Author Topic: Windows 10 repair/reinstall disk question  (Read 2615 times)

Offline fox

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Re: Windows 10 repair/reinstall disk question
« Reply #15 on: August 21, 2019, 03:21:24 pm »
Thanks, Dougal. Iím sure that the license key is embedded in my xps. The issue is more about what, exactly, I am left with if I were to wipe Linux off the xps and make it Windows 10 only if and when I sell the computer. There are different ways to do this, even with the repair/reinstall USB drive I created. In a nutshell, here are the items I want to address:
  • Factory install back to the version of Windows 10 that was on my Dell when I bought it vs the version I am on now with all the upgrades I have done
  • Wiping my identity and data vs having to do that post-install
  • Leaving it in a state where the buyer starts from scratch in setting up Windows on a brand new machine vs making a new user for the buyer that he/she can easily modify
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Offline ssfc72

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Re: Windows 10 repair/reinstall disk question
« Reply #16 on: August 21, 2019, 05:37:33 pm »
I don't use Windows on either of my Dell's, so I don't know what utilities are available from Dell.

I use Clonezilla to image the computer hard drive, right after I have bought the computer.  Then about every year i will re-image the computer hard drive and let Windows bring it up to date.  Then I will image the drive again, save the image, and then use clonezilla re-image my Linux distro.
When I go to sell the computer I just create a generic admin user and then delete my user accounts.   

I'm pretty sure that they were performance-optimizing drivers. But I'll say this for Dell. They included several utilities that made it easy to optimize performance and find and install firmware and updated Dell drivers, and make a repair/reinstall disk. (This on Windows 10 of course.) These must be relatively recent additions; I don't think those utilities were available with the 2015 xps 13 that I sold. Bill, does your xps have such utilities?
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Offline dougal

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Re: Windows 10 repair/reinstall disk question
« Reply #17 on: August 21, 2019, 06:08:27 pm »
 if I understand correctly these tutorials should do what you wish: I haven't used ASO, usually i hold the shift key while clicking restart from the power options on the bottom right of the desktop to get to the troubleshoot choice. this shoud get you back to square one like you just purchased the unit.

https://www.lifewire.com/reset-this-pc-2626216

https://www.lifewire.com/reset-this-pc-complete-walkthrough-2624538

Offline dougal

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Re: Windows 10 repair/reinstall disk question
« Reply #18 on: August 22, 2019, 01:12:07 am »
typical dell laptop process to restore factory settings:
https://itstillworks.com/dell-laptop-back-factory-settings-6834322.html

Offline fox

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Re: Windows 10 repair/reinstall disk question
« Reply #19 on: August 22, 2019, 06:52:13 am »
Thanks for researching this, Dougal. All three of those links were helpful, and I included them with my retained internet sites on Pocket. But interestingly enough, none of them answered my first question, whether a restore would remove all the Windows updates. According to this site, all of those updates would be removed. I suppose it isn't a big deal since if I did this, it would only be to sell the laptop to someone else. But it would still be nice to save the buyer all the hassle of having to reinstall those Windows updates, and I suspect that there is a way to:
  • wipe off Linux
  • remove grub and restore the boot process to normal Windows
  • expand the formerly reduced Windows partition to give the whole drive back to Windows
  • remove all personal files and make them unrecoverable
But if this entails a lot of work just to retain all those Windows updates, I won't bother. I'll just reset the PC when the time comes.

What I did to my Acer laptop before selling it wasn't so bad and it didn't require resetting the PC at all. I simply removed the Linux and grub partitions, used the Windows USB restore disk to repair the Windows boot, rebooted into Windows, expanded its partitions to cover the whole drive, removed a few programs I installed and couldn't give away, added a new administrative user, and then deleted my user account. All of this worked perfectly, but it was obvious which was the grub partition and this PC (originally with Windows 7) didn't have a recovery partition that had to be moved. After I tried same on my old Dell and couldn't boot it, I got spooked and started this thread.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2019, 07:03:31 am by fox »
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Offline buster

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Re: Windows 10 repair/reinstall disk question
« Reply #20 on: August 22, 2019, 09:24:24 am »
I thought Bill's solution the best. Involves some work once a year. But seems efficient.

In my opinion it would be unkind to sell it in its factory delivery state. Sometimes the updates get tangled and slow. I've done this twice. Multi years of catching up. Days in both cases. Doubt I will ever do it again.

Windows does have an installed imaging app. Keep the image on an external drive. Useful if the hd fails. I keep these images updated once in awhile for all 3 win systems. They reinstall easily. Useful if system ever gets infected.
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Offline fox

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Re: Windows 10 repair/reinstall disk question
« Reply #21 on: August 22, 2019, 10:16:28 am »
The problem with Bill's solution is that I didn't make an image of the computer's drive before. If I did it now, I would have the grub and Linux partitions included. Of course I could do that as a fail-safe, which would let me try to prepare this computer the way I did the Acer laptop.

Probably the most important thing I learned from this is to not do any of these things at the last minute. I did that in both cases before. Kind of like Harry, I didn't want to blow away an old friend (Ubuntu in my case) until I absolutely had to. If I had it to do again, I would prep the laptop for sale before I actually put it up for sale and just assume it will be sold.
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Offline buster

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Re: Windows 10 repair/reinstall disk question
« Reply #22 on: August 22, 2019, 11:09:13 am »
I've never actually sold a computer. When all the tape and pins and work-arounds wont keep the old lady awake, no one would buy her anyway. I'd have to pay someone to cart her away. Must say though, all the usable parts get stored somewhere in the junk room labyrinth.
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Offline dougal

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Re: Windows 10 repair/reinstall disk question
« Reply #23 on: August 22, 2019, 11:26:39 am »
I can't figure any way that you could satisfy your requests and retain program/driver updates.. after reset you could  reformat to subsequent iterations of win10 but not sure about the dell specific drivers/programs.... can you extract and place them on portable media to reinstall ?

Offline fox

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Re: Windows 10 repair/reinstall disk question
« Reply #24 on: August 22, 2019, 12:12:16 pm »
The Dell drivers are not a big problem, as they are readily available on Dell's website and would also be part of any restore image. A complete reinstallation of Windows 10, Microsoft version would not include them, but they could be downloaded and installed.
Ubuntu 19.10 and openSUSE Leap on 2011 iMac
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