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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:

Update

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)

Update 2

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.

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-gb/windows-10/media-creation-tool-install

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.

  • Today; no it does not exist; on/after the 29 of course it will be – Ramhound Jul 25 '15 at 11:52
  • That isn't a good duplicate; the answer needs to be updated; which can't be done until after the 29th some of what I wrote isn't entirely correct but was correct when I wrote it. – Ramhound Jul 25 '15 at 11:54
  • @Arjan I am just going to delete the answer until I can actually answer the question, – Ramhound Jul 25 '15 at 13:42
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    @Arjan - A question cannot be a duplicate if it does not have an answer. This is the better question anyways, – Ramhound Jul 25 '15 at 14:06
  • I think its better to make the Update a seperate question as a Q&A , rather than appending to a different Q. – RogUE Jul 26 '15 at 13:04
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From Microsoft Community, Frequently Asked Questions: Windows 10:

I have multiple computers, do I have to download Windows 10 on each computer?

You can download a .ISO file and upgrade each computer offline. The ISO should be available by the time Windows 10 launches.

However, from How to: upgrade from previous versions of Windows using Windows 10 ISO file on the same Microsoft Community:

Please be aware that you cannot use the free upgrade offer to perform a clean install on first attempt. You must first upgrade from the qualifying version of Windows 7 or Windows 8/8.1 (whether you do it through Windows Update or using the .ISO file). Ensure the upgrade is completed successfully and then ensure that it is activated. You can then proceed to do a clean install by using recovery media or using the Reset function in Start > Settings > Update & Security > Recovery > Reset this PC (Get Started).

(Note that Microsoft Community posts are in general not written by Microsoft employees.)

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    Once activated you can in the future use an installation media for Windows 10 and install it that way. This is because the activation process will automatically recognize your machine. It is also because the Windows 10 installation process will NOT accept Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 keys. This is not unheard of, this was the case of Windows 8.1, not accepting 8.0 keys but would activate with Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 keys.. – Ramhound Jul 26 '15 at 12:35
  • +1 on your 1st comment on this answer, @Ramhound thank you - this supplements the answer, along with the research I did and also the related/similar answer. Thanks. – therobyouknow Jul 26 '15 at 12:52
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    I have a typo in that comment. Windows 8.1 would activate with only Windows 8.0 or Windows 8.1 keys. You could not install 8.1 with a 8.0 key would caused some confusion, was easy enough to work around, with a generic 8.1 installation key though. You simply changed the key then activated the installation after you logged into a user. – Ramhound Jul 26 '15 at 13:00
  • Here's how to do it - the specific link is published now: windows.microsoft.com/en-gb/windows-10/… (It may be the case that you have to follow the upgrade process first, and then you can use this tool to create the media if you want to re-install) – therobyouknow Aug 14 '15 at 12:56
  • You can use the tool in W7 or 8 to create the media. – Moab Aug 14 '15 at 15:49
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yaaa,it is possible to turn your Windows 10 upgrade files into an ISO disk.The below link will help you to do....

http://www.zdnet.com/article/how-to-turn-your-windows-10-upgrade-into-an-iso/

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    Please include the necessary steps in your answer. Links are great for references and further reading but they can die and, if this link goes away, there's nothing left in your answer. – David Richerby Aug 11 '15 at 8:15
  • +1 thanks David. Emil, I hope you can update, but I will check the link. Thanks. – therobyouknow Aug 11 '15 at 8:22

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