How to Perform a Windows 10 Clean Install
Posted on January 21st, 2016
So you’ve reserved you free copy of Windows 10 but you want to perform a clean install and decrapify your PC. In short you want a fast responsive system again.
Recoveries don’t tend to do this as they always install the same old bloatware that you never asked for and don’t want. The Windows 10 update will not perform a clean install, but keep all your old data, programs etc and you’ll lose a chunk of space to your Windows 7/8 backup.
Remember before you do this backup everything you need. You will lose all your data doing this.
What do you need for a clean Windows 10 installation?
- Windows 10 install key (this is not the same as your Windows 7 or 8 install key)
- Windows 10 installation media (DVD, USB etc)
Unfortunately you will need to follow the regular upgrade process as and when it becomes available to you. It’s this process that generates your Windows 10 install key needed to activate your Windows 10 licence.
Create Windows 10 Install Media
Head over to https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/software-download/windows10 and download the Microsoft Windows 10 download tool. Follow the instructions to create an iso (which can later be burned to a DVD – just right click on it) or bootable USB stick.
Remember the version of the tool you download (32-bit or 64-bit) refers to the your current OS, not that one you want to install. If you’re on Windows 7 32-bit download the 32-bit tool. You can still create 64-bit media (your Windows 10 licence allows the installation of either 32-bit or 64-bit versions regardless of what your current Windows version is).
Windows 7 and 8 Home versions will be upgraded to Windows 10 Home. Professional versions will be upgraded to Windows 10 Professional. Make sure you create the correct media or your key will not work.
Find your Windows Install key
Your Windows installation key will be in the format XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX.
It’s highly recommended that you take note of your current Windows 7 or 8 key before you start. This will let you perform a clean installation of your original Windows at a later date should you wish.
Download the Windows Install Key Finder vbs file (your browser may try to block it, vbs files can be malicious – you’ll need to rename the .txt extension to .vbs). Alternatively copy the code below, copy in a plain text document and save with the .vbs extension. Double click to run.
When asked save your key details and back this file up.
Steps to Perform a Clean Windows 10 Installation
- Back up
- Using the vbs tool get current Windows Key and save it and back it up
- Create Windows 10 ISOs for Home or Pro
- Run the Windows 10 update (do not install from your newly created media)
- Using the vbs tool above get the new Windows 10 Key and save it and back it up
- Boot from DVD or USB (Home or Pro install disc)
- Advanced install, chose the OS partition, format and install
Windows Install Key Finder VBS Code
Option Explicit Dim objshell,path,DigitalID, Result Set objshell = CreateObject("WScript.Shell") 'Set registry key path Path = "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\" 'Registry key value DigitalID = objshell.RegRead(Path & "DigitalProductId") Dim ProductName,ProductID,ProductKey,ProductData 'Get ProductName, ProductID, ProductKey ProductName = "Product Name: " & objshell.RegRead(Path & "ProductName") ProductID = "Product ID: " & objshell.RegRead(Path & "ProductID") ProductKey = "Installed Key: " & ConvertToKey(DigitalID) ProductData = ProductName & vbNewLine & ProductID & vbNewLine & ProductKey 'Show messbox if save to a file If vbYes = MsgBox(ProductData & vblf & vblf & "Save to a file?", vbYesNo + vbQuestion, "BackUp Windows Key Information") then Save ProductData End If 'Convert binary to chars Function ConvertToKey(Key) Const KeyOffset = 52 Dim isWin8, Maps, i, j, Current, KeyOutput, Last, keypart1, insert 'Check if OS is Windows 8 isWin8 = (Key(66) \ 6) And 1 Key(66) = (Key(66) And &HF7) Or ((isWin8 And 2) * 4) i = 24 Maps = "BCDFGHJKMPQRTVWXY2346789" Do Current= 0 j = 14 Do Current = Current* 256 Current = Key(j + KeyOffset) + Current Key(j + KeyOffset) = (Current \ 24) Current=Current Mod 24 j = j -1 Loop While j >= 0 i = i -1 KeyOutput = Mid(Maps,Current+ 1, 1) & KeyOutput Last = Current Loop While i >= 0 keypart1 = Mid(KeyOutput, 2, Last) insert = "N" KeyOutput = Replace(KeyOutput, keypart1, keypart1 & insert, 2, 1, 0) If Last = 0 Then KeyOutput = insert & KeyOutput ConvertToKey = Mid(KeyOutput, 1, 5) & "-" & Mid(KeyOutput, 6, 5) & "-" & Mid(KeyOutput, 11, 5) & "-" & Mid(KeyOutput, 16, 5) & "-" & Mid(KeyOutput, 21, 5) End Function 'Save data to a file Function Save(Data) Dim fso, fName, txt,objshell,UserName Set objshell = CreateObject("wscript.shell") 'Get current user name UserName = objshell.ExpandEnvironmentStrings("%UserName%") 'Create a text file on desktop fName = "C:\Users\" & UserName & "\Desktop\WindowsKeyInfo.txt" Set fso = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject") Set txt = fso.CreateTextFile(fName) txt.Writeline Data txt.Close End Function