1. Windows Central Question's Avatar
    hp pro 4300 sff desktop, was in the beginning phase of updating to win 10 when the usb media install key was removed. Pc is now in an endless loop wanting to install. how can the install be reset restarted?
    08-31-2015 12:59 AM
  2. Simon Hinton's Avatar
    hp pro 4300 sff desktop, was in the beginning phase of updating to win 10 when the usb media install key was removed. Pc is now in an endless loop wanting to install. how can the install be reset restarted?
    Were you updating from an earlier version of windows, that had the Windows 10 upgrade popup? This happened to me yesterday after i knocked the power cable out on a laptop with no battery, so hopefully my method works for you. As my method involves a fresh install, all your stuff will be deleted. It was the only way (i could see) to restore the system.

    As long as you've converted your old OS license to Windows 10 first (happens in the early stages of the install process, if you're doing this via the popup app thing) - you can nuke the whole system and reinstall from scratch and keep your license valid. Microsoft uses a hardware ID to validate your install, so as long as your hardware stays the same you can reinstall fresh as often as you like. The info is stored in their servers, and is cross referenced when windows is active and starts updating.

    I had to format my hard drive and remove all traces of Windows 10 first, because it kept trying to resume where it left off and got stuck in a endless loop, like you. Unplug your USB stick and force the PC to boot to its CD drive first. From here I put in the disk of an older version of Windows, and just used its disk format tool to wipe everything. Cancel the install once its done, plug in your USB stick, force your PC back to USB booting (this is done with the BIOS and is different for every single computer out there, I can't really help).

    Install Windows 10 from scratch. When setup asks for a key, "Skip this step". Install as normal. When it boots, check in Settings that Windows has phoned home, identified you, and is activated.

    If all this makes you anxious and you're not sure what happened with your old Windows license, i'd probably wait for someone else to pop up here that could help you repair instead of wiping everything clean. This worked for me, but there's a real risk you could lose your free upgrade. Reformatting was the last resort for me.
    08-31-2015 02:01 AM

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