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

  1.    08 Dec 2015 #1

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


    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?

      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    08 Dec 2015 #2

    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

    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".

      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    08 Dec 2015 #4

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

    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


Related Threads
Must a clean install be on the same machine to Activate with a Win 7 or 8 key?
Clean install of W10 not possible in Virtual Machine it won't activate. I just thought I would report one of my testings. I installed windows 7 retail in the virtual machine and it activated. I upgraded to windows 10 and it activated. I...
Microsoft send Win10 prep files in Windows Updates and Activation
Hi All, Was browsing a site yesterday and seen a writeup on something Microsoft done. The heading on the site is below. "Unforced error Windows 10 downloads unto ALL eligible PCs like it or not" It seems Microsoft done this to all...
After searching through multiple threads I am seeing assistance at all levels on what to do when errors and BSODs occur during or after installing Win10. This is relative to ISO or upgrades, all inclusive. As I have NOT installed Win10 on any of...
If I do a clean install of windows 10 on a dual boot partition will it be activated with my Microsoft Account that I been using as a windows insider with a Windows 10 installation on a hyper-v machine?
Our Sites
Site Links
About Us
Windows 10 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 10" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

Designer Media Ltd
All times are GMT -5. The time now is 19:10.
Find Us