Installation

BEFORE THE INSTALLATION

Make a backup of all your files! Everything stored on your hard drive is going to be wiped out! Don’t forget the details, such as bookmarks in your browser etc.
Download Windows using Microsoft Media Creation Tool. (The tool will only work on Windows systems. If you want to download the ISO file directly on a non-windows machine, such as those running Linux or MacOS, go to this page.)

  1. Create a bootable USB directly using the Creation Tool. (However, depending on the configuration, the Tool sometimes refuses to flash the USB directly and reports an error.)
  2. Or use the Tool for creating the ISO file and then flash it onto a USB using Rufus (recommended) or Etcher (easier, no knowledge of additional settings required).
    Note: Once you browse for the ISO file Rufus automatically sets the settings back to default which is NTFS. However, your computer would not be able to boot from the USB should you use NTFS file system and choose UEFI (Native) mode in BIOS at the same time. Therefore, in Rufus, you need to change Partition scheme to GPT for UEFI and File system to FAT32.

Make sure you have the following options set up correctly in BIOS (to enable USB drive boot):
Go to BIOS = Start your computer while holding the F10 key (on HP machines) or just keep pressing the Esc key repeatedly upon restarting until a menu appears and then press the respective key to go to BIOS settings.

  • BIOS –> System Configuration –> Boot Options –> Check USB device boot.
  • BIOS –> System Configuration –> Device Configurations –> Check USB legacy support.

(Or BIOS –> File –> Restore Defaults BUT take note that if you had Linux previously installed, you won’t be able to run Windows installation from USB unless you have switched to UEFI mode in BIOS!)

If you can, install Windows 10 using UEFI Native mode (rather than Legacy BIOS).
If you can, convert MBR to GPT (during installation).


DURING THE INSTALLATION

Boot from USB = Upon restarting press F9 (on HP machines) or keep pressing Esc and then choose Boot Options from menu.

[Note: The installation wizard has been changed in many ways since the Windows Anniversary edition. I don’t see the point in my updating the following details continuously. Please take the steps rather as an inspiration on how to set things up if they differ from what in particular you will encounter during the installation.]

  1. Choose language, time and keyboard. For the time being, I would personally set it up this way:
    Language to install: English (United States).
    Time and currency format: Your local language.
    Keyboard or input method: US (The reason for this is to keep everything neat and consistent from the start, to get all the drivers installed in English etc. You will set your preferable input method and regional settings later.) –> Next.
  2. Install now.
  3. You don’t necessarily need a product key during the installation. You can click on “I don’t have a product key”. (You will need to activate Windows later.)
  4. Choose Windows 10 Pro (or whatever you prefer from the menu). –> Next.
  5. Tick the box I accept the license terms. –> Next.
  6. Choose Custom, not Upgrade. –> Next.
  7. Delete all partitions until you’re left with just one. (Confirm OK.) –> Click New –> Leave the offered size and click Apply and OK. –> The installation program will create one more partition reserved for system files. In case you have previously chosen the UEFI mode in BIOS (as recommended) there will be a total of 4 partitions created. –> Select the Primary partition and choose Format –> Next.
  8. (For previous Windows releases:) When Cortana starts talking click on the microphone icon in the bottom left to shut her up.
  9. Confirm your local region. (You can change that later.) –> Yes.
  10. Choose keyboard, (Preferably US just for now in order to keep it all neat and consistent. You will change your input method and regional settings later once all the drivers are installed.) –> Yes.
  11. No need to add a second keyboard now, (this can be done later). I personally don’t like a second keyboard, (it’s a nuisance). –> Skip.
  12. Do not connect to the Internet yet. (We are going to disable Windows Update first.) –> Skip.
  13. Choose Set up for personal use –> Next.
  14. Don’t sign in with Microsoft. –> Click on Offline account.
  15. Next screen will again offer signing in with Microsoft. –> Choose No.
  16. Enter your name or the name of whoever is going to use the PC. (Funny thing, they’re offering the Microsoft account again for the third time in the bottom left corner of this screen.)
  17. Leave the field for a password blank if you want to launch Windows quickly and if it’s safe under your circumstances. –> Next.
  18. Don’t make Cortana your personal assistant. –> Click No.
  19. On the next screen when choosing privacy settings turn OFF all the following 5 services:
    Location: Off
    Diagnostics: Basic
    Relevant Ads: Off
    Speech recognition: Off
    Tailored experiences…: Off
    Click on Accept.


RIGHT AFTER THE INSTALLATION

Option #1 (Better performance):
Disable Windows Update immediately after Windows installation is completed, as soon as Desktop appears, (by disconnecting from the Internet and following the instructions below), and prevent it from downloading any data at all. Thus you can avoid downloading and installing any unwanted drivers or anything that could intrude into the system and slow it down. If you know how to secure your computer and how to install all proper drivers manually then this option can provide complete control and, more importantly, best performance.

Option #2 (Better security):
Let Windows install all the updates first. That will also include hardware drivers some of which may not be exactly tailored for specific hardware, like dual graphics etc. On the other hand, some drivers installed via Windows Update may be newer than those offered via your computer manufacturer’s website. This option will also bring you potentially more safety (though it’s disputable). Then, only after the installation of all the updates is completed, turn off Windows Update as described below. (You can turn it back on at any later time and check for / install newest updates if you want to.)
Strange though it may sound, I always experience a slow-down if I allow the updates to be installed, especially in terms of boot time, as compared to when the system has been kept immaculate from the very start.

 Disable Windows Update:
Step #1:
Win+R (Windows key + R): services.msc –> Windows Update –> Right click and choose Stop –> Double click and choose Disabled –> Apply –> OK.

Step #2 (Windows Pro only):
Win+R: gpedit.msc –> Computer Configuration –> Administrative Templates –> Windows Components –> Windows Update (at the bottom) –> Configure Automatic Updates –> • Disabled –> Apply –> OK.

Step #3:
(You will find this option already disabled if you’re running the Redstone Windows edition officially released on March 19, 2017, or later.)
Win+I –> Update & security –> Windows Update –> Advanced options –> (scroll down) Choose how updates are delivered –> Updates from more than one place: Off.

After the next restart you can safely connect back to the Internet if you’ve gone with option #1.


BIOS

 Now you can adjust BIOS settings for best performance:
(Note: You won’t be able to boot from USB after applying these adjustments.)
Go to BIOS = Start your computer while holding the F10 key (on HP machines) or just keep pressing the Esc key repeatedly upon restarting until a menu appears and then press the respective key to go to BIOS settings.

  • BIOS –> System Configuration –> Device Configurations –> Uncheck USB legacy support.
  • BIOS –> System Configuration –> Device Configurations –> Check NumLock on at boot.
  • Make sure the “Switchable Graphics” box is ticked (if you have a laptop with dual graphics).

Optionally:

  • BIOS –> System Configuration –> Boot Options –> Uncheck CD-ROM boot.
  • BIOS –> System Configuration –> Boot Options –> Uncheck SD card boot.
  • BIOS –> System Configuration –> Boot Options –> Uncheck Floppy boot.
  • BIOS –> System Configuration –> Boot Options –> Uncheck USB device boot.
  • BIOS –> System Configuration –> Boot Options –> Uncheck Customized boot.

Exit –> Save Changes –> Yes.

 

Go on to the next section: DRIVERS

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