I am often asked how to reinstall Windows 10 on a computer, and this question mostly occurs after someone experiences a total hard drive failure. A person can pay a professional to replace the hard drive and to reinstall the Windows 10 operating system. However, I have found that some people like to do things for themselves.
There are many different methods to reinstall an operating system, but let’s focus on how the residential consumer can easily reinstall Windows 10 on a home computer.
If the hard drive has failed then it must be physically replaced, and for performance reasons I recommend purchasing an SSD (solid-state drive). You will also need an 8GB USB flash drive, along with access to a working computer. Using a functional computer and a flash drive, we will download the Windows 10 setup files and install the operating system.
*Note – Save all data from the USB flash drive before proceeding. The USB flash drive will be formatted, and all data on it will be lost during the setup process.
Navigate to Microsoft.com to download Windows 10, and follow the instructions in the video below to set up the USB flash drive.
After downloading the installation files from Microsoft, plug the USB flash drive in and power on the PC. If prompted, then choose the option to boot from USB. There is no data on the newly installed hard drive, so the computer should continue to look for devices to boot from, until a reliable source is found. This process will vary depending on the manufacturer of the motherboard and the firmware (UEFI or Legacy BIOS).
Most modern computers should automatically recognize the USB flash drive as a bootable option. If the PC does not recognize the USB flash drive then refer to the manual that came with the PC or motherboard, and change the necessary settings.
The Windows 10 bootable USB Flash Drive will imitate a CD or DVD, so when prompted, press any key to boot from CD or DVD.