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How to install Windows 10 over existing Win10 drive and keep user accounts and data


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#1 videoguy

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Posted 12 September 2018 - 09:59 PM

Hi

I have a bootable WinRE iso and a custom application to install Windows 10 from install.wim over existing Win10 installation. Currently I am formatting the existing C: drive, apply wim, apply drivers, go through unattend, audit, oobe phases to arrive at usable Win10 desktop.

 

What I am wondering is if there is a way to keep current user data as well as their accounts (and passwords) and do a clean install of Windows.

 

Thanks for pointers.

 

Joe



#2 sbaeder

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Posted 13 September 2018 - 02:49 AM

Have you tried running the install from inside a working windows?  AFAIK, that is the supported way of doing an "upgrade", but to me, it's not really 100% "clean", since if you keep all the data and applications, etc. than it's not really "clean".

 

Best bet is to extract software keys using tools like nirsoft's and to extract or sync web based passwords up to google (if they use Chrome), or hopefully get them to use a legit password manager (I use LastPass) to store them.  Either way, it makes the password side "recovery" easy...

 

Then save off the entire "users" space (just in case), since Win10 like to put things into the AppData area before you do the clean install.  After that, restore the files, and help the user recover any passwords they can't remember (or forgot to save), since most web sites allow some sort of recovery (usually tied to the email). So if you get that one (i.e. access to email) before you start, you should be OK.

 

It's not 100% "automated", but it's what I do when trying to help people "restore" things to a clean state.

 

Good Luck

Scott



#3 wimb

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Posted 17 September 2018 - 10:02 AM

Microsoft MediaCreationTool1803.exe makes USB-Stick for Install of Windows 10.

 

In your running Windows 10 then setup.exe from USB supports Install of Windows 10 while keeping Programs and Settings.



#4 videoguy

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Posted 17 September 2018 - 02:17 PM

We don't want to keep user's programs that were installed after last OS install. I just want to keep user's data and ignore everything else on the system. Lets say I don't format C:\ drive. Delete everything other than Users directory and install Windows in this partition. But the new OS doesn't know about the users dir under Users dir. The SIDs of the old users have no relation to new OS. I am trying to find if there is a flag in windows install to do this or some other set of files I probably have to keep for this to work.

MediaCreationTool based image doesn't work for our scenario as our OS image has custom driver sets and core set of applications that we want to install as part of OS installation.

Thanks



#5 wimb

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Posted 17 September 2018 - 03:16 PM

OK, then Gotcha Data Backup might be useful to you.

 

http://reboot.pro/fi...ha-data-backup/

 

A great advanced capability is the option to Move files instead of Copy files. This comes in handy if you will be reinstalling a computer without formatting the drive. Since Gotcha will quickly be able to move the files you need backed up into a folder on the same drive very quickly. This can save you hours gathering the backup if you use the normal copy operation that other backup tools use. 

 

 



#6 videoguy

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Posted 19 September 2018 - 12:10 AM

Gotcha helps with backup and restoring of data. Does it preserve user accounts and recreate them in new instance of Windows?


Edited by videoguy, 19 September 2018 - 12:11 AM.


#7 wimb

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Posted 20 September 2018 - 06:18 AM

Gotcha can move User Data, but I think it does not preserve user accounts and cannot recreate them in new instance of Windows.

 

Sorry, but I think there is no existing simple solution for your problem ....



#8 Rootman

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Posted 20 September 2018 - 01:21 PM

I use GotchaBackup all the time, it does NOT create the account / Windows profile. For backup log in as ANYONE with admin privileges on the computer (like local admin or a user with admin) run GotchaBackup, it will list the accounts and types of data you can back up.  Select the accounts you want to copy and save them to a USB device or online folder.  After you re-image the PC the user will have to log on and you run GotchaRestore as EACH user to restore their data. So, BOB must logon and you can restore his stuff.  Then Sally must log on and you can restore her stuff.  I know of no software that can save and then recreate the users profile on a new OS automatically, this would be quite a challenge, especially on a domain structure. 

 

A few caveats about Gotcha, it has a file path name limit, if you bury the copied files down several folders deep on a drive and the users has a lot of folders and subfolders in THEIR data it may fail to copy.  I created a folder named 1 in the root of my USB drive, run GotchaBackup and save the data there, I can then MOVE the whole folder structure into a more appropriate named folder.  The length limit seems to affect Gotcha but Windows is happy as a lark to move the data.  It also does not restore the users printers or their Outlook email signature, and of course does not copy / restore software.  




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