Now that all your files are backed-up, I suggest you clean-install Windows.
But first, disconnect that retro spinning-platter HDD. Not sure why they still sell those.
Install a 512gb SSD (to be your bootable C-Drive). At least a 2.5inch SATA one, but a PCIe/NVMe SSD (in the motherboard's slot) would be even better.
After you finish, system will be more reliable, quieter, and disk-access will be 5-to-25 times faster (depending on which type of SSD you choose).
After it is working, install her few apps and restore data-files.
Also, doing it this way leaves HDD un-touched (so you MIGHT get a chance to retrieve more files from it later).
My apologies for the long delay in my reply, Corvid-19 and all that. A big thank you for all the feedback and support you have offered before
Update on the situation 25 March.
On 3 March 2020 I accepted I had to reinstall windows. I contacted Dell support and they guided me through a reinstall using factory reset back to Windows 10, 1803, which was surprisingly easy. DId a chkdsk scan to repair and fix any problems with the HDD and I then I updated to WIndows1909 part 2.
On March 4 2020 created a new USB recovery drive to reflect the changes from 1803 to 1909 and reinstalled all my wife's programs and Data.
Everything was OK until last week, 18 March 20
The computer started crashing out to BIOS startup. eg no blue screen no error messages just a black screen to starting up BIOS with the Dell symbol as you would get when starting up the PC. Random causes, eg running Firefox, Windows Explorer etc. Initially no problem restarting windows, managed to make a complete backup of all data changes since start of March. Crashes became more frequent so PC now not usable in any meaningful way.
So I have concluded, what many of you already said, that her HDD is faulty (first one I have had a problem with in 25 years)
So I have taken @Tesla1856 advice to get an SDD and HDD replacement. That will mirror the setup on my own XPS 8930 (2020 model) , which has a 240GB SSD bootable C:Drive, and a 2TB HDD D:data drive.
So while waiting for the hardware to arrive, I just wanted to check what reinstalling from the rcovery USB drive will do?
Will it only create the Windows 10 partition, or all the partitions lsted below by Vic384 (on page 1 of this thread).
Are all those partitions now necessary, and if so wIll they be created automatically or do I have to do them manually?
Windows 10 has its own partition, but there are several other partitions, not just a single partition. There is a WINRETOOLS partition (450MB NFTS), 500MB EFI System Partition, OS (Windows) partition (Boot, Page File, Crash Dump, Primary), and 500MB NTFS OEM partition.Also what about Dell Support Assist program and tools, is it just a case of downloading them from Dell ?
Ok I have decided to answer my own question and document the process myself.
I decided to replace the single HDD with a Sandisk SSD Plus 240GB to be used as the boot disc and a separate 2TB HDD for Data, around 1TB of photos & images. The current C-drive was only using around 60GB for Windows 10 and other installed program so 240GB was more than enough.
Dell has removable drive bay cradles which accommodate either a SDD or HDD drive, but you need a SATA data cable, securing screws and the 8930 with spare power cables. I think you can get kits which include all that for about £5.
Note 2, when you receive your SDD drive, make a note of the serial number, it’s on the back of the drive you need it to register the product on the Sandisk Website. If you don’t take a note of it before you install the SDD, you’ll have to uninstall and re-install it all over again.
Installation is easy, just install a cradle, screw the SDD to it, connect your SATA Data Cable and power cable.
My SDD was to be used as a bootable drive, to hold windows and all installed programs. The easiest way to do that is to use Acronis Software, (which is free if using a Sandisk or WD drive, link on the Sandisk website) and clone your existing drive. The existing HDD drive was 1TB, but with only around 450GB used. 320GB of that was photos, the SDD is 240GB. So I backed up all the data on the existing C:Drive to an external portable 2TB HDD, then removed all the photos from the existing C drive, reducing it down to about 110GB, which meant it would easily fit on the 240GB SDD.
In Windows 10 use the Disk Management program (best to access that via Computer Management program, (run as administrator eg Left click)) to first initialise your SDD, so that the computer will recognise it. Just set it up as a “ Simple” partition, use full size, doesn’t matter what Drive number you assign, but don’t use A, B, or G. Windows will re-assign the bootable drive to C: when it restarts.
Run Acronis, select the clone tool, choose automatic mode which will clone all partitions. The amount of data on the source disk must be less than that available on the destination SDD. I have 5 partitions on my HDD C drive. 4 recovery and EFI. These are replicated exactly by Acronis, the remaining C: partition holding the Boot, and OS and Data is automatically shrunk down into the remaining space. Follow the instructions, restart the computer, and Acronis will take over and clone.
When cloning is complete, PC will shut down. What I did then is unplug the Data cable from the old HDD, and swapped it over to connect to the SDD, that way you don’t have to amend the Boot order in the BIOS, if you don’t do that you have to amend the BIOS.
The SDD worked a treat, must faster startup, shutdown and program load and I could then bin the old HDD and replace it with a new 2TB HDD which only holds data.
Thanks again for all those who replied earlier in the thread, which I will now close
No uninstalling necessary, if you don't write the serial number down beforehand, and it's easy to copy/paste a serial number from the app directly into a warranty registration form, or if/when you need that number in the future and don't remember where you wrote it down... 😉
Forum Member since 2004
I am not a Dell employee