1.    08 Dec 2015 #1
    Join Date : Feb 2015
    Posts : 88
    7

    Clean install W10 on an old machine: what/how to prep?


    Folks,

    I've borked my W7 install. Don't ask how: it takes skillz. Anyhow, rather than reinstalling W7, I figured this is the perfect time to perform a clean install of W10. I've found the thread, I've created a USB install stick. Before I take the plunge, I'd like to know what to backup, etc., and how to import it.

    I can use Macrium to get a mostly functioning W7. Doing that, I've exported the following onto a spare drive:

    1. IE11 bookmarks and cookies.
    2. Windows Live Mail accounts, contacts, and emails.
    3. Documents and photos I want to keep.
    4. Various savegame files. Just because.
    5. Screenshots of my Control Panel>Add/Remove Program lists, so I can reference what I had installed.

    Certain software requires un-licensing so an activation isn't used up. Other software (Microsoft Office 2013, I'm looking at you!) hides its key. I'll try to pry out all those items and save them to the same spare drive.

    Having learned a few lessons about User Profile locations, imaging, and the need to keep Windows happy, I'll plan on just having a single drive (an SSD) physically plugged in during the install. Then, I'll use the spare drive to copy files, as needed, after W10 is running.

    Is there something obvious I'm missing?
    Is there a better way to prep an old rig for a new OS?

    Thanks,
    Ken
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  2.    08 Dec 2015 #2
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 9,552
    Windows 10 Pro

    Don't forget, with Macrium Reflect you can mount the image file you created and then pull individual files/folders from it if you need to. You are not limited to only restoring the entire image.

    If you want a completely clean install, boot from the Window 10 USB, select the custom install option, delete all the partitions on the SSD and just install to the unallocated space.

    If you have not had Windows 10 on that computer before, don't forget to have a method available to activate Windows 10 after installing. I prefer to run gatherosstate.exe and save the genuineticket.xml as a backup just in case entering a Windows 7/8/8.1 product key fails to activate.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  3.    08 Dec 2015 #3
    Join Date : Feb 2015
    Posts : 88
    7
    Thread Starter

    ^^^
    Great advice, thanks.
    Yeah, Macrium is great. I'd forgotten that I could pull individual files out. I was rather groggy when I made my W10 USB media early this morning and skipped over the need to run gatherosstate.exe on my working W7 install. That would've been an "oops".

    Thanks,
    Ken
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  4.    08 Dec 2015 #4
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 9,552
    Windows 10 Pro

    Quote Originally Posted by iamc3k View Post
    skipped over the need to run gatherosstate.exe on my working W7 install. That would've been an "oops".

    Thanks,
    Ken
    Well, you aren't supposed to need to run gatherosstate.exe with build 10586 (version 1511). You are supposed to be able to enter the product key to activate it. But to me less than a couple minutes of effort is well worth the backup in case entering a product fails for some reason.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

 


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