It’s sometimes difficult to find game files, and it’s easy to forget to back them up before reinstalling Windows – a bit like your Office settings and preferences. To rescue the latter, run the Office Save My Settings Wizard – it’s built into Office XP and 2003; Office 2000 users can download it through http://office.microsoft.com.
It’s a good idea to make a drive image of your system – tools like Norton Ghost 9.0 enable you to ‘mount’ your images as if they were actual drives, so if you forget to port across a file you can grab it from the drive image. You can retrieve forgotten Registry settings with a program called Resplendent Registrar (www.resplendence.com/download),
which we covered in issue 144. We recommend that you copy your Registry files from the drive image to a folder on your hard drive before opening them with Resplendent Registrar.
All of this is quite fiddly so prepare yourself as best as possible by backing up what you can before you reformat. In the case of saved game files, we’ve compiled this flowchart to help you track down the files you need.