Clean install to different disk drive?


  1. Posts : 7
    Windows 10 Home
       #1

    Clean install to different disk drive?


    I have successfully upgraded to Windows 10 from Windows 7 (and solved the initial network connection problems).

    However my OS has a lot of crud from the pre-upgrade state and I would like to do a clean install of Windows 10, without losing any old data files. I've read online guides on doing clean installs of Windows 10, but it is not clear whether you can only install into partitions that already have a valid Windows OS installed.

    My computer has two identical hard disks, one of which is (or can be made) blank so what I would like to do is keep one with the 'cruddy' version of Windows 10 - at least until I have copied over all the files I want to keep and made sure I've installed all the software I want on the new 'clean install' Windows 10.

    So, are there people out there who have done this? Are there things I should look out for? Any hints, guidelines, etc?

    Thanks in advance. :)
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  2. Posts : 2,832
    MS Windows 10 Home
       #2

    Wow, I cannot wait to see many of the replies to your comments above...
    thanks, Cliff
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  3. Posts : 1,778
    Windows 10 Pro,
       #3

    ptbptb said:
    I have successfully upgraded to Windows 10 from Windows 7 (and solved the initial network connection problems).

    However my OS has a lot of crud from the pre-upgrade state and I would like to do a clean install of Windows 10, without losing any old data files. I've read online guides on doing clean installs of Windows 10, but it is not clear whether you can only install into partitions that already have a valid Windows OS installed.

    My computer has two identical hard disks, one of which is (or can be made) blank so what I would like to do is keep one with the 'cruddy' version of Windows 10 - at least until I have copied over all the files I want to keep and made sure I've installed all the software I want on the new 'clean install' Windows 10.

    So, are there people out there who have done this? Are there things I should look out for? Any hints, guidelines, etc?

    Thanks in advance. :)

    Don't you need two separate Windows 10 licenses to perform this kind of OS trickery?
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  4. Posts : 17,369
    Windows 11 Pro
       #4

    What I would do is install Macrium Reflect. Create an image of your system hard drive and save it to the second hard drive. Then do a clean install of Windows 10 to your system hard drive. That way you don't have to mess with changing hard drive boot order in BIOS. Install Macrium Reflect on the clean Windows 10 install and that will allow you to mount the image you created earlier and you can retrieve specific files from it.

    With a Windows 10 USB stick or DVD created with the Media Creation Tool you can do a clean install of Windows 10 to a completely bare hard drive without even any partitions on it.

    If something goes horribly wrong, you can use Macrium Reflect to restore the image back to the booting hard drive and be right back where you started. Macrium Reflect also allows you to create a rescue USB/DVD from which you can restore the image.

    Rocky said:
    Don't you need two separate Windows 10 licenses to perform this kind of OS trickery?
    No. He is making a backup image of his existing installation - not dual booting with it.
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  5. Posts : 7
    Windows 10 Home
    Thread Starter
       #5

    NavyLCDR said:
    What I would do is install Macrium Reflect. Create an image of your system hard drive and save it to the second hard drive. Then do a clean install of Windows 10 to your system hard drive. That way you don't have to mess with changing hard drive boot order in BIOS. Install Macrium Reflect on the clean Windows 10 install and that will allow you to mount the image you created earlier and you can retrieve specific files from it.

    With a Windows 10 USB stick or DVD created with the Media Creation Tool you can do a clean install of Windows 10 to a completely bare hard drive without even any partitions on it.

    If something goes horribly wrong, you can use Macrium Reflect to restore the image back to the booting hard drive and be right back where you started. Macrium Reflect also allows you to create a rescue USB/DVD from which you can restore the image.
    Thanks for your detailed post. I had looked at using Macrium Reflect, but not in the manner you suggest. I wasn't getting very far (I think I need to do a full HD scan for errors / bad blocks). Hopefully your method will be more effective. I will have to read and reflect (pun unintended) on it for a while to be sure I'm clear on everything.

    I am already using the Media Creation Tool - currently 23% downloaded onto a USB drive.

    Wish me luck!

    [EDIT] Oh yeah. Obviously I should make sure I have all the settings I need to get my Internet connection up and running after a clean install printed out or otherwise saved securely! Lol. Anyone doing a clean install take note. :P
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  6. Posts : 17,369
    Windows 11 Pro
       #6

    ptbptb said:

    [EDIT] Oh yeah. Obviously I should make sure I have all the settings I need to get my Internet connection up and running after a clean install printed out or otherwise saved securely! Lol. Anyone doing a clean install take note. :P
    and that is one of the advantages to having the backup image - if it comes right down to it, you can restore the image you created and reboot back to where you started and there is no danger of any new operating system/upgrade messing with it because the image file is read only.
      My Computer


  7. Posts : 7
    Windows 10 Home
    Thread Starter
       #7

    OK, things are not going great. :/

    The problems seem to be down to (small?) errors in the source disk. I can't create a disk image or clone the partitions because of them. I have tried Windows 10 chkdsk and HD Tune, but no joy yet. They don't seem to find the same errors that are found by Reflect and EaseUS Partition Master.

    [EDIT] OK, that was scary.

    I tried using Tuneup Suite 2014 to find and fix my hard disk errors. Things got worse. To the point that my computer failed to boot up several times. Eventually Windows 10 started in repair / diagnosis mode and successfully fixed the NEW hard disk problems that were stopping it starting normally.

    I admit that I might have made things worse because I turned the computer off when it was stuck at 11% complete for 10 minutes with Tuneup Suite 2014. I still don't fancy using that utility again, though!
    Last edited by ptbptb; 11 Aug 2015 at 08:33.
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  8. Posts : 17,369
    Windows 11 Pro
       #8

    Maybe its time to just buy a new hard drive?
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  9. Posts : 7
    Windows 10 Home
    Thread Starter
       #9

    NavyLCDR said:
    Maybe its time to just buy a new hard drive?
    Lol, maybe. But AFTER I get it backed up, kthxbai.

    Seriously though the disk errors that were causing the problems seem to be three file linkage problems and one bad sector.

    Progress Update.

    Now the source partition is free of disk errors (apparently) I can make disk images with Reflect, and copy partitions (I used EaseUS Partition Master) for that. I set the copied partition on the second disk to 'Active' and - going via the computer's BIOS - I can boot up on that partition. The disk image from Reflect is also on the second disk (So I've got it 'both ways'). I'm going to try doing a clean install from the USB drive over the first disk now.
      My Computer


  10. Posts : 7
    Windows 10 Home
    Thread Starter
       #10

    Yay! The new clean install is OK, I'm still connected to the Internet and the old data is still there on a different disk.

    Also my hard disk didn't die.

    I'm marking this as 'solved'. :)
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