Tutorial Windows: Using the Media Creation Tool to Install Windows 10

No more beta testing, unofficial buggy builds, or features that are not sure to stay. Microsoft released Windows 10 today, and it’s going to be the last iteration you’re going to see for a long time.

The distribution is made for free in some situations, and it can even be done through direct upgrade of Windows 7 or 8. However, you need to stay in queue to receive the upgrade, but the official ISO is already up for grabs, in case you’re really anxious to officially meet Windows 10.

Microsoft is trying to help everyone deploy Windows 10 in different ways, and they’ve even made a tool available that automatically grabs required installation files and bundles them up on a deployment disk or USB drive of your choice. Here’s how you can use this tool to your advantage.

Downloading and installing Windows 10

The first thing you need to do is grab Microsoft’s Media Creation Tool. Be sure to get the one suitable for your system.

Hint: To check the type of system you’re running, simply right-click This PC / Computer, and access the Properties panel. In the System section, where processor and installed memory (RAM) are shown, identify the System Type entry, which tells you whether your processor is x64 or x86-based.

Now that the tool is downloaded, go ahead and run it. Notice that it offers to either upgrade your current Windows version, or Create installation media for another PC.

Preparing Windows 10 Installation Media

Even if you decide to deploy Windows 10 for personal use on your home computer, it’s always a good idea to have an installation disk nearby, not because of any malfunctions the OS itself can cause, but you never know when the computer refuses to boot.

In this situation, you’re stuck with almost nothing, since you won’t be able to go online and download a fresh copy. Before rushing to install Windows 10, just put in on a media disk that can be used at any moment.

Step 1: Run the Media Creation Tool and choose to Create Installation Media for Another PC.

Step 2: Choose the language.

Note: The language you choose here also determines whether or not Cortana works, since it’s not yet available in all countries. However, this also affects the Store and other apps that depend on location.

Step 3: Select the Windows 10 Edition you plan to use.

Note: Don’t get greedy and just pick the one you need. Also consider future cost of a license to help you with the decision.

Step 4: Pick the desired Architecture from the drop-down menu.

Note: Even if you decide to keep the installation for a single computer, you never know how you’re forced to also install it on a different system. Thus, it’s best to select Both Architectures.

You can either create the installer on a USB Flash drive, or simply save it as an ISO file to later on burn to a DVD. Either way, Windows 10 installation files need to be downloaded first.

Step 5-a: Select USB flash drive and press Next. Prepare a drive with at least 3 GB for one System Architecture, or at least 6 GB for both Architectures.
Step 5-b: Select ISO file. Press Next and pick a location on your hard disk drive to save the file.

Important Note: Make a backup of everything that’s on the USB Flash drive, because it undergoes formatting to ensure proper deployment of installation files.

Step 6: Press Next and wait for all required files to be downloaded. You can carry out with whatever it is you were doing in the meantime.

The Setup

The Microsoft team that’s behind for Windows 10 want people to get it as fast as possible. One method is to wait for the update to perform the upgrade, that’s if you reserved your free copy of Windows 10. If not, it can be done through the Media Creation Tool.

If you followed the steps above, you now have either an ISO file waiting to be burned to a DVD, or a USB Flash drive fully prepared to install Windows 10.

To make it possible to run the setup from a DVD, you first need to extract the data from the ISO file. You can either download applications like UltraISO to mount the image, or simply extract content with an archiver like 7-Zip and burn them to a DVD. Now just pop the DVD in the tray, and run the setup directly, or restart your PC for a clean boot to the installer.

Deploying Windows 10 from the USB Flash drive isn’t all that different. Plug the Flash drive in a free USB port, restart the PC, and choose to boot from the Drive.

Important Note: There’s a high chance you won’t see the option to boot from an USB flash drive. If this happens, access the BIOS, go to UEFI settings and change to boot order so that the PC looks for any available USB drives before checking the hard disk drive for an installed OS.

Last but not least, you can leave everything behind and start a new, fresh experience by choosing to Upgrade your PC now in the Media Creation Tool. Installation files are downloaded, after which you should be offered the choice of a Fresh install or Upgrade so you can keep most files, settings, and apps intact.

Hint: If you’re not really sure whether or not to upgrade (we recommend that you do), you can install Windows 10 in a virtual machine to test it out and not have anything changed in the way your current Windows behaves.

A few last words

In the following period of time, Windows 10 is sure to receive a lot of positive feedback and heavy criticism. This is only normal, and we’re definitely hoping, from all the testing and research, that this operating system from Microsoft has good reasons to stay, impress, and most of all provide the flexibility, performance, and practicality you need.

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