Windows reload questions

So I reloaded Windows Vista. Now I have some questions.

  1. I have the previous Windows still on my HD. I think I can get rid of it. But within the previous Windows I have the Office programs, and I’d like to keep those. Does anyone know how I can move the Office programs from my old Windows to my new Windows, without reloading Office from disk?

  2. I get Norton from my ISP. It’s running right now. In my old Windows I also had MS Security Essentials, downloaded by recommendation. Does MSSE do anything that Norton does not? Ie. is it advisable to have both? When I tried to download it into my new Windows while Norton was running, I got a message saying to disable other antivirus progs and that having more than one running can cause problems. If it is advisable to have MSSE along with Norton, what about that?

  3. What is a Recovery Disk? Is it advisable to have one? If so, how do I use it? When my computer crashed, I tried to “recover” without success. It didn’t seem to help then. Why does it take up so much space on my HD? If I do need it, is there a way to reclaim some of that space?


You can safely delete the old windows folder assuming you installed to a folder with a different name like “windows2” or the like.

There is no realistic way to move applications from one windows installation to another as the installers sometimes add hundreds or even thousands of background changes to windows. A fresh load of windows = those are gone.

Definitions of recovery and restore disks vary highly depending on manufacturer and context.

And just as a side note the programs are not per say in the old copy of windows, they reside in their own folders under a folder called " program files"

However, if you have the time, you may want to see which programs will still run. Many don’t really need the installation. As drachillix says, they are in the folder “Program Files” (or “Program Files (x86?)”), probably on your main hard drive.

However, this does not apply to Microsoft Office since the '97 version. You will have to reinstall.

As for your other questions:

  1. Norton is already doing everything MSE will do. And it is a bad idea to run two antiviruses at once. Norton 2011 did beat out MSE this cycle, so my suggestion would be to only keep Norton. Plus, Norton is notoriously difficult to uninstall.

  2. A Recovery Disk is exactly what you thought it was. However, some manufacturers save part of the disk on your hard drive. Therefore, if the hard drive fails, you will not be able to recover.

IMO, you’re better off getting a copy of an OEM disk and going to your computer manufacturer’s website and getting all the drivers. If you can’t have your recovery disk completely separate from your hard drive, it’s really not that useful for actual recovery.