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Installing Windows 10 with a Microsoft Windows 10 USB Key

Written on August 18, 2016 by Marc Mourning

Installing Windows 10 with a Microsoft Windows 10 USB Key

Before you install Windows 10, it’s a good idea to save any work and back up your PC before you start. If you used the media creation tool to download an ISO file for Windows 10, you’ll need to load it to the USB before starting-instructions for that can be found here.

  1. Attach the USB flash drive or insert the DVD into the PC where you want to install Windows 10.
  2. Now, get into the BIOS.  Start the computer up and start tapping the BIOS entry key.  Most of our motherboards are from ASUS and they typically use the 'Delete' key to get into the BIOS.  If yours is different, check your manual, or let us know and we can tell you!  

      3.You should now see a screen that looks similar or identical to this with varying colors:

4. Using your mouse or right arrow key, move to the “Boot” tab so that it is highlight and click or press enter. You should now see a screen that looks similar to this:

5. For boot option #1, click the grey drop down menu adjacent to the text “Boot Option 1” and look for a line item that says “USB” and then is preceded normally by the type or name of the USB drive. Once it is selected inside of the grey drop down, hit the F10 key, select “Save changes and exit” now the system will restart, and boot into the USB drive.

6. You should now see a screen that looks like this:

7. Make sure the language and keyboard input method are correct in regards to your region and area and press “Next”

8. You will now see a screen that looks like this:

9. Go Ahead and press install now and the preceding screen should look like this:

10. Inside of the box from Microsoft that contains the USB key, you should see a slot on the left side once it has been opened that contains a small card with a picture of a key on it. Pull that out and you should see a line of alphanumeric text, input this line into the product key text box, and press “Next”.

11.You should now see a screen like this:

12. The two options you have are “Upgrade” and “Custom”. Individuals who have ran the Windows 10 compatibility checker from the “Upgrade to Windows 10” icon previously and have found that all applications and files in use are compatible with Windows 10, and do not want to lose any information or applications can choose the “Upgrade: Install windows and keep files, settings, and applications”. You may also run this option if you are very concerned about losing specific files, settings or information, but have not run the compatibility checker. However, we advise always performing a complete backup of all files and applications before starting a upgrade or clean install of any operating system.

13.Once you have picked your selection, you should now see a screen that looks like this:14. Select “I accept the License Terms” and press “Next”.

15. Now you will see this screen: 

And then you'll get this wonderful screen!  So this is where you select which drive to install Windows on.  In earlier versions of Windows, you might need to click the "Drive Options (advanced)" button to get all of these wonderful choices.  This part is where you need to be really careful if you've got a drive with important data on it.  Disconnect any external drives to be safe.  Before you do anything, BACKUP ANY IMPORTANT DATA BEFORE TOUCHING A THING HERE.  Seriously, if you do this wrong, you'll lose any pictures, music, movies - anything you've got.  In the example here, there's only one hard drive.  By default, Windows makes two partitions on the drive and one is called "System Reserved".  You'll want to delete both of these.  If you have any other drives here, DO NOT DELETE THEIR PARTITIONS UNLESS YOU'VE SAVED ANY DATA ON THEM.

That all said, click on the System Reserved drive and click "Delete".  Then do the same for the other partition on your primary drive.  Both times, you'll be given the prompt below, basically repeating what I just mentioned regarding losing data.


During this stage you will be prompted any time you delete a partition with this box:

Just select yes, and move on to the next screen.

16.Now you will see this screen:


Click the "Unallocated Space" leftover and click "Next"!  (You may wonder why we aren't formatting the disk.  This is because Windows will automatically partition out and allocate the drive as necessary.) You may also notice additional drives, make sure the one that you are installing the operating system is the correct primary disk inside of your system, and not one that contains data or information that you want to leave untouched.

**If the error 0x8030024 is encountered at this point you will want to disconnect any additional drives that are plugged into the system. Windows is not very clear about why it is having trouble installing but the error occurs because there are multiple drives connected to the system during install. Physically disconnect any secondary internal HDD/SSDs at this stage and once Windows has been fully installed the drives can be reconnected. 

17. Once the above step has been completed, your windows installation will begin, and go through a couple of different steps, and multiple reboots. You will see this screen during the process:

18. Once the installation has finished, you will now be directed towards this screen:

Click the “Use Express Settings” button if you are unfamiliar with the install guidelines. If you are  a seasoned windows use, you may customize the settings to remove or add additional components as necessary.  You can select "Use Express settings", but I typically click the "Customize settings" option.  You'll get a couple of pages of different privacy settings.  I typically leave most of them on, but if you're worried about your privacy, you might consider disabling some or all of them.  Note that they're typically tied into particular features of Windows.  If you plan to use Cortana or any features that require an Internet connection, you'll probably need to leave those options on.

19.  After that page, you will then be prompted to input your login information, create a new local account or create a new Microsoft account, and then link it to this system.

20. After you press “Next” you have now officially finished your Microsoft Windows 10 Install! Congratulations! Now you can work on customizing the operating systems settings to fit your functional needs, as well as perform updates and install specialized drivers, instruction for this step can be found here (clicky).

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Tags: windows 10 install, setup, how to, install, upgrade, custom, usb

All one has to do is download the Windows 10 ISO & upgrade existing Windows 7 or 8.1 and will activate. If signed in, with a digital license. Then (if desired) clean install Windows 10, no need to purchase new key for existing Win 7 or 8.1 if a legit license. The correct version of Windows 10 (Home or Pro) will be installed.

However, I've discovered after 2-3 Windows 10 upgrade versions, a clean install will speed things up nicely. One can tell a huge difference in OS responsiveness. This would be roughly once every year to 18 months, depending on how fast new Windows 10 releases are issued. These upgrades really slows NVMe SSD's, more so than a 2.5" (SATA) model.

It's best to keep the latest 10 ISO for repair if needed, or fresh install when recovering from infection (I never trust a once compromised OS).

Posted on 2019-11-09 16:33:18