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This is a little guide I made for those like me, who hate having to freshly format and freshly install OS because it requires a lot of work to get it fully updated, have all the needed software and have it all tweaked / optimized. Below is the information how to <b>spend one day doing all of the updating, software installing, and tweaking after a fresh OS install and then never do it again</b>.<br><br><b>1. Install fresh Windows OS</b>, which is Windows is 10 in my case, on a freshly formatted drive using the latest version of the available ISO. For the most accurate and proper installation, which I guess is not truly necessary, I suggest to look into the SPOILER below...<br><a class="spoiler-link H-spoiler-toggle" href="#"><strong>Warning: Spoiler!</strong> <span class="spoiler-help">(Click to show)</span></a><div class="spoiler-hidden">Extra installation info :<br>
For example, for those unaware, there are 2 official Windows 10 ISO's - the original 10240 RTM release and the updated 1511-10586 release. I strongly urge to <span style="text-decoration:underline;">use the latest ISO</span> instead of the original ISO and then applying super-major 1511-10586 update that practically installs another Windows on top of the existing one, which may create some issues and will clog a lot of space main drive space due to preservation of the old OS files, but such files can be removed. Also, I advice to delete your drive C (or whichever is your OS drive) and manually re-create it, but only within Windows installation progress. I advice this because doing so will create proper OS environment with several small (128MB max), but important in-active and mostly un-named system partitions that will not show up once your PC boots up. For Windows 10 there are 3 additional in-active and very small partitions are created during the main OS drive deletion and re-creation within fresh Windows installation process. If you format the main OS drive with some other software, select Express during fresh Windows OS install process, or even select the drive during custom / manual installation process without deleting and re-creating the main OS partition, those other important partitions will not be made.</div>
<br><b>2. Perform Windows updates all the way</b>, which means restarting PC when Windows asks you to do so and then re-checking for Updates again and again until eventually none become available. This may also update some of your drivers (especially in Windows 10 case).<br><br><b>3. Install all the drivers</b> and its probably best to over-write Windows 7/8/8.1 OS Update drivers with the official ones, but not in Windows 10 case, which often provides the very latest drivers for most hardware.<br><br><b>4. Perform all the OS settings adjustments</b>, like changing my Privacy, Account, Start button, which requires Classic Start and/or something like Star10. Think HARD and be patient to remember all or at least most preferences and which settings need to be adjusted to get those preferences working. Apply whichever tweaks you have, but make sure they are stable and have never caused a problem before. For example, I always Disable Mouse Acceleration .reg tweak for obvious reasons. If necessary, do research on what you always wanted to change, but couldn't have been bothered to do it or learn how to do it in the past. This is also the time to apply Anti-Telemetry tweak with either downloaded .reg telemetry-related tweak files or use safe software like Search & Destroy - Anti-Beacon or O&O Anti-Spy. Re-check ability to perform updates, utilize MS Store apps and other important functions because anti-telemetry tools can disable them, in which case you need to re-enable them if you care for them. I would definitely leave Windows Update functional. Make sure to remove stupid Cortana.
<a class="spoiler-link H-spoiler-toggle" href="#"><strong>Warning: Spoiler!</strong> <span class="spoiler-help">(Click to show)</span></a><div class="spoiler-hidden">How to remove Cortana:<br>
- In Windows\SystemApps directory, right-click on the Cortana.xxxxxxxxxxxxx.xxxxxxxxxx.bla-bla folder, select Rename and press Enter.<br>
- When you press Enter, a message will show up saying that Cortana folder is in-use and cannot be renamed, asking you want to "Try Again".<br>
- <span style="text-decoration:underline;">Do not press "Try Again" and do not close that window</span>, but make sure its easily accessible for pressing "Try Again" later. Open up Task Manager, find Cortana, and press Delete on your keyboard, after which Cortana service will stop for about 1 second, during which you need to press "Try Again" and rename it to Cortana or whatever else.<br>
- Download Unlocker, right-click on the renamed Cortana folder, select Unlocker, select Delete action and press OK. It should take about 10-15 seconds to delete that folder and restart.</div>
<br><b>5. Install all the essential and preferred programs</b>, NET Framework 3.5, web browsers, cleaners, utilities (MSI AB, NVidia Inspector), your torrent programs, etc. and change their settings (all of them) to your preference Again, THINK HARD about what you end up installation as you go on using your PC because that way you won't have to do again. There are about 30 different programs / apps / utilities that I use (3GB worth) that I install.<br><br><b>6. Get the very latest Acronis True Image 2016 ISO or <span style="text-decoration:underline;">any other OS drive/partition image backup software</span> and install / burn it</b> onto DVD or BD with ImgBurn or onto Flash Drive using RUFUS. You can also get the latest Windows installation package of Acronis True Image 2016, but <span style="text-decoration:underline;">*warning* - installation of Acronis True Image 2016 can be highly sensitive</span> and something as simple as disabling a related service can trigger BSOD upon booting that may be un-fixable and require a fresh OS install, but Acronis claims that in the latest version of this program, the issue is fixed. I do not see the point of bloating your OS / PC with an unnecessary software installation when a boot-able ISO that performs better is available. Acronis True Image 2016 is not free and he installation package requires registration / activation. <span style="text-decoration:underline;">However, the boot-able ISO version does not actually require any registration / activation AFAIK</span> <img alt="rolleyes.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.overclock.net/images/smilies/rolleyes.gif">. Of course I am not advising pirating or anything illegal l <img alt="rolleyes.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.overclock.net/images/smilies/rolleyes.gif"> .
<a class="spoiler-link H-spoiler-toggle" href="#"><strong>Warning: Spoiler!</strong> <span class="spoiler-help">(Click to show)</span></a><div class="spoiler-hidden">Info on Acronis True Image 2016:<br>
You can use other backup programs, but make sure they can make boot-able image backups or otherwise it would not be a replacement of a fresh install, which would still be required if the resulting image backup is non-bootable. Acronis True Image 2016 is the best OS drive backup software out there IMHO. Its the only one that allows exclusion of files and directories from an image backup during the actual backup process, while other backup programs allow file and/or folder exclusions only from normal / simply folders + files backups, not boot-able IS image backups.</div>
<br><b>7. Boot to Acronis True Image 2016 or use your OS drive image backup software to perform a full OS drive or partition image backup</b>, including all the additional important partitions I mentioned earlier, but I don't think all of them can be selected. Make sure to manually go into Settings menu (lower-left corner of the window - appears backup directory was selected) and select Full backup, not incremental, and No Compression (for the best stability). Name the backup file something like "Optimized" or "Tweaked". The resulting image backup is fully boot-able (once restored with Acronis True Image 2016), can be restored onto a freshly formatted drive like normal fresh Windows OS installation. Restoring onto SSD takes only a few minutes and once done, you'll have all the necessary updates, drivers, software, and OS settings / tweaks included, which makes it <span style="text-decoration:underline;">a hell of a better option than freshly re-installing Windows OS</span> and re-downloading updates, drivers, programs, adjusting settings, etc.
<a class="spoiler-link H-spoiler-toggle" href="#"><strong>Warning: Spoiler!</strong> <span class="spoiler-help">(Click to show)</span></a><div class="spoiler-hidden">How to be 100% safe and set by creating and keeping 3 types of OS drive backups:<br>
I. Make a Full, No Compression backup, named "Fresh" / "Clean", immediately after performing steps 1-3 without any changes to OS settings and without any tweaks applied. Such backups are just in case the "Optimized / "Tweaked" backups includes some irreversible bad tweaks / changes the user is unaware of that time.<br>
II. Make the already mention "Optimized" / "Tweaked" backup after performing steps 1-6.<br>
III. Make Full, No Compression backups, named "Update 3/31/2016* (use the appropriate date each time) as you use your system, update it, and test it thoroughly for stability after major driver updates and major OS updates.</div>
<br><br><br><b>P.S.</b> Please do not use this thread to express your negative opinions about doing things the way I described is wrong/bad/not optimal, etc. If you feel that way then this guide is simply not for you. I am a bit busy, so <span style="text-decoration:underline;">if someone would proof-read my thread, I would greatly appreciate it</span>!
 

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<div class="quote-container" data-huddler-embed="/t/1596203/simple-windows-os-install-backup-guide-tweak-os-once-and-never-again#post_25072108" data-huddler-embed-placeholder="false"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>MonarchX</strong> <a href="/t/1596203/simple-windows-os-install-backup-guide-tweak-os-once-and-never-again#post_25072108"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif"></a><br><br>
I guess it was worthless to type all that up...</div>
</div>
i used your guide thanks! <img alt="thumb.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.overclock.net/images/smilies/thumb.gif"><img alt="thumb.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.overclock.net/images/smilies/thumb.gif"><img alt="thumb.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.overclock.net/images/smilies/thumb.gif">
 

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<div class="quote-container" data-huddler-embed="/t/1596203/simple-windows-os-install-backup-guide-tweak-os-once-and-never-again/0_20#post_25072108" data-huddler-embed-placeholder="false">Quote:
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>MonarchX</strong> <a href="/t/1596203/simple-windows-os-install-backup-guide-tweak-os-once-and-never-again/0_20#post_25072108"><img alt="View Post" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I guess it was worthless to type all that up...</div>
</div>
<p>Not worthless at all. Just because people don't post here doesn't mean they haven't read it or don't use it. Many people only come to these forums when they are looking for something, which is what I do when I end up on the THG forums. I read their posts, appreciate their idea's but don't have an account. Thus I am sure many have read your posts without you knowing it.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>As for me, this situation I have found not to always work. I have backed done exactly as you've posted many times in the past years and then found that when restoring Windows Acronis says that Windows will not boot after restore, which is what subsequently happened. It makes Acronis pretty useless, which is a sad thing as it used to be a great program.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Edit: Acronis is not a free program so for those who prefer a free alternative there is AOMEI Backupper Standard.</p>
<p><a href="http://www.aomeitech.com/ab/standard.html" target="_blank">http://www.aomeitech.com/ab/standard.html</a></p>
 

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I've used Clonezilla live CD successfully in the past, don't have W10 so haven't tried with it. Free & open source.<br>
<a href="http://clonezilla.org/clonezilla-live.php" target="_blank">http://clonezilla.org/clonezilla-live.php</a>
 

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Discussion Starter #6
<div class="quote-container" data-huddler-embed="/t/1596203/simple-windows-os-install-backup-guide-tweak-os-once-and-never-again#post_25090184" data-huddler-embed-placeholder="false"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Liranan</strong> <a href="/t/1596203/simple-windows-os-install-backup-guide-tweak-os-once-and-never-again#post_25090184"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif"></a><br><br>
Not worthless at all. Just because people don't post here doesn't mean they haven't read it or don't use it. Many people only come to these forums when they are looking for something, which is what I do when I end up on the THG forums. I read their posts, appreciate their idea's but don't have an account. Thus I am sure many have read your posts without you knowing it.<br><br>
As for me, this situation I have found not to always work. I have backed done exactly as you've posted many times in the past years and then found that when restoring Windows Acronis says that Windows will not boot after restore, which is what subsequently happened. It makes Acronis pretty useless, which is a sad thing as it used to be a great program.<br><br>
Edit: Acronis is not a free program so for those who prefer a free alternative there is AOMEI Backupper Standard.<br><a class="bbcode_url" href="http://www.aomeitech.com/ab/standard.html" target="_blank">http://www.aomeitech.com/ab/standard.html</a></div>
</div>
<br><br>
Which Acronis version have you used? Have you backed up JUST the main OS drive/partition? Backing just the main OS drive/partition won't work. You need to backup the 16MB and 128MB partitions that be created only within Windows 10 installation(Advanced or Repair or Custom, NOT Express) by deleting and re-creating the main OS partition drive. I think Windows 10 creates 3 additional and small partitions for some Restore data. You NEED to have them backed up to the same image as the main OS drive/partition. I think only 2 out of 3 or 1 out of 3 can be backed up and/or restored, but I always select all of them when making a backup image. You also HAVE to use the boot-able version of Acronis (latest 2016 ONLY), not the installation version.<br><br>
AOMEI Backupper is not that great. It won't let you exclude files when creating a drive/partition image...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
FYI, Acronis just released a newer 6559 ISO that fixed all Windows 10 problems and Acronis True Image 2016 now supports high-DPI screens and NVMe and all them newer PCIe SSD devices. You can the find the entire list of changes on this page - <a class="bbcode_url" href="http://www.acronis.com/en-sg/support/updates/changes.html?p=37994" target="_blank">Release Notes</a>.
 
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