This guide provides steps to install Windows without using the normal setup (aka the "unintended" method) on Windows 8.1 and later on UEFI systems. Do note that setting up Windows using this method may break the system if the steps weren't followed correctly as it tampers the registry.

  • Boot into the setup media.
  • Press Shift+F10 to invoke Command Prompt
  • Partition the disk (these steps apply to clean disks)
    • Type diskpart.
    • Select the disk you want: sel dis <disk number> (get disk number by typing lis dis)
    • Convert the disk to GPT: conv gpt
    • Create boot partition (important)
      • cre par efi size=<size>[a]
      • for fs=fat32 quick
      • assign letter w
    • Create install partition:
      • cre par pri (use size= (in MB) to give it a fixed size or left intact to create based on all of the remaining disk spaces left)
      • for fs=ntfs quick
      • assign letter c
    • Exit DiskPart: type exit
  • Redirect to the install media: cd /d D:\Sources
  • Apply image - this step is the most important: type dism /apply-image /imagefile:install.wim /index:<sku> /applydir:C: and wait[b][c]
  • Create boot files (important): bcdboot C:\Windows /s W:
  • There are two ways to set up:
    • Normal method: Restart the computer by using wpeutil reboot and set up like normal
    • Bypass the OOBE:
      • Type regedit
      • Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
      • Click File > Load Hive
      • Go to C:\Windows\System32\config - open the SOFTWARE file and call it "soft", repeat the same step with SYSTEM file and call it "sys"
      • Open the "soft" k

  1. The recommended size is 100 - 500 MB
  2. To get the <sku> ID, type dism /get-imageinfo /imagefile:install.wim
  3. If DISM reports the image was not found, try replacing install.wim in each command with install.esd