Windows 10 fresh installation on computer delivered with Win-10 OEM

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  1. Posts : 24
    Windows
       #1

    Windows 10 fresh installation on computer delivered with Win-10 OEM


    I'm planning to perform a Win-10-Pro installation from scratch on a new notebook computer delivered with factory OEM pre-installed Win-10-Pro 64 bit version that, according to command prompt version number displayed, is a Win-10 build from version 1809 / 2018-October update. I have recently obtained the latest Win-10 64-bit DVD-ISO image download which is the newer 2019-May version and plan to perform a fresh install onto a NEW upgraded virgin hard disc drive that will be installed on the notebook computer prior to the fresh install. This computer is running BIOS in UEFI mode as confirmed by Windows System Information utility from the Win-10-Pro OEM version factory installation that I'm currently running on the factory installed hard disc. The clean install will likely be performed from optical media via the computer's on-board ODD (after I've written the DVD ISO downloaded from Microsoft to an appropriately sized optical disc). Currently, the factory installed Win-10-Pro OEM remains unactivated as I have not given the new computer internet access (neither wireless nor wired) yet since its first boot a few days ago. My questions on the above planned installation exercise are:

    1. Since this computer is using UEFI, I am assuming that the Win-10-Pro OEM product key is already stored / embedded in UEFI. From what I have read from other online resources, when a Win-10 OEM product key is already embedded in UEFI, supposedly when a completely fresh installation of Win-10 is performed, the Win-10 installation process is supposed to detect the UEFI product key and use that key to set up Win-10 in the appropriate edition (i.e. Home or Pro, and OEM or non-OEM) accordingly. Is that correct?

    2. Assuming the process described in [1] above is true, would a UEFI embedded product key allow for a NEWER version of Win-10 installed and result in the same edition mode (Pro OEM), since the factory installed release is from 2018-October and the version I'm installing from optical disc will be 2019-May?

    3. Is it true that after installation, Win-10 will still need to be activated online as an OEM edition, even if product key is already stored in UEFI?

    4. I understand that Windows activation can be sensitive to some hardware changes which may re-trigger activation hassles, so I am planning to upgrade and increase RAM amount and upgrade the HDD capacity BEFORE the fresh Win-10 installation is performed. So that upon first activation of the fresh installation, Windows activation will record the upgraded hardware configuration as opposed to the factory delivered hardware configuration. Is this the best approach for this scenario for the most number of available future changes to the hardware (none further of which are planned)?


    Thanks for help / input / confirmation on the above questions.
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  2. Posts : 35,000
    Win 10 Pro (1903) (2nd PC is 21H2)
       #2

    Hi, changes to RAM and disk should have no impact at all on activation.

    You can freely install Win 10 as many times as you like. There should be no problem whatsoever in installing a later build.

    This may be of interest
    Known and Resolved issues for Windows 10 May 2019 Update version 1903

    You're probably familiar with this:
    Clean Install Windows 10

    As soon as you can, make it a priority to create a disk image and start using disk imaging routinely to consolidate your build and give you a way to restore your system to a previously good state. E.g. Macrium relfect (free/paid).

    Recommended: plan to store your personal data on a different disk or partition than C: to reduce impact of OS maintenance, clean installs, restoring O/S disk images.
      My Computers


  3. Posts : 17,281
    Windows 11 Pro
       #3

    1. Yes
    2. Yes
    3. Yes
    4. Don't change the motherboard itself and Windows won't care.
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  4. Posts : 24
    Windows
    Thread Starter
       #4

    NavyLCDR said:
    1. Yes
    2. Yes
    3. Yes
    4. Don't change the motherboard itself and Windows won't care.
    Thanks for confirming these questions. The notebook computer's motherboard definitely won't change, unless it becomes defective and so far, touch wood, all the notebooks I've used with Windows in the last 1 1/2 decades or more haven't had a failure.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Thanks DALCHINA for the additional resource URLs. They parallel what I've absorbed in other tutorial videos but the extra resources will always be helpful since there's a ton of useful posts on the forum and it's a bit hard to spend all the time to sort through and find all the good ones. I've always prepped systems with user data on a separate HDD partition and thus can do OS/system drive image back up completely separately from the user data partition. This allows for separate restoration of system drive partition straight from a recent image back up (such as during suspicions of virus infections, malware, etc) without affecting or overwritten the user data partition - that is, provided the user maintains good practice of always saving user data to the user data drive letter. It's a practice I've used myself and passed on to other users and systems I've prepped in the past.

    Speaking of image back ups, in the past up to Win-7-Pro, I've used Symantec Norton Ghost which has worked very well for this purpose, though I understand there's now a follow up product to it for Win-10 as Ghost 15.X has been discontinued for quite some time. I'm still debating whether to prep the new virgin HDD in GPT or MBR format, though, since not more than four partitions will be set up on the new virgin HDD, it would seem that GPT wouldn't be absolutely necessary. However, It seems that with GPT aside from the fact that it's more robust to HDD data corruption in terms of partition security (since MBR stores data in one concentrated spot on the HDD and GPT has data redundancy), would the 8 GB system reserved space at the end of HDD space I've noticed that NTFS reserves under MBR mode a function of NTFS partitioning or is it a function of GPT versus MBR partitioning? It seems that with GPT partitioning that a reserved space of several hundred MBs occur at the start of HDD space and I'm trying to figure out which system consumes more reserved system space on the HDD when being prepped.

    Finally, if booting from Win-10 set up from an optical disc for a virgin install, would the process still provide that REPAIR COMPUTER option in order to enter the recovery console command prompt so I could use DISKPART to manually partition the drive rather than using Win-10's GUI set up partitioning procedure? In the past I've always booted from optical media of the OS' set up disc, go straight into the recovery console to have the HDD partitioned and formatted before rebooting again from the optical disc to actually start the OS install.
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  5. Posts : 35,000
    Win 10 Pro (1903) (2nd PC is 21H2)
       #5

    if booting from Win-10 set up from an optical disc for a virgin install, would the process still provide that REPAIR COMPUTER option in order to enter the recovery etc
    Whether you clean install from a DVD or a bootable flash drive, the procedure is the same, except for getting the PC to boot in the first place of course.

    Win 10 is installed to unallocated space. It creates its own partitions, usually 4 in the case of a UEFI installation.
    That's part of the clean install tutorial, which covers both MBR and UEFI.

    To emphasise this: do NOT create partitions for Win 10.

    GPT is definitely recommended, being more robust.

    There's some discussion about MBR/GPT/UEFI here if you don't mind getting more confused...
    windows - UEFI with MBR partition table? - Super User

    Two key forum sections as resources, from which I took those:
    The extensive searchable Tutorial section is worth looking at. Some tutorials have interesting discussion following.

    The News section has a thread per update per build with download links, and comments following.
      My Computers


  6. Posts : 24
    Windows
    Thread Starter
       #6

    dalchina said:
    Win 10 is installed to unallocated space. It creates its own partitions, usually 4 in the case of a UEFI installation. That's part of the clean install tutorial, which covers both MBR and UEFI. To emphasise this: do NOT create partitions for Win 10. GPT is definitely recommended, being more robust.
    Yes, I've reviewed that section on Win-10 clean install article you directed me to. That's going to be an issue for me in terms of how I want the final result to be and it is one of the key reasons I'm doing an installation from scratch. In the past with MBR I've always predefined 4 user partitions / drive letters that I pre-format in the recovery console prior to running OS install. What I do want to avoid is the end result being just having one single user drive letter / partition, i.e. one pimary partition and a single drive C for OS and data. If however, somehow the user can specify multiple user partitions sizes I'd have no problem using GPT and let the installation process set up whatever reserved partition it needs. I understand that GPT is the preferred approach in terms of being forward looking but if this means I have to sacrifice the ability to have 4 user partitions (Drives, C, D, E, F) and the ability to exactly specify their preferred sizes, then I would gladly give up GPT and go back to MBR. The HDD is within 2 TB capacity in any case so GPT isn't technically absolutely required I understand MBR is less robust for recovery but the fact is so far all this time in using MBR for decades I've never had a mishap where the data loss was the result of MBR weakness plus I frequently have image back ups performed with extra copies on optical disc as well.

    I noticed the Win-10 clean install article states that the GPT/MBR reserved partition is optional if I install Win-10 in a pre-formatted partition. I need to read up more on the functions of the reserved partition and whether they are essential to me, but one thing I do know is that I'm not planning to use Bitlocker encryption which is an encryption scheme that has already been cracked. I think if I wanted to use something like that I would use True Crypt instead (which has its own issues).

    I've read up on numerous GPT/MBR articles but I'll follow up on the ones you recommended to get a better assessment. But ultimately, user defined partition sizes is the priority here, other system reserved partitions that are automatically created notwithstanding.
    Last edited by wintenprouser; 22 Sep 2019 at 13:23.
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  7. Posts : 35,000
    Win 10 Pro (1903) (2nd PC is 21H2)
       #7

    Assume, for example, you were clean installing to an empty disk. If you wished to reserve aone or more partitions for user data, say to the end of available space, you could create that, then install Win 10 to the remaining unallocated space.

    Alternatively, clean install Win 10, then shrink C: and create the partiitons you want in the space released.

    Of course if you have more than one disk you have more options.

    The recovery partition is small- say 700Mb or so. The reserved partition is really small.
    Windows 10 fresh installation on computer delivered with Win-10 OEM-snap-2019-09-22-19.41.54.png

    The recovery partition supports automatic repair, advanced boot options, boot to safe mode.
    Without that you could achieve most but not all with a Win 10 boot disk.
      My Computers


  8. Posts : 24
    Windows
    Thread Starter
       #8

    dalchina said:
    Assume, for example, you were clean installing to an empty disk. If you wished to reserve aone or more partitions for user data, say to the end of available space, you could create that, then install Win 10 to the remaining unallocated space.
    Alternatively, clean install Win 10, then shrink C: and create the partiitons you want in the space released. Of course if you have more than one disk you have more options. The recovery partition supports automatic repair, advanced boot options, boot to safe mode. Without that you could achieve most but not all with a Win 10 boot disk.
    I've looked into the system reserved partition a bit more and although I've not paid attention to it before, it has existed since Win-7 as you know. I have seen it on another system whose motherboard used legacy BIOS (non-UEFI) with Win-7-Pro OEM factory pre-installed and I did have one situation where I didn't like the single drive C and then ended up shrinking the volume and I think Windows disk management allowed additional drive letters (e.g. D, E for user data and image file back up storage respectively) to be added as a dynamic volume if I remember correctly. I also recently prepped an older notebook computer with Win-7-Pro from scratch and due to the HDD's relatively small capacity and the motherboard having only legacy BIOS (non-UEFI), it obviously could only use MBR for the HDD so I just simply pre-partitioned and pre-formatted it using either a Win-Vista or Win-7-Pro DVD's recovery console as usual and then installed Win-7-Pro on it for the user. Boot drive (drive C) and user data D could be image backed up as usual with Symantec Norton Ghost to drive E which is used as a user drive reserved solely for image back up storage that is completely manually managed by the user and not the OS itself.

    Your latest information is interesting with regards to pre-allocating user desired space and then allowing Win-10 to install to the unallocated space. I see from this approach that compared to user pre-partitioning / formatting that (1) the user can't specify the exact OS boot drive capacity since it's impossible to determine exact size allocation due to system reserved partition sizes which aren't known ahead of time and, (2) with Win-10 installed at the end of HDD disc space, it means that the operating system will most likely be located within inner tracks of the HDD which has lower data transfer rates. This contrasts with having pre-partitioning approach where drive C will be the first thin sliver of disc space right at the outermost tracks where data transfer is at its highest rate. Just my observations. By restricting a small drive C space, head seek distances is drastically reduced and access time is much improved. (Yes I have my reasons not to use SSD but that's another subject).

    I'll read up on the various considerations some more and probably will do some test installations in both MBR and GPT modes with Win-10 from optical media on the new virgin HDD and then compare how I like each approach and its various service boot modes and decide from there. I can easily delete all partitions and start from scratch if I don't like the results since this is a clean install and I can always keep the computer disconnected from broadband connection to prevent any product activation during the test period. In general, in the past I've never relied on OS based recovery and repair functions. There are always frequent enough image back ups of each partition that in the case of any loss of integrity confidence, that a full image restore can be an option to be 100% sure. Or, if I'm doing a major software update either on the OS or application program level, I'll run a full image back up first for pain-free reversion should I choose so if the results go awry.
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  9. Posts : 39,972
    windows 10 professional version 1607 build 14393.969 64 bit
       #9

    In the opening post it indicated that you were planning to clean install before using the computer.
    Why not try the factory installed edition?
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  10. Posts : 24
    Windows
    Thread Starter
       #10

    zbook said:
    In the opening post it indicated that you were planning to clean install before using the computer.
    Why not try the factory installed edition?
    The reasons are mostly already detailed in the original post and replies, but in short, the HDD that comes with the system is not the final HDD I prefer to use in terms of performance and capacity, and also, I always do all my own installations from scratch as I get to choose which OEM utilities and potential bloatware gets to go on it or not, not to mention exact partition size control, for reasons explained in the most recent reply above. I am playing around with the factory installation (which isn't even currently activated yet) just to use it as a reference for some aspects of my own clean installation later, such as device manager entries, to make sure all hardware items that require drivers are covered. Once the OS layer is settled in a manner I'm happy with I'll then deal with application programs getting installed. No rush here since the unit isn't required for use with any urgency. Getting it as close to the way I prefer it is the priority.
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