Found a great deal on a Dell Inspiron 15 3551 and forgot to look at the OS installed on it. After turning on and seeing and Ubuntu sticker on it I knew. For me not an issue, but for the customer this was purchased for this was an issue, as they wanted Windows 10. No problem we’ll just remove Ubuntu and install Windows which generally is not an issue. Well I should have not said a word as there was a few little glitches I had to work out first.
First thing was to go into the BIOS and see what settings there was for boot and also UEFI as with the newer devices this can be an issue with discovering Legacy devices since I was using a USB attached DVD drive. So as I do with server builds I went into the BIOS, press F2 at boot up, and proceeded to set UEFI to Legacy. In the BIOS navigate to the Boot tab and set the Boot List Option to Legacy. Save the changes (F10) and rebooted.
On reboot selected F12 for boot options and in the menu did not see the DVD drive listed in Legay devices but I did see it in the UEFI device list. I selected the drive and the system rebooted and install did not start.
Rebooted again and went back in the BIOS setup and checked several other options but all to no avail. One setting in the Boot section was Fast boot which is set to Enabled. After a bit of digging found this setting can cause device detection issues with attached hardware (ie: DVD and USB devices). So I set this to Disabled and rebooted the system. One thing I noticed is the status bar took longer to run which is a good sign.
After pressing F12 I now saw the DVD drive in the Legacy device list and upon selecting it I was sent ito the Windows 10 installation. Still not out of the woods at this point. After selecting the Windows Upgrade option (new install) we next encountered the disk partitions. As in the past I know that Linux writes to the MBR (Master Boot Record) in such a way that a Windows installation will not detect it and Linux will display GRUB and try to load. Since this is a new installation of Windows and the customer has no desire to use the Dell system restore to put Ubuntu back on the best option is to delete all partitions on the system.
Once the deletions are done just click next in the Windows installation and you are off to the races. While the installation is going on it is good togo to Dell support and download the bios updates and all the Windows 10 drivers that are available to install once the initial installation is completed. The drivers you will want are:
- Intel Chipset drivers, all three that are available.
- Touchpad driver (Synaptics)
- SD Card driver
Install the Chipset drivers first and reboot. This will allow Windows to detect and install most of the devices it could not at install. Next install the SD card driver to finish out the ones it couldn’t get. Next install the Touchpad driver and finally the BIOS update (A02). Install the rest of the programs you normally use. Some of my standards are:
- Microsoft Security Essentials (Windows 10 not needed, comes installed with Windows Defender)
- Adobe Reader
- Adobe Flash
- Microsoft Silverlight
- LibreOffice 5
Now that we have a running system it was time to go back and set the fast boot option back to Enabled to allow the system to boot fast again. Reboot and select F2 and navigate to the Boot tab and change Fast Boot to Enabled. Press F10 to save and reboot.
That’s all there was to it and I had a working Windows 10 laptop and a happy customer.