The Windows 10 upgrade, free to users of earlier Windows versions, is out on July 29. The upgrade is being made available via Windows Update as an automatic download and install, if the user has opted in.
However, my preference is to obtain the upgrade as a .ISO file so that I can burn a DVD from and boot my machine to install from the disk, on top of the existing installation.
2 particular reasons I like the install disk approach:
I like the "fresh start" that this process gives. When I've done previous upgrades with install media for XP to 7, Vista to 7 and 7 to 8.1, I've selected the option for Windows to wipe the hard disk when doing the upgrade. This option has always been available in the Windows installer (because at that stage the Windows installer had detected the previous OS for eligibility and the install is ready proceed and it offers this option).
Having an install disk means I can re-install from scratch (provided I have re-installed the previous qualifying OS first - which I do to a bare minimum without installing any drivers of that OS, just enough to register its license key). The 2 cases 1) where I have had to re-install are a jerkiness seen and the remedy for reinstalling the graphics card driver did not work, but re-install of the OS did. 2) other case is where I had to replace a motherboard and therefore do a reinstall so that the new drivers for this were picked up, install media approach being best here for stability I feel. (My license was OEM so I had to telephone microsoft to go through the automated re-assignment of the license for the new motherboard and that procedure worked out fine.) Malware infection would be another reason for reinstall though that has not been an issue for me as I have used ant-malware/virus software.
Do you know if the Windows 10 upgrade will be available as a .ISO image?
I've done some research so far, but these are 3rd-party articles which look credible but I'd prefer a definitive official position. My research so far is:
How to turn your Windows 10 upgrade files into an ISO disk image - looks credible, from zd-net, but mentions a build version at end of article and doesn't explain how this build version relates to the one that will be officially available on July 29.
Here's how Windows 10 upgrade paths will work - shows what appears to be an official table of upgrade paths and eligible previous OSs and even includes a column about ISO availability BUT doesn't say how these ISOs would be obtained - e.g. where the download link for them would be.
I've accepted @Moab's answer and upvoted. That's great. To further support the answer and discussion here, I'd also like to add a few tips for doing clean installs in general:
- Before a clean re-install (where the hard drive OS partition or whole drive is wiped/deleted/formatted), make sure you de-register/de-authorise any applications and/or content, e.g Adobe applications and iTunes or ebook content. This will ensure that the the number of authorised machines for the license is accurate so that when re-installing, you won't be refused by the vendors if they think you already have the maximum licenses
- Backup your files obviously
- Tip to quicken the re-install process, particularly if a previous Operating System must be present before the new incoming OS wipes the disk. Do the bare minimum to install the previous OS: install and register the license, don't bother with the drivers - as you're going to install a new OS over this anyway and install the drivers for that.
- If you think you might want to repeat the re-install at a later date, a step to quicken the process would be to take a drive image (Ghosting) of the previous OS and use that instead of going through the install process. The tool I'd suggest is Runtime's DriveImage XML (I don't work for them by the way)
The link is now available to create media:
Installing Windows 10 using the media creation tool The media creation tool can be used to upgrade your current PC to Windows 10 or to create a USB or DVD and install Windows 10 on a different PC.
Important note: When are about to do a clean install of Windows 10 you can only do this over a Windows 10 installed by the upgrade route and this must be activated. Also make sure that the clean install media is for the same architecture as that in the Windows 10 from upgrade. So if your Windows 10 upgrade was 64bit, then your clean install must also be 64bit. When you boot with the install-DVD, the installer will check for the current OS, before providing you with the option to do a clean install whereby you can delete/format all partitions (the whole disk) and then create a new partition for the clean install.