyway, after backing up the essentials (files, photos, music, videos, and my user account) via the included Windows Easy Transfer tool, it occurred to me that I needed to back up my Windows Live Writer settings too. This led me to the free software program called Windows Live Writer Backup. I thought I had used this in the past successfully, but this time around the program just hung. It looks like the current version was released back in the summer of last year, so maybe it just needs an update? (It’s open source, guys, so have at it!).
Since I couldn’t automate the process with the tool, I took a couple of screenshots of my settings and moved on. After reinstalling Windows, re-downloading my favorite programs and re-running the Easy Transfer tool to restore my files and other settings, I launched Windows Live Writer. I was prepared to reconfigure my settings using the saved screenshots, but – low-and-behold! – they were already there! I guess the Easy Transfer tool grabbed them too. How nice!
If you’re preparing to reinstall Windows (and users of the Release Candidate like I was – this means you!), I thought you’d be grateful to know about this little tip. It certainly made my experience easier and hopefully will help you too.