I am booting from usb to re-install windows 10. During the installation process I get prompted with a screen showing a bunch of partitions and get asked in which of them I would like to install the OS.

Would it be safe to format and delete all partitions and then let windows install itself in the only partition left after deleting the old ones?

I would imagine windows will rebuild the partitions it needs during the process but perhaps I am wrong?


  • Why don’t you just use the Reset feature? Less work on your part
    – Ramhound
    Aug 4 at 17:05
  • 4
    It's "safe" in that your computer will still work, but of course it's not "safe" if you have any data you want to preserve. Aug 5 at 7:40

Yes. You can format the disk and delete all partitions. No issue and I find this to be preferable.

Windows 10 will build 3 partitions: UEFI partition, Recovery partition, and then the large data partition for installing Windows 10.

I have done this and it works just fine.

  • The recovery partition is usually not OS controlled, but device manufacturer controlled, and should not be touched by Windows. UEFI and main partition would be the standard.
    – Nelson
    Aug 5 at 7:44
  • 10
    Just note that you will lose all the data on the partitions you delete. It's quite obvious, I know, but I still feel like it should be said. Warning labels exist for a reason.
    – Vilx-
    Aug 5 at 7:59
  • @Nelson We're talking about installing to a blank drive, so there's no manufacturer recovery partition. Windows installer will indeed create a recovery partition under some circumstances (I think it may depend on disk size, but don't quote me on that). This partition is used for the "Reset Windows" feature.
    – gronostaj
    Aug 5 at 9:24
  • 2
    @Nelson That's how it used to be (i.e. a partition including various drivers and so on) but since at least Windows 10 (I think 8.1 or so) there is also a recovery partition that you can boot into to run various diagnostic tools and factory resets. I dimly remember that one only being created if the disk is larger than 100GB or such like though.
    – Voo
    Aug 5 at 10:06

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