Pre-format checklist!


Formatting your system to reinstall or upgrade your OS, or to try a new one? Here’s a few things worth checking before you do…


  1. Export browser bookmarks
  2. Deactivate programs (e.g. Adobe CS*)
  3. Download updated drivers
  4. Check your Downloads folder for anything you might want to save
  5. Check your Documents folder for the same
  6. Check your Pictures/Music/Movies folders
  7. Lightroom user? Make sure you have copies of your catalogues
  8. Make note of your Windows/Office/other product keys (a program like Produkey can make this very easy for Windows/Office)
  9. Unix users – copy your crontab and other setup files (e.g. ssmtp, networking config) if they have changed
  10. Check for BIOS updates for your system
  11. Make note of your email client settings – can save you a lot of headaches trying to access emails post-reinstall
  12. Mine coins? Don’t forget to copy your wallet elsewhere. If you don’t have a backup, make one!
  13. Check your programs for data files which you may want to keep – e.g. Netmeter’s .txt file for logging traffic
  14. If you’re virtualising, check that you have copies of your VM HDDs! (e.g. Virtualbox)
  15. Check which programs you have installed (e.g. in Windows through Add/Remove Programs) – make a list if you might forget some
  16. Upgrading or changing OS? Check that anything important is compatible with the new OS before you start!



We will be updating this over the course of the next week or so as we get ideas and feedback about what people typically forget about! Our own list of reinstalled programs looks something like:


  • CS6 suite
  • LR5
  • Nik Collection
  • Notepad++/Sublime
  • Firefox/Chrome
  • Thunderbird
  • Open Office
  • XenCenter
  • Virtualbox
  • iTunes
  • MakeMKV
  • Handbrake
  • Audials
  • Antivirus
  • Microsoft Camera Codec Pack
  • Datacolor Spyder colour management
  • Net Meter
  • SD Formatter
  • SumatraPDF
  • ISODisk
  • HD Tune Pro