Windows Upgrade & Clean Installation

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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 10/11, 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'
4. Determine if you have 32bit or 64 bit

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

B) Windows Setup:
Ensure Ethernet is unplugged for internet
Insert the USB drive (or DVD disc) with WIN10 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.

Choose 64Bit (or 32bit, depending on what you want)
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 and previously had Win10, (installation may find it automatically later)
Choose Windows 10 Home (or version you are installing again)
Click on NEXT
Click on I accept, then NEXT

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.

Region: United States / Yes
Keyboard: US / Yes
2nd Keyboard: Skip
Choose "I Don't Have Internet (lower left corner)
Continue with limited setup (lower left corner)
Accept Windows 10 License Agreement
Type name of computer user, Next
Click on Next to not use a password
Turn off all for privacy settings except Location then click on Accept
Cortona: Not Now
If HP computer: Register Product
Name & Email
Uncheck 3 boxes
Close Welcome to myHP! screen

Upon getting to the desktop screen, do a WINVER.
If in "Windows Home in S mode", switch to regular mode:
Settings > Update & Security > Activation
In the Switch to Windows 10 Home or Switch to Windows 10 Pro section, select Go to the Store.
(If you also see an "Upgrade your edition of Windows" section, be careful not to click the "Go to the Store" link that appears there.)
On the Switch out of S mode (or similar) page that appears in the Microsoft Store, select the Get button.
After you see a confirmation message on the page, you'll be able to install apps from outside of the Microsoft Store.

Installation is now complete

Restart computer for a clean start. Plug in ethernet before it starts up or connect to WiFi after restart
For HP (maybe others) Click on Do Not Show Again for "IP Address Is Public" Click on Skip For Now if asked about finishing up installation with features

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
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


A) Right click on Win11 Start icon and choose Settings. Pin to the task bar

B) Modifying start menu:
Settings \ Personalization
On right side look for Task Bar
Turn off Widgets and Chat
Scroll down to Task Bar Behaviors
Taskbar alignment – choose Left

C) 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)
D) Settings \ System \ Focus Assist \ Turn OFF

E) Give permission for Classic Shell to work

F) Startup & Task Manager
With Classic Shell use: Ctrl+Shift+Esc
Without Classic Shell OR if taskbar still centered: Right click on Win11 Start \ Task Managaer
Disable any unwanted items some don’t show up in Ccleaner startup items)

G) Turn off Transparency:
Settings \ Accessibility \ Visual Effects
Turn off Transparency Effects

H) In search box, type Control Panel
Go to System & Security \System \ Advanced System Settings \ Performance Settings.
Uncheck boxes for Animate, Fade and Slide

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 registry file, or create the key manually:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Shell Extensions\
Create new key called: Blocked
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\ Options \ Uncheck box for “Show recently used files...”
Right click on desktop, View, remove Align Icons To Grid

M) From my USB: Copy Desktop Images into the Pictures folder
Copy Restart & Shutdown shorts to the desktop
Copy Shortcuts for Adobe & CCleaner Updates

N) Right click on Desktop \ Personalize \ Lock Screen \
Lock screen Status...change to None
Change Background from Windows Spotlight to Picture
Uncheck "Get Facts, tips...."
Scroll down to Screen Saver Settings, change to Mystify, 5 Minutes

O) Taskbar Settings Right click on taskbar \ Taskbar Settings
Turn off Widgets & Chat and Task View (to remove the Desktop 1 icon)
Scroll down to Taskbar Behaviors \ change Taskbar Alignment to Left (if desired)
    Note: This will hide the Windows Start icon behind the Classic Start icon right click on taskbar

P) Taskmanager
1) Ctrl+Sht+Esc (pin to taskbar if desired)
2) Right click on Win11 Start icon & choose Task Manager (Pin if desired) (does not work with Classic Shell)

Q) Classic Shell:
    Note: Installing and using Classic Shell will hide the normal Windows Start icon.
    It’ll be hidden behind the Classic start button
right click and choose Classic Shell from the list of programs
Change the icon to the Clam Shell, or the classic Start image
Click on Windows 7 style
Show Recent or Frequent Programs...change to Recent Programs
Customize Start Menu tab \ make Downloads a link

R) 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

S) 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: All Settings \ Devices \ Touchpad
Turn off touch pad if they don’t want to use it and will use a mouse instead.

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

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

M) Using Edge, go to
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, Malwarebyes, & Java (3rd), NOT Classic Start.

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
Right click on the icon on the taskbar and choose Pin To Taskbar and set to open maximum size

N) Classic Shell:
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

P) Install Adobe Acrobat Reader from shortcut on desktop or from (see bottom of page)
Uncheck optional offers....Then install
Remove shortcut from desktop

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

R) 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

S) Run Ccleaner:
Options Settings: Set to Custom Clean
Tools | Uninstall the following: McAfee and/or Norton, and any other garbage.
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.

T) 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

U) 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


V) Check to ensure Windows is Activated (right click on This PC, Properties)
If not, enter the product key code from ProductKey, or from the label on the computer

W) Advanced Power Options:
Control Panel \ System & Security \ Power Options \ Change Power Plan \ Change Advanced Power Settings
Display 5 min & 10 min
Sleep Never for both

X) Clear Search Results on the taskbar:
Settings \ Privacy & Security \ Search Permissions \
Scroll down and click on Clear device search history

Y)Pin Microsoft Store, Simple Solitaire, and Solitaire Collection to the taskbar

Z) Win11 Start Menu Customized
Pinned Apps (not folders....yet. Its’ in the process of a future update)
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:
Y) 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

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

BB) 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

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

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

FF) 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
GG) Install printers and all other software desired


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