Home Article Here’s How to Fix Windows Installer Not Working. Windows installer Windows 10
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Here’s How to Fix Windows Installer Not Working. Windows installer Windows 10

Windows 10 Download: Free for 64 Bit and 32 Bit Full Version

You are going to learn about 5 ways to download Windows 10 64 or 32-bit free for your PC or laptop. By the way, if you have data loss problems on Windows 11/10/8/7 computers run EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard. This data recovery software makes it easy to recover data from any device.

Windows 10 is one of the most straightforward operating systems. It is a blend and update of Windows 7 and 8 with some entirely new features that are easy to handle. If you do not have Windows 7 SP1 or Windows 8.1, you can still get a free Windows 10 full version. This post provides five effective ways to download Windows 10 64/32 bit full version for free.

Windows 10 ISO 64/32 Bit Free Download Full Version – 5 Ways

These methods will help you obtain the free Microsoft Windows 10 operating system for free. These solutions open a path for all Windows XP and Windows Vista users and get a free copy of the Windows 10 final version. Here‘s a quick navigation of the solutions.

Method 1. Run Windows 10 Downloader

Install EaseUS OS2Go on your Windows computer. Plug in a USB drive or. Full steps

Method 2. Download Windows ISO File

Create a Windows 10 installation media file like an ISO file, USB flash drive, or DVD. Full steps

Method 3. Run Media Creation Tool

Download Windows 10 Media Create Tool. Run the Windows 10 Media Create Tool. Full steps

Method 4. Migrate Windows 10

here, windows, installer, working

If you have Windows 10 installed on an old PC, you can use Windows 10 cloning. Full steps

Method 5. Buy Windows 10

To get started, you will need a license to install Windows 10. Full steps

Windows 10 System Requirements for 32/64 Bit

Before you are going to download Windows 10 64-bit full version free, you must learn about the system requirements of Windows 10. Here‘s what it takes to install Windows 10 on your PC or tablet:

Latest OS: Make sure you’re running the latest version—either Windows 7 SP1 or Windows 8.1 Update.

Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster processor or SoC

RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) for 32-bit or 2 GB for 64-bit

here, windows, installer, working

Hard disk space: 16 GB for 32-bit OS or 20 GB for 64-bit OS

Graphics card: DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver

Display: 800 x 600

To find out which version you’re running:

How to Free Download Windows 10 ISO 64/32 Bit Full Version

Almost 90% of computers are running on Windows operating system. In this part, you will learn four ways to download Windows 10 64/32 bit full version free. Read on to get Windows 10 for your PC. You can also watch the video to download Windows 10 full version.

Method 1. Free Download Windows 10 ISO with Windows 10 Downloader

Another effective way to get Windows 10 full version is using a Windows 10 ISO downloader. EaseUS OS2Go is an incredible tool that can download Windows 11/10/8.1/8 ISO files as well as create bootable Windows USB drives. With this tool, you can get the Windows environment on your USB flash drive and run it on Windows or Mac devices.

  • Download Windows 11/10/8.1/8 ISO files and create bootable media with simple clicks.
  • Migrate Windows 11 to a portable drive with programs, backgrounds, games, etc.
  • Restore the cloned Windows operating system to a different computer anytime and anywhere.
  • Play Windows 11 on some old computers which lack UEFI secure boot or TPM 2.0 configuration.
  • You can run Windows 11 on a Windows 10 or Windows 7 computer without the booting issue.

Follow the steps below to download Windows 10 full version without burning the ISO files.

Step 1. Install EaseUS OS2Go on your Windows computer. Plug in a USB drive or external hard drive that is large enough.

Step 2. Choose the third tab “Windows Install Drive Creator”. First choose the Windows versions you want to install, EaseUS OS2Go supports creating Windows 11/10/8.1 installation media. You could also select a local ISO file. When all set, click “Create”.

Step 3. Then you will see a safety warning message, telling you that all data on the selected disk will be deleted. Click “Continue” to proceed.

Step 4. Then EaseUS OS2Go will start to create the Windows Installation media. It usually takes a while to download a ISO file, the time it takes depend on your OS and Network condition. When the progress reaches 100%, the USB drive should be bootable now.

Step 5. Insert the Windows Installation media to your computer and start the installation process.

Method 2. Free Download Windows 10 64/32 Bit ISO File

Once you have met the requirements to run Windows 10, follow the steps to download Windows 10 64/32 bit ISO file.

Step 2. Create a Windows 10 installation media file like an ISO file, USB flash drive, or DVD.

After creating an ISO file, you need to burn Windows 10 64/32 bit ISO file to a blank USB with burning tools like Rufus.

Step 3. Then, insert the installation USB flash drive or DVD to your PC and boot your PC into BIOS.

Step 4. Go to the Boot Menu and select to boot from the USB or DVD media.

Step 5. Follow the on-screen instructions to install Windows 10 on your PC.

Method 3. Run Windows 10 Media Creation Tool

Microsoft provides a beneficial Windows 10 Media Creation Tool for users to install Windows 10 or create a bootable installation USB drive, DVD, or ISO file to install Windows 10 on a different PC.

Step 1. Download Windows 10 Media Create Tool.

Step 2. Run the Windows 10 Media Create Tool

Method 4. Migrate Windows 10 with Disk Cloning Software

If you have Windows 10 installed on an old PC, you can use Windows 10 cloning software to clone Windows 10 to a new SSD or HDD. Then, insert the SSD or HDD into the new PC. Finally, the new PC will have Windows 10 installed. You can get more information from this video.

Method 1. Buy Windows 10 License from Microsoft

To get started, you will need a license to install Windows 10. Go to the Microsoft page to buy a copy of Windows 10 and install it on your PC.

Final Verdict

You have learned four practical ways to download Windows 10 64/32 bit full version for free. You can install Windows 10 on your PC and enjoy its wonderful features.

Microsoft Windows 10 is still sharing the largest market due to its popularity and stability. Though there are many ways available to help download a wanted Windows 10 version, we think the best way to download Windows 10 for free is provided by EaseUS OS2Go, which makes the whole process swiftly like a breeze.

Windows 10 Tips and FAQs

Here are some additional tips that may do you a favor in troubleshooting Windows 10 issues.

How to check Windows 10 system type?

If you want to check if you’ve downloaded and installed the 64-bit or 32-bit Windows 10, follow these steps:

  • Click the Start menu, type About, and click “About your PC”.
  • Then you can see your system type under Device specifications.

How to upgrade Windows 10 from 32-bit to 64-bit?

If your computer meets the system requirements, you can refer to upgrading 32 Bit to 64 Bit in Windows 10 without losing data.

How to stop Windows from the automatic update?

What if your Windows 10 upgrades to the newest version without asking you? You can disable Windows 10 automatic updates in every way.

How to make Windows 10 up-to-date?

You can download Windows 10 update from Microsoft or upgrade it on your PC:

  • Windows 7 ISO File Download [Ultimate and Professional Edition] Cedric/2023-04-25
  • How to Install Windows 10 on External Hard Drive Mac Jean/2023-02-22
  • How to Create Windows Bootable USB with Rufus, and Another Easier Way Jean/2023-02-22
  • How to Create Windows 11 Bootable USB with/Without ISO Jean/2023-03-31

Here’s How to Fix Windows Installer Not Working

Windows Installer is the software component and Application Programming Interface (API) of Microsoft Windows responsible for installation, maintenance, and removal of applications.

  • The Windows Installer Service could not be accessed.
  • Windows Installer Service could not be started.
  • Could not start Windows Installer Service on Local Computer. Error 5: Access is denied.

Unless you fix your Windows Installer, you will not be able to install new applications, update or remove installed apps. If the Windows Installer has thrown a wrench to your planned activities, fret not for we come equipped with tools of our own to help you solve this crisis.

How to Fix Windows Installer Not Working?

Below we have listed a few different fixes that you can try to resolve your issue with the Windows Installer not working properly. Please go through the list one by one until your issue is sorted.

Run the Troubleshooter

You can try and let the Windows Troubleshooter resolve this issue automatically. Make sure that you are able to use Administrative privileges, and please follow the steps below:

  • Download “Program Install and Uninstall Troubleshooter” and run it.
  • On the next screen, select whether you are having a problem either with Installing or Uninstalling an application.
  • Select the program that you are having a problem with.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions.
  • Scan for Virus/Malware

    Your Windows Installer could be malfunctioning because it has been infected with a virus or malware.

    Viruses and malware usually attach themselves to system files and hijack the functionalities of the program, usually prioritizing their own execution over the program’s function, thus breaking it. Sometimes, they can also create a duplicate file, which gets called instead of the actual system program, which could be the case here as well.

    How to fix windows installer

    Run an anti-virus scan to see if this is the case, and fix it.

    • Press Win I to launch Settings.
    • Navigate to Privacy security Virus threat protection.
    • Make sure that your Virus threat protection updates are up-to-date.
    • Click on Quick Scan and wait for the process to complete.
    • If any virus or malware are detected by Windows Security, take remedial action (quarantine or remove), and perform a Full Scan of your system.

    Restart Windows Installer Service

    Your could be having problems installing or removing programs because the Windows Installer Service is not functioning properly. If you are seeing error message related to the Windows Installer Service (e.g., Windows Installer Service could not be started), you should check to see if the service has stopped.

    You will need to start the service if it has stopped. If it’s already started, you could try stopping it and then starting it again.

    You can restart the Windows Installer Service using the Services Manager or from the Task Manager.

    Using Windows Services Manager

    • Press Win R and type in services.msc to launch Windows Services Manager.
    • Scroll to Windows Installer and right-click on it, click Properties.
    • Look for status under Service status
    • Click on Stop then click on Start. (If the service status already says “Stopped,” click on Start.)
    • Try installing/uninstalling the application again.

    Restart the Windows Installer Using the Task Manager

    The Windows Installer service can also be started/restarted from the Task Manager.

    • Press Ctrl Shift Esc to launch the task manager.
    • Switch to the Services tab and scroll to find msiserver. This service is the Windows Installer service.
    • Right-click on msiserver and select Start. If the status is Running already, you can instead select Restart.

    This should start the Windows Installer service. Now try installing or uninstalling applications to see if the issue has been fixed.

    Re-register the Windows Installer

    Another attempt is you can try re-registering the Windows Installer and see if this fixes the issue.

    • Press Win R and type in cmd to launch the command prompt.
    • At the prompt, type in: msiexec /unregister and press enter.
    • Next, type in msiexec /regserver and press enter.
    • Try and see if you can install/uninstall now.

    Reset the Installer Service in the Registry

    Microsoft has provided a way to modify your registry for this particular case, which resets the installer configurations. This will hopefully solve your issue with the installer not working.

    • Press Win R and type in notepad to launch the notepad.
    • Copy and paste the following into the notepad:

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00 [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\msiserver] “DisplayName”=”@%SystemRoot%\\system32\\msimsg.dll,-27” “ImagePath”=hex(2):25,00,73,00,79,00,73,00,74,00,65,00,6d,00,72,00,6f,00,6f,00,\ 74,00,25,00,5c,00,73,00,79,00,73,00,74,00,65,00,6d,00,33,00,32,00,5c,00,6d,\ 00,73,00,69,00,65,00,78,00,65,00,63,00,20,00,2f,00,56,00,00,00 “Description”=”@%SystemRoot%\\system32\\msimsg.dll,-32” “ObjectName”=”LocalSystem” “ErrorControl”=dword:00000001 “Start”=dword:00000003 “Type”=dword:00000010 “DependOnService”=hex(7):72,00,70,00,63,00,73,00,73,00,00,00,00,00 “ServiceSidType”=dword:00000001 “RequiredPrivileges”=hex(7):53,00,65,00,54,00,63,00,62,00,50,00,72,00,69,00,76,\ 00,69,00,6c,00,65,00,67,00,65,00,00,00,53,00,65,00,43,00,72,00,65,00,61,00,\ 74,00,65,00,50,00,61,00,67,00,65,00,66,00,69,00,6c,00,65,00,50,00,72,00,69,\ 00,76,00,69,00,6c,00,65,00,67,00,65,00,00,00,53,00,65,00,4c,00,6f,00,63,00,\ 6b,00,4d,00,65,00,6d,00,6f,00,72,00,79,00,50,00,72,00,69,00,76,00,69,00,6c,\ 00,65,00,67,00,65,00,00,00,53,00,65,00,49,00,6e,00,63,00,72,00,65,00,61,00,\ 73,00,65,00,42,00,61,00,73,00,65,00,50,00,72,00,69,00,6f,00,72,00,69,00,74,\ 00,79,00,50,00,72,00,69,00,76,00,69,00,6c,00,65,00,67,00,65,00,00,00,53,00,\ 65,00,43,00,72,00,65,00,61,00,74,00,65,00,50,00,65,00,72,00,6d,00,61,00,6e,\ 00,65,00,6e,00,74,00,50,00,72,00,69,00,76,00,69,00,6c,00,65,00,67,00,65,00,\ 00,00,53,00,65,00,41,00,75,00,64,00,69,00,74,00,50,00,72,00,69,00,76,00,69,\ 00,6c,00,65,00,67,00,65,00,00,00,53,00,65,00,53,00,65,00,63,00,75,00,72,00,\ 69,00,74,00,79,00,50,00,72,00,69,00,76,00,69,00,6c,00,65,00,67,00,65,00,00,\ 00,53,00,65,00,43,00,68,00,61,00,6e,00,67,00,65,00,4e,00,6f,00,74,00,69,00,\ 66,00,79,00,50,00,72,00,69,00,76,00,69,00,6c,00,65,00,67,00,65,00,00,00,53,\ 00,65,00,50,00,72,00,6f,00,66,00,69,00,6c,00,65,00,53,00,69,00,6e,00,67,00,\ 6c,00,65,00,50,00,72,00,6f,00,63,00,65,00,73,00,73,00,50,00,72,00,69,00,76,\ 00,69,00,6c,00,65,00,67,00,65,00,00,00,53,00,65,00,49,00,6d,00,70,00,65,00,\ 72,00,73,00,6f,00,6e,00,61,00,74,00,65,00,50,00,72,00,69,00,76,00,69,00,6c,\ 00,65,00,67,00,65,00,00,00,53,00,65,00,43,00,72,00,65,00,61,00,74,00,65,00,\ 47,00,6c,00,6f,00,62,00,61,00,6c,00,50,00,72,00,69,00,76,00,69,00,6c,00,65,\ 00,67,00,65,00,00,00,53,00,65,00,41,00,73,00,73,00,69,00,67,00,6e,00,50,00,\ 72,00,69,00,6d,00,61,00,72,00,79,00,54,00,6f,00,6b,00,65,00,6e,00,50,00,72,\ 00,69,00,76,00,69,00,6c,00,65,00,67,00,65,00,00,00,53,00,65,00,52,00,65,00,\ 73,00,74,00,6f,00,72,00,65,00,50,00,72,00,69,00,76,00,69,00,6c,00,65,00,67,\ 00,65,00,00,00,53,00,65,00,49,00,6e,00,63,00,72,00,65,00,61,00,73,00,65,00,\ 51,00,75,00,6f,00,74,00,61,00,50,00,72,00,69,00,76,00,69,00,6c,00,65,00,67,\ 00,65,00,00,00,53,00,65,00,53,00,68,00,75,00,74,00,64,00,6f,00,77,00,6e,00,\ 50,00,72,00,69,00,76,00,69,00,6c,00,65,00,67,00,65,00,00,00,53,00,65,00,54,\ 00,61,00,6b,00,65,00,4f,00,77,00,6e,00,65,00,72,00,73,00,68,00,69,00,70,00,\ 50,00,72,00,69,00,76,00,69,00,6c,00,65,00,67,00,65,00,00,00,53,00,65,00,4c,\ 00,6f,00,61,00,64,00,44,00,72,00,69,00,76,00,65,00,72,00,50,00,72,00,69,00,\ 76,00,69,00,6c,00,65,00,67,00,65,00,00,00,00,00 “FailureActions”=hex:84,03,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,03,00,00,00,14,00,00,\ 00,01,00,00,00,c0,d4,01,00,01,00,00,00,e0,93,04,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00 [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\msiserver\Enum] “0”=”Root\\LEGACY_MSISERVER\\0000″ “Count”=dword:00000001 “NextInstance”=dword:00000001

    • Save the file as WindowsInstaller.reg. Be sure to select “All file types” in the save as window.
    • Right click on the saved file and select Merge. (Windows 11 users: Right-click Show more options Merge)
    • Restart the computer.

    Remove the Earlier Version of the Program You Want to Install

    Sometimes you might run into problems installing a program if an earlier version of the program is already installed in the system. In such case, you should first remove the earlier installation then try to install the newer version.

    • Press Win R and type in control panel to launch the Control Panel.
    • Under Programs, click on Uninstall a program.

    Fix. Windows Installer Not Working Errors

    Delete Duplicate msiexec.exe File

    If a duplicate msiexec.exe file exists, it might be causing a conflict with a copy of itself. In such case, you can delete the duplicate file to resolve the issue.

    • Press Win R and type in %windir%\SYSWOW64. For 32-bit systems, the path is %windir%\system32.
    • Locate msiexec.exe and see if there is a duplicate entry.
    • Delete the duplicate file.

    That should have resolved your problem. Check for yourself by trying to install the application.

    I’m a tech writer, an engineer, and a beginner/cell phone photographer. I love riding motorcycles. I have a love/hate relationship with Dota 2. I like traveling and trying out new food. I also love MCU. Yep, I’m a nerdy person who has gone mainstream.

    How to Fix Windows 10 with a 30-Minute Repair Install

    You can solve many Windows 10 problems with an in-place upgrade reinstall.

    Whether you’re trying to fix a BSOD such as a IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL or a CRITICAL_PROCESS_DIED error, serious Windows 10 troubleshooting is like plunging down the rabbit hole in Alice in Wonderland. At some point you may feel like you’ve taken on more than you can handle, you’re in a strange place, and the ultimate outcome is far from certain. That’s why I always keep track of the time I spend on troubleshooting, with a definite exit strategy in mind. Should the weeds get too thick to hack through, or the circumstances become too vexing or dire, that exit strategy will work to solve most problems that require troubleshooting in the first place.

    For me – and I would suggest for most readers – the natural time limit on Windows troubleshooting is half an hour (30 minutes). Why? That’s about how long it takes to perform a special-purpose operating system repair that shoots most forms of Windows trouble. Especially if your problem (or problems) are software-related, this repair is quite likely to fix them. Simply put, it replaces ALL of the OS files on a Windows 10 PC but leaves other files, installed applications, and most (but not all) settings and preferences alone.

    The In-Place Upgrade Repair Install

    It’s little-known and underappreciated, but one can install the same version of a Windows 10 OS onto an existing copy. This uses the Windows installation files in ISO format.

    Creating a Windows Install ISO

    There are several ways to get a Windows 10 install ISO, but the easiest comes directly from Microsoft’s download page.

    Download the Media Creation Tool by navigating to Microsoft’s Download Windows 10 page and clicking the button labeled “Download tool now” under the “Create Windows 10 installation media” heading.

    The name of the software tool is MediaCreationTool.exe. I usually rename it to identify the version of Windows 10 it downloads. At any given point in time, the MCT grabs whatever version of Windows 10 is most current – right now that’s 21H1. So I renamed that file MediaCreationTool21H1.exe.

    Launch the Media Creation Tool. It shows up in a window labeled “Windows 10 Setup” and makes you wait while it gets “a few things ready.”

    Approve the license terms when prompted.

    Select “Create installation media…”

    Select the language, Edition and Architecture (ex: 64-bit) when prompted.

    Select ISO file when asked to choose the media you want to output to.

    here, windows, installer, working

    By default this creates a file named Windows.iso; as before I name mine Windows21H1.iso so I can identify the version later on. This process takes a while. On my 2016 vintage i7 Skylake PC, it takes around 5 minutes to download and process the necessary data, and leave the ISO file behind in its designated storage location. After the download is complete, the MCT verifies the file structure (this is included in the 5-minute timeframe). When it’s complete it will show you the full path where the new ISO file now resides, like this:

    Click the “Finish” button and MCT will tidy up after itself and then close (this happens in less than 5 seconds on my PC: YMMV).

    Performing the In-place Repair Upgrade Install

    Established best practice dictates a bit of preparation before you start this operation. You’ll want to save any work, and close all open applications. If you have external storage devices attached to your PC, you’ll want to “safely remove them” so they can’t impact or interfere with repairs.

    If your issues are related to the boot/system drive, many experts think it’s useful to disconnect or dismount all other internal storage devices as well. I’ve never bothered with this when performing this repair on most of my PCs, and it hasn’t affected the outcome as far as I can tell. But if you are dealing with boot or start-up issues, this could be helpful. You’ll need your mouse, monitor and keyboard, though, so please leave all of them attached as usual.

    One more thing: before making major system changes (and this maneuver DEFINITELY counts as such) it’s always a good idea to make an image backup of your PC if you don’t have a recent copy. I make one every morning at 9:00 AM as a scheduled task in Macrium Reflect so I don’t usually do this (unless it’s late in the day). Be sure to have a bootable recovery disk handy that can restore your PC in case the OS drive goes south, and know how to use it for that purpose

    Navigate to your newly-created ISO file in Explorer.

    Right-click the file and select “Mount” from the resulting pop-up menu (if Mount does not appear, click Open, and then open with File Explorer). Either way, a new virtual device labeled “DVD drive” will appear in Explorer. It should look something like the item labeled DVD Drive (P:) ESD-ISO shown next.

    After all this effort, starting the in-place upgrade repair install is dead simple.

    Double-click the setup-exe file on the mounted ISO.

    This starts an upgrade to its local version of Windows. It will systematically replace every operating system file (and move the previous version to a Windows.old folder to which you can roll back if you like (Start Settings Update Security Recovery Go back to the previous version of Windows 10/click the “Get Started” button).

    Notice that my PC was last updated more than 10 days ago, so it doesn’t have that option (but then, I have this morning’s image backup and my Rescue Media handy).

    Once you fire off setup.exe, it’s just like all other Windows upgrades. It starts off with downloading and manipulating a set of files for the new OS version, while the old OS keeps running. Then you’re asked to reboot your PC, after which a Windows Preinstallation Environment, aka WinPE, takes over to handle the rest of the install process, during which at least two more reboots will occur. Eventually, you’ll have a repaired OS at your disposal. Hopefully, the trouble you’ve been trying to shoot will also be cleared away, as if by magic.

    What Can’t an In-Place Upgrade Repair Install Fix?

    This process takes such a short amount of time to complete, I’ve made it a part of my standard troubleshooting sequence. Unless I’m troubleshooting hardware or device driver issues – which this repair may not fix if it’s driver related, and can’t fix if it’s hardware-caused – I’ve found this repair to be as close to a “silver bullet” for handling pesky or complex Windows problems as it ever gets. And because it doesn’t take too long to give it a try, you won’t be that far behind the curve even if it doesn’t work. My own experience is that this repair handles 90-plus percent of the problems I run into and can’t fix in less than half an hour. Hopefully, your experience will be the same!

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    Ed Tittel is a long-time IT writer, researcher and consultant, and occasional contributor to Tom’s Hardware. A Windows Insider MVP since 2018, he likes to cover OS-related driver, troubleshooting, and security topics.

    How to Make a Bootable Windows USB Install / Recovery Drive

    Any 8GB or larger USB Flash drive can boot Windows installer.

    Microsoft makes it easy to create a bootable USB Flash drive for Windows 10. This nifty little all-purpose tool works to install whichever Windows 10 version it contains. Because it’s bootable, it also serves quite nicely as a bootable recovery drive, should you be unable to start.

    That means you can instruct your PC to boot to the USB drive by interrupting the normal boot sequence. Then, by targeting this drive as your boot source, you can run the Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE) it contains to conduct repairs on any Windows 10 PC or do a fresh install (see how to get Windows 10 for free or cheap). This is extremely handy when a PC experiences a BSOD or won’t boot and you need to fix the problem or access files on the boot drive.

    Meet the Microsoft Media Creation Tool (aka MCT)

    In order to create a bootable Windows 10 USB drive, you need to get Microsoft’s Media Creation Tool (MCT).

    Insert a blank USB Flash drive into your PC. It needs to be at least 8GB. If it’s not blank, note that it will be overwritten.

    Click Download tool now under under “Create Windows 10 installation media”

    This downloads a file named MediaCreationTool.exe to your Downloads folder. I usually rename this file to include the Windows Version at the end of the string, so it becomes MediaCreationTool21H1.exe. Insert a blank or reusable USB flash drive into an open USB port on your PC, and run this tool. First it tells you it’s “Getting a few things ready.” This can take a minute or two, so be patient.

    Click Accept when prompted. The MCT will continue on “Getting a few things” ready.

    Select “Create installation media …” and click Next.

    Choose the language, edition and architecture to match the target PC (the one you want to fix). Most of the time the defaults from your working PC will match those of your target PC, so you can stick with them unchanged as in Figure 4.

    Select USB Flash drive. If you choose ISO, you will later need to write the ISO to a Flash drive so this saves a step.

    Select your USB Flash drive from the storage device menu.Warning! All contents will be overwritten. As you can see in Figure 6, I have numerous USB drives on my PC, and I’ll be recycling a drive which has bootable media for older Windows Version 1709. Once you’ve selected your destination drive, click Next.

    The MCT will download a fresh copy of the installation files for Windows 10 to your local C: drive. This usually involves 4-5 GB of material, so it can take a while to complete. On my system, it took about 2 minutes thanks to a gigabit Ethernet connection via Spectrum. A progress indicator counts you through the download process.

    Once the counter gets to 100%, it then verifies the download and counts through its check in percentages there as well. I’ll skip the screencap of this step. Once it hits 100%. this process can take a minute or two – then the MCT writes the contents of the USB drive. When that’s done you’ll see a “ready” report like the one shown in Figure 8. Click Finish to complete the process and close the MCT.

    The process concludes with a brief cleanup to get rid of temporary files and other detritus. Then the MCT exits. Now, you’ve got a brand-new, ready-to-use bootable USB flash drive with Windows 10 21H1 (or whatever version is current as you read this).

    Booting Your Windows 10 Install USB

    As a Windows PC is booting, you may be able to interrupt the boot sequence before the Windows loader gets going by striking a function or special key on that machine. On my newer Lenovo PCs, the BIOS tells me that striking the proverbial “any” key will interrupt initial boot-up. If I take that route, I must then strike the F12 function key to get to an alternate boot menu.

    If you can boot into Windows, you can force your PC to boot off the USB drive on restart. If you click through Start Settings Update Security Recovery Advanced Startup Restart Now, your PC will restart immediately and offer the Recovery environment as an option upon start-up. Either way, as long as you’ve got the USB drive plugged into a USB port as the system restarts, you will then be able to boot from that device into WinRE. If you boot to this drive, you can also use it to perform a clean install of Windows 10 on your PC by running setup.exe from the drive’s root folder. It will take over from there.

    On the other hand, if you want to, you can upgrade your PC to whichever version of Windows 10 is present on your USB flash drive. Simply run setup.exe from the root folder to launch the upgrade process, and the software will take it from there.

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    Ed Tittel is a long-time IT writer, researcher and consultant, and occasional contributor to Tom’s Hardware. A Windows Insider MVP since 2018, he likes to cover OS-related driver, troubleshooting, and security topics.

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