Windows 10: Clean Install Windows 10
Thank you so much for these step-by-step instructions! I feel fairly confident in where I'm going now but, if you don't mind, let my lay my specific situation out here:
I recently purchased a Dell Inspiron 17-7778 laptop (2-in-1). It came with Win 10 Home installed on a 1TB 5400rpm HDD and 12 GB RAM. I upgraded the RAM to 16 GB (max'd out) and installed a Samsung 850 EVO M.2 SSD, with the intent of moving the OS to the SSD.
I started by cloning the HDD to SSD, but ran into trouble and, after more research, determined that a clean install is a much better option for me anyway. I am still booting to the original HDD, but I can see the SSD in File Explorer.
I have created a USB Recovery and used the Microsoft media creation tool to create a USB installation media.
My plan is to:
1. Format the SSD to get rid of the clone.
2. Disconnect the original HDD, leaving only the new, clean, SSD
3. Follow the instructions in this original post, booting from the USB created with Windows media creation tool.
Windows 10 was pre-installed on this machine, and I don't have an activation key - -but, if I'm understanding correctly, the new install should be able to detect the key, even though I'm installing onto a new hard drive, right?
Does that sound right? Anything glaring that I'm missing? Or small tips? Or a word of prayer, perhaps?
Hello plaidford, and welcome to Ten Forums.
That sounds like a good plan. Since Windows 10 came preinstalled on the PC, it should automatically activate if you have UEFI firmware with the key embedded in it, or had linked your MSA with your digital license.
It never hurts to pray to the PC Gods right before a clean install though.
Thanks for the quick response. Here goes!
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of the blue screen of death....
That was a piece of cake! Thanks for the great info. That took maybe an hour. Everything seems to be running fine. I've downloaded Windows updates, set up some of my settings, etc, shut down and restarted a couple times.
Now I'm going to connect the original HDD back up and I can format it for storage.
That's great news plaidford. I'm glad it could help.
Now that I have my OS on the SSD, do people usually install other programs on the SSD and use the HDD just for data/document storage? Or do they literally only have the OS on the SSD. I have 200+ GB left on the SSD.
I'm thinking about QuickBooks, Office, etc.
It really depends on if you have the space available on the SSD for all your programs. If so, it would be best to install them to the SSD for better performance. I usually use the HDD for just data and backups, or just stuff you don't use often.
Flight Team Leader
To save some wear and tear on your SSD, if you do a lot of downloads (like me), you can set your Download Location to your HDD. Just follow these simple steps:
Open the File Explorer on your Windows 10 PC. Right click on the Downloads in the left pane of your File Explorer, and select Properties. Go to the Location tab and enter the new path for your desired download folder. You can also move already downloaded files to the folder from here.
Your browser should pick up that location automatically when you download something.
This tutorial has been updated for the latest Windows 10 Insider build 15048.
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