This post is not for those who bought Windows 10 but rather for people doing the free upgrade to Windows 10 but would prefer to do a clean install instead of the upgrade. NOTE: The upgrade is pretty slick as everything is as you had it on 7/8/8.1, you may only need to reinstall a gfx driver.
If you would like to do a clean install of Windows 10 and you are eligible for the free upgrade then I have some good news and bad news for you. The good: It can be done, after you jump through a particular hoop. The bad: You can't just download and install Windows 10 straight.
By now if you are running any flavor of Win 7/8/8.1 you've surely noticed the windows icon in the system tray telling you about Windows 10 and giving you options to reserve your copy. It probably hasn't told you that your copy is ready yet but, that doesn't matter. You can get Windows 10 right now.
Go to http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10 and get the media creation tool. Make sure you choose x86 if you are installing this on a really old machine or at least choose "Both" if you are unsure.
While the tool is downloading find yourself a USB key with at least 3GB of space.
Once the tool is done downloading, place your USB key in an open slot and follow these steps.
Use the media creation tool to make a USB install media.
Remove your USB key and make a final double check that you have saved all your passwords, important files, pr0n, etc....
Open the media tool again and choose 'Upgrade Now'. Your system will now go thru the process of upgrading to Windows 10. This may be good for most users that don't need/want to make any hardware changes or just don't care about making a clean install
- Let windows 10 install and take the time to go thru the options and make the decisions you would normally make because, when the install is done you may decide there is no need to do a clean install. If you are going to continue with the clean install follow the next steps closely or you may end up back at square 1 having to install windows 7/8/8.1 to get your free upgrade.
- Click on the start menu (FUG YAH ITS BACK BABY) or use the new search bar to open settings. ****NOT CONTROL PANEL!!! **** Then choose Updates and Security then Activation Does it say your copy is activated? It should and it should show what version you are running. If it does not then you can supposedly use system restore to go back to windows 7/8/8.1 and start over or search duckduckgo/google for an answer to why it didn't activate. You should be activated now, if you are move on to the next step.
- One last time, make sure you have all your files you want backed up. This is also a great time to make sure you have downloads of your drivers (especially RAID if you use it) copied onto another USB key.
- Restart your computer and enter the BIOS when restarting.
- Set the boot priority to USB first
Put your USB key with Win 10 into an open port
F10 or otherwise save and exit the BIOS, wait for reboot
Windows installer should now boot from the USB key and open to an options screen.
Choose your Language/Keyboard click next
Choose Advanced Installation
Choose your drive/partition and if needed load your RAID drivers. This varies by motherboard, mine didn't require me to load the drivers for an intel raid controller/chipset. If it see's the RAID array already you are probably ok to go forward with install, if you have the drivers handy, it can't hurt to go ahead and load them anyway. The installer will create a 'system managed' partition of around 500 MB to facilitate the installation of windows.
Click Next and follow any prompts and answer any questions. I highly recommend not using express settings as there are some privacy settings you may want to change but at least go thru them so you are aware of what you are letting them skim as far as personal info / location.
Make sure to double check that you are activated via the settings menu after your install is complete
Enjoy your fast, fresh, clean install of Windows 10 and start ruining it with malware and such from all those free pr0n sites.
I did not copy and paste this from another site, these are my words and the process I followed. If you use this guide and it helps, please consider buying me a beer via donating to the addy in my sig.