Windows 10 Upgrade & Clean Installation

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Last updated Feb. 2019

Get The Tool

This part is for getting the tool from Microsoft. You only need to create the MediaTool one time. Once you have the MediaTool upgrade/installation files onto the flash drive, you can use that same flash drive on any computer in the future that you need to upgrade or do a clean installtion.

To get started with either an upgrade or a clean installation, you first need to get the MediaCreationTool from Microsoft.
Note 1: This tool is NOT just for creating the installation files onto a USB for a clean installing of windows. It is ALSO for actually upgrading your current computer WITHOUT losing any of your files. (Trust me...I've had to do this procedure for 1 of 4 computers I've worked on. Two were complete installations, 1 upgraded fine with the taskbar link, and the 4th needed this tool)
Go to Microsoft's MediaCreationTool and click on the link for Download Tool Now.
Save the file to your computer. (Downloads folder is a nice place). You will need a blank 8GB USB flash drive.
Format the USB first. Just erasing the drive will NOT work.

Open the folder where your file was saved and run the file you just downloaded called MediaCreationTool
When it starts, you’ll see Getting things ready, then you have to click on Accept, then you’ll see getting things Ready again.
You will see 2 options there. One is to upgrade the current PC and the other for creatinging for another PC. You want the 2nd option for “Create installation media for another PC”.
Choose the USB option, then continue with the creating the media tool on your flash drive.
When the creation tool is finished, you’ll Finish & Dismount... (or just click on Finish)
Use the 'safely remove device' to remove the flash drive.
You MAY get a notice that you’ll need your Windows 10 Product Key. This can be either a valid Win10 key (that came with the computer) or the previous valid Win7 key (that came with the computer or your retail Windows version).
You can remove the USB drive. This USB is what you will use to upgrade, or clean install with a format, any future computer, be it Windows Professional or Home, 32Bit or 64Bit.

Burn To DVD Disc option:
If you need to create the installation files on a disc, follow these directions. You still need to have the MediaCreationTool, so download it if you haven't already. Then run the tool.
In this scenario, instead of choosing the USB option, you'll choose the ISO option and follow the directions. This will download the ISO to your computer.
Once the ISO download is complete, open a File Explorer and go to the folder where you save the ISO. Hightlight the ISO file. On the menu bar, click on Share, then click on Burn to Disc. Burn the ISO to disc as you normally burn discs.

Now label the flash drive (or DVD) WIN 10, and keep it safe.

Clean Installation of Windows 10

These instructions are assuming you've already downloaded the 'tool' (from the link above) and created the installation on a USB (or DVD) as directed at the top of this page.
MANDATORY: You MUST write down the Windows product key and any other product key codes you want. Use ProductKey Finder to get it. (The link is about 3/4 down the page. Use the link for 'Download ProduKey (In Zip file)'. That link is to download the free standalone program will help you out...without any installation. DO NOT use the product key sticker on the bottom/back of the computer as it may cause a headache. (Trust me...I had to call Microsoft because of it)
First the BIOS has to be set for booting from the USB as the first option
Restart computer and press F2 to get to the Bios. (Other F keys may be F1, F10 or F12). Change the Boot sequence to USB first
Note: If you do not have USB as a bootable option, you will have to run the MediaCreationTool again and choose the DVD option instead of the USB.
And then set the BIOS to DVD drive first (if it isn't already)
Optional: Press and hold the ESC key. Turn on the computer until you see the boot options

A) Determine if you have Windows Home or Pro (Windows 8/8.1 is automatically Home version unless it states Professional. This information will be stated when you right click on This PC/Properties, then look in the first section called 'Windows Edition'
B) Determine if you have 32bit or 64 bit

Insert the USB drive with WIN10 and Restart the computer
Or...insert the DVD and restart.
If you are not given the option to "Press any key to boot from CD", then try again and press F12 (or the ESC key) get to the Boot Options. In there you will choose the Boot from CD/DVD option. can try going into the Setup (F2), move the DVD down, then back up again for boot sequence. THEN try to restart the computer.

Choose 64Bit (or 32bit, depending on what you want), then click NEXT (for keyboard layout, English, etc)
Click on Install Now (formatting the drive will come shortly)
Put a check in the box for 'I Accept', then click on Next
In the dialog box for Activate Windows, press “I don’t have a product key” (installation will find it automatically later)
If you changed your hard drive and previously had Win10, click on "I don't have a product key" also.
Click on Install Now
Click on I accept , NEXT
Click I don’t have key if asked (even for a hard drive replacement)
Choose Windows 10 Home if asked (or Pro if you have that version before)

Click Custom: Install
Delete all Recovery partitions. If new drive, click New > Apply. Click on largest drive, Format / Next
Highlight the primary partition (largest), Then click on Extend. Leave the default value and click on OK.
Yes to “this can’t be changed later”. Delete primary partition, then create a New partition.
Click on Format > OK to entirely format that partition and delete all traces of files on the C:\
If you don’t format that C:\ drive, you will get a folder of c:\windows.old and all of it's junk
Note 1:For certain computers, you may have to do this twice before the installation will work.
Note 2: If you get a messages that states: "The partitions on the disk selected for installation are not in the recommended order. For additional information about installing to GPT disks....", choose No. Just delete all partitions EXCEPT the largest one (your largest primary partition), then click on the large primary drive and Format and continue as noted below by clicking on Next.
Note 3: If you want to use 2 partitions (one for the OS & Programs, and one for0 your files), you will need to use a partitioning program like EaseUS , a free version program to partition the drive AFTER windows is installed
Note 4: Some Toshiba hard drives may need additional adjusting due to "The selected disk is of the GPT partition style"
Here's how to fix that:
Assuming you've deleted extra partitions, now press Shift/F10 to open a command prompt.
Type: diskpart <enter>
Type: list disk <enter>
Type: select disk 0 <enter> (assuming you only have that one left)
Type: clean <enter> (it could from 1 minute to 1 hour)
Type: quit <enter>, then quit <enter> (again)
Now click on the drive partition and Format
Continue with install below

After formatted, click on OK
Click NEXT
Installation begins and takes approximately 10-15 minutes (5 min for an SSD)
* * * When the computer restarts for the first time, remove the USB drive. If you missed removing it, press the ESC key and remove the USB drive as soon as the monitor goes black. The installation will continue and restart on it’s own.
This part will take approximately 5 minutes.

Click on microphone icon to turn off Cortana
Region: United States / Yes
Keyboard: US / Yes
2nd Keyboard: Skip
Choose your network / connect / enter password (if on WiFi)
Click on Next (after connected)
Setup for Personal Use / Next
Click on Offline Account (lower left corner)
Click on No to sign in with Microsoft instead
Type name of computer user, Next
Click on Next to not use a password, otherwise, put in a password
Cortona: Decline
Activity History / No
Turn off all for privacy settings except Location then click on Accept

Installation is now complete
Restart computer for a clean start

OPTIONAL    Change Name & Description of Computer
Open a File Explorer
Right click on This PC / Properties / Change settings for the computer name.
For Computer Description, type in Desktop (or Laptop, Personal Laptop... or whatever you want)
Click on the button for Change
Rename the computer to Worktop (Desktop or Laptop...or whatever name you want)
Click on OK, OK, Close, Restart Now
Click on File Manager / Network At the top click on the yellow bar where it says “Click to Change” Click on Turn on network discovery and file sharing” and then Choose No If desired to map a network drive, open File Explorer, right click on This PC / Map Network Drive. Click on Browse and go find the Desktop F: drive (or whatever drive you want) Click on OK, then change the Drive letter to F: (or whatever letter you want) Click on Finish, then close the File Explorer

Go to All Settings / Updates & Security
Check for Updates

First...turn off Animation of the menu fly-outs & screen smooth scrolling:
Open Control Panel \ System \ Advanced System Settings \ Performance Settings.
Uncheck all Animate or Fade items. Also uncheck Slide Open Combo & Smooth-scroll list boxes

A) Settings \ Privacy \ Turn off most of what’s there.
Unpin unwanted icons on taskbar

Touchpad Tap-To-Click adjustments:
All Settings \ Devices \ Touchpad \ Uncheck 3 boxes & leave 4th box checked for “Press Lower Right...”
(If necessary install Alps Touch Pad for Windows 10 64bit

B) Single Click of mouse: File Explorer / Options /
Options / View (tab), Uncheck ‘Hide Protected Operating System Files’
Control Panel / Ease Of Access / Make the mouse easier to use / Activate a windows on hover
Mouse Over slowed down via regedit
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop
Rename your registry value from: ActiveWndTrackTimeout To: ActiveWndTrkTimeout
Edit the key and change from Hexadecimal to Decimal and Set to 300
Log off, then sign in again.

C) Settings \ Update & Security \ Windows security \
Virus & Threat: Scroll down and Dismiss for Ransomware (One Drive)
Account Protection, Dismiss for MS Account

D) Change background image
Adjust to current time zone

Restart Computer

E) Using Edge, go to (for me personally, I only get: Chrome, Team Viewer, Malwarebyes, & Java, NOT classicshell)
get the apps: Chrome, TeamViewer, Classic Start, Malwarebytes, Java, IrfanView, Libre (if they don’t have Office),
Click on Get Your NiNite,
Click on SAVE (not run)
Click on Open Folder when it’s done. Right click on the Ninite file and choose Send To / Desktop
Click on the black down arrow along the top title bar. Uncheck Minimize the Ribbon
Run NiNite from desktop shortcut
Close when Ninite is finished

(I use this for ClassicShell & Classic Toolbar found at: ClassicShell)
F) Download and install ClassicShell from my backups. Install both Menu & Toolbar
Classic Explorer settings: (unlock the toolbar)
Navigation Pane \ Show Horizontal Scrollbar \ default
Toolbar Settings \ Big Buttons
Toolbar Buttons \ Cut, Copy, Paste, New Folder, Refresh, Up, Delete, Settings

G) Classic Shell tabs: Import .XML files for Menu Settings and Explorer Settings if available
Otherwise :
Start Menu Style \ Use Clam Shell as icon \ Click on Windows 7 style & Replace with Clam Shell icon
or Custom and use one of your own.
Customize Start Menu \ make Downloads a link and remove all except Control Panel, PC Settings, Run, Documents, Pictures & Recent.
(Optional) Main Menu \ change Max Recent Programs down to 2 (default is 10)
(Optional) For both Show Recent section and for Enable Jumplists section
(Optional) General Behavior: Uncheck Highlight newly installed
(Optional) Menu Look \ No Animation, Sub-menu \ No Animation
(Optional) Skin \ Metallic
Click on the start menu and remove the listed items but leave Notepad

H) Right click on Desktop \ Personalize \ Lock Screen \ Screen Saver Settings:
Set screen saver to Mystify 15 minutes

I) Open Chrome and switch to default browser
Log into Chrome Account \ Sync
OR set Chrome manually without syncing:
Go to Chrome Settings
Enable Home Button
Enable Show Bookmarks Bar
On Startup, set specific page of
Click on the link for Advanced: Turn on: Send a “Do Not Track” request
Close Chrome and open again
Click on Set as Default for the default browser
Default Apps dialog will show, click on Set defaults by app
Under Web Browser, click on Microsoft Edge, then click on Chrome \ Switch Anyway
Right click on the icon on the taskbar and choose Pin To Taskbar

J) Go to:
Create a shortcut to this page on the desktop and call it CCleaner Update
At the bottom, click on the link file for ccsetup.exe to run the file (not save)
Uncheck all offers (chrome toolbar, Avast, etc.) / Then install

K) Restart the computer so Ccleaner can adjust and locate all games (in the next section)

L) Run Ccleaner \ Tools \ Uninstall the following: Candy Crush, Disney Magic Kingdoms, Get Office, Hidden City, March of Empires, all four Xbox items, McAfee and/or Norton, and any other games.
\ Startup \ disable OneDrive and any other unnecessary items listed
\ Scheduled Tasks tab, disable OneDrive and any other unnecessary items listed

M) Install Adobe Reader DC from (see bottom of page)
Uncheck optional offers....Then install from icon at bottom of Chrome.

N) If still showing, Click on Cortana / Settings (on the bottom left) (mic icon) ...turn off ALL of them
Right click taskbar and hide cortana
Remove icon on taskbar for mail unless they use it for their email

O) Right click desktop \ Personalize \ Colors, remove the check for automatically pick an accent
Change the color to a dark grey (instead of the checked box for blue)
Scroll down and put check in box for Title Bars

P) Notification Area customized: Right click on Task Bar / Taskbar Settings
Click on “Select which icons appear on the taskbar". From here you can turn on or off selected items

Q) Go to
Download and save in the Documents folder
Right click on the .pdf file, choose Open With \ Choose Another App \ Always Use, click on Adobe, then OK
Create a shortcut to the desktop

R) Leave icons on desktop to Align to Grid

S) Hide People icon by systray

T (Optional) Hide Camera Roll and Saved Pictures folders
Create new folders in the Users\Tracy\AppData\Local folder and call them Camera Roll and Saved Pictures
Right click on the original Camera Roll folder and chance location to Users\... folder.
Repeat for Saved Pictures folder

U) Remove OneDrive icon by going to the registry and edit the following key:
Double click on: System.IsPinnedToNameSpaceTree
Change the value from 1 to a 0
V) Hide 3D Objects folder by going to the registry and delete the following 2 keys (the WOW folder may or may not be listed)

W) Control Panel \ Mouse \ Change to Black Extra Large
\ Device Settings. Put check in box for Disable internal pointing device
Put check in box for Remove tray icon
If you don't have a Device tab, then go to: All Settings \ Devices \ Touchpad
Turn off touch pad if they don’t want to use it and will use a mouse instead.

X) Put shutdown and restart icons on desktop
Restart: C:\Windows\System32\shutdown.exe -r -t 00
Shutdown C:\Windows\System32\shutdown.exe -s -t 00
Change icons for red power button for shutdown and the curved green up arrow for the restart

Y) Notifications \ All Settings \ System \ Power & Sleep
In Sleep Section:
10 Min. Never, 20, Never (for me: 5min, 10min, 1 hour, 2 hour)
Additional Power settings \ Close Lid does nothing for BOTH
Change current plan settings \ change advanced \ Sleep \ Hibernate \ both to Never

Notifications \ All Settings \ System \ Notifications & Actions \
Click on “Add or remove quick actions”
Turn off Tablet Mode, VPN, Project,
Click & Drag icons to desired location

Z) Notifications area:
Trim down the Notifications area to:
top row order of Brightness, Night Light, Network, All Settings
Leave all, but set to collapse
Remove Check for Get notifications from apps and other senders bluetooth icon from Notifications
Set Night Light to ON

AA) Right click on OneDrive in the systray \ settings \ Settings
Uncheck “start OneDrive automatically...” \ OK
Right click on OneDrive again and Exit

BB) Run Malwarebytes \ Settings \ Account Details \ Deactivate Premium Trial
Protection tab \ turn on Scan for Rootkits \ Make sure Potential Threat has both set for Always Detect.
Right click on systray icon and uncheck Start With Windows

CC) Check for windows updates

DD) Turn off live files are turn on in the MS start menu

EE) File Explorer \ View \ put checks in boxes for File name extensions and for Hidden Items
Right click on Quick Access\ Options \ Uncheck box for “Show recently used files...”

FF) Hide One Drive from File Explorer:
Open Regedit \ HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{018D5C66-4533-4307-9B53-224DE2ED1FE6}
Double click on: System.IsPinnedToNameSpaceTree
Change the value from 1 to a 0

GG) Check to ensure F keys are default for single press button

HH) run: netplwiz, uncheck box for users need password to log in.

II) Reboot and enter BIOS to ensure the hard drive is set as first boot.

Optional: Install drivers from original computer disks if it’s not an original Win10 computer. You only need necessary drivers such as Webcam, chipset drivers, etc). You may not need to, so check out the system and ensure that all is working ok.

JJ) Copy FONTS folder from flash drive to new computer. Install all fonts but do NOT overwrite any of them

KK) Windows Live Mail:
Turn WiFi OFF
Install WLM on new computer OFFLINE
Setup Manually and NOT setup anything
Click on the Menu icon (middle button on the right) / show Menu bar
Then import in order: 1) Account, 2) Contacts 3) Email Messages
LL) Install printers and all other software desired