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How to install the Windows 10 Technical Preview: Everything you need to know

Brad Chacos | Oct. 2, 2014
Are you ready to walk on the wild side? Windows 10 is on the horizon, and even though it’s still roughly three-quarters of a year away from completion, Microsoft’s giving IT Pros and PC enthusiasts an early taste of what’s to come with the Windows 10 Technical Preview.

Are you ready to walk on the wild side? Windows 10 is on the horizon, and even though its still roughly three-quarters of a year away from completion, Microsofts giving IT Pros and PC enthusiasts an early taste of whats to come with the Windows 10 Technical Preview.

This isnt like Windows 8s Consumer Preview; the Windows 10 Technical Preview is being released via a new Windows Insider program that asks for user feedback and even provides private forums for discussing trouble spots with Microsoft engineers. Lots of things are sure to change going forward, from features to basic elements of the operating system.

All that said, are you still curious? Cant resist the lure of the bleeding edge? Just want to run away from Windows 8? Heres how to install the Windows 10 Technical Preview right now.

Wait!

Actually, you wont be installing the Technical Preview for a few minutes yet. Didnt you hear the part about this being a very early pre-release build? That means catastrophic errors are an all too real possibility.

Dont take my word for it: Heres part of the terms of service you agree to when you sign up for Windows Insider (emphasis Microsofts):

The Program Services include experimental and early prerelease software. This means that you may experience occasional crashes and in rare cases data loss. To recover, you may have to reinstall your applications, the operating system, or re-flash your device. Using the Program Services on some devices may impact your warranty (check with your device provider). By participating, you agree to frequently backup your data.

In case that didnt make it clear enough, back up your data before you start. Dump your pictures in Dropbox, drag your documents to an external hard drive, whatever works! Just make sure your data is safe and secure in case something bad happens when youre installing the Windows 10 Tech Preview. (PCWorlds absurdly simple backup guide and tools for backing up your data for free can help if youre stumped.)

Before we get too involved, its worth noting that the Windows 10 Technical Preview is currently limited to PC and Windows tablets with x86 processorstheres no version for Windows RT tablets and their ARM processors available. (Sorry, Surface RT owners.) If youre unsure which version of Windows your tablet is running, right-click on the This PC icon in File Explorer and select Properties. Your Windows edition information will be at the top of the window that appears.

Here are Windows 10s other hardware requirements, which are just as modest as Windows 8.1s.

Processor : 1GHz or faster with support for PAE, NX, and SSE2

RAM : 1GB (32-bit) or 2GB (64-bit)

 

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