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Suggestions for installing Windows 10 on Intel Compute Stick

With the introduction of Windows 10, "Something happened" is now Microsoftspeak for "Something didn't happen".

Unfortunately the message doesn't say why it didn't happen... it seems that Microsoft still thinks it's up to us to figure that out

Finding the way to Install Windows 10 on my Stick raised this infuriating message a number of times.

Available space for the install was one issue.


The limited amount of available room to move on the Compute Stick means freeing up as much space as possible.


Over a gig was freed up by deleting everything in the Windows Update (C:/Windows/SoftwareDistribution/Download) folder alone.


(Unhide this folder by ticking 'Show hidden files and folders' under 'View' in Folder options in Control Panel)


Though I don't know how much difference it made, putting an 8 Gb MicroSD card in the Stick seemed to please the Windows 10 installation gods.

On the Windows 10 download page, for fun I tried to choose the 64 bit install but this caused 'Something' to happen, meaning nothing happened so the 32 bit version is it.

While installing Windows 10, though I'd chosen the clean install option i.e. chose not to keep anything, the hard drive was just about full when the installation was completed.

Using the Disk Cleanup tool with the 'remove old OS option ticked freed up a considerable 13.9 Gb after installing Windows 10.

Finally, the Windows 8.1 recovery option is still there when the system boots so one can backslide to Windows 8.1 if one chooses to repent of Windows 10.

I hope this is helpful to someone.



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I forgot to mention that the Microsoft gods prevented my attempt to download the 32 bit Windows 10 installation file to the default Download folder on the C: drive with that unfortunate terminological inexactitude 'Something happened' message.

However saving it as an iso file on the micro sd card seemed to please those same gods no end allowing the installation to proceed from the card.


So you have it successfully running on your compute stick? I just did the legit upgrade through Windows Updarte, not a clean install. When it started, I went to bed. I woke up, and it was not giving any video to my monitor, but the blue light was still on. It was making some noise so I left it for a while. It stopped making noise and was still not giving any video, so I did a hard shutdown, and allowed it to boot. Now it says "Restoring your previous version of Windows..." and is doing the spinning dots loading thing.

Dang I thought I had it!


Yes, I have successfully installed Windows 10, and everything is working.

However it seems that upgrading to Windows 10 may void the Intel warranty for reasons that are beyond my comprehension.

I've posed the question regarding the warranty in another thread in the hope of getting clarification so that others may not make the same mistake....


I did as you suggested with a clean install, and was successful + activated by the end. Slightly different though:

- Using a SIIG 4-port USB hub containing:

+ Kingston FCR-HS3 Card Reader with a 64GB SD Card. Contains Windows 10 Install Media files obtained from another machine, on a FAT32 partition.

+ Logitech K400 Wireless Mouse Keyboard Combo

To make the install Media, I didn't actually run the MediaCreation tool on the Stick itself. I had previously upgraded a Windows 7 SP1 computer, and it still had the install media inside of C:\$Windows.~WS\Sources\Windows. I think when I upgraded that computer, I used MediaCreation tool to perform an in-place upgrade, and it didn't delete the install media afterwards (or maybe it was from a previous attempt to create USB install media for 32bit/64bit, which left good install media in that folder. Not 100% on that one).


I copied all of those files from C:\$Windows.~WS\Sources\Windows, onto the SD Card, then plugged the card reader into the Stick. (By the way, the reason I made it FAT32, was that I thought that it would improve compatibility with the Stick, since EFI can see into FAT32 filesystems. That may have made zero difference though. NTFS might have worked fine. All I know is, it worked using FAT32.)

Ran the Setup.exe from the root of the FAT32 formatted SD Card. I chose to get all of the updates, because I saw people having problems with booting after installation, and wanted to avoid those. I chose to not keep any apps or files, making it a clean install. It then went into the purple full-screen installer. It rebooted itself at some point, going into the black "Installing Windows 10" screen with the circle percentage in the middle. It rebooted at each stage below the circle. At the end, it booted into the initial setup wizard, and then it was all good from there. It was activated when I went to check.

I saw another thread that an Intel employee explains upgrading does not void your warranty. However, if you blow away the EFI partition and recovery partition, that might be a grey area, unless there is a way to get it all back from an Intel download.

Thanks for your story @snowywebb.


Hi Cory,

If you want to free up space on your hard drive, run the disk cleanup tool with 'Remove previous OS' ticked.

This cleared about 13 GB on my Stick, but left the Windows 8.1 recovery partition intact.

Community Manager

I've had a complete failure to update to W10 twice now, using a downloaded ISO running from an attached CD/DVD player on a powered usb extension hub, and using either a 64 gb SD card in the stick, or a 16 g usb attached to the powered hub. Everything seems to go well until after the 66% (last time I looked at it), then nec minute, restoring win 8.1. My stick was one of those that would not run windows apps originally, and got an update -- wonder is that is anything to do with my problems? Be glad to hear anything that could help here, I don't want to be stuck in 8.1 for the rest of my life...


I bought my compute stick on Thursday and was immediately prompted to install Win10, I just used the standard MS method to complete the installation. It did take all night to complete the installation but everything seemed to work great....except getting the audio to work. I've reinstalled the latest video as recommended in another thread but that hasn't worked for me. Anyone else have this issue and get past it?

Thanks for your advice and help.



Hi Lewiswf,

No audio problems found with mine. Have you tried different audio outputs or monitors?


Help, Please. I am new here. I tried to upgrade my new Intel compute stick to windows 10. Now I'm without anytning. can i download a recovery onto a thumbdrive to put in the usb of the stick and get recovery to 8.1 or 10? Thanks


I would also need something like that.

I tried to install Windows 10 the Microsoft way, but this failed. My Compute Stick won't start. Recovery mode for 8.1 won't start.

I've downloaded media creation tool to create an ISO, but how will I be able to run the ISO on the Compute Stick that won't start?