Windows 10: How do you create recovery media for Windows 10? Solved

  1.    31 Jul 2015 #1

    How do you create recovery media for Windows 10?

    I originally purchased Windows 8 and upgraded to 8.1. I installed the Windows 10 upgrade via the downloadable Windows 10 Installation Tool and burning the ISO to a DVD. I understand that this will work to upgrade my system should I need to recover but will this still work after the 1 year free upgrade period? Also, can anyone confirm if the ISO downloaded via the Installation Tool will work as a repair disk to recover using a system image? If that's the case I would be content with that, as it's how I've always done backups since Windows 7.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2. Brink's Avatar
    Posts : 33,021
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 18252
       31 Jul 2015 #2

    Hello Rennon, and welcome to Ten Forums. :)

    Yes, you will still be able to use the method in the tutorial below to download a Windows 10 ISO from Microsoft to use to reinstall Windows 10 with anytime.

    The July 29th 2016 deadline was just to reserve or claim your free upgrade offer. After that date, you won't be able to get another free copy, but any that you have already claimed will always work.

    Can I reinstall Windows 10 on my computer after upgrading with free upgrade?

    Once you’ve upgraded to Windows 10 using the free upgrade offer or Media Creation Tool on an activated Windows 7 or 8.1 PC, you will be able to reinstall, including a clean install, on the same device. You won’t need a product key for re-activations on the same hardware. If you make a meaningful change to your hardware, you may need to contact customer support to help with activation. You’ll also be able to create your own installation media like a USB drive or DVD, and use that to upgrade your device or reinstall after you’ve upgraded.

    You do not get a product key with the free upgrade of Windows 10.

    The activation for the free offer of Windows 10 is registered on the Microsoft activation servers, and is referenced by the hardware (motherboard/CPU/graphics card serial numbers) of the PC it was upgraded on.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  3.    31 Jul 2015 #3

    That's the exact steps I used to upgrade. My concern is that to do a fresh install on a new hdd will require a license key and the windows 8 key I have will not work. I have already confirmed this by attempting a clean install on a formatted hdd. The only way to install is to install windows 8 with your key then run all updates and then perform the upgrade again. I'm looking to bypass the install of window 8 completely for fear that after 1 year the upgrade process will not activate. Microsofts version of a clean install in this instance appears to be running an upgrade that throws everything into windows.old and auto deletes after 30 days. A clean install to me is just installing windows 10 without having to jump through hoops of installing an entire operating system first.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4. Brink's Avatar
    Posts : 33,021
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 18252
       31 Jul 2015 #4

    If you upgraded to the free 10 on your activated 8.1 PC, then you should be able to do the clean install on the new drive.

    If you changed the motherboard or graphics card, then it may not activate.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  5.    31 Jul 2015 #5

    So you're saying that during a clean install on a new drive, I can skip the license key and it will still activate by searching somewhere in Microsoft's database for a previous activation that has one of my hardware MAC addresses? (Or at least something similar?) How else are you supposed to get a valid activation without entering a Windows 10 key when the Windows 8 key does not work?

    Thanks for the help, and pardon my ignorance.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6. Brink's Avatar
    Posts : 33,021
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 18252
       31 Jul 2015 #6

    Correct. You would "skip" entering the key during installation. As long as it's on the same PC, it should activate eventually.

    You won't be able to activate 10 with an 8 key.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  7.    31 Jul 2015 #7

    I'll take your word for it. I just hope a year from now I don't regret going with an update instead of buying a key like I normally do. I've always got my system images as back up though.

    Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. I appreciate it.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


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