Trying to do a clean install - totally stumped

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  1. OccamsBlazer's Avatar
    Posts : 16
    Windows 10

    Trying to do a clean install - totally stumped

    Hi, I'll try to include as much info as possible without taking up too much space. I'm not a tech whiz, but I'm not exactly a slouch. I want to completely reformat and reinstall Windows, but can't. It's driving me nuts.

    It all started because of being unable to run windows update - it just kept saying "Your device is missing important security and quality fixes" and the Power options always said "Update and restart" or "Update and shut down" but never actually updated. Here's a breakdown of most of what I've done so far:

    • tried making a recovery disk (errored out)
    • created a recovery drive on a different PC (no recovery media is recognized)
    • burning the Windows 10 ISO onto a 32GB USB stick and changing BIOS to boot into that
    • tried with safe boot on and off (nothing worked either way)
    • ran all the chkdsk commands I could find (no errors detected)
    • there's no Windows.old folder to delete
    • uicciso.dll showed up in the error log, but I wasn't able to replace it
    • tried all recovery options to reset the PC and restore from a system image and no dice
    • used Windows Media Creation tool multiple times
    • removed all other USB devices and tried multiple USB ports with the recovery drive and ISO drive
    • deleted a buttload of applications, disabled all startup options
    • tried to boot into safe mode, but there's the glitch where my password doesn't work there

    Device info:
    Windows 10 v1909 (OS Build 18363.1556)
    Board: Gigabyte AB350M-Gaming 3-CF
    Chipset: AMD Ryzen 7 1700 8-core
    Memory: 8GB DDR4

    Any ideas? Is there a nuclear option I'm missing?
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  2. FreeBooter's Avatar
    Posts : 4,351
    Windows 11 Pro 64-bit

    What happens when you boot your computer with Windows 10 installation media that you created using Windows 10 Media Creation Tool.
      My Computer

  3. NavyLCDR's Avatar
    Posts : 16,557
    Windows 11 Pro

    Have you tried the boot override option to boot from the USB flash drive created by the Media Creation Tool?
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  4. Posts : 93
    Windows 11

    First make sure that the ISO on the USB is for the same version of Windows, eg. Windows 10 Home (or Pro). Then you should try a "repair" rather than a "clean install". Boot the PC and run the setup.exe on the USB stick. Select the option to "repair" keeping all your apps, and data.
    You did not indicate what happened when your tried to boot the USB with the ISO. That should work for a clean install.
      My Computer

  5. Posts : 39,141
    windows 10 professional version 1607 build 14393.969 64 bit

    What are the status of the important computer files?
    a) backup images
    b) files backed up to another drive or the cloud
    c) no backed up files and important files need to be saved
    d) no backed up files and files do not need to be saved

    There are methods to reinstall Windows with or without a bootable flash drive.

    The clean install method will fix partition issues.

    If there are no partition issues then you can:

    a) reset save files
    b) reset remove files
    c) custom install
    d) windows refresh

    Reset Windows 10
    Custom Install Windows 10
    Refresh Windows 10

    Clean Install Windows 10
    Download Windows 10 ISO File
      My Computer

  6. idgat's Avatar
    Posts : 1,251
    Windows 10 Pro

    On one hand, it sounds like you're trying to do a re-install by creating and using the system (proprietary) recovery DVDs created from the existing system (terms used like "recovery disk", "recovery drive", etc). On the other hand, you're using terminology for creating a Win 10 boot medium for a clean install. Perhaps you are getting the 2 confused.

    The method of restoring a system from proprietary DVDs created by the user from the current built-in system is not recommended. The restored system will be severely dated (i.e. created as at the time the computer was supplied) and will only cause the proprietary bloatware (that in a lot of cases, causes the troubles in the first place !!) to be re-installed.

    Here's the best way ...
    - backup any personal data/files to an external USB drive (preferably, rather than a USB stick)
    - create an image of the existing system, warts and all, as insurance. Macrium Reflect (freeware)
    - download Microsoft Windows 10 Media Creation Tool, and run that to ....
    - create a Win 10 installation boot USB
    - disconnect the internet
    - boot from that USB, and when prompted, choose the Custom install option
    - when you get to the part about partitions, delete *EVERY* partition from the drive, until you're left with a total unallocated space
    - install Win 10
    - don't enter a license key when asked (indicate that you don't have one)
    - do not connect the internet when asked (possibly twice) - both time Win will threaten with an incomplete setup. Bollocks!
    - skip/disable/turn off all the options when offered, for Windows bells and whistles bloatware. You're there to install Windows, not connect a phone, not to connect an XBox, chat with Cortana, et, etc. You can set all that up later.
    - when completed, connect the internet (activation will be auto), and continue to run Windows update until all updates, including optional > hardware updates, are exhausted.

      My Computer

  7. Posts : 79
    Windows 10 Pro (21H1)

    Oh dear, I am not sure how to fix this since you tried everything. Can you try to boot into Linux, maybe? It may just be a hardware issue, I don't want to go that crazy but I am not sure. :) Hav you tried contacting support from your manufacotr
      My Computer

  8. OccamsBlazer's Avatar
    Posts : 16
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter

    FreeBooter said:
    What happens when you boot your computer with Windows 10 installation media that you created using Windows 10 Media Creation Tool.
    So I've tried the 'Upgrade this PC now' and the 'Create installation media' options both. I use the recommended options for this PC when choosing the language, architecture, and edition. I just did a fresh instance of 'Create installation media', restarted the computer, and it just booted Windows as usual. Then I restarted again, went into BIOS, and changed the boot order to 1) UEFI: KingstonDT 100 G2 PMAP and 2) Windows Boot Manager (after that I tried with 2 being disabled). When it restarts after that, all that happens is the screen goes black and there's a flashing underscore for 10 or 20 seconds, and then it restarts again.

    To address the other points, I'll try to summarize:

    • there's no backup needed since everything's available on the cloud
    • haven't tried Linux, but I'm curious. Never used it before, though
    • I'm fine with either a reinstall, repair, or a clean install. I've tried all methods available with no luck
    • I created a Win 10 installation boot USB, disconnected the ethernet, set the USB to be the #1 boot option, and it just does black screens and gets stuck in a boot loop
      My Computer

  9. FreeBooter's Avatar
    Posts : 4,351
    Windows 11 Pro 64-bit

    Let's make sure USB flash drive bootable, you can use Qemu Simple Boot utility to test Windows 10 installation USB flash drive.

    Qemu Simple Boot
      My Computer

  10. idgat's Avatar
    Posts : 1,251
    Windows 10 Pro

    OccamsBlazer said:
    • I created a Win 10 installation boot USB, disconnected the ethernet, set the USB to be the #1 boot option, and it just does black screens and gets stuck in a boot loop
    The steps as outlined arer correct (perfect) but there's something in there that shouldn't be there.

    Create another boot USB with another flash drive - possibly faulty USB?

    Changing the boot order - are you just popping up a boot order menu, or are you changing the boot order in the BIOS? If the latter, do you F10 to save changes and exit?

    Black/blank screen - how long do you wait? I've come across machines and USB sticks that are a "Boot-then-go-and-make-a-cup-of-coffee-and-just-wait!" before the boot USB starts to show it's working, all the while the blank screen is on, things are whirring unseen in the background.
      My Computer

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