How do I reinstall Windows or restore my computer?

If you already have a Windows 10 recovery disc / drive, please skip to "Windows Reinstall Process" below. Otherwise continue this guide from the top. 

Creating a Windows 10 or 11 Recovery USB Drive

If you do not have a Windows 10 or 11 recovery disc/drive like the one that shipped with your MAINGEAR computer, you can follow the below steps to create a Windows 10 or 11 recovery USB drive if you have access to a working Windows PC and a USB flash drive that’s at least 8GB. Please follow the link below to download the Windows 10 or 11 Media Creation Tool. Please note that any data you have on the flash drive will be deleted.

Windows 10

Windows 11

Using the tool to create installation media:

  1. Select Download tool now and select Run. You need to be an administrator to run this tool.
  2. If you agree to the license terms, select Accept.
  3. On the What do you want to do? page, select Create installation media for another PC, and then select Next.
  4. Select the language, edition, and architecture (64-bit or 32-bit) for Windows 10(11). This table will help you decide which edition of Windows 10(11) you’ll choose:
  5. Select which media you want to use: "USB flash drive. Attach a blank USB flash drive with at least 8GB of space. Any content on the flash drive will be deleted."
  6. Once the process has completed, continue to the Windows Reinstall Process steps below.

Windows Reinstall Process

You would perform this method using the USB recovery flash drive you’ve created using the Windows 10(11) Media Creation Tool. Make sure any external storage drives are unplugged from the system or they may be accidentally deleted during this process.

You want to start with the system turned off and the Windows 10(11) Recovery Drive inserted into a USB port on the motherboard (the back of the computer). Please see detailed steps below.

Note: The process below will WIPE ALL DATA on the system c: drive (Windows OS drive).

  1. Power on your computer.
  2. Immediately after powering on, continuously tap the appropriate
    1. (ASUS: F8 key; Gigabyte: F12 key; MSI: F11 key; ASRock: F11 key, ML-16/17: F7 key)
  3. A prompt with options should display on a black & white screen, called the “Boot Options Menu”.
  4. Select the name of your USB drive or DVD drive. Example: UEFI: (KingstonDataTraveler) or UEFI: Generic, Partition 1 (Generic)
  5. After selecting the drive, it should boot into the USB/DVD recovery drive and begin the Windows 11 Installation steps.
  6. On the initial setup screen, enter your language and other preferences, and then select Next.
  7. Select Install now.
  8. On the Enter the product key to activate Windows page, enter a product key if you have one or at the bottom there is a "I don’t have a product key" option to allow you to skip it. On MAINGEAR PCs, the Windows key is typically located on a sticker on the rear of the system.
  9. On the License terms page, select I accept the license terms (if you agree to them), and then select Next.
  10. On the Which type of installation do you want? page, select Custom.

  1. On the Where do you want to install Windows? page, select a partition (There are four partitions on the OS/Windows drive), select the Delete option (if no backups are necessary) for each partition you have on the OS/Windows drive. Make sure to ONLY delete the drive that the OS/Windows is located on, no other drive has to be deleted. When you’re done deleting each partition on the OS drive, there should be one single partition left called the “Unallocated Space”. 

  1. When you've finished for deleting the four partitions, select the Unallocated Space and select NextWarning: make sure any external storage drives are unplugged from the system or they may be accidentally deleted!
  2. Follow the rest of the setup instructions to finish installing Windows 10(11). Your PC may restart one or more times before the process finishes.

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