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How to Perform a Clean Install of Windows 10

Tired of having a slow computer or one that’s full of viruses and malware? Notice It’s been running really slow lately and you don’t know why? maybe you’ve installed more RAM but it hasn’t had any effect. Follow this tutorial on how to perform a clean install of Windows 10. Increasing overall performance like a brand new machine.

Windows 10 Icon

Other reasons you may want to perform a clean install are:

  • Erase another OS and install Windows 10.
  • Reinstall Windows 10.
  • Install Windows 10 on a brand new hard drive.

Anyway, let’s install Windows 10

So, before we perform a clean install of Windows 10, make sure you have backed up all your data. The most important things to back up are your files on the partition of the operating system, usually the C: drive. Once Windows 10 Installation wipes the hard drives. There is no way of getting the data back. So I highly recommend backing up any files before continuing with this guide. The most popular ways people back up their files are with external hard drives or USB thumb drives. You can even use old blank CDs/DVDs if you have any spares.

Once you have backed up your files, we need to do one more thing before we perform a clean install of Windows 10. And, that is to locate your 25 digit Windows 10 product key. If your PC had Windows 10 pre-installed when you bought it. You should be able to find the product key on a sticker attached to the PC case. If you can’t locate your product key, don’t panic. There is a way we can find it out, within your installation on windows 10. But this will need to be found first before we continue. So, to find out how to find your 25 digit Windows 10 product key in your existing Windows, click here.

Now were backed up and have our unique Windows 10 product key, let’s perform a clean install of Windows 10!

Installing Windows 10

Assuming you already have a copy of Windows 10 either on a USB stick or DVD. Pop it into the computer and restart it. If you haven’t, you can follow this guide on how to create a Windows 10 Installation media.

You will need to create the Windows 10 installation media first, before you can perform a clean install of Windows 10.

Once the computer boots up, you will need to boot into Bios (Usually ‘Delete’, F2, F8 or F10) depending on the manufacturer. Navigate to boot settings in bios and make sure the first boot device is the Windows 10 media, when done, select save and exit.

You will see the computer boot up again, and depending on if you have a previous installation already or installing a new hard drive, it will either ask you to press a key to continue the boot or it will boot straight into the installation as it can’t find any OS on the new hard drive.

Eventually you will see a screen like the one below.

Step 1

Select you language, time and currency and keyboard layout and hit ‘Next’.

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Step 2

Continue with ‘Install now’.

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Step 3

Grab the unique 25 digit Windows 10 product key we got before and enter it in at this screen, then hit ‘Next. You can select ‘Skip’ but by doing so, once the installation has finished it will ask you to activate your copy of Windows or give you a 30-day trial, once the trial is up, you will not be able to log into your pc until it has been activated.

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Step 4

Read through the Windows 10 terms and conditions, tick the box accepting the license terms and click ‘Next’.

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Step 5

For a clean installation of Windows 10 we need to select ‘Custom: Install Windows only (advanced)’.

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Step 6

Depending on how many hard drives you have in your pc, the Windows setup will list all available hard drives it can access on this screen. If you have Windows installed already, it will say something similar to ‘Drive 0 Partition 2; Windows 7’, this is the drive we want to reinstall Windows too, so what we need to do is to delete all partitions on the ‘Drive 0’ and to do this, select a partition on Drive 0 and then select ‘Drive options (advanced)’ and select ‘Delete’. Continue this on all partitions associated with the drive number, and you should be left with something like the image below.

If you’re installing a new hard drive, you will not need to delete any partitions and should be shown a screen like as well.

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Step 7

Once we have all the partitions deleted, we will need to select the unallocated space and click ‘New’. You will be prompted to adjust the size of the partition you would like if you want to use the whole of the hard drive for Windows, which is recommended by this guide, continue and select ‘Apply’.

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Step 8

After hitting ‘Apply’ it will mention that Windows will create additional partitions during the installation process, this is completely fine, so go ahead and select ‘OK”.

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Step 9

Once the partitions have been created, we can begin the actual installation process. All we need to do now is select the biggest partition with the free space, usually, partition 2 (Type – Primary) and hit ‘Next’.

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Now wait! Depending on your computer, speeds of the installation times can vary, so just be patient.

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Step 10 – Setting up your clean install of Windows 10

After several reboots the computer will pop up with the screen below, the installation of the Windows 10 has been completed, and is now asking you to set up your copy of Windows 10.

For first-timers, I recommend using the ‘Use Express settings’ and continuing onto the next page. More advanced users will usually customize their settings due to some privacy settings that Microsoft has implemented into Windows 10. You can follow my guide here if you would like to make your version of Windows more private and stop Microsoft from gaining information from your pc.

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Step 11

Who owns this PC? Select what you like here, and hit ‘Next’ to continue.

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Step 12

Windows 10 will now ask you to link it with your Microsoft live account. Go ahead and sign in, or if you don’t prefer to sign in, you can skip this step and continue with the set up.

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Step 13

If you skipped the Microsoft live sign-in screen, Windows will ask you to set up an account for this pc, create a username and password, and hit ‘Next’.

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Congratulations, you have completed a clean install of Windows 10.

All you need to do now, is to install is the drivers needed for Windows 10.

Install drivers with DriverPack Solutions here

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