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I have a good system that allows me to keep my computer running perfect and my data safe all the time.

I run two 250GB SATA hard drives. Both have a 20GB boot partician and the rest is allocated for storage.

Run partician magic or some free western digital software to copy your freshly installed os/program partician to the first partician on the second drive.

When you os starts to run poorly you switch the boot order and run the second drive that has the copy of your os. Then image that os on the first drive again. You are now running perfectly and are still backed up.

Keep in mind you don't need to create particians, I just do so I have a safe place to put large files I don't want to mess with when restoring. Hard drive size doen't matter, but I suggest using the same type for backup (SATA or IDE) or you may have hard drive driver issues.

If you do it this way you will never have to reinstall windows or programs, and you will never have to activate windows again.
 

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Similar to what I do. I keep my OS on a 10GB partition and the data on the remainder. I use TweakUI to change my desktop, My Documents, Favorites, etc. to folders on the data drive. When I want to refresh my OS, I use Acronis TrueImage to re-write the OS partition. It takes about 5 minutes and all my desktop shortcuts are still there.
 
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