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Windows 10 Installation Guide – Downloading, Installing, Activating

Windows 10 Installation Guide – Downloading, Installing, Activating

In a previous blog about Windows 10, I discussed about the practical reasons on why you should start finding Windows 10 free upgrade download or buying installers and Windows 10 product keys this year. This reminder goes especially to those who are still on Windows 7 and I trust that you are no longer on XP.

Like I mentioned in that blog too, Microsoft is cutting support for Windows 7 but it is extending services for the Pro and Enterprise versions. For the Home Basic, Home Premium, Ultimate and Starter Edition users, unfortunately, you will need to upgrade before the year ends unless it’s okay for you to work with unsupported OS.

Laptop with Windows 10 OSThere are advanced features of Windows 10 that are pretty attractive. For one, it has heightened PC security which we usually get only when we install antiviruses. This OS already brings the basic protection you need against malware, ransomware, and phishing.

I love that it has an AI Virtual Assistant too. Cortana makes it so easy to work around your PC. Windows 10 also makes tasks faster like going through contacts straight from your desktop with My People.

There are a lot more new functions to love and if you are finally convinced, this section gives you a clear guide on how to install and activate your Windows 10 OS without going to the computer shop.

Upgrading Instructions

There are several ways to get Windows 10 on your PC. Most of you might be coming from a lower version of Microsoft OS like Windows 7 or 10 while some others might be starting from scratch. There are free installers you can see online but make sure that you are not being directed to a malware. Read forums for a legit source of installer but to be safer, you can buy our Windows 10 software at a sale price.

Before we look into the how-tos of upgrading and installing, let us again look at the variety of ways on how you can get Windows 10.

  • Upgrade from Windows 7 or 8: Microsoft offered free upgrade through the Get Windows 10 (GWX) app but it already ended a long time ago. There are a lot of links online but install at your own risk. I still recommend a legit way of upgrading and that is to get your installer.
  • Buy a new PC with Windows 10: If your PC came with Windows 10 installed, it likely has a license key embedded into its UEFI firmware. The manufacturer paid for a license and you can reinstall Windows 10 on the PC without entering the key. Windows 10’s installer will pull the key from a chip on the motherboard.
  • Buy Windows 10 product key: If you already have Windows 10 installed but the free trial already ended, then it’s time to buy a product key so you can enjoy the full features of the OS.

You can also install Windows 10 without entering a product key but notifications prompting you to activate it with a license will pop up consistently.

Once you know which method is going to work for you, proceed to one of the sections below to install Windows 10.

Upgrading to Windows 10 from Windows 7 or 8

Microsoft used to have an upgrade tool for installing Windows 10 if you already have Windows 7 or 8.1 installed. The option made it possible for users to downgrade and go back to Windows 7 or 8.1 after they find that they don’t like the upgrade.

If you’re upgrading to Windows 10 for another reason—perhaps you’ve previously upgraded to Windows 10 on the current PC and it already has a valid license—you can use the Download Windows 10 tool. Click “Download Tool Now”, run it, and select “Upgrade this PC”. Follow the instructions on your screen to complete the upgrade process. This is a Windows 10 free upgrade download option so don’t worry about fees, for now.

Windows 10 free downloadGetting an Installation Media and Do a Clean Install of Windows 10

If you don’t want to upgrade from an existing Windows installation, the Windows 10 free upgrade download tool on Microsoft can also be used to perform a clean install. Again from the Microsoft’s Download Windows 10 page, just click “Download Tool Now” and run the downloaded file.

Windows 10 download now

Windows 10 software license terms

Select “Create installation media for another PC”.

 

Windows 10 installation

Be sure to select the correct language, edition and architecture of Windows 10 that you want to install. Check your computer specs before you install so you’d choose the right edition. You don’t want a 64-bit OS running on your 32-bit CPU. This will slow you down even more and will affect your PC’s performance.

 

Windows 10 select language

The download tool will allow you to copy the Windows 10 installation files to a USB drive or burn them to a DVD. If you’re using a USB drive, it must be 4 GB or larger in size. All files on the USB drive will be erased as part of this process.

windows 10 choose media to use

After creating an installation media, insert or plug it to the PC you want to install Windows 10 on. Boot from the installation media. This may require modifying the boot order in your PC’s BIOS or UEFI firmware. You can download and run RUFUS for this.

Rufus interfaceOn the Partition section, GPT means GPT UEFI 64-bit while MBR means BIOS 32-bit. To know which of these should be selected for your PC, check your system by going to “MY COMPUTER” folder and type msinfo32+ then hit ENTER.

Bios mode selectionThis one shows UEFI so choose GPT option. Click START and then this box pops up:

Rufus WarningClick OK to start copying data to your USB.

Rufus work in progress

After it copies your files, you can RESTART your computer and BOOT FROM FLASH DRIVE.

On the Windows Setup screen, select your language, time and currency format, and keyboard layout. Click “Next” to continue.

 

windows 10 setupWhen you reach the installer screen, select “Install Now” and follow the instructions to install Windows 10 on your PC.

windows 10 instal now

When you see the Activate Windows screen, you’ll need to either enter a key or skip it. You may not see this screen if Windows 10 automatically detects a key associated with your PC’s hardware.

windows 10 activation When activating with a Windows 10 product key, remember these two:

  • If you’ve never installed and activated Windows 10 on your computer before, enter your Windows 10 key here. If you don’t have one, but you have a valid Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 key, enter it here instead.
  • If you’ve previously taken advantage of the free Windows 10 upgrade offer on this PC, click “I don’t have a product key”. Windows will automatically activate with a “digital license” associated with your PC’s hardware on Microsoft’s servers once it’s installed.

The installer will then ask you for the version of Windows 10 that you like.

Windows 10 selection

When you reach the “Which type of installation do you want?” screen, click “Custom” to perform a clean installation and remove everything on your PC.

Windows 10 setupOn the next screen, select the hard drive you want to install Windows on and erase it. If you have multiple partitions on that drive, you may want to erase those as well.

Now, open your CMD by hitting SHIFT + F10.

Just type  – DISKPARTLIS DISK:

CMD

Windows CMD

Select the disk partition number where you want to install.

CMD Partition

Be sure to have a backup of all your important files. When you delete a partition, otherwise you will lose all of your files forever.

Now Clean the disk by typing CLEAN.

CMD partition cleanFor those with UEFI partition ONLY, enter GPT.

CMD successful convertion to GPT formatWhen it says that your diskpart was successfully converted to GPT format, type EXIT. You will then be directed back to the Windows Setup. Click on REFRESH.

Windows 10 setup refreshNow, when you’re done erasing partitions, you should have a big block of “Unallocated Space”. Select that option then click “New” and once it finishes formatting your drive, click Next.

Windows 10 setup

Windows 10 will install itself and may restart a few times during this process. When it’s done, you’ll see the normal setup interface you see when setting up Windows 10 on any new PC, where you can add user accounts and adjust various settings.

sign in with microsoftIf you don’t want to go through all the hassles of creating your own installation media, though, you can simply buy an installer. If you’re ready to buy, find the best deals on Windows 10 installers.

Activating Windows 10

There are numerous ways by which you can activate windows 10. During the installation, Windows 10 will ask you to enter a Product Key without which you can’t proceed. When you enter the correct Windows 10 Product Key, then your windows gets activated immediately.

If you want to test or install Windows without entering the purchased Windows 10 activation key, you can easily use the generic key which will let you successfully install Windows with 30 days expiry.

A generic Windows 10 keys are the keys that help in the installation process, that can activate windows temporarily and can make you use the limited features of the windows. The Windows installed on your system is a trial version and will expire after 90 days. You can enjoy the free full trial for your copy of windows.

When your free trial has lapsed, then you have to enter the working Key for Windows 10 later. It is mandatory to activate your copy of Windows 10 to avail all features of Windows 10 properly. Therefore you have to buy Windows 10 product key from trusted stores.

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