Clean Reinstall Windows 11 Home?


newmann

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Hi. I had bought a cheap windows 11 home laptop recently. I bought one because I needed a clean computer to check some things and download some files on it until I could finish clean reinstall windows 10 pro on my my dell xps laptop which I did. I even did a clean reinstall of windows 10 on an even older dell desktop. My dell xps laptop is my mainly laptop. I bought this to do this but also to have a spare windows laptop.


Now this cheap windows 11 home laptop, it came in S mode and had to get out of it in order to do downloads. This laptop is very slow... I knew it was slow but had no idea it was this slow.


The thing is I know I could still return this laptop back. I am slightly considering this... but most likely going to let someone else use it instead as they don't need a fast computer. But this computer is really slow which is the issue. I am slightly considering returning this one and buying another spare windows laptop but a bit faster one.



1. So If I want to return this laptop back, I have to do clean reinstall correct? I do not want to send it back the way it is because I have some sensitive files there. Thus just deleting it to recycle bin is obviously not good enough right? I do recall there is option to reset your computer and thus wipe it including the files. But this is not the cleanest way possible right? Does that mean I need to download the windows 11 installation files on a usb just like how I did with the windows 10 installation files when I did a clean reinstall on my windows 10? The thing is I want to make sure my computer is fully wiped clean. Thus I believe if you return a computer, they sell it as refurbished. But I wouldn't want that person say going to the computer and then checking to see what old files were there. So a clean reinstall is necessary for this? Is the steps very similar to like how windows 10 clean reinstall is? Or it's not worth it because I did have some sensitive files and programs there?


Now for people who only try the laptop out for a bit and do not like it. Let say they just web browse and youtube and never enter any sensitive information in it, they could literally return it like with no issue right? But if someone even entered their email password into it, they don't need to do any clean reinstall or reset before they return it. Just change their email passwords and it is good enough?



2. Now if I want to give this computer to someone else to use which is most likely going to be the case... they would only use it mainly for web browsing and email and documents, should I still do a clean reinstall? Or is it reset enough? The thing is I would want to delete all the files/documents I have on this computer first. But my concern is say they suddenly got malware or virus... if I do not clean reinstall windows 11 or do a reset, will the files I just delete and delete off recycle bin be enough? I assume not right? Such as say a hacker could literally go through the recycle bin and check my old files? Thus even if giving the computer to someone else, always do a clean reinstall? Or is that reset enough? I heard reset cleans it but with enough work, someone could still find the files?
 

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The-Hive

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If you are going to give it to someone as you said seems favourite. A clean install would be best. I wonder where you got it from as most manufacturers won't take a pc back.
 

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    Windows 11 Pro
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    Alienware Area 51m R2
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    10th Gen Core i9 10900K
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    Dual Boot Windows 11 Pro / Windows 11 Pro Dev build
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    Dell Inspiron 3501
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    11th Gen i-7 2.80 gb
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newmann

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Hi. Well I rather let someone use it instead of going through the process of returning it. But the thing is either way, I should still do a clean reinstall?


Because if that is the case, I'm not that sure then. The issue is this laptop is really slow which is the problem. Now had I bought a more faster laptop, then I would keep it. Does that make sense?


I bought it from one of the big box stores like target where they allow you to return it.


But is this clean reinstall process just like windows ten? My concern is if I do a reinstall, is it possible the wifi and drivers are not going to be there and things like that?


I did read these stores do a clean reinstall when you return it back to them right? But if you don't do a clean reinstall and return it or give it to someone else to use, is it possible they could access your old files? Or say you give it to someone to use while all you did was just delete the files and send to recycle bin... then say if that laptop gets malware or virus, then my old files could be found?
 

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    Windows 11

Bree

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But is this clean reinstall process just like windows ten? My concern is if I do a reinstall, is it possible the wifi and drivers are not going to be there and things like that?
Rather than a clean install, do a Reset, removing everything. This is effectively a 'factory reset' and will return it to the 'out of the box' condition - including all the OEM utilities and drivers.

 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Home
    Computer type
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    Manufacturer/Model
    Acer Aspire 3 A315-23
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    AMD Athlon Silver 3050U
    Memory
    8GB
    Graphics Card(s)
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    fully 'Windows 11 ready' laptop. Windows 10 C: partition migrated from my old unsupported 'main machine' then upgraded to 11. A test migration ran Insider builds for 2 months. When 11 was released on 5th October it was re-imaged back to 10 and was offered the upgrade in Windows Update on 20th October.


    My SYSTEM THREE is a Dell Latitude 5410, i7-10610U, 32GB RAM, 512GB ssd, Windows 11 Pro.
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro
    Computer type
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    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Lattitude E4310
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    i5 M 520
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    0T6M8G
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    unsupported machine: Legacy bios, MBR, TPM 1.2, upgraded from W10 to W11 using W10/W11 hybrid install media workaround.


    My SYSTEM THREE is a Dell Latitude 5410, i7-10610U, 32GB RAM, 512GB ssd, Windows 11 Pro.

Winuser

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I did read these stores do a clean reinstall when you return it back to them right? But if you don't do a clean reinstall and return it or give it to someone else to use, is it possible they could access your old files? Or say you give it to someone to use while all you did was just delete the files and send to recycle bin... then say if that laptop gets malware or virus, then my old files could be found?
I don't know where you read that but it's wrong. Years ago, my wife bought a laptop from a big box store, and it had photos left on there by the previous owner. They never told us that the laptop was a return.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    PowerSpec B746
    CPU
    Intel Core i7-10700K
    Motherboard
    ASRock Z490 Phantom Gaming 4/ax
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    16GB (8GB PC4-19200 DDR4 SDRAM x2)
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    Samsung SAM0A87 Samsung SAM0D32
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    Logitech K270
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    Logitech M185
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    Windows 11 Dev
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    Laptop
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    HP Envy x360 15-ds1083cl
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    AMD Ryzen 7 4700U 2.0GHZ
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    16 MB DDR 4-2666
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newmann

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Rather than a clean install, do a Reset, removing everything. This is effectively a 'factory reset' and will return it to the 'out of the box' condition - including all the OEM utilities and drivers.



But do they also have the clean reinstall option as well like with windows 10 with the usb flash drive on windows 11? With windows 10, I did the clean reinstall with the usb because I read that wipes everything clean. But I thought windows 10 reset wouldn't wipe everything as clean as a clean reinstall?


Does that mean there is no way someone can get into the old files when you do the Reset? So even if you have malware/virus, this Reset in Windows 11 would clean it?
 

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newmann

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I don't know where you read that but it's wrong. Years ago, my wife bought a laptop from a big box store, and it had photos left on there by the previous owner. They never told us that the laptop was a return.

You mean you bought a new laptop and it came with old photos. But were they just there? So was the windows user that person's name and thus that big box store never did a clean reinstall before selling it? So it was sold new but was a return? Did you buy it at the store or online? Curious which big box store this was.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11

TheMystic

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Hi. I had bought a cheap windows 11 home laptop recently. I bought one because I needed a clean computer to check some things and download some files on it until I could finish clean reinstall windows 10 pro on my my dell xps laptop which I did. I even did a clean reinstall of windows 10 on an even older dell desktop. My dell xps laptop is my mainly laptop. I bought this to do this but also to have a spare windows laptop.


Now this cheap windows 11 home laptop, it came in S mode and had to get out of it in order to do downloads. This laptop is very slow... I knew it was slow but had no idea it was this slow.


The thing is I know I could still return this laptop back. I am slightly considering this... but most likely going to let someone else use it instead as they don't need a fast computer. But this computer is really slow which is the issue. I am slightly considering returning this one and buying another spare windows laptop but a bit faster one.



1. So If I want to return this laptop back, I have to do clean reinstall correct? I do not want to send it back the way it is because I have some sensitive files there. Thus just deleting it to recycle bin is obviously not good enough right? I do recall there is option to reset your computer and thus wipe it including the files. But this is not the cleanest way possible right? Does that mean I need to download the windows 11 installation files on a usb just like how I did with the windows 10 installation files when I did a clean reinstall on my windows 10? The thing is I want to make sure my computer is fully wiped clean. Thus I believe if you return a computer, they sell it as refurbished. But I wouldn't want that person say going to the computer and then checking to see what old files were there. So a clean reinstall is necessary for this? Is the steps very similar to like how windows 10 clean reinstall is? Or it's not worth it because I did have some sensitive files and programs there?


Now for people who only try the laptop out for a bit and do not like it. Let say they just web browse and youtube and never enter any sensitive information in it, they could literally return it like with no issue right? But if someone even entered their email password into it, they don't need to do any clean reinstall or reset before they return it. Just change their email passwords and it is good enough?



2. Now if I want to give this computer to someone else to use which is most likely going to be the case... they would only use it mainly for web browsing and email and documents, should I still do a clean reinstall? Or is it reset enough? The thing is I would want to delete all the files/documents I have on this computer first. But my concern is say they suddenly got malware or virus... if I do not clean reinstall windows 11 or do a reset, will the files I just delete and delete off recycle bin be enough? I assume not right? Such as say a hacker could literally go through the recycle bin and check my old files? Thus even if giving the computer to someone else, always do a clean reinstall? Or is that reset enough? I heard reset cleans it but with enough work, someone could still find the files?
If the laptop is that slow, there really is no point keeping it. You should just return it and buy one that is usable without complaints.

When you do a factory reset, you get the option of wiping everything clean, and making it difficult to recover any files. It is part of the built-in utility. That should be sufficient for the most part.

But if you are too concerned, then get CCleaner or similar program to wipe your disk clean (use Secure clean with multiple passes) and then do a complete reset.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Envy dv7
    CPU
    Intel Core i7 3630QM
    Motherboard
    HP
    Memory
    16 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel HD Graphics 4000 & Nvidia GeForce GT 635M
    Sound Card
    IDT High Definition
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    1080p
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    1 TB Crucial MX500 on bay 1.
    1 TB Seagate HDD on bay 2.
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newmann

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If the laptop is that slow, there really is no point keeping it. You should just return it and buy one that is usable without complaints.

When you do a factory reset, you get the option of wiping everything clean, and making it difficult to recover any files. It is part of the built-in utility. That should be sufficient for the most part.

But if you are too concerned, then get CCleaner or similar program to wipe your disk clean (use Secure clean with multiple passes) and then do a complete reset.
But is there a clean reinstall option similar to like how windows 10 has it with the usb for windows 11?
 

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TheMystic

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But is there a clean reinstall option similar to like how windows 10 has it with the usb for windows 11?
It is not called reinstall, although that too is available under Settings/ Recovery. It is called Fresh Start.

You can either use that or use the Reset option and then choose to wipe everything completely.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Envy dv7
    CPU
    Intel Core i7 3630QM
    Motherboard
    HP
    Memory
    16 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel HD Graphics 4000 & Nvidia GeForce GT 635M
    Sound Card
    IDT High Definition
    Screen Resolution
    1080p
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    1 TB Crucial MX500 on bay 1.
    1 TB Seagate HDD on bay 2.
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    Windows Defender

cereberus

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But is there a clean reinstall option similar to like how windows 10 has it with the usb for windows 11?
Sure you can clean install, but it easier to use "reset my pc". If you had lots of sensitive data on it, you could use reset option that wipes data securely to prevent people using special recovery tools but this take much longer.

Re laptop being slow, we cannot comment as you have provide no details of pc or software issues etc.
 

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    ASUS Vivobook 14
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    I7
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    Yep, Laptop has one.
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    Realtek built in
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Winuser

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You mean you bought a new laptop and it came with old photos. But were they just there? So was the windows user that person's name and thus that big box store never did a clean reinstall before selling it? So it was sold new but was a return? Did you buy it at the store or online? Curious which big box store this was.
She bought what we thought was a brand-new laptop. All the big box store did was retape the box and put it back in stock. It had a username and password that I bypassed. In the picture folder was photos from the previous owner. We didn't know anyone in the pictures, so I deleted them. I was going to take the laptop back but decided to do a clean Win 10 install.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    PowerSpec B746
    CPU
    Intel Core i7-10700K
    Motherboard
    ASRock Z490 Phantom Gaming 4/ax
    Memory
    16GB (8GB PC4-19200 DDR4 SDRAM x2)
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 TI
    Sound Card
    Realtek Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Samsung SAM0A87 Samsung SAM0D32
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    NVMe WDC WDS100T2B0C-00PXH0 1TB
    Samsung SSD 860 EVO 1TB
    PSU
    750 Watts (62.5A)
    Case
    PowerSpec/Lian Li ATX 205
    Keyboard
    Logitech K270
    Mouse
    Logitech M185
    Browser
    Microsoft Edge and Firefox
    Antivirus
    ESET Internet Security
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Dev
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Envy x360 15-ds1083cl
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 7 4700U 2.0GHZ
    Memory
    16 MB DDR 4-2666
    Graphics card(s)
    AMD Radeon
    Monitor(s) Displays
    15.6"
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    PCIe NVMe M.2 512GB
    Browser
    Firefox, Edge and Edge Canary
    Antivirus
    ESET Internet Security

Haydon

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As others have suggested earlier on, do a reset on your W11 laptop. This will be as secure as whatever it is that you did with your W10 machine and the USB stick.


As you do the reset, choose the option 'Remove everything' > 'Change settings' choose the option 'Data erasure On'. What this will do is the following: (I quote the following from the text in the link, and further highlighted the 'donate' ... 'your PC, use this option'.)

"Data erasure On removes files and cleans the drive. If you're planning to donate, recycle, or sell your PC, use this option. This might take an hour or two, but it makes it harder for other people to recover files you've removed."

This is as secure as it gets, short of substituting the HDD or SSD in your W11 laptop with a new one (if substituting is possible at all, it is not really possible in recent makes of laptops)

And who knows, perhaps your W11 laptop becomes lightning fast after the reset, and you may want to keep it!

In any case, back up your data before you do a reset!

Good luck!
 

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System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Pro
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