Upgrading to Windows 10 from Windows 7 or 8

Let’s be honest – in this day and age, Windows 10 totally rocks! There is a plethora of improvements that have been made (what would you expect after Windows 8) some of which include a powerful Start menu, a UI that switches between mouse-friendly and touch modes, the Cortana digital assistant and much more.

For those running legit copies of Windows 7 or 8, you qualify for an upgrade. Performing an upgrade takes a little time and not a lot of effort or expertise. And the best thing about it is that your programs, settings and data won’t be affected!

Windows 10 should install without a fuss, but don’t be surprised if you encounter driver problems and as every other system update is wont, there’s always a chance that something will go wrong. Thus, ensure you do a backup of your files before you start the process. And the good news is these days we don’t need to burn things to DVD because the cloud is there.

Make a full system backup with a disk imaging software if you don’t have a system restore disk. Here’s how you can make the upgrade to Windows 10.

Two Options

You have two options to take when upgrading to Windows 10: through direct download or using a USB install disk.

Direct downloads are good for fast Internet connections. But if yours is slow, or fast but with an inconsistent connection, seek a place with a strong connection and follow the instructions on creating a USB install disk.

Give yourself one to two hours to run the install, but this doesn’t mean you are stuck until the end of the process.

Direct Download

  1. Go to https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10
  2. Click Download Tool Now for 32 or 64-bit Windows and choose your version. If you aren’t sure which find out by navigating to the Windows System menu: if you’re on Windows 7 go to Start menu>>Computer>>Properties. Windows 8.1 users should go to Start button>>System.
  3. Launch the Download Tool.
  4. Click Select Upgrade this PC Now if you’re on the right machine and want to do so right away. If you’d rather your own DVD or USB media (not a bad idea at all), see ‘Creating Windows 8 Install Media’. The download will take a while especially if your connection is slow. After the program is done, the software undergoes a preparation process and downloads more files which take time even on a high-speed connection.
  1. The license screen will pop up, Click Accept. The software will again check for updates, and you can stretch your legs a little as this will take a couple of minutes.
  2. Click Install and wait 20 to 30 minutes for OS files to be copied to your computer, a period during which it will reboot several times.
  3. The login screen will come up. Click Next.
  4. Use Express Settings which you can always change later.
  5. Hit Next when the ‘New apps for the new Windows’ screen comes up upon which the computer will say ‘Finalizing your settings’ before directing you to the Windows 10 lock screen.
  6. Log in to your computer. An initial setup will be done automatically (which will take a few minutes) before finally landing you on the Windows 10 desktop.

Creating a Windows 10 USB Install Disk

To create your own Windows 10 install disk, you need a minimum 4GB USB flash drive or blank DVD. The good thing with this method is you can install Windows 10 on several computers without having to wait an hour each time. Additionally, should you run into problems later, you have the option of doing a clean install or run the upgrade again.

Before you start, make sure your flash drive is inserted into one of the ports.

  1. Install and launch the Download tool by following steps 1-3 above.
  2. Select ‘Create Installation media for another PC’.
  3. Select the Language, Edition and Windows architecture (whether 32 or 64 bits). These should match those of the computers you wish to upgrade so if your current version is Windows 7 Home (32-bit), select Windows 10 Home 32-bit; Windows 7 Ultimate x64 work with Windows 10 Pro (there is no Ultimate in Win10).
  4. Choose USB flash drive. Select ISO file instead if you plan on burning it to DVD after the process is finished.
  5. When the above process is complete, hit Finish. If your plan is not to install Windows 10 right away, remove the drive and stop here.
  6. Initiate setup.exe on the flash drive to commence the upgrade.
  7. Select ‘Download and install updates’ then click Next to download the updates. If time isn’t on your side, choose ‘Not right now’.

If you are prompted for a product key, then you are on the wrong version of Windows 10.

  1. Steps 8 to 13 are similar to Steps 5-10 above (Direct Download).

And with that, you are now running Windows 10!