Customer Self-Help

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, do not use this guide if you wish to keep the data on the computer.

This guide also assumes you only have one drive installed.

Stage One: Prepare the Windows Installer USB Drive on a working windows computer

  1. Plug in a 8GB or larger USB thumb drive with nothing important saved on it as it will be erased.
  2. Download the Microsoft Windows 11 Media Creation Tool -or- Windows 10 Media Creation Tool. If you are unsure if your system can run windows 11, submit a ticket.
  3. Open 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

    Just leave USB ticked and click next
  7. Select the USB drive you inserted in step 1 and click next
  8. When the tool finishes, click finish, eject the USB drive, then remove it.

Stage Two: Boot Windows 10 Installer USB Drive

  1. Insert USB drive in computer you wish to load/reload windows on.
  2. Enter the BIOS (hotkeys listed below) and 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, then save and exit.

    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): 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
  3. Your system should be booted up to the windows 10 installer. You can now reload windows.
  4. Click next/accept as prompted. If prompted for a product key, you may enter it now or if you don’t know it click “I don’t have a product key”
  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, remove the USB drive and click reboot now.
  8. Enter the BIOS again and set your boot device to:
    Windows Boot Manager
    and disable any other entries or options.
    Then save and exit.
  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, and 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.
  10. Done!

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