Windows 10 Fresh Start vs USB-based clean install

ozaz

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Original poster
Feb 27, 2011
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I want to perform a clean install of Windows 10 on my Windows laptop (rather than reset to factory state). I understand my two options here are 1) Fresh Start (found in Windows Security app) and 2) Installation media from Microsoft’s website. However I’m not sure of the pros and cons of each approach.

I would appreciate if anyone could clarify as well as let me know which approach they take and why.

Many thanks
 

Queen6

macrumors 604
I rarely bother these days, I just uninstall what I don't want then perform core integrity validation of the OS with DISM & SFC commands.

Saves on time and yet to see any negative impact on performance. Only real tricky one is the OEM AV as you generally need to use a specific uninstaller.

Recommended for W10
ThrottleStop
Sysinternals Process Explorer
Sysinternals AutoRuns
VoodooShield
A good VPN
O&OShutup if you want to shut down all W10 telemetry

Windows Defender is good enough unless you visit porn or crack site's. Even then easily bolstered with standalone on demand AV such Kapersky or Emisoft Emergency Kit, yet to have a hit.

Depending on how the OEM sets up Recovery it can result in fresh reload of the OEM or purely Microsoft.

I generally create my own system images with the W7 imaging tool (still in W10) and reload at will as I need to, or after a project resetting the systems to known state is far faster than cleaning up countless K of data files, and thx to fast internal/external fast SSD's literally minutes few.

Q-6
 
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AndyMacAndMic

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May 25, 2017
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Amsterdam, Netherlands
I want to perform a clean install of Windows 10 on my Windows laptop (rather than reset to factory state). I understand my two options here are 1) Fresh Start (found in Windows Security app) and 2) Installation media from Microsoft’s website. However I’m not sure of the pros and cons of each approach.

I would appreciate if anyone could clarify as well as let me know which approach they take and why.

Many thanks
According to this site:

https://www.techrepublic.com/article/how-to-use-the-fresh-start-feature-in-windows-10-creators-update/

The 'Fresh Start' option will download the latest copy of Windows from the Microsoft site as well. It seems that with 'Fresh Start' you seem to get some other choices (do you want to keep your data etc.).

If you download the installation media (media creator) from the Microsoft site by hand (and make a bootable flash drive with it), you basically get the same version of Windows as with the 'Fresh Start' option, but you can boot your computer with it and format or re-partition your drive beforehand if you want to do so.

I personally never have used option 1 (Fresh Start) but always used option 2 (media creator) because IMO it gives me a tad more options and some more freedom (I can be wrong). But it seems the end result is more or less the same.
 
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Queen6

macrumors 604
According to this site:

https://www.techrepublic.com/article/how-to-use-the-fresh-start-feature-in-windows-10-creators-update/

The 'Fresh Start' option will download the latest copy of Windows from the Microsoft site as well. It seems that with 'Fresh Start' you seem to get some other choices (do you want to keep your data etc.).

If you download the installation media from the Microsoft by hand (and make a bootable flash drive with it), you basically get the same version of Windows as with the 'Fresh Start' option, but you can boot your computer with it and format or re-partition your drive beforehand if you want to do so.

I personally never have used option 1 (Fresh Start) but always used option 2 (Installation Media) because IMO it gives me a tad more options and some more freedom (I can be wrong). But it seems the end result is more or less the same.
Same I've yet to use Fresh Start, I have used recovery and USB image. I just prefer to uninstall and verify the core OS these days. So far since returning to Windows I've had zero issues with this method and 100% stability.

A lot depends on the complexity of the notebook a basic ultrabook or 2in1 is easy to deal with, a portable workstation or rerolled gamer more complex often with specific OEM drivers.

My primary GL703GS is like this and it's on the OEM graphics driver that presents zero issues and that's what's most important to me. If a driver update is significant Asus will push via Windows update.

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ozaz

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Feb 27, 2011
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Thanks for replies

I rarely bother these days, I just uninstall what I don't want then perform core integrity validation of the OS with DISM & SFC commands.
I'm having some issues with a Dell laptop I recently bought (spontaneous crashes and unreliable wake from sleep). Updating drivers and uninstalling some programs hasn't helped so I intend to start again. I could do a factory reset but I'd rather do a fresh/clean install.

Unfortunately "core integrity validation with DISM & SFC commands" goes over my head.

If you download the installation media (media creator) from the Microsoft site by hand (and make a bootable flash drive with it), you basically get the same version of Windows as with the 'Fresh Start' option, but you can boot your computer with it and format or re-partition your drive beforehand if you want to do so.
I think I'll use the installation media so I can get rid of Dell's recovery partitions before clean install.

Thanks
 
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maflynn

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May 3, 2009
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I did this for my lenovo (downloaded the copy of windows from MS), and I'm really happy with the results. I was dealing with some instability issues, but that was mostly self inflicted. I was tempted to download the restore image from lenovo but something about starting off clean and only installing what I wanted drew me in.
[doublepost=1551541306][/doublepost]
Sysinternals
I run the utility suite on my servers and there's a lot handy little utilities.

Windows Defender is good enough unless you visit porn or crack site's.
I run hot and cold, even my company relies solely on Windows Defender and I'm not knocking it, yet I'm trying out BitDefender and I'm pretty happy with what it has to offer. I live a very boring life, so hacking/cracking sites are off the table as is porn so I'm the type of user that would be fine with windows defender. I haven't fully decided on sticking with BitDefender but so far I'm satisfied.

It also includes a VPN, but I've not used it, and I've not check in on how good/bad/indifferent this vpn is. I've done zero research on that aspect, I suspect though since its bundled with antivirus, its a basic VPN that is only marginal.
 
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AndyMacAndMic

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May 25, 2017
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Amsterdam, Netherlands
Thanks for replies



I'm having some issues with a Dell laptop I recently bought (spontaneous crashes and unreliable wake from sleep). Updating drivers and uninstalling some programs hasn't helped so I intend to start again. I could do a factory reset but I'd rather do a fresh/clean install.

Unfortunately "core integrity validation with DISM & SFC commands" goes over my head.



I think I'll use the installation media so I can get rid of Dell's recovery partitions before clean install.

Thanks
Let us know how it went!
 
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Never mind

macrumors 6502
Oct 25, 2018
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Dunedin, Florida
I want to perform a clean install of Windows 10 on my Windows laptop (rather than reset to factory state). I understand my two options here are 1) Fresh Start (found in Windows Security app) and 2) Installation media from Microsoft’s website. However I’m not sure of the pros and cons of each approach.

I would appreciate if anyone could clarify as well as let me know which approach they take and why.

Many thanks
I just completed a clean install using the Installation Media route, which was simple, but took sometime in loading everything back and uninstalling the silly Candy Crush games that Microsoft includes. I downloaded Lenovo Vantage which took care of all the updates. So far I really do not see a deference between the Microsoft route cleaning and just the Fresh Start. I'll have to give it more time and see if their is a deference. But it was simple, but lengthy. I've included NordVPM to the install by the way.

I had Bitdefender but it was a resource hog I've noticed. Not much, but noticeable. So I left if off this time and strictly using Microsoft Windows Defender
 
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Queen6

macrumors 604
Thanks for replies



I'm having some issues with a Dell laptop I recently bought (spontaneous crashes and unreliable wake from sleep). Updating drivers and uninstalling some programs hasn't helped so I intend to start again. I could do a factory reset but I'd rather do a fresh/clean install.

Unfortunately "core integrity validation with DISM & SFC commands" goes over my head.



I think I'll use the installation media so I can get rid of Dell's recovery partitions before clean install.

Thanks
Try these command in admin Command Prompt or PowerShell (need to be online as uses aspects of Windows Update)

To check DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth

To effect repair DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

Then restart and run SFC in admin Command Prompt or PowerShell

sfc /scannow

Q-6