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Thread: How can I do a clean install when Windows 10 Final comes?

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    japp's Avatar
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    Default How can I do a clean install when Windows 10 Final comes?

    I have the Windows 10 upgrade icon to reserve my copy (I'm using Windows 7 now).
    What shall I do so I can do a clean install when Windows 10 Final comes?
    There are so many how-to's around.


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    You cannot directly do a clean install, Microsoft has made it clear that people have to upgrade to Windows 10 from their older operating systems, instead of a clean install of Windows 10 for the first time. If you want Windows 10, you will have to upgrade to it over the existing installation for the first time. That will help Microsoft note down your device ID so that it can continue provide free updates for the lifetime of the device. Once you have the ID registered with the Microsoft, it will possible for you to get a clean install of Windows 10 done on the same computer/s.

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    Thanks for the clarification.

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    How exactly will the clean install be possible? Will my Windows 8.1 activation key work once my computer ID is registered or will I need to use the recovery feature built in to Windows?

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    It is unclear. But after the free upgrade to Windows 10, Microsoft will register your device ID too. So when you go in for a clean install, Microsoft will match the device ID and allow the installation. That is my understanding...

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    I tested the method for doing a clean install and still be free and it works. MS stated the following in the FAQ:

    Q: Can I reinstall Windows 10 on my computer after upgrading?

    A: Yes. Once you’ve upgraded to Windows 10 using the free upgrade offer, 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.

    I actually tested it on 2 machines.

    First Test on HP Desktop:
    1. Ran the Windows 10 update on a Windows 8.1 Pro Machine that was up to date with Windows Updates and Windows 10 was activated.
    2. Immediately did a clean install of Windows 10.
    3. During the clean install it asked for a product Activation key twice. Both times I clicked skip. Windows 10 Pro was activated when the install completed.

    Second Test on Dell Desktop:
    1. Did a clean install of Windows 8 Pro and activated it.
    2. I did no Windows Updates after install.
    3. Ran the Windows 10 update and Windows 10 was activated
    4. Immediately did a clean install of Windows 10.
    5. During the clean install it asked for a product Activation key twice. Both times I clicked skip. Windows 10 Pro was activated when the install completed.

    Being asked for Activation Keys when they were not needed was a little confusing but the clean install method MS promised does work.
    Last edited by roraniel; 30th July 2015 at 16:55.

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    It's still not clear to me how to be able to do a clean install of W10 later on. I downloaded the ISO using MS's tool and created an ISO as I for the moment
    doesn't have a USB stick. For some days now, MS wants to upgrade my PC (from W7 SP1 Home Premium 64-bit), but I'm postponing it.

    Do I have to use the ISO to upgrade for later on to use it to do a clean install or not?

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    Not sure what your asking. Are you saying you have the iso but currently have no way to use it?

    You do not have to boot from the iso file to do the upgrade. You could mount the iso file and do the upgrade by selecting setup. To do a true clean install later (format primary drive and install) you will need to be able to boot from the iso file on a usb or disc.

    I also do not see why it matters what method you use to upgrade. As long as Windows 10 is activated after you upgrade you will be able to do a clean install of the same version later (on the same machine). Just skip when they ask for an activation key and it should be activated when your done.

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    Quote Originally Posted by roraniel View Post
    Not sure what your asking. Are you saying you have the iso but currently have no way to use it?

    You do not have to boot from the iso file to do the upgrade. You could mount the iso file and do the upgrade by selecting setup. To do a true clean install later (format primary drive and install) you will need to be able to boot from the iso file on a usb or disc.

    I also do not see why it matters what method you use to upgrade. As long as Windows 10 is activated after you upgrade you will be able to do a clean install of the same version later (on the same machine). Just skip when they ask for an activation key and it should be activated when your done.
    Thanks for replying.

    I saved the file as a .iso since I have to go out and buy a usb stick. I will thereafter use Rufus to create the boot able usb stick. Should that get me into trouble, I'll download it again and then to usb.

    If I understand you correctly, when I have upgraded to W10 and later one day want to do a clean install I don't need to think just boot from the usb?

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    If you want to do a clean install (start over = format c you will need to boot the iso file from usb or disc. You can do a in place fresh install that erases everything and installs a fresh copy of Windows but to my knowledge it does not format the primary drive. You can do this my mounting the iso file and clicking on setup or using the recovery function built into Windows.

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