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I have a client that is across the country from me that wants to factory reset his PC so as to fix any issues the current OS install has. He currently has Windows 7, which does not have a in OS way of doing a factory reset, making a remote wipe impossible. He has said that if he needs to upgrade to 10 for us to do this, he is more than willing, as Windows 10 has the "reset this PC" option. I know when upgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 10 a lot of the settings are dragged along.

There are two major concerns I have with this approach, and I'd like to know the answer before I go this route.

  1. When using the Reset This PC option in Windows 10, will the dragged along settings stick, or will it truly be as if Windows 10 was installed fresh and default?

  2. Will it keep hardware drivers in place that Windows 10 may not have by default? The main concern here is the NIC. I have installed Windows 10 fresh on an older PC before and the NIC driver was not included in 10, and thus I had to manually find and install the NIC driver. This is not something I can ask my client to do (if the client was capable of that, why would they need our remote support services anyway, right?).

I have done some cursory googling and not found anything yet. I will continue to try to research as I can for this and if I find an answer, I will post here, but I was hoping someone may just already know the answer to these questions.

Thank you in advance.

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Upgrading to 10 should fix any 'system' problems he has.

To fix 'system issues' is even easier. run SFC. System File Checker (SFC) is a command-line tool that scans all protected system files and replaces incorrect versions with correct versions.

It really depends on what "issues" he has. The only way I know of to restore Windows 7 is to actually restore it is to run system restore from a restore partition or backup disk. This is after backing up user files, of course.

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  • Specifically on Drivers, it should carry along the drivers. The only thing 'reset' does is remove users and settings, as far as I know.
    – Tom Cee
    Commented Jun 8, 2017 at 18:04
  • Sorry, I spoke too soon. It will remove the drivers, and optionally user files and settings. The process in Windows 10 will prompt.
    – Tom Cee
    Commented Jun 8, 2017 at 18:09
  • support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/12415/… (link for more info near the bottom under "Reset this PC")
    – Tom Cee
    Commented Jun 8, 2017 at 18:10

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