Reinstall Windows10 and restore apps/data after reformat?


  1. Posts : 2
    Windows10
       #1

    Reinstall Windows10 and restore apps/data after reformat?


    I upgraded to Windows10 from WIndows7 sometime ago and have just kept cloning my hard drive whenever I needed a drive upgrade. I've ended up with a 2T NTFS drive with Windows10 that has a messed up boot record and also won't update the OS. I'm thinking I need to (or should) reformat my drive to FAT32 and reinstall the OS. Is there anyway to do that without also having to reinstall all of the applications? If you can point me in the right direction I'd appreciate it :)
      My Computer


  2. Posts : 35,545
    Win 10 Pro (21H2) (2nd PC is 21H2)
       #2

    Hi, welcome to tenforums.

    won't update the OS
    Do you mean
    a. Windows update (cucmulative updates) doesn't work?
    b. A feature update (build upgrade) fails?

    What is your current Windows build? Sadly it's not a forum requirement, so we have to keep asking.
    Win key + r, winver

    Is there any way to do that without also having to reinstall all of the applications?
    There are several possibilities.
    a. Repair what you have (for which a lot of detail would be needed, and could take a long time, possibly not being successful). Whilst repairing Windows update is usually possible, fixing upgrade problems can be much harder.

    Without a lot more detail it's not possible to comment on your boot problems.

    b. If your C: partition is ok, and the reasons for not updating are either not related to problems in that or can easily be solved, then you can
    - image C: (e.g. Macrium Reflect)
    - clean install Win 10
    - check it boots
    - restore your image of C: in place of the new C:
    - boot and either automatic repair or Startup Repair should give you a bootable system

    c. Use a 3rd party tool such as Laplink PCMover, Easeus Transpro (best used with a disk image)
    There are others e.g. zinstall, and
    Transfer programs to new pc | Transfer programs from one computer to another

    I've used the first with 95+% success and several hundred programs. One-off license fee, but a huge time saver if you have a lot installed.

    I'm thinking I need to (or should) reformat my drive to FAT32
    - NTFS, surely?

    Clean Install Windows 10
      My Computers


  3. Posts : 2
    Windows10
    Thread Starter
       #3

    Hi Dalchina, thanks for your reply. Yes, cumulative updates doesn't work. My boot issue is due to not having an EFI partition so the windows installation repair fails with an error about “bootrec /fixboot access is denied”. And yes, NTFS not FAT32, I don't know what I was thinking. So maybe I should try and add an EFI partition using Partition Wizard Pro or similar and see if that helps before moving to a reformat and clean install?
      My Computer


  4. Posts : 35,545
    Win 10 Pro (21H2) (2nd PC is 21H2)
       #4

    You can do that.. though I doubt that affects CU's.. but it might solve upgrading problems.

    Are you sure yours is a UEFI build having come from Win 7? Does your MBO support UEFI?
      My Computers


  5. Posts : 17,369
    Windows 11 Pro
       #5

    dalchina said:
    b. If your C: partition is ok, and the reasons for not updating are either not related to problems in that or can easily be solved, then you can
    - image C: (e.g. Macrium Reflect)
    - clean install Win 10
    - check it boots
    - restore your image of C: in place of the new C:
    - boot and either automatic repair or Startup Repair should give you a bootable system
    In my opinion, this is the best option.
      My Computer


 

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