Ever wonder where the settings for your Windows Azure subscriptions are stored?
In Visual Studio, under Server Explorer, when you have the Azure tools installed you can use it to connect to a Storage Account in Windows Azure. When you configuring it, there is an option called “Remember account key”. Visual Studio keeps those settings for Azure in a file located in the following directory:
C:\Users\<username>\Documents\Visual Studio 2012\Settings\Windows Azure Connections.xml
If you backup and restored this file before reinstalling the OS, it would have everything it needs to connect to Azure on your behalf and get the list of storage accounts directly. Once it has the thumbprint information associated with the subscription ID, it connects to the management portal directly using the Management API.