Windows 10 download

I want to install a new hard drive into my computer and I wonder whether I can download windows 10 and drivers  to the new hard drive via an   external usb enclosure before installing the drive. Or must I install the drive and then install windows?
 

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Last updated June 24, 2019 Views 35 Applies to:
Hi Arthur. I'm Greg, an installation specialist and 9 year Windows MVP here to help you.

The hard drive needs to be installed into the PC (alone) before you can install Windows to it.

So Follow these steps which compile the best possible Clean Install of Windows which will stay that way as long as you stick with the tools and methods given, has zero reported problems, and is better than any amount of money could buy: http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/wiki...

To create Windows 10 Installation Media (if necessary on another PC) install the Media Creation Tool and follow the directions here: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-10/m.... Uncheck the box for Recommended Settings to choose the exact version and bit rate for the target PC only.

Insert media, boot it by powering up PC while pressing the BIOS Boot Menu Key here: https://www.sysnative.com/forums/hardware-tutor...

If the media won't boot you may need to enter BIOS/UEFI Setup (pressing key given in chart in link above) to turn off Fast Boot or Fast Startup first.

Choose the boot device as a UEFI device if offered, skip the Product Key screen and choose your licensed version only if offered. On second screen choose Install Now, then Custom Install, then at the drive selection screen delete all partitions down to Unallocated Space to get it cleanest, click Next to let it create needed partitions and start install - this makes it foolproof.

After install you can plug in the old drive to format as a data drive. I would delete all partitions in Disk mgmt first: https://www.pcworld.com/article/248980/how-to-p...

You will get and keep the best possible install to the exact extent you stick with the steps, tools and methods in the linked tutorial. It's a better install than any amount of money could buy and a great learning experience that will make you the master of your PC because you will learn everything that works best and how to apply it with your own hands.

I hope this helps. If not just ask back anything else you need. I'll be standing by here to help as needed with any of the steps, and will continue to help until the problem is resolved.

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Standard Disclaimer: There are links to non-Microsoft websites. The pages appear to be providing accurate, safe information. Watch out for ads on the sites that may advertise products frequently classified as a PUP (Potentially Unwanted Products). Thoroughly research any product advertised on the sites before you decide to download and install it.
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Hello arthurian38,

First of all, thank you for posting your question with us. I am an Independent Advisor, and I am happy to assist you. 

Please, follow this Microsoft Support link to download windows 10.
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-downlo...
Then, follow this other Microsoft Support link to update your drives.
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/402844...

Thank you very much.

Best regards,
Vladimir

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Hi Arthurian

You cannot install Windows 10 to an external drive, you must connect that internally and disconnect any other drives during the installation process . . .

Hi , you can reinstall Windows 10 at any time and it will not cost you anything !

Click this link:
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-downlo...
to download the Media Creation Tool (Click on Download Tool Now), with that you can download the latest Windows 10 ISO (Select Create Installation Media for Another PC), you can create a bootable USB flash drive (min 8GB) using that tool

Then, Boot your PC from the Installation Media you just created (change Boot Order in your BIOS) to begin installing Windows 10

Since you previously had Windows 10 installed and activated on that PC during the installation process skip the steps which ask for a product key and select the option 'I am Reinstalling Windows 10 on this PC', and activation will not be an issue, your PC will have a digital entitlement stored on the Microsoft Activation Servers

Make sure you install the same Edition of Windows 10 (Home, Pro . . . etc.) you previously had installed to avoid Activation issues
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Hi Arthurian

My name is Andre Da Costa; an Independent Consultant, Windows Insider MVP and Windows & Devices for IT MVP. I'm here to help you with your problem.

The hard disk must first be installed before you can use it to reinstall Windows 10.

When you upgraded from a previous version of Windows or receive a new computer preinstalled with Windows 10, what happened is the hardware (your PC) will get a digital entitlement, where a unique signature of the computer will be stored on Microsoft Activation Servers. The Windows 7 or Windows 8 genuine license you were previously running will be exchanged for a diagnostics key.

Anytime you need to reinstall Windows 10 on that machine, just proceed to reinstall Windows 10. It will automatically reactivate. You will prompted to enter a product key a couple times through the installation, click I don't have a key and Do this later.

There is no need to know or get a new key, but if you have issues with Digital Licensing or the Activation Troubleshooter, you can utilize an existing Windows 7 or Windows 8/8.1 product key you already own to reactivate if necessary. or use the reset function in Windows 10.

Go to a working computer, download, create a bootable copy, then perform a clean install.

Step 1: How to download official Windows 10 ISO files
http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/wiki...

Step 2: How to: Perform a clean install of Windows 10
http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/insider/wiki...

Review the following guide for instructions and details about configuring your BIOS or UEFI boot settings for DVD, CD, USB or SD Card.
a
BIOS/UEFI Setup Guide: Boot from a CD, DVD, USB Drive or SD Card
https://www.groovypost.com/howto/bios-uefi-setu...

Once your computer is set to boot from the DVD, you should see this option. If you are installing from a retail Windows 10 USB thumb drive, you will be asked to select either 32 or 64 bit Windows 10. Learn more here https://www.groovypost.com/howto/choose-windows...


The Windows logo will appear on screen, this might be here for a while, as long as you see the animating dots, everything should be ok.

Select your Language, Time and Keyboard method then click Next.

Click Install now

Windows 10 setup will prompt you for a product key during installation a couple times. If you originally upgraded from Windows 7 or Windows 8/8.1 click the option 'I don't have a key' and 'Do this later' . If you have a Windows 10 product key, you can proceed to enter it.

Setup will also prompt you to select the edition you have a license for - Home or Pro. Please make sure you choose the right edition. If you choose the wrong edition, your only option will be to perform a clean install again.

The copy of Windows 10 you download and upgrade from will correspond with the edition of Windows you have installed, if it does not, this is why you might be experiencing problems activating:

Windows 7 Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Windows 8.0 Core, Windows 8.1 Core should install Windows 10 Home

Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Ultimate, Windows 8.0 Pro, Windows 8.1 Pro should install Windows 10 Pro


IF YOU ARE NOT SURE WHICH EDITION YOUR SYSTEM CAME WITH, CHOOSE WINDOWS 10 HOME.

Wait while setup prepares to copy files

Accept the license terms then click Next

Click Custom: Install Windows only (advanced)

NOTE: Sometimes Windows 10 setup can become confused if it see's a thumb drive. You might get a driver missing error or something to that effect. If you do, restart setup, but this time, when you arrive at the following screen, disconnect your thumb drive then go through Custom options. When setup is ready copy files, it will prompt you to reconnect the installation source (your USB).

Select the drive then click New

NOTE: If you have multiple partitions listed, select each one (starting at the bottom), then click delete until there is only a single (one) unallocated drive displayed in the window.

Select the unallocated drive listed, click New, click Apply then OK

This will split the drive into multiple partitions, select the Primary partition then click Next.

NOTE: The System Reserved partition is where recovery files are kept for diagnostics and repairing damaged Windows 10 files; or even reinstall Windows 10.

Wait while Windows installs

When this phase of setup is complete, Windows will automatically restart then reboot into setup again.

Windows is detecting and installing your hardware. After this is complete, Windows will restart one last time.

Out of Box Experience

The Out of Box Experience page is where you get to configure detailed settings in Windows, which includes creating a user account, configure privacy, sync PC settings and install modern applications.

Note: This is a non-Microsoft website. The page appears to be providing accurate, safe information. Watch out for ads on the site that may advertise products frequently classified as a PUP (Potentially Unwanted Products). Thoroughly research any product advertised on the site before you decide to download and install it.
Best regards,
Andre Da Costa
Independent Advisor for Directly

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Since you have the external enclosure the best thing to do is to use one of the free programs and clone the old drive to the new one.  That way you do not loose any of your data.

I use EaseUS ToDo Backup to do this.

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Another option you have is to create a system image and restore it to the new drive:

How to: Create a system image in Windows 10
http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/wiki...

How to restore a Windows 10 system image to an existing or larger storage device
http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/wiki...

or you can clone the existing installation to the new drive:

https://www.groovypost.com/howto/clone-move-win...

Information in the above link is sourced from a trusted Microsoft MVP blog.
Best regards,
Andre Da Costa
Independent Advisor for Directly

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