I recently upgraded my laptop with a 500GB SSD for more storage. Prior to upgrading, I was able to reset the laptop through the settings app. After upgrading, I asked the person who performed the upgrade with a fresh install of Windows 10 if I would still be able to reset the laptop through the Settings app, since the laptop was bought secondhand and didn't come with installation media. His answer was vague, but when I got home, I noticed that he had partitioned the drive. I asked that he delete the partition so as to have all storage be allocated to C:.
Just to test the theory, I went to try and "reset this PC" from the Settings, and got the error message, "Could not find recovery environment. Insert installation media..." message. I did a Google search and went through the steps for a fix and went through Command Prompt and did the "reagentc /enable route. I ended up having to create a recovery drive with a USB drive. After that, I did the command prompt again, and was able to finally get the "Operation successful" message.
I went back through Settings and was able to begin the reset process. My question is, was the recovery environment initially missing from the system after I upgraded the SSD, corrupted, or just hidden? Since I was able to do it before, and I had the guy install a fresh copy of Windows 10 with the upgrade, I assumed that I'd be able to reset through Settings without issue because the product key would be part of the BIOS. How does this whole process work?
In the future, will I be able to clean the drive and start fresh through Settings, or will I need the recovery drive to boot into? What's the difference between creating a recovery drive and using the Media Creation Tool to create installation media with a USB drive?
... In the future, will I be able to clean the drive and start fresh through Settings, or will I need the recovery drive to boot into? What's the difference between creating a recovery drive and using the Media Creation Tool to create installation media with a USB drive?
Your machine went to many hands therefore setup from factory is no longer available. The quickest way is to use Windows 10 Recovery tool from Microsoft to create USB or DVD media or ISO file. You can create once a re-use many times.
You can reinslall Windows 10 any time and STILL keep all your files/data unless HDD is damaged.
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