Windows Upgrade & Clean Installation

Updated 9-7-22
Note: Search results for Carney Creations are listed AFTER the ad's in the results listing

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_Install, and keep it safe.

Clean Installation of Windows

A)Pre-Setup: With the computer on do the following:

1. Copy all files if necessary
2. Do a ProductKey to get the key code AND get the key code from the bottom of the computer (if available)
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.
3. 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'

5. Set 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

UNPLUG ETHERNET so there is no internet
Insert the Windows Install USB drive (or DVD disc) and Restart the computer
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.

Click on Install Now, then Install Now again (formatting the drive will come shortly)
In the dialog box for Activate Windows, press “I don’t have a product key” even if you just changed your hard drive, (installation may find it automatically later)
Choose Windows Home (or version you are installing again)
Click on NEXT
Click on I accept, then NEXT

If, for some reason you don't see any drives listed, you need to do one of the following:
     1) In BIOS settings, under the Storage option, for ‘SATA/NVMe Opertation’ switch the SATA Mode to AHCI and not RAID.
     Turn off Secure Boot if necessary.
     2) Using a different computer, open this page and click on the following link to download a driver locator zip file
     Or you can go to the Dell web site, search for drivers for your model, then search drivers for the name "Raid". Download it.
     Unzip to your Downloads/folder and leave the folder name the same ( or whatever the name is).
     Copy that entire folder onto the Win11 installation flash drive
     Insert flash drive into laptop and restart the installation
     This will show the drives available again

Click Custom Install
Delete all partitions starting with the smallest one, deleting the Primary partition last (skip deleting partition if a new drive)

Click on New, Apply, OK
On the primary drive, click on Format > OK
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 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.

To Create a Local Account on Windows 11 After Installation
This works for both Home and Pro users. To enter the Settings app in Windows 11, press the ‘Windows + I’ keyboard shortcut. Go to the left sidebar and select ‘Accounts’, then ‘Family and other users’ in the right pane. Now find the ‘Add account’ button under ‘other users’ and click on it. To create a local account, select ‘I don’t have this person’s sign-in information’ from the pop-up that appears.

After that, click on ‘Add a user without a Microsoft account’. Once you enter a name and password, you are done creating a new local account, to which you can easily shift to from the start menu.

B) Windows Setup:
United States
Skip additional keyboard
Choose your WiFi, uncheck box for connect automatically
Enter password, connect. It will now get updates.
Who's going to use: Bobbie > Next, Next
Turn off all but locations
Local Account setup manually
OR, turn off manually
Right click on taskbar and start Task Manager > More Details
Scoll down to Network Connection Flow
Right click & End Task
Internet Connection dialog will go away

Next (to skip HP Registration if asked)
Uncheck all HP boxes > Next

Upon getting to the desktop screen, do a WINVER.
If in "Windows Home in S mode", switch to regular mode:
Connect to the internet >
Settings > Do a search for S Mode and choose "Switch out of S Mode"
Click on S Mode > Open Store
Click on the "GET" button
Create Account or Sign In
(Create account: Use their regular email address > Next > password (use their regular email address password) > Next
Name > Next > Birth Date > Next
Check email for code > Enter Code & UNcheck "I would like information...." > Next > Next (The MS Account dialog will go away) )
On the Switch out of S mode window, click on GET button again
Click on the Close button
Do a WinVer again.
Close the windows for "Switch out of S mode"


FOR TRACY:    Change Name & Description of Computer
Open a File Explorer
Right click on This PC / Properties / Change settings (on the right side).
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
Open a File Explorer. Then click on Network on the left side
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

A) Adjust time

B) Uninstall McAfee > right click on Start > Apps & Features > McAfee > Uninstall
Uninstall Microsoft 365
Close the Settings window

C) Right click on Win11 Start icon and choose Settings. Pin to taskbar

D) Modifying start menu:
Settings \ Personalization
On right side scroll down to Taskbar
Turn off Widgets and Chat
Scroll down to Taskbar Behaviors
Taskbar alignment – choose Left
    Note: This will hide the Windows Start icon behind the Classic Start icon right click on taskbar

E) Settings > Apps > Startup
Turn off apps not wanted at startup
    (you can turn off Cortana here)
    (Apps that were turned off in Win 10 remain turned off)
F) Settings > System > Focus Assist > Turn OFF

    Settings > Accessibility > Visual effects. Turn on Always Show Scrollbars

G) Turn off Transparency:
Settings > Accessibility > Visual Effects
Turn off Transparency Effects & Animation Effects.
Turn ON Always show scroll bars

H) In search box, type Control Panel
Temporarily pin to taskbar
Go to System & Security \System \ Advanced System Settings \ Performance Settings.
Uncheck boxes for Animate, Fade and Slide
Start Up & Recovery, uncheck Auto Restart
At the bottom, click on System & Recovery > Settings. Uncheck Automatically Restart

I) Settings > Privacy & Security > General
Turn off all the “Let apps....” stuff

J) Settings > Privacy & Security > Windows security > Open Windows Security
click on Dismiss for One Drive
click on Dismiss below Account Protection regarding MS Account

K) Explorer Ribbon Returned: (run the .reg file from my USB drive)
OR open Regedit manually and create the key manually:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Shell Extensions\
On left side, right click & Create new key called: Blocked
On right side, right click & Create new String Value: {e2bf9676-5f8f-435c-97eb-11607a5bedf7}
Restart computer

L) Files Explorer > View tab > put check in boxes for Hidden Items
Right click on Quick Access > Show More Options > Options \ Uncheck both boxes for “Show recently/frequently used files...”

M) Right click on desktop, View > Show More Option > View > Remove check for Align Icons To Grid

N) From my USB:
Copy Desktop Images into the Pictures folder
Copy 4 Pix, Restart, Shutdown, Adobe & CCleaner Updates to the desktop

O) Right click on Desktop > Show More Options > Personalize > Lock Screen
Lock screen Status...change to None
Change Background from Windows Spotlight to Picture
Uncheck "Get Facts, tips...."
Change back to Windows Spotlight or choose a picture
Windows desktop images can be copied to Pictures folder for additional choices:
Go to the following folder:
Copy all the images to your Downloads\Pix folder (just a safe temporary place)
Open a command prompt using Run As Administrator
Go to the root folder then type: cd Users\OWNER\Downloads\Pix (to get to that folder)
Once there, type: ren *.* *.jpg

Scroll down to Screen Saver Settings, change to Mystify, 5 Minutes

Settings > Ease Of Access > Turn off Automaticall Hide Scoll Bars in Windows

Control Panel > Hardware & Sound > Power Options & Choose what the power button does
Set all to Do Nothing > Save
Click on Change Plan Settings / Change Advanced Power Settings
In the section for Sleep, ensure Hibernate is set to Never
Go back to Power Options and click on Choose what closing the lid does: All should be set to Do Nothing
Change when computer sleeps: Set Sleep to Never on both \ Save

Q) Using Edge, go to and get the apps:
    Classic Start
    Java (3rd in the list)
    Libre (if they don’t have Office)
Click on Get Your NiNite
Click on SAVE (not run)
Back to
get the app:
    Team Viewer & Save
Open File Explorer to the Downloads folder. Send Ninite file to Desktop as a shortcut
Run Ninite for TeamViewer to install
Run NiNite from desktop shortcut to install remaining apps
Close when Ninite is finished
FOR TRACY: I only get: Chrome, IrfanView, Malwarebyes, & Java (1st & 3rd), NOT Classic Start.

R) Notifications (by the time)
Choose the notifications for Windows Security and choose See Fewer Notifications
Turn off Recent Activity

S) Settings > Notifications > Remove check for "Intel...", "Offer Suggestions..." and "Get Tips..."
Press Down arrow for Notifications. Uncheck all 3 boxes

T) Classic Shell:
    Note: Installing and using Classic Shell will hide the normal Windows Start icon.
    It’ll be hidden behind the Classic start button
Start Menu Style > Use Clam Shell as icon > Click on Windows 7 style & Replace with Clam Shell icon
Show Recent or Frequent Programs...change to Recent Programs
Custome Start Menu tab > make Downloads a link

FOR TRACY: ClassicShell & Classic Toolbar found at: ClassicShell)
Download and install ClassicShell from my backups. Install both Menu & Toolbar
Use my own Start icon
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
Classic Shell tabs: Import .XML files for Menu Settings and Explorer Settings if available
Customize Start Menu > make Downloads a link and remove all except Control Panel, PC Settings, Run, Documents, Pictures & Recent.
Main Menu > change Max Recent Programs down to 2 (default is 10
For both Show Recent section and for Enable Jumplists section
General Behavior: Uncheck Highlight newly installed
Menu Look > No Animation, Sub-menu > No Animation
Skin > Metallic
Click on the start menu and remove the listed items but leave Notepad

Restart the computer so you can adjust Chrome to default

U) Chrome Default:
Settings > Apps > Default Apps
In the section “Set default for applications” type the word Chrome
Click on Google Chrome
At the top, click on Set Default button
Log into Chrome Account > Sync
OR set Chrome manually without syncing:
Go to Chrome Settings > Settings (hamburger lines)
     \ Appearance
      Enable Home Button
      Enable Show Bookmarks Bar
     \On Startup, set specific page of or other pages desired
     \Privacy & Security \ Click on the link for Advanced: Turn on: Send a “Do Not Track” request

Pin Chrome to taskbar & set to open maximum size

V) Install Adobe Reader DC from shortcut on desktop or from (see bottom of the website page)
Uncheck optional offers....Then install from icon at bottom of Chrome.
Install and remove shortcut from desktop

W) Create shortcuts for Libre Writer (swriter.exe) & Libre Calc (scalc.exe) to the desktop

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

Y) Run Ccleaner:
Options Settings: Set to Custom Clean
Uninstall any antivirus programs, or other unwanted ones.
Tools > Startup > disable OneDrive and any other unnecessary items listed
Tools > Scheduled Tasks > disable OneDrive and any other unnecessary items listed
Registry > Run and clean up
Run Cleaner to clean up.
STOP UAC (if needed):
    Click on Start, type 'Task Scheduler' in the search bar, then click on Task Scheduler
    On the left side, click on Task Scheduler Library
    On the right side, click on 'Create Task...'
    Type CCleaner for the name
    Put a check in the box for Run With Highest Privileges
    Choose Configure for: Windows 10
    Click on the Actions tab, then click on New
    The top drop-down bar should be Start Program, Click on Browse
    Navigate to C:\Program Files\CCleaner and choose Ccleaner64.exe
    Click on the Conditions tab, in the Power section...uncheck the box for "Start the task only if the computer is on AC power"
    Click on OK, then OK again
    Close the Task Scheduler

Z) Go to
Download and save in the Documents folder
Go to the downloads folder and right click on the Routine.pdf file, choose Open With > Choose Another App > Always Use, click on Adobe, then OK
Create a shortcut to the desktop

AA) Run Malwarebytes
    \ Security \Turn off Windows Startup
       Turn on all 4 Scan Options
    \ Account \ Deactivate Premium
Right click on systray icon and uncheck Start With Windows

BB) Right click on OneDrive in the systray \ settings \ Settings
Uncheck “start OneDrive automatically...” | Uncheck Notifications check boxes | OK
Right click on OneDrive again and Close OneDrdive

CC) Mouse & Touchpad controls:
Control Panel > Mouse > Change to Black Extra Large
Laptops: Control Panel > 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: Settings > Bluetooth & Devices > Touchpad
Tap on the down arrow at the top for Touchpad (next to the On button)
UNcheck "Leave touchpad on when...." if they don’t want to use it and will use a mouse instead.

DD) Notifications: Settings \ System \ Notifications \
Click on the down arrow for Notifications. Then uncheck both Show Reminders, and All Notifications to play sound
Turn off One Drive, DropBox Microsoft Store & Suggested
Uncheck Offer Suggestions and Get Tips...

EE) Settings > System > Display
Turn on Night Light.
Click arrow to the right and turn on Schedule


FF) Check to ensure Windows is Activated: Right click on This PC, Properties.Scroll down to Product Key & Activation and click.
Click on down arrow for Activation State, and hope it says "Windows is activated with a digital license" If not, enter the product key code from ProductKey, or from the label on the computer

GG) Systray Icons:
Settings > Personalization > Taskbar > Taskbar corner overflow > Turn on Windows Security Notification Icons & Windows Update Status.
Turn off OneDrive if it's not already off

HH) Clear Search Results on the taskbar:
Settings > Privacy & Security > Search Permissions > Cloud content search: Turn off Microsoft Account and Work or School Account
Scroll down and click on Clear device search history

II) If desired, Pin Microsoft Store, Simple Solitaire, and Solitaire Collection to the taskbar

JJ) Bypass User LogOn:
Open regedit and navitage your way to:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\PasswordLess\Device
and set the value to 0
If necessary, create the DWORD key and name it: DevicePasswordLessBuildVersion
and set the value to 0

KK) Organize Start Menu with Documents, Downloads, Pictures along the top row
Remove unwanted items in the Recommended list

LL) Win11 Start Menu Customized
Ensure you have the latest update of at least build 22H2 Pin any folders you want used.
You can pin a group of apps together by dragging one icon onto another icon.
4 icons will show by default, but if you click on that group, it'll show all the icons in that group.
Right click on any item in the top section that you don’t want Pinned
Drag & Drop to arrange to suite you need
click on the down arrow on the right side to see more hidden pinned items
Pin Simple Solitare to the taskbar, then Unpin from Start menu
Bottom section, right click on any and choose Remove From List
To ADD to the list, if you don’t see it, click on All Apps\
Find the app you, right click on it, then choose Pin To Start
To pin a folder (Downloads, Pictures, Music, etc), open file explorer. Right click on any folder and choose Pin To Start

Notifications are a ‘dot’ to the right of the time on the taskbar


Addtional for Tracy:
MM) 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

NN) 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
OO) Hide 3D Objects folder by going to the registry and delete the following 2 keys (the WOW folder may or may not be listed)

PP) 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

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

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

SS) Install printers and all other software desired

TT) 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


Plug in computer (don’t use battery)
Settings \ Update & Security
If Windows 11 is offered, click on Download & Install
When asked, click on Accept – then Install
Downloading time varies, but it goes right to installing automatically
When Restart button appears, click on it
If necessary click on Restart Now
Computer restart several times before coming up with Desktop background picture, which will probably be a big blue ribbon

Continue with directions above starting right before the A) instructions