Skip to main content

How to prepare for a PC Reset Removing Everything

Thread needs solution
Forum Member
Posts: 13
Comments: 73

Hi Everyone,

 

My PC works fine except that it has been unable to update beyond Windows 10 version 1803.  I decided to try a PC Reset / Keeping Personal Data option.  I was able to update several version 1803 updates, but then updating failed when trying to update to version 1903.  I performed a Bare Metal Restore with Acronis and got back to where I had started.  Kudos to Acronis

 

So now I'm considering PC Reset/ Remove all Data and my fear of not being able to account for all my personal data.  Does Windows still generate the Windows.old folder, and does it still list all the apps that it uninstalled ?  Are there any other steps I  can rely on to capture personal data.  The Acronis backup & restore functions that I currently use are excellent but  are an all or nothing process

 

0 Users found this helpful
Legend
Posts: 106
Comments: 26750

Perhaps a different approach would be helpful here?

Obtain a spare disk drive, swap out your working Win 10 #1803 drive for the spare drive, then do a clean install of Win 10 #1903 on the new drive.

If everything is then working correctly, you know that there is no hardware limitation causing the upgrade issue.

You can download the Win 10 #1903 install media from the MS Windows 10 Download site and create this directly on a USB stick or DVD.

Activation should be automatic as you are only changing the disk drive.

All the above can be done without any risk to your user data on the removed original drive.

Forum Member
Posts: 13
Comments: 73

Okay, I think I found the answer to my question about backups.  I didn't realize that there was a function for backing up individual files and folders.

 

Any help on what to look for besides windows.old ?

Forum Hero
Posts: 70
Comments: 8348

Satwar, when restoring raw data, the only thing you want to recover are things like documents, pictures, music and videos (for the most part). You won't be able to copy over an entire user profile or applications because there will be missing registry settings and files that get stores elsewhere in program data, in the user profile appdata and other places.

There is known bug with Windows 10 1903 where it fails to install from Windows update at times and another where it fails to install from a USB drive too! If you want to try an upgrade, make an .iso of it and burn to disc or mount the virtual .iso and that might allow the upgrade to continue.

Otherwise, if that doesn't work, I'd also do a fresh install and just copy over your data and start from scratch.

And last, windows.old is there so you can roll back if need be. If you have an Acronis backup, you can get rid of it. Use the disk cleanup option in Windows by right clicking the C drive and properties. Then do cleanup and after the initial scan, click on the system button. Then select everything to cleanup, which will remove windows.old, older update files, etc.

Forum Member
Posts: 13
Comments: 73

Thanks for the help, but I'm unsure of some of the details.  | have downloaded Win10_1903_v1_English_x64.iso from the link Steve sent me.

Do I just mount the iso on a virtual drive and then run setup.  If so are you suggesting I could try running without removing any files or apps.  If this does not work then run setup again but specify removal of everything  ?

Thanks again for the help.  Steve's suggestion about swapping hard drives is not too easy on a laptop.

Legend
Posts: 106
Comments: 26750

With the Win 10 1903 ISO there are several options available to you.

If you want to do a clean install of Windows 10 (losing all your applications, data etc) then you would burn the ISO to a DVD or use a utility to write the contents to a USB stick then boot the laptop from the media.

If you want to do an in-place upgrade of your existing Windows 10 1803 OS to 1903, then you need to run Setup from the ISO from the Windows 10 desktop where you could open the ISO in a virtual drive or else copy the contents to a folder on your drive.  Doing this will keep all your applications, settings and data.

Always ensure that you have a full disk backup of your Windows OS before doing either of the above.

Forum Member
Posts: 13
Comments: 73

Sorry Steve, but I'm far from a computer expert and I don't always understand terminology.  I thought I would be mounting the iso image on a virtual drive and then run setup.  The major decision during the install is whether to keep or remove all personal files and apps.  I thought I would try keeping files and apps on my first attempt and if doesn't work (not able to run at version 1903) use Acronis to get me back to version1803 and then try the install again but remove all personal data and apps.

I really appreciate your help.

Legend
Posts: 106
Comments: 26750

If you mount the ISO as a virtual drive then run setup, the process is very similar to that which Windows Update uses except there are far less downloads going on because you already have all the main code in the ISO.  I use this method when updating multiple computers rather than keep repeating the download of 4-6GB for each one.  I always choose to keep everything for these updates unless I am preparing a system for someone else to use and am cleaning out my own 'stuff'...

Forum Member
Posts: 13
Comments: 73

Well in my case I think my root cause is an app, I just can't figure out which one.  My Dell laptop would not update to version 1903 until I removed several apps (System Mechanic, Malwarebytes)..  My Acer laptop would not update even after removing those apps, so I think the best path is to remove all apps and start again.

Forum Hero
Posts: 70
Comments: 8348

Satwar, yeah, if you have an .iso, you can just mount it to a virtual derive, especially in Windows 10 where this is natively supported. I would nit create a Windows 10 1903 USB installer as Microsoft had confirmed that 1903 fails to install from a USB for many systems.

If you haven't tried to upgrade to 1903 this way, try it (mounted .iso). If it still fails, then you may have no option but to start with a clean 1904 install and then reinstall your apps and data. For what's it worth, I have Malwarebytes, but not system mechanic and it upgraded with a mounted .iso Just fine. 

Forum Member
Posts: 13
Comments: 73

Actually Malwarebytes was crashing me to blue screen every week, or so, and I tracked it down using Who Crashed.  I was running version 1803 at the time.

The real disaster was trying to upgrade to version 1903 with System Mechanic installed.  The computer started up with a blue screen and then looped back to a reboot.  The only way to break out of the loop was to put in my Acronis USB stick that you guys developed and booted up to a point where I could load an archived system image.  I did it 2-3 times before I gave up on System Mechanic.

Forum Hero
Posts: 70
Comments: 8348

Interesting! I've not had an issue with Malwarebytes for years, but don't have experience with System Mechanic. I have a license from a previous ATI package deal, but have never been a fan of OS tweak tools. I do like CCleaner, but it doesn't attempt to tweak settings - just cleanup leftover registry entries. 

Forum Member
Posts: 13
Comments: 73

Well I got a running updated version 1903.  I even had Acronis backup working. 

 

Unfortunately I seemed to get  into a mess with networking.  First the device name was wrong, but I found where I could change that back, but the old device name still persisted.  I then tried to see into the network devices with file explorer and it started throwing out error messages about credentials.  Anyone know what is causing all these network issues  ?  Any good articles ?

Forum Hero
Posts: 70
Comments: 8348

https://kb.acronis.com/content/58004

https://kb.acronis.com/content/57992

You might try clearing the saved credentials in the registry and then connecting again.

It really depends on how your NAS or remote share is configured as Windows 10 has been hardening network connections by dropping older protocols and applications have been having to adjust as a result. 

If your NAS has recyclebin, disable that first!

2nd, in windows, manually enter your NAS share in file explorer (type it in). If this is a public share, you should be able to get to it fine. If it is an authenticated share and you don't have to enter anything, then the info is saved in Windows. Whatever you use to access the share in Windows, needs to be the same in Acronis. Otherwise you may be hitting the windows limitation of one remote connection per remote device.

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/938120/error-message-when-you-use-user-credentials-to-connect-to-a-network-sh

https://superuser.com/questions/95872/sambawindows-allow-multiple-connections-by-different-users