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How To Perform A Repair Upgrade On Windows 10

Windows 10 tends to break. It breaks when you upgrade to a new version, it breaks if you update drivers, and sometimes it breaks because it’s Wednesday. Most users complain about Windows search or the Start Menu breaking. For these common problems, Microsoft has a dedicated troubleshooting tool. For other, more obscure problems users have to search for a solution in forums. If you’re unable to fix a problem that’s preventing you from using your PC, you should consider performing a repair upgrade on Windows 10.

A repair upgrade is done via the Windows Media Creation Tool. If you’ve used Windows 7 and happened to have owned an installation CD at some point you might know that the installation media also had a repair option. In Windows 10, Microsoft introduced a repair upgrade feature and then hid it away so that the average user can’t find it. You should already be on the latest version of Windows 10 to perform the repair upgrade. If you aren’t, the tool will upgrade you to the latest version. If you purposely want to stay on the older version, you need to get the Windows 10 ISO for that particular version and skip ahead to the Mount ISO section.

Note: this will fix problems with your current Windows 10 installation however you must be running a genuine copy of Windows 10. This repair will not help you get a free copy of Windows 10. If you’re running a genuine copy of Windows 10 and have activation troubles, it may help fix them.

Repair Upgrade On Windows 10

To perform a repair upgrade on Windows 10, you need to download the media creation tool.

Run the tool, and accept the license agreement. Next, select the Create installation media (USB flash drive, DVD, or ISO file) or another PC option. You won’t need a DVD or a USB drive because we’re going to download the ISO and not actually create a bootable USB or DVD.

On the next screen, select your version of Windows 10. For example, if you’re running Windows 10 Home 64-bit, select it on the following screen. Be careful you don’t get this wrong.

Finally, on the Choose which media to use screen, select the ISO file option. Now wait while the tool downloads the Windows 10 ISO file. It can take a few hours depending on your connection speed.

Mount ISO

Once the ISO file has downloaded, open the folder it’s in. Select the file and go to the ‘Manage’ tab on the ribbon. Click ‘Mount’. Once mounted, run the Setup file inside the disc image.

This will run the normal Windows 10 installation. When given the option, you should opt to keep everything and allow it to install Windows 10. Once it completes, your Windows 10 installation will have been repaired. It won’t explicitly tell you that your system has been upgraded but that’s what’s happened.

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  • tinybeetle

    But this only works if you can boot into Windows. If you can’t, there is no way to do the reinstall AND keep both programs and files. The only option there is to just keep files.