• Paul Fingleton

Windows 10: How to Perform a Fresh Install, rather than upgrade.

Windows 10 is out. After almost a year of Windows Insiders running early builds and doing bug checking, Microsoft's latest OS is now available for ev eryone as a free upgrade. But, some users will prefer to do a fresh install, start with a clean slate than perhaps bring any inconsistencies from their old OS to Windows 10.

Microsoft have made the ISO files for the OS available for download. These ISO files can be burned onto a DVD or made into a bootable USB drive from which to wipe your computer and install Windows 10 from scratch to make your PC perform like the first day you owned it.

Sit down there, and let's take a look, shall we.

Here's how to do it:

1. Download the ISO files from here

2. Back up any data that you want to keep. During the fresh install process it is possible that you could format your Hard Drive. If there's anythiing you would like to keep, be sure to back it up first.

Here are a couple Microsoft Support pages for creating backups, but there are plenty of resources available online talking about this in greater detail.

3. Make sure you have:

  • An internet connection (internet service provider fees may apply).

  • Sufficient data storage available on a computer, USB or external drive for the download.

  • A blank USB or DVD (and DVD burner) with at least 4 GB of space if you want to create media. We recommend using a blank USB or blank DVD, because any content on it will be deleted.

4. Back up your data.

5. Read the System Requirements, although if you have been running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 your machine should be fine.

  • If you will be installing the operating system for the first time, you will need your Windows product key (xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx).

  • It should be on the documentation that came with your computer, but if you have lost that. Before you remove your old OS, from the command line you can locate your old product key.

  • wmic path softwarelicensingservice get OA3xOriginalProductKey.

6. Back up your data.

7. Use the media creation tool to download Windows. This tool provides the best download experience for customers running Windows 7, 8.1 and 10.

To learn how to use the tool, go to the Installing Windows 10 using the media creation tool page. The Tool includes:

  • File formats optimized for download speed.

  • Built in media creation options for USBs and DVDs.

  • Optional conversion to ISO file format.

8. Start the install and enjoy the newness. The installation should take between 20 minutes to an hour depending on your hardware.

You have taken the first steps into Microsoft's new world, where Windows 10 will be on over 1 billion devices.