All right, I'm reinstalling Windows 10. Is there anything I need to know?

My system is about five years old and I need to reinstall Windows 10. I’ve downloaded the Installation Media Tool from Microsoft and it’s writing to a USB stick as I type this.

I figure it’s going to be pretty idiot proof, but if anyone here has any thoughts, tips, or concerns, please let me know!


When I did it earlier this year it ate one of my partitions.

All this for Agents of Mayhem. And its not even that good. :P

Don’t forget the burnt offerings.



Install averted! But at least now I have a Windows Installation Media Tool on a USB stick.


That’s how I do it - I put a copy of all my drivers, software, documents, and other necessary things on my USB stick and then in the event of a disaster I can re-install Windows, log back in with my MS account, and it only takes about an hour to get everything else re-installed/setup. Handy stick to keep on a bookshelf.

Ah, great idea, Scott. I try to keep important stuff safe in The Cloud somewhere, but this works as well. I like the idea of putting necessary drivers on there, too, so you don’t have to go hunting around online.


I just did this yesterday… I backed up my data to one USB drive, then nuked the entire drive, killed partitions, etc… repartitioned, then installed from a 2nd USB drive that I had created with the Installation Media Tool. It went really smoothly and fixed all of the issues I was having with the computer.

I’m never worried about reinstalling drivers and all that. It is the absolute fear of not having some save game somewhere backed up.

Last time I built my machine, last year I think I had to install one driver. Everything else just, you know, worked. The days me finding random ass drivers are over… but I am going to look at this Installation Media tool thing, just in case.



I haven’t done this for ages. What is the best utility to do said whipe? still the format command or ??

When you install Windows there is an option to wipe the drive first and/or tweak partitions. Otherwise, put Linux on a thumb drive and use gparted.

I did what @YakAttack mentioned… just used the tool available when reinstalling Windows.

There are a lot of model/brand specific chipset installations, software, and utilities that don’t come off a fresh Windows 10 install, so those are the ones I keep updated and ready to roll jic. I also keep a new-ish NVidia driver on hand, and all my software keys and a new-ish installation of those packages on the stick.

I also have a document that lists the settings I prefer, such as turning off notifications or changing the default file explorer from Quick Access to This PC. Little tweeks here and there I like and don’t have to have to look up to remember how to do them.

The last time I installed off my disaster recovery system was just a week ago when I upgraded my PC and the installation itself took less than 2 minutes, and after an hour I had everything up and installed and my taskbar set up the way I like it.

At the very least, copy network drivers to the thumb drive.

I can’t even begin to count the number of installs I’ve done where Windows couldn’t network, so I end up having to find another computer that is online, use it to grab the correct network drivers on a thumb, and then go back and install. Pain in the arse.

I fully, 100% endorse this ^^^^^^

But, that said, I have yet to install Windows 10 and have it not locate the correct network adapters. Windows 10 is really good about installing the correct drivers in general - but I still wouldn’t ever make any assumptions, especially wrt network drivers.

I am sure there are oddballs out there somewhere, but I had zero issues with Windows 10 finding drivers. It just wasn’t a thing. It’s as close to boot-up and start running as you could get on a platform that still allows so many different parts. It’s been like the best install experience I’ve ever had with Win 10.

It has happened with some of the Dell boxes I’ve worked with, I have to get the .cab file from Dell support and extract them and use the resulting folders to locate my drivers. And like I mentioned up thread, most chipset software/utilities/drivers will work out of the box, but sub-optimally if you don’t install the files you pull off their web pages.

Windows 10 is the best in this regards though, for most users it’s nice they have this working so well.