Already on Windows 11?

Everything you're going to find on this website is related to Windows 10, (though much of it will apply to older Windows releases as well). However, if you did make the mistake and upgraded to Windows 11, you can at least use a little yet powerful tool called ThisIsWin11 to make the latest Microsoft's spawn more palatable.

Now, coming back to Windows 10, let’s deal with the foundation first and talk briefly about the installation of the OS itself.

Create Installation Media

You can download a ready-to-use ISO from here. Nothing to worry about, those are the same packages you would get from Microsoft. The advantage is that there are also older releases available.

Or you can switch a user agent in your browser and download the latest ISO directly from MicrosoftHere‘s a guide on how to do that. (It's easier than it may seem at first.)

Note that on both the above counts, 'English' means US English. If you select 'English International', you'll end up with a British version.

Another option is obviously using the Media Creation Tool provided directly by Microsoft – nothing wrong with that either.

While Microsoft's Creation Tool provides the option to 'burn' a bootable USB right away, with the downloaded ISO's you'll need to take one more step and create the USB using additional software. If you're doing this on a Windows machine, Rufus is the best candidate for the job. The two-step approach can eventually be faster than waiting for the Creation Tool.

There's one more option to consider and that's using my custom Light Flavor ISO for Windows installation. Make sure you read about it before you jump to the installation. It might very well not be what you want.

Configure BIOS

You will have to disable Secure Boot temporarily in BIOS if you have created a USB that uses the UEFI:NTFS bootloader. (And you will have to use NTFS if you choose the official Microsoft installation because the install.wim inside the ISO is larger than 4 GB on newer releases.)

  • BIOS (F2 on Lenovo) → Security → Secure Boot → Disabled

I also disable the following two options:

  • BIOS Configuration → Hotkey Mode → Disabled (Annoying, switches the behavior of function keys. I prefer the 'legacy' behavior instead.)
  • BIOS → Configuration → Always On USB → Disabled (Changes the behavior of ports in the way I dislike.)

And I switch to the highest possible performance:

  • BIOS → Configuration → System Performance Mode → Switch from Intelligent Cooling to Extreme Performance

Also, I don't like the 'One Key Battery' function as it's annoying and useless:

  • BIOS → Configuration → One Key Battery → Disabled

Launch Installation

Boot from the USB (F12 on Lenovo).

Do not connect to the Internet during the installation of Windows Home – that way you’ll be able to set up a local account, and more importantly, avoid Windows Update, (see more details in the Tweak for Speed section).

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