Our last "How to Install Windows 10" guide was written all the way back in 2015 when the Operating System first came out, a lot has changed with the installation process since then so we think it's probably about time to write an updated one, so here it is!
Firstly, in order to install Windows 10 you will need your boot media, this will either be in a disk form or as a modern USB drive. If you don't have either, check out our guide on How to create a bootable Windows 10 USB Media Tool then come back to this guide. We would also recommend updating your instillation media if it is out of date as it will be as old as the media itself so if you find that you run in to installation problems or have problems within Windows itself after a install, update the media via the previous link. Once you have your boot media, you are ready to begin the installation process.
1 – Setting the boot device
For any installation via a USB Drive you will need to make sure that it is set as your initial boot device in the BIOS. When you turn your PC on, wait for the motherboard manufacturers ‘splash’ screen to display, this should advise you what key to press to enter the BIOS, which is usually the del/delete key.
Once in the BIOS you need to set the USB Drive as the initial boot device, you should be able to change this under the boot options in the BIOS. Please consult the motherboard manufacturer’s manual if you need help in navigating the BIOS.
When you have the USB Drive set correctly as the boot you will then need to save and exit from the BIOS to keep the settings.
Likewise if you are installing from a Optical Drive, you should insert the disk into the PC and turn it on and enter the BIOS, you should then follow the same process to set the Optical Drive as the initial boot device.
2 - Insert the Boot Media
Once you have set up the boot device correctly, insert it into the PC and start up the PC. Depending on what Motherboard you have, you may be greeted with a screen that says something like "PRESS ANY KEY TO BOOT FROM SELECTED BOOT MEDIA", press any key to continue.
3 - Regional Options
Windows will load up the installation program and the first options to select are the Language, Time & currency format and the Keyboard or input method, you should then be able to set these to your region – English (United Kingdom) in the case of UK Gaming Computers PCs for Language and Time & currency and United Kingdom for the Keyboard or input method.
4 - Install Now
The next screen gives you the options to Install now or Repair your computer. In this case we want to Install now as we are doing a clean installation of Windows.
5 – Product Key
This should be quite straight forward, as it is where you input your product key. If you ordered a system from us, then your product key was fixed to the back of your PC.
You also have the option to continuing without a product key, at the bottom of the screen you have the option to click on I don’t have a product key, which will continue the installation without the need for further input.
6 – Select the Operating System
The next screen won’t always be shown as it will depend on how you are installing Windows. If you are using a Disc or have entered a product key it will automatically know what version of Windows 10 you are installing and therefore won’t need any further input, otherwise you will need to select between the different versions.
If the wrong one is selected you will find that Windows will not activated via Microsoft’s Digital entitlement process, so make sure you select the correct one if you do not have you product key when reinstalling Windows 10.
For the purpose of the guide we will be selecting Windows 10 Home.
7 – Licence Terms
Next are details of the licence terms that you should read through (if you really feel the need) you will have to tick the box next to I accept the licence terms before you can continue.
8 – What Type of Installation do you want?
You now have two options to either Upgrade: Install Windows and keep files, settings and applications or Custom: Install Windows only (advanced).
For a new installation of Windows or if you want to do a clean reinstall of Windows, you will always need to choose the Custom: Install Windows only (advanced) option.
9 – Where to install Windows?
On the next screen you will now need to select where you want to install the operating system, here will be displayed all the hard drives installed in the PC along with any partitions created on them.
All installed hard drives will be listed here with a name starting as Disk, these will start with Disc 0 and subsequent hard drives appears as Disk 1, then Disk 2 and so on.
Next to the hard drive name it will either state Unallocated Space – if the hard drive or part of it is no formatted or it will show as a Partition with a number from 1 upwards, if the hard drive has been formatted or partial formatted. If there are more partitions these will be labelled 2 and upwards.
For a new installation your hard drive should show as Unallocated Space next to it, you just need to select the hard drive and click on next to start the installation process.
If you need to reinstall windows, then your hard drive should have multiple lines showing with Partition 1, Partition 2 and so on next to it, as Windows installations will create multiply partitions on the hard drive during the installation process. You will need to delete all of these partitions so that the hard drive then shows as Unallocated Space, you can then click on next to start the installation process.
If there is more than one hard drive in the PC then you will need to make sure you select the correct hard drive when installing Windows, this is even more important if you have any data on a hard drive that you want to keep, as deleting a partition will delete all the data on that part of the hard drive. If you have any data on a hard drive that you want to keep then this will need to be copied off the hard drive before you reinstall the operating system.
10 – Off it goes
Windows 10 will now be installed to the selected hard drive, this can take as little as 2 minutes in some cases, or up to 30 minutes.
11 - Regional options, again...
We're not too sure why you have to select your regional options for a second time, but you do!
12 - Keyboard Layout
Change your keyboard layout to whatever your keyboard uses, which will probably be "United Kingdom"
Also you don't need to set any additional keyboard layouts, this is easy to do within Windows if you wish to.
13 - Network Connection
Here you can connect to a network, there really isn't any need to do this here as it only makes the installation process longer. We would even recommend unplugging the network cable if you have one plugged in so you see the same as the screenshot below.
Don't believe the installer. Click "No" on this bit.
14 - Username and Password
This bit is up to you, set your Username and Password to whatever you like. If you don't want a password just leave the password field blank, like we did in the screenshot.
15 - Do you want to Make Cortana your personal assistant?
You probably don't, but take a read of the description given and either Accept or Decline this screen. We selected "Decline" because we don't want to use Cortana.
16 - Device Sync
This screen lets you setup syncronisation between all of your devices, select "No" and continue to the next step. If you wish to enable this, it is possible to do after installation.
17 - Voice Recognition
Select "Don't use online speech recognition" here, again, it is easy enough to set up after installation if you wish to use it.
18 - Location Services
We send out all of our PCs that come with Windows 10 with this set to "No", we suggest you do the same.
19 - Find my device
If you're reading this article you more than likely have bought a PC from UK Gaming Computers and are needing to install or reinstall Windows 10. We'd be impressed if you managed to lose your PC in the first place, but if you did this setting would unfortunately not help you find it. Select "No" and continue.
20 - What data to send to Microsoft?
Choose "Basic" here and continue.
21 - Improve inking & typing
We still have no idea what this actually does, just click no and continue.
22 - Diagnostic data
You guessed it, click "No" and continue.
23 - Advert settings
For the final time, click "No" and continue.
24 - Hi
That's all the settings that need to be changed now, Windows will do the final setup which can take up to 10 minutes.
25 - Done!
And you're all done, you now have successfully installed Windows 10 to your PC!
26 – Don't Forget
From the desktop you’ll then need to install the drivers for the components in your PC, these will usually be included on discs that come with the PC, but we do recommend downloading the latest drivers from the component manufacturer’s website and installing these.