Question How to format my laptop

Aug 25, 2019
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Hello everyone! With World of Warcraft Classic coming out I thought I'd clean up my gaming laptop a little bit by formatting it.

I've formatted PCs before, but am not sure how to format a laptop. I found out that Windows 10 has a format options built in, so it seems I could easily use that to get my laptop formatted and get a fresh, clean windows 10 install. However, laptops come with extra software (I guess) installed from the manufacturer to have all the extra utility a laptop has working. Things like the volume up and down buttons (those arent on a pc) or the software for the lighting in the keyboard.

My concern is that if I format my laptop, I won't get my laptop working properly again, because it will be missing certain software.

Any advice would be much appreciated!
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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All of the drivers for those things should be available at the manufacturers support website.
Go there, and download all of that stuff to a USB flash drive.

Then, multiple ways of 'formatting it'.

Within the current Windows instance, Refresh.
Keep everything, or keep nothing.

Or, a full wipe and clean install.
Create a Win 10 install on a flash drive
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10

Then:
 

USAFRet

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Thanks for your reply!

Is a 'keep nothing reset' not as clean as the 'CLEAN' installation mentioned in your link?
Correct.
The "Reset and keep nothing" is mostly a refresh of the current install.

For a true clean start, the 'clean install' link I posted.
Follow the procedure, and that is a bare OS, devoid of anything from previous.

Also, the manufacturer may have a Factory Refresh function, which would return the laptop to how it was when you opened the box.
 
Aug 25, 2019
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So just out of curiosity, exactly how is it cleaner than the system reset options? In what way might I notice the difference?
 

USAFRet

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So just out of curiosity, exactly how is it cleaner than the system reset options? In what way might I notice the difference?
"cleaner', because you actually DELETE all existing partitions in the process and start with a blank drive.

'Reset' is sort of mostly kind of the same thing.
It should, in theory, do a reinstall. But might it keep some remnants of the old OS? Probably.
 

britechguy

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Jul 2, 2019
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And, as an aside, if anyone can explain to me, clearly, what the difference is between a Reset and a Refresh (the latter of which gets kicked off from inside Windows Security and, in theory, reloads a completely fresh Windows 10) please do so.

Microsoft seems to love inventing more and more ways to do what seems to be exactly the same thing and assign new names to it. Yet all this time they've never made a "keep files AND apps" option a part of Reset. Why, I'll never know.
 

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