Install Windows 10 from USB drive

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In this step-by-step guide detailing how to install Windows 10 from USB stick to computer or laptop. However, the instruction will be suitable in cases where a clean installation of OS is done from the DVD, any basic differences will not be. Also, at the end of the article there is a video about installing Windows 10, which after reviewing some of the steps can be better understood. There is also a separate manual: installing Windows 10 on a Mac.

As of April 2017, when Windows 10 for installation by the methods described below, it loads the version of Windows 10, 1703 Creators Update. Also, as before, if you have already installed the license Windows 10 on PC or laptop, from any way, to enter the product key when you install not needed (click «I do not Have a product key»). Read more about the features activate the article Activation of Windows 10. If you have Windows 7 or 8, it may be helpful: As free upgrade to Windows 10 after Microsoft updates.

Creating a bootable drive

The first step is creating a bootable USB drive (or DVD drive) with the Windows installation files 10. If you have the operating system license, the best way to make a bootable USB flash drive — to use the official tool from Microsoft, available at (para «to Download the tool now»). In this case, the bit size of the downloaded tools to create the installation media must match the bit count of the current operating system (32-bit or 64-bit). Additional ways to download the original Windows 10 is described in the end of the article How to download Windows 10 ISO from the Microsoft website.

After launching this tool, select «Create installation media for another computer», then select the language and version of Windows 10. At the current time, it is sufficient to select just «Windows 10» and created flash drive or an ISO image will contain the edition of Windows 10 Professional, Home and for one language, editor’s choice occurs in the process of installing the system.

Then select create «USB flash drive» and wait while the installation files of Windows 10 will be downloaded and saved on a flash drive. With the help of this utility, you can download the original ISO image for burning to disk. By default, the utility offers to download exactly the version and edition of Windows 10 (will be note download with the recommended settings), upgrading to which is possible on the computer (based on the current OS).

In cases when you have your own ISO image of Windows 10, you can create a bootable drive in a variety of ways: for UEFI — just by copying the contents of the. ISO file onto a flash drive formatted to FAT32 with the free programs UltraISO or the command line. Read more about how the instructions a Bootable flash drive of Windows 10.

Preparing to install

Before you begin to install the system, take care of your personal important data (including the desktop). Ideally, they should be stored on an external drive, a separate hard drive on the computer or on the «D drive» is a separate partition on the hard disk.

And finally, the last step before proceeding to put the boot from a flash drive or disk. To do this, restart the computer (it is better to reboot, not shutdown-enable, as quick download Windows in the second case, may prevent you from completing the desired action) and:

  • Or go into the BIOS (UEFI) and install the installation drive as the first boot device. The entrance to the BIOS usually by pressing Del (on desktops) or F2 (on laptops) prior to booting the operating system. Read more — How to put booting from USB drive in BIOS.
  • Or use the Boot Menu (this is preferable and more convenient) is a special menu from which you can select which drive should boot this time, also called special key once turning on the computer. Read more — How to enter the Boot Menu.

After booting from Windows distribution 10, you will see «Press any key to boot from CD ort DVD» in the black screen. Press any key and wait until the setup starts.

The process of installing Windows 10 on a PC or laptop

  • On the first screen of the setup you will be prompted to select the language, time format and input method from the keyboard, you can leave the default values, Russian language.
  • The next window the «Install» button, which should click and the item «system Restore» at the bottom, which in this article will not be considered, but very useful in some situations.
  • After that you will get the window to enter the product key to activate Windows 10. In most cases, except when you have purchased a product key, simply «I Have no product key». Additional options and when to use them are described in the section «Additional information» at end of manual.
  • The next step (may not appear if the wording were identified by key, including UEFI) — editor’s choice Windows 10 for installation. Choose the option that was previously on this computer or notebook (i.e. which license).
  • The next step is reading the license agreement, and the acceptance of the license terms. After this was done, click «Next».
  • One of the main points — select the type of installation of Windows 10. There are two options: Update — in this case retains all settings, programs, files from the previous installed system and the old system itself is stored in the Windows folder.old (but this option is not always possible to run). That is, the process is similar to the simple update here will not be considered. Custom setup — this option allows you to perform a clean installation without saving (or saving partially) the user’s files, but during installation it is possible to split the disks into partitions, format them, thereby clearing the computer from the files of the previous Windows. This variant will be described.
  • After you select custom installation, you will be taken to the selection window of a disk partition for installation (possible installation errors at this stage are described later). At the same time, unless it’s a new hard drive, you will see a far greater number of sections than were previously seen in Windows Explorer. I will try to explain the options (also in the video at the end of the manual in detail I show and tell how to do in this window).
    • If you have the manufacturer has pre-installed Windows, in addition to the system partition on Disk 0 (their number and size may vary 100, 300, and 450 MB), you will see another (usual) partition 10-20 GB. I do not recommend in any way to affect it, as it contains the recovery image system, allowing you to quickly return the PC or laptop to factory condition if the need arises. Also, do not change reserved system sections (except for those occasions when you decide to completely clean hard drive).
    • Typically, the clean install of the system, it is placed on the section corresponding to the disk C, with its formatting (or removal). To do this, select the section (to the size), click «Format». And after that, choosing it, click «Next» to continue the installation of Windows 10. The data on other partitions and disks will not be affected. If you install Windows 10 on your computer was installed Windows 7 or XP, more reliable option would be to delete the partition (but not format), appeared to highlight unpartitioned space and click «Next» to automatically create the necessary system partition setup (or use existing if available).
    • If you skip the formatting or remove and choose to install the partition on which OS is already installed, the previous Windows installation will be placed in the Windows folder.old, and your files are on drive C will not be affected (but will be a lot of garbage on your hard disk).
    • If your system drive (Disk 0) nothing important, you can completely delete all partitions one by one, recreate the partition layout (using «Delete» and «Create») and set the system on the first partition, after the automatically created system partitions.
    • If the previous system installed on the partition or drive C, and installing Windows 10 you select a different partition or drive, then your computer will be installed at the same time two operating systems with the choice you need when the computer boots.

    Note: if you select a partition on the disk you see a message that you cannot install Windows 10 on this section, click on the text, and then, depending on what the full error text, use the following instructions: Drive has the GPT partition style when installed, the selected disk is a table of an MBR partition, EFI systems Windows can only be installed on GPT disk, We were not able to create a new or find an existing partition when installing Windows 10

  • After selecting your partition to install, click «Next». Will start copying files on Windows 10 computer.
  • After reboot some time the action, you do not need — will be «Training», «configure components». The computer may restart, and sometimes «hang» with a black or blue screen. In this case, just wait, this is a normal process — which can last hours sometimes.
  • At the end of this quite lengthy process, you can see the proposal to connect to the network, the network may be determined automatically, and may not appear on the connection request, if Windows 10 did not find the necessary equipment.
  • The next step is to configure the main system parameters. First paragraph — the choice of the region.
  • The second stage is the confirmation of the correct keyboard layout.
  • Then the installation program prompts you to add additional keyboard layouts. If you do not require inputs other than Russian and English, skip this step (English is present by default).
  • When connected to the Internet, you will see the option customize Windows 10 for personal use or for your organization (use this option only if you need to connect the computer to a work network domain, and Windows servers in the organization). Usually you should choose the option for personal use.
  • In the next stage of installation is the setting of the Windows account 10. If you have an active Internet connection, you are asked to configure your Microsoft account or enter your existing (you can click «Offline account» at the bottom left to create a local account). When a connection is created a local account.
  • The suggestion to use a PIN code to enter the system. Use at your discretion.
  • If there is an Internet connection and a Microsoft account you will be prompted to configure the OneDrive (cloud storage) in Windows 10.
  • And the final stage settings — configure privacy options to Windows 10 including the transmission of location data, speech recognition, data transmission diagnostics and create your ad profile. Read carefully and disable what you don’t need (I switch off all the items).
  • After this start the last stage — setup and installation of standard applications, preparing Windows 10 for launch, on the screen it will look like the inscription: «This may take a few minutes.» In fact, it can take minutes and even hours, especially on «weak» computers, you should not force it to shut down or restart it this time.
  • And finally, you will see the desktop Windows 10 — system is installed successfully, you can begin to study it.
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    Video demonstration of the process

    In the proposed video tutorial I tried to demonstrate all the nuances and the whole installation process of Windows 10, and also to tell about some details. The video was recorded before the release of the latest version of Windows 10 1703, however all the important moments since then has not changed.

    After installation

    The first thing we need to attend to after a clean installation of the system on a computer is installing the drivers. At the same time, Windows 10 itself will load many device drivers when connected to the Internet. However, I highly recommend to manually find, download and install the necessary drivers:

    • For laptops — the official website of the manufacturer of the laptop in the support section for your specific model laptop. Cm. How to install drivers on a laptop
    • For the PC from the manufacturer website of the motherboard for your model.
    • You might like: How to turn off surveillance of Windows 10.
    • For video — related sites of NVIDIA or AMD (or even Intel), depending on which graphics card is used. Cm. How to update the graphics driver.
    • If you have problems with the video card in Windows 10, view the article installing the NVIDIA in Windows 10 (fit for AMD), can also be useful manual Black screen in Windows 10 if you download.

    My second recommended action — after successful installation of all drivers and activate the system, but also to install programs to create a full recovery image of the system (in the OS or using third-party programs) in order to considerably speed up the reinstallation of Windows if necessary.

    If after a clean installation of the system on the computer something is not working or just need something to configure (for example, to split the disk into C and D), most likely you will be able to find possible solutions on my website in the section dedicated to Windows 10.

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