Backup and Reinstall
Backups and reinstalls are one of our most frequent duties and 90% of the time will be somewhat time-consuming yet relatively painless. The key here is to double-check and triple-check before you click Enter that last time and wipe the drive clean. As long as you know the files are backed up (or in some cases, don't need to be backed up), you can essentially do whatever it takes to get the machine working.
Measure twice, cut once. That is the absolute simple truth of this process. So to make sure you measure correctly in the first place, do yourself a favor and take steps to be certain of what needs to be done before and after the reinstallation. For the simple, pre-made, really-no-one-to-blame-but-yourself way, take a look at the document in the link below.
This form will help you organize your tasks for the reinstallation. Fill out the form, and be thorough. While you're filling it out, approach it as if you are filling out the form for someone else to do the installation. It's always possible that you may not be there to perform certain tasks due to school, holidays, or even other duties, so it's important that the information is detailed enough and legible so that someone else can perform the tasks if needed.
Once you've finished the form, print a copy and bring it to your supervisor. They may need to point out that a certain requested software is unavailable, or suggest additional folders to back up. Domain object changes may also need to be made by your supervisor.
Now that you have the details written down, make sure you've set a time with the user(s) of the computer to perform the re-installation. For Windows installs, you will need to bring the machine the workroom to do the re-install; Linux machines may be installed on location, provided there is an active network connection.
The most time-consuming part of the process, and also the most important. We do not have any tools or capability for effective data recovery, so once you take that drive and wipe it clean and install an OS on it, any data that was there before is effectively gone forever. So it cannot, cannot be stressed enough that you should be very careful and thorough during the backup process. Do not reinstall a machine until you know the files have been backed up.
That bears repeating. DO NOT reinstall a machine until you confrim that files are backed up. That means that if you backed up the files, double-check to make sure you got them all. That also means that if