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Wise Tech Tips

Easily Install Software on a New or Re-Installed PC

By James Wise
web posted May 4, 2009
TECH TIPS – Do you find yourself having to install all your computer programs again and again because you’ve gotten a new PC or because you’ve reinstalled Windows? If so, the free program AppSnap could be just what you need to save time and frustration.

Occasionally, I find myself having to re-install everything. This happens when I get a new PC, but more frequently, I have to do this after reinstalling Windows on my computer. Over time, “junk” seems to build up on a computer affecting the stability and performance of the system. There are things you can do to help this such as using cleanup programs like the previously mentioned CCleaner, using anti-spyware programs, defragmenting your hard disk, etc… In some cases, the best solution may be a complete re-install of Windows. Some people recommend doing this every six months to two years.

Changing computers or re-installing Windows means that you will have to be careful about your data including backing it up and possibly putting it in the necessary locations. This is generally pretty easy to do. However, this doesn’t help address the question of how to get your programs back.

AppSnap can automatically download and install programs on your computer. It can even find the latest versions of programs and upgrade them on your computer. To install AppSnap, just click the download link on the AppSnap website and run the file. A shortcut to the program will be added in your start menu.

The program comes pre-configured with a large number of programs. It’s also possible to add programs to the list. These programs come from the Internet or from a local or network directory. These are more advanced options which we won’t cover for now.

To use the program, just check the programs you would like to install and click the “install” button. A category box is available if you want to limit the list of programs displayed. This can also be used to see which of these programs you have installed already, which ones you don’t have, and which ones have upgrades available.

Before re-installing Windows or switching to a new computer, you might want to get a list of the programs you have installed. You can use CCleaner for this (or control panel, add/remove programs) or programs such as the free Belarc Advisor.

If you need more help with this, just let me know. I can also provide a video illustrating this program, details about creating your own list of programs (including keeping a directory with copies of the programs you want to install), etc… if anyone would like this.

There are some other programs which are similar to AppSnap in case you want to check them out including InstallPad and Smart Installer Pack.

When re-installing, you also have to consider the hardware drivers on your computer. If you re-install using a restore disk that came with your computer, this can help because the disk should include the original drivers. However, you still may not have all your drivers and the ones you do have may not be up to date. Just keep this in mind when you re-install. Normally, you can get the drivers you need over the Internet at sites like your computer manufacture’s site. You may also want to checkout programs like Driver Collector. If you run it before you re-install, it can gather your currently installed drivers for you. Of course this wouldn’t apply to switching to a new PC since the hardware involved will be different.

Lastly, don’t forget to update your system after a re-install including Windows Updates and anti-virus program updates. In the future, we may take a look at some ways to make this easier as well.


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We still need recipes for Cooking Section

WEBNEWS –  Send in your favorite or favorites. There is no limit to the number of recipes you can send in. With the Editor’s wife being the driving force behind her own personal section, help her create an exchange of local favorites, home cooking, grilling, sauces, and deserts!  Send in your submissions here.