- Microsoft offers multiple recovery and repair options to perform Windows 10 repair updates.
- The internal update recovery method allows you to reinstall Windows 10 without deleting personal files or installed third-party apps.
- The SFC and DISM tools allow you to scan and repair system files without reinstalling the operating system.
- Alternatively, you can use the Reset this PC option or use the clean install option to make your PC operational in extreme cases.
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Many things can go wrong with your Windows 10 computer. In addition to the usual blue screen of death locks, a recently installed update or incorrectly modifying registry entries can damage your system.
Fortunately, Microsoft offers some built-in measures to fix things.
If the usual troubleshooting steps haven’t helped to fix your slow computer, a clean install is the most recommended course of action as a last resort.
In addition to the Restart, reset and clean install from the boot device option, there is also a repair update option.
Windows 10 Local Update or Windows 10 Repair Installation is a system restore process that can repair and reinstall Windows 10 without affecting your personal programs and files.
When the update is complete, you will have a freshly installed operating system with all files and applications installed on your system.
In this article, we look at the current Windows 10 update along with other repair methods to help you fix your Windows 10 computer.
How to perform a Windows 10 Repair and In-place Upgrade
1. Create a backup
Before making any changes to your system, it is essential to create a backup. There are built-in Windows backup tools and third-party backup programs that allow you to make a complete backup of your system data, including personal files and media.
Third-party tools such as Macrium Reflect are an excellent backup solution for creating a full image backup. You can use the image backup to restore your computer to normal operation.
Once you have the backup ready, let’s get started with Windows 10 repair solutions.
2. Use System File Checker and DISM for system repair
If you are familiar with the command processor (Command Prompt), Microsoft provides two system scan and repair tools: System File Checker (SFC) and Deployment Image Management and Service (DISM).
DISM uses Windows Update to provide the files needed to correct file corruption. That said, if the Windows Update client doesn’t work, you’ll need to provide a repair source to deliver the necessary files from a bootable storage device or parallel Windows folder from a network share.
The System File Checker utility is implemented with the command sfc /scannow at the command prompt. Scans the system for missing or damaged system files and restores them.
Here’s how to use the System File Checker tool to repair damaged or missing system files.
- Open the command prompt as an administrator. To do this, press the Windows key, type cmd, right-click on the command prompt and choose Run as administrator. You can also right-click on Start and choose Command Prompt (admin).
2 . Then run the System File Checker tool with the following command:
3 .This command will take a few minutes, depending on your computer hardware. Make sure to wait for the verification to complete 100% before closing the Command Prompt window.
4 .If the System File Checker determines that a protected system file needs repair, it will restore the file from a cached copy in system32.
If SFC failed to repair the system file and the problem persists, you can use the DISM tool. It is more advanced than SFC and detects and fixes problems that SFC cannot.
- As with SFC, open Command Prompt as administrator.
2 .At the command prompt, enter the following command to run the Deployment Image Servicing and Management Tool.
DISM.exe / Online / Clean Image / Restore Health
3 .As mentioned above, if the Windows Update client is not working, you can use a bootable disk as a repair source. To do this, run the following command:
DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth /Source: C:\RepairSource\Windows /LimitAccess
4 .In the above command, replace the placeholder C:\RepairSource\Windows with the location of your repair source.
If a problem is detected, you will be prompted to continue with the repair process. Press Y on your keyboard to continue and apply the changes. After the fixes are applied, restart your computer and check for improvements.
3. Use a Restore Point
By default, Windows 10 creates and stores snapshots of your system image, known as restore points. You can use these restore points if something goes wrong with your computer and restore the PC to its normal working state.
- Press Windows Key + R to open Run.
- Type create a restore point. Then click on Create a restore point option in the search result.
- In the System Properties window, click the System Restore button.
4 .Click next. Windows will fill your screen with available restore points. Check the Show more restore points when available box to view hidden restore points.
5 .Choose the most recently created restore point and click the Find Affected Programs option. View the list of applications that can be uninstalled by continuing with the selected snapshot.
6. Click next.
7 .Read the description and click the Finish button to start the recovery process.
Your computer will shut down and restart several times during the process. You will receive a success message after a successful reboot. Depending on the selected restore point, you may lose some installed programs before the restore point is created. However, none of your personal files are affected.
4. Repair with In-place upgrade
If you want to reinstall Windows 10 without removing files, settings, and programs from your system, update on the spot. This is useful if the Windows 10 start menu and metro apps are unavailable, system files are corrupted by a virus infection, failed installation of Windows updates, and anything else that has rendered your PC useless.
Performing an internal update requires a Windows 10 installation media or bootable flash drive. Note that to perform an internal update, you must be able to boot into Windows 10. If you try to repair the installation without booting into Windows, user data and installed applications will be lost.
Note: You may not be able to perform an internal update if the Windows 10 boot device version is older than the version installed on your computer. Make sure to download and use the latest Windows 10 version ISO image available from Microsoft.
- Create a bootable media using the media creation tool. Make sure the boot device matches your current edition of Windows 10.
- Run the installation wizard as you normally would when performing a clean install of Windows or a feature update. If you do not have a flash drive to create bootable media, mount the ISO image file, double click the mounted driver and double click the setup.exe application.
3 .In the Choose what to keep window, select Keep personal files and apps and click Next.
4 .When you’re ready to install, click the Install button to get started. Wait for the installation to complete.
Once the on-premises update is complete, you will be prompted to sign in with your Windows account and complete the installation.
When you launch About Windows, you will notice that the Windows 10 installation has been reverted to its original version; If you were not connected to the Internet during installation, download and install any pending updates from Settings. To do this, go to Start, click Settings, choose Updates and Security.
4. Use Reset this PC
The Reset this PC option in Windows recovery allows you to restore system operation. Choose this option if your PC is not working properly and performing an on-site update did not help.
Using the Reset this PC recovery method is easy. However, it is important to understand the result of using this recovery method. It offers two options to choose from. You can choose to: Keep My Files to remove applications and settings, but keep your personal files and Remove Everything to clear everything and perform a clean install of Windows 10. Here’s how.
- Press Windows key + I to open Settings.
- Go to Update and security.
- In the left pane, open the Recovery tab.
- Click the Get Started button in the Reset this PC section
5 .In the Choose an option window, select an appropriate option.
6 .Select Keep my files if you want to keep your files and Delete all to erase and start from scratch.
7 .The restart process may take a while, so wait for the PC to reboot. After the reboot, complete the installation and restore the files from your backup, if applicable.
That said, the Reset this PC option is only useful if you want to reinstall Windows 10 without deleting your files or if you don’t have any bootable media for a clean install.
Since you have to reinstall all apps after the reboot, a clean install with a brand new OS install makes the most sense. Also, a clean install is recommended in case of malware infection and system instability issues. Cleaning the installation disc with the new operating system will clean up any leftover files and you can start all over again.
5. Clean install Windows 10
Be sure to back up your personal data before proceeding with the clean install of Windows 10. Reinstalling Windows will erase all data on your installation drive.
PCs with the existing Windows 10 operating system can reinstall the operating system without the need for the activation key. You can also list all applications installed on your computer and synchronize passwords and other data so that you do not lose critical data on your system during the reinstallation.
Once you are ready to perform a clean install of Windows 10, follow the steps below.
- Make sure you have created a bootable flash drive with the latest version of the Windows 10 ISO image.
- Turn off the computer and connect the installation media to your PC.
- Power on the system and wait for the computer to boot from the boot device. Otherwise, go to the boot menu and change the boot order to boot from the installation media.
- Choose your language, time and keyboard input method and click Next.
5 .Click the Install now button on the Windows Setup window.
6 .If you have Windows 10 multi-edition installation media, choose the correct version and click Next.
7 .Accept the license terms and click Next.
8 .Choose the Custom – Install Windows only option.
9 .Choose the drive to install Windows 10 and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation.
After installation, your PC will restart and you will be prompted to complete the installation by adding your Microsoft account. You can restore files from your backup and complete the installation by installing essential applications for your needs.
Microsoft offers many recovery and repair options. The System File Checker and DISM tool can find and fix system-related issues in most cases. If that doesn’t help, use Restore Points, Windows 10 Update In Place, Reset This PC, or perform a clean install as a last resort.
While you appreciate your repaired or updated Windows 10 system, let us know your preferred recovery method in the comments.