Is there a way to clean/"format" pc and keep the OS files/settings

Discussion in 'Windows 10' started by rmb90, Nov 12, 2017.

  1. rmb90

    rmb90 MDL Novice

    Nov 5, 2017
    Hello, what I want to know is if there is any way to automatically delete all personal softwares and files from my notebook but keep the Windows as it is now in my notebook. If it is not clear what i want to do (I don't speak English very well), I'll explain below why I want to do it.

    I have a very old notebook that I expected it to not be able to run with Windows 10. However, I manage to deactivate/delete a lot of Windows 10 bloatware (services, cortana, index, etc) and now my old notebook can run Windows 10 without being too slow.

    But I bought a new notebook and now I'll give this old notebook to a friend of my father. I didn't want to factory reset the Windows 10 because I think I'll not have the capacity/time to deactivate everything again so the notebook can run Windows 10 fast (for instance, I spent a lot of hours trying to deactivate cortana in my new notebook and I wasn't able; if I reinstall the windows on my old machine, I'm afraid I'll not be able to make it run as fast as it is running now)...

    Thank you for your help!
  2. White Tiger

    White Tiger MDL Novice

    Jul 27, 2009
    Only option I see is to uninstall all software, one by one.
    You may remove any remaining clutter with privazer (
  3. LoverOfLove

    LoverOfLove MDL Member

    Oct 17, 2017
  4. Enthousiast

    Enthousiast MDL Tester

    Oct 30, 2009
    WIndows option "ResetPC" will offer you to delete all files and reinstall a clean windows. At the deletion part you can select to just delete or deep clean the files (takes a long time to complete but the files can't be recovered by the buyer).

    There is no option that will keep the tweaks, only when you made a full system backup image when you completed the tweaks. Or redo everything after resetpc or clean install.

    Removing stuff like cortana (or almost anything) won't bring you more power.
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  5. rmb90

    rmb90 MDL Novice

    Nov 5, 2017
    Hello guys! I thank you all for the answers. I did not have time to clean my old notebook and I'm still analyzing all the suggestions, but I pretend to do this job until next week.

    If is still anyone here looking this post, I would like to clarify some things you said in this topic.

    Enthousiast said there is no option that will keep the tweaks, but afterwards he seems to have given the solution I need. So, I would like to ask if I understood it correctly. If I made a "full system backup image" like he said:

    1. all settings/tweaks of the current windows installation will be the same when I install the image?
    2. when I make a full system backup image, my current software and personal documents will be on the backup or only the system files? Because if the backup only keeps the system files and delete other things, this seems to be exactly what I need.

    Thank you all!
  6. wilenty

    wilenty MDL Member

    Jan 15, 2014
    #7 wilenty, Nov 21, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2017

    As far as backing up is concerned, it depends on whether the user files are on the same partition as the windows, or on another. As you do not want to get into more trouble with what you've done with your system, it's always a good idea to back up. Half an hour to an hour and the backup you have made depends on the amount of data on that partition (and the speed of your hard drive).

    You can also try to do it the other way, namely to create a new user. It will not be your settings, but you can always come back without many hours of setup.

    As the settings are appropriate, you only remove programs that you do not want to leave to the new owner. You delete your old account, done!

  7. Excalibur0076

    Excalibur0076 MDL Member

    Aug 5, 2015
    #8 Excalibur0076, Nov 23, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2017
    Depending on what software you use you can make and exact image of your hard drive partition but speeds can vary depending on system and hardware. Restore the exact copy of your partition from the time you backed it up, Os, apps etc. If your testing or making mods to your system and it goes for a crap or you happen to get a virus or anything you can just restore your partition and it`s golden like nothing happened!. Does that answer your question my friend?. I would not suggest you store the backup partition on the same drive, I use a very big thumb drive but if you have a Usb portable storage drive you can use that to. If your now wondering what kind of software to use then you can use software like Acronis True Image, anything like that works just fine. Work great for me. I can restore right from my Thumb drive even if my system os is destroyed and won`t boot.
  8. dhjohns

    dhjohns MDL Guru

    Sep 5, 2013
    I have an old netbook and found no performance difference between full install of Pro, stripped down install of Pro, or Enterprise, or LTSB. The best thing to do with an old laptop is throw an SSD in it, and make sure RAM is maxed out.
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  9. pisthai

    pisthai Imperfect Human

    Jul 29, 2009
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  10. LiteOS

    LiteOS MDL Expert

    Mar 7, 2014
    when capturing with dism use config.ini file to skip the dirs with applications, personal data.
    application that have reg print uninstall them first
  11. LoverOfLove

    LoverOfLove MDL Member

    Oct 17, 2017
    #12 LoverOfLove, Nov 24, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2017
    Hi, my experience is different than yours, and it may be possible that my analysis is totally wrong.
    I have 2 GB ram and pentium dual core CPU. In ltsb I have seen lowest ram usage 430 mb without any tweaking. But on full pro I've never seen ram usage below 650 mb. In pro cortana searchui store and many more runs almost continuously.
    Isnt this true that for max performance we should keep background apps closed. Disabling startup apps is recommended by experts to improve performance. Various game booster are based on the only formula that they kill unnecessary apps and services and free up ram for game to use.