I have been a Windows Insider from the day 1 of availability of Microsoft’s Windows Technical Preview. The Insider experience had always been about expressing your various qualms with the OS to the Windows team and expecting a fix with the next build.
On July 29, when Microsoft rolled out Windows 10 for the world, the new OS came as a Over-the-air (OTA) update, available in stages to eligible computers. The advantage of a staged rollout being that Microsoft can fix bugs in the first waves and seed the update to existing Windows 10 users.
As Microsoft promised, I got the update on the first day – a bonus for being an Insider. Click on the upgrade now button, sit back and see your computer download the update and turn your Windows to Windows 10. But how about starting from scratch.
Here is how to do that?
The best way to update would be to use Microsoft’s Get Windows 10 app, reserve your upgrade, wait for the update notification and upgrade when available. Microsoft Windows 10 is without any doubt the most painless Windows upgrade ever because Microsoft is willingly giving away easy tools for users to upgrade from Windows 7 SP1 or Windows 8.1.
Step 1: Head over to Software Download Page and select 32-bit or 64-bit tool Media Creation Tool, you can either save the tool or let it download and run directly. It’s advisable to save the Download Tool and run later.
Step 2: Now run the Media Creation Tool and it will show you two option:
Option 1: Upgrade this PC now
This is the most easiest way of upgrading to Windows 10. Upgrade this PC now option downloads necessary Windows 10 installation files depending on the Internet speed. And throughout the download, user can continue using their PC.
Once the download is finished, Windows will verify the downloaded files and you can either start the installation or schedule for later. During the process of installation, your PC will shutdown and restart for multiple times before showing you the Windows 10 Start Screen.
Option 2: Create installation media for another PC
This option will let you create an installation media like previous Windows distribution. You can either make a bootable USB disk or download ISO files to make a bootable DVD for installing on some other computer.
How does it work?
Firstly you select the language, edition and architecture of your existing Windows, which then checks the PC for compatibility. Eligible PCs won’t need an activation key.
Option 3: Clean installing Windows 10
This is the most trickiest part of the installation process. With Windows 10 now being available as a online download option, it is difficult to get Windows activation key. But here is the workaround: Start with Windows Media Creation Tool and select Upgrade this PC now. Let Windows download files and upgrade to Windows 10.
From Settings > Update & Security > Activation, check if your Windows is activated. Note the Windows key which we will use later.
Again run the Media Creation Tool and select ‘Create installation media for another PC’. Now download Windows 10 on a USB key of at least 3GB in size or grab the ISO file and burn it to a DVD later. Once your installation media is created, reboot your PC.
Enter BIOS mode and set boot from USB or DVD (depending upon the mode of installation). Select Custom Installation which will let you format your existing partition. Skip the Windows Activation key prompts along the way. Once Windows 10 is installed, it should automatically activate the copy but if it doesn’t – start command prompt and run slmgr.vbs/ato to start activation.
Watch video below: (App users click here for video)