[SOLVED] Reformatting my PC with downloaded Windows 10 ISO from Microsoft

IridescentCheese

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Sep 6, 2016
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So back in 2016 I built my PC and I bought a Windows 10 OEM for my OS, but I plan to reformat my PC for a clean start and since I don't have much to lose.

Then I learned that you can reformat your computer by using an ISO file from Microsoft and installing via USB, where in the process of installing the OS you can easily delete the drive you want to install the OS in(effectively wiping out the data in it thus it’s reformatted) then install the OS on the clean drive.



Is it okay if I use the latest Windows 10 build that I downloaded from MS’ website to reformat my PC with this method?



I am afraid that after installation I will have a free version of the OS instead of the Pro version I bought.



Thanks in advance.
 

britechguy

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Jul 2, 2019
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The digital license for Windows 10 is directly tied to the motherboard on the machine on which it was installed. Once that has been established subsequent wipes and reinstalls will always install the same version that was on the machine (unless you upgrade, e.g., Home to Pro during a reinstall - and after that it would be Pro that would reinstall in a wipe and reinstall scenario).

My instructions for doing a completely clean install:

Important Reminder 1:

If your computer has ever had a valid, licensed copy of Windows 10 installed, even if that's been later replaced by, say, Linux, you can still do a completely clean install of Windows 10 without having to acquire a new license. Windows 10 licenses are stored electronically on Microsoft servers, and are linked to your computer's motherboard. The installer will locate that existing license if you are reinstalling Windows 10.

____



Important Reminder 2:

It should go without saying, but, if you have a functioning, even poorly functioning, system that you're hoping to wipe clean to get a fresh start you should definitely do a full system image backup and a separate user data backup before following the instructions for doing a completely clean reinstallation. It also makes sense to use a utility such as Belarc Advisor to create an inventory of the software you have installed and the license keys for same so that you have a handy list when it comes time to put them on your brand new Windows 10 installation.

____





You can use the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool either to create bootable USB media directly, or if you want to have a copy of the ISO file, to download that and use a separate utility to create the bootable USB media. Either way will work.



These instructions are current as of July 2, 2019. They have changed little during the life of Windows 10.



Doing a completely clean (re)installation of Windows 10 using the Media Creation Tool (MCT):



A) To create a bootable USB drive using the MCT itself:

- MS-Word Format: Completely Clean Win10 (Re)install Using MCT to Create a Bootable USB Drive



- PDF Format: Completely Clean Win10 (Re)install Using MCT to Create a Bootable USB Drive





B) To download the Windows 10 ISO file and use Rufus to create the bootable USB

- MS-Word Format: Completely Clean Win10 (Re)install Using MCT to Download Win10 ISO File



- PDF Format: Completely Clean Win10 (Re)install Using MCT to Download Win10 ISO File
 

IridescentCheese

Reputable
Sep 6, 2016
41
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4,530
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The digital license for Windows 10 is directly tied to the motherboard on the machine on which it was installed. Once that has been established subsequent wipes and reinstalls will always install the same version that was on the machine (unless you upgrade, e.g., Home to Pro during a reinstall - and after that it would be Pro that would reinstall in a wipe and reinstall scenario).

My instructions for doing a completely clean install:

Important Reminder 1:

If your computer has ever had a valid, licensed copy of Windows 10 installed, even if that's been later replaced by, say, Linux, you can still do a completely clean install of Windows 10 without having to acquire a new license. Windows 10 licenses are stored electronically on Microsoft servers, and are linked to your computer's motherboard. The installer will locate that existing license if you are reinstalling Windows 10.

____



Important Reminder 2:


It should go without saying, but, if you have a functioning, even poorly functioning, system that you're hoping to wipe clean to get a fresh start you should definitely do a full system image backup and a separate user data backup before following the instructions for doing a completely clean reinstallation. It also makes sense to use a utility such as Belarc Advisor to create an inventory of the software you have installed and the license keys for same so that you have a handy list when it comes time to put them on your brand new Windows 10 installation.

____





You can use the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool either to create bootable USB media directly, or if you want to have a copy of the ISO file, to download that and use a separate utility to create the bootable USB media. Either way will work.



These instructions are current as of July 2, 2019. They have changed little during the life of Windows 10.



Doing a completely clean (re)installation of Windows 10 using the Media Creation Tool (MCT):



A) To create a bootable USB drive using the MCT itself:

- MS-Word Format: Completely Clean Win10 (Re)install Using MCT to Create a Bootable USB Drive



- PDF Format: Completely Clean Win10 (Re)install Using MCT to Create a Bootable USB Drive





B) To download the Windows 10 ISO file and use Rufus to create the bootable USB

- MS-Word Format: Completely Clean Win10 (Re)install Using MCT to Download Win10 ISO File



- PDF Format: Completely Clean Win10 (Re)install Using MCT to Download Win10 ISO File
So whatever method you use as long as a legit digital license of Windows 10 is in the motherboard it will remain the legit version you bought?

For the reminder 1 since the license is already stored in Microsoft's servers that means I will need an internet connection for it to work right?
Do I have to connect to the internet during the installation for it to happen? I am asking because we don't have an internet connection, but we do have a pocket wifi(4G is pretty fast). Will it work if I install a new OS offline then connect to internet after installation?

For the reminder number 2, is it okay if I omit it? From what I understand it works best if I have a couple or dozens of software that has its legit license key so i can use it even after reformatting. But in my case I don't really have any, I use free software utilites so no big deal I guess.
 

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