How to Upgrade to Windows 10
Category : Social Media
With the support for Windows 7 having ended, here is a quick tutorial on how to upgrade a Windows 7 machine to Windows 10. This generally is a fresh install tutorial since there seems to be different instances on whether an upgrade install keeps or wipes your files. In some cases you may be able to run an upgrade installer and keep your files / settings and in other instances you can’t so this assumes you cannot but there is a step in the sequence that allows you to try.
It is best to read through these directions first and pre-download the software you need and create the disk or key ahead of time. It will save about 1/2 hour on the approx. task time.
You may need:
- A DVD burner and blank DVD or USB Key (USB Key #2)
- A Windows based machine to work with – it can be the one being upgraded.
- A separate USB Key (USB Key #1)
- A USB Hard Drive if you wish to do a backup of select data files
- Installation files / media for all your existing programs.
Approx. Task Time: 4 hours
Step 1: Log into the Windows 7 machine and download / run the program called “Belarc Advisor”. Download it here on the machine you are about to upgrade or download it prior and bring on a USB key & copy the installer to the desktop of the computer to be upgraded.
Step 2: Run the “Belarc Advisor” you just downloaded. It will take a few minutes but eventually you will get to a webpage with the computer’s specs. It will open in a web browser. Once it’s up hold down “ctrl” and “p” to trigger the print dialogue and print / save as a PDF.
Step 3: Print the PDF if you can, if not be sure to save it to a USB Key #1
Step 4: If you desire to back up your files follow this step. If not, skip to step 5. Copy all files from the following directories: user/desktop, user/documents, user/pictures, user/music, user/downloads, user/videos, and any other directories you are aware may have data in them.
Step 4B: TRY THIS FIRST – at “The Verge”.
Step 4C: if 4B works skip to Step 14 when it’s done. If 4B fails, go to step 5.
Step 5: Create Windows 10 installation media either with a CD or USB key. You will need a Windows machine to do this. You may do this on the machine you are upgrading. For CD ISO click here. For USB Media Creation Tool click here. If you are creating a CD just download the ISO and then use a utility like CDBurnerXP to expand the image on a blank DVD. If you are installing using a USB Key, use USB Key #2 that you brought with you and follow the media creation tool directions.
Step 6: Determine how to bring up the boot device menu on the computer being upgraded. It will be different on each machine but often it’s “ESC”, “DEL”, “Backspace”, “F6”, “F12” “F10” or “F2”. Google “computer make / model + boot menu” to learn how to do this. Plug the device in the USB port of the machine being upgraded. DISCONNECT THE MACHINE FROM THE INTERNET IF IT IS HARDWIRED.
Step 7: On restart trigger the boot menu and choose the device (CD Rom / USB Key) and follow the general windows installation instructions. Choose “Custom / Advanced” installation. At some point it will ask for a key – this is where you look at the Belarc Advisor PDF / Printout and key in the Windows 7 product key listed on the printout / PDF. This should get you to the next screen. If not this is where you would choose ‘I don’t have a key’.
Step 8: Once the drive list comes up, choose the biggest drive which should be your operating system. Choose “delete”. Then when the options reactivate choose that drive, now labeled ‘unallocated space’ and install Windows to that drive. If you get an error on not being able to install windows on the target drive, go this Windows Report tutorial and try option 3’s command line option.
Step 9: Follow the general Windows Installation instructions. DO NOT CONNECT TO THE INTERNET WHEN IT ASKS TO. Choose “I don’t have Internet” if it allows. But whatever you do DO NOT choose “Connect to the Internet”.
Step 10: When it asks to set up a Microsoft Account go ahead and enter a phoney email address and password, then select ‘next /continue’. It will state it has a problem and then you can create a NON Microsoft account which is your goal.
Step 11: Let the system finish the installation.
Step 12: Let the system do the restarts it needs to do. You can now reconnect to the Internet by plugging the hardwire back in or connecting to a wireless network.
Step 13: When the system restarts, sign in and go to the control panel, “system and security”, then “View amount of RAM and processor speed” and see if Windows 10 activated under the heading “Windows Activation”. If it did you’re solid, if not this is where you have 30 days to purchase a Windows 10 key. If you didn’t key in the Windows 7 key from the Belarc printout / PDF, go ahead and key it in, if not, then you need to purchase a Windows 10 key online at Microsoft. They are currently $139 for home and $199 for business / pro. You will need to reinstall all your old programs.
Step 14: In the bottom left search bar, type “Windows Update” and then choose “Check for Updates” to get the drivers you need for the machine. You will need to install the first round of updates, restart, then repeat this step 2-3 times to complete the operation. This is where the bulk of your 4 hours is spent. If you still need drivers, go to your machine’s manufacture site and download either their driver tool or individual drivers under their support section.