Windows 10

Pensacola Computers Windows 10 Information and Guides logo2

Windows 10 was released on July 29th 2015 (with the first major upgrade/update released in November – version 1511, and subsequent updates including the Creators Update and the most recent Fall Creators Update – build 1709). Microsoft originally offered a free upgrade to Windows 10 for licensed users of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 Starter Home, Pro, and Ultimate, however that offer ended a year after the original release (*Note: it may still be possible to activate Windows 10 using a valid Windows 7 or Windows 8 license)

Unfortunately for some, not all computers that qualified for the upgrade can actually run Windows 10 – this has mostly to do with driver support, especially on older hardware. In addition, although your computer may be able to upgrade, all of your software may not work with Windows 10 (QuickBooks for example doesn’t support any version before 2015), Also, it is very important to note that if your computer has ANY issues, errors, malware, viruses, freezes, etc, then it is quite possible the upgrade may fail, and worse case you could be left with a system that won’t boot with your only option to reinstall your original operating system.

At Pensacola computers we have done many Windows 10 installations, upgrades, and failed upgrade rescues, and in our experience most of the bad things happen during the upgrade process because a computer already has issues. We have made an Upgrade Install guide to help you through the process with some checklists to follow to ensure you get the best upgrade experience, and in case something goes wrong that you are prepared to deal with it.

Pensacola Computers is always available to help if you get in over your head, or run into something you can’t deal with. We also provide Windows 10 upgrade and installation service for those who don’t feel comfortable doing it themselves, or need it done for a business or multiple computers.

 

Pensacola Computers

Windows 10 Upgrade Install Guide

 

*Note: The information in this guide is based upon our own experiences with Microsoft Windows 10 and as we did not create Windows 10, Pensacola Computers is not responsible for any errors or issues you may encounter during installation of Windows 10.

When deciding if you should attempt upgrading your computer to Windows 10, there are quite a few things to consider. First, in order to upgrade offer from a your older version of Windows you must currently have a properly licensed copy of Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 (Home, PRO, or Ultimate editions). *Note: you must be running Windows 7 SP3, or Windows 8.1 in order to upgrade (Windows 8 upgrade is not supported, you must upgrade from 8 to 8.1 first). Second, you need to check with your computer manufacturer to make sure they have driver support for Windows 10 (for most computers, go to the support section of the manufactures website and input your model number and look for Windows 10 drivers and support info – See the Helpful Links at the end of this guide for support links). If your computer does not have Windows 10 drivers available, you ‘may’ still be able to upgrade to Windows 10, however some features of Windows 10 and/or your computer may not work properly, so try this at your own risk! Third and this one is important – you must have the time to do the upgrade AND have the time available if the upgrade goes bad to potentially reinstall your original Windows from scratch and reinstall all your programs. If you rely on your computer for important business, it is imperative to have the time available in case something goes wrong.

While the upgrade process has been successful for many people we have also seen a lot of upgrades go bad, some horribly bad. So in order to get the BEST possible experience from Windows 10 and to keep any needed factory install software, we highly recommend doing a fresh reinstall/factory reset of your original operating system, then immediately upgrading to Windows 10, then reinstalling your programs and restoring your data directly into Windows 10. See our fresh install/reinstall instructions at the end of this guide on how to do this.

If your PC or tablet is currently running Windows 7 SP1 or Windows 8.1 Update, you can check to see if it meets the requirements by using ‘Check my PC’ in the Get Windows 10 app. To open the Get Windows 10 app, click on the small Windows icon found at the right end of the taskbar. If you don’t see it, visit Microsoft’s Windows 10 Q&A page for more info **NOTE: If the ‘Check my PC’ app says your computer does meet the requirements, please be aware that there must still be Drivers available by the manufacturer, and you still must meet the other requirements.

If your computer is currently running well, and you meet the requirements for software, hardware and drivers, and you want to try the direct upgrade route, follow the below instructions carefully.

Once you are ready to upgrade there are some VERY IMPORTANT steps to take before upgrading to help the upgrade go as well as possible, as well as some preparation in case something goes wrong.

Pre-upgrade checklist:

 

  • Ensure you have completely read Microsoft Windows 10 System Requirements: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/windows-10-specifications , and that your system meets the requirements, including free space needed on the hard drive – also be sure to read the part about feature deprecation as this explains what features have been removed from Windows.
  • Ensure you have a current backup of all your important files (documents, pictures, emails etc) – backup EVERYTHING important, and don’t forget things like PST files if you use Outlook etc. If something goes badly wrong, you may lose anything that you don’t have backed up.
  • Ensure you have recovery discs or recovery USB to reinstall your original operating system – if your system did not come with discs there is usually a program on your computer to create them. It is CRITICAL to have these recovery discs if something goes wrong with the upgrade.
  • Ensure you have install discs and license keys for all your software in case you have to reinstall any of it. Things like Microsoft Office, Quickbooks, Photoshop etc. (If you are unsure of product keys, try Belarc Advisor as it will retrieve keys from many programs on your computer, including your Windows Key for Windows 7 and older versions of Microsoft Office).
  • Ensure that your computer has all of the latest Windows updates as well as all updates for major software.
  • Ensure there is no malware or viruses on your computer – run a full computer virus scan and malware scan (We recommend the free version of Malwarebytes for the malware scan)
  • Ensure you have no major errors on your computer – if you have been getting blue screens, freezes, or your computer has been running slowly, you may want to consider doing a fresh reinstall/upgrade instead of the upgrade as any problems you are having could either cause the upgrade to fail, or end up being even worse in Windows 10 – upgrading to Windows 10 will NOT fix most issues with your computer if it is having problems.
  • Ensure that any peripherals like printers, scanners etc. have Windows 10 drivers available – some older hardware may not work with Windows 10 without updated Windows 10 drivers. Go to the manufacturers website to check for Windows 10 compatibility before upgrading. Also, prior to upgrading it is a good idea to UNPLUG everything except your mouse, keyboard and network so that nothing conflicts with the upgrade process.

 

 

Upgrade Process

 

In order to have the best upgrade experience it is recommended to install the Windows 10 Upgrade directly through Windows Update on your system. The upgrade may have already been downloaded to your computer, or you may have to select to download it through Windows update depending upon your update settings – goto Control Panel > All Control Panel Items > Windows Update – it should be listed as an optional update.

If you do not see the update, run the ‘Check for Updates’ to see if it shows up (make sure you have installed all other recommended updates). If you still do not see the update available, and you don’t have the get Windows 10 app in your system tray, see this article – https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3081048

Prior to upgrading, make sure you have followed the recommendations of the ‘Check my PC’ app and removed any incompatible programs. Also, although it is not required, we have found that uninstalling your antivirus prior to upgrade, then reinstalling it upon successful upgrade can often help eliminate compatibility issues.

Once you have completed the pre-upgrade checklist and you have the upgrade downloaded in Windows update, you should reboot your system, then go back to Windows Update and select the Windows 10 Upgrade to begin the process (make sure you have unplugged all of your peripherals first).

The upgrade process can take anywhere from 20 minutes to a couple of hours or more depending upon the speed of your computer, how many programs you have installed, and how much data you have. The computer will reboot itself a number of times, and generally there will be a screen showing progress – do not worry though if the screen goes blank or black for a while as this is normal when drivers are being installed and configured.

If the upgrade encounters any errors it may revert back to your previous operating system, or it may give you an error code, or worse case it may get stuck in a boot loop. If any of these things happens, see the troubleshooting upgrade section below.

If the upgrade is successful, you will see a logon screen and you will then be prompted through the Windows 10 initial setup.

 

Post upgrade/install instructions

Once you have completed the initial setup, you will get to your desktop. At this point there are a few things that need to be done immediately.

  • If you uninstalled your Antivirus, reinstall it first thing.
  • In the new Windows 10 Start Menu, go to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update > Check for Updates – this will ensure that you get any needed updated for hardware etc.
  • Once you have got your Antivirus running and your first round of Windows Updates done, reboot your machine.
  • After rebooting, ensure you are connected to the internet, then plug in any peripherals such as printers, scanners, etc. and install drivers as needed. Run Test Prints, Scans etc to ensure all systems are working properly.
  • Go back to Windows update and check again for new updates.
  • Ensure that your Windows is activated: go to Settings > Update & Security > Activation
  • Open each of your major programs (Office, Quickbooks, Photoshop etc.) and make sure they are working properly.

If you have any major issues, google the issue to see if others have experienced the same thing. Ensure that you get all available Windows Updates (you may have to check numerous times), disable Antivirus and see if the issue persists, check the Microsoft Windows 10 Support or chat online with a Microsoft Answer Tech who can provide Upgrade information and answers to common questions about Windows 10.

If things are just not working in Windows 10 after the upgrade and you aren’t able get the issues fixed, you have 30 days from the time you upgrade to go back to your previous operating system.

 

 

Go Back to Windows 7 or Windows 8.1

Before you attempt to go back to Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 be aware that in a small percentage of the time the revert can go bad and it could fail to go back, or worse it could leave your system in an unbootable state in which case you may have to reinstall your original operating system from recovery media. In most cases however, in a short time your system will be back the way it was before you upgraded (anything you installed in Windows 10 will not remain after the reversion).

To revert back to Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 within the first 30 days:

Go to: Settings > Update & Security > Recovery

Choose Go Back to Windows (7 or 8.1)

Click Get started button – be aware the reversion will start immediately and can take anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour or more depending on speed of computer and amount of data (most of the time it goes fairly quickly)

Your computer will reboot, maybe more than once, and if it completes without errors, it will reboot back into your original operating system.

If there are errors, see the Troubleshooting section at the end of this guide.

 

Fresh Install or Reinstall/Upgrade to Windows 10

There are now 2 options when it comes to installing Windows 10 fresh, you can install it directly using Microsoft’s Media Creation Tool (requires valid Windows 7, Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 product key *Note Windows 8 keys won’t work, they must be Windows 8.1 keys – and unfortunately as most Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 keys are in the BIOS, you can only do the reinstall/upgrade method for those systems), or you can do the reinstall/upgrade method which you may have to do, or you may prefer to do if you want to have access to any of the factory installed software.

Windows 10 Fresh Install Method

Installing Windows 10 fresh is now possible as long as you have valid Windows 7, Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 product key. In order to install fresh you will need to create a DVD or USB install media using Microsoft’s Media Creation Tool

Prior to installing Windows 10 you will need to prepare your computer using the following checklist:

  • Ensure you have completely read Microsoft Windows 10 System Requirements: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/windows-10-specifications , and that your system meets the requirements, including free space needed on the hard drive – also be sure to read the part about feature deprecation as this explains what features have been removed from Windows.
  • Ensure you have a current backup of all your important files (documents, pictures, emails etc) – backup EVERYTHING important, and don’t forget things like PST files if you use Outlook etc. This process will WIPE EVERYTHING FROM YOUR HARD DRIVE – so please make sure you have backed up everything you want to keep before starting.
  • Ensure you have recovery discs or recovery USB to reinstall your original operating system – if your system did not come with discs there is usually a program on your computer to create them. It is CRITICAL to have these recovery discs if something goes wrong with the reinstall/upgrade.
  • Ensure you have install discs and license keys for all your software as it will all have to be reinstalled (Also make sure that the version of the software you want to use is compatible with Windows 10, ie only Quickbooks 2015 is compatible with Windows 10) . Things like Microsoft Office, Quickbooks, Photoshop etc. (If you are unsure of product keys, try Belarc Advisor as it will retrieve keys from many programs on your computer, including your Windows Key for Windows 7 and older versions of Microsoft Office).
  • Ensure that any peripherals like printers, scanners etc. have Windows 10 drivers available – some older hardware may not work with Windows 10 without updated Windows 10 drivers. Go to the manufacturers website to check for Windows 10 compatibility before upgrading. Also, prior to upgrading it is a good idea to UNPLUG everything except your mouse, keyboard and network so that nothing conflicts with the upgrade process.

One you have completed the checklist you are ready to begin creating the install media using Microsoft’s Media Creation Tool and the below instructions:

Microsoft has provided these instructions for Performing a clean installation of Windows 10 using a USB or DVD –

Follow these instructions to perform a clean installation of Windows 10. If you want to upgrade to Windows 10 for free, follow the instructions in the Upgrade to Windows 10 using the tool section. If you haven’t upgraded to Windows 10 yet and perform a clean installation, you’ll need to enter a qualifying product key for Windows 7, Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 or buy a license in order to activate Windows 10. Click here for information on qualified editions.

Warning

If you format a drive partition during installation, any data on the partition will be erased. Be sure to back up any data you want to keep before you begin.

      1. Run the media creation tool.
      2. Select Create installation media for another PC.
      3. Choose the language, edition, and architecture (64-bit or 32-bit) for Windows 10.
      4. Follow the steps to create the installation media, and then select Finish when it’s done.
      5. When you’re ready to perform a clean installation, turn on your PC, insert the DVD or USB flash drive you created, and then shut down your PC.
      1. Restart your PC, and then press any key to boot from the DVD or USB flash drive.

If you restart your PC and your current version of Windows starts, you might have to open a boot menu or change the boot order in your PC’s BIOS or UEFI settings so that your PC boots from the media. To open a boot menu or change the boot order, you’ll typically need to press a combination of keys (such as F2, F12, Delete, or Esc) immediately after you turn on your PC. For instructions on changing the boot order for your PC, check the documentation that came with your PC or go to the manufacturer’s website.

If changing the boot menu or order doesn’t work, try again by signing in to Windows, shutting down, and then starting your PC.

      1. On the Install Windows page, enter your language and other preferences, and then select Next.
      2. Select Install Windows.
      1. On the Enter the product key to activate Windows page, enter your product key. The product key should be in a purchase confirmation email if you bought Windows 10. It looks like this: PRODUCT KEY: XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX.

Note

If you’ve already successful activated Windows 10 on this PC, including if you upgraded by taking advantage of the free upgrade offer you won’t need to enter a Windows 10 product key. You can skip the product key page by selecting the Skip button. Your PC will automatically activate later. – DO NOT PRESS SKIP UNLESS YOU HAVE PREVIOUSLY ACTIVATED WINDOWS 10 ON THIS MACHINE, OTHERWISE YOU WILL HAVE TO BUY A NEW LICENSE!

      1. On the License terms page, if you accept the license terms, select I accept the license terms, and then select Next.
      2. On the Which type of installation do you want? page, select Custom.
      3. On the Where do you want to install Windows? page, select the partition that you want, select the formatting option you want to perform (if needed), and then follow the instructions.
      4. When you’ve finished formatting, select Next.
      5. Follow the rest of the setup instructions to finish installing Windows.”

Windows 10 Reinstall/Upgrade Method

Reinstalling your original operating system fresh, then upgrading to Windows 10 is by far the best way to ensure a successful experience if you want to keep any factory installed software such as DVD/CD creation, touch software, or any other special system software. The below procedure requires some advanced knowledge in terms of being able to wipe your current system and reinstall your original operating system. How you reinstall your original operating system is up to you, however we recommend using recovery discs or recovery USB rather than a built in recovery partition as you may not be able to use the recovery partition if something goes wrong.

Before beginning, go through the following pre-upgrade checklist for the Reinstall/Upgrade:

  • Ensure you have completely read Microsoft Windows 10 System Requirements: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/windows-10-specifications , and that your system meets the requirements, including free space needed on the hard drive – also be sure to read the part about feature deprecation as this explains what features have been removed from Windows.
  • Ensure you have a current backup of all your important files (documents, pictures, emails etc) – backup EVERYTHING important, and don’t forget things like PST files if you use Outlook etc. This process will WIPE EVERYTHING FROM YOUR HARD DRIVE – so please make sure you have backed up everything you want to keep before starting.
  • Ensure you have recovery discs or recovery USB to reinstall your original operating system – if your system did not come with discs there is usually a program on your computer to create them. It is CRITICAL to have these recovery discs if something goes wrong with the reinstall/upgrade.
  • Ensure you have install discs and license keys for all your software as it will all have to be reinstalled (Also make sure that the version of the software you want to use is compatible with Windows 10, ie only Quickbooks 2015 is compatible with Windows 10) . Things like Microsoft Office, Quickbooks, Photoshop etc. (If you are unsure of product keys, try Belarc Advisor as it will retrieve keys from many programs on your computer, including your Windows Key for Windows 7 and older versions of Microsoft Office).
  • Ensure that any peripherals like printers, scanners etc. have Windows 10 drivers available – some older hardware may not work with Windows 10 without updated Windows 10 drivers. Go to the manufacturers website to check for Windows 10 compatibility before upgrading. Also, prior to upgrading it is a good idea to UNPLUG everything except your mouse, keyboard and network so that nothing conflicts with the upgrade process.Once you have completed the above checklist, you will need to reinstall your original operating system – bear in mind, that depending on your install media, you may have to apply many updates to Windows (Windows 7 must be Service Pack 3 and Windows 8 must be upgraded to Windows 8.1). Once you have reinstalled your original operating system (factory restore), run any needed updates to get it up to SP 3 for Windows 7 or Windows 8.1. Once that is done, if you have the Windows 10 Get Ready icon in your system tray, you can install Windows 10 through Windows update, otherwise you can go to the Windows 10 Upgrade Page and click the Upgrade now button, or your can use Microsoft’s Media Creation tool to download and upgrade your system to Windows 10. To upgrade using the media creation tool follow the instructions from Microsoft below:

If you’re currently running Windows 7 SP1 or Windows 8.1 Update, follow these instructions to upgrade to Windows 10 for free.

Before you can upgrade to Windows 10 for free, your current version of Windows must be activated with a genuine license. To make sure it’s activated, from Start, search for File Explorer and select it from the search results. Press-and-hold or right-click This PC and select Properties. Your Windows activation status is listed at the bottom.

Notes:

      • If your current version of Windows isn’t activated, see this support article for more info.
      • The media creation tool can’t be used to upgrade Enterprise editions of Windows. For more info, go to the Volume Licensing Service Center.

To upgrade to Windows 10:

  1. Run the media creation tool.
  2. If you’re upgrading the device you downloaded the tool on, select Upgrade this PC now. -or- If you want to create media to upgrade a different device, select Create installation media for another PC.
  3. Choose the language, edition, and architecture (64-bit or 32-bit) for Windows 10.
  4. If you chose Upgrade this PC, follow the steps in the tool to finish the upgrade to Windows 10.
  5. Follow the instructions to finish upgrading to Windows 10.

Troubleshooting Windows upgrade/install errors:

 

When a Windows 10 upgrade install goes bad, you can sometimes be left with an error message, or even a system that won’t boot. When this happens, follow the below troubleshooting steps to help you try to recover. In some really bad cases though, the only thing you can do is wipe your system and reinstall your original operating system.

 

Upgrade/Installation Errors:

If your upgrade/install fails without an error or stalls:

  1. make sure to check that there are no external devices such as printers, hard drives, webcams etc hooked up as these can cause the install to hang. Also turn off Wifi and plug into LAN
  2. Disable or uninstall any Antivirus/Security software
  3. Check and repair errors on your hard disk (chkdsk /r)
  4. If installing from USB or DVD, re-download and recreate the install media and try again
  5. Run a memory diagnostic to ensure no memory errors

If you get an error code when installing see the table from this page to see the most common errors and possible fixes: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-10/upgrade-install-errors-windows-10

 

Code 0x80073712 This error might mean that a file needed by Windows Update is damaged or missing.
ErrorCode 0x800F0923 This error might mean that a driver or other software on your PC isn’t compatible with the upgrade to Windows 10. For info about how to fix this problem, contact Microsoft support.
ErrorCode 0x80200056 This error might mean that the upgrade process was interrupted because you accidentally restarted your PC or signed out of your PC. Try upgrading again and make sure your PC is plugged in and stays turned on.
ErrorCode 0x800F0922 This error might mean that your PC couldn’t connect to the Windows Update servers. If you’re using a VPN connection to connect to a work network, disconnect from the network and turn off the VPN software (if applicable), and try upgrading again.The error could also mean there isn’t enough free space in the System Reserved partition. You might be able to fix this problem by using third-party software to increase the size of the System Reserved partition.
Error: We couldn’t complete the updates. Undoing changes. Don’t turn off your computer.Error: Failure configuring Windows Updates. Reverting changes. These are generic errors that might appear any time a Windows update fails. You’ll need to determine the specific error code to investigate how to best resolve this problem.You can find the error code for the failed update by viewing your update history. Look for the update that wasn’t installed, note the error code, and then contact Microsoft support.To view your update history in Windows 8.1:

  1. Open Windows Update by swiping in from the right edge of the screen (or, if you’re using a mouse, pointing to the lower-right corner of the screen and moving the mouse pointer up), Selecting Settings, choosing Change PC settings, and then selecting Update and recovery.
  2. Select View your update history.

 

To view your update history in Windows 7:

  1. Select the Start button. In the search box, type Update, and then, in the list of results, Select Windows Update.
  2. Click View update history.
ErrorError: The update isn’t applicable to your computer. This error might mean that your PC doesn’t have the required updates installed. Check to make sure that all important updates are installed on your PC before you try upgrading.
ErrorCode 0xC1900208 – 0x4000C This error might mean that an incompatible app installed on your PC is blocking the upgrade process from completing. Check to make sure that any incompatible apps are uninstalled and then try upgrading again.
ErrorCode 0xC1900200 – 0x20008Code 0xC1900202 – 0x20008 This error might mean that your PC doesn’t meet the minimum requirements to download or install the upgrade to Windows 10.
ErrorCode 0x80070070 – 0x50011 0x80070070 – 0x50012 0x80070070 – 0x60000 This error might mean that your PC doesn’t have enough space available to install the upgrade. Free some space on the drive and try again.

If your error is not listed above check the Microsoft Community website here: http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_10-windows_install

In some cases, the issues can be resolved and in others, the only option is to reinstall your original operating system and hope that a fix is found for your issue in time.

For computer help in the Pensacola Florida area, visit http://pensacolacomputers.com

 

Helpful Links:

Computer Support Links

Dell Support: http://www.dell.com/support/home/us/en/19?c=us&l=en&~ck=mn

HP Support: http://support.hp.com/us-en/

Lenovo Support: http://support.lenovo.com/us/en/?menu-id=lenovo_products

Acer Support: http://us.acer.com/ac/en/US/content/support

Asus Support: http://www.asus.com/us/support/

Gateway Support: http://us.gateway.com/gw/en/US/content/support-overview

Sony Support: http://esupport.sony.com/EN/VAIO

 

Windows 10 Links

 

Windows 10 Features: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/features

Get Started with Windows 10 (November release) http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-10/getstarted-whats-new-november-release-cortana

Windows 10 Privacy Settings (Change): http://www.techradar.com/us/news/software/operating-systems/the-windows-10-privacy-settings-you-need-to-change-right-now-1301257

Windows 10 common upgrade and installation errors: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-10/upgrade-install-errors-windows-10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Links to all content from Microsoft provided.

 

This guide is provided by Pensacola Computers for information purposes only. All computers are different in hardware and software configurations and as such no guarantee can be made that any specific software will work, or that an upgrade or installation may not have errors.