Christopher Juckins

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Windows 10 Notes

General Preparation

Windows 10 Clean Install Instructions

  • When performing a clean install of Windows 10, use the Windows 7 license key printed on the computer or from your "Windows Anytime Upgrade" purchase receipt. Windows 10 will recognize it as a valid license.

Find Windows Product Key

Product Key .vbs script (save to Desktop then run):

Set WshShell = CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
MsgBox ConvertToKey(WshShell.RegRead("HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\DigitalProductId"))

Function ConvertToKey(Key)
Const KeyOffset = 52
i = 28
Cur = 0
x = 14
Cur = Cur * 256
Cur = Key(x + KeyOffset) + Cur
Key(x + KeyOffset) = (Cur \ 24) And 255
Cur = Cur Mod 24
x = x -1
Loop While x >= 0
i = i -1
KeyOutput = Mid(Chars, Cur + 1, 1) & KeyOutput
If (((29 - i) Mod 6) = 0) And (i <> -1) Then
i = i -1
KeyOutput = "-" & KeyOutput
End If
Loop While i >= 0
ConvertToKey = KeyOutput
End Function

Make a bootable USB drive:

Pre-install and backups

Use Belarc Advisor to get an inventory of programs on the computer

For Microsoft Office:

  • Note the current software key
  • Reinstall office with the MS Office .iso installation file
  • Use the same software key on the same hardware when the new OS is installed

Backup user data

  • Copy every user's C:\Users\* folders to a USB drive or 2nd hard disk
  • Take screenshots of the following:
    • Desktop to restore look and feel after installation
    • Installed programs (check one by one) to capture their specific settings
      • Firefox, Thunderbird, WinSCP, Canoscan Toolbox, Crashplan, VirtualBox
      • Any programs that run at startup


Use ISO boot instructions listed above

Post-install Cleanup

Mostly compiled 23 April 2016


  • Set IP to static address if needed
  • Disable IPv6 if needed
  • Test that you can browse network devices

2nd Hard Drive not recognized - Follow these steps

Enable Firewall to allow ping

Enable Remote Desktop for Windows 10 Pro:

  • The RDP feature is disabled by default
  • To turn the remote feature on, type: remote settings into the Cortana search box
  • Select Allow remote access to your computer from the results at the top
  • System Properties will open to the Remote tab

Need to use xfreerdp for Remote Desktop Connection from Linux

  • xfreerdp –no-nla -z -x m -x 80 -f XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX:3389

Add shortcuts to start menu:

  • First create a shortcut to the program you want to add
    • Right-click, send to Desktop
  • Drop shortcuts into the Roaming folder at %appdata%\Microsoft\WIndows\Start Menu\Programs
  • This allows the item to appear in the "All Apps" menu
  • Drag it from the list to anywhere on the start menu
  • See this post and this post for more info

Restore File Explorer to Taskbar

How to Make Windows Photo Viewer Default image viewer

Add Shortcut to Internet Explorer:

  • Right-click on Desktop, choose New > Shortcut
  • Choose Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe for the program to run
  • Give the shortcut a name
  • After it's added to the Desktop, right-click and choose Add to Start Menu

Turn on Backups:

  • UPDATE: Consider using Synctoy to perform backups to a 2nd hard disk
  • Start > Settings > Update & Security (recovery, backup)
  • Left sidebar, click Backup
  • Choose a disk for the backups
  • Toggle on for "Automatically backup my files"
    • Click More options
    • Choose how often to backup files (Daily)
    • Choose how long to keep backed up files (1 month)
    • Adjust folders as needed
      • AppData
      • Downloads
      • Favorites
      • Contacts
      • Desktop
      • VirtualBox VMs
      • .VirtualBox
      • Pictures
      • Documents
      • Camera Roll
      • Videos
      • Saved Pictures
      • Music

To restore a file:

  • Start > Settings > Update & Security (recovery, backup)
  • Left sidebar, click Backup
  • Choose More options
  • Under Related Settings > Restore files from a current backup
  • In the resulting window (Home - File History) navigate to the date you want to look for the file
  • Highlight the file you want to restore and then click the green arrow

Disable Auto Restart:

The following procedure seemed to work, October 2016:

I made changes recently. Windows 10 downloads updates, applies them, says it will reboot, but it does not. I hate the threat that it's going to reboot, but I guess the settings I have applied are preventing it. Here's what I did... 1) Run 'gpedit.msc' 2) Under "Computer Configuration" -> "Administrative Templates" -> "Windows Components" -> "Windows Update"... 2a) Select "Configure Automatic Updates", select "enabled", select "4 - auto download and schedule the install", check "install during automatic maintenance" and select a time to install. I also checked "install updates for other MS products" 2b) Under "No auto-restart when logged on users for scheduled automatic updates" select "Enabled" 3) Run "gpupdate /force" This seems to work for Windows 10 Pro, which is what I'm using. I guess if you are running Windows 10 (whatever "home" is called), you're hosed.

Windows 10 stops responding when trying to unlock screensaver:

  • Could not find exact problem through web search
  • Identified all "apps" or programs that I did not want and I uninstalled them
  • The problem seemed to occur after the large "service pack" type installation that occurred in October, 2016

Startup Programs:

  • Press Windows Key + R to open the run dialog. Then type: shell:Startup
  • This will open your startup folder. Simply drag your shortcut created earlier into this folder.
windows_10_notes.txt · Last modified: 2019/03/15 19:56 by juckins