How to install Windows 10 on an empty Drive

When you need to replace or upgrade a hard drive or are building a new computer this guide will help you install Windows 10

Prerequisites: Know how to move files in file explorer

Difficulty Level: Member • Nerd • Platypus

Estimated Time: 30 Minutes

Expected Outcome: Clean install of Windows 10

Tools Required: 16GB USB Flash Drive and a Windows 10 Computer

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Steps to Perform 

  1. Go to and select "Download Tool Now" under the "Create Windows 10 Installation Media" section
  2. Once downloaded, run the executable by double clicking "MediaCreationToolxxHx" (the x's represent version numbers of the downloaded ISO)
  3. Make sure to allow admin access, accept the terms and conditions, and then select "Create installation media for another PC"
  4. Then select the removable device (your USB) that you would like to make the installation media
  5. After the installation media is on the USB you may remove it and insert the flash drive into the computer you wish to install windows 10 on.
  6. Go into your BIOS (if you don’t know how to do this you can look it up based on the brand of your computer or motherboard) and if SATA Mode is not set to AHCI, change it
  7. Change the boot order so the Installation Media is top of the boot order
  8. Save changes to BIOS and Reboot your system
  9. The Installation should start
  10. During the installation process, your system will reboot, at that point, you may need to go into your BIOS and change the boot order so your system boots from your Hard Drive, otherwise the installation may start all over again - do not remove the installation media at this point
  11. When Window 10 has finished installing and the desktop appears, shut your system down
  12. If you have a second HDD bay and want to use the old HDD (If applicable) as an extra data drive install the old HDD into it and start your system
  13. Make sure you can see both drives in Windows File Explorer, if not you may need to restart a couple of times for Windows to recognize both drives.
  14. When your system is up and running,
  15. copy your data (files, images, music . . . etc.) from the old HDD into a temporary folder in the SSD
  16. format the old HDD and name it Data Drive
  17. copy the files back onto the old HDD if you want
  18. Delete the temporary folder from the SSD if you did step 17.