Originally posted by jdmml
if I were to uninstall linux but keep one partition with all my configuration and then later reload that onto my newly installed linux would that work and how would i keep all my config??
Unless you installed a lot of custom software (and i doubt you did) you need to backup few directories, namely, /etc (>97% of configs) /home (maybe few more configs and all user files) and [optinally] /var (rest of configs, databases if you have them, etc). backup those things to a different partition (alternatively, just burn the lot on a CD if you have the ability).
Then install/reinstall all you want, BUT make sure to keep that backup partition safe. then when ready just copy all the stuff from backup back to where it belongs overwriting everything. and you SHOULD be back to the original config (be careful with bootloader configuration though, consider skipping it altogether, or not backing up /etc at all as it contains only config files).
/home is the most important directory for data retention, unless you did a lot of custom configuration on your machine. /var is second in importance in terms of data retention as it contains mysql databases and apache webpages if you are using them.