Windows 10 (OEM and Retail)

Downloading Windows 10 (OEM and Retail) Installation Media, Creating a Bootable USB and Clean Installing Windows 10 on a Dell UEFI BIOS with Secure Boot (All versions 15H1-21H1)

This guide contains instructions for Downloading Windows 10 (OEM and Retail) Installation Media, Creating a Bootable USB, using the Dell Data Wipe, Clean Installing Windows 10 (with and without a Microsoft Account) on Dell Hardware with a UEFI BIOS and Secure Boot and using Dell Command Update to get Dell System Drivers.

This guide gives detailed instructions on Downloading the Windows 10 ISO and Creating a Bootable USB on a Windows 10 PC and then Clean Installing on Windows 10.

In the vast majority of cases you will want to use the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool (Section 4.3) to download the Latest Mainstream Windows 10 Build, will be installing Windows 10 on a Dell UEFI BIOS (Section 5.1) and therefore wish to use Rufus to Create the Bootable USB (Section 6.1). You should then proceed to Clean Installation (Section 7).

This guide covers downloading Windows 10, downloading all Previous Builds of Windows 10 using either the Media Creation Tool or Direct Download Links and creating a Bootable USB for new (UEFI) and legacy (Legacy BIOS) computers.

To save confusion the content for these various additional options is hidden by default. Click Show More to expand the relevant sections.

Table of contents

  1. Downloading Windows 10 (OEM and Retail) Installation Media, Creating a Bootable USB and Clean Installing Windows 10 on a Dell UEFI BIOS with Secure Boot (All versions 15H1-21H1)
    1. Windows 11 Released and Windows 10 End of Life
      1. Windows 10 Channels, Builds and Versions
        1. Downloading Installation Media
          1. Differences Between Media Creation Tool ISO and Direct Download Links
            1. Windows 10 Download Page
              1. Downloading a Windows 10 ISO Using the Media Creation Tool
                1. Downloading a Windows 10 ISO using Direct Download Links
                  1. Downloading a Windows 10 ISO (Previous Build) Using the Media Creation Tool
                    1. Checking the Media Creation Tool "Windows" ISO Version
                      1. Downloading a Windows 10 ISO (Previous Build) using Direct Download Links
                        1. Direct Download Links "Windows" ISO Checksums
                        2. UEFI BIOS Settings
                          1. Dell UEFI BIOS
                            1. Lenovo UEFI BIOS
                              1. HP UEFI BIOS
                              2. Creating a Bootable USB
                                1. Creating a UEFI Bootable USB – Windows 10 Media Creation Tool ISO
                                  1. Creating a UEFI Bootable USB – Direct Download Link ISO
                                    1. Creating a UEFI Bootable USB with Driver Pack Slipstream – Direct Download ISO
                                      1. Creating a Legacy BIOS USB – Media Creation Tool ISO
                                        1. Creating a Legacy BIOS USB – Direct Download Link ISO
                                        2. Clean Installation
                                          1. Booting From Windows 10 Installation Media
                                            1. Your Windows Product Key
                                              1. Windows 8.0/8.1/10 OEM Embedded Product Key
                                                1. Bypass OEM Embedded Product Key
                                                  1. Windows 7 OEM Printed Product Keys
                                                    1. Unlicensed Mode: No Product Key and No OEM License
                                                    2. Windows 10 License Agreement
                                                      1. Drive Options
                                                        1. Data Recovery
                                                          1. Format vs Wipe
                                                            1. Single Drive: Format your Drive Windows Setup
                                                              1. Multiple Drives: Format your Drives Windows Setup
                                                                1. Wiping a Dell Drive Using the Lenovo UEFI BIOS (Dell Data Wipe)
                                                                  1. Wiping a Lenovo Drive Using the Lenovo UEFI BIOS
                                                                    1. Secure Erase using Parted Magic Bootable USB
                                                                      1. Drive Options Error Messages
                                                                        1. Loading Storage Controller (SATA) Drivers
                                                                        2. The Windows Setup
                                                                          1. Regional Settings
                                                                            1. Internet Connectivity
                                                                              1. User Account
                                                                                1. Microsoft Account
                                                                                  1. Offline Account
                                                                                  2. Privacy Settings
                                                                                    1. Windows Update
                                                                                      1. Product Activation
                                                                                      2. System Drivers
                                                                                        1. OEM Driver Update Utilities
                                                                                          1. Touchpad Driver
                                                                                            1. Problem Devices
                                                                                            2. Productivity Settings
                                                                                              1. Chromium Edge
                                                                                                1. Office 365
                                                                                                  1. Your Phone
                                                                                                    1. Security

                                                                                                      Windows 11 Released and Windows 10 End of Life

                                                                                                      Windows 10 was initially marketed as a "Service" and was supposed to be the "Last Version of Windows" with a "1 Year Free Upgrade" to Windows 7 and Windows 8.x. The Version idea was quickly revised when Windows Insiders complained that the Build Names Threshold 1 (TH1), Threshold 2 (TH2), Redstone 1 (RS1), Redstone 2 (RS2), Redstone 3 (RS3) etc were too confusing. Microsoft then used Windows 10 Version YYMM to distinguish builds using the year and month format however some of the builds took a bit more time to finalise giving a mismatch between the version number and release date so later used Windows 10 Version YYHX to distinguish builds. The "1 Year Free Upgrade" marketing idea was also revised when Windows Insiders complained about the inadequacies of the initial Product Activation Mechanisms for Windows 10.

                                                                                                      Now following in the steps of Linux, Microsoft have decided to drop 32 Bit support as it is an architecture that is rarely used and essentially requires unnecessary duplication for most software development. Moreover current Windows 10 Builds have been optimized for advances and capabilities of newer hardware. These advances often comes with the unintended drop in performance of older hardware. For example Windows 10 Version 1803 and later is optimized for the speed and capability of a Solid State Drive (SSD) and these optimizations throttle an older less capable Hard Drive (HDD) with continuous 100 % Disk Usage. Microsoft have stated that Windows 10 will reach End of Life on the 25th of October 2025 and have released Windows 11 which has substantially elevated Hardware System Requirements.

                                                                                                      Windows 11 is a Free Update to Windows 10 if your system exceeds these hardware requirements, the Windows 11 ISO is now available for clean installation. For more details see my updated installation guide:

                                                                                                      If your hardware does not satisfy Windows 11 Minimum Requirements you can continue to use Windows 10 for the next few years until it reaches End of Life. You can also switch to Zorin OS 16, a new Linux distribution with a Windows style Desktop Environment which has a lighter footprint that will likely run much better than the current Windows 10 Builds on older hardware:

                                                                                                      Windows 10 Channels, Builds and Versions

                                                                                                      There are three Windows Insider Preview Channels, one Mainstream Channel:

                                                                                                      • The Active Development Channel (Previously Known as Fast Track)
                                                                                                      • The Beta Channel (Previously Known as Slow Track)
                                                                                                      • The Release Preview Channel
                                                                                                      • The Mainstream Channel

                                                                                                      The Active Development Channel is the bleeding edge testing version and has test features that may or may not make it through to a final Mainstream release. This channel is usually unstable. The Beta Channel follows through from the Active Development when more popular features are brought forward and is usually more stable. The Release Preview Channel is usually about a month or so ahead of the Mainstream Channel for final testing and should be stable but still may contain some bugs. The Mainstream Channel should be stable enough for general use…

                                                                                                      All Windows 10 ISOs in the Insider Preview Channel and Mainstream Channel have a 4-5 digit build number and the higher the number the newer the build.

                                                                                                      For the Mainstream Channel, which this guide focuses on there is also a Version number. Microsoft previously used the following designation YYMM where MM was the month they intended to release the version to Mainstream. However some of the builds ended up being in the test phase for a couple months more than expected. Version 2004 corresponding to April 2020 was released in May 2020 for example making the name and version inconsistent. Microsoft are now planning to release 2 Mainstream Builds a year and have decided to use the notation YYHX where YY stands for the Year, H stands for Half and X stands for the value of the Half.

                                                                                                      20 Half 2 is the latest mainstream build and includes the Chromium Edge Browser by default.

                                                                                                      Downloading Installation Media

                                                                                                      The latest Mainstream Windows 10 Build is available to download as an ISO using the Windows 10 Download Page. The Windows 10 Download Page defaults to the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool which is a Windows Application when ran on a Windows 10 PC and defaults to direct download links when ran on a non-Windows PC e.g. Linux Operating System.

                                                                                                      The Windows 10 Media Creation Tool downloads a series of Windows setup files which can be used to create an installation ISO or Bootable USB. Because the ISO is created on your computer, it has a unique timestamp and hence a unique checksum. There is no need to check the integrity of the ISO as the Media Creation Tool checks all the files before creation of the ISO. The Windows 10 Media Creation Tool uses an install.esd and all files on the ISO are <4.0 GB making it easier to make a UEFI Bootable USB which uses the FAT32 File System that has an upper limit of 4.0 GB per file.

                                                                                                      Editions on Windows 10 Media Creation Tool ISO

                                                                                                      The direct download links access an ISO file directly on Microsoft's Servers. This ISO file often contains more editions such as the Workstation Editions which aren't commonly used. Unfortunately the Direct Download Link ISO uses an install.wim which often exceeds 4.0, the upper limit for FAT32 and this makes it more difficult to make a UEFI Bootable USB as this file exceeds the upper file size for the FAT32 file system. Details on splitting the install.wim to a series of install.swm files of <4.0 GB size which can fit on a FAT32 file system are given when making a Bootable USB.

                                                                                                      Editions on Windows 10 Direct Download Link ISO

                                                                                                      Windows 10 Download Page

                                                                                                      The Windows 10 Download Page has the following form on a Windows 7/8.x/10 PC and defaults to the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool.

                                                                                                      On a non-Windows 10 PC it will have the following form and defaults to direct download links.

                                                                                                      If you do not have another computer running Windows and are using another Operating System to Create a Windows 10 Bootable USB please see the following guides to make a Bootable USB from these direct Download ISOs:

                                                                                                      The Windows 10 Insider Preview ISOs are always present as direct download links and there is no Windows 10 Media Creation Tool for Insider Preview Builds.

                                                                                                      It is possible to access direct download links on Windows 10 by emulating a non-Windows OS in your browser. It is not possible to access the Windows 10 Media creation tool in a non-Windows OS as the Media Creation Tool is an application which must be ran on Windows.

                                                                                                      The front end user interface to the Microsoft website only offers the latest ISO images. If there is a flaw on the latest build it is possible to access previous builds using third party utilities. These third party utilities essentially mimic how Microsoft used to have their website or Media Creation Tool.

                                                                                                      Downloading a Windows 10 ISO Using the Media Creation Tool

                                                                                                      Note the Version of the Media Creation Tool. It should be Version 2004. Double click the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool.

                                                                                                      Accept the User Account Control:

                                                                                                      Accept the License Agreement:

                                                                                                      Select Create Installation Media (for another PC) and then select Next:

                                                                                                      The Language, Architecture and Edition will match that currently installed. To change it uncheck the "Use Recommended Options for this PC Box" and amend to your own preferences. Select Next:

                                                                                                      Select ISO file and then select Next:

                                                                                                      Change the folder to Downloads and add the Version number to the file name and then select save.

                                                                                                      It will download Windows 10 setup files, check the integrity of the files it downloaded and then create a ISO from the installation files. Note because the ISO is created on your computer at a unique time/date it is a unique ISO and has a unique ISO checksum.

                                                                                                      You can select Finish to close the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool. Ignore any prompt about DVD burning. Optical Drives are obsolete and in the few systems that have them, they normally a Legacy Only Boot Device.

                                                                                                      If your computer was manufactured in 2014 or later and has never had Windows 7 installed, you should proceed directly to Creating a UEFI Bootable USB (Windows 10 Media Creation Tool). If your computer is older or had Windows 7 previously installed on it you may want to check your UEFI BIOS Settings are correct for your computer and Windows 10.


                                                                                                      The Direct Download Links will automatically display on a non-Windows PC. If you want the direct download links on a Windows 10 PC. On Google Chrome or Chromium Edge press [F12] to open developer tools and toggle the view to a Mobile Device.

                                                                                                      Then refresh the page:

                                                                                                      You can then close developer tools and use the website as normal:

                                                                                                      You will now get the direct download links.

                                                                                                      Select Windows 10 and then Confirm. Then select your Language and then select Confirm. Note English International = English (UK) and English = English (US).

                                                                                                      Select Verify your Download to get a list of SHA256 for each ISO:

                                                                                                      You can use this to check the integrity of your download.


                                                                                                      Downloading a Windows 10 ISO (Previous Build) Using the Media Creation Tool

                                                                                                      An unofficial script is available on GitHub which allows you to select the version of Windows 10 Media Creation Tool to Download:

                                                                                                      Select Download .ZIP.

                                                                                                      The Downloaded folder for some reason has a long file name which may cause some issues with extraction.

                                                                                                      Right click it and select rename.

                                                                                                      I called my folder MCT:

                                                                                                      Now right click it and select Extract All…

                                                                                                      Select Extract:

                                                                                                      Once again this will create an extracted subfolder with a long name:

                                                                                                      Right click it and select Rename:

                                                                                                      I renamed it MCT again:

                                                                                                      Now right click the MediaCreationTool Windows Batch File and select Run as Administrator:

                                                                                                      Select More Info:

                                                                                                      Then Run Anyway:

                                                                                                      Select the User Account Control Prompt:

                                                                                                      Select Yes:

                                                                                                      Select the MCT Version of your choice:

                                                                                                      Some screens are improved over the original MCT for example, the Edition Drop Down actually shows the Editions available. They have also added the Volume License Enterprise Editions as part of the dropdown here:

                                                                                                      Checking the Media Creation Tool "Windows" ISO Version

                                                                                                      By default the ISO Downloaded with the Media Creation Tool calls the ISO "Windows" and says nothing about the Version or Build. The Build can be determined by mounting the ISO and looking at its contents. From the Build we can get the Version.

                                                                                                      Right click the ISO and select Mount:

                                                                                                      Note the drive letter, in this case E:\

                                                                                                      Navigate to the sources folder:

                                                                                                      Look for an install.esd, install.wim or install.swm. In most cases it will be an install.esd. Right click the Start Button and select Windows PowerShell (Admin)

                                                                                                      Copy and paste the following command:

                                                                                                      dism /Get-WimInfo /WimFile:E:\sources\install.esd /index:1

                                                                                                      Amend for the Drive Letter and replace esd with wim or swm if necessary:

                                                                                                      You will then get the build number:

                                                                                                      To get a list of editions which correspond to each index type in the following command:

                                                                                                      dism /Get-WimInfo /WimFile:E:\sources\install.esd
                                                                                                      Version (Year Year Half)Build Version
                                                                                                      21H119043
                                                                                                      20H219042
                                                                                                      20H119041
                                                                                                      19H218362
                                                                                                      19H118362
                                                                                                      18H217763
                                                                                                      18H117133
                                                                                                      17H216299
                                                                                                      17H115063
                                                                                                      16H214393
                                                                                                      15H210586
                                                                                                      15H110240

                                                                                                      An unofficial Windows ISO tool is available which allows you to select the version of Windows 10 Direct Download Link to Download:

                                                                                                      Note that the Mainstream builds don't expire (but may be at end of life and insecure) whereas the Windows Insider Preview builds only remain activated within a time window.

                                                                                                      I have listed the SHA256 checksums for all the English (UK) and English (US) ISOs. Click Show More to expand the table with the checksums. On a Chromium Browser (Google Chrome or Chromium Edge), you can press [Ctrl] + [ f ] and paste your ISO checksum. If it finds a match your ISO is complete, if it does not than your ISO is likely unique and hence corrupt (you should try the download again in this case). For non-English languages, a Google search of the ISO checksums should find a match, if it does not your ISO is likely unique and hence corrupt.

                                                                                                      Filename
                                                                                                      Checksum
                                                                                                      Language (Bit) Version Edition
                                                                                                      Win10_21H1_EnglishInternational_x64.iso
                                                                                                      CB8731A17350B2F61AD1C059FC16FD6348530C25E43F631F2691768F767F75C3
                                                                                                      English UK (64 Bit) Version 21H1
                                                                                                      Win10_21H1_EnglishInternational_x32.iso
                                                                                                      6781CA16113DFE9B1117809923FFC7D390926C14F45889F80293AC70E1E8F87C
                                                                                                      English UK (64 Bit) Version 21H1
                                                                                                      Win10_21H1_English_x64.iso
                                                                                                      6911E839448FA999B07C321FC70E7408FE122214F5C4E80A9CCC64D22D0D85EA
                                                                                                      English US (64 Bit) Version 21H1
                                                                                                      Win10_21H1_English_x32.iso
                                                                                                      65CFEAA1ED3375012A4F11C7DEF5A2544B4338094760E2A9A79169136BB4A6BD
                                                                                                      English US (32 Bit) Version 21H1
                                                                                                      Win10_20H2_v2_EnglishInternational_x64.iso
                                                                                                      BD9E41BDF9E23DCF5A0592F3BFE794584C80F1415727ED234E8929F656221836
                                                                                                      English UK (64 Bit) Version 20H2 All Update 2
                                                                                                      Win10_20H2_v2_EnglishInternational_x32.iso
                                                                                                      11ECD2CAB5F28D71045F43ECF2940CFACDA6E145062E11997AC9533010863C7C
                                                                                                      English UK (32 Bit) Version 20H2 All Update 2
                                                                                                      Win10_20H2_v2_English_x64.iso
                                                                                                      E76C6856405DBC7674EDA21BC5F7094F5A18AF5C9BACC67ED111E8F53F02E7D13D
                                                                                                      English US (64 Bit) Version 20H2 All Update 2
                                                                                                      Win10_20H2_v2_English_x32.iso
                                                                                                      414E227D8A51EAF657B494778838A76B1DC0674EBF946B1827DDF93C225F4E70
                                                                                                      English US (32 Bit) Version 20H2 All Update 2
                                                                                                      Win10_20H2_EnglishInternational_x64.iso
                                                                                                      08535B6DD0A4311F562E301C3C344B4AEFD2E69A82168426B9971D6F8CAB35E1
                                                                                                      English UK (64 Bit) Version 20H2 All Update 1
                                                                                                      Win10_20H2_EnglishInternational_x32.iso
                                                                                                      3256467EEECF0CCBB84BCB6B119406A8223F3EDB6D09D2716C83F87F4357E923
                                                                                                      English UK (32 Bit) Version 20H2 All Update 1
                                                                                                      Win10_20H2_English_x64.iso
                                                                                                      E793F3C94D075B1AA710EC8D462CEE77FDE82CAF400D143D68036F72C12D9A7E
                                                                                                      English US (64 Bit) Version 20H2 All Update 1
                                                                                                      Win10_20H2_English_x32.iso
                                                                                                      09DC23EAF0FCBFBA44FB987672FE63DA55BCF25EA40E351581FBEE0411D7F408
                                                                                                      English US (32 Bit) Version 20H2 All Update 1
                                                                                                      Win10_2004_EnglishInternational_x64.iso
                                                                                                      4D7D73409B36E44462C690EC58AE0DC6846B01307799432FBD542388D4AD30E7
                                                                                                      English UK (64 Bit) Version 20H1 All
                                                                                                      Win10_2004_EnglishInternational_x32.iso
                                                                                                      982E7E93B31CB5790DAEF5CB4C48A0A18A993333C43AEEC94970883E049BA324
                                                                                                      English UK (32 Bit) Version 20H1 All
                                                                                                      Win10_2004_English_x64.iso
                                                                                                      A9EFD2329ED805A6A58E0E0101F9B22AD4031E80E2C663C571CD004DB26D2F31
                                                                                                      English US (64 Bit) Version 20H1 All
                                                                                                      Win10_2004_English_x32.iso
                                                                                                      34DEDA035093417D811DBE4A6EB4CCB6A5D9E86F586395C93DE3C73D5D9B5D2B
                                                                                                      English US (32 Bit) Version 20H1 All
                                                                                                      Win10_1909_EnglishInternational_x64.iso
                                                                                                      b7a4a0786ea9ed51ac7874490885400f9cf3bbc71ab3dad468282da25147a29e
                                                                                                      English UK (64 Bit) Version 19H2 All
                                                                                                      Win10_1909_EnglishInternational_x32.iso
                                                                                                      d6d998c103a26a67ff0ee62cae378d5a8aacde4c472407e61b42c7e541c5d005
                                                                                                      English UK (32 Bit) Version 19H2 All
                                                                                                      Win10_1909_English_x64.iso
                                                                                                      01bf1eb643f7e50d0438f4f74fb91468d35cde2c82b07abc1390d47fc6a356be
                                                                                                      English US (64 Bit) Version 19H2 All
                                                                                                      Win10_1909_English_x32.iso
                                                                                                      070447d88bb3a71260b1484fd79deeb6f21bc4ecaf45768a3f902d4e6fa6486d
                                                                                                      English US (32 Bit) Version 19H2 All
                                                                                                      Win10_1903_V2_EnglishInternational_x64
                                                                                                      4b9af7da95b19204cf10f012b89f321cad2d81ccc1fb2168d6b917fd518c4d0d
                                                                                                      English UK (64 Bit) Version 19H1 Update 2 All
                                                                                                      Win10_1903_V2_EnglishInternational_x32
                                                                                                      2d1866940214c0183b8878cc721be3f8963421cf31aa1d1745ed8d2651e3e4f6
                                                                                                      English UK (32 Bit) Version 19H1 Update 2 All
                                                                                                      Win10_1903_V2_English_x64
                                                                                                      0560e2840ca076ec1777c178fcd1dd200dee0c3e712314f5146d224d1bc3ec0e
                                                                                                      English US (64 Bit) Version 19H1 Update 2 All
                                                                                                      Win10_1903_V2_English_x32
                                                                                                      3c3174ef3cd2ee6354f5e0a4287c9a44e5e485135c9fad8176098048f814ee1e
                                                                                                      English US (32 Bit) Version 19H1 Update 2 All
                                                                                                      Win10_1903_V1_EnglishInternational_x64
                                                                                                      7da05ba67c642cd489fcede5e09522deeae6995b01c434239c255a4e3025bde2
                                                                                                      English UK (64 Bit) Version 19H1 Update 1 All
                                                                                                      Win10_1903_V1_EnglishInternational_x32
                                                                                                      b4487c2fa8f5a63d67bad4725674c8966e10747d7cec1b319bea32e5beac3187
                                                                                                      English UK (32 Bit) Version 19H1 Update 1 All
                                                                                                      Win10_1903_V1_English_x64
                                                                                                      01bf1eb643f7e50d0438f4f74fb91468d35cde2c82b07abc1390d47fc6a356be
                                                                                                      English US (64 Bit) Version 19H1 Update 1 All
                                                                                                      Win10_1903_V1_English_x32
                                                                                                      070447d88bb3a71260b1484fd79deeb6f21bc4ecaf45768a3f902d4e6fa6486d
                                                                                                      English US (32 Bit) Version 19H1 Update 1 All
                                                                                                      Win10_1809Oct_v2_EnglishInternational_x64
                                                                                                      065157c52d4972176a7d033a937988f008c3411ccd9aeb964cad9978b0e55375
                                                                                                      English UK (64 Bit) Version 18H2 Update 2 All
                                                                                                      Win10_1809Oct_v2_EnglishInternational_x32 
                                                                                                      f2948ebc8413b7c9156c71536300ad96ec083453226cf1582fb5a8e92691dc2b
                                                                                                      English UK (64 Bit) Version 18H2 Update 2 All
                                                                                                      Win10_1809Oct_v2_English_x64
                                                                                                      009eca8401938643801e74ddfcd65d3e600b27db93e4615368fa83c4964d1e7c
                                                                                                      English US (64 Bit) Version 18H2 Update 2 All
                                                                                                      Win10_1809Oct_v2_English_x32
                                                                                                      36b0eabaa0eecf5f54c6b550fcd5896a2db286e140e81d8488c7f0103ac6d16b
                                                                                                      English US (32 Bit) Version 18H2 Update 2 All
                                                                                                      Win10_1809Oct_EnglishInternational_x64
                                                                                                      3bd9223e44bc64d2a19c4522257524b5d2021ba4ba663be6d9e8df80dbe46c6d
                                                                                                      English UK (64 Bit) Version 18H2 Update 1 All
                                                                                                      Win10_1809Oct_EnglishInternational_x32
                                                                                                      4aa87cb78a88afbb52c7e9cd791d6fa8afd8671fca9504ea1a2bfb934293c115
                                                                                                      English UK (32 Bit) Version 18H2 Update 1 All
                                                                                                      Win10_1809Oct_English_x64
                                                                                                      3bda63fca560c87cbd4103dc16400de760692699dc80abdaf012df6197edb2c1
                                                                                                      English US (64 Bit) Version 18H2 Update 1 All
                                                                                                      Win10_1809Oct_English_x32
                                                                                                      1a93b257a1f3140b0e3ac6afa9342b9bbef0d3f4642d2075dd933002245b71bb
                                                                                                      English US (32 Bit) Version 18H2 Update 1 All
                                                                                                      Win10_1809_EnglishInternational_x64
                                                                                                      396cefee9231de260c4d820ebfe03d3b2cbb140616da11a989f609e1e8227033
                                                                                                      English UK (64 Bit) Version 18H2 Update 0 All
                                                                                                      Win10_1809_EnglishInternational_x32
                                                                                                      ad52bd877b123e92fdaf95b26c35593241ebf0d3a97ef5d3ffc37a358c615e93
                                                                                                      English UK (32 Bit) Version 18H2 Update 0 All
                                                                                                      Win10_1809_English_x64
                                                                                                      07286c9e55e9a5753d461da87e4a2d873fa6fffa33d0f225b6d8e4a0ac069ed0
                                                                                                      English US (64 Bit) Version 18H2 Update 0 All
                                                                                                      Win10_1809_English_x32
                                                                                                      366c9e3af8065d6a78d380a43a1e951db790bb3cbbd5c8e08c69dbe3953bf8bc
                                                                                                      English US (32 Bit) Version 18H2 Update 0 All
                                                                                                      Win10_1803_EnglishInternational_x64
                                                                                                      2405493e366ca21b06f1ee89710b3b601029a1917e8f1ad985c065a923cfbb68
                                                                                                      English UK (64 Bit) Version 18H1 All
                                                                                                      Win10_1803_EnglishInternational_x32
                                                                                                      d1f79c7eec20a0d4348203b5061d36131ec864b511606f0732bcae1a42b975c9
                                                                                                      English UK (32 Bit) Version 18H1 All
                                                                                                      Win10_1803_English_x64
                                                                                                      2a7e8c918347f36c23dcbab9804aca5b88eaf8b118c7356b1d96ab771ecb017f
                                                                                                      English US (64 Bit) Version 18H1 All
                                                                                                      Win10_1803_English_x32
                                                                                                      0ca124d06bd4664da3ce3b65a7582bb0a88c1b5a0263770397d987d5f3e66bc9
                                                                                                      English US (32 Bit) Version 18H1 All
                                                                                                      Win10_1709_EnglishInternational_x64
                                                                                                      dc3da4a045bc9ca8b4da43ea922e68dcdaef7caa73c4677f965a10a2c945c251
                                                                                                      English UK (64 Bit) Version 17H2 All
                                                                                                      Win10_1709_EnglishInternational_x32
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                                                                                                      UEFI BIOS Settings

                                                                                                      If your computer was manufactured in 2014 or later and has never had Windows 7 or Linux installed on it. You will have a UEFI BIOS with Secure Boot and should proceed directly to Creating a UEFI Bootable USB.

                                                                                                      You may or may not have these technologies depending on the age of your system.

                                                                                                      If using your Computer to Download Windows and make the Bootable USB, do not change the UEFI BIOS Settings until you have created the Bootable USB as changing the settings will prevent your old Windows or Linux installation from booting.

                                                                                                      It is recommended to update the UEFI BIOS before clean installing Windows 10. This can be done using a USB Flash Drive in newer models or a FreeDOS Bootable USB in older models.

                                                                                                      Dell UEFI BIOS

                                                                                                      For reference:

                                                                                                      • OptiPlex 390/790 – 2011 (2nd generation Sandy Bridge) UEFI BIOS – No Secure Boot, there is no option for Legacy ROMs as these are always Enabled
                                                                                                      • OptiPlex 3010/7010 – 2012 (3rd generation Ivy Bridge) UEFI BIOS with Secure Boot (only with the latest UEFI BIOS Update)
                                                                                                      • OptiPlex 7020 – 2014 (4th generation Intel Haswell) UEFI BIOS with Secure Boot
                                                                                                      • OptiPlex 7040 – 2015 (6th generation Intel Skylake) UEFI BIOS with Secure Boot

                                                                                                      On a Dell system press [F12] when powering to enter the Boot Menu. Other OEMs may use different usually function key combinations and have slightly different BIOS General User Interfaces.

                                                                                                      Look for the term "Boot Mode" or "UEFI".

                                                                                                      If these terms are not present on the Boot Menu you have a Legacy only BIOS.

                                                                                                      Next look for the Secure Boot status (a handful of early UEFI systems don't have Secure Boot) such as the OptiPlex 790 boot menu below. These system will use a UEFI Boot that always enables Legacy ROMs:

                                                                                                      In the UEFI Boot Menu above some systems will allow you to select Change Boot Mode Settings to UEFI without Secure Boot or Legacy Directly:

                                                                                                      Windows 10 64 Bit should be installed using a UEFI Boot with Secure Boot (when supported by the hardware). A Windows 10 32 Bit install requires a Legacy Boot (Secure Boot Off). Note the Windows 10 32 Bit architecture is non-standard and many systems build in 2012 or later have only Windows 64 Bit Drivers.

                                                                                                      Use this setting for Windows 10 64 Bit.
                                                                                                      When using Rufus to make a Bootable USB use the GPT Partition Scheme.
                                                                                                      Use this setting for Windows 10 32 Bit.
                                                                                                      When using Rufus to make a Bootable USB use the MBR Partition Scheme.

                                                                                                      In other systems you may need to enter the UEFI BIOS setup to amend the settings.

                                                                                                      The BIOS setup can also be accessed directly using [F2] when powering up the Dell system:

                                                                                                      Look for a tab called Secure Boot, expand it, select Secure Boot Enable and change the setting to Enabled for Windows 10 64 Bit and Disabled for Windows 10 32 Bit. Select OK at any warning dialog box:

                                                                                                      Legacy Option ROMs should be Disabled for Windows 10 64 Bit. Go to the general tab and select Advanced Boot Options, ensure Enable Legacy Option ROMs and Enable Attempt Legacy Boot are unchecked. For Windows 10 32 Bit both these checkboxes should be checked:

                                                                                                      Next go to Boot Sequence and ensure the Boot List Option is set to UEFI:

                                                                                                      You can also expand the System Configuration and check the SATA Operation. In most cases for a single drive it should be AHCI. If you have an older system with a small 32-64 GB SSD Cache Drive and a large capacity HDD, you may have a different SATA Operation such as RAID On (Intel Rapid Response Technology). It is recommended in most cases to replace both drives with a large capacity >250 GB SSD for optimal performance:

                                                                                                      You an have a look at your Drives. In my case I have a single 128 GB SSD:

                                                                                                      Select Apply:

                                                                                                      Press OK:

                                                                                                      Then Exit:


                                                                                                      Lenovo UEFI BIOS

                                                                                                      For a Lenovo we will use a Lenovo P320 ThinkStation with a 6th Generation Intel Skylake Processor as an example. When powering up the system press [F12] to get to the UEFI Boot Menu:

                                                                                                      There is no mention about Secure Boot so we will have to Enter the Setup to check, the setup can be accessed directly by powering up and pressing [F1]:

                                                                                                      The setup may also tell you if a SLIC Version of 2.1 (OA2.1 Marker) is present.

                                                                                                      Select the Security tab and then highlight Secure Boot:

                                                                                                      Ensure that Secure Boot is Enabled for a Windows 10 64 Bit install and Disabled for a Windows 10 32 Bit Install:

                                                                                                      Use this setting for Windows 10 64 Bit.
                                                                                                      When using Rufus to make a Bootable USB use the GPT Partition Scheme.

                                                                                                      To install Windows 10 32 Bit you will need to go to the Startup tab and change the Boot Options:

                                                                                                      If Secure Boot is Enabled, CSM will be locked to Disabled and Boot Mode will be UEFI only which are the correct settings for Windows 10 64 Bit.

                                                                                                      For Windows 10 32 Bit installation you will need to enable CSM (this is what Dell call Legacy Roms):

                                                                                                      A Legacy Boot must be used for Windows 10 32 Bit.

                                                                                                      Use this setting for Windows 7 32 Bit.
                                                                                                      When using Rufus to make a Bootable USB use the MBR Partition Scheme.

                                                                                                      HP UEFI BIOS

                                                                                                      When powering up press [F9] to get the Boot Menu and [F10] to get to the UEFI BIOS setup. On some older systems you need to power up pressing [Esc] to get to a startup menu which you can use to access the BIOS setup or Boot Menu respectively.


                                                                                                      Creating a Bootable USB

                                                                                                      Instructions to create a Bootable USB depend on the Partitions Scheme (UEFI or Legacy, UEFI for most computers), as well as the Operating System used to create the Bootable USB (WIndows 10 in most cases). There is also a dependence on the size of the install.wim or install.esd or install.swm files.

                                                                                                      The Bootable USB needs to be FAT32 formatted in order to Boot using a UEFI BIOS with Secure Boot. FAT32 has an upper size limit of 4.0 GB. For the Direct download links in particular Microsoft have not carefully restricted the file size to less than 4.0 GB. Unfortunately this means that conventional utilities to create a Windows 10 Bootable USB on Windows, Linux and Mac OS won't work correctly.

                                                                                                      Rufus can be used directly to create the Bootable USB from the ISO Downloaded from the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool however additional workarounds will be required for the ISO downloaded via direct links as the install.wim exceeds 4 GB (the maximum size for FAT32).

                                                                                                      Creating a UEFI Bootable USB – Windows 10 Media Creation Tool ISO

                                                                                                      The install.wim or install.esd has to be less than 4.0 GB. Otherwise Rufus will make a NTFS formatted USB which will be rejected by Secure Boot.

                                                                                                      Double click Rufus to launch it:

                                                                                                      Accept the User Account Control Prompt:

                                                                                                      Insert your USB Flash Drive and make sure it is populated under Devices:

                                                                                                      Select, select:

                                                                                                      Select the Windows 10 MCT ISO and select Open:

                                                                                                      Change the Volume Label to something more meaningful like Win-20H2:

                                                                                                      In order for the Bootable USB to Boot using a UEFI BIOS with Secure Boot (standard for all computers build after 2012) the Partition Scheme must be GPT and FAT32.

                                                                                                      Select Start:

                                                                                                      Select OK to begin creating the Bootable USB:

                                                                                                      When it is Finished it will have a Status of Ready. You can now close Rufus.

                                                                                                      You now have Windows 10 Installation Media and should now proceed to Performing a Clean Installation of Windows 10.


                                                                                                      The install.wim exceeds 4.0 GB and has to be manually split into <4.0 GB chunks to fit on a FAT32 formatted USB. A number of manual steps are required.

                                                                                                      This occurs quite often with the Direct Download Links ISO but is dependent on language. If your install.wim does not exceed 4.0 GB you can use Rufus directly (see above).

                                                                                                      Double click Rufus to launch it:

                                                                                                      Accept the User Account Control Prompt:

                                                                                                      Insert your USB Flash Drive and make sure it is populated under Devices:

                                                                                                      Select, select:

                                                                                                      Select the Windows2004 ISO and select Open:

                                                                                                      Select the checksum button to view the Checksum:

                                                                                                      The SHA256 should match the one that Microsoft provide:

                                                                                                      We can change the volume label to something more sensible.

                                                                                                      The Bootable USB cannot be created directly with Rufus as it has an install.wim file which exceeds 4 GB. As a result Rufus will use the NTFS file system which will be rejected by Secure Boot.

                                                                                                      We will instead use Rufus to setup a USB Flash Drive to use the GPT Partition Scheme and to be FAT32 Formatted and manually copy the Windows Installation files over with the install.wim being split between a install.swm and install2.swm file.

                                                                                                      Change the Boot Selection to Non-Bootable. Ensure the Partition Scheme is GPT and ensure the File System is FAT32:

                                                                                                      Select Start:

                                                                                                      Select OK to Create the Blank USB:

                                                                                                      When done it will say Ready. Select Close:

                                                                                                      Delete the two autorun files on the Bootable USB:

                                                                                                      Select Yes at the dialogue.

                                                                                                      Now right click the ISO and select Mount (Windows 7 doesn't have the ability to mount ISOs directly. if making the Bootable USB on Windows 7 you will need to install Virtual Clone Drive in order to mount ISOs).

                                                                                                      Copy the entire contents of the ISO (except for the install.wim within the sources folder):

                                                                                                      And then paste to the USB:

                                                                                                      If all files successfully copy across without error your isntall.wim < 4.0 GB and fits on a FAT32 formatted USB flash drive. Your installation media is complete.

                                                                                                      If you are instead informed that the install.wim is too large to fit on the file destination system (FAT32). Select Skip:

                                                                                                      Go to the sources folder of the mounted ISO and Copy the install.wim.

                                                                                                      Paste it directly to C:\

                                                                                                      Select Continue to allow permissions:

                                                                                                      Right click the install.wim and select Properties:

                                                                                                      Ensure Read Only is not checked then select Apply:

                                                                                                      Then select Continue:

                                                                                                      Windows 10

                                                                                                      We need to use PowerShell to split the install.wim file into multiple install.swm files that are less than 4 GB.

                                                                                                      Now right click the start button and select Windows PowerShell (Admin):

                                                                                                      Accept the User Account Control Prompt:

                                                                                                      This can be done by using the following command:

                                                                                                      Dism /Split-Image /ImageFile:C:\install.wim /SWMFile:C:\install.swm /FileSize:4000

                                                                                                      You may now close down the Powershell Prompt.

                                                                                                      Windows 7 and Windows 8.1

                                                                                                      Windows 7 DISM is out of date and does not include the split command.

                                                                                                      We can get the functionality by using the wimlib library instead. Download the latest zip file for Windows. It should end in Windows-x86_64-bin.zip file.

                                                                                                      Extract the folder and rename the extracted folder wimlib and copy it directly to the C:Drive

                                                                                                      Go to the start menu and search for CMD, right click it and select Run As Administrator.

                                                                                                      Accept the User Account Control:

                                                                                                      Type in the following to change directory to the wimlib folder

                                                                                                      CD C:/wimlib

                                                                                                      Type in the following command to split the install.wim:

                                                                                                      wimlib-imagex split C:/install.wim C:/install.swm 4000

                                                                                                      You now have multiple install.swm files:

                                                                                                      Now copy install.swm and install2.swm:

                                                                                                      To the sources folder of the USB Flash Drive:

                                                                                                      Your Windows 10 Bootable USB is now ready.


                                                                                                      Creating a UEFI Bootable USB with Driver Pack Slipstream – Direct Download ISO

                                                                                                      Driver packs can be slipstreamed into the install.wim of the direct download link ISO. The install.wim will once again exceed 4.0 GB and has to be manually split into <4.0 GB chunks to fit on a FAT32 formatted USB. A number of manual steps are required.

                                                                                                      Note these instructions do not work on Windows 7 which has an older version of DISM.

                                                                                                      Double click Rufus to launch it:

                                                                                                      Accept the User Account Control Prompt:

                                                                                                      Insert your USB Flash Drive and make sure it is populated under Devices:

                                                                                                      Select, select:

                                                                                                      Select the Windows2004 ISO and select Open:

                                                                                                      Select the checksum button to view the Checksum:

                                                                                                      The SHA256 should match the one that Microsoft provide:

                                                                                                      We can change the volume label to something more sensible.

                                                                                                      The Bootable USB cannot be created directly with Rufus as it has an install.wim file which exceeds 4 GB. As a result Rufus will use the NTFS file system which will be rejected by Secure Boot.

                                                                                                      Note if using a Legacy Only BIOS you can change the Partition Scheme to MBR and leave the File System to NTFS and proceed using Rufus.

                                                                                                      We will instead use Rufus to setup a USB Flash Drive to use the GPT Partition Scheme and to be FAT32 Formatted and manually copy the Windows Installation files over with the install.wim being split between a install.swm and install2.swm file.

                                                                                                      Change the Boot Selection to Non-Bootable. Ensure the Partition Scheme is GPT and ensure the File System is FAT32:

                                                                                                      Select Start:

                                                                                                      Select OK to Create the Blank USB:

                                                                                                      When done it will say Ready. Select Close:

                                                                                                      Delete the two autorun files on the Bootable USB:

                                                                                                      Select Yes at the dialogue.

                                                                                                      Now right click the ISO and select Mount (Windows 7 doesn't have the ability to mount ISOs directly. if making the Bootable USB on Windows 7 you will need to install Virtual Clone Drive in order to mount ISOs).

                                                                                                      Copy the entire contents of the ISO:

                                                                                                      And then paste to the USB:

                                                                                                      You will be informed that the install.wim is too large to fit on the file destination system (FAT32). Select Skip:

                                                                                                      Go to the sources folder of the mounted ISO and Copy the install.wim.

                                                                                                      Paste it directly to C:\

                                                                                                      Select Continue to allow permissions:

                                                                                                      Right click the install.wim and select Properties:

                                                                                                      Ensure Read Only is not checked then select Apply:

                                                                                                      Then select Continue:

                                                                                                      We need to use PowerShell to split the install.wim file into multiple install.swm files that are less than 4 GB.

                                                                                                      For select business models (OptiPlex, Latitude, Precision and XPS) you also have the option to download the Dell Driver Cab and we can slipstream this into the install.wim using a handful of lines of code. You will also need to download and install 7-zip in order to extract the drivers folder.

                                                                                                      This guide focuses more on the Dell systems but it will also work with the Lenovo Business model if you rename the extracted folder Drivers and move it to the C:\ Drive the procedure will be identical.

                                                                                                      On the Dell website select your model and then select Windows 10 64 Bit under Operating System and then Systems Management under category.

                                                                                                      Select the Driver Pack and select Download:

                                                                                                      You will need to extract these drivers. I recommend using 7zip for this.

                                                                                                      Right click the CAB file and select 7-Zip and then Extract to " ":

                                                                                                      You may get the Warning "There are some data after the end of the payload data". You can ignore this and select Close:

                                                                                                      Open the extracted folder:

                                                                                                      Select the model:

                                                                                                      Select the Win10 folder:

                                                                                                      You should now have an x64 folder.

                                                                                                      Right click this folder and select rename, rename the folder

                                                                                                      Drivers

                                                                                                      Copy this folder directly to:

                                                                                                      C:\

                                                                                                      You should now have the following:

                                                                                                      Now right click the start button and select Windows PowerShell (Admin):

                                                                                                      Accept the User Account Control Prompt:

                                                                                                      Copy the following command:

                                                                                                      Dism /Get-WimInfo /WimFile:C:\install.wim

                                                                                                      Right click the file and select run as administrator. Select your index. I will select index 6 for Windows 10 Pro.

                                                                                                      Copy and paste in the following command to create a temporary folder:

                                                                                                      mkdir C:\WinTemp

                                                                                                      Copy the following command (amending the index to desired) to extract the index of the install.wim to the temporary folder:

                                                                                                      Dism /Mount-WIM /WimFile:C:\install.wim /index:6 /MountDir:C:\WinTemp

                                                                                                      Type in the following command to add the drivers to this folder:

                                                                                                      Dism /Image:C:\WinTemp /Add-Driver /Driver:C:\Drivers /Recurse

                                                                                                      Type in the following command to commit the changes:

                                                                                                      Dism /Unmount-WIM /MountDir:C:\WinTemp /Commit

                                                                                                      Type in the following to remove the temporary folder:

                                                                                                      rmdir C:\WinTemp

                                                                                                      Type in the following to get the updated information about the install.wim

                                                                                                      Dism /Get-WimInfo /WimFile:C:\install.wim

                                                                                                      Type in the following to split the install.wim into multiple install.swm files:

                                                                                                      Dism /Split-Image /ImageFile:C:\install.wim /SWMFile:C:\install.swm /FileSize:4000

                                                                                                      You may now close down the Powershell Prompt:

                                                                                                      Now copy install.swm and install2.swm:

                                                                                                      To the sources folder of the USB Flash Drive:

                                                                                                      Your Windows 10 Bootable USB is now ready.


                                                                                                      Creating a Legacy BIOS USB – Media Creation Tool ISO

                                                                                                      Double click Rufus to launch it:

                                                                                                      Accept the User Account Control Prompt:

                                                                                                      Insert your USB Flash Drive and make sure it is populated under Devices:

                                                                                                      Select, select:

                                                                                                      Select the Windows MCT ISO and select Open:

                                                                                                      Change the Volume Label to something more meaningful like Win-2H2:

                                                                                                      Older computers have a Legacy only BIOS and will only Boot from the USB if you use MBR and NTFS.

                                                                                                      Select Start:

                                                                                                      Select OK to begin creating the Bootable USB:

                                                                                                      When it is Finished it will have a Status of Ready. You can now close Rufus.


                                                                                                      Double click Rufus to launch it:

                                                                                                      Accept the User Account Control Prompt:

                                                                                                      Insert your USB Flash Drive and make sure it is populated under Devices:

                                                                                                      Select, select:

                                                                                                      Select the Windows Direct Download Link ISO and select Open:

                                                                                                      Select the checksum button to view the Checksum:

                                                                                                      The SHA256 should match the one that Microsoft provide:

                                                                                                      We can change the volume label to something more sensible such as Win-20H2.

                                                                                                      Ensure the Partition Scheme is MBR and the File System is NTFS:

                                                                                                      Select Start:

                                                                                                      Select OK to proceed making the Bootable USB:

                                                                                                      When the Bootable USB is made Rufus will say Ready:

                                                                                                      You may now close Rufus.



                                                                                                      Clean Installation


                                                                                                      Booting From Windows 10 Installation Media

                                                                                                      Insert your Bootable USB into your Computer and Remove any other USB Storage Devices such as USB Sticks and External Hard Drives.

                                                                                                      Power off your computer.

                                                                                                      Power it up and press the key combination for your OEM to get to the Boot Menu.

                                                                                                      • For a Dell or Lenovo System this is [F12].
                                                                                                      • For a HP and other OEMs it is often [Esc] or one of the Function Keys [F1-F12].
                                                                                                      This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 1.png

                                                                                                      Preparing Boot Menu should Flash Up. If not and you are taken straight into Windows, you will need to power down and try again:

                                                                                                      This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 2.png

                                                                                                      If your system was built in 2012 or newer the next screen you should have should mention Boot Mode and Secure Boot. For optimal Security and Performance with Windows 10 64 Bit you should have these set to UEFI and ON respectively. See the UEFI BIOS Settings section above for more detail.

                                                                                                      This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 3.png

                                                                                                      Use the [↓] key to get to your Bootable USB and once it is highlighted press [Enter]

                                                                                                      This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 4.png

                                                                                                      You should see your OEM Logo:

                                                                                                      This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 5.png

                                                                                                      You should now see the following Windows screen.

                                                                                                      The Language to Install is for informational purposes only and lists only a single option. To change it you need to Download the Windows 10 ISO of the Desired Language and begin the install with your new Windows 10 Bootable USB.

                                                                                                      The Time and Currency Format and Keyboard or Input method can be changed to Australian or Canadian settings for example.

                                                                                                      Once you have made the correct options select Next:

                                                                                                      The next screen gives you the option to Repair your Computer. This guide focuses on Clean Installation however:

                                                                                                      Your Windows Product Key

                                                                                                      Select Install Now:

                                                                                                      Windows 8.0/8.1/10 OEM Embedded Product Key

                                                                                                      The next screen will say Setup is Starting and you will see an Hour Glass Appear.

                                                                                                      Windows 10 will look for an embedded OEM Product Key. If present Windows 10 Installation Media will find the key, the key will dictate the Edition of Windows 10 to install and take you straight to the license agreement screen.

                                                                                                      Windows 10 Installation Media treats Windows 8.0 OEM and Windows 8.1 OEM Product Keys as Windows 10 Product Keys.

                                                                                                      Bypass OEM Embedded Product Key

                                                                                                      In the background the Windows setup will look in order for:

                                                                                                      1. A PID.txt in the sources folder.
                                                                                                      2. An embedded OEM Product Key.

                                                                                                      To bypass the embedded OEM product key you can create a text file within the sources folder of the Bootable USB called pid.txt.

                                                                                                      Copy and paste the following into the text file. Note you can either use your retail key or the generic product keys below. Product Activation will only take place if your system has been activated before usually with a Retail Key. This activation mechanism is also commonly used for Windows 10 Insiders who tested the Windows 10 Insider Build 10130 and got Windows 10 Pro as a Free Upgrade.

                                                                                                      Windows 10 Home

                                                                                                      [PID]
                                                                                                      Value=YTMG3-N6DKC-DKB77-7M9GH-8HVX7

                                                                                                      Windows 10 Home N

                                                                                                      [PID]
                                                                                                      Value=4CPRK-NM3K3-X6XXQ-RXX86-WXCHW

                                                                                                      Windows 10 Home SL

                                                                                                      [PID]
                                                                                                      Value=GH37Y-TNG7X-PP2TK-CMRMT-D3WV4

                                                                                                      Windows 10 Pro

                                                                                                      [PID]
                                                                                                      Value=VK7JG-NPHTM-C97JM-9MPGT-3V66T

                                                                                                      Windows 10 Pro N

                                                                                                      [PID]
                                                                                                      Value=2B87N-8KFHP-DKV6R-Y2C8J-PKCKT

                                                                                                      Windows 10 Education

                                                                                                      [PID]
                                                                                                      Value=YNMGQ-8RYV3-4PGQ3-C8XTP-7CFBY

                                                                                                      Windows 10 Education N

                                                                                                      [PID]
                                                                                                      Value=84NGF-MHBT6-FXBX8-QWJK7-DRR8H

                                                                                                      Windows 10 Pro Education

                                                                                                      [PID]
                                                                                                      Value=8PTT6-RNW4C-6V7J2-C2D3X-MHBPB

                                                                                                      Windows 10 Pro Education N

                                                                                                      [PID]
                                                                                                      Value=GJTYN-HDMQY-FRR76-HVGC7-QPF8P

                                                                                                      Windows 7 OEM Printed Product Keys

                                                                                                      The technology to embed a Product Key wasn't available when Windows 7 was released. Windows 7 OEM Keys were instead physically printed. The following screen will accept a Windows 7 Product Key however if Windows 10 has already been installed and activated then your systems hardware details are already stored with a Microsoft Product Activation Server. It will recognise your system and automatically reactivate Windows on it even without input of a Product Key. Select "I don't have a Product Key" and then either Windows 10 Home or Windows 10 Pro:

                                                                                                      Windows 7 EditionWindows 10 Edition
                                                                                                      StarterHome
                                                                                                      Home BasicHome
                                                                                                      Home PremiumHome
                                                                                                      ProfessionalPro
                                                                                                      UltimatePro

                                                                                                      The Windows 7 Product Key can be used for the initial first time activation of Windows 10. If the Product Key has faded the GatherOSState application can be used instead.

                                                                                                      The Code of Authenticity (CoA) was often found in the battery compartment of laptops for protection.

                                                                                                      These Product Keys can be used for a one time activation of Windows 10. During this one time activation, your systems hardware (motherboard) is registered with a Microsoft Product Activation Server. This activation server will remember your hardware any subsequent time you install Windows 10 and there will be no need for you to input a Product Key during installation.

                                                                                                      If your Product Key has faded and you have never installed Windows 10 and are still running Windows 7. You will need to copy the GatherOSState.exe from the sources folder to the Windows 7 Desktop.

                                                                                                      Ensure you are online and right click gatherostate.exe and run it as an administrator:

                                                                                                      Accept the User Account Control Prompt:

                                                                                                      If your Windows 7 OEM Install is genuine and you are connected to the internet, a genuineticket will be generated.

                                                                                                      You can use this genuine ticket for Product Activation. Copy it over to your Bootable USB.

                                                                                                      Once Windows 10 is installed from the Bootable USB, copy the GenuineTicket over to the following folder and then restart your Computer.

                                                                                                      C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\ClipSVC\GenuineTicket

                                                                                                      Microsoft will check this folder upon startup and submit the genuine ticket and your system details to the Product Activation Server giving it the green light for Product activation. Once this is done you can clean install Windows 10 without a Product Key and it will activate when online. You won't need the GenuineTicket ever again.

                                                                                                      The genuineticket will only work on the same computer it was generated on.

                                                                                                      Unlicensed Mode: No Product Key and No OEM License

                                                                                                      The Product Key can be skipped and Windows 10 will be installed unlicensed.

                                                                                                      For an unlicensed install there will be a watermark on the bottom right hand side of the Desktop and at the bottom of Settings. Some minor personalisation settings will be grayed out but otherwise Windows 10 will be fully functional.

                                                                                                      Some users have been running Windows 10 Unlicensed on old Windows Vista PCs since 2015. Microsoft recommend saving your money towards new hardware which will come with a Windows 10 OEM License opposed to spending money on a Full Retail License for a system whose hardware is at End of Life.

                                                                                                      Windows 10 License Agreement

                                                                                                      Accept the License Agreement then select Next:

                                                                                                      Drive Options

                                                                                                      THE NEXT STEP WILL RESULT IN DATA LOSS. DO NOT PROCEED IF YOU HAVE IMPORTANT DATA ON YOUR DRIVE.

                                                                                                      Data Recovery

                                                                                                      If you are reinstalling Windows because you cannot boot into your old Windows Installation e.g. to a Windows Update problem or failing hardware you can attempt to use a Linux Fedora Live Bootable USB to Back all your files to an External Hard Drive.

                                                                                                      Format vs Wipe

                                                                                                      Imagine your drive as a large open space. Next install a series of fences, the fences partition the open space creating a series of fields (known as partitions). Each partition contains a series of crops (known as data).

                                                                                                      A format removes all the fences in the field and everything in the field is assigned to free space. However all the crops in the open space will remain until they are dug out and replaced with new crops. As a result it is possible to recover the crops using third party utilities and to rebuild the fences.

                                                                                                      A wipe will remove all the fences and then dig every crop out of the open space until it is completely empty.

                                                                                                      Data on a drive is written in binary (zeros and ones) and the drive can be thought of as a series of light switches that are either off (0) or on (1). A wipe will zero out the entire drive, making data irrecoverable.

                                                                                                      It is recommended on using a wipe if you are selling your computer on second hand or reinstalling due to a malware/virus issue.

                                                                                                      The Windows Setup cannot form a wipe. Most computers manufactured in 2016 or later can natively wipe all internal drives using the UEFI BIOS. Scroll down form more information.

                                                                                                      Single Drive: Format your Drive Windows Setup

                                                                                                      You can use the Windows Setup to remove all previously existing partitions on your drive.

                                                                                                      Highlight each partition and select Delete. Do this until all you have is Drive 0 Unallocated Space. Do not worry about any of the partitions being recovery partitions, they correspond to old versions of Windows and in any case won't work when a manual installation is performed. The Windows 10 will create all the additional partitions it needs during the Windows setup. Once you have deleted all the partitions select next to proceed with the install.

                                                                                                      Deleting the partitions performs a low level format and does not zero the drive. This means data may be recoverable using third party tools. You should perform a Data Wipe if you are concerned about your data and handing

                                                                                                      Multiple Drives: Format your Drives Windows Setup

                                                                                                      If you have multiple drives like shown then it is likely there is a low capacity Solid State Drive (SSD) and larger capacity Hard Drive (HDD) in your computer.

                                                                                                      If the SSD is above 250 GB it is large enough to comfortably fit a Windows Installation and you should install Windows directly on it. If the SSD is below 250 GB then it should be set up as a Cache Drive.

                                                                                                      Note Cache Drives can be more problematic and are more likely to result in boot issues and as SSDs are quite cheap these days I would recommend just replacing the SSD drive with a large capacity SSD.

                                                                                                      The correct SATA Operation should be used for your drive(s). Then SATA operation can be changed in the UEFI BIOS setup. Power off your Dell and power it up while pressing [F2] to enter the UEFI BIOS setup.

                                                                                                      • When no Cache Drive is used the SATA Operation should be set to AHCI
                                                                                                      • When a Cache Drive is present the SATA Operation should be set to RAID On.

                                                                                                      Under System Configuration look for SATA Operation and ensure the setting is correct.

                                                                                                      Install Windows 10 on your larger capacity Hard Drive.

                                                                                                      Exit the Windows setup and power off your Dell. Once Windows 10 is installed. Install Intel Smart Response from your Drivers and Downloads Page:

                                                                                                      Then select Performance. Then select options similar to below.

                                                                                                      Wiping a Dell Drive Using the Lenovo UEFI BIOS (Dell Data Wipe)

                                                                                                      Dell models post 2016 have the ability to perform a Data Wipe from within their UEFI BIOS.

                                                                                                      Power up your Dell and press [F2] to get to the UEFI BIOS Setup:

                                                                                                      The UEFI BIOS setup will open:

                                                                                                      Press the [↓] arrow key to get to maintenance:

                                                                                                      Press [Enter] to expand the category: