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Does anyone know how to install windows 10 on a new dell laptop?

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Last Modified: 2018-09-26
Does anyone know how to install windows 10 on a new dell laptop?  I've nuked the OS partition and the dell recovery tool wants the system drive.  For all intents and purposes, the original hd is toast.  Is there a download that will automatically detect that it's a Dell OEM pc and let me reinstall on a new harddrive??

Thanks for any help!
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
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Commented:
You need to get the Windows 10 Recovery Media from Dell and that will work fine. If you use that and the system was running Windows 10, licensing will be automatic and the recovery partition will be rebuilt.
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Download the ISO from here:

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10

then burn it to a DVD and install it from the ISO.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
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You should use the Recovery Media from Dell because you deleted the partitions.  I use the Media link when all is intact.
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If the machine is new then getting a recovery image from Dell is fairly painless. You'll need access to another working machine to download the image and make the boot able USB media though.

https://www.dell.com/support/article/us/en/04/sln299044/how-to-download-and-use-the-dell-os-recovery-image-in-microsoft-windows?lang=en
Chris HInfrastructure Manager
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@cliff Galiher
I went this route and I followed the instructions to the tee.  The dell os recovery image application writes the iso directly to thumbstick.  Upon following every instruction, it errors out when I select recover from drive.  It thinks and scans the disk and then tells me there is no system partition..  The instructions are as follows:

1.      Connect the USB recovery media that you created to the Dell PC where you want to install Microsoft Windows 10.
2.      Restart the PC and when the Dell logo appears, tap F12 key until you see ‘Preparing one time boot menu’ in the top-right corner of the screen.
3.      On the boot menu, under UEFI boot, select your USB drive and press Enter.
4.      Select the language and keyboard layout.
5.      On the Choose an option screen, click Troubleshoot, and then click Recover from a drive.
6.      Follow the on-screen instructions to finish installing Microsoft Windows. The installation process will take some time and your PC may restart several times.


@ITGuy565
I have a valid windows 10 OEM license that came with the machine.  The only thing that has changed is the hard drive, which doesn't violate the OEM clauses.  Can I just use the ISO you provided and it magically activates?

@John
I went to Dell's support site and cannot find the recovery media, nor was any provided with the shipped laptop.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
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Call Dell Support and they will help with Recovery Media.

I am pretty sure they are obliged to provide it for you.
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Media created from Microsoft's download tool usually will NOT activate on an OEM machine.  The OEM key won't work with retail/VL media, and the digital entitlement activation doesn't work because OEM licenses aren't in Microsoft's cloud.  

"I've nuked the OS partition and the dell recovery tool wants the system drive.  For all intents and purposes, the original hd is toast.

vs.

"The only thing that has changed is the hard drive, "

You *ACTUALLY* changed the hard drive?!?  That does change things a bit.  IS the new hard drive functional?  Big enough to appease the recovery tool (I've seen enough people attempt to use ssmaller...too small...SSD drive that can't fit the OEM image.)  Why'd you replace the drive?  If due to a failure, is it possible it was a controller or motherboard failure?

Too many facets that one comment opens up.

At the very least, did you try creating an empty NTFS System Partition?  Is the new drive GPT?  Since you are booting via UEFI, if the drive was MBR, that simply will fail and the tool won't even be able to properly create partitions.


If none of that helps, time to call dell.  Microsoft's download is not the way to go here.
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Hm, "Media created from Microsoft's download tool usually will NOT activate on an OEM machine.  The OEM key won't work with retail/VL media, and the digital entitlement activation doesn't work because OEM licenses aren't in Microsoft's cloud" - is the opposite of what I have experienced multiple times with different OEM devices. If it is troublesome to retrieve Dell recovery media, I would install win10 clean and yes, the Media creation tool would do and it will work with the key embedded in the bios and will activate.

Earlier, I have seen machines that had problems activating on a new hard drive, but that was right after win10 came out (1st year). Recently, it seems MS has loosened that restriction and it will activate even with different hard drives, so I would give it a try, it does not take more than 15 minutes.
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Most first tier vendors (HP, Dell, Lenovo) make up some margin by the bundled software they include (30-day free trials of AV packages, etc) and Dell, in particular, uses its Dell Downloader for various service items.  So you have two factors to consider:

1) Re-imaging rights are *NOT* included in the OEM EULA.  So using non-OEM media is illegal, even if it technically works.

2) In order to protect the profit margin of their partners, Microsoft has provided guidance and a structure for OEM firmware (I refuse to call it BIOS, since most are UEFI now) activation, and has taken steps to prevent it with generic media.  Since many smaller vendors still use "system builder" keys and stickers, those still work.  But new machines (As this was stated to be) from top-tier vendors fail more often than not. By design.

Given those two things, especially the legal consideration, I don't think "15 minutes to find out" is a wise course of action and is not something I can recommend in good conscience.  Microsoft's (and OEM's) legal position on this is *very* clear re: re-imaging rights.  There isn't any wiggle room really.
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Ok... would you mind to explain why using the MCT equals re-imaging?
By the way, I am not talking about small vendors - we only use Dell and Lenovo machines.
Chris HInfrastructure Manager
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@McKnife
Just got off the horn with Dell...  They're of no help.  They wanted me to pay more money to get a copy of the windows 10 DVD, which is still their recovery media.  Apparently they've grown so big that they can pervert the original microsoft systems builder agreement and are no longer obligated to provide oem installation media to the end user.  The EULA is now toilet paper written by lawyers..  This ensures their bloatware gets reinstalled.

I was going to buy ~100 of these for my company after successfully creating an image to install/deploy and it doesn't seem they're wiling to make this situation right.  They've ruined the end user experience and joined the monopoly style of apple.  I can already tell by the support teams that this seems like an HP project.

Dell used to be the pinnacle of end-user experiences.  I've owned over 10 personal laptops and never had a bad thing to say.  I would recommend anyone in the industry trying to strengthen their infrastructure or their desktop/laptop environment steers far away from Dell.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
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Do you have an exact like system?  With Lenovo, you can build a recovery USB Key once. I have done that and put it away so I have it if needed.
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If anyone is interested what Microsoft MVP Andre da Costa says about this matter:https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_10-windows_install-winpc/doing-clean-install-on-windows-10-home-oem/66a5ea55-ef92-486f-a364-40cbcf69927c
When you upgraded from a previous version of Windows or receive a new computer preinstalled with Windows 10, what happened is the hardware (your PC) will get a digital entitlement, where a unique signature of the computer will be stored on Microsoft Activation Servers. The Windows 7 or Windows 8 genuine license you were previously running will be exchanged for a diagnostics key.
Anytime you need to reinstall Windows 10 on that machine, just proceed to reinstall Windows 10. It will automatically reactivate.
(Please note that the question was about using the MCT to reinstall a Lenovo OEM device)
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Follow-up as we were apparently both sending at the same time:

(Please note that the question was about using the MCT to reinstall a Lenovo OEM device)

NO, it wasn't.  The question was about *REINSTALLING* windows 10 that was issued during the "free upgrade" period.  This is specifically called out in the quote you posted:  
The Windows 7 or Windows 8 genuine license you were previously running will be exchanged for a diagnostics key.
 That is *VERY DIFFERENT* and is actually something I addressed in my comment just above.  During the free upgrade, Microsoft was giving away a *free* FPP license.  Thus FPP media (as defined in the re-imaging rights) absolutely applies here.  A new machine that was *not* upgraded during the free upgrade period was *NOT* issued a free FPP license.  It is still beholden to the original OEM license.  And as the document I linked to clearly states, you cannot use FPP media to re-image an OEM device.
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You need to slow down or you'll overtake yourself.
"The question was about *REINSTALLING* windows 10 that was issued during the "free upgrade" period." - the question starts "I have Lenovo laptop which had Windows 10 Home (OEM) pre-installed and is activated"
In his answer to that story, Da Costa includes both scenarios: "When you upgraded from a previous version of Windows or receive a new computer preinstalled with Windows 10"
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Sounds like a bit of contortion to avoid the definition of reimaging to me.  But the point is moot.  The OP has now said their intention was to purchase 100 devices and build a consistent image, which even by the "multiple devices" misquote, would fall under reimaging and thus ends any debate about the legality of the situation.  Without VL, it's illegal.  Either buy the OEM media, or buy VL.  Those are the legal options.
Chris HInfrastructure Manager
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Commented:
I'm glad you guys are as stirred up as I am.  Not my intention by any means...  

By me stating I was buying 100 and wanting to deploy to multiple computers, I was not stating I would be using the image I recreated this one with.  This is merely a proof of concept to even vet for the project.  We have volume licensing and that would be the route we would take to use WDS.  By the simple fact that someone in the position to purchase at this volume is being given the 5-support-call-runaround to just re-install their OS, is clear indication that they don't care about my business or my time.

Cliff is right.  I've been through the hoops with Microsoft and OEM must use OEM install materials.  Anything else is a clear violation of their EULA.  Not that you can't do what McKnife is stating, but I would just be careful becuase M$ is probably using this as a chum tactic to create a catalog of the violators in their next big BSA sweep.

Stay legal and thanks to all of you for the input!
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
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Thank you for the update and good luck going forward.
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If you have VL, as you said you do, you *can* download you VL media from the VLSC and VL absolutely has legal reimaging rights. Even for this one machine.  No need to deal with Dell at all.

And for your POC, I recommend WDS as a back-end for MDT, but not as a standalone imaging solution. Use MDT to create and deploy your images. You'll be happier for it.
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Last question: Cliff, what did I misquote?  If you refer to "Reimaging is the copying of software onto multiple devices from one consistent image", then please tell me why that is misquoting.
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I repeat: Cliff, please tell me what I misquoted. What you seem to be referring to came from your own linked MS reimaging.pdf.

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