I want to install Windows 10 on my pc. Microsoft recommends a fresh install of Windows 10, which is fine, but I am wondering if that will effect my ability to access files on my external hard drives.

I have setup several NTFS partitions on external hard drives using my existing Windows 7 installation, and I am concerned that NTFS's security features might prevent me from accessing these files on a fresh installation of Windows 10.

Would I still be able to access files on these partitions using a fresh install of Windows 10?

  • 2
    Yes you will, no problems accessing your files, be sure those external drives are disconnected when installing W10.
    – Moab
    Sep 28 '19 at 20:43
  • Connect your external hard drive to a different PC..if you can access your files on another PC then you will definitely be able to access your files after you do a clean install of windows 10 but just be sure to not have it connected at the time of installation.
  • Also be sure that you have not turned on BitLocker on the external hard drive, if you have then first disable it.

Note: if you have installed (not saved) any softwares/apps on your external hard drive they probably will not work and you will have to install them again.Also be sure to backup all your data before installing windows 10. Good luck.

  • Thanks. I unplugged the drive when I did a clean install of Windows 10. I was able to access the drive with Windows 10 no problem.
    – Tyler K
    Oct 12 '19 at 15:12

If your NAS is tied to SMBv1 and on your network then you could have an issue since SMBv1 has been disabled in new Windows 10. If the NAS can be configured with SMBv2 then there should not be an issue

  • Thanks for the response. This is not an NAS. It is an external hard drive connected via SATA. I just was not sure if I would be blocked from my files if I tried to access them using a new user account on Windows 10.
    – Tyler K
    Sep 28 '19 at 20:56

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