Windows 10 installation media

There are many ways to obtain the Windows 10 installer. I would not recommend using third-party repackaged ISOs from torrent sites. These days Microsoft make it easy to download a copy of the latest ISO which includes any updates released to-date.

Here are two ways to obtain a copy of Windows 10:

Use the Microsoft Installation Media Creation Tool

Microsoft offer a tool that will download an ISO of the latest installation media as well as copy it to a USB stick. for a simple, quick install this is the easiest route.

Download the ISO via Techbench and use Rufus to install it to USB

Techbench by WZT allows you to download ISO's directly from the Microsoft servers without registering or entering a product key. Rufus is a handy tool for installing ISOs to USB media.

Once you've obtained your installation media and backed up your files you're ready to proceed with the install.

Pre-install Steps

It's worth taking some backups of program configuration and layouts to refer to later. I also like to download various installers and required drivers so they're available locally on first boot.

You may wish to take screenshots of or export the following:

  • Your Taskbar and Start Menu
  • Your Desktop icon layout
  • Email client settings
  • Explorer Favourites
  • ClassicShell/DisplayFusion

You may wish to get installers for the following:

  • nVidia or AMD drivers
  • Ninite - A useful way to install common applications in one go. This can also be added to the Task Scheduler as a way to automatically update the your system.
  • Speccy - Easily view system hardware info, including SMART attributes for your drives. Can assist in finding device drivers. Beware of the installer adding on extra software.

You may also want the following, although they can be downloaded after setting up the new system if you wish.

Post install steps

My general process for setting up a new system is as follows:

  1. Run Windows Update and ensure your system is up-to-date and reboot.
  2. Install the GPU drivers you downloaded before and reboot.
  3. Run the Ninite installer to get a decent browser and your software suite.
  4. Install everything else and re-import backups.

Performance tweaks:

  1. Use services.msc to...