Windows 10 Pro – Clean Reinstall (Nuke’n’Pave, Baby!)



So…I’ve been limping along with a network issue I’ve had for quite some time (details are here in the forums) on my Windows 10 Pro custom build.

Details don’t matter too much, but I was able to get network connectivity through Docker so I was able to perform my tasks okayish.

However last week Docker stopped getting bridged Ethernet (guests can’t access the internet at all).

I tried a lot of things to try to resolve it but honestly I give up and I just want to get everything working again.

*SO* … I was trying to figure out what I’d need to backup to potentially restore. I’m concerned that a regular backup / restore might restore the issue back into the new copy of Windows (not sure if this is potentially a registry thing or whatever).

So my thought was:

  • regular Windows backup
  • wipe my SSD / clean reinstall Windows from ISO
  • fire up a Hyper-V VM
  • restore the backup to the VM

This should now allow me to access any data files or whatever I might have forgotten about (I do manually backup a series of things with a .bat script—like save game files and such). And any potential corruption should be locked away on the VM.

Has anyone done something similar?

Does anyone have any other suggestions to try instead?

Thanks in advance!

Comments (11)

11 responses to “Windows 10 Pro – Clean Reinstall (Nuke’n’Pave, Baby!)”

  1. wright_is

    I use Veeam for image backups. Worked a treat, when moving from Windows to Linux - the experiment failed with hardware issues, so I had to go back. Their free Windows backup tool had imaged all 4 drives and had me back up and running within an hour.

    If you are looking to move the physical PC to a Hyper-V virtual machine, try Sysinternal Disk2vhd (link 1), Veeam has a good guide on migrating using Disk2vhd (link 2).

    • wright_is

      "Edit:" I'd make an image using Veeam as an external backup, then the disk2vhd to convert the physical disk, copy that off to external storage, then rebuild the system and copy the VHD back and create a VM using the existing drive.

      • curtisspendlove

        That is an interesting idea to image the whole disk to a VM capable of booting. Would save a step on manually creating a VM and restoring into it.

        Thanks foe the ideas!

  2. jimchamplin

    I keep all data on a physically separate drive. Windows and apps aren’t part of my backup, just my data, and it’s for precisely this reason. Windows develops issues sometimes and I’d rather not have to worry about my data if I have to reinstall it.

    • erichk

      I do the same thing. I have a 4 TB spinning hard drive where I keep the bulk of my data, programming projects, music projects, etc., and I back it up once a month to an external drive with a program I bought called EaseUs Todo Backup, and I put that external drive up on a shelf. Then I have all kinds of other miscellaneous stuff in OneDrive and Dropbox, so I figure the cloud can protect me there. Unlike when I was much, much younger when I rarely practiced this kind of preventative maintenance, I now have peace of mind.

    • curtisspendlove

      Yeah. My description wasn’t great.

      I also backup my main data to a “cold storage” 4TB HDD inside the Windows rig. I do that using both a bat script I have and also the Windows 10 backup program.

      It also copies data over to a NAS’s NFS share so I have it in several locations.

      Does Windows do a better job nowadays if you set your home directory to be on a drive other than c:? (For instance, does %appdata% and such get stored on D: if I say I want my home directory on D:?

      • jimchamplin

        I need to investigate that. Currently I manually backup appdata by copying it into a directory synced with OneDrive. Last I tried it was Windows 7 and it did NOT like it.

        I’ve considered mounting a drive at /Users but it wouldn’t correctly reload I don’t think. Time to try with a VM ?

  3. wright_is

    Yes, I have a system SSD, a Hyper-V client SSD and a data SSD, the latter 2 get pushed to HDD and from there to NAS. The data SSD also goes to OneDrive and Carbonite.

    • curtisspendlove

      This is similar to what I do. I have a tiered storage approach for if I want data fast or when speed doesn’t matter. Im actually more concerned about my son and wife’s data than mine. I may just have to have them log in and search for their data. And then I can setup a similar backup process for them so their data makes it onto the NAS.

  4. jimbrown462

    I use Macrium Reflect to do an image of my OS drive at 3:00 am every day (PC is on 24/7), image is kept on an external USB drive, keeping the last five days. I use Genie Home to do a continuous backup of my data drive.

    When I need to nuke & pave, I manually make an image of my OS drive (which contains my appdata folder) plus I manually copy the contents of my data drive just to make sure (again, both to my external USB drive.

    Once Win10 has been reinstalled and properly configured, if I need anything from the old appdata folders, I use Macrium Reflect to mount the OS image on my USB drive with its own drive letter, grab what I need, and then unmount it.

    Works for me, and is super simple.


    • curtisspendlove

      I think it might be time to learn one of these disk imaging programs. I didn’t realize they allow you to directly mount the drive.

      Hmm for that matter I think Windows can directly mount ISOs nowadays. I may be able to make a simple ISO out of the drives.

      I’d think it’s worth it to grab one of the special purpose apps for it though. I’ll look into Marxism Reflect as well.