What to back up before clean installation to windows 10 from 8.1

Would just like to say before my post that i appreciate all the help i get from members on this site as im not an expert and the help goes a long way for me. Thanks a lot everyone.

So as the title says, im about to perform a clean install of windows 10. Im doing this from usb on a netbook which doesn't have enough space on the C: drive to allow an OTA upgrade or even keeping my data and updating via usb, so it has to be a clean install. Also, the windows 8.1 machine wont allow me to factory reset it or 'refresh' it, it keeps coming back with an error- that's why i cant just create more room on the C: drive to avoid clean installs from usb. Anyway, since im doing a clean install I'll need to delete the partitions on the laptop already, which includes the Acer and the recovery partitions. I'm not sure if the worst were to happen and something didn't go well either during the installation or afterwards, what i would do from there to get a laptop that was working like the pre-upgrade state. Will creating a back up of the windows 8.1 state allow me to revert back to the current state, partitions and all, or not, and what would i need to do to get the best outcome where im protected from system failures in future or a bad install?

Thanks for any suggestions, i just dont want to brick the computer or something. Im not the most tech savvy.

7 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about back clean installation windows
  1. If you have a large external disk you could use Macrium Reflect free to make a full backup of your disk so you can fall back to present configuration if upgrade/clean install doesn't succeed.
  2. Thanks for the reply. I just went ahead and wiped the drive and installed windows 10 after deleting the C: drive in the installation process. Never backed up anything as I was unsure it would even work. Seems to be working all ok now. Again thanks for your halp as i did look into your suggestion.
  3. Glad to hear, you made it just in time.
  4. Yeah i know. Thing is, it's a non touch screen laptop so windows 8 is horrible on it. Windows 10 is far more straightforward and efficient using a mouse.
  5. There are programs to get W7 style start menu on w8 but I think about W10 being just updated version of 8.1.
  6. The laptop was also really clogged up like the c: drive was less than a gig and i deleted a lot of programs and disabled the hibernation file so it couldn't even get the latest updates so a clean install was severely needed as theres like 7gb free with a lot of programs installed now
  7. Best answer
    Yeah, clean install can do wanders sometimes. With XP I used to do it twice a year. Now my windows is clean install of W7 upgraded to W8 than 8.1 and now 10 insider on fast without any clean install.
    Just insider has 20 or more upgrades since day one.
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