I’ve had some time to play around with this process using a desktop computer that is not currently being used for anything. That allows me to not worry about making mistakes, nothing to lose and nothing to worry about.
I suggest the use of a USB headset with a microphone, it just makes things easier and that is something we want in this process.
This will allow Cortana to start talking later in the install process. A USB headset isn’t as important if you are installing on a laptop but its essential when installing on a desktop with no internal speaker or microphone.
After booting from your USB drive with the Windows install, give it a few minutes to get started before you start Narrator by pressing Control WindowsKey Enter.
Once Narrator starts, you’ll hear Sara. She will help you make selections and give you progress updates.
One item to keep in mind is when you are asked for a product key. If this computer has previously had Windows 10 working on it, you can choose I don’t have a license number when you are prompted. The previous install of Windows 10 got that computer authorized and in the world of Windows 10 there are no more license keys as there were in previous versions of Windows.
I cleared up one area that caused me a bit of confusion the first time or two I tried this process. When this first part of the install process is done, files copied to drive etc.. you’ll hear Narrator say the computer needs to restart. At this point remove the USB Drive you booted from and set it aside. While you’ll hear the keyboard shortcut to restart, it will restart on its own in about 30 seconds.
If you don’t remove the USB Drive, once the computer restarts it is going to start from that same USB Drive again instead of starting from the hard drive as the install process needs to do.
This next part is where that USB headset with microphone comes in handy. Your computer will restart a couple of times as the actual install process is taking place. Again, don’t have any bootable USB Drives connected.
I have chosen that instead of starting Narrator so I can hear the progress and trying to start it again after each restart, I just let all of that happen without me trying to do anything. I set my keyboard aside and keep my USB headset on.
I use a Logitech H800. Its a wireless headset with a microphone and has a small USB dongle that does all of the work. This is okay to keep plugged in, as it isn’t a boot device, the same if you are using a USB keyboard.
One thing I like about this headset, is it will beep as the computer turns on or after it is restarting and loading Windows again. It beeps once more as the computer / Windows recognizes it as a headset and microphone. Paying attention to the beeps lets me know what is going on in the boot process.
One nice change with the creators update to Windows 10, Cortana will start talking when its time for you to start making some settings as far as selecting keyboard type, time zone etc…
The benefit of not trying to start Narrator in the install process after each restart is you can just sit back and let the computer do all of the work. Since I have a USB headset with a microphone connected, Cortana will start talking when the computer is ready for you to start doing things again.
She’ll even tell you to press Control WindowsKey Enter to start Narrator.
If you don’t have a headset with a microphone or as with a desktop computer, no microphone at all, Cortana, at least in my experiments won’t start talking and offer to help.
Most of her assistance is done through yes or no questions. I’ve found its easier to wait until later to setup a WiFi connection, after I’ve installed my screen reader of choice. If you have a wired Ethernet connection, Cortana will say, I see you are already connected and the WiFi setup is skipped.