How to Clean Install Windows 10 on a SSD

Madalina Dinita
by Madalina Dinita
Former Managing Editor
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Install Windows 10 on a SSD

Windows 10 is a great upgrade from Windows 8, not only because it’s free but also because it fixes a lot of bad design decisions that were taken with Windows 8. However installing it is not quite as simple – mostly because the only way to get it for free is via an upgrade. Today we are going to install Windows 10 on an SSD, from scratch.

But before we start, here’s what you need to know: SSD’s are really fast, but they also have a limited lifespan – this lifespan depends on how much you write to said SSD. What this means is, if you reduce the amount of writes you do to the SSD, your SSD will last a longer. One of the things that does a lot of rewriting is defragging.

Defragging is a process made for hard disks – it helps reduce the time it takes to find random data on the spinning discs of a hard disk; because hard disks have to find random data by physically moving the read head inside the hard disk.. On SSD’s however, defragging the disk could mean taking away a month of your SSD’s lifespan at worst, it is also completely unnecessary because SSD’s do not have any physical parts that need to move around and thus they do not need to be defragged – because the data gets read by simply checking if a cell is set to 1 or 0.

We have already covered topics related to SSD for Windows 10 in the past like fixing Slow Boot Time in Windows 10 on SSD and even about moving Windows 8.1 to SSD or moving Windows 10 on SSD without reinstalling.

Now that we have that out of the way, we can get straight to the point and start installing Windows. This is not very hard at all – all you need is the Windows 10 setup. If you already have the correct Windows 10 files downloaded and have already made a bootable DVD or USB stick, then you can skip to Step 4, otherwise follow the steps exactly as told.

  • Click here and get Microsoft’s Media Creation Tool for Windows 10. This will make the process of building a bootable disc or USB stick seamless.

How to install Windows 10 on SSD?

  • Once you have the Media Creation Tool running, it will ask you what you want to do with it – you must select “Create installation media for another PC” here.

Install Windows 10 on a SSD

  • Now select the appropriate version of Windows you want to install and let the Media Creation Tool download it, and create a bootable device.
  • Once you have the bootable DVD or USB stick, restart your PC and boot into the USB drive or the DVD.

Install Windows 10 on a SSD

  • From here onwards, you simply have to follow the onscreen instructions – installing Windows itself isn’t very hard but it’s the things you have to do before and after it that need preparation.
  • During the setup, it might ask you to input your Windows Product Key – this is where you can put your Windows 7 / 8 / 8.1 key and it will be automatically upgraded to a Windows 10 license.
  • Once the setup is complete, it should automatically reboot your PC but remember to not boot from the boot device this time.

And voila! You now have a fully working copy of Windows 10 running on your SSD – not an upgrade, but a complete install. Remember to disable the scheduled defragging on the SSD though; as it is very important for the health of your SSD.

SSD’s are not very affordable, but the price to storage ratio has been going down steadily in the past few years. Installing Windows 10 on an SSD isn’t very different from installing it on a hard disk, but you need to take some precautions so you don’t damage your SSD over time, considering how expensive it is.

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  • It’s not that simple if you want to make sure all your user files are located on an HDD. I’m looking for fool proof instructions to do a completely clean install of windows 10 on my SSD but making sure my user files go on the HDD. I can follow clear steps but I’m not a programmer etc so they do need to be pretty clear! Is it possible you can point me in the right direction, please?