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Reinstalling windows 10

By Azgor ·
Tags: Windows, Linux
Hey All!

Recently I've been having a lot of problems with my PC, which all started with the error "boot files are missing". To fix this I have tried many things such as renaming volumes and using installation media, however to no avail.

Hence, I decided I would Format C my hard drive after backing it up. I installed linux to access my files however half the files come up - why is this? The only files that show up are ones about Windows 10 and temp logs etc.

Furthermore, its come to my attention that I might lose my version on Windows 10 and am curious on how I should reinstall it correctly, so i keep my genuine version of Windows 10 (I upgraded it from Windows 7.)"

Thank you!

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Reinstalling Windows 10

by sasadler In reply to Reinstalling windows 10

I just did this recently on one of my machines that didn't take the upgrade to 1803 very well. During the install where they ask for the product key, you just skip it, then they'll ask you for what version of Windows 10 you're install (home, pro, etc). Make sure to select the same level Windows 10 that you previously had on the machine. Continue through the install and the computer should auto activate when it's done and able to connect to Microsoft's servers.

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Additional tip

by Shaneels23 In reply to Reinstalling Windows 10

Also you might want to sign in with the same email / windows ID

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windows ID

by sasadler In reply to Additional tip

Yeah, if you normally sign in with a Windows ID it might be a good idea.
Since I always use a local account, I have no clue if it would make a difference or not.

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Reinstalling Windows 10

by pr16 In reply to Reinstalling windows 10


First make sure you have backed up whatever files you can recover. The fact that you reformatted the C: drive may mean that you lost the files unless you backed up before doing that? Formatting is destructive so that anything that was on it will now be gone. If you were storing your user files on a separate disk in your PC then you may be OK.

With regards to re-installing you need to create a new Windows 10 disk or USB stick. Microsoft have a download page where you can download the latest released build using their Windows 10 Media Creation tool. There is a good article on how to use the tool to create a DVD or USB Stick:

You will need to do this on a PC that is already running Windows.

Once you have your USB or DVD installer created, you can install Windows using it. Just insert the stick or DVD and reboot your PC. Whilst it is booting up you will need to go into the BIOS of your computer and set which device to boot from (USB or DVD) and then when it boots it will boot off the install media you have created.

Follow the installation instructions. When it gets to the part where it asks you for an License Key you have two options.

1. If you previously signed into your Windows 10 installation using your Microsoft Account, you can select the option to skip entering a key as when Windows gets installed and you go back in using your MS Account it will find the old license details for your PC and automatically re-activate it.

2. If you did not use a Microsoft Account to log in previously but used a user name and password that is not an MS account then you will need to enter your original Windows 7 license key. This should be on a sticker on the case of your PC. If a laptop sometimes it is stuck on the inside of the battery compartment. If for any reason Windows 10 won't accept that, select the skip option like in 1 above and get Windows installed and then you can call MS Support and explain what has happened and they will give you a new key that will allow you to activate it.

Once you have Windows 10 up and activated then you can restore you backup files if you have them, or if your data was on a second hard disk you can access them through the disk management tool.

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