How to install Windows 10
If you decide to reinstall Windows, first you need to properly prepare the installation media, pre-configure your computer and, finally, select at least a few key options already at the installation stage.
Therefore, if you are planning to update your PC as a result of Windows 7 end support, or if you have just put together a new build and want to install a new version on it, this guide will explain how to do it.
If version 10 will be installed on a computer that has been running until now, for example, running Windows 7, first of all, be sure to copy all the necessary photos and other documents to external media. A so-called "clean install" will make your computer look like a new one - all existing files will be removed from it.
Downloading a system image
Before installing Windows 10, you should first download its latest image to a USB flash drive. Windows 10 is constantly updated, and downloading a new installer will shorten the time for subsequent updates. Sometimes later versions are installed a little differently - our guide is based on a Windows 10 image downloaded from Microsoft servers on January 14, 2020, and we choose Windows 10 Home to install.
You don't need to be a big expert to create an installation USB drive yourself. Microsoft provides the official Windows 10 Media Creation Tool, which will automatically download the latest operating system image and create a USB installation media or download an ISO to burn to DVD. Just follow the instructions of the wizard (in practice, accepting the licensing terms and clicking "next" several times).
Creating a bootable USB drive
To create a USB installation media, you must prepare a USB flash drive with a capacity of at least 8 GB. The media will be automatically formatted, so you have to reckon with the loss of all files stored on it, you need to take care of the backup in advance. It's worth choosing a USB 3.0 device to speed up the formatting process.
The time it takes to load the Windows 10 image and create the installation media depends on the performance of the PC, flash drive and, above all, on the speed of the Internet connection. For 60 Mbps over USB 3.0, the entire operation should complete in a few minutes.
In addition to the standard utility, a bootable USB stick can be created using a program such as Rufus.
Configuring system boot from a USB flash drive (via BIOS)
To begin installing Windows 10, your PC needs to be ready to run software from a USB flash drive first before attempting to power on an old system from a disk.
In most cases, the correct settings are active by default, and there is no need to change them - just go to the next paragraph describing the installation process itself, and return here only in case of problems.
To test the options described, start by enabling the BIOS (or UEFI). Most often, you can do this by quickly pressing the Del, F1, or F2 key (depending on your computer) on your keyboard immediately after turning on the power button on your computer. When browsing BIOS / UEFI, the user will be prompted to find a section with information about the device order at boot (these settings can most often be found in the Boot / Boot Order options).
The goal is to make sure (and possibly change the settings) if the hardware order in the list matches what we want to achieve - our goal is to install Windows 10 from a USB stick and therefore USB devices should be counted before hard drives ... After changing these settings, you must leave the BIOS / UEFI and save the changes in it (the software will most often suggest this on its own when you try to exit the settings).
If your files have already been backed up and you have the correct installation media, nothing prevents you from starting the installation. To do this, insert the USB flash drive into the computer and reboot the system - in accordance with the previous settings in the BIOS / UEFI, the computer must first load the system installer from portable memory.
From now on, follow the commands of the installation wizard, which is a standard GUID interface element.
The first step of the installation is to select the language, date and time format, and keyboard. By default, of course, the Russian language and the corresponding formats are offered. Just go to the next step by clicking the Next button.
Then we select the "Install now" option and in the next step enter the license key for this system. You can also do this later by selecting "I do not have a product key". However, then you need to select the correct version of Windows 10 to install - in this case, Home.
The next step is to agree to the license terms and choose the correct installation option. If you want to perform a so-called "clean install" of Windows 10, you need to select the "Custom: Install Windows only" option.
Windows now proceeds to prepare and install the system. Depending on many factors, mainly processor and disk performance, this process can take from several to tens of minutes.
During the installation of Windows 10, the system will repeatedly display different types of boot screens. It is worth being patient because they can manifest in a matter of minutes. It all depends on the performance of your computer. Installations on a "classic" disk drive are noticeably longer than on an SSD.
Moving on to the setup stage - if you bought a new laptop with Windows 10 in the store, then you started the first launch, most likely, from this stage. First, select a region and keyboard layout. Unless you have specific requirements, there is nothing to change here and you just need to move on to the next steps.
The next step is security and login issues. Windows asks you to sign in to your Microsoft user account. If this is your first time doing this, you will need to create a new account. A new address and password will be generated, which can of course be changed at any time in the future.
This account allows you to automatically sync settings between multiple users of the same user, use Skype or the OneDrive cloud.
Finally, it remains to create a PIN that will allow you to log into your computer faster. The Windows 10 startup method can be changed at any time in the future from System Settings.
The installation is coming to an end. Windows will now offer to enable several features, including syncing app history, accessing photos and SMS from your phone, and saving files to the OneDrive cloud instead of locally. Alternatively, at this point, you can enable a trial version of Office or enter your product key if you have one.
All of these features can of course be revisited in the future. If you decide to turn on OneDrive now, for example, you can opt out of it in the future and vice versa. Therefore, the choice at this stage depends solely on personal preference.
Finally, a number of questions remain related to telemetry and access to computer sensors. Windows will ask if it can collect complete or basic information only, access the location or identifier of the advertising content. Everything is explained in detail in the next steps of the wizard. Thus, the choice again depends solely on the user and their approach to privacy issues.
Possible errors due to partition type (MBR and GPT)
Sometimes there are situations in which installation on a hard disk is impossible, and the corresponding errors are displayed. Often, the problem lies in the incompatibility of the UEFI subsystem and the outdated MBR format. The main way to solve the problem is to convert the MBR disk to GPT
Converting the system disk from MBR to GPT can be performed using the MBR2GPT utility directly at the running system level; it is recommended to start the computer in Windows PE. It can be a disk or a flash drive. Even if Windows 10 is already installed somewhere (for example, the original disk), it is still worth preparing new media. Moreover, the MBR2GPT program appeared in Windows 10 only from version 1703
The system is performing the final configuration, which may take a few minutes and complete the installation. From now on, Windows 10 is ready to go and can be used.
Windows Update may decide to download additional updates and drivers immediately after installation. This will cause the computer to restart, which Windows will inform about when trying to shut down the computer.