Pending OP Response Complete Cleanup

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crackerjack

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Jan 16, 2016
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What I have in mind for PC is to copy "EVERYTHING" on it onto an external hard drive so as to have a complete copy on there and then clean up PC with fresh new up to date Win 10 installation and start again with clean machine reloading existing software programs I use and setting it up to do daily backups so that the new one stays up to date with programmes / files /folders etc (a complete system copy of computer if worst happens that I could just transfer to a new PC) ---but still having the other copy of existing system for any historical files /pics etc I want to refer back to or in an emergency.
Is this possible ?? --If so could you guide me through it and recommended programme to use ? If pie in the sky - you are perfectly at liberty to laugh loudly & uncontrollably as my personal knowledge of computing is to say the least extremely limited
Computer is working fine at moment but keep having occasional probs when Win 10 has an update release so would like to "start afresh"
Thanks !!
 

Bruce

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I use Macrium Reflect Free edition for just such a solution.
load it and do Backup, Image Selected Disk, and select an external drive.
then you wipe the PC and reload to your hearts content.

reload Macrium again after you reinstall Windows then you just double click the .mrimg file to mount it as a drive. then all the previous files are available.
 

crackerjack

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Many thanks for that Bruce
Just another point that came to mind
After a previous problem following a Win 10 update I contacted Microsoft because PC kept going onto blue screen
To solve the issue I believe that they solved it by starting a new account "rod wright " which is my current account ref but the previous one and one for my wife (before she purchased her own laptop) are still showing at startup
Will previous docs and folders be backed up from those accounts -or purely my current one ?
........ and will that cause any problems with the Macrium process or will "everything " on "c" drive be saved a a mirror image
(You will by now be sensing my ignorance on PC related technicalities (LOL)
Thanks for your patience!!
 

Bruce

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no problem at all - we were all there ourselves once too. and still learning new stuff as well.

Macrium will take a snapshot of the entire drive, it doesn't care about each user account.
when you mount the image as a drive afterwards, you'll be able to drill down to each user account folder to extract files as required.
 

crackerjack

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Thanks for your help Bruce
Will give it a go !
I tried that small prog "Everything " a while ago to find an old file which was good and useful
Am I correct in thinking the mirror will be something like that but "listed" on an external drive ??
 

Bruce

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it will literally be a snapshot of your current C:\ as it stands when you do it.
so if File A lives in Folder B now, that's where you'll find it on the mounted image.
 

phillpower2

You can call me Ad
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Sep 9, 2016
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Any update for us? This thread will be closed if not replied to within 48hrs.
 

crackerjack

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Not done at moment Bruce due to other commitments but will attempt soon.
But further advice please
Do I then buy and set up ANOTHER SSD to start from.clean machine status and create ongoing daily / weekly backups for cleaned up pc - only using the original macrium image as archive and in case of emergency ? Just a thought as otherwise that would become an excessive amount of info and perhaps evezntually become a white elephant as progs are updated
Just a thought as one CAD prog which progressed from 2d to 3d now uses a different file system and won't work on old 2d files even though you have 2d facility on latest updated version?
Hope you understand my reasoning but again I might be overegging thought process
Thanks for your patience
 

Bruce

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I'm not sure what your end result is to be.

If you want to replace your current system drive, I'd be getting that new SSD and installing it as a second drive for now (or attach it externally).
then use Macrium to clone the current drive to it.
then install the SSD to where the current one was cabled and reboot.
the new SSD should now be the system drive and with a file system as it was.
now decide on what to do with the old system drive - leave as is for a few weeks in case it's needed, then use it to clone the SSD to it as backups.

or install Windows from scratch but you'll have to get over whatever that CAD 2d/3d issue is.
 

crackerjack

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Thought I might not have explained what I had in mind clearly Bruce Apologies!
You won't be able to help me if I don't!

At moment feel that internal drive as a whole lot of info that's "old "historic docs/photos/ cad drawings etc that's well out of date but might as well save as backup in case needed
So idea was to use Macrium as you advised to copy all that and system image to an external SSD as a backup of PC as is at the moment
Then get back to a clean PC and install latest Win10 programme and all latest Win 10 versions of progs I use regularly and start " from scratch"
If I read you correctly I could then import/ load any useful files/pics/folders etc from that SSD as and if needed and amend or use as applicable
My latest thought then was to keep that image as a Master backup safe and purchase an external SSD to use as an ongoing incremental backup of the cleaned up PC from "scratch"
That way I would have an ongoing backup from.NOW and the other system image to retrieve any of the previous set-up files that were useful/an archive library/ and a decent last resort insurance in case of a total crash catastrophe.
Hope that explains my "ideas" (which may be a total "pie in the sky" brainstorm to a specialist like yourself
But if possible would hopefully provide me with a structured PC which had less clutter and up to date versions of the progs I use most
Really grateful for your help and guidance(and PATIENCE with a "dummy"
 

Bruce

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all of what you say is possible and a good way forward.
just realise that when you want to "import/load any useful files/pics/folders etc" that you cannot include software in that.
software will have to be reinstalled. but the folders for that software, say in Program Files or AppData CAN be 'imported' to restore any customisations - like for example, the Chrome folder so you get all your search history, bookmarks etc recovered.
 

crackerjack

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Thanks Bruce
Just need another new external SSD then and good to go!
Will give me something to pass this difficult isolation period
Hope this helps others whose PC has become a bit overloaded and cluttered but is otherwise running fine
A final question
Other than required regular software ---office/my cad programme etc/dvd recording/ etc could you or any colleague help advise on suggested useful software to start with as bare minimum?
Over time I have searched on line for progs that have helped solve situations - some free / some purchased to a point where I am genuinely not sure what some of them did for me!
Would like to get rid of some of that junk as well but not sure what's necessary to make sure PC works properly I presume that once I download and install a prog I can then erase the exe. Or set-up files Is that correct and then periodically check for any updates?
Really appreciate all your help and guidance and hope I'm picking up a bit of knowledge along the way as purely a User - not a pc expert!!
 

Bruce

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to add to the software you have already mentioned, I would add Adobe Reader, VLC player, 7Zip, MalwareBytes and Notepad++
but that's just my personal preference.
I wouldn't add a 3rd party anti-virus program unless you already had a subscription as the Windows 10 inbuilt one is perfectly adequate.

and yes, once installed, you can delete the downloaded installation file.
and again yes, most programs have an auto-update feature or at least a notification that an update is available.