Question Doing a clean Win10 install on a new boot drive

Loki_TSO

Prominent
Apr 30, 2019
10
0
510
0
I just bought an SSD for my PC and I was wondering if it's possible to do a clean windows install instead of copying it on the new drive without losing data (mostly apps/games). I'm asking this because a few weeks ago I realized that my Win10 was completely [mess up] (can't update, Bluetooth not working, USB issues and many more). Basically I want to put Win10 on my new drive with a clean installation and remove it from my old drive without losing all my apps....Is that possible?

Thanks
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
139,023
7,372
166,440
21,417
I just bought an SSD for my PC and I was wondering if it's possible to do a clean windows install instead of copying it on the new drive without losing data (mostly apps/games). I'm asking this because a few weeks ago I realized that my Win10 was completely [mess up] (can't update, Bluetooth not working, USB issues and many more). Basically I want to put Win10 on my new drive with a clean installation and remove it from my old drive without losing all my apps....Is that possible?

Thanks
You'll need to reinstall your applications, after the fresh OS install.

When an application is installed, there are dozens, sometimes thousands, of entries in the Registry and elsewhere. The new OS knows nothing about these. And you can't just copy that from the old OS.
 

Loki_TSO

Prominent
Apr 30, 2019
10
0
510
0
Well damn....Guess I don't really have a choice. It's gonna take days to reinstall everything and make sure it's all working (mostly my modded games). Maybe I could try to migrate the OS and if it's still broken I'll restore the installation? I mean I'm pretty sure migrating it won't change anything and I'll still need to reinstall dozens of programs but eh...A man can dream.
 

hotaru.hino

Commendable
Sep 1, 2020
1,602
497
1,640
36
Depending on the application, you can still copy and paste it over to the new install without having to install the program. Though depending on the program, the most you'll be missing out on is an entry in the uninstall list. If the app does things like context menu integration or whatnot, then yes, you'll have to install it to get that feature if the program doesn't include some way of setting it up.

If you want a time saver for apps, use Ninite. As an added bonus, they don't include the bloatware that you might've otherwise have been asked to install if you went through the normal channels.

For games though, if you use Steam, Origin, or something else, you don't actually have to redownload them. You can just move the game over to where they would be installed normally and ask the client to install the game. Most times the client will realize the files are already there, verify everything is good, download missing or updated files, and it'll be good as done.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
139,023
7,372
166,440
21,417
Well damn....Guess I don't really have a choice. It's gonna take days to reinstall everything and make sure it's all working (mostly my modded games). Maybe I could try to migrate the OS and if it's still broken I'll restore the installation? I mean I'm pretty sure migrating it won't change anything and I'll still need to reinstall dozens of programs but eh...A man can dream.
You can't migrate "only the OS".
And you really really don't want to try to migrate a known broken OS.
 

Loki_TSO

Prominent
Apr 30, 2019
10
0
510
0
Ok, I guess it's not so bad after all if I can keep all my game files and a few programs. The only thing thing I don't know is how to remove windows from the old drive once it's installed on the SSD. And is intalling the OS with a usb stick the best way to do it?
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
139,023
7,372
166,440
21,417
Installing the OS:


Programs? That is VERY much on a case by case basis.
For the ones you have..."some" may = "none".



Steam games. You just have to tell the new Steam client where these games are.
Steam games location
In the steam client:
Steam
Settings
Downloads
Steam Library Folders
Add library folder


To move an already installed game
Games library
Right click the game
Properties
Local Files
Move Install Folder
 

hotaru.hino

Commendable
Sep 1, 2020
1,602
497
1,640
36
Ok, I guess it's not so bad after all if I can keep all my game files and a few programs. The only thing thing I don't know is how to remove windows from the old drive once it's installed on the SSD. And is intalling the OS with a usb stick the best way to do it?
You can reformat the old drive

I should also add, go through the user folder and make a copy of the data you want to keep in there. Then go to C:\Users\[username]\AppData (you may have to enable "Show hidden folders" since the folder is hidden) and look through the folders in there. A lot of applications store data in there that you can copy back into the new install and it'll be like nothing happened. I can provide more details if you want to do this.
 

Loki_TSO

Prominent
Apr 30, 2019
10
0
510
0
Hi again, quick question, can I delete windows from the old drive while keeping the data that's on it after it's installed on my SSD? If yes, how?
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
139,023
7,372
166,440
21,417
Hi again, quick question, can I delete windows from the old drive while keeping the data that's on it after it's installed on my SSD? If yes, how?
This depends on how the drive is structured, and where your data really is.

"delete Windows":
/Windows
/Program Data
/Program Files
/Program Files(x86)

However...this leaves behind a lot of JUNK, and semi-inaccessible User data.

The things in your current Libraries..Documents, Pictures, Music, etc...those are permission restricted to the old User from the old OS.
You can gain access, but it is a pain.
The BEST way forward is int he preparation.
Find ALL that personal data you need to keep from the original install, and save those files to elsewhere first.
Safe and offline.

Do the install as desired.
Then, you simply copy that data back into where you want it.

The old drive can be fully cleaned off, and use as desired.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS