Thinking about trying Linux? IMHO, it’s always advisable to have a backup plan for most anything, including OSes, so nothing wrong with giving Linux a try. However, Linux isn’t like Microsoft Windows with basically its one main OS option (currently WIN10); Linux has like 2000++ options you’ll need to figure out. Linux has its listed Distros, but then there are Desktop Environment’s (DE) or Flavor’s or SPIN’s or ‘Specialty’ (niche) Distros like Kali ‘n Kodachi…all that before you can actually find a Linux distribution that you like. Then you’ll have to install it…tweak it…find drivers (if there are any) because Linux isn’t a Plug ‘n Play OS. Most hardware will probably work, but printers ‘n scanners are more likely not to work…Ubuntu ‘n Ubuntu-based Distros have the most printer drivers, IMHO.

Linux is more of a second Desktop OS option rather than your main OS option, so if you’re even considering installing Linux, then you might just oughta go ahead ‘n move to Windows 10 first (assuming that your computer is old with Vista or WIN7). Am not sure if this series will be 1 or 2 more parts at this point (see UPDATE at bottom), but Part 1 was mainly focused on all the Linux options (AKA Fragmentation) that should be considered before giving it a lot of your time. Part 2 is going to focus mainly on how to economically purchase a Microsoft Windows 10 Pro OEM CD KEY GLOBAL from URcdkey for $17.46 (current price), and then how I like to install it. There are other software sites like URcdkey, but their prices are hard to beat, and most importantly, I’ve never had a problem activating any of the products I’ve purchased from URcdkey, and I have installed 5-6 of their OEM CD Keys.

Once you get the Microsoft Windows 10 Pro OEM CD KEY GLOBAL you’ll need to download an ISO file from Microsoft. I’m updating my ISO this Sunday morning, and it is taking longer to download the new ISO file than it did to upgrade 6 of my computers to version 20H2!?! I think it’s the Microsoft servers…maybe a lot of people trying to download the same ISO file. My ISP isn’t fast, but it seems OK so I’m thinking Microsoft is just slow this morning. They’ll create it on a USB flash drive for you, but I prefer getting the ISO file ‘n creating my own USB installation media later…I actually create a spare USB which is used as the ‘working’ USB ‘n the other is stored just in case. Having the ISO file gives you more options if ever needed.

Download Windows 10:

We’re not updating, so download the Media Creation Tool. Once it’s downloaded, go to the folder and open the MediaCreationTool20H2 file:

It starts checking ‘n getting ready ‘n then the license terms:

Accept it … then the ‘What do you want to do’ option:

We’re going to ‘Create installation media’ for another PC…then language, architecture, and edition options:

Then the USB flash drive or ISO file options…this is an old pic that shows the USB flash drive selected, but in this case we want the ISO file:

Then it starts downloading ‘n hopefully you get a faster connection than I have this morning. Good thing I got up early (Sunday morning 11/22)…I try to use my Bonus Data (50 GBs between 2:00 AM – 8:00 AM) for the large downloads:

Almost 5GB’s. Maybe it was so busy because it is Sunday morning. One of the reasons I bothered with downloading the ISO (even tho I updated all 6 computers to the new version 20H2 back on 11/4/2020) was that Microsoft changed some settings ‘n stuff this time, and that included moving Activation to the main Settings. Before, I would just click This PC properties ‘n it opened into a window that offered activations at the bottom. Hold on…now it’s verifying the download:

That is also a very slow process today, but finally done and am using Rufus to create the USB’s.

Time to install it. This is the method I use…focusing on keeping my privacy ‘n not interested in starting an account nor any social settings. You may want to do it differently, which is OK for you. Here are my steps:

  • 1) Disconnect from internet!
  • 2) Start the computer w/ USB and target disk in…
  • 3) When it asks for product key, select “I don’t have a product key”
  • 4) Select your Windows version – my product is Microsoft Windows 10 Pro OEM CD KEY GLOBAL so I select Windows 10 Pro option…
  • 5) Accept license terms…
  • 6) Select “Custom” install…
  • 7) Disk partitioning…select Delete the target partition, then select New and let Windows create whatever partitions it needs using the whole disk…
  • 8) When it wants to connect to the internet, select “I don’t have internet” in lower left…
  • 9) add your name, but I leave the password blank (i.e. no pesky password for me)…
  • 10) Then a big Privacy Settings page comes up…I uncheck “yes” to all, which changes to “no” – there are 7 options: a) Online speech recognition. b) Location. c) Find my device. d) Diagnostic Data. e) Inking & typing. f) Tailored experience. g) Advertising ID. (that’s 7 choices that I changed to “no”) – change it later if you want to have Microsoft ‘Tailor your experience’ … er, OK – NOT!!!  😉
  • 11) When asked about Cortana – select “Not now for Cortana”

OK…all installed ‘n rebooting. Check that everything appears to work ‘n test it for awhile…I believe you have a month before needing to activate it. I usually do a quick check, get some tweaking done, connect to the internet, and then get it activated.

In search area at bottom left, type in “activation” and you get the Activation Settings window:

Click on the “Change product key” ‘n a popup comes up:

Enter the Product key you were given from URcdkey for $17.46 (current price), and follow the instructions. I’m just testing it, so don’t actually have a product key for this test…

This looks pretty long already, so will go ahead ‘n post it, and then *Possibly* start planning a Part 3. Probably just some brief hardware tips ‘n such for possibly doing a BYOC and/or some economical remodeling advice.