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How do I properly reinstall W10 on a new drive and wipe my current one in the process?

I found a bunch of different guides but none describe exactly what I'm aiming to do.

I don't want for example an easy way to migrate or move my OS, I want to completely reinstall it (there are some funky admin issues that I can't seem to resolve and everyone advised me to just reinstall the OS, so I just want to start from scratch anyway).

I'm trying to get a clear understanding of the proper steps to wipe my current SSD drive for future use for something else and reinstall W10 on a new, different SSD drive. Is that something I can do with my license? I originally upgraded from Windows 8, but did a clean install after on the same drive using the key I obtained.

I realize this is a noob question and I should probably be able to figure this out by piecing together information from all the different guides, but I'd appreciate a quick response with the proper steps and things I need to keep in mind (e.g. licensing issues, stuff I may not be aware of)

So correct me where I'm wrong: I back up my files, I wipe my SSD clean somehow (What's the best way?), and then my current key should work when I try to install Win10 on a new drive using the installation media I created with the official tool?
5 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about properly reinstall w10 drive wipe current process
  1. Simple solution to reinstall. Create the Windows 10 flash drive using the Media Creation tool from Microsoft.

    Once you have created this then boot to it. When installing you can choose I don't have a product key. Then choose Windows 10 Home or Pro based upon the one you have currently installed. When you get to the install step choose Custom. Then delete all partitions leaving only Unallocated Space left. At this point just choose next and the installer will create all partitions it needs and then install. Once you have completed install Windows will reactivate based upon your machines digital signature.
    Run Windows Update and allow it to install all updates this should take care of most if not all of the items in Device Manager. If you have any remaining drivers missing get them from your Manufactures web site. Install graphics drivers if necessary from Nvidia or AMD directly.

    Fynriel said:
    I found a bunch of different guides but none describe exactly what I'm aiming to do.

    I don't want for example an easy way to migrate or move my OS, I want to completely reinstall it (there are some funky admin issues that I can't seem to resolve and everyone advised me to just reinstall the OS, so I just want to start from scratch anyway).

    I'm trying to get a clear understanding of the proper steps to wipe my current SSD drive for future use for something else and reinstall W10 on a new, different SSD drive. Is that something I can do with my license? I originally upgraded from Windows 8, but did a clean install after on the same drive using the key I obtained.

    I realize this is a noob question and I should probably be able to figure this out by piecing together information from all the different guides, but I'd appreciate a quick response with the proper steps and things I need to keep in mind (e.g. licensing issues, stuff I may not be aware of)

    So correct me where I'm wrong: I back up my files, I wipe my SSD clean somehow (What's the best way?), and then my current key should work when I try to install Win10 on a new drive using the installation media I created with the official tool?
  2. One point I would like to make. Disconnect any hard drives when installing (only have the SSD you are installing Windows 10 onto connected).
  3. +1 You make a very good point. I can't count how many times I've found someone ended up with a bootloader on the wrong drive because of having a hard drive plugged in.

    gergguy said:
    One point I would like to make. Disconnect any hard drives when installing (only have the SSD you are installing Windows 10 onto connected).
  4. Thanks for your answers, I somehow forgot all about this thread.

    One point of confusion remains however.

    I am going to disconnect all drives except the one I want to install to? (Which is a brand new SSD as I mentioned). So what about the SSD where my OS is currently installed? Do I disconnect that and then later reconnect it and wipe it somehow? Won't I at that point have the OS installed twice on two SSDs?
  5. Best answer
    You are correct. Disconnect all drives except the new SSD. Install your OS and then plug in your other drives. You WILL have TWO OS installs on two SSDs. In the BIOS make sure you select your new SSD as the first boot device. When your computer starts it should boot to the new SSD and Windows should see all your drives. Actually Windows will probably show your old SSD as two partitions. You can now delete everything on your OLD drive using File Explorer or if you feel confident in what you are doing, use Disk Manager.
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