How to Install Windows 10

Windows 10 Installation

How to Install Windows 10
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Windows 10 Installation

While the Windows 10 upgrade process has gone smoothly for most Windows 7 and 8 users, it has caused problems for others. Upgrading from one version of Windows to another is rarely a great idea. Files left behind by the previous operation system often cause problems, as can changes made to those files by other applications.

That’s why the usual advice for installing a new version of Windows is to perform a ‘clean’ install. Reformatting your hard drive before you install Windows gives a ‘factory fresh’ PC — you just need to reinstall your applications and copy back your documents to get you up and running again. There’s a big problem when doing this with Windows 10, though. First, anyone upgrading from Windows 7 or 8 won’t have a Windows 10 install disc — the upgrade comes via a download. Second, the Windows 10 upgrade doesn’t provide a product key, so there’s no way to activate it after a clean install. Fortunately, there is a way around this.

Where’s my Windows 10 product key?
As long as you qualify for the free Windows 10 upgrade, it should activate automatically once you’ve installed the upgrade. A product key will then be generated for your PC and stored by Microsoft. You won’t see this product key, but it’s tied to your PC hardware. So once your upgrade version of Windows 10 is installed and activated, you can wipe your PC and reinstall the operating system from scratch. Since the hardware hasn’t changed since the last activation, Windows 10 should then activate successfully again. Before you start! Back up any documents on the drive you’re going to be using for Windows 10 (usually the C: drive) before attempting this. Also make sure you have any necessary serial numbers for applications you need to reinstall afterwards. It’s also worth downloading any drivers you may need for Windows 10 before you begin. This is very important for your PC’s network or wi-fi adapter, which may not work with Windows 10’s own driver after a clean install.

Step 1: Upgrade to Windows 10

Picture of Upgrade to Windows 10

You can’t perform a clean installation of Windows 10 until you’ve performed an upgrade installation and activated the operating system. This done, confirm that Windows 10 has been activated by going to Start > Settings > Update & security > Activation. Look in the right of the window and you should see Activation: Windows is activated. If you don’t see this, you must not proceed and you’ll need to wait until Windows 10 activates.

Step 2: Upgrade to Windows 10

Picture of Upgrade to Windows 10

You’ll also need to know which version of Windows 10 you’re using so that you can download the same version. You’ll see the edition of Window 10 you have in the window opened in Step 1 — Windows 10 Pro, in our example.

Next, search 'System' and choose the first option to see whether you’re using the 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows.

Step 3: Download the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool