Starting Over - Guidance Request: What's the best way to prepare?

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  1. Posts : 1,244
    Windows 10 Pro x64 21H2 (Build: 19044.1415)
       #11

    Created VHD should contain your entire old system, In Hyper-V instead of selecting ISO to create a new virtual machine you select your VHD that you previously made and you're in. (there is no need to mount anything with disk management, you only instruct Hyper-V to use your virtual disk that you made)

    Beware that you should test VHD before erasing your real HDD.
    Also keep in mind that this may not work for VMWare, see linked tutorial for other VM's, problem is that you don't know whether Hyper-V works on your computer or not and why not, so I recommend you to use multiple options, ex. those recommended by others here to minimize loss of your old system, ex. if one option fails you have another one ready.
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  2. Posts : 39,996
    windows 10 professional version 1607 build 14393.969 64 bit
       #12

    Additional options to consider are:
    dual boot: this can be from one or two disk drives
    reset save files
    custom install

    Dual Boot Windows 10 with Windows 7 or Windows 8
    Reset Windows 10
    Custom Install Windows 10
    How to Restore Files from Windows.old Folder in Windows 10
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  3. Posts : 120
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       #13

    zebal said:
    Created VHD should contain your entire old system, In Hyper-V instead of selecting ISO to create a new virtual machine you select your VHD that you previously made and you're in. (there is no need to mount anything with disk management, you only instruct Hyper-V to use your virtual disk that you made)
    Excellent. Thank you

    zebal said:
    Beware that you should test VHD before erasing your real HDD.
    Good point - how would you test it?

    zebal said:
    Also keep in mind that this may not work for VMWare, see linked tutorial for other VM's, problem is that you don't know whether Hyper-V works on your computer or not and why not, so I recommend you to use multiple options, ex. those recommended by others here to minimize loss of your old system, ex. if one option fails you have another one ready.
    Well, a detail I left out of this particular post is that I have already proven that Hyper-V works on a fresh install. I tested it, then reverted back to my MR backup. Also, while it won't install on my current PC state, I have a Macrium Reflect backup when it was working. So either restoring to that state from Macrium or via fresh install, Hyper-V will install and work. That said, a Macrium image and a VHXD should be adequate, don't you think?
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  4. Posts : 1,244
    Windows 10 Pro x64 21H2 (Build: 19044.1415)
       #14

    Silky said:
    Good point - how would you test it?
    You need to run Hyper-V management console from start menu as Administrator and select create new VM option.
    If this doesn't work on current system, test it on another computer, in any case you need working Hyper-V for test.

    Why it doesn't work on current computer?
    Is it because you changed some settings or is there some error message or screenshot to help investigate?

    That said, a Macrium image and a VHXD should be adequate, don't you think?
    Last time I used Macrium was some 15 years ago, other members here are more experienced with Macrium but from what I hear it's a good piece of software.

    In addition to these 2 options or any amount additional automated solutions you do need to backup everything in case if all automated solutions fail, so that you can manually restore if needed.
    I pointed that out in my steps 1-3
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  5. Posts : 120
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       #15

    zebal said:
    Why it doesn't work on current computer?
    Is it because you changed some settings or is there some error message or screenshot to help investigate?
    Buddy, if I knew that, I wouldn't be contemplating shutting down Jurassic Park. I upgraded from Win 10 Home to Pro a year ago for that feature (hyper-v). It worked, but it needed some tweaking and I uninstalled it. I cannot re-install it successfully now. I reset my PC (Win Media Crt Tool), and installed hyper-v. It worked perfectly. I also have a MR image of the system when Hyper-V was working on it. So I basically proved that there are some settings or programs that I've inadvertently messed with, are preventing hyper-v from installing.

    Here's the thread I posted about the issue before deciding on the nuclear option: NIC Not Working After Hyper-V Install
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  6. Posts : 17,369
    Windows 11 Pro
       #16

    If it was me, I would just create a system image backup with Macrium Reflect. After you do the clean install you have a bunch of options.

    1. Just mount the backup image to copy files from it.
    2. Use Macrium Reflect's VI-Boot to run the image itself as a VM.
    3. Set up a VM with Hyper-V then restore your backup image to that VM.
    4. Create a new partition. Restore your image to the extra partition and set up dual booting.
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  7. Posts : 120
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       #17

    NavyLCDR said:
    If it was me, I would just create a system image backup with Macrium Reflect. After you do the clean install you have a bunch of options.

    1. Just mount the backup image to copy files from it.
    2. Use Macrium Reflect's VI-Boot to run the image itself as a VM.
    3. Set up a VM with Hyper-V then restore your backup image to that VM.
    4. Create a new partition. Restore your image to the extra partition and set up dual booting.
    Thanks. So after a fresh install of windows and getting all that set up properly, I will begin to install my programs/apps - at least the mission critical and daily use ones. My intention is to use the current machine VM as a reference so that I can find what settings, themes, etc., as well as to restore my personal files. It's going to be maddening to re-establish libraries, shortcuts, and my file explorer layout and settings. I'd like to have all of that in a VM.

    Frankly, my preference would be to have that VM loaded on the fly from ViBoot in Macrium - your suggestion #2.

    That's the execution portion of this quest. The planning portion is the scariest part - the line from The Godfather about planting the gun in the bathroom of the restaurant "I don't want my brother coming out of there with nothing but his d*ck in his hand". Ya know?

    With all of that said, this thread and the guru's here have given me a lot to think about in terms of planning and strategy. So I'm grateful for that.

    Stay tuned.
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  8. Posts : 120
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       #18

    Clean Install Follow Up Comments


    So after much trepidation, hesitation, and procrastination, I completed my first ever clean install of Windows 10. I thought that I'd report back here with a couple of notes about the process.

    I need to firstly thank EVERYONE who contributed to this thread. All posts were relevant, insightful, and useful. You guys rock - because this would have sucked if I wasn't prepared.

    There was a particular issue that others may benefit from, although I wouldn't mind some clarity on it as well...

    My machine was an OEM install of Windows 10 Home that I later upgraded to Windows 10 Pro - specifically to get Hyper-V. The part where my heart stopped momentarily was when the clean install procedure installed Windows 10 Home instead of Pro. Now to be clear, I used the Windows Media Creation Tool to create a bootable USB - I assumed it would know that I'm licensed for Pro, but apparently it didn't. So... where's my Pro version???

    First, I opened the MS Store App and using the three dots on the right, clicked on "Purchased". It brought me to my order history web page and my upgrade purchase was NOT listed. After checking the "my account" web page, I verified that I was licensed for the Pro version for my device - I couldn't understand how to get my upgrade on the new install. I found the email I received from the store when I purchased the upgrade - it had a link to view or manage my order. THAT link opened the Order Details of my purchased upgrade. It also had a link for Windows 10 Pro - when I clicked on that link, I got a message saying "We are sorry, the page you requested cannot be found." Okay, now what?

    I went back to my Order History web page and now I could see the purchased upgrade in the history - wasn't there before. Again, clicking on the link for the order (the Windows 10 Pro link), I still got the "we're sorry" page.

    I don't remember exactly how it happened, but eventually, the Pro version got installed. I assume it was a Windows Hello/Microsoft Account mediated sync for the upgrade??? I was so freaked out, I just went forward instead of trying to figure out how it got installed.

    This was the scariest part of a clean install and the reason I was so apprehensive in the first place - I didn't know how to be certain that my Pro upgrade would be installed.

    If anyone can provide clarity on applying the Pro upgrade portion, or share best practices to avoid the mini freak out, I would appreciate it.

    Finally, I want to say that the input from Paul Black and zebal in particular helped immeasurably in preparing for this procedure.
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  9. Posts : 17,369
    Windows 11 Pro
       #19

    Windows 10 setup will read product keys stored in the computer's firmware (UEFI) and use that product key initially to determine which version of Windows 10 to install without user intervention. In your case, Windows 10 Home because that is what is stored in UEFI firmware. To upgrade to Pro in the future after the Windows 10 Home finishes simply go the Activation Page of Updates & Security settings and change the product key to the generic for Windows 10 Pro which is VK7JG-NPHTM-C97JM-9MPGT-3V66T.
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  10. Posts : 120
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       #20

    NavyLCDR said:
    Windows 10 setup will read product keys stored in the computer's firmware (UEFI) and use that product key initially to determine which version of Windows 10 to install without user intervention. In your case, Windows 10 Home because that is what is stored in UEFI firmware. To upgrade to Pro in the future after the Windows 10 Home finishes simply go the Activation Page of Updates & Security settings and change the product key to the generic for Windows 10 Pro which is VK7JG-NPHTM-C97JM-9MPGT-3V66T.
    That's a valuable tip right there. Thanks!
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