I really like the look of this method. I have a 120GB SSD and so it's not feasible to have the Users folder on my OS drive. I am going to do a fresh install of Windows 10 soon due to some issues I have been having. However, I am confused by two steps of this tutorial.
Most importantly I am confused at the start, specifically this part:
I started typing a question and then re-read it and I think I understand it a bit more (but still not entirely). Before set up, you are supposed to create a bootable version of some imaging software, which effectively allows you to use that imaging software without Windows being properly installed - correct?Before starting the installation, create a boot disk for your chosen imaging program. I use Macrium Free, see thetutorial at our sister site the Seven Forums.
When installation has done the last reboot you will arrive to settings dialog (screenshot from this tutorial):
Now turn off the PC. Insert the imaging boot disk and reboot from it, create a system image. As Windows is quite barebone at the moment it only takes a few minutes.
When the image has been created, remove the imaging boot disk and boot the PC normally. It will resume the setup from the above shown settings dialog. You can now reboot to Audit Mode
So what you are saying in the tutorial is that after I reach the 'settings' step of the Windows 10 installation, I am to swap DVDs from the Windows DVD to the Macrium DVD, and then create a system image of the just-installed Windows 10. After that's done, I just remove the Macrium DVD and boot normally, which resumes the set up and allows me to enter Audit mode to start writing the XML file and so on.
I feel as though this step is not stressed or detailed enough, unlike the rest of your tutorial. In fact, in your video tutorial, you completely skip this step. Does this mean it's not needed? In fact, having thought of it, I cannot actually see where in your tutorial you use the system image that you apparently created? What is its purpose? I have done more than 10 fresh-installs of Windows, usually Windows 7, in the past and not once have I heard of the need to create a system image.
In what has to be one of the greatest examples of not reading properly, I have gone back a third time and read what is written immediately beneath and see that this is for troubleshooting purposes. Please accept my apologies (even though I have edited this straight after I posted) for being so stupid. You can use me as an example to others as to why reading the guide properly needs to happen.
But this still stands:
Secondly, is it actually necessary to have the target drive be completely empty? I have files on it that I don't want to remove, but are not critical (in case they get deleted somehow). But is it a necessity that the drive be totally empty? It would save me many, many hours re-downloading my Steam library, for example.
Thanks in advance, I hope you can answer my queries!