I re-install my operating system on a somewhat regular basis. I find that nothing gets a machine running at peak performance like a shiny new OS install. I’ve managed to streamline the process of backing up everything and putting it back on. Even most of the programs go back on with little effort. The one thing that is a pain is that when I do this to my laptop, I lose all of the information about the WiFi networks I’ve used in the past.
So how does one keep track of all of those WEP keys and such? I keep a note on my phone with a list of keys. This method is effective, but rather annoying. Thankfully there is a great little piece of freeware that can save all of my WiFi networks. The aptly-named WiFi Network Backup Manager will take all of your saved networks and back them up into an XML file. Then, when you’ve re-installed Windows, just re-install the program and import the data. It’s as simple as that.