Today we’ll look at how to reset Windows 10 to the factory settings and roll back the system to the state of only the installed operating system. The topic requires detailed consideration due to the virtual absence of these functions in previous editions of Windows and the concept of storing an image to roll back the state of the operating system.
The beauty of the “dozens” here is that to implement the above procedure, you do not need an installation disk, bootable USB flash drive with software such as True Image, or an image of a working system.
Attention, proceed to the execution of the instructions only in the last resort, when the solution can only be reinstalled Windows 10. When the execution of the instructions fails, simply install the operating system, making sure that no data in the process is affected.
All emerging and possible problems accompanying the rollback process of the “tens” are discussed in the last section. If you encounter one of them, move down the page.
Table of Contents
Why is this needed?
Also, the function is a complete replacement for reinstalling Windows 10, but with some advantages: saving personal files (documents, application settings).
Perform a reset from a running system
This method of resetting the “tens” is possible only when it starts. Everything is pretty simple.
1. We call the new menu "Parameters" (most quickly this is done through the combination of "WinI").
2. Click on the item "Update and Security".
3. We go to the "Recovery" subsection.
4. In the first section of the window that appears, click on the "Start" button.
It happens that the operating system reports that it is impossible to detect the files required for the operation. In this case, we go to the next section of the article.
5. Choose the most suitable option from the proposed ones (the first is recommended, but it all depends on the situation).
Next is the branching: if you choose the second method, it will be offered to format the disk or its simple cleaning. It also depends on the situation. For example, when you are going to sell a computer, it is better to completely clean the disk, but the process can take a long time with a large hard drive or many bad sectors on the surface of the magnetic plate.
6. In the last window, click "Reset" if you do not change your mind.
The button will start the process of automatic installation of the operating system, during which the PC will restart 2-3 times. As a result, the computer will start up with the new operating system.
If you select the option to save personal data, the Windows.old directory will appear on the system partition, where a copy of all files of the past Windows 10 is stored (for example, the contents of the desktop, the “Downloads”, “My Documents” directories).
Clean dozens installation with Refresh Windows Tool
The utility copes with the rollback of the system in situations where the first method for some reason did not work.
1. As before, go to the recovery options.
2. In the last section, click on the icon "Learn how to start again from …".
3. After that, the Microsoft website will open in a browser, where you must click at the bottom: "Download the tool now."
4. After downloading, run the application, agreeing to the terms of its use.
5. We choose the option of saving personal information or set a method for its deletion, which we familiarized with in the previous section.
All other actions are carried out automatically.
The end of the process can be delayed due to many factors (computer performance, there is no fragmentation of files on the system volume, damage to some sectors of the system disk, a significant amount of information is selected).
- We call the WinR shell;
- enter "cleanmgr";
- execute the command;
- click on the icon “Clear system files”.
As a result, you can free up to 23 GB or more of disk space.
Reset system when it does not start
The section will discuss how to reset Windows 10 if it refuses to boot. This is where motherboard or laptop manufacturer tools come in handy, or a bootable flash drive or system rescue disk.
For devices whose users acquired licensed Windows 10 when buying a computer, there is an elementary method for resetting it. This is using a combination of specific keys to roll back a device.
In most cases, when a rollback of the system is required, computers were not purchased with a licensed “ten”, therefore, the presence of a recovery disk / flash drive is required. You must boot from it in recovery mode.
1. Having started in the resumption environment, click on the troubleshooting item.
2 Next, go to the item "Return the PC to its original state" and click "OK."
3. In the next window, you can save / delete personal files – as before, there are options for simple deletion or full disk cleaning when choosing to delete files.
4. In the menu for selecting the operating system, select Windows 10.
5. If you are confident in your actions, click on the icon "Restore the computer to its original state."
6 After we get acquainted with the list of actions that will be done in automatic mode.
This is uninstalling applications, resetting system settings to factory settings with the subsequent installation of Windows 10.
7. Click "Restore", if you are sure that the operation is necessary.
This will start the system resumption process, which is accompanied by a computer restart.
Tip: if you changed BIOS settings to boot from bootable media (changed the priority of boot devices), change their order back.
Possible problems resetting Windows 10
It happens that when you try to roll back the “top ten” to the initial state and restart the computer, a window appears with the text “Problem when returning the computer to its original state. No change has been made. ” The error indicates problems with the renewal files located in the WinSxS directory (they are damaged, missing or were modified by the author of the assembly). If, after an unsuccessful attempt, the “dozen” starts up properly, be sure to check the system files for integrity, in the hard drive for bad sectors.
If all else fails, perform a clean installation of the operating system, remembering to take care of important information on the system drive.
The second common mistake is to insert a CD (flash drive) with the installation files of the operating system. For these cases, the Refresh Windows Tool was developed, which was discussed in the second section of the current article. Also, a solution may be to use a USB flash drive / disk with Windows 10 installation files of the same bit depth and edition as the operating system installed on the computer.
The second version of the algorithm of actions, if the operating system could not be returned to its previous state due to the lack of media with recovery files, is to register its own image with a snapshot of the system to resume it. But at the same time, the "top ten" should work properly, because operations are carried out in its environment.
- Download the disk image file with Windows 10.
- We mount it through the virtual drive emulation tool and copy the “install.wim” file located in the “sources” directory to the “ResetRecoveryImage” folder created on any partition other than the system one.
- Instead of a physical drive emulator, you can use any archiver.
- We launch the command line with administrator privileges and enter a command of the type “reagentc / setosimage / path“ D: \ ResetRecoveryImage ”/ index 1”, where “D: \” is the path to the directory created in the third step.
With these actions, an image of its recovery is created and registered in the system.
After successful operations, we restart the automatic reinstallation of Windows 10, previously calling it a backup. This will speed up the process of returning to the current state of the OS in case of problems.
If you have any questions, other problems or the availability of new solutions do not hesitate to write about it in the comments.