Can I format windows without changing my partition scheme?

#1
Hi. I have a dell inspiron i5 core, and the 'dell backup and recovery' thing is not working. I called tech support and they told me to format my PC but I have a lot of important data ( about 130 GiB ) and I have a separate partition for that data. I just want to make sure that if I do a complete hard reset (PC settings > Update and Recovery > recovery > remove everything and reinstall windows) will that reset my partition scheme and thus, delete all my data ? Thanx
 


patcooke

Microsoft MVP
Staff member
Premium Supporter
Microsoft MVP
#2
First and foremost, if you have 130 GB of "important data" you should not be worried about losing it because you should already have at least 1 backup copy of it which you update on a regular basis. One day you will suffer a hard drive failure and lose all your data. You must never set about modifying disk structures, reinstalling an op sys or running a system recover without backing up everything of any importance.

Many system recoveries just recover the system image to the partition "as is". Others may reformat and partition the entire drive. Whichever your system does and problem occurring during the process may corrupt you drive rendering it unbootable and any data unreadable. Make a backup copy and you won't have to worry any more.
 


MikeHawthorne

Essential Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
#3
Hi

As patcooke said, it's not a good idea to try it without having your data backed up.

I'm not sure that doing a factory reset would change the partitioning or not, I don't think it would, but there are different systems.

If you had made a system image with something like EaseUS TODO Free backup and recover then it would be safe to recover the Windows partition and it would only recover the System files.

Buy an external hard drive, (they are cheap now) and copy all your data files to it, once you have everything that you need in at least 2 places, then you can reset, without risk.

You didn't say if your computer will boot or not, but if it isn't booting you can make a Ubuntu Disk and boot your computer to it. It will only takes you a half hour or so.

Then back everything up.

Remember that you have to use Imgburn, to make the bootable disk from the file you download from Ubuntu.

http://www.ubuntu.com/desktop

Or you can buy a USB drive converter and take the hard drive out of you computer and plug it into another computer and copy the data off of it.

This is the one I use, and it's always worked for me.
Saved me several times when I had a dead computer.

http://www.amazon.com/Apricorn-DriveWire-Universal-Adapter-ADW-USB-KIT/dp/B000QY9KIS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1421221434&sr=8-1&keywords=Apricorn DriveWire

Mike
 


#4
To answer your question; Yes you can. It's safe to restore to factory settings and your data on the separate partition will be safe. As the format is only directed to the C drive and not any other partition or separate HDD attached to the system.

Before Pat/Mike say anything.....Yes I do have backups created and stored on a separate drive. You gotta love a HDD docking station for that.
 


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