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Windows Upgrade &
Clean Installation

Updated May 2023

Initial new computer Windows 11 Setup

Assuming your hard drive is reformatted. If not, go HERE first



Setup Windows 11 with new computer

United States > Yes
US > Yes
Second keyboard > Skip
Choose network, then UNCHECK connect automatically
Connect > Input password > Next
When connected, click on Next
Connect to the internet again UNCHECKED automatically > Next


Option #1
When you get to the Microsoft Account screen, hit Shift + F10 to open a command prompt.
The command line will start with C:\Windows\System32>
Type this command: OOBE\BYPASSNRO
Your computer will restart and start with taking you through the beginning of US Region, and Keyboard.
Reconnect to the network WITHOUT connect automatically
Upon returning to "Unlock Your Microsoft Experience"...
Hit Shift + F10 again
At the command prompt type: ipconfig /release <Enter>
Type exit and hit <Enter> to close the command prompt window
NOW click on Sign In
Continue with User name and Password. Enter a username, password, and your 3 security questions and answers
Continue below ***

Option #2:
When you get to the Microsoft Account screen, hit Shift + F10 to open a command prompt.
The command line will start with C:\Windows\System32>
Type this command: netsh wlan disconnect <Enter>
Type exit and hit <Enter>
Hit the back arrow at the top left of the screen. You should now be prompted with a basic local user account creation screen.
When you get into Windows, you may have to reconnect manually.

Option #3:
Well, it worked for me
Put in the clients email address and use an INCORRECT password. Do this a few times and it'll tell you "Oops...."
Then something like 'Let's setup a local account'
You can then enter a username, password, and your 3 security questions and answers
Upon getting to the Desktop screen, go to Control Panel > User Accounts > User Accounts > Manage Another Account...then delete the MS account.


DO NOT USE RESTORE from a previous account
Click on Sign In
Sign in their MS account)
Click on View More Options
Click on Set Up As New Device > Next
Click on Create PIN > 0331 > confirm > OK

*** Continue....
Remove settings except location > Accept
Preferences: remove all info > Next
If asked...
UNCHECK both boxes for "I've Read..." and "Use My Information" > Next
Customize your experience > Skip
Use you Android > Skip
MS 365 > Decline
Cloud storage > Decline
Game Pass (or other advert) > Skip
Window will now checking for updates and get things ready

You should now be at the desktop screen

Restart the computer and connect to the internet and have it connect automatically
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 (you'll have to log into the Microsoft Account)
    Click on the "GET" button
    Click on the Close to close the store button
    Do a WinVer again.
    Close the windows for "Switch out of S mode"



Change Name & Description of Computer

Open a File Explorer
Right click on This PC / Properties / Click on Rename This PC.
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

Connect to the internet and Connect Automatically
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) Right click on Start > Installed Apps > McAfee > Uninstall
No Thanks, then put the check in BOTH boxes > Continue / Continue
Restart Later
Uninstall Microsoft 365
Close the Settings window
Restart computer

B) Check for Updates

NOTE: If the computer says it's version 21H2, insert USB with Win11 Installation and run the setup. This will update the computer to at least 22H2 so newer versions can be updated.

C) From my USB:
Copy Desktop Images into the Pictures folder
Copy shortcuts for Restart & Shutdown, & Adobe install file to the desktop

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

E) Settings > Personalization
● Lock Screen:
    ○ Lock screen Status...change to None
    ○ Personalize your Lock screen: Change Background from Windows Spotlight to Picture
      -- Uncheck "Get Facts, tips...."
      -- Change back to Windows Spotlight or choose a picture
    ○ Screen Timeout > Screen and Sleep > 3min, 10min, Never, Never
    ○ Screen Saver > change to Mystify, 5 Minutes
● Start:
    ○ Choose More Pins for the layout
    ○ Turn off "Show Recommendations", "Show websites from..." and "Show Account-Related Notifications"
● Taskbar:
    ○ Click on the down arrow for Search Box > Choose Search Icon And Label
    ○ Turn off Widgets, Pilot, Chat, and TaskView (if you just want to use Alt=Tab)
    ○ Other System Icons:
      -- Turn on Windows Security Notification Icons & Windows Update Status.
      -- Turn off OneDrive if it's not already off
    ○ Taskbar Behaviors: Change to Alignment Left (if desired)
      Note: This will hide the Windows Start button if you use Classic Start
● Colors
    ○Turn off Transparency
    Note: Turning on Accent Color for Start and Taskbar can only be use on Dark theme.

F) Settings > System >
    ● Display
      ○ Turn on Night Light.
      ○ Click arrow to the right and turn on Schedule
    ● Notifications
      ○ Click on the down arrow for Notifications.
        Then uncheck both Show Reminders, and All Notifications to play sound
      ○ Click on the arrow for Set Priority Notifications Uncheck for both Calls And Reminderes
      ○ Focus > Uncheck all and turn off if it's running
      ○ Turn off all but AutoPlay, Security & Maintenance, Settings, Audio, File Explorer
        ○ Still on that screen, scroll down and click on Additional Settings (at the end of the list)
        and turn off all three (Show Windows Welcome, Suggest ways, Get Tips)
    ● Power & Battery:
      ○ Presence Sensing: Automatically dim my screen...
    ● Multi-Tasking:
      ○ Turn on Snap Windows
      ○ Show tabs from apps...change to 5
      ○ Title Bar Window Shake
    ● About > Advanced System Settings > Performance Settings
      ○ Uncheck boxes for Animate, Fade and Slide > OK
      ○ Start Up & Recovery, uncheck Auto Restart > OK
      ○ At the bottom, click on System & Recovery > Settings. Uncheck Automatically Restart
      ○ Click on the tab for System Protection: click on Configure > Turn On System Protection
      ○ Change Max Usage to about 20GB > Apply

G) Settings > Bluetooth & Devices     ● Mouse:
      ○ Additonal Mouse Settings > Pointers: Windows Extra Large Black
      ○ Mouse Pointer: Change size & Color
        ○ 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.

H) Settings > Apps > Startup
Turn off apps not wanted at startup

I) Settings > Accessibility
● Text Size: Increase if needed
● Visual Effect
    ○ Turn on Alway Show Scrollbar

    To make scroll bars wider, go to regedit and navigate to the key:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\WindowMetrics
    Change the value for ScrollWidth from -255 to about -275 for a comfortable width of scrollbar

    ○ Turn off Transparency
    ○ Turn off Animation Effects
J) Settings > Privacy
    ● Windows security > Account Protection > Dismiss for MS Account
       ○ Click on Dismiss for One Drive (if it's there)
    ● General > Turn off all the “Let apps....” stuff
    ● Search Permissions > in the More Settings section, turn OFF Show search highlights

Check the Updates for a Restart requirement on Advanced Options and turn on Notify Me When A Restart Is Required

K) Explorer Ribbon Returned:
Download and install OpenShell Explorer with this link:
During installation, uncheck everything except you need to keep the option for Explorer Bar checked.

L) Files Explorer > View > Show > Hidden Items
Go to Folder Options (3 dots at the end) > Option
Uncheck bottom 3 boxes for “Show recently...", "Show Frequently..., and "Show Files Office”
Choose Single Click (if desired)

Remove the Gallery from the top of the File Explorer (right below the Home link in File Explorer)
Open regedit and navigate your way to:
Delete the sub key of {e88865ea-0e1c-4e20-9aa6-edcd0212c87c}
Close file explorer and reopen

M) Right click on desktop, View > Show More Option > View > Remove check for Align Icons To Grid
Open File Explorer: Click on View > Show > UNCHECK "Item check boxes"

N) Laptop Lid:
Control Panel > Hardware > Power Options >
-- Choose what the power button does (left side)
  Set all to Do Nothing > Save
-- Choose what closing the lid does:
  All should be set to Do Nothing
Click on Change Plan Settings > Change Advanced Power Settings
In the section for Sleep, ensure Hibernate is set to Never and all other settings are set properly
Change when computer sleeps: Set Sleep to Never on both \ Save

0) 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
Now go to Run > netplwiz > remove check in box for Users must enter a username and password
Click on OK, then OK again with your password boxes left blank.

If that doesn't work do this:
Open regedit and navigate your way to:
On the left side right click on Windows > New > Key. Name it Power
Right click on Power and create New Key named PowerSettings
Right click on PowerSettings and create New Key and name it 0e796bdb-100d-47d6-a2d5-f7d2daa51f51
On the right side, right click and choose New DWORD called DCSettingIndex. Set the value to 0
Create another DWORD and name it ACSettingIndex. Set the value to 0

P) Using Edge, go to and get the apps:
    ○ Chrome
    ○ Libre (if they don’t have Office)
    ○ Malwarebytes
    ○ CCleaner
    ○ Java (3rd in the list)
    ○ IrfanView
    FOR TRACY: I only get: Chrome, Malwarebyes, CCleaner,Java (3rd),and IrfanView
Click on Get Your NiNite
Click on SAVE (not run)
Back to, get the app Team Viewer & Save
Open File Explorer and send Ninite file to Desktop as a shortcut
Run Ninite for TeamViewer to install

Run Ninite
Close when Ninite is finished

Q) Image Default App:
Settings > Apps > Default Apps
In box for SET DEFAULTS FOR APPLICATION box (2nd one), type Irfanview
Scroll through the list and make default for the following:
.ani .bmp .gif .jpeg .jpg .png .tif .tiff

R) Classic Shell Toolbar (a.k.a OpenShell):
Classic Toolbar found at: ClassicShell
Download and install. Install ONLY the Toolbar (uncheck all other options)
Classic Explorer settings: (unlock the toolbar)
Navigation Pane > Show Horizontal Scrollbar > default
Toolbar Settings > Big Buttons
Toolbar Buttons > New Folder, File Options, Up, Cut, Copy, Paste, Delete, Refresh, Undo, Redo, Settings

Restart the computer so you can adjust Chrome to default

S) 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

- - - Pin Chrome to taskbar & set to open maximum size

T) Install Adobe Reader DC from shortcut on desktop or from Adobe:
UNCHECK THE BOX FOR MORE ADD-ON'S...THEN download the file &install.
Remove icon from desktop after installation

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

V) Open Ccleaner:
Options >
    ○ Settings: Set to Custom Clean
    ○ Smart Cleaning: Uncheck 2nd box, then first box
    ○ Advanced: Uncheck box for Show Prompt To Backkup Registry Issues
    ○ Privacy: Uncheck all
Tools > Startup & Schedule Tasks list: Disable any unnecessary items listed
Uninstall: OneDrive and any antivirus programs, or other unwanted ones.
Registry > Run and clean up
Run Cleaner to clean up.

W) 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

X) Open Malwarebytes
Click on Profile icon
    ● My Subscriptions > Deactivate Trial
    ● General
        ○ Uncheck Launch at Start Up
        ○ Turn off Usage & Threat Statistics
    ● Scan & Detections: Turn on Scan for Root kits
    ● Notifications
        ○ Turn off General Notifications
        ○ Scan Reminders
        ○ Marketing Notifications
Run Malwarebytes

Z) 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


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

BB) Win11 Start Menu Customized in groups:

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

Drag & drop icons onto each other to create a folder of specific desired apps

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

DD) Turn on File History


Windows Live Mail: See LL) below

Addtional for Tracy:

EE) Turn on Network sharing to see both computers Documents
Do this for BOTH computers first
Settings > Networking & Internet > Advanced Network Settings > Advanced Sharing Settings
Private Networks: Both on and check in box
All Networks: Password Protected Sharing - Off
After both computers are set:
On left side of explorer, right click on Network > Map Network Drive
Choose Q for Receipts, R for Downloads
Paste in the address \\LAPTOP\Users\Mark\Downloads
and \\LAPTOP\Users\Mark\Documents\Receipts

FF) 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

GG) Adjust MouseOver
(Settings does not work...go here:
Control Panel > Ease of Access > Ease of Access > Make the mouse easier to use
You MAY need to edit the speed. See my site for directions.

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

II) Check to ensure F keys are default for single press button
In BIOS, go to under Keyboard or Post Behavior
If it's not there, then go into windows > Press the Function Key, then press the ESC key to swith between. Only if the ESC key has a padlock icon on the key

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

KK) Install printers and all other software desired

LL) Windows Live Mail:
Install NetFrameWorks from my USB. Or try install, and it will tell you that you need it...get it and install it.
Then 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


Prep The Hard Drive

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.

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. 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
     If necessary, choose Load Drivers, and browse to the usb drive and choose the foler...then choose the top option
     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.

United States
Skip additional keyboard
Connect to the network dialog box, press the tab key 6 times, then Choose your WiFi, uncheck box for connect automatically
Enter password, connect. Next (to skip HP Registration if asked)
Uncheck all HP boxes > Next

Then Next
It will now get updates.
Click Next to get to MS Account Login
Hard shutdown the computer
Who's going to use: Bobbie > Next, Next
Turn off all but locations

Continue above with THIS LINK

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