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Bypassing Windows 10 Features upgrade procedure's full system backup in Windows.old folder

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Occasional Contributor

Hello everyone.

 

This post concerns the Windows Development Team and must be considered as a new Feature Request.

 

How difficult would be to create two options for users that are about to perform a Windows Features upgrade in order to choose either the standard upgrade procedure which is very time consuming even with modern speedy PCs because a complete system backup is created every time and stored in the Windows.old folder or as a second option doing an in-place upgrade of Windows by bypassing completely the full system's backup however leaving all installed Apps, Users' Files, Settings and all non-microsoft device drivers unaffected.
The second option is useful for people that backup their personal files frequently and also keep updated full system images of their Pcs prior of doing any Windows Features Upgrade so sparing valuable time that is wasted unnecessarily when following the standard upgrade procedure.

It would be very convenient for users to have both of these options and choose at will what's best for them.


Thank you very much.

 

13 Replies
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Hi,
as someone who does in-place upgrades/upgrades/clean installs/Reinstalls etc very frequently, at some points I felt the need for such option as well.

then I thought about this Fact:

there is Already an option, if you choose to remove everything during an in-place upgrade, the Windows.old folder will be a lot smaller and only contain "users" folder from the old installation.

I think, they didn't add that option because when someone chooses to do in-place upgrade and also chooses to keep apps and files, then having the Full Windows.old folder would help them if anything goes wrong.
and things Can go wrong, one of the hundreds of examples would be when a user is doing an in-place upgrade, chooses to keep his/her files and apps and during the installation a power outage occurs, or a hardware malfunctions or anything else, literally. in that case, the same user who Trusted Microsoft to keep his/her files and apps safe, would lose his/her data, and then blame who? the electrical company? nope, they will blame Microsoft.

Another thing,
it does Not cause any problems or slow downs on SSD disks and they are Quite popular and used these days, they have been around for more than 10 years now.
the more we go into the future and the more time passes, more people start using SSDs everyday.

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@HotCakeX 

 

Hello.

 

The point of my suggestion is to give the freedom to the users to choose ( for all the reasons i explained in detail in my original post ) what's best for them taking of course into account whatever risks their chosen option implies and it does not concern the speed of the hardware Windows run on. All is about is bypassing unnecessary time wasted for backups already taken by end users as full system images (externally or internally) prior of upgrading Windows.

 

 

Thank you very much.

 

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You're welcome,

it's okay, I just explained it from a different perspective,
ultimately it's up to the developers to receive all the feedbacks and decide whether or not to implement a feature :)
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@jimmyp1975 

 

Interesting suggestion.  Just for clarification the Windows.old folder is not simply a backup of files.  The upgrade process performs what is called and OS Swap.  To somewhat oversimplify it, the new OS is installed in a temp folder, then all the settings, user data, drivers, etc. are exported from the old and imported into the new.  The the Windows folder is renamed to Windows.old and replaced with the new OS one.  Again, this is an oversimplification of the process, but it is designed for easy rollback.

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So it will be created either way, the only suggestion here is to whether delete it automatically or let the user first evaluate the new installation and if every thing is alright then delete that folder which is the safest and better option, logically speaking.
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@HotCakeX 

 

It already automatically deletes after 10 days.

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Yes I meant delete it automatically and immediately after Windows installation, so that the user won't ever see it on their C drive.
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@HotCakeX 

@Eddie Leonard 

 

Hello everyone.

 

Just to clarify things a little bit more from my initial post about this issue, what i mean with "bypassing" is to not create the Windows.old folder at all and directly update ( add new system files , remove old ones, update/patch existing ones ) and at the end with a batch script make all the necessary Windows Registry modifications reflecting all previous changes in system files.

However, if Windows.old folder is created anyway and there is no way to avoid its creation then there is no reason to discuss this issue any further.

 

 

Thank you very much.

 

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Yes I think let it be like this cause it's how Windows is designed to be upgraded under the hood.
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@HotCakeX 

 

Hello everyone.

 

Well, i know that Windows is designed to behave this way under the hood by default and it's good to do so when someone does not have full system image backups or is an average Windows user without sufficient technical background that wants to be sure he/she will be able to easily revert back to the old Windows setup if anything wrong happens, however, this is not the case for people having extended IT experience ( like IT experts and system administrators in big organizations ) and full system image backups at their disposal that want to be up and running as quickly as possible when upgrading.

The model that could be followed to achieve this is might have the form of the Windows installer's behaviour ( after disk's formatting of course and also skipping the hardware and OOBE setup options ) when doing a clean install of the OS    :

 

1. New System Files' extraction in a temporary folder.

 

2. Removal from existing Windows folder of all Windows ONLY related system files

   ( except Windows Registry ) that have been eliminated from the new Windows

   version.

 

3. Moving of new System Files extracted previously under Windows' system folders

    hierarchy.

 

4. Windows Registry update to reflect any changes concerning addition /

    removal / upgrade-patching of upgraded System Files through a batch script

    designed for this purpose.

 

 

I don't think that is a hard task to be accomplished by the Windows development team - the logic already exists as i said when doing a clean install of Windows - with a few modifications as mentioned previously it could untie users' hands and spare precious time for other important tasks especially for busy system administrators.

 

 

Thank you very much.

 

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I think with SSDs being already around for more than 10 years and their presence in the industry and home users are only growing, I think it won't be necessary to make such a fundamental change in the Windows installation process.
on my SSD which is a regular one, Windows 10 installation does not take more than 4-5 minutes (fresh install)
when I try to install a new build as part of the Insider fast ring program, the upgrade process does not take more than 5-6 minutes.
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Hello everyone.

I know that having an SSD may make upgrade time shorter, however, upgrading storage hardware to SSD is not an option for many people because of the following reasons :

 

1. Although their prices have been lowered lately an 1TB SSD for example may have double the price from a conventional HDD of the same capacity.

 

2. One may need specialized cloning software to move their data because of the way SSDs handle partition structures differently by needing to be aligned along the SSD's block boundaries.

 

3. New PCs still on warranty cannot be touched in most of the cases for hardware upgrade / replacement until their warranty expires otherwise warranty is void.

 

4. Not all PCs worldwide are owned by single users with one PC that one can afford to change it's hardware easily - As i said in my previous post many system administrators globally that are handling large numbers of PCs with many different kinds of hardware / software combination setups ( because not all PCs
are carbon copies of each other in most of the cases ) cannot just say to their bosses "you must pay X thousand dollars to upgrade storage hardware of all your client computers just to make a specific OS process ( Windows upgrade ) run faster".

 

The point is that any software solution or process ( not just Windows ) should be designed to make it's job with the least hassle for any of its end users and its performance should not be linked to the type of hardware one may own. Anyway, a servicing software option as Windows Feature upgrade is designed to run
on any type of compatible hardware by default so, it is critical to run as fast as possible by design for all the reasons extensively explained in the present and all previous posts of my own.
It's like owning a super car and keep driving it with the maximum speed of 20 Km/h. Driving a car of this type with such slow speed is a waste of money because it would not serve the purpose that was bought in the first place which is top performance - i think you get the point - Today the majority of PCs that
Windows 10 is running on is modern with high speed hardware including multicore CPUs, chipsets, Graphics Adapters, HDDs, SSds etc and it's not logical a software process to make such hardware setups to look like snail-walking.

 


Thank you very much.

 

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