You know, I thought they had it tough in the Six Million Dollar Man. They had to take a wreck of a man and make it all high-tech and shiny (and nuclear powered!)

They probably never had to content with rebuilding my laptop! There’s a day of my life I’ll never get back - but in the long run it’s worth it, and I’d suggest everyone should put aside a little time each 6 months or so to go through the pain… it’s as good as new again !

There are a few very important things to do before you start….<ul><li>Make sure you know where all your vital files and data is (so you can back it up) - don’t forget things like Outlook PSTs or Outlook Express folders<li>Make a list of all the handy utilities and programs you’ve grabbed off the web<li>Make sure you know where all the install CDs are<li>and don’t forget the serial numbers<li>Oh, and did I mention back up all your data!</ul>
Then it’s off on, what may at times, a big adventure !

Backup for me is fairly simple. I’m quite strict about where files live - My Documents is pretty much the root for anything I need to move. Dragging that across to the Maxtor was an easy (but time consuming) process.

Next step with the Vaio is a fairly simple task - run the system recovery disc and reformat everything (moments of cold sweat - had I backed up the latest draft of my masterpiece?!) and then go through the Windows XP setup. Luckily the machine was a post service pack2 so the Windows build included all of that. Also as it’s a supplier provided recovery disk (as opposed to a raw OEM or commercial install) it knows what drivers it needs to get everything working - my contribution to the process was to name the machine, provide some passwords and give it a timezone (and for this I’m a technical wizard!)

Then the fun really begins….. re-installing everything that makes the laptop a tool rather than a paper-weight and making sure my data is still usable….

More on that later.