You can still upgrade to Windows 10 for free

So we are roughly 28 months away from the end of support for Windows 7. If you didn’t upgrade to Windows 10, you still can.

As you probably remember [maybe unfortunately], Microsoft tried to shove Windows 10 down our throats initially with the “GWX” tool. Plenty of backlash there. But after the year was up, that tool disappeared and those with Windows 7 [or Windows 8.1] weren’t asked anymore.

Some refused Windows 10 for various reasons [I wonder how many actually used/tested it for decent amount of time or just took everyone’s negative opinions and that was it]. Some didn’t want to switch or had applications that wouldn’t work with Windows 10 [that I can understand].

So now, it has been a couple of years and time is ticking.

You can still “upgrade” [note the quotes] if you have a valid Windows 7 [or Windows 8.1] license.

To do this you will need to wipe your current Windows installation complete.

Verify you have access to your system’s serial number.

Download the Windows 10 installation ISO and transfer to a DVD or USB key and the media matches the version of your serial number. For example, if Windows 7 is a “Home Premium”, you need a copy of the “Home” media. If Windows 7 is “Pro” or “Ultimate” you will need the “Pro” media.

All license applications will need to be uninstalled [so you can use the same license in Windows 10].

You must back up all of your data.

Ideally if you had a second hard disk, you could install Windows 10 there and then transfer the data from the old hard disk to the new/spare hard disk [keeping the old hard disk as a backup for a while].

Once data is backed up and nothing else is needed on the old hard disk, boot off the USB key or DVD. When asked, do not keep anything. Wipe out the partitions [optionally wipe the OEM partition].

It will ask you if you want it to check for updates, that is questionable. See my notes below.

If asked for the version, match the Windows 7 version with the Windows 10 equivalent [see above]. When asked for a serial number, enter your Windows 7 license number.
Let the installation go through.

When done, clean up what you don’t need and modify whatever settings.

Restore your applications and data.

If not already done, check for updates.

Notes:

  • Unsure if this free upgrade option will continue on indefinitely.
  • Once you upgrade, the Windows 7 license is marked as invalid.
  • If you previously upgraded to Windows 10 and then downgraded to Windows 7, when asked to enter a license, don’t enter anything. Once you finish the installation, it should pull the Windows 10 license from a Microsoft server [assumed you didn’t make too many hardware changes]. But it is still good to jot down that serial number.
  • I always pause when it asks to check for updates before the installation. I find that it sometimes takes forever to find any updates. On the other hand, the latest update may correct any issues since Windows 10 release that could cause the installation to fail if the update isn’t installed.
  • I have done this once and it worked like a charm. Others on the internet have also done it. There is always that weird chance it won’t work. Don’t know what to tell you. Everything has a risk level. Every situation is different. I can’t be responsible for a failed upgrade.

 

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Will free Windows 10 upgrade benefit manufacturers?

It will be interesting to see the effect of Microsoft’s announcement that the free upgrade from Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 will have a difference in sales of new laptops and desktops during that period.

What they may lose in that year, they may gain with the fact that Windows XP and Windows Vista users will be required to pay for the upgrade [some of the latter] or just buy a new system because their current system can’t hack it [most of the former, a bit of the latter].

But they are happy because [depending on how you interpret some of the current wording] the life of a Windows 10 is tied to the life of the hardware – or when the laptop or desktop dies, so does the license. This seems to include retail purchase or upgrade licenses. Previously the life of the license applied only to OEM licensing [i.e. you couldn’t take the OEM/manufacturer license and install it on completely different hardware].

Now, it won’t make a difference how you got the license. It dies when the computer dies.

Previously with a retail full license, you could transfer it from one computer to another to a third. This is especially important since Microsoft will continuously update the same version [once again depending on the interpretation of the announcement]. In essence, this is the last version of Windows.

[On a further note, previously Windows 7 users could not do a full upgrade to Windows 8.1. Only personal files were migrated. No Wonder if this has changed.]

Microsoft denies Update 2 on Tuesday for Windows 8.1 and some rumors

This is starting to remind me of the days when the iPhone was “king”. You would hear all kinds of rumors about the next iPhone or maybe the next iOS. [I think somewhere in my blog I list rumors of what was to be in an iPhone a couple of years back].

Now, it seems Microsoft is taking a cue from Apple as rumors continue to fly about Windows 8.1 updates. Strange, since Windows 8.1 still isn’t that popular.

Well, a Microsoft official has stated there will be no Update 2 for Windows 8.1. He doesn’t know where all this started from. Maybe that’s why the first update was called Update and not Update 1. I do find it odd that only days before Patch Tuesday did the official deny the rumors.

OK. So instead of the dead/rumored Update 2, expect the same monthly updates that have been coming out since Windows 8 was released.

In addition, more rumors that Office 2015 will be released next year. This is probably more likely since whenever a computer OS release comes out, an Office release comes out about the same time or shortly after.

The most interesting rumor – but this has been flying around for a while – is that Microsoft may give out Windows 9 free of charge to Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 users.

OK. I can see this for Windows XP users but if you take a look at some of the older machines, few of them have the resources [i.e. meet or barely meet the minimum requirements for Windows 9 – assuming similar to Windows 8]. Even if they did meet the minimum requirements, they will be sluggish.

If Windows 9 requirements don’t change much from Windows 8, then technically all Windows Vista and Windows 7 systems will be able to upgrade – although those cheap models would still be an issue.

Finally the rumored Start menu coming back [or a variation of] still persists. Who knows.