Well for one, apart from backing up your steam folder [which works just fine] you should consider partitioning your Windows drive seperately from your "content" drives as I call them. Make a games partition and a files partition. Then, when you reformat every "6 months or so" as you say, you only have to worry about wiping out windows, not any of the totally benign files/games/content. If you're new to partitioning, do a google search on it, you'll be doing yourself a huge favor.
I really second that. Partitioning the drive was one of the first tricks taught to me by the more PC savvy back when I got my first one (coming from the Amiga in 1995, going to Win95 straight... :/ ). Did not do it on my first 800 MB HD because it would have been quite pointless with Windows sucking up ~1/4 of it, but after that - no way without it.
What really pisses me of lotsa times though is the inability of the game developers to include the routines to check/write to the registry in the actual .exe file. Yes, I reinstalled Windows. No, I did not upon first install of your game remember to do a registry monitor to later just re-add the invaluable keys you entered. Thanks for f*cking up, game, without your Manufacturer name in the registry and making me insert 5 cds for installing, patching, getting the nocd crack again, backing up my saves. Is that so hard?
Back on topic: W00t! Finally! And I really hope Steam buyers get to play it before the 16th. And as someone else posted about up there in the beginning of the thread: it would be better if all the database connections from the steam users were on a different day than the one from retail buyers, just to split the load.Edit: Typos.This comment was edited on Oct 19, 04:57.