1.    19 Sep 2017 #1
    Join Date : Jan 2017
    Posts : 4
    Windows 10

    How can I reinstall Windows 10 from DVD boot w/ data & settings saved?


    I just had my very first WTF (what the f…) moment with Windows Pro 10 (version 1703) x64. I have a legitimate copy.

    Background: My motherboard (ASUS Sabertooth Z170 Mark 1) released a new revision of BIOS firmware. As always, I upgraded my motherboard, then at the restart went directly into BIOS settings, loaded Default Optimized Settings and then after another restart, went again back directly into BIOS to manually enter my custom settings manually. Only then did I reboot to allow my Windows 10 to start.

    Well, low and behold, about 3 seconds into the Windows boot, I got a screen telling me that I have a CRITICAL PROCESS DIED error. For the next 2 two hours, I tried everything to get my system to successfully repair/ boot into Windows but nope. Although I had 3 recent System Restore Points, I was not allowed to select any of them. I also have a clean Windows 10 Pro DVD (Creator Edition 1703), but it would not allow me to re-Install Windows with my DATA/SETTINGS SAVED (meaning, selecting UPGRADE) because I booted from a DVD drive, and it requires that I do this from within working Windows. Finally, I called Microsoft out of desperation.

    They explained to me that the reason System Restore points don’t work (cannot be selected) because Windows thinks that I have a new machine since the BIOS revisions are now different (again, I did not swap or replace any motherboards, just flashed newer BIOS revision, which I have done probably 3-4 times before and never had issues). To further disprove this theory, I decided to re-FLASH my motherboard to the previous version of my BIOS (meaning the exact same one as I had when I created those System Restore points), but it would not work either! I then had Microsoft tell me that there is no way to have Windows 10 re-install over itself without having to lose all of my data/settings and my only option is to make a clean install and then copy over the data. Luckily, I had cloned my C: drive just 4 days ago, and upon again re-flashing my motherboard BIOS to the latest version, I was able to clone the backup drive over the actual drive (that would no longer boot), and now everything works just fine.
    Just only took 10 hours of my time!

    So my question is this: How / what can I do be able to have a DVD or a FLASH drive in the future that would allow me to re-install Windows without losing my data/settings? So we are clear, no matter what I did with the official DVD (entering my serial number or not), it was not able to Repair my system (Windows told me it’s unfixable), nor allowed me to “UPGRADE” (which is in essence, re-installed Windows, without loosing data/settings.

    Also, should I enable UEFI Mode or keep legacy mode in BIOS? I am not booting my PC in some network, as it’s a standalone system:

    Boot to UEFI Mode or Legacy BIOS mode | Microsoft Docs

    Very frustrated a looking for some help!
    Last edited by mystiky; 19 Sep 2017 at 08:26.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  2.    19 Sep 2017 #2
    Join Date : Aug 2014
    Posts : 169
    Windows 10 Home, 64-bit

    Regarding your difficulties after flashing the BIOS:

    Did you restore the existing BIOS to defaults BEFORE flashing to the new BIOS?

    Regarding "How / what can I do be able to have a DVD or a FLASH drive in the future that would allow me to re-install Windows without losing my data/settings?":


    The standard instruction here is to always have image backups of all repeat all existing partitions of your system drive (not a "clone") that can later be "restored" at will via booting from "recovery media" that you personally construct from within that imaging application.

    You might also be better served by keeping ALL data on a literally different hard drive than your system drive if possible. And back that data up to yet another drive by some other means than imaging. That's a personal choice.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  3.    19 Sep 2017 #3
    Join Date : Jan 2017
    Posts : 4
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter

    Quote Originally Posted by ignatzatsonic View Post
    Regarding your difficulties after flashing the BIOS:

    Did you restore the existing BIOS to defaults BEFORE flashing to the new BIOS?

    Yes. I did that, as I wrote.

    Regarding "How / what can I do be able to have a DVD or a FLASH drive in the future that would allow me to re-install Windows without losing my data/settings?":


    The standard instruction here is to always have image backups of all repeat all existing partitions of your system drive (not a "clone") that can later be "restored" at will via booting from "recovery media" that you personally construct from within that imaging application.

    You might also be better served by keeping ALL data on a literally different hard drive than your system drive if possible. And back that data up to yet another drive by some other means than imaging. That's a personal choice.
    How can I create this ISO image? Is it from something that's built into Windows 10 o I need to use an outside program like Acronis?
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  4.    19 Sep 2017 #4
    Join Date : Aug 2014
    Posts : 169
    Windows 10 Home, 64-bit

    Quote Originally Posted by mystiky View Post
    How can I create this ISO image? Is it from something that's built into Windows 10 o I need to use an outside program like Acronis?
    It's not an ISO.

    The typical recommendation is to use Macrium Reflect Free Edition.

    You could use Acronis, but it's dodgy. Windows can do it, but it's finicky and cryptic.

    An image file of ALL partitions on your system drive would be the result. It would have an MRIMG extension. Store it wherever it will fit on some other drive, external or internal.

    You'd need to create recovery media from within Macrium that will allow you to boot the PC if you cannot boot the system drive.

    The recovery media will open with a Macrium interface. Once there, you direct Macrium to "restore" that image file to the drive of your choice.

    The MRIMG file will be approximately half the size in GB of the sum of the occupied space on your system drive.

    Confirm the recovery media will boot the PC. Otherwise, you are hosed.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

 


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