In the different options to meet Windows 7 end of support, there is a free upgrade solution to Windows 10.
There may be a third option. After the launch of Windows 10, Microsoft had given Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users a full year (until July 31, 2016) to upgrade to Windows 10 for free, and until the end of 2017, publisher no. had not blocked a flaw in the assistance system to access it.
According to ZDNet reporter Ed Bott, it seems Microsoft never turned off Windows 10 update servers. It doesn’t hurt to try. You might get lucky and get to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10 for free!
Go to the Windows 10 download page and download the upgrade tool. (Credit: Microsoft)
If you have a Windows 7 PC, just go to the Windows 10 download page and download the upgrade tool to your PC. (You will need to agree to the license terms.) Windows 7 Starter, Home Basic, and Home Premium will be upgraded to Windows 10 Home, and other Windows 7 Professional and Ultimate versions will be replaced by Windows 10 Pro. You can either upgrade the in-place version to Windows 10 directly on the PC, or download the tool to a separate USB stick (at least 8GB of free space is needed) or CD- R or rewritable DVD. This last option will allow you to upgrade multiple PCs.
Windows 10 Upgrade Tool window. (Credit: Mark Hachman / IDG)
Windows 10 Upgrade Tool gives the choice between upgrading the current PC and downloading the tool to a USB stick or DVD to upgrade other PCs. Note that you will still need a valid Windows 7 license for the tool to work. If for some reason Windows does not detect a license on the machine, it may need to be entered manually. You may need to recover the old Windows 7 license key – there are tutorials on license keys on this topic, in particular using the Magical Jelly Bean Key Finder. It also happens that the license key is written on a more or less visible sticker on the laptop or desktop machine. (The product key has five groups of letters and numbers, formatted as follows: xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx)
Moreover, “prevention is better than cure”. So, first and foremost, it is important to back up all the files that you want to preserve, and at a minimum, your documents and photos. This means that you have to copy these files to a backup hard drive, DVD or transfer them to the cloud. By default, Windows will keep the apps, settings, and files when it upgrades the system to Windows 10. (It is also possible to back up your files in Windows 7, and restore them later in Windows 10).
It’s hard to say how long the whole process takes. From downloading the tool and necessary files, to performing the upgrade, plus possibly downloading additional patches, it’s reasonable to allow at least an hour, and possibly more. The speed of the process will also depend on the speed of the broadband connection and whether the PC has a standard hard drive or an SSD.
When the update is complete, a Windows 10 Out of the Box (OOBE) screen may appear and prompt the user to sign in with a Microsoft account. (Credit: Mark Hachman / IDG)
Once the process is complete, it’s time to check the file status, see if your photos and documents have been preserved. It might also be a good time to recopy the files you have backed up, if they are missing. Also check applications, including anti-virus programs, to make sure license keys are still intact. This is also the time to familiarize yourself with the configuration of the new Windows 10 system and the personalization of the PC, to be sure to take full advantage of the OS.
If you are upgrading on older hardware, you might find that Windows 10 runs slower than Windows 7. This is simply due to the increased load that the new system places on the processor and hard drive. Resetting the PC can improve performance: click on the search box in the taskbar at the bottom of the screen, then type “reset” or “reset my PC”. A “Recovery” menu in Settings will then appear, and you will be given the option to reinstall Windows once more. This procedure can improve performance, but it also means spending more time updating.
If this option does not work, our colleagues from IDG recommend switching to the Linux option. Several Linux OS are now accessible and user-friendly.