Part 1: Backing Up Data
This section talks about backing up data, if you have no data to backup then this section can be skipped.
Backing up Data
- Backing up your files
- Creating Legacy Windows 7 or Legacy Windows 8.1 Reinstallation Media Using Dell Backup and Recovery*
* Highly recommended to ensure you have a base OS to revert to should the Windows 10 Upgrade fail.
You may also want to backup your old Windows installation in some cases. The Dell Backup and Recovery Factory Image should be a better backup especially if its used as an intermediate step to get to Windows 10 (Initially).
Part 2: Updating the (UEFI) BIOS and Preparing the Settings for Windows 10 TH2
The latest (UEFI) BIOS update should be installed before attempting to upgrade to Windows 10. For instructions see here:
Part 3: Obtaining Installation Media
The Windows 10 TH2 OEM and Retail .iso can be Downloaded and used to make a Bootable USB. See here for instructions.
- Download Windows 10 TH2 OEM and Retail .iso [Variant A]
If you have already got Windows 10 TH2 installed it is possible to Create a Windows 10 Recovery Drive.
- Create a Windows 10 TH2 Recovery Drive [Variant B
Part 4: Upgrading Hardware and Preparing the System for Clean Windows Installation
This section takes you through upgrading some hardware which will optimise your systems performance and the appropriate BIOS settings for these hardware changes. Finally it takes you through preparing the hard drive before Windows installation i.e. securely wiping it.
- Solid State Drive and Hard Drive Upgrades for your System
- Memory Upgrades for your System
- Video Card Upgrade for your System – Ask on Desktop Video Forum [Desktops only]
Ensure that you refer to your Service Manual (older systems) or Owner’s Manual when adding/removing hardware. DDR2 RAM is quite expensive now and the best performance from old systems will be from a SSD.
SATA Operation, UEFI and Secure Boot and other BIOS Settings
Format vs Wipe
Since this is “A Clean Install of Windows” its appropriate to discuss the difference bewteen format and wipe/clean. A format will remove all data from your drive and assign all old files to “free space" ready to be overwritten. Data can be recovered from the “free space" but it is not as organised so third party recovery programs are generally required. For a HDD in order to erase data the “free space" must be overwritten with junk data otherwise it remains on the drive. For a SSD on the other hand a kill switch which can be activated which flushes the electrons effectively cleaning the drive. The format is faster but the wipe/clean is recommended for malware infections or the selling of systems second had. For more details see:
* If you are using a Recovery Drive, you will be given the option to Clean up your Drive during Clean Reinstallation.
Part 5: A Clean Install of Windows
- A Clean Install/Reinstall of Windows 10 from Installation Media [Variant A]
- Downloading and Preparing SATA Preinstalaltion Drivers [For Variant A*]
- A Clean Reinstall of Windows 10 from a Recovery Drive [Variant B]
* SATA preinstallation drivers should be inbuilt to Windows 10 Recovery Drives for all systems which came with Windows 7 or Windows 8.1. This step shouldn’t be necessary for the bulk of systems.
Part 6: System Drivers
Windows 10 has an amazing array of drivers inbuilt. For hardware <2012 likely all your system drivers will be inbuilt or automatically obtained from Windows Update. For newer hardware OEMs such as Dell may provide updated system drivers. Dell have listed the systems they are going to provide Windows 10 Drivers for:
For systems not on this list, you can likely use Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 system drivers or as mentioned they will be inbuilt. Some common drivers for Dell hardware are listed here:
Much of the unofficial driver notes were for Windows 8.1 but will also apply to Windows 10. As Windows 10 is just out, write on the forums regarding driver issues.
I advise also letting Windows 10 to sit and update for 1 hour before checking the Hardware IDs in device manager for errors.
The recommended Driver Installation order is the same as that for Windows 8.1. In the rare cases where Windows 10 doesn’t have system drivers Windows 10 64 Bit will accept Windows 7 and 8.1 64 Bit drivers in most cases and likewise Windows 7/8.1 32 Bit drivers will work with Windows 10 32 Bit.. For most hardware certainly from 2007-2012 Windows 10 will have the necessary system drivers inbuilt or will obtain them directly from Windows Update and automatically install them.
Part 7: Recommended Additional Software and Customisation
Recommended third party Security Software:
Recommended additional Microsoft software:
- Office 2016 (Full), Office 2016 (Full), Office 2016 WebApps (Free) and OneDrive (1 TB Subscription/5 GB Free)
- Windows Live Movie Maker (Free)
- Microsoft Mathematics (Free)
Recommended additional Dell software:
- VMWare Player Virtualisation Software (Free NC use)
Recommended additional third party software:
- VLC Player (Free)
- Debut Webcam and Screen Capturing software (Free NC use)
- GIMP Image Manipulation Program (Free)
- PDF XChange Editor (Free)
- Foxit Reader (Free)
- PDFill Tools (Free)
Setting up a SSD boot drive and redirecting your userfiles to a HDD