Windows 10

Windows 10 FAQ

Windows 10 Installation

Updated: 7 March 2023

0. Where can I get Windows 10?

Windows 10

You can get Windows 10 will be available from most shops and online stores from 29 July 2015 onwards, including:
a) Microsoft Store
b) Amazon (UK)
c) CCL Online (UK)
d) Currys - PC World (UK)
e) (US)
f) eBuyer

You can also download the Windows 10 media creation tool (to create an ISO, USB or DVD disc) from Microsoft.

New Windows 10 Builds

Windows 10 version 22H2 has been released on 18 October 2022. More information is here and on the blog.

The Version 21H2 has been released on 16 November 2021.
The Version 21H1 has been released on 10 May 2021.
The Version 20H2 update has been released on 20 October 2020.
The Version 2004 update has been released on 27 May 2020.
The Version 1909 update has been released on 12 November 2019
The Version 1903 update has been released on 14 May 2019.
See history and release info for previous versions of Windows 10.

1. How do I install Windows 10?

There are two ways to install: a clean or fresh install or an upgrade from an older version of Windows. For a clean installation you need to have a blank hard disk, boot off the Windows 10 DVD and then follow prompts on screen. To boot from DVD, you may need to change the Boot Sequence in the BIOS to make DVD ROM boot before the Hard disk. If you are upgrading to Windows 10, download the latest Upgrade Assistant first.

If you do not have a DVD drive (like a Netbook), then you can upgrade to Windows 10 by purchasing it Online, save the download to disk. You can install Windows from a USB drive as well.

For an upgrade, you need to boot into Windows first, then insert the Windows 10 DVD, run Setup.exe (or let it autorun) and select the upgrade option from the menu. It is recommended that you run the Upgrade Advisor (or run the System Check from the DVD) or the Update Assistant tool first to make sure that you uninstall incompatible drivers and software first. Upgrading will keep your current program installations, settings and documents in tack (but do a backup first in case it goes wrong!).

After installation, you can then apply the License key to active Windows via Settings, Update & Security, Activation and click on the link to purchase a license. This will open the Windows Store app to allow you to purchase Windows 10.

Windows Reinstall Site

If you already have Windows 7 or 8 Home or Pro editions, you can upgrade to Windows 10 via the Store icon on the Start menu.
For older versions of Windows, you will have to do a clean install to replace the older versions of Windows.
You can install Windows 10 via the Windows 10 icon or the Upgrade tool if you don't want to wait until your PC is ready.
You can create your own media and perform an upgrade with the Windows Media Creation tool

2. What are the requirements for Windows 10?

Windows 10 requires a similar PC to Windows 8 and a more recent PC (3-4 years old at most). It will be The minimum requirements are:

3. How do I uninstall Windows 10?

If you upgraded from previous Windows and still have a Windows.old folder, it is possible to revert to the older version of Windows, you can use Settings, Update & Security , Recovery and selection to go back to a previous version of Windows. You will need a lot of free disk space (2 x Windows.old size) for it to be successful.

If you not upgraded from a previous version of Windows, you can reinstall your old version of Windows by booting off the Windows disc and reinstalling Windows on the boot partition. You should format the boot parition first to remove the current Windows installation before installing the old version of Windows.

If you have a Windows 10 Disc, you can boot into Recovery mode, enter the TroubleShoot section and use the 'Refresh your PC' (keep files) or 'Reset your PC' (factory fresh install). Finally you can just run the Clean Install from disc.

If you have set up a dual boot system, you can remove the boot files using the command d:\boot\bootsect.exe /nt52 /all /force (where D: is your DVD drive with Windows DVD inserted).

4. Where do I find out if my hardware is compatible?

See Microsoft's Hardware Compatibility Program page.

Also, check your manufacturer's website for compatible drivers, or visit Driver Guide for available drivers.

5. How does this activation thing work in Windows 10?

When you install Windows you need to Activate Windows for it to work for more than 30 days otherwise Windows will no longer work. You can use each copy of Windows on one machine only as it will remember what hardware you have installed it on. If you change 3 or more items or more then you need to reactivate it again. You cannot install the same Windows on more than one machine, you have to buy a copy for each machine or else Activation will fail and Microsoft will be aware of you trying to 'pirate' Windows without paying for it! If you reinstall you may need to activate it again and if its the same hardware it should work fine!

You can activate Windows 10 via Settings, Update & Security, Activation or purchase a license from the Microsoft Store.

6. Which software will I probably need to upgrade?

Any software that accesses the system at a low level such as Virus Scanners, CD Burning software, Disk utilities such as Norton and probably some drivers need to be updated from earlier drivers. Some old signed Windows 7 or 8drivers should work on Windows 10 although it comes with a lot of drivers itself for most common Video, Sound, Printer and USB devices but not all. Always, check manufacturer's website for latest Windows drivers which may have been released since it was released. It is a good idea to run the Upgrade Advisor from the Windows 10 DVD or from Microsoft's website to see which software is incompatible and needs an update.

7. What steps should I take before upgrading from older Windows to Windows 10?

First do a backup of all your data, favourites and Email files to Zip, CD etc. Then run the Upgrade Advisor program (available on the Windows DVD or Microsoft's website) to see what applications or devices will or won`t work under Windows 10. Uninstall any applications that do not work under Windows 7 or 8such as old Virus Scanners, Norton programs, CD Writer software etc. Also, so older drivers could also be uninstalled in case they do not work in Windows 10. I also suggest make a list of any devices you have and download any drivers for Windows you can find for your PC and then you are ready to install then if Windows cannot find drivers for devices you have. You may then install updated applications afterwards and restore data if required.

To see what drivers you have on your machine, use Device Manager (devmgmt.msc) or Microsoft Info tool (MSINFO32.exe) under Hardware Components to see what devices you have installed.

8. What is the difference between Windows 10 Home, Pro, Mobile, Enterprise, Education and Mobile Edition editions?

See the Editions and Wikipedia web page for exact differences.

Windows 8 includes IE11, the new Edge browser, Live utilities (Mail, Calendar, Weather, Money, Music and Video), Professional is designed for work so you can join domains, BitLocker, Remote Desktop and collaboration. The Enterprise editions supports all features in other editions as well as BitLocker support and support 35 additional languages. The new Mobile editions is designed for touch based smartphones and small tablets including universal windows apps of touch-optimised Office.

9. How do I migrate files from my old system to my new system?

Windows 10 comes with File History to backup files from old Windows 10 PC to new PC.
For Windows 8.x, You can backup with File History tool and restore that to you new Windows 8 or 10 PC.
Otherwise a third party backup or transfer program such as Acronis, Paragon backup, Retrospect Pro, Vice Versa, and Aomei Backupper.

10. Where are My Documents stored in Windows 10?

In Windows 10,documents are stored in: c:\Users\username\Documents. Shared or common documents are placed in C:\Users\Public and common program settings are stored in c:\ProgramData such as Start menu shortcuts, and application data. Documents folder can be moved to another folder or drive by right clicking My Computer, select Properties and the Location tab. Enter new path to your new documents location. Use the Move button to relocate all your files.

11. How do I modify the boot files in Windows 10?

The Boot Manager program can be edited with the BCDEdit tool or the EasyBCD tool.
The boot options can still be viewed using MSConfig and the System control panel as before.

12. How do I convert from FAT32 to NTFS or ReFS?

You can use the Convert C: /FS:NTFS command to convert C: drive to NTFS. It is not possible to convert from NTFS to FAT32 except with some third party tools. You will need to delete and recreate a FAT32 partition to do this. Using the Convert command will keep existing data (but always do a backup before attempting it!).

Windows 10 also supports ReFS (Resilient Filing System) which is used on highly resiliant storage spaces using two mirrored hard drives. See these instructions on how to try it out.

13. How do I format disks in Windows 10?

Normally, to format disks you can set up partitions and format them in Disk Management tool (diskmgmt.msc). But, you cannot format the boot drive with Windows installed e.g. C: as Windows is using that. You need to boot off another disk to allow you to format C:. For example, you can boot off the Windows DVD and use the disk setup screen to partition or format drives, without Windows loaded.

In Windows 10, it is possible to change the size of disks with out losing data, by using the Shrink or Extend Volume options.

14. How can I read stuff written in Japanese, Chinese or Korean languages?

Windows 10 includes many more languages and do not to need to be installed seperately, you can change language by opening the Regional and Language Options, Keyboards and Languages, and select Change Keyboards and added the country or language you require. Use Left Alt and Shift to switch between languages or keyboards. Some programs, such as Internet Explorer, have their own language settings.

15. I have a different language version of Windows 10. How can I convert it to English or other language?

In some versions of Windows 10 (Enterprise), you can change the Display Language in Regional and Language Options, Keyboards and Languages, Display Language. The Ultimate edition supports 35 languages so you can select the language of Windows 10 when you install it, otherwise you need to buy the correct language version of Windows.

16. Where can I get additional licences of Windows 10?

If you want Windows 10 on a second computer, you need to buy a second copy, visit the Microsoft Store for more licenses. A three copy 'family pack' will be available for some markets.

17. Windows 10 has installed itself to a different drive other than C:, how can it change it?

You cannot change it when Windows is installed as it will have made all the registry settings point to the drive you installed it from. You need to reinstall it again to the correct drive ie. C: and remove the old installation. Remove any extra drives such as Zip or other removable devices before installing windows to prevent it from installing on other drives.

18. When I boot up into Windows 10, the menu shows two or more entries for Windows, how do I get rid of the second one?

The boot manager files stored details of Operating Systems to boot from and if it is installed more than once, then an extra entry is shown. Use BCDEdit tool to modify the boot menu to remove unwanted entries.

19. Can I copy the Installation files to my Hard Disk and point Windows 10 to it?

There is no need to copy the installation files to the hard disk, Windows 10 copies everything to the hard disk, and will only activate things as and when required. This does mean that Windows 10 does take up more disk space initially but then you do not need to fish around for the DVD when you want to add additional components installed.

20. I do not have a Windows 10 install disk or a Restore Disk, can I make one?

If you do not have the install files, then you can make an Image of C: drive using Norton Ghost, Acronis TrueImage or other imaging program

You could buy a Retail copy of Windows 10 (make sure you buy the Full version unless you have a older Version of Windows to hand for the upgrade version).

Try the Windows Media Creation tool to create an ISO image, which can be burnt to DVD-R disc or write Windows installation to a USB drive.

If you have a Windows 10 PE disk and DISM command from the Windows ADK for Windows 10 kit, you can use it to capture and create a Windows image (WIM).
In Powershell, you can use the New-WindowsImage or New-WindowsCustomImage commands.

21. Can I use Remote Desktop in Windows 10?

Windows 10 Home editions comes with Remote Assistance which is different from Remote Desktop, only the Pro and Enterprise editions can use Remote Desktop. You need to install a third party program such as a VNC program to do remote desktop control. Windows Assistance can be started by pressing Windows key + R, then enter msra.exe or use Help and Search tool to provide assistance.

22. How can I tell which edition of Windows 10 I have installed?

Open Settings, System, About and look at the Windows Specification to see the Edition version. Alternatively, run WinVer or MSINFO32.exe. It will state which edition you have and whether it is 32 bit or 64 bit for the System Type.

23. How do I move a Hard disk form my old computer to a different computer?

If moving a hard disk from one computer to another, then to make changes to the hardware drivers, then a Repair Install from the Windows 10 DVD will allow you to modify the windows installation to redetect new hardware. This does not work in all cases. If moving to new hardware, uninstall all unncessary drivers via Device Manager first including graphics card, sound card, LAN cards, motherboard drivers and hard disk controllers before moving to new hardware. Also, see SysPrep info below.

24. How do I deploy Windows 10 to multiple computers with one image?

If deploying an Windows 10 image to multiple computers then use the new ImageX deployment tools which includes: Windows AIK, Windows PE, ImageX, Setup and Sysprep. You can also use Windows Deployment Services (WDS) or Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT). A description of deploying Windows 10 is available on this Step by Step Guide.

25. I am the only user of the computer, how do I auto-login?

If security is not an issue, then you can enable auto-login. Press Windows key + R, and type Netplwiz and un-tick 'Users must enter a username and password to enter this computer' and click Apply, then enter username and password to auto-login with and click Ok.

26. I am getting an error when activating Windows. What do they mean?

Activation in Windows 10 can be done automatically via a Digital license or a Product Code from a retailer or a MSDN Subscription.
To check activation, use the Settings, Update and Security application. More information available here.

27. Where can I get additional wallpapers, screen savers and gadgets for Windows ?

You can download additional personalisation stuff from the Personalization Gallery.

28. How do I find out the Build version of Windows?

Every time Windows has been renewed, the build number is increased. On the Preview editions, you can see the build version at the bottom right of the screen.
The build version is shown in Settings, System, About in the Windows Specification section.
Alternatively, you can see the Build version using the Winver.exe tool, or the System Information (msinfo32.exe) or on the command line using systeminfo.exe command.

29. When will support for Windows 10 end?

Windows 10 support will end on 14th October 2025.