Windows 10 is currently offered as an update available for Windows 7 SP1 and for Windows 8.1. Users who want to take the plunge can install it in a few moments, without the slightest effort. However, it is also possible to opt for a “clean install” and therefore for a complete reinstallation.
Microsoft has chosen not to charge users for the first year after the launch of its new operating system. Everyone can thus migrate freely without having to take out the credit card.
But what about the “clean install”? Contrary to what one might have thought, it is completely authorized and this point was confirmed last month by Gabriel Aul, and therefore by the man at the head of the Insiders program.
Start the migration to Windows 10
There is, however, a small subtlety. At this time, reinstallation is only allowed on a computer that has already been updated to Windows 10.
The first thing to do, therefore, will be to update your computer by relying on Windows Update. If you don't know how to do it, that's okay because the procedure has been detailed lengthwise, crosswise and lengthwise in this guide .
Be careful, however, because it will also be preferable to prepare your machine well before you start.
You will thus have to make sure that it meets the hardware and software prerequisites imposed by Microsoft.
Then, it might be a good idea to back up your data and create an image of your current system so you can roll back if something goes wrong.
Want to know more ? This article is made for you.
Create an installation disc
To do a full reinstallation of Windows 10, you will also need an installation disc.
Here again, Microsoft has planned things well and the publisher has thus developed a tool to help us create one.
It is completely free and it is very easy to access. The wizard is based on several distinct steps and you will have to start by choosing your medium before defining the edition of your choice. If you don't know how to do it or if you feel lost, then you can go for a browse in this tutorial which details the whole procedure, with some screenshots to support it.
Be aware that the operation can take a long time. The utility will actually download the system to create the installation disc (or key) and Microsoft's servers are under heavy demand at the moment so you will have to be patient.
Start the full system reinstallation
Before you start, you must first make a backup of your data if it has not already been done.
Keep in mind that we are talking about a complete reinstallation here and that also means that files, documents, photos and videos stored on your primary partition will be automatically deleted.
It will therefore be preferable to put them in a safe place by relying on a NAS or an external hard drive.
In addition, you can also do a snapshot of your system to roll back if something goes wrong.
When everything is ready, just follow these steps:
- Insert the installation disc into your computer's drive, or plug in the key if you have chosen this solution.
- Restart your machine and make sure it boots to disk or key.
- Follow the instructions that will appear on the screen and be patient.
The installation time will depend on your configuration but it should take at least a good half hour. I did not detail the wizard's instructions because this point was previously mentioned in one of my previous articles.
The operation will take place in three stages. The wizard will first copy the files and then install the features and drivers before configuring the settings.
Bonus: in case of activation problem
It's quite surprising but some users were not able to activate their copy after reinstalling Windows 10.
If this happens to you, then you will have to start by checking that you have installed the correct edition. It is indeed impossible to install a Windows 10 Pro on a Windows 7 Home, for example. Same thing in the other direction.
But that's not the only check Microsoft does. The firm also relies on the user's account to activate their licenses, so you'll need to make sure you've signed in with the correct account.
Hope this article is helpful to you. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a quick comment.