How to Install the Windows 10 Technical Preview

Posted on December 4, 2014 by Daniel Petri in Windows 10 with 0 Comments

So you came here because you want to learn how to install Windows 10. We’ve already posted articles on how to run the Windows 10 Technical Preview in a VMware Workstation virtual machine, as well as in a Hyper-V virtual machine. But we haven’t posted a detailed how-to on the installation itself, so enter this how-to guide.

Note: This article was written in November 2014. At this point, Windows 10 is in pre-beta technical preview format, meaning that it is just a conceptual demo of how some of the new OS features and interface will look like. It likely will change between what it is now and what the released to manufacturing (RTM) version will look, feel, and how it will work. Therefore, whatever we write in this article may likely be void once we approach the official Windows 10 OS release date sometime in mid-2015.

Windows 10 Technical Preview: Install at your own risk

It is also important to note that at this point of writing, the Windows 10 technical preview is not for everyone. Although everyone may join, download, and install it, you must know your way around a PC, know how the OS works, know what to expect and how to troubleshoot issues if they don’t work as expected to really benefit from the technical preview. Microsoft clearly states that this is a buggy version, and you need to be prepared in case something stops working.

You should not install this version on production computers or on computers that you don’t feel comfortable about losing the data on. Unexpected computer crashes could damage or even delete your files, so you should back up everything before starting, unless you’re installing on a brand new test machine.

Bottom line is if you care about your computer, it’s data and settings, then do not install this version. Finally, while upgrading an existing Windows 7 or 8 computer can be accomplished, you may not want to upgrade your production computer because of all the reasons noted above. Use a different computer — either physical or virtual — and play with the new OS.

Finally, a big warning about security and privacy. In this build, Microsoft can and probably will inspect your files, and even gather keylogger data and application usage statistics and other information. This is clearly listed in the end-user license agreement (EULA). If the privacy of your system files is a concern, then do not install this build on a production or personal computer.

The good part is that with each operating system, Microsoft streamlines the installation process to be much easier and faster. It’s likely that on a decent computer, installing the Windows 10 Technical Preview will take you less than five minutes.

So let’s get going.

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Download the Windows 10 Technical Preview ISO

1. First, you need to download the ISO file for this build. The file size is about 4 GB in size. This is the download link:

Download Windows Technical Preview ISO – Microsoft Windows

To download, you must first sign up for the Windows Insider Program, if you haven’t done so already.

The Windows Insider program. (Image Credit: Daniel Petri)

The Windows Insider program. (Image Credit: Daniel Petri)

Install the Windows 10 Technical Preview

2. Next, let’s assume that you’ll be installing the technical preview on a virtual machine (VM). Connect the ISO file to the VM and boot it.

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3. The setup program loads, where you can select a language. Click “Next.”

The Windows 10 Technical Preview setup dialog.

The Windows 10 Technical Preview setup dialog. (Image Credit: Daniel Petri)

4. At this point, like in previous Windows operating systems, you may press SHIFT+F10 to access the Command Prompt, from which you can perform various tasks such as assigning an IP address, creating partitions and more.

Accessing the command prompt in the Windows 10 technical preview installation. (Image Credit: Daniel Petri)

Accessing the command prompt in the Windows 10 technical preview installation. (Image Credit: Daniel Petri)

5. Assuming you don’t need to make any changes to the computer, let’s move on. Click “Install Now.”

Installing the Windows 10 technical preview. (Image Credit: Daniel Petri)

Installing the Windows 10 technical preview. (Image Credit: Daniel Petri)

6. Read the EULA. Pay close attention to specific areas, such as the one marked in this screenshot. If you accept it, click to select “I accept the license terms,” and click “Next.”

User license terms for the Windows 10 technical preview. (Image Credit: Daniel Petri)

User license terms for the Windows 10 technical preview. (Image Credit: Daniel Petri)

7. Since this is a brand new installation, you must click “Custom.”

Choosing a custom installation for the Windows 10 technical preview. (Image Credit: Daniel Petri)

Choosing a custom installation for the Windows 10 technical preview. (Image Credit: Daniel Petri)

8. If you want to make change to your hard disk configuration, such as creating specific partitions and so on, you can do so by clicking the “New” option. We won’t, so just click “Next.”

Choosing a drive to install the Windows 10 technical preview on. (Image Credit: Daniel Petri)

Choosing a drive to install the Windows 10 technical preview on. (Image Credit: Daniel Petri)

9. The installation will now start writing to disk. The file copying process will take anywhere from around two minutes on a fast computer, to about five or so on a slower computer.

The Windows 10 technical preview installation status. (Image Credit: Daniel Petri)

The Windows 10 technical preview installation status. (Image Credit: Daniel Petri)

10. The computer will perform a fast reboot that you may not even notice, where it will continue with some basic device installation. You don’t need to do anything here, just sit back and look at it. This should take less than one minute.

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11. Another fast reboot and we’re ready to proceed.

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12. If you want to use the default settings, press “Use express settings.”

Choosing Express settings option for the Windows 10 technical preview install. (Image Credit: Daniel Petri)

Choosing Express settings option for the Windows 10 technical preview install. (Image Credit: Daniel Petri)

13. If you want to customize the settings, click “Customize.”

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14. You may change network discovery settings (default is on).

Changing network discovery options in the Windows 10 technical preview installation. (Image Credit: Daniel Petri)

Changing network discovery options in the Windows 10 technical preview installation. (Image Credit: Daniel Petri)

15. You can change Windows update and some basic protection settings. Click “Next.”

Changing basic security and privacy settings in the Windows 10 technical preview installation. (Image Credit: Daniel Petri)

Changing basic security and privacy settings in the Windows 10 technical preview installation. (Image Credit: Daniel Petri)

16. You can change other settings related to solution checks and feedback. Click “Next.”

Settings for solution and feedback checks in the Windows 10 technical preview. (Image Credit: Daniel Petri)

Settings for solution and feedback checks in the Windows 10 technical preview. (Image Credit: Daniel Petri)

17. Next, you can change information sharing settings. Click “Next.”

Information sharing settings in the Windows 10 technical preview. (Image Credit: Daniel Petri)

Information sharing settings in the Windows 10 technical preview. (Image Credit: Daniel Petri)

18. Next, you can configure the Microsoft account that you’d like to use. Because of some restriction, I cannot say anything about this feature right now, but let’s say that there may be some changes to the way the OS will use this feature.

If you chose Express settings, then you will get to this screen.

Setting up your Microsoft account in the Windows 10 technical preview. (Image Credit: Daniel Petri)

Setting up your Microsoft account in the Windows 10 technical preview. (Image Credit: Daniel Petri)

19. Enter your Microsoft account credentials and click “Next.”

Signing into your Microsoft account in the Windows 10 technical preview. (Image Credit: Daniel Petri)

Signing into your Microsoft account in the Windows 10 technical preview. (Image Credit: Daniel Petri)

20. If you don’t want to use one, or if you don’t have one and do not want to create one, if you click “Next” without entering an account you will be prompted to do so.

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21. If you fail to enter the right credentials, you cannot proceed with the setup.

However, if you want to install and use Windows 10 without a Microsoft account and use a local account instead, we need to enter a wrong Microsoft account email and password. Click “Next.”

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22. You will be prompted to enter a captcha code.

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23. Only now you will get an option to skip the Microsoft account user. Click “continue without a Microsoft account.”

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24. Click “Create a local account.”

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25. Note: You can also get to the local account creation by clicking on the “Create a new account” link.

Creating a new Microsoft account option in the Windows 10 technical preview. (Image Credit: Daniel Petri)

Creating a new Microsoft account option in the Windows 10 technical preview. (Image Credit: Daniel Petri)

26. In the next screen you can either fill the form to create a new Microsoft account or click “Sign in without a Microsoft account.”

Creating a new Microsoft account. (Image Credit: Daniel Petri)

Creating a new Microsoft account. (Image Credit: Daniel Petri)

27. Either fill in the fields to create a new local user and click “Finish” or go back and use a Microsoft account. Assuming you’ve used a Microsoft account, click “Next.”

Creating a new local user in the Windows 10 technical preview. (Image Credit: Daniel Petri)

Creating a new local user in the Windows 10 technical preview. (Image Credit: Daniel Petri)

28. What happens now is a security validation using multi-factor authentication. If you’ve downloaded and installed the Microsoft Account application on your smartphone and properly configured it against your Microsoft account, then you will be prompted to accept this request on your smartphone.

Setting up multi-factor authentication in the Windows 10 technical preview. (Image Credit: Daniel Petri)

Setting up multi-factor authentication in the Windows 10 technical preview. (Image Credit: Daniel Petri)

Note the security code and make sure it matched what you see on the screen. Click “Approve.”

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Back in Windows 10, if needed, click “Next”.

If you don’t have the app, then you can still enter a manual code using email or an SMS text message to your phone. Click “Get a code a different way.”

Getting the verification code through a different method. (Image Credit: Daniel Petri)

Getting the verification code through a different method. (Image Credit: Daniel Petri)

29. Once approved, you can disable OneDrive sync, if you really want to. Click “Next.”

Setting up OneDrive as your cloud storage in the Windows 10 technical preview. (Image Credit: Daniel Petri)

Setting up OneDrive as your cloud storage in the Windows 10 technical preview. (Image Credit: Daniel Petri)

30. Windows will take a couple of minutes to complete some additional configuration and application installation. Wait for it.

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31. The account setup may take several minutes, but you should eventually see:

The Windows 10 technical preview installation is almost finished. (Image Credit: Daniel Petri)

The Windows 10 technical preview installation is almost finished. (Image Credit: Daniel Petri)

32. Finally, it will be ready to use…

The Windows 10 technical preview installation has successfully completed. (Image Credit: Daniel Petri)

The Windows 10 technical preview installation has successfully completed. (Image Credit: Daniel Petri)

33. The desktop will appear, and you can start playing with the new installation.

The Windows 10 technical preview desktop. (Image Credit: Daniel Petri)

The Windows 10 technical preview desktop. (Image Credit: Daniel Petri)

34. Clicking on the Start button in the lower-left corner will show you how the new Start menu looks in Windows 10. I’m sure this is why you all installed it, didn’t you?

The Windows 10 Start menu in the technical preview. (Image Credit: Daniel Petri)

The Windows 10 Start menu in the technical preview. (Image Credit: Daniel Petri)

35. Next thing you’d want to do, especially if you’ve installed Technical Preview a while after it was released, is to update Windows.

Performing a Windows Update following the Windows 10 Technical Preview installation. (Image Credit: Daniel Petri)

Performing a Windows Update following the Windows 10 Technical Preview installation. (Image Credit: Daniel Petri)

Stay tuned for more articles about Windows 10 on the Petri IT Knowledgebase.

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