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Windows 10 is the latest iteration of Microsoft's desktop operating systems. The primary "appeal" of Windows 10 over the generally preferred Windows 7 is DirectX 12, which will make supported games better with handling rendering, sort of. There are little games that specifically ONLY support DirectX 12. Windows 10 comes with Cortana, a personal assistant similar to Apple's Siri, and Edge, the new browser created in Microsoft's efforts to distance itself from IE.
This section will cover performing a clean install of Windows 10. This is preferred over upgrading if you want a fresh system that does not drag along temp files, app data and other junk from your 7/8/8.1 install.
It will not cover upgrading from an existing Windows 7/8/8.1 install. If you have an existing Windows 7/8/8.1 install, you can still use this section, but beware you'll lose all your installed apps and data with a clean install. As of March 2016, Windows 10 can now be activated using 7/8/8.1 product keys. This works by checking the system hardware profile with Microsoft's servers to ensure it matches the hardware the product key was originally activated on. The edition of Windows 10 must match the edition the product key was for (i.e. Home Premium or Professional).
If you want to do a test run of installing Windows 10, without committing your hard drive to it, setup a VirtualBox and skip ahead to the Installation section.
To install Windows 10 we'll need a few things:
- The Windows 10 disc image (.iso file).
- If you're planning on pirating Windows 10, you need the Professional version or above.
- If the above link no longer works (i.e. Microsoft have stopped supplying an official win10 iso publicly) you can always look for a copy on KAT or TPB. Look for something which includes the official updates up until today (whatever month/year this is) and perhaps avoid isos that install lots of Super Kewl Appz and generally fuck with the source.
- A utility to copy the Windows 10 image to a DVD or USB stick for installation like the official Windows USB/DVD Download Tool, UNetbootin or Rufus.
- Backups of your data.
- An install kit, which will contain:
- Drivers for your hardware that are compatible with Windows 10. If you can't find a specific Windows 10 driver, grab the Windows 8.1 driver and cross your fingers. If you're super cautious (which is fine) wait until your hardware manufacturer releases Windows 10 drivers.
- Common programs you use (e.g. your media player, your compression utility, your browser).
Once you have the .iso, use a spare USB flash drive or DVD with one of the aforementioned tools to create a bootable install disk.
Insert your bootable DVD or USB drive and reboot. Jump into the BIOS/UEFI with F1 or DEL (or whatever you're told to on the first screen your computer displays as it boots. On ThinkPads this is the ThinkVantage button).
Inside the BIOS/UEFI, you need to set the Boot Order to boot from your USB stick or DVD. This is just a matter of putting the USB stick or DVD ahead of your other drives in the Boot Priority. If you are using a computer which has both UEFI and Legacy options choose UEFI first. Most modern installation images are designed to boot using UEFI, but also have legacy fallback for older motherboards.
With your BIOS settings set, save and exit the BIOS. At this point it should reboot automatically into the installer.
Once BIOS hands over control to your boot device you may get a message to hit any key to boot from CD/DVD or USB. Hit a key if you see this message.
The Windows 10 install process will begin:
- The first screen, which has a lovely purple background, will have a window asking for your language (English (United States)), your Time and Currency Format (English (United States)) and your Keyboard or input method (US). Set the Time and Currency Format to your region (and anything else if you want a non english install) and hit the Next button in the bottom right.
- Hit the Install Now button.
- After a short pause, you'll be presented with the product key window. This wants your product key, but we can worry about that later, so hit Skip.
- If your .iso has multiple versions of Windows 10 available, the next screen will allow you to choose which version of Windows 10 you install (Home, Pro, etc) and what architecture version you want (x64, unless you're on a toaster).
- If you're some kind of pirate scumbag, select Pro or above.
- The license terms screen is next. Kiss your first born goodbye and pray to Buddha, click I accept the license terms, and hit Next.
- Next is the "type of installation you want" screen. You always want Custom. So click it.
- Next is the partition screen. This is the most serious screen of the install, so be careful here:
- You need two partitions:
- A boot ("System Reserved") partition of about 350mb (the installer will force you to make this).
- A partition of 15gb+ to install Windows 10 to (this will become C: drive).
- If the drive is empty, just make a new partition and follow the prompts.
- If you're installing over the top of win7/8.1, format your old C: drive.
- If you plan to dual boot install Windows first and Linux second. This will ensure you get GRUB as your bootloader with an entry for Linux and Windows. Remember to leave free space for Linux when partitioning C:. Around 15GB should be good depending on usage. Installing to a separate drive is preferred over dual booting because Windows 10 tends to aggressively overwrite other bootloaders on its drive.
- If you already have Linux partitions, don't touch them unless you want Windows to format them and destroy all your data. (Windows will still destroy your grub-bios install, but that's easily reinstalled with a quick boot into your Linux install USB, chrooting to your installation, and
# grub-install --target=i386-pc --recheck /dev/sdX ; grub-mkconfig -o /boot-grub/grub.cfg).
- With your new C: drive selected, hit Next.
- You need two partitions:
- Windows will copy the install files. This will take 5-10mins from a USB.
- The Windows 10 install will then reboot. After the reboot you no longer need your USB stick or DVD inserted for the install to continue. You might get a message about booting from your USB or DVD (defaulting to no), and no is the correct answer.
- Windows will spend some time "Getting ready" and then reboot again.
- At long last you'll be presented with a blue screen and white text, asking you to enter the product key. In the bottom left, in quite small text, will be "Do this later". Click this.
- At the "Get Going Fast" (like sonic) screen, look in the bottom left for Customize Settings. Click it.
- In the first Customize Settings screen, turn all four privacy invasion options Off, then hit Next.
- In the second Customize Settings screen, turn off the four privacy invasion options, then scroll down to turn off the fifth privacy invasion option, then hit Next.
- In the Create an Account screen, enter a username and perhaps a password, then hit Next.
- Windows will show you a few friendly screens like "Hi" and "This won't take long".
- You'll then be dropped into a freshly installed Windows 10 install.
Follow Microsoft's instructions to activate it.
As of November 2015, if you had a legitimate product key for Windows 7/8/8.1 activated on the system before you can use the same key to activate Windows 10. Your product key can be found with your Windows 7/8/8.1 installation media or on the Microsoft sticker on your PC. This sticker is usually found on the bottom of laptops and the side of prebuilt desktops.
If you're a pirate, you need KMSPico. KMS is a key management system meant for offices and administrators of multiple Windows computers. KMSPico emulates that system and can activate Windows installs without them being legal:
- Get your hands on KMSPico from MDL (original source) or KAT.
- Install KMSPico.
- Run C:\Program Files\KMSpico\KMSELDI.exe as admin.
- Click Tokens.
- Enter a key for your version of Windows. Microsoft provides these keys. Here is what that site contained, if it is down.
Windows 10 Professional W269N-WFGWX-YVC9B-4J6C9-T83GX Windows 10 Professional N MH37W-N47XK-V7XM9-C7227-GCQG9 Windows 10 Enterprise NPPR9-FWDCX-D2C8J-H872K-2YT43 Windows 10 Enterprise N DPH2V-TTNVB-4X9Q3-TJR4H-KHJW4 Windows 10 Education NW6C2-QMPVW-D7KKK-3GKT6-VCFB2 Windows 10 Education N 2WH4N-8QGBV-H22JP-CT43Q-MDWWJ Windows 10 Enterprise 2015 LTSB WNMTR-4C88C-JK8YV-HQ7T2-76DF9 Windows 10 Enterprise 2015 LTSB N 2F77B-TNFGY-69QQF-B8YKP-D69TJ
- Copy/paste the Pro key into KMSPico.
- Hit the blue key icon.
- Close KMSPico and leave it installed forever.
It will play stupid sounds and might even crash when you exit, but when you reboot you'll be activated.
- Microsoft has no plans to tell us what’s in Windows patches
- Windows 10 Collects All Texts Entered into the Keyboard
- Torrent Trackers Ban Windows 10 Over Privacy Concerns
.NET Framework 3.5 offline installation
Windows 10 (and 8/8.1) comes with .NET 4+ installed. Some apps need .NET 3.5 (or 2.0 or 1.0). You need internet access to be able to install .NET 3.5. If you don't give Windows internet access, you might think that you can download a dotNetFx35setup.exe from microsoft.com. Nope. You will actually get an error saying that .NET 3.5 is not installed when you run the installer for .NET 3.5.
So to install .NET 3.5 without giving Windows internet access:
- Mount the Windows 10 install .iso or plug in your USB/DVD.
- Take note of the drive letter assigned to it.
- Open a Command Prompt as an Administrator:
- Start > All Apps > Windows System > right click Command Prompt > Run as Administrator.
- Check the following command and change the drive letter as required. Here it is listed as D: drive (straight after /Source):
Dism /online /enable-feature /featurename:NetFx3 /All /Source:D:\sources\sxs /LimitAccess
- With the drive letter correct, copy the above command.
- Paste it into the Administration Command Prompt and hit enter.
- The "feature" will be "enabled". This will take a minute or so and when it's done will say "The operation completed successfully".
- Close the Administration Command Prompt.
Removing spyware, adware and bloatware
This may work, if Microsoft doesn't ignore the hosts file for their own servers. Open your hosts file, located in
C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc On the bottom, add these lines:
0.0.0.0 vortex.data.microsoft.com 0.0.0.0 vortex-win.data.microsoft.com 0.0.0.0 telecommand.telemetry.microsoft.com 0.0.0.0 telecommand.telemetry.microsoft.com.nsatc.net 0.0.0.0 oca.telemetry.microsoft.com 0.0.0.0 oca.telemetry.microsoft.com.nsatc.net 0.0.0.0 sqm.telemetry.microsoft.com 0.0.0.0 sqm.telemetry.microsoft.com.nsatc.net 0.0.0.0 watson.telemetry.microsoft.com 0.0.0.0 watson.telemetry.microsoft.com.nsatc.net 0.0.0.0 redir.metaservices.microsoft.com 0.0.0.0 choice.microsoft.com 0.0.0.0 choice.microsoft.com.nsatc.net 0.0.0.0 df.telemetry.microsoft.com 0.0.0.0 reports.wes.df.telemetry.microsoft.com 0.0.0.0 services.wes.df.telemetry.microsoft.com 0.0.0.0 sqm.df.telemetry.microsoft.com 0.0.0.0 telemetry.microsoft.com 0.0.0.0 watson.ppe.telemetry.microsoft.com 0.0.0.0 telemetry.appex.bing.net 0.0.0.0 telemetry.urs.microsoft.com 0.0.0.0 telemetry.appex.bing.net:443 0.0.0.0 settings-sandbox.data.microsoft.com 0.0.0.0 vortex-sandbox.data.microsoft.com
Remember, do not connect your Microsoft account to your Windows 10 machine.
Bloatware and adware
In administrator powershell run:
Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.3DBuilder
- In which it is revealed Microsoft sends encrypted images of the users desktop back to Redmond.-
- Another example of the above. This one decrypts the above's example