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Is a Win10 .iso file all I need to make computer work?


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#1 Toshiba2015

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Posted 25 June 2016 - 12:27 PM

My Toshiba laptop which I had for 5 years died recently, and it was a Win7 computer which I upgraded to Win10 several months before it died.  I also had downloaded  the Windows 10 .iso file, saved it to the hard drive and then burned it to a DVD in case I needed it.  It's an .iso file that's about 3.8GB in size if I remember correctly.

 

Now, I have a new Dell laptop which I bought less than a week ago.  Of course, it has Win10 on it already, along with other things.  The amount of used space on the hard drive is 39GB.  I'm looking to do a one-time backup of my computer to have in case of a hard drive failure someday in the future.  I just want to back up the basics.  I'm having some problems doing it, but then I remembered that Win10 .iso file I have on a DVD.  Would that be sufficient to restore my new laptop if it's hard drive failed and had to be replaced?  Or is there more to it than that?  I imagine there are drivers and other stuff I'd have to get.  But with the Win10 .iso alone, would my computer function enough that I could go online with it and download the needed drivers?



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#2 sasschary

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Posted 25 June 2016 - 12:35 PM

The Windows 10 ISO will have everything you to get your computer running again if you replace the hard drive. It contains an installer for Windows 10, as well as repair tools for an existing installation. It will not have the files from your old installation though, nor will it have your programs; the install would be a clean install. It will also not be activated, and you will need to provide it with an activation key.

 

It will be able to install most drivers on its own, however, other drivers, such as those for your graphics card may need to be manually installed after the operating system is reinstalled.

 

ZC



#3 Viper_Security

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Posted 25 June 2016 - 12:48 PM

The Windows 10 ISO will have everything you to get your computer running again if you replace the hard drive. It contains an installer for Windows 10, as well as repair tools for an existing installation. It will not have the files from your old installation though, nor will it have your programs; the install would be a clean install. It will also not be activated, and you will need to provide it with an activation key.

 

It will be able to install most drivers on its own, however, other drivers, such as those for your graphics card may need to be manually installed after the operating system is reinstalled.

 

ZC

 Agreed, couldn't have put it better myself, Some drivers you will have to manually install (e.g. your printer if available )


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#4 Toshiba2015

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Posted 25 June 2016 - 12:58 PM

The Windows 10 ISO will have everything you to get your computer running again if you replace the hard drive. It contains an installer for Windows 10, as well as repair tools for an existing installation. It will not have the files from your old installation though, nor will it have your programs; the install would be a clean install. It will also not be activated, and you will need to provide it with an activation key.

 

It will be able to install most drivers on its own, however, other drivers, such as those for your graphics card may need to be manually installed after the operating system is reinstalled.

 

ZC

Cool!  Well, all my personal files are safely stored elsewhere already, so those are safe no matter what.  As for other programs, there don't seem to be many.  The ones that came on my previous computer--MS Word Starter 2010, Excel, MS Paint, Windows Media Player, Wordpad--are all absent!  I was shocked to see all them gone.  There's Dell bloatware of course.

 

This activation key you mentioned....that would be on my computer somewhere right now, correct?  And that's what I'd use?

 

BTW, I'm surprised that the Win10 .iso file is only around 3.8GB, but I've got 39 or 40GB on my computer right now.  But when I looked through all my apps that are installed, there wasn't anything all that big that should take up all that extra space, especially when all those programs I mentioned earlier aren't even there.



#5 Viper_Security

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Posted 25 June 2016 - 01:01 PM

For the Activation, . if you have a windows 7 pro number, it will work for windows 10 pro, and same with W10Home/W7Home.


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#6 sasschary

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Posted 25 June 2016 - 01:02 PM

There is most likely a sticker somewhere on your computer which has your product key on it, and you should be able to use that to activate a reinstalled Windows 10. However, the key must be for the same version, so a Windows 10 Home key would work with a Windows 10 installation, while it would not work with a Windows 10 Professional installation.

 

ZC



#7 Toshiba2015

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Posted 25 June 2016 - 01:07 PM

There is most likely a sticker somewhere on your computer which has your product key on it, and you should be able to use that to activate a reinstalled Windows 10. However, the key must be for the same version, so a Windows 10 Home key would work with a Windows 10 installation, while it would not work with a Windows 10 Professional installation.

 

ZC

Thanks!  I imagine it's the Win10 Home edition.  It was bought at Walmart (and at a clearance price of $299.99 instead of the normal $399.99).


For the Activation, . if you have a windows 7 pro number, it will work for windows 10 pro, and same with W10Home/W7Home.

I'm not at home to see it now, but it wouldn't have a Win7 number on it.  It came installed with Win10 from day one.



#8 sasschary

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Posted 25 June 2016 - 01:11 PM

You're welcome! I would also think that it will be the Home edition, I believe that's what most computers would come preinstalled with.

 

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#9 Viper_Security

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Posted 25 June 2016 - 01:14 PM

If it Came with Win10 Installed you'll probably just see a shiny sticker, if needed you can use magical jelly bean to find out your number.

(https://www.magicaljellybean.com/keyfinder/)


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#10 Toshiba2015

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Posted 25 June 2016 - 01:19 PM

If it Came with Win10 Installed you'll probably just see a shiny sticker, if needed you can use magical jelly bean to find out your number.

(https://www.magicaljellybean.com/keyfinder/)

Seriously???  Why does Microsoft play these games with people?



#11 Viper_Security

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Posted 25 June 2016 - 01:21 PM

No Idea, they did it with windows 8 and 8.1 as well, they just put a tiny square sticker on it, (Most likely because newer machines are UEFI and it has the product key in the BIOS)

 

The 40 GB is most likely the Bloat-ware on the machine, i did a clean install of W10 and was only 15 GB if that after updates.


Edited by Viper_Security, 25 June 2016 - 01:25 PM.

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#12 Stancestans

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Posted 25 June 2016 - 01:22 PM

MS Paint, Windows Media Player, Wordpad--are all absent!
 
BTW, I'm surprised that the Win10 .iso file is only around 3.8GB, but I've got 39 or 40GB on my computer right now.  But when I looked through all my apps that are installed, there wasn't anything all that big that should take up all that extra space, especially when all those programs I mentioned earlier aren't even there.


MS Paint, Windows Media Player and Wordpad are still present in Windows 10. It's Windows Media Center that's no longer present, and they are NEVER listed in installed programs because they're part of Windows operating system since way back. If you can't locate them in Start menu, use Windows Search to find them.

The Windows 10 ISO contains highly compressed data that can easily occupy three times its size when expanded. They are expanded during Windows installation. Your new computer comes preinstalled with Windows, drivers, bloatware, integrated updates and so on. It's not strange that about 40GB of space is already occupied. You can use Space Sniffer to see a graphical presentation of disk usage to figure out what is occupying all that space. I also wouldn't rely on the sizes shown on the list of installed programs. Some programs use a lot more space that what is shown on that list. After you've gotten rid of bloatware from your new system, consider creating a system image of the clean installation, preferable in an external hard disk or flash drive, for recovery purposes. There are many tools you can use to create a system image backup. The Windows 10 DVD will of course come in handy, but it's not the best recovery strategy.

#13 Toshiba2015

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Posted 25 June 2016 - 01:37 PM

 

MS Paint, Windows Media Player, Wordpad--are all absent!
 
BTW, I'm surprised that the Win10 .iso file is only around 3.8GB, but I've got 39 or 40GB on my computer right now.  But when I looked through all my apps that are installed, there wasn't anything all that big that should take up all that extra space, especially when all those programs I mentioned earlier aren't even there.

MS Paint, Windows Media Player and Wordpad are still present in Windows 10. It's Windows Media Center that's no longer present, and they are NEVER listed in installed programs because they're part of Windows operating system since way back. If you can't locate them in Start menu, use Windows Search to find them.

The Windows 10 ISO contains highly compressed data that can easily occupy three times its size when expanded. They are expanded during Windows installation. Your new computer comes preinstalled with Windows, drivers, bloatware, integrated updates and so on. It's not strange that about 40GB of space is already occupied. You can use Space Sniffer to see a graphical presentation of disk usage to figure out what is occupying all that space. I also wouldn't rely on the sizes shown on the list of installed programs. Some programs use a lot more space that what is shown on that list. After you've gotten rid of bloatware from your new system, consider creating a system image of the clean installation, preferable in an external hard disk or flash drive, for recovery purposes. There are many tools you can use to create a system image backup. The Windows 10 DVD will of course come in handy, but it's not the best recovery strategy.

 

I've been looking at others, but they're huge!  One is called Macrium Reflect DL.  I downloaded the installer, which is only 3.46MB, but when I clicked it, it started doing a download that would be well over 500MB!  I was trying to delete stuff to keep the size of the image down, but adding programs like this defeats that purpose.  Are programs like Reflect DL really that much better?  Would the backup apps already in my computer create faulty copies of what I have?



#14 Stancestans

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Posted 25 June 2016 - 01:58 PM

 

 

I've been looking at others, but they're huge!  One is called Macrium Reflect DL.  I downloaded the installer, which is only 3.46MB, but when I clicked it, it started doing a download that would be well over 500MB!  I was trying to delete stuff to keep the size of the image down, but adding programs like this defeats that purpose.  Are programs like Reflect DL really that much better?  Would the backup apps already in my computer create faulty copies of what I have?

Third party alternatives to utilities included in Windows have proven many times to be a lot better. The same goes for the backup utilities (File History and System Image Backup) included in Windows 10. I've never used Macrium software, I use AOMEI Backupper Standard (freeware), which is a 78MB only download and offers features not available in inbuilt tools, for example, the ability to check the integrity of the backup to make sure it's error free and restorable. Another great alternative is EaseUS ToDo Backup. All you need is a safely stored backup and a rescue CD to get you back on track when disaster strikes.



#15 usasma

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Posted 25 June 2016 - 03:51 PM

Just FYI - type "slmgr /xpr" (without the quotes) at a Command Prompt (while connected to the internet).

That should give you a small window that says the system is "permanently activated"

If so, then the hardware that this copy of W10 is installed on is permanently tied to that copy of W10

As such, you don't need a product key.

You merely install Windows 10 from the USB, skip the first time it asks for a product key, and tell it to do it later the next time it asks for it.
Then, when you're finished and online, it'll automagically activate for you.


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