Windows 10: Resetting Win10 Pro Without Pain (much)?

  1. Posts : 6
    Windows 10 Pro Insider Build 16257 (?)
       26 Oct 2017 #1

    Resetting Win10 Pro Without Pain (much)?

    My pc has finally gotten to the point where I need to reset it. Unfortunately, thatís complicated by a couple things:

    1. I canít locate my thumb drive with Win10 Pro on it. I was one of the early adopters that upgraded from Win8.

    2. When I upgraded my regular hard drive to an SSD, I made hard links to the major folders (Docs, Pics, Program Files, etc.) to a 4TB hard drive. For re reset, should I either disconnect this or shut it off in BIOS so that it wonít mess with things like my pics, videos and music?

    Normally this wouldnít be an issue, but I am unable to get another 4TB to back up the current one, and the pc is rapidly approaching the point of unusability. I just want to get this done in the most painless way as possible short of a clean install.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2. Caledon Ken's Avatar
    Posts : 10,577
    Windows 10 Pro x64 Build 1803
       26 Oct 2017 #2

    Hi cubdukat.

    No issue on not finding USB key. Make another. If you want to do a clean install just skip the step where you enter license. MS fingerprinted machine and 10 will activate on its own. If you use media creation tool today you will get V1709 Fall Creators Update.

    Clean Install Windows 10

    Not exactly sure what you mean hard link. If your data is safely on HDD, which it sounds like it is as you created link in first place, and you know it could be read by another machine you should be able to disconnect.

    Before proceeding with the clean install maybe explain what you mean by a hard link and let members comment.

    There is the ability to reset Windows from within advance Statup options. There is option to keep files but not sure about hard links.

    Reset Windows 10

      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3. Posts : 6
    Windows 10 Pro Insider Build 16257 (?)
    Thread Starter
       26 Oct 2017 #3

    What I did to create the hard links was I would right-click on the icon in Windows Explorer for, say, Documents, and change the drive letter to the one for the 4TB data drive. I tried doing using a soft link from the command window, but that didn't work. I did the same with Pictures, Video, Music, Downloads, Program Files (both) and Program Data folders.

    I'm thinking that to be completely safe I should physically disconnect the 4TB drive before doing the reset. But the problem is that I don't know how many programs the system needs to boot properly were installed on that drive.

    Either that or wait until I have an empty 4TB drive to clone it to to make sure I have a replacement in case something goes wrong...
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4. Caledon Ken's Avatar
    Posts : 10,577
    Windows 10 Pro x64 Build 1803
       26 Oct 2017 #4

    Well you installed all your programs on your SSD and that is what you are going to have to do again. Your program files are on C:, correct, and I would imagine your apps data is there to. These will be lost. Things like your browser favorites or profiles can be saved before doing. I would be doing what you said, disconnect data drive.

    Do you have an extensive program list?

    The clean install tutorial will be just like install SSD in terms of work. Did you steer programs to alternate drive or just their data?

    Here are the forums tutorials on moving Data Libraries to alternate drive.

    How to Move Your Documents Folder Location in Windows 10
    How to Move Your Downloads Folder Location in Windows 10
    How to Move Your Music Folder Location in Windows 10
    How to Move Your Pictures Folder Location in Windows 10
    How to Move Your Videos Folder Location in Windows 10

      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5. Posts : 6
    Windows 10 Pro Insider Build 16257 (?)
    Thread Starter
       02 Jan 2018 #5

    I actually did both. The SSDís only 250GB. I canít even update to a new Win10 Insider Build because the systemís so borked. I have quite a few programs installed. I think what Iím gonna do is around tax time, Iíll get a larger SSD and another 4TB to clone the current data. Iíll just try to tough it out with the current situation until then. Iím in the process of aggregating all the programs I would need to reinstall so I would have them handy. The big problem is backing up all those folders since theyíre that large.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6. Caledon Ken's Avatar
    Posts : 10,577
    Windows 10 Pro x64 Build 1803
       02 Jan 2018 #6

    I think I would audit what is on your SSD and determine if you still need.

    One person's opinion, 250GB is a lot of space for programs.

    Maybe run the windows disk cleanup tools.

    If you go Start > Settings > System > Storage and then click on your drive it should give you a breakdown
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7. Posts : 6
    Windows 10 Pro Insider Build 16257 (?)
    Thread Starter
       03 Jan 2018 #7

    Thanks for all the really good suggestions. Unfortunately, the system has devolved to the point where I have to act immediately. Because all of the programs that will be reinstalled are on the data drive hard-linked to the SSD, I'm going to disconnect the data drive and do a clean install, then re-link the data drive and reinstall everything. I would have liked to have waited until I had the new SSD and hard drive to do this, but that's a non-starter since Win10 is on the borderline of unusability.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


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