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Concerns about doing a Windows 10 reset.


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#1 Skinnybuddha74

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 02:29 PM

I recently upgraded my girlfriend's laptop from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10. The day after I gave it back to her, she let her son use the laptop and ended up getting a hoard of really nasty viruses.

I did create a restore point right before I gave the laptop back to her, but a virus is blocking me from accessing this restore point. Clicking on "Get Started" does nothing.

I tried to roll the OS back to 8.1 but again clicking on "Get Started" does nothing, so that is being blocked as well.

I am not looking for advice on removing the viruses, as a virus is also blocking the installation and running of any AV software (including Windows Defender, Malwarebytes, Norton, McAfee, etc). I am no longer looking at removal of the viruses as a viable option.

I am truly at my wits end. Since there is nothing on the drive that needs to be saved, I've decided that performing a reset and reinstalling Windows is the best course of action at this point. Which is how I ended up here.

But after reading another thread, I have some concerns.

For starters, the laptop did not come with Windows 10. It came with Windows 8, was then upgraded to 8.1, and then upgraded again to 10. I read on another thread that performing a reset might not reset it to Windows 10, but rather to the original OS which was Windows 8, and that I would need the original Windows 8 installation disk and product key. I do not have either of these.

Here's what I do have. I have another computer in good working condition running Windows 10 that I am able to download the Windows Media Creation Tool onto. I also have plenty of blank DVDs, and an empty 16GB USB flash drive (not sure if a disk or flash drive would work better). But again this other computer was upgraded to Windows 10 from a previous version, so I don't know if the Media Creation Tool would create a boot disk for Windows 8 or 10.

I apologize if I'm overthinking this or sounding paranoid, but I really don't want to screw up this laptop any more than it already is. I just want to reset it to a fresh, clean copy of Windows 10, but I'm not sure if I even can, and I don't want to even attempt it until I'm 100% certain I can. Any help or advice anyone can give me would be greatly appreciated.

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#2 Goddess_Bastet

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 02:41 PM

Downloading the media creation tool, running it & choose create media for another computer to create a windows installation media onto a USB, the media will have windows 10 & will be the same version as the original installation (ie home, pro etc).
If you're wary you could download Macrium reflect free & create an image onto an external hard drive or DVDs, remember to create the Macrium boot media to use to restore the image.
As there's nothing you wish to save on the computer you've nothing to lose by trying to reinstall windows 10, the pc should have a digital entitlement license which should be found automatically, if the install asks for a key then just choose to skip that part.

#3 smax013

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 02:48 PM

If the laptop came with Window 8 on it, then there should be a Windows 8 sticker somewhere on the laptop that contains a product activation key. Yet, that key is typically not needed to reinstall or even activate Windows 8 when you restore a "manufactured" computer (i.e. computer from the likes of Dell, Asus, HP, etc) from a recovery partition (which is what is likely present on that laptop as most companies no long provide separate install or restore optical discs).

#4 Skinnybuddha74

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 03:00 PM

Thanks for the quick replies. As suggested, I will go ahead with attempting the reset using the Media Creation tool onto a flash drive. *fingers crossed* I'll post an update soon.

#5 Skinnybuddha74

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 10:57 PM

Just a quick update to let you know it worked. Thanks for the advice Goddess_Bastet and smax013, I really appreciate it.

However I did experience a small glitch during the installation process that I was able to get around with a little logic and a little luck. So I want to document how I got around it just in case anyone else with same problem reads this thread.

After it went through the process of copying Windows files, installing Windows, installing features, and installing updates, it tells me it needs to restart my computer to finish things up. I have installed various versions of Windows on other machines before, so I knew that was normal and I let it restart.

So it restarts. And then... It begins the installation process all over again. I suddenly found myself stuck in an installation loop. I went through the process of reinstalling maybe three or four times before I suddenly thought to myself, "Wait a minute..." I figured the BIOS is probably still telling it to boot from the USB drive, which is a boot disk. So every time it reboots, it starts the installation process all over again. Since all the necessary Windows files seem to have been installed already, I decided to take a risk and see what would happen if I removed the flash drive at the exact moment it restarted. So I tried that, and sure enough it worked. Everything finished up exactly as it normally should, and I now have a fresh, clean install of Windows 10.

#6 smax013

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Posted 06 May 2017 - 12:33 AM

Just a quick update to let you know it worked. Thanks for the advice Goddess_Bastet and smax013, I really appreciate it.

However I did experience a small glitch during the installation process that I was able to get around with a little logic and a little luck. So I want to document how I got around it just in case anyone else with same problem reads this thread.

After it went through the process of copying Windows files, installing Windows, installing features, and installing updates, it tells me it needs to restart my computer to finish things up. I have installed various versions of Windows on other machines before, so I knew that was normal and I let it restart.

So it restarts. And then... It begins the installation process all over again. I suddenly found myself stuck in an installation loop. I went through the process of reinstalling maybe three or four times before I suddenly thought to myself, "Wait a minute..." I figured the BIOS is probably still telling it to boot from the USB drive, which is a boot disk. So every time it reboots, it starts the installation process all over again. Since all the necessary Windows files seem to have been installed already, I decided to take a risk and see what would happen if I removed the flash drive at the exact moment it restarted. So I tried that, and sure enough it worked. Everything finished up exactly as it normally should, and I now have a fresh, clean install of Windows 10.


We always appreciate when people post how they figured out their issues or if any other issues come. As you said, it can help other people who might have a similar problem in the future and find your thread.

Glad you got it all figured out.




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