How to reinstall Windows 10?

Richard Christensen
Richard Christensen used Ask the Experts™
I have a relatively new windows 10 PC.  A major update of Windows 10 was interrupted recently and as a result Windows 10 is corrupt on this computer.
I have backed up my data files to an external drive.  How do I reinstall Windows 10 on this PC without having to pay for it again?
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You can download an ISO file to reinstall Windows 10 at:
Click on "Download Tool Now" and save the file.
Run the file after it is downloaded.  You'll want to save the ISO file to your computer.  You could have it go straight to a USB stick, but I prefer to do that in two steps.
The second step is to download Rufus from .
Rufus will let you point at the ISO file and also at your USB stick and it will copy the files to the USB stick and make it bootable.

You would then boot the USB stick and install Windows 10 from there.
Dana DIT Consultant
Hi Richard,

This process will walk you through the exact steps:

Please let me know if you need anything further.
Dana DIT Consultant

Another suggestion: Call the computer manufacturer support phone number and explain the situation and they will also give you exact instructions on how to proceed.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

You are on the same machine and so licensing is held by Microsoft - no issue there.

If you use the Media Creation Link as suggested in the first post here, you need to be sure to update all drivers for your machine that you get from the Manufacturer. Also upgrade BIOS and Chipset on the way by.

If you can get Recovery DVD (or USB) from the Manufacturer, that is preferable.
Andrew LeniartIT Professional | Freelance Journalist | Looking for Opportunities
Distinguished Expert 2018

Hi Capreol,

How do I reinstall Windows 10 on this PC without having to pay for it

I've had to contact Microsoft support many times after reinstalling operating systems for clients in order to re-activate their machines, especially after I made hardware changes and caused them to deactivate. Not once (since XP days and including Windows 10) have Microsoft even hinted at wanting a fee to reactivate the boxes when I spoke to them on the phone.

Reinstall in any way you like - if automatic re-activation fails for some reason after installing, call the Microsoft telephone number provided to activate in your country and explain the situation. They will reactivate your copy of Windows 10 with you over the phone.

I hope that's helpful.

Regards, Andrew
Top Expert 2013

it depends a bit on what OS you were running, and wand to install.
if you had an OEM install, and you want that back, you best use the system restore software from the oem - it incluces drivers+ softwares
if- on the other hand, you want a fresh OS install - without the OEM softwares and bloatware, you use the tools recommended above, by downloading the windows 10 iso

so - what do you want ?
FOXActive Directory/Exchange Engineer
Top Expert 2015

I just had the same issue on a client and reinstalled over the weekend.  If you are installing the same OS(Windows 10 pro was what they had) on the same hardware it will install and reactivate without issue.   It doesn't even have to be the same version.   The user had 1803 installed, the October update hosed the machine and I made a usb boot stick with version 1703, installed and let it update back up to 1803.  No issues.

**No need to go all the way back to 1703.  Create an 1803 usb boot stick and reinstall**
Richard ChristensenRetired computer technician


Thanks to the experts at experts exchange.  Much appreciated.

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