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With Windows 10 finally having made it out, users are scrambling to get their hands on a copy of what’s supposedly Microsoft’s best product to date. Amid so many opinions regarding how the upgrade actually works, new customers may be hard pressed to figure out the bare minimum of what they are supposed to do to pull through. Here is a guide on doing a clean install of the new OS.

What you will need for a clean install is a valid license, and enough space in the intended drive partition. Some users might want to consider making use of Windows support for upgrading while retaining files and settings, and still repair Windows errors, which had you by the ear.

  • Back up all your data. If you have bought a new copy of Windows 10, the license key will be in the box, or in your email. Get that and keep t ready for when you are prompted.
  • If you are moving on from genuine Windows 7 or 8, Microsoft lets you do a free upgrade. But that precludes a clean install, at least the first time, during or after which your Windows 10 product is activated. This is crucial to getting the free license. Also, you might want to extract the new key afterwards, using a third party tool.
  • Afterwards, your computer will be recognized as a Windows 10 device every time you connect online, and every subsequent reinstall will be followed by an automatic activation.

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  • After you have license key, download Microsoft’s free Media Creation Tool. Running this will set you up to download the files required for an install. Choose the language and edition of the OS, and then select the media you want to create. There is USB flash drive, but for the first upgrade, this will bloat your system drive with redundant files. The ISO option works much better. Many are familiar with the creation of a bootable USB or DVD later, using tools such as Rufus. That works here too.
  • After you have created a bootable disk, restart the computer and boot into that USB or DVD. Follow the instructions and expect several restarts, and a prompt for the license key. This step can be skipped, and the activation dealt with after the OS is loaded.

After installing, explore the Windows support for new stuff such as multiple desktop computing. What has mainly retained from Windows 8 is Windows support for desktop programs as well as Universal apps, though the latter now go by ‘Windows Apps’. Plenty of others too, so there is major incentive to hurry with the upgrade.

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