Windows 10 Upgrade Guide

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Since Windows 7 is now EOS and there have been numerous threads on this I think it prudent to have the most commonly sought Windows 10 upgrade information all in one thread. Please feel free to add your own tips and info here. Windows 10 is a direct upgrade from Windows 7 (except Enterprise) Windows 8 and 8.1. The tool used to perform this upgrade is the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool and at this point, still provides a free upgrade path for all supported OS's. If you wish to do a fresh install, the same tool allows you to create a bootable USB or download an ISO image to burn to disc. In the case of a fresh install, if you are running Windows 7, the key from your existing COA will work as your key for Windows 10. With later versions of Windows where the key is embedded in the BIOS you should not be prompted for a key. There have been reports of Windows 7 keys not working for 10, but I've done hundreds of installs and have not experienced it personally. A workaround if you are concerned is to do the upgrade to Windows 10 first, which will activate your copy of 10 and bind it to your hardware ID and then perform a fresh install indicating you do not have a key and it will activate against that hardware ID again. If you are doing an upgrade, MOST drivers will be retained and continue to work with 10. There are obviously exceptions, but generally this works. This means that if you are doing a fresh install and are concerned because your OEM may only have 7, 8 or 8.1 drivers, you can safely assume that you will be able to download and use those and it is prudent to do that beforehand and put them on a USB stick in case you end up needing them for network connectivity. It's a good idea to open Device Manager and expand the Network Connections area to ensure you grab the right network controller drivers as many OEM's will have more than one LAN and WLAN option depending on how the unit was shipped. This is also the case for Display Adapters, where there is often more than one option. On a fresh install, older Intel chipsets will have generic support like "Standard AHCI controller" and the like and you will need to find your Intel Chipset drivers on your OEM's website, as intel has either buried or removed their universal 9.x-series drivers from their website at this time. Useful links: ATI/AMD Video drivers: https://www.amd.com/en/support - If you don't see a Windows 10 driver, just choose the one for the latest OS that is supported, say Windows 8/8.1 or 7. NVidia Video drivers: https://www.geforce.com/drivers - Same note as for the AMD/ATI drivers. HP/Compaq support website: https://support.hp.com/ca-en/drivers If your computer is manufactured by HP/Compaq, you may find that some of the drivers won't install, yielding a red "blocked by Administrator" box. This is easily circumvented by downloading 7Zip from: https://www.7-zip.org/ and once that is installed, right-clicking the package, going to the 7Zip menu and extracting it. You'll then be able to run the setup that was contained within the archive. A number of the OEM's, particularly DELL and HP have released very recent BIOS upgrades that include improvements for Windows 10. Also, if you are doing a fresh install from a system that contained Windows 7, you may want to go into your BIOS and change the operating mode from legacy to UEFI. If you find yourself in a situation where you have a device in Device Manager that doesn't have a driver and you don't know what it is you can right-click it, go to properties -> Details -> Hardware Id's, then right-click and copy the 2nd one down (without the revision) and paste that into Google. That'll typically point you in the right direction. Careful what sites you click on! You don't want to get duped into installing some "driver wizard" or "driver update tool", look for a link from an OEM like HP, DELL, Lenovo, ASUS....etc. If you want to skip using the tool and just get an ISO image, these can be obtained from here: Windows 10 IOS images
 
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Great info Overkill. The Google-ing of the hardware ID is a great tip for folks with unknown hardware. I am happy to say that I have had my entire organization on Windows 10 months prior to the EOL.
 
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Originally Posted by redhat
Great info Overkill. The Google-ing of the hardware ID is a great tip for folks with unknown hardware. I am happy to say that I have had my entire organization on Windows 10 months prior to the EOL.
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+1 if you have an HP too check for BIOS updates. I purchase HP exclusively for my company and some of the older Elitebook and Probook G1/G2/G3 series (~2013-2016) needed BIOS/UEFI updates to work with Windows 10 to stop random BSODs. The latest BIOS updates can be updated straight from the UEFI interface, where it will check online itself.
 
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Great info thanks! I upgraded 7 to 10 last week on my computers. W10 isn't as terrible as I remember or at least this build seems better? Either way I am happy with it.
 
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This is a good thread. Thanks for starting it and for links and other guidance. I did two upgrades this past weekend, both ultimately successful. I am not a fan of the Win10 user interface, but the computers work as they should.
 
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No real pain in updating in place on a Win7 Pro machine. It is important though to make sure you go to your laptop support site and get the specific drivers for your machine (my case Thinkpad W530). The PC was running real hot running chrome and Minecraft for daughter. After visiting the Lenovo site and getting latest drivers it went away. I think the nVidia driver is what helped as laptop has a built in video card.
 
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Version 1803 was a huge improvement from earlier releases. My peeves vs. 7: Recent documents can be handily pinned, either to programs in the Start menu or on the task bar. In Windows 7, you could drag & rearrange the pinned items into any order you wanted. Windows 10 will not. With multiple monitors, you could slide the mouse pointer along the top edge from one to the other. W10 snags at the corners and you have to go around the snag. Items progressively disappear from Control Panel and move to Settings, with less flexibility and options. Programs cannot be set as default for their file types unless Microsoft approves, nor can the program do it itself. And the most frequent frustrating annoyance supporting many computers, imagine this: You jump in your car to go to work, and push the Start button. Instead of starting, the screen says, "Applying Ford updates. This may take some time. Do not power off your car ..." mad
 
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So what will happen to windows 7 users that just "do nothing." When I had my first home computer with either Windows 95 or 98 I never allowed updates....didn't trust MS I guess. IIRC that system went about 5 yrs before it finally ran into issues and it came time to get a new computer and OS. With proper malware, spyware, ad blocker, and security system loaded can't the most recent Windows 7 keep on cranking for years? My Dell desktop ($550 brand new) is already 7 yrs old as it is. Works great though. All previous Dells and OS's I had failed hard within 3-5 yrs. I'm a light duty user on a basic Comcast high speed internet line just surfing the web, minimal documents. No games, no hi def, no heavy streaming or wifi. Just figured this computer would eventually fail when the OS was getting ancient.
 
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Originally Posted by 69GTX
With proper malware, spyware, ad blocker, and security system loaded can't the most recent Windows 7 keep on cranking for years?
Possibly, but with time, as additional security holes are uncovered, they will no longer be patched by Microsoft, so your system will become vulnerable. Some of these holes might not be effectively addressed by anti-malware/anti-virus software. Also, over time when new applications/programs come out, they may not have W7 support, so in the future if you're interested in some new piece of software, you might not be able to install it on your W7 machine.
 
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Originally Posted by 69GTX
So what will happen to windows 7 users that just "do nothing." When I had my first home computer with either Windows 95 or 98 I never allowed updates....didn't trust MS I guess. IIRC that system went about 5 yrs before it finally ran into issues and it came time to get a new computer and OS. With proper malware, spyware, ad blocker, and security system loaded can't the most recent Windows 7 keep on cranking for years? My Dell desktop ($550 brand new) is already 7 yrs old as it is. Works great though. All previous Dells and OS's I had failed hard within 3-5 yrs. I'm a light duty user on a basic Comcast high speed internet line just surfing the web, minimal documents. No games, no hi def, no heavy streaming or wifi. Just figured this computer would eventually fail when the OS was getting ancient.
It'll continue to operate just fine but will not receive any new security updates. So if there are vulnerabilities discovered in the OS, it will continue to be susceptible to them and won't be patched.
 
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Originally Posted by 69GTX
So what will happen to windows 7 users that just "do nothing." When I had my first home computer with either Windows 95 or 98 I never allowed updates....didn't trust MS I guess. IIRC that system went about 5 yrs before it finally ran into issues and it came time to get a new computer and OS. With proper malware, spyware, ad blocker, and security system loaded can't the most recent Windows 7 keep on cranking for years?
The short answer is yes. Provided you don't do anything that allows malicious software to run (like bad websites/downloads, email attachments, etc.); you have a proper firewall; browsers and virus software continue to support 7; and you don't put critical data on it, you can reasonably continue to use it for probably a couple of years at least. For Pro up, Microsoft will sell you (through vendors) an ESU license that provides another year of security updates for $60. Good reading on both of these strategies at askwoody.com.
 
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Thanks for those inputs on continuing using Windows 7. I don't down load any apps.....don't even use any. Only extra programs beyond Windows 7 are Flash, Adobe, Java.
 
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Originally Posted by madRiver
No real pain in updating in place on a Win7 Pro machine. It is important though to make sure you go to your laptop support site and get the specific drivers for your machine (my case Thinkpad W530). The PC was running real hot running chrome and Minecraft for daughter. After visiting the Lenovo site and getting latest drivers it went away. I think the nVidia driver is what helped as laptop has a built in video card.
I have three t530 South Nvidia card. Only issue I had was running a benchmark test the Nvidia card caused a blue screen of death. I recently got a bios update from Lenovo pushed to my computer, never thought to see if it fixed that. It was already a fast machine for day to day tasks on Windows 10 but I ran a debloat script I found in a YouTube video and it's even better now. Pretty amazing for a 7 year old machine actually. I installed the windows 10 update for free with the iso image on a flash drive. I had no major problems with the process, just followed step by step from a YouTube video.
 
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Originally Posted by 69GTX
Thanks for those inputs on continuing using Windows 7. I don't down load any apps.....don't even use any. Only extra programs beyond Windows 7 are Flash, Adobe, Java.
Flash and Java are both extremely vulnerable, so having an up-to-date operating system is particularly relevant if you are going to use them.
 
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