How to wipe and reload windows

CAUTION: Following these steps will guide you to erase the data on the drive you are reinstalling windows on, if you wish to keep the data on the computer you will need to backup the data first.
This guide assumes you only have one drive installed.

WARNING: If you have any secondary drives installed, disconnect them until windows setup has been successfully completed.

NOTICE: This procedure does not erase previous data beyond recovery if you have a HDD.

If you have a SSD then erase is not required to destroy the data.
Read More

To erase data beyond recovery, first visit How to erase any computer – Mr. Robot

If you have a build or fresh install of windows from Mr. Robot Read More

Stage Ⅰ: Prepare Installer

  1. Insert a 8GB or larger USB 3.0 thumb drive with nothing important saved on it as it will be erased.

  2. For Windows 10: Windows 10 Media Creation Tool
    For Windows 11: Windows 11 Media Creation Tool

    Intel 7th Gen and Earlier/AMD Zen 1: Windows 10
    Intel 8th Gen and Later/AMD Zen 2/3: Windows 11

    If you are unsure if your system can
    run windows 11, submit a ticket.

  3. Run the tool and accept the license agreement.

  4. What do you want to do?”

    Select Create installation media (usb flash drive, DVD, or ISO file) for another PC and click next.

  5. Select language, architecture, and edition”

    Just leave the checkbox ticked and click next.

  6. Choose which media to use

    Choose ISO file.

  7. Save the ISO file in any location.

  8. When the tool finishes, click finish.

  9. Download Rufus

  10. Launch Rufus and click SELECT button.

  11. Choose the ISO file saved in step 7.

  12. Ensure partition scheme drop down menu is set to GPT.

  13. Click START button.

  14. You will receive a Windows User Experience Prompt.

    For Windows 10: check bottom 3 boxes then click OK
    If you want the user to automatically be created, tick the 1st box and enter name

    For Windows 11: check 2nd box, bottom 3 boxes then click OK
    If you want the user to automatically be created, tick the 3rd box and enter name

  15. You will receive a warning prompt that ALL DATA ON DEVICE WILL BE DESTROYED, confirm the correct USB drive is selected and click OK.

  16. When Rufus notifies that it’s finished, exit Rufus and eject the USB drive from the “SAFELY REMOVE HARDWARE AND EJECT MEDIA” panel in the system tray, then remove it.

Stage Ⅱ: Boot & Install

  1. Insert USB drive prepared in Stage Ⅰ in the computer you wish to install windows on.

  2. Enter the BIOS (hotkeys listed below)

    ASRock: F2 or DEL
    ASUS: F2 for all PCs, F2 or DEL for Motherboards
    Acer: F2 or DEL
    Dell: F2 or F12
    ECS: DEL
    Gigabyte / Aorus: F2 or DEL
    HP: F10
    Lenovo (Consumer Laptops): Enter or Novo button or Novo Pinhole, then F2 or Fn + F2
    Lenovo (Desktops): F1
    Lenovo (ThinkPads): Enter then F1
    MSI: DEL for motherboards and PCs
    Microsoft Surface Tablets: Press and hold volume up button.
    Origin PC: F2
    Samsung: F2
    Toshiba: F2
    Zotac: DEL

    • Once in the BIOS:
      • Change your boot mode from LEGACY/CSM to UEFI if it is not already set to UEFI
      • Enable secure boot if it is not already set to enabled
      • Set your first boot device to the USB drive
      • Save / Apply and Exit (usually F10)

  3. Your system should boot up to the windows installer.

    You can now reload windows.

  4. Click next/accept as prompted. If prompted for a product key, enter it if you have it or click “I don’t have a product key”
    • IMPORTANT: A Product Key is not required. All laptops and desktop computers that have had windows installed previously with secure boot enabled have the product key embedded in the BIOS and will automatically activate windows upon connection to internet.

  5. When prompted for custom or upgrade install, choose custom.

  6. Delete any partitions on the drive you are reinstalling windows on at the partition screen by selecting each partition and clicking delete and yes to each confirmation until the only thing left listed is:

    Drive 0 unallocated space

    Then click Next and windows will automatically create the system, reserved, and primary partitions and install Windows.

  7. Once the installer says it will reboot your computer in 15 seconds, click reboot now and remove the USB drive.

  8. Enter the BIOS again and set your 1st boot device to:
    • Windows Boot Manager
      • Disable ALL other entries or options, including USB, network, or PXE boot options.
      • Save and exit. (usually F10)

  9. Once you get booted up, follow the prompts to setup your system:
    • To avoid having to use a Microsoft account to login to the computer, do not connect to the internet yet and select I don’t have internet when prompted.
    • Continue to not connect to the internet until you have completed the user creation process and have reached the desktop.
    • You may be prompted to provide a password, if you leave it blank, you won’t have to use one.

Stage Ⅲ: Drivers + BIOS Update

  1. Now that you have circumvented being forced to use a Microsoft account, proceed to connect to the internet.

  2. Go to windows update and click pause updates.

  3. Proceed to install the appropriate drivers for your system according to it’s brand as followed:

    Acer: Read More
    ASUS: Read More
    Alienware / Dell: Read More
    HP: Read More
    Lenovo: Read More
    Custom computers only: Read More

  4. Once all drivers have been installed, open device manager
    • To open device manager: Press Win+X then M
    • Confirm there are no exclamation marks or unknown devices listed
      • If there aren’t any, proceed to next step.
      • If there are any: Read More

  5. Resume windows update and install all updates offered. Reboot and run windows update again until no more updates are offered.

  6. Run disk cleanup to cleanup all the windows update temp files.
    • Start Menu > Type disk cleanup > Right-click Run as administrator

  7. Update the BIOS by manually downloading it using the appropriate resource for your system determined previously in stage Ⅲ, step 3.
    • For those with custom computers, you will need to save the BIOS update to USB and update it from within the BIOS.
      • For custom PCs ONLY: Recommend to enable XMP or DOCP in the BIOS afterwards for enhanced performance.
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