Clean Reinstall Windows 10 Laptop

Discussion in 'Windows OS and Software' started by Drew1, Dec 16, 2021.

  1. Drew1

    Drew1 Notebook Virtuoso

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    My other thread has gotten way too long. I am going to do a clean reinstall of windows 10 in my dell xps laptop since that is what everyone says to do to be on the safe side. I have windows 10 pro on this laptop.


    I know how to clean reinstall windows 10 as I done this few days ago on a windows 10 home desktop that is a very old desktop computer. I have the file in the usb stick where I downloaded the file off of the new cheap windows laptop I bought. I have two machines right now that are clean, windows 10 desktop and a cheap windows 11 laptop I bought recently.


    Now this dell xps laptop, its windows 10 pro. I also have bitlocker enabled on it and also a windows password. Does bitlocker need to be turned off? Now I want to copy/paste files from my compromised laptop to an external hard drive. People have said to do this, make sure your computer is in safe mode. I only have one usb stick that is big enough to store these files i want to transfer, its about 15gb of files at the most. But that usb is the same usb where i'm holding the windows boot file. So I cannot use this right? My other usb sticks are either too small or failing as they are old usb flash drive.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2021
  2. Drew1

    Drew1 Notebook Virtuoso

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    Now I do have a 1TB external hard drive and also another 250gb ssd from an old laptop that I took out. This ssd can be put in an 2.5' inch enclosure. The issue with both of these drives is... I do not know if they are fully clean. I believe the 250gb ssd is clean though as I remember wiping it clean with the format. But with the 1TB external hard drive, I remember deleting everything but don't remember formatting it. It still might have files. Also I did remember giving this to a repair shop a while back when he helped me copy files from a broken laptop years ago into this one. So there is risk to it possibly being infected right? So best thing is to connect the 250gb ssd with enclosure to my windows 10 desktop and then format it? This would take a long time? I had formatted a 64gb usb flash drive recently and it took around 4 hours. I know there is quick format but read that isn't as clean. Then after doing this, go to my compromised computer and make sure I go to safe mode. Then transfer all the files from the compromised laptop to the 250gb ssd with enclosure and remove it. Then do a clean reinstall of windows 10 with the usb? The thing is I use windows 10 pro... so just choose that right?



    I did thought about logging into a gmail account of mine on the compromised computer... then transfer all those files to the cloud. But the risk of this would be me typing my password on this computer. But then I thought after I do this, I could immediately log out of the account. Then use one of my other clean computers and log into the email and then immediately change the password... so that way if I was compromised, well that person wouldn't have the time to do something to my files on the cloud since I just changed the password. Would that work or not? This way it wouldn't require me to need a usb/external hard drive right and thus save me a lot of time in formatting the external hard drive? But since this is to be done in safe mode, it won't work since it has no internet right? I will be doing this whole clean install early tomorrow.



    Thank you.
     
  3. StormJumper

    StormJumper Notebook Virtuoso

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    Bitlocker needs to be turned off if your going to reinstall it blocks any install or changes. Is it not possible for you to use the OEM install files to restore Windows 10 to the computer? If this was custom Windows 10 then you need to get all the drivers downloaded and BIOS update if you redo the setup. I wouldn't spend the extra to have a ext. SSD you should put that into the Laptop instead. Also as you said copy your files/data you created so you can restore them back to the correct saved location if you reinstall those software that used the saved files to run again. But move any personal/data created onto a ext. device so you have them in safe keeping and can copy them back if needed. You don't need to be in SafeMode to reinstall stand mode to wipe clean the HDD or SSD and reinstall again is what you want to do for clean and fresh O/S to run correctly without issues. If you OS is OEM install you should have a partition for it or USB/DVD OEM install to restore it. This part you didn't tell us more info on this spec and if it came factory Windows 20 or not?
     
  4. saturnotaku

    saturnotaku Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Don't make me tap the sign:

     
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  5. 6730b

    6730b Notebook Deity

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  6. Drew1

    Drew1 Notebook Virtuoso

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    What is the problem with you two? I am wanting now to clean reinstall my machine and asking legitimate questions like do I need to turn off bitlocker and other issues like how do I make sure my external hard drive is not infected before I plug into the machine.


    Do you enjoy people getting screwed over or something? I have very important stuff on my computer so I want to make sure I will do it right. I already bought a new cheap laptop and bought kaspersky total because of this issue. I would pay a lot of money right now if I know a way to confirm my laptop was not infected etc. Or the correct way to do this without bringing any possible malware to the new clean reinstall laptop. You guys have no idea how desperate I am in my situation if these things are erased or something goes wrong here. I been on this since last week and haven't had any much sleep because of this.
     
  7. Drew1

    Drew1 Notebook Virtuoso

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    Okay bitlocker needs to be turned off. I do not know what you mean by using the OEM install files to restore windows ten on my computer. I have never ever updated BIOS. Reason being I heard it can brick your computer if something goes wrong and if you don't have to do it, don't do it. I have an extra ssd with me right now that I believe is formatted. It also has an enclosure which I can connect to.


    How do i copy my files/data though without risking infection? Use the extra ssd with enclosure right? But do I need to make sure the ssd is malware free before I do anything? So connect it to my windows ten desktop which I did a clean reinstall already to check it and format it? Someone mentioned before I transfer my files from the compromised laptop to the ssd enclosure, I need to make sure it is in safe mode so it would be safer. So it isn't?


    I know how to do a clean reinstall as I did this few days ago on a old windows ten desktop already. My issue is moving the files from my laptop to an external hard drive before this process safely or as safe as possible. This is my main issue here. Also someone else on another forum told me if I cannot even run windows offline scan... there is a very good chance I won't even be able to boot into safe mode. So what happens if I can't get into safe mode? Again I am asking this questions because I don't want to be doing this...and then be stuck on not knowing what to do.


    My os is windows ten home originally I believe. But when I had issues when i first got the laptop, I went to a guy who took a look at it and paid him a good amount of money to reinstall my system and he installed a copy of window ten pro to it. I do see the product key for that windows ten pro license to it on my computer when i go to settings etc.


    Again my situation is bit complicated because I have files I want to move and not sure if its infected... but also I have bitlocker... which most people probably do not have installed here.
     
  8. Gumwars

    Gumwars Notebook Evangelist

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    You've been given the answers you need to solve this problem. If you haven't used that external HDD with a known or suspected infected machine, then you shouldn't have an issue.

    If you're desperate, then listen to what people are telling you to do! A clean install of an OS isn't a difficult thing to manage.

    Scan it after you've moved the files to the external drive. If the files are infected, then you'll need to follow the remediation steps offered by the antivirus. That means you might lose files, but you'll gain not having an infected system.

    Copy that key to a piece of paper. You'll need it after you reinstall Windows.

    No your situation isn't complicated. You're making it complicated. Bitlocker is seldom used and only requires that you turn it off before attempting a clean install.
     
  9. Drew1

    Drew1 Notebook Virtuoso

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    Hi. The ssd with enclosure that I have, I am pretty certain I did a clean reformat on it earlier this year. So that should be safe. Buf if unsure, how should I make sure its clean? Use my windows ten desktop which is clean to look at it? Do I need to format it?


    Then use kaspersky total on the windows ten desktop to scan it right?


    Do I need to go into safe mode before I transfer the files?
     
  10. Gumwars

    Gumwars Notebook Evangelist

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    You can scan it or reformat it. If you want to make absolutely sure, reformat it.


    Scan it from any computer other than the compromised one.


    The reason everyone is telling you to boot into safe mode is that the malware service will not start. Viruses often install themselves as a service on your machine so that the problem application gets started every time you turn on your computer. When you boot in safe mode, Windows only starts the basic services needed to run the OS. I've read through your posts and you've complained about how slow your laptop is in doing basic tasks. Booting into safe mode should help with those issues. It has nothing to do with not moving infected files and more to do with making it easier to move the files. You'll still need to scan them.

    Also, and this is probably the most important thing, you need to change your online behavior or this problem will continue to happen. Yeah, I know, the last thing you want to hear is a bunch of strangers nag you about what you do with your time. However, this problem is avoidable and preventable based on how you handle yourself. On your other thread, I suggested using Linux and virtual machines which would create a setup that makes problems like this orders of magnitude smaller. If you're a gambler, there's likely no stopping you from continuing to do that. Which means you need to do something different to prevent being exploited while doing what it is you like to do.
     
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