Windows 10 made recovery easy, gone are the old days to find the recovery partition or a bootable DVD or USB to reinstall Windows again from scratch. Windows 10 has recovery feature built-in and shipping out of the box. Depends on what you need, you can reset the entire PC by deleting all personal files and apps or keep all your personal files but reset everything else.
On Windows 10 tablet, this is pretty much the ONLY method to start a clean slate. However, with HP Steam 7 I wasn’t able to reset the PC by going to Settings > Recovery > Reset this PC (Get Started). It would complain “We can’t reset your PC while it’s running on battery power. Plug in your PC“. This message does not go away even though the tablet is already connected to the power cable.
There are other suggestions on using a higher amp cable or change the Windows power option to high performance or let the battery drain and recharge the tablet while resetting. None of those option works for my HP steam 7 tablet. If you too encounter such problem this is how to bypass the “we can’t reset your PC while it’s running on battery power” while you are already connected to the power.
While you are on the same settings page go to “Advanced startup” > “Restart now” under the Recovery tab.
After your Windows 10 restarts, go to Troubleshoot.
Under Troubleshoot go to “Reset this PC“
Under Reset this PC go to “Remove everything” or if you want to keep your files you can select the first option.
If your Windows 10 tablet was previously connected to a Windows live ID account then chances are the bootable disk has BitLock protected.
You need to go to the following URL https://onedrive.live.com/recoverykey to retrieve your 48 digit BitLocker recovery key.
After retrieving the BitLocker recovery keys, you should be able to pass the screen above and proceed to reset the PC.
At this stage, it will ask you again to confirm which reset option you’d like to operate. Since we want to start a clean slate, we will proceed with “Fully clean the drive, Use this if you will recycle the PC. This can take several hours”.
Confirm Reset this PC. Make sure that your PC is plugged in. It will also turn off BitLocker encryption once the reset is complete.
Now just sit back and wait for the reset to finish, as stated above the reset process might take a while so don’t worry if it’s slow.
For my specific tablet, it also asked me about clear this computer’s TPM (Trusted Platform Module) I’m not sure if that’s asking to remove the built-in Windows license or bootloader related area. I went with the default option Yes.
After a short while, your Windows 10 tablet should be reset. If you choose to sell your used Windows 10 tablet this is the operation you need to do before selling your device.