B: We tend to be paranoid, so we recommend making a complete clone of your system drive on an external hard drive. That way, you have a working backup that you can go to if there is any problem with your new install.
You’re wiping the system drive completely, so you’ll have to re-install all of your software applications and plug-ins. In many cases, the copy protection used is keyed off of the computer’s CPU or hardware configuration, so the authorizations will be okay. In other cases, you may have to re-authorize the software, so be sure you keep any challenge/response codes handy and that you know how to access the authorization pages on the manufacturer’s websites.
Proceed carefully and methodically, and allow plenty of time to do this process.