It’s no surprise that those using Windows 8 are flocking to download the Windows 10 Technical Preview in what may become record-breaking numbers. While the technical preview is, in fact, beta software in the eyes of Microsoft, many Windows 8 users are using the opportunity to “upgrade” and get rid of the features driving them away from the Windows Operating System.
We’ll show you how to install the Windows 10 Technical Preview on a PC by upgrading over Windows 8 entirely or through dual booting your computer.
Installing the Windows 10 Technical Preview
Anyone can install the Windows 10 Technical Preview, similar to the Windows 8 and 8.1 Consumer Preview released in 2012. This is a limited time only installation that once Microsoft ends its use, you’ll have to revert back to your previous OS.
Remember: You are beta testing unfinished software. There will be bugs, glitches, and other unexpected happenings. If you’re not prepared to deal with that, do not use the Windows 10 Technical Preview.
Before you begin, there’s a variety of ways to use the Windows 10 Technical Preview, including:
- Upgrading your current Windows-based OS
- Dual booting
- Using a virtual machine, like VirtualBox or WMware
We’ll show you how to install the Windows 10 Technical Preview on a PC through dual booting or upgrading.
Things to Remember Before You Install the Windows 10
Before you begin the installation, you should make sure that you backup everything on your computer. While this is a precaution, you never, ever know what could go wrong during a technical preview like this. In order to prevent a catastrophic loss to your files and folders, make sure to back up everything before upgrading or dual booting.
Make sure to review the minimum system specifications before upgrading your OS or dual booting the Windows 10 Technical Preview here.
If you don’t meet the minimum requirements, don’t attempt the upgrade or dual-boot process, you may do more harm than good.
Installing the Windows 10 Technical Preview via Dual Boot
If you’ll planning to dual-boot the Windows 10 Technical Preview, you’ll want to start by creating a partition on your PC for it.
In order to do that, you’ll want to follow our instructions in this guide to creating partitions, if you don’t have partitioned your drive already. Once you’ve allocated enough space – at least 30 GB, preferably more – you’ll need to download the technical preview from Microsoft.
Head to this link.
Microsoft will prompt you to join the Windows Insider Program. You don’t actually have to, but it will help you give direct feedback to Microsoft on Windows 10. We recommend you join and help shape the future of the OS.
You want to make note of the serial number for the Windows 10 Technical Preview. However, I didn’t need it when I upgraded to Windows 10 on one laptop, dual booted on another, and installed it in two virtual machines. But you never know if you’ll need it.
From here, choose the right version of the Windows 10 Technical Preview. That’ll be 32-bit or 64-bit, based on your current OS.
If you don’t download the right one, you won’t be able to continue the install process when you make it that far.
Now, you’ll need to turn the Windows 10 ISO into something bootable, either via DVD or USB. USB is generally the easiest, so long as your PC supports booting from a USB drive. Not all computers do, so make sure yours does before you create the media.
After creating a bootable version, you’ll want to restart your PC, log into your BIOS, and boot from your preferred method, either a DVD or USB – instead of the regular option of booting from the hard drive. This will enable your computer to pick the files from the USB drive and begin the installation process.
The current Windows installation screen will greet you.
Choose your language, time and keyboard method, then click “Next.”
Then, click “Install now.”
Accept the License Terms for Windows 10, then click “Next.”
Since you’re installing via partition, this is where you have to pay the most attention.
Click on “Custom: Install Windows only (advanced.)”
Choose the partition you created. In this case, I created a 100 GB partition on my laptop to use. Highlight it, then click “Next.”
Now, the waiting game begins. It’ll take a while to run through the installation process. This is a great place to walk away from the computer and take a break while it installs Windows 10. It can take anywhere between 15 to 30 minutes. Once finished, you’ll be able to customize, login, and get started with the Windows 10 Technical Preview.
Installing the Windows 10 Technical Preview via Upgrade
If you’re choosing to upgrade to the Windows 10 Technical Preview, you’ll use the DVD or USB drive you created in the above steps to do the same thing, but from within your OS itself.
You’ll want to run the installer within the type of media you’re using and follow the same steps as above, except you’ll choose your existing Windows location rather than a partition, then follow the same exact steps described above to begin the installation process.
You will be given the option to carry over your apps, files, and folders. Choose that option during the installation process. For the most part, this will work. There have been a few cases of people losing their files and folders, which is why you need to backup, before attempting to flat out upgrade to Windows 10.
If you’re going to install the Windows 10 Technical Preview, more power to you. Windows 10, so far, is steps ahead of where Windows 8 is. For most consumers, Windows 10 will alleviate the frustration and confusion that came with its predecessor. While this is only a glimpse of where Microsoft goes from here, it seems to be a step in the right direction.