I have a program installed that will be useless if I ever have to format and reinstall it. Is it possible to burn the installed program to disc, then after formatting load the disc, and drag or copy and paste the contents onto the HD? I was hoping this would allow me to skip the setup executable process.
Some you can some you cant, try it on another partition or part of the drive and run it from the .exe in the folder you move.
Other than what's in the installation folder, there are often registry entries and drivers installed as well. It's possible, it just depends on the app.
This discussion is likely borderline taboo for these forums anyways...
In most cases - no, 90% of commercial programs rely on registry entries in order to run - meaning if you take the program out of the operating environment, it becomes essentially useless. Your only option that is 100% certain to work is re-installing from a disk.
But since you "can't", I'm assuming that what you're proposing is - as Oblivious said - borderline illegal anyway.
There's your answer. So closed.