News, tips, advice, support for Windows, Office, PCs & more. Tech help. No bull. We're community supported by donations from our Plus Members, and proud of it
Home icon Home icon Home icon Email icon RSS icon
  • Free Win 10 Upgrade from Win 7 – A Few Questions

    Posted on LHiggins Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums AskWoody support Windows Windows 10 Free Win 10 Upgrade from Win 7 – A Few Questions

    Viewing 8 reply threads
    • Author
      Posts
      • #2110262 Reply
        LHiggins
        AskWoody Plus

        I’m sure that this topic has been discussed in various places, but I thought I’d just start a new discussion about it with a few questions.

        First – I run Win 7 Home Premium on my laptop, and am trying everything to keep it viable – standard user account, Malwarebytes, 0Patch – lots of what has been suggested in the Win 7 forums. However, on the off-chance that I may want to eventually upgrade to Win 10, I thought maybe it would be a good idea to download the ISO now so I could have it on hand.

        So – my first question – I’ve read several “tutorials” on how to download using the Media Creation Tool. Is that still the process, and once I’d download it, can the same ISO be used on more than one Win 7 computer?

        And can the upgrade then be done at any time later on?

        I’ve read that the ISO can be downloaded onto a thumb drive – I’ve seen anywhere from 3.5-8 GB of space needed. Does anyone know it that is accurate?

        Or – since I think that I did follow Woody’s directions back in the fall to download a clean copy of Win 10 1903 (I have a Win 10 laptop as well) – have I already got what I need to upgrade from Win 7 – or is that specific to the Win 10 laptop?

        Also – my laptop only has 4gb RAM – before I’d do any upgrade – should I consider adding another 4 gb to it? I have about 200 mb free space on my hard drive, so will that be enough? No plans to replace the hard drive – since I am also still considering just getting a new/refurbished Win 10 laptop later on.

        My files and programs – what about those – can they be restored from a Macrium Backup created on Win 7 into the new Win 10 install?

        I think those are the questions I have. I appreciate any information. I am so on the fence about all of this but thought maybe getting the ISO while I can is a good idea.

        Thanks in advance!

        LH

        2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2110274 Reply
        joep517
        AskWoody MVP

        The upgrade can be done at any time as long as Microsoft still allows it.

        You need a minimum of 8GB. I would get a 16GB to be safe.

        If you already created installation media you’ve got what you need. It is not hardware specific.

        Most people now recommend 8GB of RAM for new PCs. However, that is dependent on what you do with the PC. Windows 10 will run well with 4GB if you just do typical day-to-day stuff like web browsing, email, etc. If you work with big spreadsheets, do editing of large photos you probably need more RAM.

        You can’t do an upgrade with only 200MB of free space. You need to do a clean install.

        You will be able to restore your files. Your programs can NOT just be restored but must be reinstalled.

        --Joe

        3 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2110277 Reply
          PKCano
          Da Boss

          If that was a typo, supposed to be 200GB instead of 200MB, an in-place upgrade is possible that would retain/save both the programs and data. A Clean install would not be necessary in that case.

          2 users thanked author for this post.
          • #2110316 Reply
            LHiggins
            AskWoody Plus

            Yep – duh! 200 GB. So there’s plenty that is unused! 🙂

            So it would just be an in place upgrade – not a clean install.

            Thanks!

            • This reply was modified 2 months ago by LHiggins.
      • #2110283 Reply
        anonymous
        Guest

        If you want to do an upgrade to Windows 10 instead of a clean install, you would need to free about 10GB of disk space.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2110319 Reply
        LHiggins
        AskWoody Plus

        The upgrade can be done at any time as long as Microsoft still allows it.

        You need a minimum of 8GB. I would get a 16GB to be safe. If you already created installation media you’ve got what you need. It is not hardware specific.

        Most people now recommend 8GB of RAM for new PCs. However, that is dependent on what you do with the PC. Windows 10 will run well with 4GB if you just do typical day-to-day stuff like web browsing, email, etc. If you work with big spreadsheets, do editing of large photos you probably need more RAM.

        You can’t do an upgrade with only 200MB of free space. You need to do a clean install. You will be able to restore your files. Your programs can NOT just be restored but must be reinstalled.

        Thanks for that information. I do have a few 16gb thumb drives, so that should be enough. I’ll check on the one I already made, too.

        I don’t do a lot of data intensive things – just email and browsing, but this laptop is pretty slow at times – probably just age, too. But it seems that adding $25 4GB RAM stick is cheaper than a whole new computer – at least for the time being.

        Thanks for the help!

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2111531 Reply
          JohnW
          AskWoody Plus

          I have an older laptop running Win 10 1909 with 4GB RAM. It runs ok, but just Windows alone takes slightly over 2GB, so not going to be doing anything large without running low on memory.

          I typically only run a web browser with a few open tabs, and maybe a spreadsheet or a doc at the same time, and that seems to be OK.

          But for more intensive use, you would probably want at least 8GB. If you run many open tabs on your browser, that can also eat memory.

          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2110546 Reply
        Alex5723
        AskWoody Plus

        Yep – duh! 200 GB. So there’s plenty that is unused! 🙂

        So it would just be an in place upgrade – not a clean install.

        Thanks!

        • This reply was modified 2 months ago by LHiggins.

        I would like to add that an upgrade will create a copy of your previous Windows 7 creating a Windows.old file (size about 20GB+). This file will let you restore to Windows 7 within 10 days (after which it will be deleted) in case you don’t like Windows 10 or you have some important software not compatible with Windows 10.
        In case of need you can open the Windows.old file and copy data from it.
        I have a copy my Windows 7 Windows.old stored on an external backup drive.

        5 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2111200 Reply
        wavy
        AskWoody Plus

        One more note the newer the ISO version the less updating windows will do after a move to W10 however the upgrade form 1903 to 1909 is relatively minor. It is something to keep in mind for the future. IIRC no one at MS has promised a free upgrade will be available forever.

        FWIW I have abandoned W7 for W10 and have no regrets. If I ever have a real problem w/ W10 Linux is always on the horizon.

        🍻

        Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2111496 Reply
          LHiggins
          AskWoody Plus

          One more note the newer the ISO version the less updating windows will do after a move to W10 however the upgrade form 1903 to 1909 is relatively minor. It is something to keep in mind for the future. IIRC no one at MS has promised a free upgrade will be available forever. FWIW I have abandoned W7 for W10 and have no regrets. If I ever have a real problem w/ W10 Linux is always on the horizon.

          We have a new Win 10 1903 laptop, which is nice enough, but for some reason, I just can’t seem to let go of my old Win 7 laptop. But I do need to “do” something eventually and wanted to hedge my bets with the possibility of the upgrade.

          As to Linux – I also run Mint 19.1 from an external SSD and like it a lot. So, when Windows gets to me, I can always boot into that, and still have the Win 7 side intact.

          Thanks for the reminder about the upgrade not being free forever, too!

      • #2111495 Reply
        LHiggins
        AskWoody Plus

        In case of need you can open the Windows.old file and copy data from it. I have a copy my Windows 7 Windows.old stored on an external backup drive.

        Thanks! I didn’t know that. So does that mean that I can save that Windows.old and always be able to access the data? Can that Windows.old file be saved off onto a thumb drive? I’m planning on getting one to download the Win 10 ISO, but maybe I should look into a second for storage for that Windows.old file as well. Is there a way to tell before actually doing the upgrade how large that Windows.old file might be?

         

        • This reply was modified 2 months ago by LHiggins.
      • #2141918 Reply
        George S. Augustas
        AskWoody Plus

        I’ll put in my two cents’ worth: First, although you said you did not want to buy a new hard drive, I recommend that you do buy a new hard drive because they are cheap (look on Amazon), and it’s an easy way to get a larger hard drive. Connect the new drive with a USB to SATA adapter (also cheap). Clone the old hard drive onto the new one, then swap the drives and do the upgrade. Some Western Digital drives come with free software to clone the drive (Acronis is good). Using the cloned drive ensures that you have a backup in case anything goes horribly wrong. You would want to have a backup in any case.
        When I did one last week, the upgrade was still free. But you will get whatever “edition” of Windows you currently have. If you have, say, Windows 7 Home, 32-bit, then you get Windows 10 Home, 32-bit. To get any other version, you have to pay up.
        You can do the upgrade with only 4 GB of RAM. Windows 10 will work just about as well as Windows 7 with the same amount of memory. I have seen the CPU usage go a bit higher in Windows 10, but I don’t know why.

        • #2141959 Reply
          JohnW
          AskWoody Plus

          As far as upgrading to the same “edition” is concerned, you are correct as far as paying up to get from Home to Pro.

          You are also correct as having to first take the free upgrade from Win 7 32-bit (if that’s what you are running) to Win 10 32-bit. This is due to the fact that the “free” upgrade requires an “in-place” online upgrade from what you are currently running. This step “claims” your digital entitlement to Win 10.

          But once you have upgraded, you can then do a clean install and still retain your “digital license” for Win 10 on that computer. It will automatically be re-activated after the clean install. I did this to get from 32-bit to 64-bit using the same edition and license. A clean install is the only way to change bit levels, but both bit levels are included with the same license.

          I hope this wasn’t too confusing, but it is possible to change the bit level of the OS with an extra step as just outlined.

          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2142033 Reply
        MrJimPhelps
        AskWoody_MVP

        can the same ISO be used on more than one Win 7 computer?

        Yes. You can use the same ISO on as many computers as you want. Windows 7 can’t read the ISO directly like Windows 10 can, so you’ll first need to create an install DVD from the ISO. Then use that DVD as often as you like.

        (You could also use a program like Rufus to create a Windows 10 install flash drive from the ISO.)

        What you cannot do on more than one computer is use the same activation key. Each activated copy of Windows 7 has its own activation key; that same key will be used to activate the Windows 10 install that you are doing on that same computer. When you run the Windows 10 install, Windows 10 will likely find the activation key automatically; if it doesn’t, then you’ll need to enter it manually.

        The ISO you downloaded is not specific to the machine; it can be used on any machine that is compatible with that version of Windows 10. (For example, if you have a 32-bit machine, you will need to install the 32-bit version of Windows 10.)

        4gb of RAM is sufficient. It’s not a lot, but it is enough. You don’t need to add any RAM. But I suggest adding the additional 4gb of RAM, because your Windows experience will be a lot better. That is, if you have 64-bit Windows and a 64-bit machine. (If you have a 32-bit machine and 32-bit Windows, stay with 4gb.)

        200gb of free space is more than enough. You will be fine if you have at least 100gb of free space.

        One more thing: I assume you want to keep the stuff that is currently installed and on your hard drive. If this is the case, then do the install from within Windows 7. Insert the install disk and run the Setup program that is on the disk. You will be asked if you want to check for updates – tell it no. (You can do that later.) You will also be asked if you want to keep your files and your applications/programs. Tell it yes. (The three choices are: keep your files and apps; keep your files; keep nothing.) You want to keep as much as possible. If you do that, then you may not have to reinstall anything.

        Be sure to do a backup before starting.

        Good luck!

        Group "L" (Linux Mint)
        with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
    Viewing 8 reply threads

    Please follow the -Lounge Rules- no personal attacks, no swearing, and politics/religion are relegated to the Rants forum.

    Reply To: Free Win 10 Upgrade from Win 7 – A Few Questions

    You can use BBCodes to format your content.
    Your account can't use Advanced BBCodes, they will be stripped before saving.

    Cancel