Now that you are convinced that a Windows laptop is the best device to buy and you got yourself a new laptop, what next can you do with it? Did it come with Windows 10 Home edition, DOS or no operating system at all to save cost? Perhaps you would like to update Windows on it to Pro or Enterprise edition? Or maybe the Insider channel build since that is more cutting-edge. Bookmark this article to always find the link to download and install any version of Windows 10.
Microsoft offers Windows 10 in various ways.
Windows 10 Update Assistant
For people who don’t want to go through the hassle of downloading an ISO image and creating a USB bootable disk, you can download and install Windows 10 straight through the Update Assistant.
You will find the Windows 10 Update Assistant here: https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=799445
One advantage of using Windows 10 Update Assistant is that even Windows 10 Enterprise can be updated.
Windows 10 Home or Pro ISO images
For those who prefer getting ISO images, Microsoft has a handy tool to not only download and install Windows 10 ISO images but also create USB installation media.
Download the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool here: https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=691209
You can choose to create a USB flash drive with this tool or download just the ISO file. Choose 64-bit. However, note that you can’t get Windows 10 Enterprise with this tool.
Windows Insider Preview ISO
Finally if you would like to switch to an Insider Preview build of Windows 10, go to this page: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windowsinsiderpreviewiso
Insider Previews are for enthusiasts and fans of Windows 10 who want to test features before they get released to everyone. Get them if don’t mind some rough edges or some features not working exactly as intended. They are also for developers and testers who would like to try pre-release builds.
On that page you will find Dev Channel, Beta Channel and Release Preview Channel. You can also get the Enterprise ISOs for these. Once you choose the build and language of your choice, click the 64-bit Download button to download and install Windows 10 ISO of your preferred channel and edition.
Creating a bootable USB flash drive with Windows 10 setup for installation
After the ISO completes downloading, get the free app called Rufus here: https://rufus.ie/en_US/
Connect a USB flash drive of sufficient capacity e.g. at least 8 GB. The contents of this drive will be erased as it gets formatted by Rufus.
Start Rufus app, select the ISO you downloaded. After analyzing the ISO, Rufus will automatically select all the right settings for you. But in case you want to know, the partition scheme should be GPT for modern computers with UEFI (computers purchased in the last 5 years).
Only if you are installing Windows 10 on older hardware with a BIOS and MBR, which also has a Compatibility Support Module (CSM) and which also ran Windows 8.1, Windows 7 or earlier, then change the partition scheme to MBR.
Choosing a smaller Cluster size in Rufus will make sure that the disk space wastage on the NTFS file system is minimum on the USB flash drive and you have more free disk space left.
Click Start and let Rufus do its job. Your Windows USB bootable installation drive will be ready.😊
Note: Rufus creates bootable Windows 10 Setup USB drive which does not support UEFI Secure Boot. This is not a big problem because although secure boot has its advantages against malware infecting the firmware, it prevents the use of any apps in Windows that use unsigned kernel mode drivers.
Still if you insist on using only bootable Windows Setup USB disks that support Secure Boot, please refer to this article.
Access the Recovery Environment from your Windows Setup USB disk
As a bonus, this USB Windows setup disk also contains a Recovery Environment. Unlike the Recovery environment on your internal disk, it does not need logging in to your user account to perform basic troubleshooting and repair tasks from a command prompt.