How to install Windows 10 on a new PC using a USB drive. How to put windows 10 on a new pc

2. The wizard will ask you to select the language, Windows version and architecture. You can accept the recommended options or make your own choice. Then click Next.

How to Install Windows 10 on a New Hard Drive

Jon Martindale has been a fiction writer for over 10 years. He has written for publications such as Digital Trends, KitGuru and ITProPortal.

Michael Heine is a CompTIA certified writer, editor and network engineer with over 25 years of experience working in the TV, defense, ISP, telecommunications and education industries.

What to Know

  • Use a Windows 10 DVD or USB drive with the installer enabled to start the installation.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to create a new Windows installation.
  • Make sure to select the correct drive to avoid unwanted data deletion.

This guide will walk you through the steps of installing Windows 10 on a new hard drive. These steps also apply when installing on a new SSD.

Installing Windows 10 on a new drive is a different process than restoring Windows 10 to factory settings or reinstalling Windows 10 on an existing drive. Follow our guides for additional help with these processes.

How Do I Install Windows 10 on a New Hard Drive?

Before installing Windows 10 on a new drive, it can be beneficial to disconnect any other connected drives – especially if they contain sensitive data that you want to keep. You don’t have to do this, but if you do, it will prevent you from accidentally deleting anything, so it’s worth considering.

Install a new hard drive (or SSD) in the computer.

Plug in your Windows 10 installation USB drive or insert your Windows 10 drive.

Change the boot order in BIOS to boot from the installation media.

Boot from a Windows 10 installation USB drive or DVD.

When the options are displayed, select Language, Time, and Keyboard language, and then select Next.

Select Install Now.

Confirm that you accept the License Agreement and select Next.

Select Custom: Install Windows Only (Advanced).

The screen below will give you hard access to all drives installed in your system. When it comes to choosing which one to format and install Windows on, it’s extremely important to pick the right one. If you accidentally choose a different drive, your data may be irretrievably lost or difficult to recover.

When asked where you want to install Windows, look for a new disk. It should be easy to spot as it will be completely unallocated space and will be the same size as the new disk. Select this drive and select Format. You can create your own preferred number of partitions by selecting New or just select Next to start installing Windows.

Windows will begin installing on the new hard drive. Depending on the speed of your hard drive and your computer’s CPU, this process may take some time. No matter how long it takes, you will be able to track your progress on the status page.

Installing Windows 10

To review and adjust the options for this feature, right-click the OneDrive icon and click Settings, then go to the Settings tab and click to confirm (and adjust if necessary) the Files On-Demand field.

Minimum System requirements

System requirements for running Windows 10 on a computer do not require access to a powerful computer in order to run it.

As for the processor, you will need a computer with a 1 GHz or faster processor. If you plan to install the 32-bit version of Windows 10, you will need at least 1 GB. On the other hand, you’ll need 2 GB for the 64-bit version of Windows 10.

Likewise, you’ll need 16 GB or more of free hard disk space for a 32-bit version of Windows 10 and at least 20 GB of free hard disk space or 64-bit Windows 10.

Your computer must be DirectX 9 or later compatible with WDDM 1.0 drivers. As for your display, it should support at least 800 × 600 pixels. While internet access is not required for setup, in some rare cases your computer requires an internet connection via Ethernet or Wi-Fi.

Note: Although Windows 10 can be installed for free, you need to pay for an activation key to unlock all its features once it boots up.

How to prepare your Windows 10 files for Installation

You need a Windows computer connected to the Internet to set up Windows installation files. When it is

1. Connect a USB drive (at least 8 GB of RAM) to the computer.

2. Visit the Get Windows 10 website in your browser.

3. Scroll to “Create Windows 10 Installation Media.

4. Click “Download Tool Now”.

5. After you’ve downloaded Windows 10 files to your computer, start it and accept the license agreement.

6. On the “What do you want to do” page, click “Create Installation Media for Another Computer”.

7. Click on ‘Next.

8. You can now adjust the Windows 10 installation settings to your liking.

9. On the “Select a Medium To Use” page, select to record the image to “USB flash drive.”

10. Click on ‘Next.

11. Windows will automatically find the USB drive and select it. If there are more than USB devices connected to the computer, select the correct one, and then click “Next.”

12. The files will be copied to the USB flash drive.

13. Connect the USB drive with the installation files to the computer on which you want to install Windows.

MiniTool Partition Wizard makes it easy to migrate your operating system to SSD / HD. This means you can copy Windows 10 to a new drive without any installation. Here’s how to install Windows 10 on a new computer:

Check network, Windows edition, and activation status

Without a working internet connection, you won’t be able to do anything. In fact, most of the rest of the steps on this checklist require an Internet connection.

For most computers sold in the last five years, Windows 10’s built-in network drivers work fine. After going through the Out of Box Experience (OOBE) part of the process, Windows Setup will either use your existing wired connection or prompt you for Wi-Fi credentials. After setup is complete and you’ve gone to the Windows desktop, go to Settings> Network & Internet> Status. If you see a display like this, it’s good to go.


This Settings page offers network health checking and troubleshooting tools

I keep a USB-based Ethernet adapter (Amazon has a huge selection, including some solid contractors in the $ 10-20 range) on hand for those rare occasions when Windows doesn’t have a built-in driver for your network card, but I don’t need one for this job.

Then go to Settings> Update & Security> Activation to confirm that you have installed the correct version of Windows and that your installation is properly activated. If you run into a problem with any of these settings, you’ll need to troubleshoot them before continuing. See this article for troubleshooting help: “How To Upgrade Windows 10 Home To Pro For Free.”

Set up multi-factor authentication for your account


Use the Microsoft Account Security page to set authentication options

If you’re setting up a company IT-managed computer, you’ll need to follow their instructions, possibly using an Azure AD account. However, for a personal computer, I recommend using a free Microsoft account. (Don’t understand your options? See “Windows 10 setup: what type of user account should I choose?”)

Then, set up 2-Step Verification to protect your account from being hacked by someone who steals or extorts your credentials. This setting (sometimes called multi-factor authentication or two-factor authentication) makes it much more difficult for an attacker to gain access to your account.

You will find step-by-step instructions: “How to lock your Microsoft account and keep it safe from outside attackers.” Installing the free Microsoft Authenticator app and connecting it to your account adds an additional feature: the next time you set up that account on a computer or mobile device, you can bypass the password and sign in by responding to the prompt on your mobile device. You can also recover your account much easier if you forget your password.

Situation A: If you only have a new drive connected, you’ll see a list of unallocated space on Drive 0 there. To install Windows 10 on the new hard drive, just select it and click Next to install Windows 10 on the new hard drive.

Connect to your Network

Now that Windows 10 is properly installed, you can plug in an Ethernet cable to access the Internet or connect to Wi-Fi if your motherboard has that option. Remember that if you connect your computer to the Internet at this stage, it will automatically start downloading drivers from Microsoft’s servers.

Most hardware manufacturers work with Microsoft to automatically list their drivers through Windows Update. You can even run Windows Update by clicking the Start menu, typing Windows Update, and selecting a service.

Check for updates, and Windows will download the latest security updates and drivers for your computer. Often times, drivers stored on Microsoft’s servers may not be the latest. Please visit your motherboard support page for the latest information. On the motherboard support page, select Windows 10 64bit operating system to view all drivers available for your computer. Download chipset, network, VGA and audio drivers.

The VGA drivers are only needed if you are using the AMD APU. If you are using a discrete graphics card, download drivers from the graphics card manufacturer’s website.

Install the drivers in the following order. Chipset or system drivers first, then LAN drivers, then audio, VGA, and mass storage drivers. Windows will automatically install LAN, audio, and storage drivers during installation, so you only update them with the latest drivers. If at any stage, if any of the driver settings ask you to restart your system, do so before installing the next driver. Some drivers are only partially installed before rebooting, and the reboot process completes the installation. Ideally, one thing should be completely installed before moving on to the next driver.

The last thing you should do is check the device manager whether everything is installed or not. Click on the Start menu, type Device Manager and open it. In Device Manager, we will scroll through the list of connected hardware inputs to see if there are any “yellow exclamation points”. They indicate any devices that are not installed. You will usually find them under “Other devices” and they will be marked as “Unknown device”. If they’re not there, you can go! Your computer is properly set up.

If you’re using the standalone email client, you’ll need to add your account information to it. After Office 365 is installed, you have access to Microsoft Outlook, and starting Outlook for the first time prompts you to enter your email accounts.

How to Install Windows 10

Note: You cannot perform a fresh installation of the system without removing all applications and personal data, so be sure to back up all important information before starting this process. Here are the best free backup software for Windows 10.

Step 1: Buy Windows 10

* Do this on a normally working computer.

Today it is no longer possible to upgrade to version 10 for free, so purchasing Windows 10 should be your first step. Go to the Microsoft Online Store to complete this process.

In fact, what you are buying is a license key to activate Windows 10. Without a license key, anyone can download and use Windows 10 for 30 days. But a license is required for permanent access.

Step 2: Create Windows 10 Installation Media

* Do this on a normally working computer.

Traditionally, users download Windows 10 ISO files, burn them to DVD with third-party software, and then install Windows 10 from the DVD. Now everything becomes much simpler, Microsoft offers a user-friendly Microsoft Media Creation tool to help you prepare your installation media.

1. Click here to download and run this utility. When prompted, accept the license terms for the Microsoft software, and then select “Create installation media (USB flash drive, DVD, or ISO file) for another computer” before clicking Next.

2. The wizard will ask you to select the language, Windows version and architecture. You can accept the recommended options or make your own choice. Then click Next.

3. In this step you have to choose whether you want to create a USB drive for installing Windows 10 or unpack the ISO file (later you will have to burn it to DVD yourself). It depends on you. Here is an example of the first. You just need to prepare a large enough USB drive (at least 8 GB) and click Next.

4. Select the removable disk from the list when prompted and make sure you have copied any files you want to keep as they will be formatted during the Windows installation media creation process. Click next to continue.

5. The tool will start downloading Windows 10 and any available updates to the USB drive and enable it to boot, allowing you to install Windows 10 later.

6. When the process is successful, you will see the message “Your USB flash drive is ready”. At this time, click Finish to exit.

Step 3: Install Windows 10 on SSD/HDD

* Do this on the target computer.

With Windows 10 installation media, how to install Windows 10 from USB? Please follow the detailed instructions below:

1. Insert the drive into the computer or laptop on which you want to install Windows 10. Then turn on the computer and it should boot from the flash drive. If not, enter the BIOS and make sure your computer is set to boot from a USB drive (use the arrow keys to put it first in the boot sequence).

2. When the computer boots from the USB drive, you will see the Windows logo followed by the language selection. Confirm the installation language, time and currency format, and keyboard or input method. Then click Next.

3. Click Install Now.

4. You will be prompted to enter a license key, please do as required. (You can also click “I don’t have a product key” to skip and select the desired edition of Windows 10. If ignored, you will need to enter your license key later.)

5. Accept the license terms and click Next.

6. Here you have to make your own choice. Take the latter, for example.

2nd Choice: Use Windows 10 Migration Tool

Besides using the Windows 10 installation disc, there is another way to install Windows 10 on a different hard drive. By using a professional Windows 10 migration tool, you can easily migrate Windows 10 from one drive to another without reinstalling.

Better to choose this way if one of the situations is true:

  • Your hard drive crashes and it is urgent to replace the damaged drive.
  • Your hard drive is running low and moving all your data to a larger one is what you prefer.
  • You are about to migrate Windows 10 to a fast SSD.
  • You have another computer with the same configuration to install.

MiniTool Partition Wizard is highly recommended here for its user-friendly interface and outstanding performance. Get that partition magic and get started. (Works fine on Windows 10/8/7 in all editions.)

Preparatory work:

  • Start the Windows 10 computer you want to clone.
  • Connect a hard drive that has the same sector size as your Windows 10 system drive to this computer (better via SATA) and make sure it’s recognized successfully. Besides, please make sure that key files are backed up and that this drive can be overwritten.
  • Install and run MiniTool Partition Wizard on this computer and run it to get the main interface.

Option 1: Migrate Windows 10 to SSD

MiniTool Partition Wizard makes it easy to migrate your operating system to SSD / HD. This means you can copy Windows 10 to a new drive without any installation. Here’s how to install Windows 10 on a new computer:

1. After completing the above mentioned preparation task, select “Migrate OS to SSD / HD” from the action panel of MiniTool Partition Wizard.

2. On the next page, select option B – copy only the partitions required by the system and click Next.

3. Then select the prepared disk as the target disk and click Next to continue. You will get a warning message that all data on the destination disk will be destroyed if it is not empty. Click the Yes button to confirm because you have finished the preparatory work.

4. Here you can adjust the copy options and preview the changes that will take place on the target disk. When finished, click Next to continue.

Tip: Whether you select “fit partitions to entire disk” or “copy partitions with resize”, you can keep moving the slider at the bottom to adjust the partition size. Note that the “Use GUID Partition Table for Target Disk” option helps to clone MBR to GPT and is only available in the paid versions.)

5. Read the message “how to boot from a new disk” and click Finish.

6. Click Apply to perform the pending operations. Allow the computer to restart to help the Partition Wizard complete the task.

When done, connect the target hard drive to the computer and set the computer to boot from the new hard drive with Windows 10 installed.

Option 2: Clone Windows 10 to New Drive

In addition to migrating to Windows 10, MiniTool Partition Wizard also allows you to clone a hard drive running Windows 10. (Read New SSD, Clean Install or Disk Cloning, or Windows Operating System Migration? For the differences between them).

Quick Video Guide:

Here is a simple guide:

There are several ways to install Windows 10 on your computer, whether you are upgrading Windows 7 or 8, installing a new operating system from scratch, or reinstalling a new version of Windows 10. There are still ways to get a free Windows 10 license for upgrade.

How to Upgrade to Windows 10 from Windows 7 or 8

You can use Microsoft’s update tool to install Windows 10 on your computer if you already have Windows 7 or 8.1 installed. It will also allow you to downgrade and go back to Windows 7 or 8.1 after doing the upgrade if you don’t like it.

If you are using the Assistive Technologies offer, simply download the tool from the Assistive Technologies website and click on the wizard. This will give your computer a free Windows 10 license and install Windows 10.

The assistive technology offering will expire on December 31, 2017. However, if you use it earlier, your computer will permanently have the original Windows 10 license.

If you are upgrading to Windows 10 for another reason – perhaps you have already upgraded to Windows 10 on a current computer that already has a valid license – you can use the Get Windows 10 tool. Click “Download the tool now”, run it, and select ” Upgrade this computer. ” Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the update process.

The tool you are using will download the Windows 10 installation files and start the installation process.

How to Get Installation Media and Do a Clean Install of Windows 10

If you don’t want to upgrade your existing Windows installation, you can download official Windows 10 installation media from Microsoft for free and perform a clean install. To do this, visit Microsoft’s Download Windows 10 page, click “Download the tool now” and run the downloaded file. Select “Create installation media for another computer”.

Be sure to choose the language, edition, and architecture of Windows 10. If you’re installing it on a computer with a 64-bit processor, you probably need the 64-bit version. If you are installing it on a computer with a 32-bit processor, you will need the 32-bit version. You can check what type of processor your computer has if you don’t know in advance.

If you are installing Windows 10 on the current computer, just leave the “Use recommended options for this computer” box checked and the tool will automatically download the correct version for your current computer.

The tool will allow you to copy Windows 10 installation files to a USB drive or burn them to a DVD. If you are using a USB drive, it must be at least 4 GB in size. All files on the USB drive will be deleted as part of this process.

If you want to install Windows 10 in a virtual machine, select “ISO File” here. The tool will download the ISO file, then you can run the downloaded ISO file in a virtual machine to install Windows 10 in it

After creating the installation media, you need to insert it into the computer on which you want to install Windows 10. Then you boot from the installation media. This may require modifying the boot order in your computer’s BIOS or UEFI firmware.

In the Windows setup screen, select your language, time and currency format, and keyboard layout. Click next to continue.

When you get to the installer screen, select “Install Now” and follow the instructions to install Windows 10 on your computer.

When you see the Activate Windows screen, you must enter the key or skip it. You may not see this screen if Windows 10 automatically detects a key associated with your computer’s hardware.

  • If you’ve never installed and activated Windows 10 on this computer before, enter your Windows 10 key here. If you don’t have one, but have a valid Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 key, enter it here.
  • If you’ve used the free Windows 10 upgrade offer on this computer before, click “I don’t have a product key.” Windows will automatically be activated with a “digital license” associated with your computer’s hardware on Microsoft’s servers after it is installed.

When do you get to “What type of installation do you want?” click “Custom” to perform a clean install and remove everything from your computer. (If you have changed your mind and want to update your existing installation, you can click “Update”.)

The assistive technology offering will expire on December 31, 2017. However, if you use it earlier, your computer will permanently have the original Windows 10 license.

Register Everything

This doesn’t guarantee great technical support, but if you register your PC with the manufacturer, as well as software and peripherals with their developers, you have a better chance of being recognized when it’s time to call for help – and that time will come. Often, the seller’s obtainment of the warranty honors depends on when the product was purchased or received. It’s okay to be signed up for a recall – you don’t want to be the only person walking around with a laptop battery that could catch fire, right?

It’s also wise to buy a new computer with a credit card that offers its own extended warranty option as the extended warranty from the retailer is usually not worth it.

Online registration is relatively painless. One downside is that registration can also put your name on endless mailing lists, so if it bothers you please uncheck this option during registration or create a special email address that you can use to filter them. For example, Gmail users can paste a random period in the first part of their address (eg [email protected]) that will still go to the account, but you can filter messages sent to it into special folders.

What to Do With Your Old PC

You can probably make good use of your old computer. Turn it into something new (Linux workstation! Home server! Hotspot!), Give it to someone in need, or recycle it (if you already trust the recyclers). There are many options; we list a few of the 15 great uses for an old computer.

No matter what, sanitize that hard drive before handing it over. At a minimum, format the drive (s) before recycling your old computer. If you’re shipping it using Windows 10, do a full factory reset to the original, ready-made settings. If you’re extremely paranoid, formatting isn’t enough to be 100% sure that your old data on the drive is completely unrecoverable. Specialized software such as Darik’s Boot and Nuke or [email protected] KillDisk – Hard Drive Eraser will do this for free, but it can take hours.

There is always an option for Swiss cheese: drive the car to the workshop and drill holes in it. Bullet holes will accomplish the same thing, but that’s overkill, even for your data.

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