Reinstall Without Data Loss - Repair Install


Recently, my main computer running Windows 10 encountered some strange issues, such as the Start menu not opening at times. My initial reaction was to try repairing using the sfc/dism commands, but it didn’t work. I also tried various other methods, but the problem persisted. At this point, reinstalling seemed like the only option, but the thought of backing up data and reinstalling all the software was daunting. However, I stumbled upon a little trick called “Repair Install” that actually solved the problem. I couldn’t find anyone else mentioning it on the forum, so I decided to share it here.

What is “Repair Install”?

You may not have heard of Repair Install as a Windows user, but you have probably experienced it before: major updates in Windows 10. After completing an update, if you go to “Settings - System - About,” you’ll notice that the “Installation date” has been changed to the date of the update. This is because a major update in Windows 10 is actually a reinstallation of the system that preserves user data (including files, applications, and settings). That’s why major updates usually take longer and show progress percentages similar to a fresh installation.

Looking at it from a different perspective, since the Windows update mechanism allows for this special type of reinstallation that preserves user data, can users perform it manually? That’s essentially what Repair Install is: a manual “major update.” (Note: “major update” is in quotes because it doesn’t necessarily require a higher version of the installation media compared to the currently installed system; it can be done with the same version.)

When is “Repair Install” suitable?

“Repair Install” is suitable when Windows 10 has strange issues that cannot be fixed through other means, including but not limited to:

Prerequisites for “Repair Install”

How to perform “Repair Install”