How do I reformat entire computer?

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  1. Posts : 304
    Windows 10 home Version 10.0.19041 Build 19041
       #1

    How do I reformat entire computer?


    I'm having performance issues with my 5-year old laptop. It takes about 7-10 minutes to boot. It also is bloated and has much that I no longer need. I decided to reformat and start fresh. I've made a Macrium disk image and have windows rescue and boot disks for after i reformat the computer.

    How do I reformat?? I go to Disk Management and right-click Disk 0 and it says this disk can't be reformatted. I search here and find an old/closed thread that says that to reformat you need to convert to dynamic disc. I did that. Right-click on Disk 0 and there is not a format command.

    How do I reformat my computer so that I can get a fresh start by reinstalling W10?
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  2. dalchina's Avatar
    Posts : 30,020
    Win 10 Pro (1903)
       #2

    Deleting partitions and reformatting - if necessary - is part of the clean install procedure. The Tutorial section is extensive, and well worth looking at:
    Windows 10 Tutorial Index | Tutorials

    E.g.
    Clean Install Windows 10 | Tutorials
    - see step 13

    - see Delete (partition) and Format in the screenshot.

    To do a clean install you need a Win 10 bootable medium of the appropriate build.
    Clean Install Windows 10 | Tutorials

    Just to check you hopefully won't have significant problems with your older PC: what is your current Win 10 build? Windows key + R, winver

    The current build is 1809- awaiting various bug fixes, although some users are happy.
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  3. jimbo45's Avatar
    Posts : 10,484
    Windows / Linux : Arch Linux
       #3

    Hi folks

    simple
    Boot Macrium and click on the command mode (or boot KYHI's rescue disk - on this Forum.

    type following commands in :

    DISKPART
    LIST DISK
    SELECT DISK xx where xx is the disk nr you want to work with.
    CLEAN
    CONVERT GPT
    CREATE PARTITION EFI SIZE=100
    FORMAT QUICK FS=FAT32
    CREATE PARTITION PRIMARY
    FORMAT QUICK FS=NTFS
    ASSIGN
    EXIT

    Now you've got an empty disk to install windows on .

    If you don't have GPT/EFI boot then don't create the EFI partition or CONVERT GPT. Most computers these days boot EFI and if you have any HDD's bigger than 2TB you will need GPT anyway.

    Cheers
    jimbo
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  4. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 18,723
    10 Home x64 (20H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #4

    lbeck said:
    I'm having performance issues with my 5-year old laptop. It takes about 7-10 minutes to boot. It also is bloated and has much that I no longer need....

    ...How do I reformat my computer so that I can get a fresh start by reinstalling W10?

    You don't have to reformat and install Windows from scratch to get a 'fresh start'. There is a is a fresh start function built into Windows 10. Read this tutorial and see if it meets your needs.

    Using Fresh start lets you perform a clean reinstallation and update of Windows while keeping your personal data and most Windows settings intact. Fresh start will remove most of your apps from your device. In some cases, a clean installation may improve your device's startup and shutdown experience, memory usage, Store apps performance, browsing experience, and battery life.

    This tutorial will show you how to use Fresh start to get a clean up-to-date reinstallation of Windows 10.
    Fresh Start Windows 10 | Tutorials
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  5. NavyLCDR's Avatar
    Posts : 15,515
    Windows 10 Pro
       #5

    There is no need to create the partitions manually with diskpart, or convert the drive to GPT.

    diskpart
    list disk
    select disk # <- replace # with the drive you want to erase/install Windows to
    clean
    exit
    exit

    Then during the install of Windows, after you select custom install, just highlight the unallocated space on the disk and click next. Let Windows setup do the partitioning for you and it will also use GPT if it was booted in UEFI mode. To get to the command prompt to do the diskpart command, you can boot the computer from your Windows 10 installation media and press shift + F10 when the first screen comes up.

    If you want a clean disk with no extra partitions, and you do not want to keep bloatware that came from the factory, I suggest a clean install from Windows 10 installation media created from the tool Microsoft provides:
    Download Windows 10
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  6. Posts : 304
    Windows 10 home Version 10.0.19041 Build 19041
    Thread Starter
       #6

    Well somehow I've taken a wrong road or few. I reinstalled windows from a USB flash drive constructed using one of the tenforums tutorials. This went swimmingly and I answered the plethora of questions to get W10 installed. What I've wound up with is a new copy of W10 with what appears to be all of my data reinstalled and my boot disk is now a dynamic rather than a basic disk. Looking further for help to get my Disk 0 with all partitions basic I received instructions to:
    1. Back up my data
    2. delete the dynamic partitions
    3. make the partitions basic (I didn't get that far)

    Well I'm not interested in keeping my data so I went to step 2 and I get the message in Disk Management that the partition can't be deleted.

    So now I'm back to where I was when I began my effort to reformat my entire computer except I now have dynamic rather than basic disks to work with. I don't know what that means except that I probably want basic disks.

    I'm currently pursuing Option 1 at How to Start Fresh with Clean up-to-date Installation of Windows 10 This apparently goes down a different road to reinstall windows 10 and still kindly leaves your data intact - which I'll delete if the process gives me basic disks rather than dynamic disks.

    I never thought it would be so difficult to simply wipe my computer clean and start from scratch. Any advice will certainly be appreciated.
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  7. Ztruker's Avatar
    Posts : 13,512
    Windows 10 Pro X64 20H4 19042.746
       #7

    This is the tutorial you want to follow: Windows 10 - Clean Install

    You want the drive to be completely unallocated with no partitions on it at all.
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  8. dalchina's Avatar
    Posts : 30,020
    Win 10 Pro (1903)
       #8

    See my post #2 .. pointing to the same tutorial....
      My Computers


  9. Posts : 304
    Windows 10 home Version 10.0.19041 Build 19041
    Thread Starter
       #9

    Thanks Rich and dalchina. I'll concentrate on that option.

    Will that also convert my disk from dynamic back to basic, or do I need to do that as a separate step prior to installing Windows?

    ADDED LATER:

    1. Booted from USB
    2. did not get the screen shown in the tutorial
    3. Options from USB Boot = Choose an option -> troubleshoot -> reset this PC -> remove everything-> all drives-> fully clean the drive -> There was a problem resetting your PC
    Last edited by lbeck; 02 Dec 2018 at 07:08.
      My Computers

  10. NavyLCDR's Avatar
    Posts : 15,515
    Windows 10 Pro
       #10

    lbeck said:
    ADDED LATER:

    1. Booted from USB
    2. did not get the screen shown in the tutorial
    3. Options from USB Boot = Choose an option -> troubleshoot -> reset this PC -> remove everything-> all drives-> fully clean the drive -> There was a problem resetting your PC
    You did not boot from the USB flash drive. You ran setup.exe from the flash drive, or possibly the recovery menu from booting from the hard drive.
      My Computer


 
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