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How to create a bootable USB drive to install Windows 10 Preview
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How to create a bootable USB drive to install Windows 10 Preview

by AshwinMay 16, 2015

Windows 10 is set to be released this summer. If you haven’t given Windows 10 Insider Preview a shot, you can do so easily by following our guide.

Windows 10 Logo

First you will need to make sure that your computer meets the minimum system requirements to run Windows 10.

  • Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster
  • RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit)
  • Free hard disk space: 16 GB
  • Graphics card: Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver
  • A Microsoft account and Internet access

Besides having a system capable of running Windows 10, you will need a writable DVD or a USB flash drive to make a bootable disk using which you can install Windows 10.

Things to consider before installing Windows 10 Insider Preview:

1. Do not install it on your main computer, Windows 10 is not yet ready for daily use, and could break the functionality of your general usage.
2. Take a backup of all your data and store it on an external hard drive.
3. If you use a laptop, ensure that is fully charged before the installation process.
4. Please save the Windows license information locally, or in your email or cloud back service. This is crucial, in case you wish to downgrade later.

Download Windows 10 Insider Preview ISO:

Head to this page on Microsoft’s website, and select the language and build architecture you want and click on the download. The 64-bit version is around 3.8 GB in size, while the 32-bit version is around 2.8 GB in size.

Once you have downloaded the ISO, ensure that the SHA-1 hash value of the file, matches the one given at the download page. You can do so easily, by using a free application called HashTab, which adds an extra tab in a File’s properties, and displays the file’s hash values.

How to create a bootable USB drive to install Windows 10 Preview:

First backup all the contents of the USB drive, before creating a bootable USb disk.

After you have verified the integrity of the ISO, download the application called Rufus. It is a free portable app which allows you to create a bootable USB Drive. Simply run Rufus, and plug in a USB Flash Drive (Pen Drive).

Rufus will display the information similar to the screenshot given below.

Rufus-USB-Bootable

Leave all the options as it is, and follow the instructions given below.
Click on the drop-down menu, next to “Create a bootable disk using”, and select the ISO image option.

Rufus-USB-Bootable-Windows-10-ISO

Now click on the DVD drive icon, and navigate to the folder where the downloaded Windows 10 ISO is stored.

Rufus-USB-Bootable-Windows-10

Click on the “Start” option, and Rufus will begin creating a bootable Windows 10 disk. Note that clicking start (with format enabled) will erase the USB drive, this is why I recommended taking a backup.

It will take a few minutes for the process to complete.

How to install Windows 10:

There are three ways to install Windows 10.

A. Clean Install

A clean install will require you to format your main partition, usually the C: Drive. Make sure you back up your data before doing so. Turn off your computer, and plug in the bootable USB drive (or the DVD).

Now turn on the computer, and enter the BIOS, and select to boot from the USB. From here, you can follow the on-screen prompts to format C: and install Windows 10.

B. Dual Boot

If you wish to dual boot, follow the instructions given in step A, but do not format the C: drive. Instead choose a different partition to install Windows 10.

C. An upgrade (Recommended method)

An Upgrade is more simpler, and retains all of your Windows Applications, Games, Files, Folders and other data. To Windows 10 as an upgrade just boot up your computer and plug in the USB drive.

Open Windows Explorer, navigate to the USB drive, and double click on setup. Follow the instructions displayed on the screen, and you are good to go.

The installation process will take sometime, and your computer will reboot when necessary. Do not turn off the PC manually during the installation process. You will be prompted to select the language, date and time, and also to enter your Microsoft username and password, during the installation process.

Windows 10 will be released sometime in July-August, and if you have a valid Windows 7 or 8.1 license, you will be able to upgrade to Windows 10 for free, and continue receiving updates.

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