Updated: Aug 18, 2021
It happens, over time your PC starts to struggle, time do something about it.
· Too many processes running in the background and / or foreground
· Old programs not removed properly (leftover program files, registry entries, etc…)
· System file corruption
· Battery going bad
· Old device
· Physical damage
' Water damage
If your PC will not start, then you will most likely need to re-format, even if this happens it is still possible to back up your data by removing the hard drive, prior to re-formatting, and using something like a hard drive enclosure to access the drive.
A PC reset is quicker and can address certain problems. Formatting clears the drive (first checking the integrity of the drive) and allows a fresh installation of the operating system. The main drawback is that you must re-install all the software you need, although this is also a good opportunity to discard any software that is no longer required.
Further comparison of options:
PC Reset (Windows Reset This PC)
This a repair tool for serious system problems and it is available from the Troubleshoot menu or the Recovery page in Windows 10 Settings. If your PC cannot run properly, resetting your PC may solve issues without requiring the internet connection to work.
The feature offers you two options:
1- Reinstall OS: keep the personal files and remove everything. The first option removes all installed software and apps, resets all Windows settings, but personal files including documents, music, and more are not removed.
2- The second option is much like a factory reset since it will delete everything
including installed programs, apps, settings, personal files, etc.
PC Format (and clean install)
This refers to reinstalling Windows 10 by downloading the latest Windows 10 installation ISO file from the Microsoft website and burning it to a USB drive or CD/DVD disc. It also offers you a fresh system without any hidden corruptions or problems. In other words, all information including apps, settings and personal files on system partitions are deleted and you will reinstall the system from scratch.
Windows Reset VS PC Format (and clean install)
After learning so much information, you may ask what’s the difference between reset and clean install Windows 10. Please note the following:
When you do a PC format (and clean install), you remove the previous version of Windows and replace it with Windows 10. The crucial thing is that the partition containing the OS is erased.
The Remove everything option of PC resetting is like a regular clean install and your hard drive is erased and a fresh copy of Windows is installed.
Windows 10 Fresh Start VS Reset (Remove Everything Option)
Reset this PC (Remove everything option) will delete all apps, personal files, and Windows settings.
But Fresh start can keep your personal files and some settings. It will remove most of the apps, but any store apps installed by your manufacturer will also be kept and the device will be updated Importantly, if your PC fails to boot, you can reset it in Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE), but there is no the Fresh start option in the recovery environment.
Windows 10 Fresh Start VS PC Format (and clean install)
Both can install the latest version of Windows 10. However, there is a difference: Fresh start can keep personal files, settings, and some apps, but PC Format (and clean install) means everything will be deleted and it’s really a full clean install to the latest version of Windows.