Restoring Skype “Content” when Rebuilding Windows

Last week my Windows configuration finally collapsed under the weight of too many installs/uninstalls. When four different program upgrades won’t install properly (including the new Skype 2.6 beta) and come up during the installation attempts with dialogue boxes that only the most dedicated and focused developer would understand, it’s time to re-install Windows XP from a fresh start.

How did I know my configuration (and/or Windows Installer) was corrupt? When I went to reinstall the previous version of Skype (2.5) I got the same error dialogue box and there was not a trace of Skype left in Add/Remove Programs. And I had recently experienced two other programs that balked at upgrade attempts.
Given I had acquired a “newly released”: Dell Inspiron 6400 last spring, the rebuild turned out to be a blessing in disguise as I found that Dell had provided five updates of the ROMBIOS and new versions of almost every relevant driver. I was able to not only back up “My Documents” (using Backup My PC Deluxe) but also backup both my Skype “content” (mostly Chat dialogues and Call/Session History) and my Qumana blog editor data for restoration on the rebuilt Windows platform. One additional benefit (maybe): the Windows power management features seem to be more reliable and to acting in the manner one would expect.

If you are in this situation or moving your operations to a new laptop or desktop PC, you will find the Skype data in C:\Documents and Settings\{UserName}\Application Data\Skype\{SkypeName}. Simply copy this Folder, including its contents, to your backup drive. Once you have reinstalled Skype copy this backup content back into the same Folder where you will overwrite the same set of files created by the new installation of Skype.

Same for Qumana; here the key Folder is C:\Documents and Settings\{UserName}\Application Data\Qumana. As a result of this backup and restore I did not even have to re-enter my blogs’ URL’s and I still have all the draft blogs I am working on.

Probably a good idea to include these Folders in your standard backup routine for the day your disk comes to a crashing halt or your laptop is stolen. Or your Windows installation becomes so corrupt you cannot install upgrades.

As for my configuration I hope with all this updated firmware, driver software and a clean Windows platform, I can last through many more installs/uninstalls in providing content for Skype Journal. Should it not, a repeat experience may also convince me to try a MacBook for my next PC. Of course then Skype would then have to come out with their Skype for Mac with Video!

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About Jim Courtney

Bringing over thirty years' experience in the sales, marketing and management of cutting edge technology businesses.

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