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Introduction Official Dell Windows 10 Reinstallation .isos for 6th Generation Skylake Systems Only
The Skylake .iso is not “proper” Windows 10 Installation Media. The Skylake .iso is the .iso format of the Windows 10 Recovery Drive. The Skylake .isos are at build 10586 (TH2) and hence out of date with respect to Windows 10 14393 (RS1) Proper Installation Media available direct from Microsoft.
- The Windows 10 Recovery Drive allows Reinstallation of Windows or Clean Reinstallation of Windows with options to wipe the Device (legacy 1 pass – protocol optimum for HDDs only). The Recovery Drive does not allow for the custom setup of partitions.
- The Recovery Drive may include Skylake drivers inbuilt however one should always check with Dell for new releases as the Recovery Drive is out of date.
- The Recovery Drive is mono-Edition. Download and Install of the incorrect Edition will result in product activation failure.
- I personally do not recommend using the Recovery Drive as the .iso is unnecessarily larger and out of date (meaning you’ll perform a double install with reduced performance if you use it). Activation issue with a mono-Edition .iso are also not worthwhile. These Activation issues were fixed with the multi-Edition Windows 10 14393 RS1 .iso.
A list of Dell Skylake Systems are here. This list should also include the XPS systems such as the XPS 8900, XPS 8910 and XPS 13 9350.
The Skylake .iso image is available to Download Officially if and only if you ordered your new Dell system with Windows 10 Professional or Windows 10 Home Preinstalled.
Go to dell.co.uk (or .com) and select Support → For Work:
Input your service tag:
Decline or accept any surveys (optional):
Select Drivers and Downloads to the Left and “Find it Myself” to the right:
If a Dell Operating System Download is available for your system it will display here (older non-Skylake systems don’t have an Official Download option):
Expand Download Operating System Recovery Image and select Download Operating System Recovery Image:
The following link should take you to the same place:
Enter your verification and check the Service Tag is correct:
The .iso should be a direct download:
There appear to be multiple different Skylake .isos depending on your region.
The first is Windows 10 Professional 10586 (TH2) 64 Bit Recovery Drive .iso:
The second is Windows 10 Home 10586 (TH2) 64 Bit Multi-Language:
The checksums can be checked with Rufus (which we will use later to make the Bootable USB):
Rufus doesn’t need to be installed. Launch Rufus:
Select yes at the user account control prompt.
Select the load .iso icon:
Select your .iso and select open:
This will give you the .iso checksums:
This will give you the .iso checksum which should match below.
If it is different you will have an incomplete/corrupt download.
2DF4FA00_W10x64ROW_pro(DL)_v3.iso (6,687,824 KB) otherwise known as the Dell Windows 10 Professional 64 Bit 10586 (TH2) Recovery Drive .iso:
- MD5: 55e87e9226cc9976e90057fd97be32fd
- SHA1: 3d1e231bd417c5c3b8264925e2b949dda9859644
- SHA256: 0d77d4b01029f8d57521dce669c8734fde7f77227c0ef33a85ef866e1e2c0d49
9663HA00_W10x64ROW_home(DL)_v3.iso (6,675,846 KB) otherwise known as the Dell Windows 10 Home 64 Bit 10586 (TH2) Recovery Drive .iso:
- MD5: a957adfce491131aa4667ed185d0fe00
- SHA1: 4bd8822997919da4b80a55933958b731675e4773
- SHA256: 63c040fc748f1a9bdd889004e3c6b7a828ba525c6f594f453968448c3e8c22ac
Creating a Bootable USB
You will need to attach a 16 GB or superior USB Flash Drive. Make sure it displays under Device. Ensure the Partition scheme is GPT Partition Scheme for UEFI and the File System is FAT32:
Then select Start. Accept the warning telling you all data on your USB Flash Drive will be lost:
When the Bootable USB Recovery Drive is created Rufus will say Ready:
You may now close Rufus.
Booting from Windows 10 TH2 Recovery Drive
Power down your computer. Disconnect any additional external hard drive(s) and USB storage in addition to any unnecessary USB peripherals such as printers/scanners.
Insert your Windows 10 TH2 Recovery Drive USB.
If you haven’t enabled a UEFI Boot with Secure Boot see my dedicated UEFI BIOS guide which instructs on enabling these technologies and troubleshooting if you can’t Boot from your Windows 10 USB Flash Drive.
Power on your Dell and quickly hold down F12 to Enter the UEFI BIOS Boot Menu. For other OEMs you may have to use alternatively keys such as [Esc] or [F1], [F12].
Press the ↓ arrow and select your Windows 10 Recovery USB Flash Drive and press [Enter]
You will see the Windows logo. This may display for a minute or so:
You will then see the loading sign below it:
You will be prompted to Choose your Language. Note for a proper English – English (United Kingdom) Install you will need to select English (United States):
Select your keyboard layout. Note for an English (United Kingdom) you will need to scroll through almost all the keyboard layouts:
Select “Recover from a Drive":
Here you will be offered a means to “Clean The Drive" (Wipe) or to “Just Remove my Files" (Format) the drive.
Format = Assign Data to free space. The data is still there and can be readily recovered by third party recovery tools.
Wipe = Assign Data to free space and then overwrite it with junk data. This is more time consuming but I recommend it.
For more details see Cleaning Up a Drive.
You will be told about the Recovery from a Drive procedure select “Next":
Windows will Recover the PC this will take a long time especially if “Clean The Drive" was selected:
You will be asked for your Language again:
Select your Region. In this case I will select the United Kingdom. The rest of the fields except the time field will change in accordance to the top option:
Scroll down until you get to the time zone:
Change this in accordance to your time zone:
Select Next and the settings should apply:
The license agreement was updated last in July 2015 meaning its TH2 10586 (version 1511) installation media. Read through the license agreement and select “Accept":
If you are connected to an ethernet or offline the next few screens won’t show. Select your wireless network:
Input your wireless password and select next:
Scroll down and select customise settings and press “next" once you’ve made your desired selection on each page or use the express settings:
Although subtle I will note that despite all the correct options being selected for “true English”; the installation is not a true English installation. It is an American English installation with UK Language Settings Applied.
Customise is Americanised and spelt incorrectly with an ize instead of an ise. This is perhaps a very subtle point but another reason the Recovery Drive lacks with respect to the Windows 10 RS1 .iso available from Microsoft:
You may Customise your settings, ensure to scroll down to view all options:
Select Next when ready:
Again customise your settings and select next:
Again customise your settings and select next:
Once you have customised your settings the setup will look for some updates. Note it only looks for updates to the build and not for newer builds at this stage:
Next select “I own it" for a home PC or “My organisation" for a work PC:
For “I Own It" sign in with a Microsoft Account (recommended so you can use all of Microsoft’s services in particular OneDrive).
Alternatively skip this step and sign in with a local account:
The PC will configure the last stages and install Apps (which now work as Windows):
You are now ready to use your PC: