Does "Rest This PC" do a full, clean Windows 10 installation?

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I'm helping my friend buy and upgrade a used PC.  It has Windows 10 already installed, but for security reasons, I'm going to have him do a fresh install of the OS.


Is using the "Reset This PC" in the Recovery settings sufficient for this purpose?  I was going to have him do a USB installation media, but this looks like it might be a little easier.


I've recently switched from OSX to Windows 10 after 15+ years, so I'm still getting up to speed on W10.

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Jim K

Reset this PC will give two options:

-Keep my files

-Remove everything


-Keep my files will remove any programs that didn't come with the computer but keep personal data

-Remove everything will remove any programs that didn't come with the computer and remove all personal data


Programs that came with the PC (like OEM software) will be kept.


This can explain it in better detail:

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In order to be as secure as possible, it would probably be a good idea to perform a clean installation of Microsoft Windows 10, and to wipe the drive at the start of the installation process.  This is because formatting and even repartitioning a drive under Windows does not erase its MBR (Master Boot Record), which can be infected and replaced by bootkits.  While the likelihood of that is very rare, it only adds 30-45 seconds to the installation process to do it, so it's not a particularly burdensome thing to do.


Here are instructions to erase a drive, step-by-step, from within the Windows installation media:

  1. Create a new Windows Installation DVD/USB flash drive on a known-good system.
  2. Go to the problematic computer, power it up, and configure it to boot first from its DVD or USB in its BIOS/UEFI firmware and then turn it turn it off.
  3. If the computer has multiple drives inside of it, and you only wish to erase one of them, open the computer up and disconnect the power or data cables from the other drives (you do not need to disconnect both, although you can if you want to).
  4. Plug the USB flash drive into the computer and power up to have it boot directly from the USB flash drive (or insert the DVD and let the computer boot from it). Once the computer finishes booting, it should be at a Windows installation screen.
  5. Do not agree to any prompts, copyright licenses, or click on any buttons.
  6. Press the Shift + F10 keys together to open a Command Prompt.
  7. Run DiskPart to start the command-line disk partitioning utility. The command line prompt will change to DISKPART>.
  8. At the DISKPART> prompt, type LIST DISK to get the numbers of all drives in the system.
    Make a note of the number assigned to the drive to which Windows is going to be installed.  It usually is 0 or 1 but it could be something else.
  9. At the DISKPART>> prompt, type SEL DISK n where n is the number of the drive.
  10. At the DISKPART>> prompt, type CLEAN and this will erase the MBR code from the beginning of the drive.
    *WARNING:* After performing the clean operation, the drive now be blank/erased, and everything on it will be gone (all files, etc.).
  11. The drive is now clean. You can now exit the DiskPart program and continue with your Windows installation.

The CLEAN command is what wipes the beginning of the drive, which makes it appear to the Windows installer as a blank disk.  This runs in just a second or two on an SSD, but may take 10 seconds (or more) on a hard disk drive.




Aryeh Goretsky


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