How to install Windows


I’m busy doing some upgrades and I’m going to reinstall Windows sometime today on a new hard drive. I’m still “traditional” in the sense that I create the disk as MBR and then create ntfs partitions on it. I know there are all sorts of new stuff (although, not really that new anymore) like fast boot and EFI and who knows what else.

Is it worth investigating these options or should I stick with what I know? Also, I have an partition on a different disk containing my gaming OS so I guess whatever I do should remain compatible to be able to boot into that.


You’ll likely want to enable UEFI boot so you can have an EFI which requires GPT.

MBR only works with disks up to 2 TB in size. MBR also only supports up to four primary partitions—if you want more, you have to make one of your primary partitions an “extended partition” and create logical partitions inside it.

GPT-based drives can be much larger, with size limits dependent on the operating system and its file systems. GPT also allows for a nearly unlimited number of partitions. Again, the limit here will be your operating system—Windows allows up to 128 partitions on a GPT drive, and you don’t have to create an extended partition to make them work.

Windows can only boot from GPT on UEFI-based computers running 64-bit versions of Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and corresponding server versions. All versions of Windows 10, 8, 7, and Vista can read GPT drives and use them for data—they just can’t boot from them without UEFI.


Thanks. Other than that, are there other advantages? I’m installing on a SSD which will only have 1 or 2 partitions so the sizes aren’t really an issue in this case.
I know I’ve seen things in the bios with regards to Windows and Efi and fast boot and can’t remember what else, but didn’t really look into that. There was also something about controlling the bios from Windows, but I’m remembering (or mis-remembering) very vaguely here.


just download the Windows Media Creation Tool


Honestly the major advantage of GPT is the ability to recover from minor corruptions. Overall the advantages and lack of disadvantages make the use of MBR pointless (most of the time)


Talk about an upgrade from hell. Windows Media Creation tool doesn’t work with Windows Enterprise (but that was the least of my problems).

First my dvd drive seems to be broken (since I haven’t used it in a long time) so I had to clear out a usb drive and make it bootable from the iso using Rufus. That was very unsuccessful until I realised that I’m using the new ARM version of Windows (that one was my bad). After I downloaded the correct image, I managed to install Windows onto a GPT disk with EFI enabled which in turn caused my previous Gaming OS to become unusable and I had to reinstall that as well. And then finally after Windows took 10min to boot up, I figured out that one of my hard drives is failing.

Everything is mostly sorted now, although I’m still trying my luck to see if I can save anything from that hard drive. It is copying at 700kb/s, so not going well seeing that the files are approx. 2Gb each and there are a lot of them.


Do yourself a future favor and install disk S.M.A.R.T monitoring software. This will warn you well in advance.


Great, thanks for the advice. I hate hardware and dealing with these kinds of things which is probably why I don’t even know about this stuff. Just googled and downloaded one and it says that my gaming drives are “next”. Guess I should buy two hard drives now.


An expensive, but long term solution is getting a RAID controller and either do a RAID 1 (mirroring) which requires two drives or a RAID 5 configuration which requires a minimum of 3. Either way you can completely lose one disk without losing data which buys you some time


remember when windows came on these and half way through the installation one disk decides to play hardball and doesnt want to read


You kids with your fancy new disks, back when I grew up we had


I used both of these, but floppies only with MS DOS 3 on our XT computer. :slight_smile:


Did you have the green screen or the more fancy orange screens?


Yeah, that’s a bit expensive and I don’t have the space. My new mobo only supports 4 SATA drives (6 actually, but 2 are disabled cause I’m using a NVMe drive). I now ordered an Enterprise hard drive to replace the broken and soon-to-be-broken drives. At least this one comes with 5 years warranty. It feels like I’ve been replacing hard drive every year or two lately.

I remember back in the day, Seagate drives came with a 3 or 5 year warranty and lasted forever. And even when they eventually failed, you could still copy most of your data of it except for the files with bad sectors under it.


Green. I think I wasn’t even in school when we got it but only got interested in it later on. I eventually broke it / blew it up when trying to upgrade it to a 286 :). Think I was around standard 4 at that time and was winging the hardware stuff.


Amen, I found a 80 GB Seagate drive in a drawer when I was cleaning and chucking stuff. Morbid curiosity led me to plug it in (thank goodness for SATA to IDE cables) and it still worked, I figured it must have ended up in the drawer when I upgraded somewhere in the early 2000s.

Just BTW, a RAID controller will provide additional SATA ports, you just need power and somewhere for the drive to exist physically.

The good ones can make your eyes water…


Just burn all of it!


Yeah, that’s expensive. Generally all my files are stored directly in my Dropbox folder and the dev projects that aren’t gets backed up daily to the Dropbox folder. It is just the large things like program files, games and in the case of my latest crashed drive, my Virtual Machines. I just need to recover two of them, then I’m good as I’ve done some hotfixes on them that isn’t really backed up elsewhere. The rest I either have copies of or are old archives which is fine to be lost.

So far I’ve copied 65% of the one VM which has been taking 2 days so far.