Precautions before reinstalling your Windows PC

A brief overview of precautions you should take, and files and folders that should be backed up before reinstalling your Windows PC. 

Topic page about IT services

Norsk versjon - Viktig å gjøre før reinstallasjon av din Windows PC

Backup #

When you reinstall your Windows device, all personal files stored on your computer will be removed. 

This means that you should ensure that all files and folders that you may need in the future is safely stored somewhere else. To make this process as easy as possible, this guide aims to remind you of the files most employees wants to keep hold of.

Digital Certificates #

If digital certificates have been used to sign and / or encrypt e-mail, you must back up certificates with their private key.

If your private key connected to the certificate is lost all encrypted email will be unreadable.

How to backup?

Files #

Some of our employees store some files locally, which requires you to make sure the files are safely stored when having your device reinstalled.  

To make sure that you will keep hold of all your files, the IT division recommends that you store all your files and folders on the M:\ drive to ensure that everything is safely stored in our servers. 

The NTNU set up on Windows 10 implements a feature called "Folder Redirection" that automatically saves all files and folders in the following folders on the M:\ drive: 

  • Desktop
  • Documents
  • Images
  • Music
  • Videos
  • Contacts
  • Favorites

You can verify that these files are safely stored on our server by verifying that these folders on your computer matches the folders on the M:\ drive. 

Please note that the folder redirecting is not activated in Windows 8 or earlier versions. 

To ensure that you keep all of your files, we recommend you look in at least the following folders for files and folders you may need in the future: 

  • C:\
  • C:\Users\%username%
  • C:\Users\%username%\Documents

Please note that %username% should be replaced by your username. 

Network drives #

When your device is reinstalled, it will have the following two network drives installed by default:

  • Your home drive – M:\ 
  • NTNU common drive – T:\ 

Many of you will also have "K:\" installed on your old computer, this is now replaced by the NTNU common drive "T:\", and should not be used.

Some of you uses other network drives than the two mentioned above. These are very easy to set up on a reinstalled device, provided you know the location of the drives. This means that before reinstalling your device, you should note the location of your network drives. You may identify your drives by opening File Explorer (e.g. by pressing the Windows button and "E" simultaneously).  

Please note that your drives may differ severely from the drives listed below.  
The location is the addresses marked with red.

To reconnect your network drives, please consult the Innsida article on how to connect to network drives.

Bookmarks #

You may have bookmarks (or favorites in some browsers), that you want to keep after reinstalling your device. 

Please visit the Innsida article on how to back up and import bookmarks for instructions.

Outlook signatures #

You may have signatures that you use when sending email from Outlook. By following the instructions below, you may back up and import your signatures when reinstalling your device. 

  1. Click the Windows button in the corner of your screen.
  2. Enter "%AppData%\Microsoft\Signatures" in the search field
  3. Press the "Enter" button to open the folder.
  4. Copy the folder to the M:\ drive.
  5. When your device has been reinstalled, copy the same files back to %Appdata%\Microsoft\Signatures
    The Signatures folder might be missing, in that case you may create the Signatures folder yourself. 

EndNote #

EndNote is a reference tool that enables you to store literature references in a personal database and insert the references into text documents. 

There are multiple ways to back up your EndNote library, the easiest being to create a compressed archive file of your EndNote library, which you can save on the M:\ drive. 

Please note that you may have several libraries, and that you will need to create a separate compressed archive file for each one of them. 

  1. Start the EndNote application.
  2. If not already open, open your library by selecting "File -> Open Recent"
  3. When you have opened your library, select "File -> Compressed Library (.enlx) …
  4. A dialog with options for the compressed archive file will now be present, and by marking the choices "Create", "With File Attachments", and "All References in Library", the compressed archive file will contain everything in your library. You may also select "Create & E-mail" if you want the file to be sent by email.

Contact #

Orakel Support Services can help if you have questions.

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