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Windows 10 Free Upgrade Ends July 29th – Should You Install?

Target Audience – This post is geared for those deciding if they should install Microsoft’s free Windows 10 upgrade on their Windows 7 or Windows 8 computers!  Computers with Windows Vista are not eligible for the free Windows 10 upgrade & most computers with Windows Vista probably are not current enough to run Windows 10 properly!

While most Windows 10 upgrades have downloaded & installed without major problems, I have seen & heard of some computers that did not upgrade properly.  Some of these did not meet the recommendations & suggestions listed below.

Windows 10 upgrade will cost about $120 after July 29, 2016


Recommended Computer Specifications To Upgrade To Windows 10:

Ram Memory

I recommend a minimum of 4GB Ram(8GB preferred) to run Windows 7, Windows 8 & the same applies to upgrading to Windows 10.  While Windows 10 may run on less than 4GB Ram memory, I don’t believe your performance will be satisfactory.

Free Harddrive Space

I recommend a minimum 100GB free harddrive space before upgrading to Windows 10.  Microsoft’s stated requirements are much less than this, but if  you don’t allow for extra room, you are risking problems during the upgrade or problems after the upgrade due to too little free harddrive space.

A Healthy Computer

By this I mean don’t run the Windows 10 upgrade if your computer is currently struggling.  You could have viruses or spyware that need cleaned or you might have corrupted Windows files.  You might also have potential hardware issues such as a failing harddrive or bad Ram memory.  If your computer is ailing, you should address these issues first or consider a new computer versus upgrading an ailing computer.  Windows 10 upgrade might fail on an ailing computer or set you up for even greater problems if the upgrade completes.

Considerations Before Upgrading to Windows 10:

Don’t Upgrade Your Most Important Computer First

For small businesses this means don’t upgrade the computer(s) that get the most use or are critical for your daily operations.  For home users, if you have more than one computer you want to upgrade, pick the one that gets the least use but still meets the recommended specifications.

Verify Your Application Program Compatibility

If you run more than Microsoft Office(Word, Excel, Powerpoint), you would be well served to verify your application programs compatibility with Windows 10.  Your application programs company’s website may have recommended computer specifications for running on Windows 10 that are much higher that Microsoft’s minimum requirements!  You should be extra cautious with industry specific software or software that communicates with unique hardware such as in manufacturing equipment.  You should have all your program install disks available just in case you need to reinstall after the Windows 10 upgrade.

Verify Your Hardware Compatibility

Windows 10 will likely have drivers for most devices internal to your computer, but you would be well served to visit your computer company’s website to view recommendations & download any Windows 10 drivers they have.  Store these Windows 10 drivers on a USB thumb drive or external USB harddrive for easy access after the Windows 10 upgrade.  You would also be smart to verify & download drivers & software for your external devices & accessories such as scanners & printers.  If you have to reinstall, it is better to download current drivers & software rather than installing from existing CD’s or DVD’s that don’t know about Windows 10.

Consider Making A Full Harddrive Image Backup

This is good to have on any computer, but would be especially useful if the Windows 10 upgrade fails & your computer doesn’t revert properly back to where it was before you started the Windows 10 upgrade.  A full harddrive image backup allows you to restore your computer much quicker than reinstalling your Windows version, application programs, hardware drivers, settings & then waiting to download Windows updates, program updates, etc.  Here is a link to my blog post that discusses more about harddrive image backup –

Backup Your Data Just Prior To Upgrading To Windows 10

Data(documents, pictures, checkbook, accounting, etc.) backups should be done daily or weekly, but especially before starting such a major upgrade procedure.  Here is a link to my blog post that discusses more about data backup procedures –

Be Prepared to Wait

Depending on your computer & internet speeds, I would allow up to 2 hours for Windows 10 to download & another 2 hours for the Windows 10 upgrade to install.  You may notice times when your display is not showing much activity or even seems frozen, but upgrading processes are probably still running.  Your harddrive light if you know where to look for it may be busy blinking away.   Resist the urge to press your reset or power buttons!

Things to Do Right After Upgrading to Windows 10:

Once Windows 10 upgrade completes, you still have some tasks before using your computer.  One step includes manually running Windows 10 Updates repeatedly until no more updates are available.  Another step includes verifying your antivirus program is running properly & running antivirus updates until no more updates are available.  Here is a link to my blog post that includes a section on Setting Up Your New Computer – many of these steps may be the same after a Windows 10 Update –

While most Windows upgrades may complete just fine, I hope these considerations & recommendations help you prepare for potential problems!

About the Author:

Ray Bowyer, Computer Consultant lives & works in the Boise, Idaho area & provides computer desktop & laptop repair, training, problem solving, computer networking, & virus removal for Boise, Meridian, Nampa, Caldwell & other Treasure Valley Idaho area small businesses, home offices & home computer users. Phone: (208) 631-7527. Email: . Mailing Address: 1740 E. Fairview Ave., # 305, Meridian, ID 83642. Computer Repair & Services - Boise Idaho - Meridian Idaho. "Reducing computer frustration one problem at a time by providing computer TLC(Technical Loving Care)!"

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