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Microsoft Windows – Reinstall techniques for WIN7, WIN8, or WIN10

This PC World article shares reinstall options for Windows 7, 8, and 10 as noted below:

http://www.pcworld.com/article/2364269/windows/how-to-reinstall-windows-like-a-pro.html

A full, clean reinstall is different from the Reset your PC option in Windows 10 and 8, or a manufacturer’s recovery partition or disk for Windows 7. Those built-in options will set your PC back to its factory-default state—which could include some vendor-installed junk you never wanted anyway. A clean install uses the generic Windows installation media that you can download from Microsoft, and it’ll have just the OS, no other frills.  Before we begin, back up all of your personal data. While you should back up your data regularly, it is especially important to do so before reinstalling an operating system.

Windows 8: Reset or Refresh Your PC — Windows 8 added ”Refresh your PC” and “Reset your PC” features that attempt to make installing Windows easier. Both of these options actually perform a Windows reinstall in the background, quickly installing a fresh Windows system from the recovery files on your computer’s drive, a Windows installation disc or USB drive.

Windows 10: Reset This PC — On Windows 10, this option is just named Reset this PC. You can reset your PC and keep all your personal files and Windows Store apps, or reset your PC and wipe everything from your disc. Either way, you’ll have to install all your desktop programs again, but that’s the point: You get a fresh Windows desktop system with all your system files in a known-good state.

Windows 7: OEM recovery partition or DVDs — In Windows 7 and previous versions of Windows, it’s up to the PC manufacturer to provide a recovery partition or recovery discs. Most manufacturers don’t include Windows installation discs with their computers. If your computer has a recovery partition, run your manufacturer’s recovery tool to reinstall Windows. On many PCs, you’ll have to press a key during the boot process to access the recovery tool. This key may be displayed on your screen. It should also be printed in your computer’s manual.

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