How to Clean Install Windows 10
This tutorial will show you step by step how to do a clean install of Windows 10 – instead of a upgrade or after a upgrade.
You will learn to download Windows 10, create a installation media (USB flash drive or DVD) and install or reinstall Windows 10.
Good news! You don't need to upgrade first, because since November 2015 you can also use Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 product keys to activate Windows 10 on your PC.
Why a Clean Install of Windows 10?
There are people who encountered some problems after upgrading Windows 7, 8 or 8.1 to Windows 10.
- Start button and menu not working
- Takes a long time to turn off (shut down)
- Update problems
- Cortana not working
- Slow PC
And other problems.
The Windows 10 upgrade drags programs, settings, drivers, and files from your previous Windows system to Windows 10 and this might cause problems.
The best solution to solve many problems, is to download and reinstall Windows 10. This is called a "clean install".
I think that it's always better to do a clean install of Windows even if you don't experience any problems.
Microsoft allows you to download Windows 10 from their website for free. And since November 2015 you can also activate Windows 10 with a Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 product key. This means that you don't have to upgrade first before doing a clean install.
You need to upgrade to Windows 10 first, because when you upgrade, the installer confirms that your Windows is genuine (legal), then it activates your PC for Windows 10 and registers your computer's hardware with Microsoft. This way you can always uninstall and reinstall Windows 10 on your PC (if necessary). If you don't upgrade first, the registration of your PC's hardware will never happen. You don't get a Windows 10 product key. Your PC's hardware is your (kind of) product key. So it's important to upgrade to Windows 10 before you can perform a clean install.
Before you begin
Make sure you have:
- A backup of all of your important files, because these will be erased (deleted) by the installation.
- An internet connection.
- A USB flash drive or blank DVD (and DVD burner) with at least 4 GB of space for creating the installation media. Note! all data on your USB will be erased.
You need to check these things on your PC:
- 64-bit or 32-bit processor (CPU): There's a 64-bit and 32-bit version of Windows 10, so you must check what kind of processor you have. You can find this information when you open "Control Panel", "System and Security" and then "System".
- Minimum system requirements: Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster processor or SoC. RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) for 32-bit or 2 GB for 64-bit. Hard disk space: 16 GB for 32-bit OS 20 GB for 64-bit OS. Graphics card: DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver. Display: 800x600.
- Compatibility: You should visit your PC manufacturer's website and check if your computer is compatible with Windows 10 (drivers and hardware).
- Edition of Windows: You should choose the right edition of Windows. Windows 7 Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium and Windows 8.1 will get the Windows 10 Home edition and Windows 7 Professional, Ultimate, and Windows 8.1 Pro will get the Windows 10 Pro edition. You can find the edition you are using when you open "Control Panel", "System and Security" and then "System".
- Latest OS: Make sure you are running the latest version of either Windows 7 SP1 or Windows 8.1 Update. Don’t know which version you are running? Then click here to find out. Need to download the latest version? then click here for Windows 7 SP1 or click here for Windows 8.1 Update.
- Language in Windows: You will need to choose the same language version of Windows as your previous version of Windows. You can find the language when you open "Control Panel", "Clock, Language and Region" and then "Language".
How to Clean Install Windows 10
To download and do a clean install of Windows 10, you need a free tool called "Media Creation Tool". It's a tool created by Microsoft and can be downloaded at the official Microsoft website.
This tool allows you to download the correct version and edition of Windows 10 (home or pro and 32-bit or 64-bit) and create a installation disc or drive that you can use to install Windows 10 on your computer.
You can download the Windows 10 media creation tool here. Just click on "Download tool now" (located at the bottom).
- If you want to create a installation disc, then insert a blank DVD into the DVD burner drive of your computer, but if you want to create a installation USB drive, then connect the USB drive to your computer (USB must have at least 3GB of memory).
- Open "Media Creation Tool".
- Select "Create installation media for another PC" and click on "Next".
- Select "Use recommended options for this PC".
- Note: Like I said in the "Before you begin" chapter on this page, you should download the right version of Windows 10, otherwise it wont work and you can start all over again.
- Click on "Next".
- Select which media you want to use (USB flash drive or ISO file (DVD)).
- Click on "Next".
- Select your DVD or USB drive and click on "Next".
- The "Media Creation Tool" will first download Windows 10 and then create the installation media. This may take a while. The time it takes depends on your internet speed.
- When the installation media is ready, you will need to restart your PC.
- Don't remove the USB drive or the DVD.
- Boot from your USB drive or DVD.
- If the Bios of your system is set to boot from a CD/DVD or USB drive, you will see "Press any key to boot from DVD (or USB)".
- If you don't get this message, you will need to press the correct keyboard key to open the boot menu.
- Common keyboard keys to open the boot menu are F9 on HP, F10 on Sony, F11 on MSI, F12 on Dell, Lenova and Acer, and Esc on ASUS.
- Press within 5 seconds on any key to boot from a DVD or USB.
- The Windows installer will start...
- Click on "Install Now".
- Windows will ask for a product key. You will have the following options:
- If you didn't upgrade before, you can enter your Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 product key and click on the "Next" button.
- If you've already upgraded before, then click on the "Skip" button (your PC's hardware is already registered with Microsoft and it will activate by itself).
- If you have a Windows 10 product key, then enter the key and click on the "Next" button.
- Follow the setup process steps (it's easy) until you reach the "Which type of installation do you want?" screen.
- At the "Which type of installation do you want?" screen, you click on "Custom: Install Windows only (advanced)".
- Select the partition you want to install Windows 10 on.
- Note: If you see multiple partitions and don't know which one to choose, then select the largest one, or the one that says "Primary".
- Click the "Format" button.
- Note: If the "Format" button is grayed out, click on "Delete", and then click on "New".
- Click on "Next" to install Windows 10 on the selected partition.
- Allow the installation wizard to guide you through the rest of the process.
Once Windows 10 is installed, you can install your favorite programs and apps and enjoy a fresh and clean Windows 10.
Tip: Create a system image backup after installing Windows 10 and your programs. A system image is a backup of of Windows, programs, settings and files. You can use this system image to restore Windows and programs when there is something wrong like a virus or malware, system or software that stops working, or other problems. If you want to learn how to do this, then click here.
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