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  • Is 32GB really too small for a Windows upgrade?

    Posted on Tracey Capen Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums AskWoody blog Is 32GB really too small for a Windows upgrade?

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      • #2317701
        Tracey Capen
        AskWoody MVP

        LANGALIST By Fred Langa Last year, Microsoft quietly upped Win10’s minimum disk-size requirement. Now, even a 32GB drive might be insufficient, as an
        [See the full post at: Is 32GB really too small for a Windows upgrade?]

        2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2317721
        lylejk
        AskWoody Plus

        I have a 2001 XP Dell Laptop  (got it in 2002) that I didn’t turn on for 4 years prior to this past April when I had some unfortunate time on my hands.  Still powered up (of course using Wall Wart) and I installed My Pal on since it’s still the only web browser that continues to support XP.   They just don’t make them like this any more.   Next year, the laptop will be 20 years and it still works.   lolololol

         

        🙂

        • #2317943
          anonymous
          Guest

          They just don’t make them like this any more.

          So true. Before, people took pride in building things to last. Now, it is just until it last 1 year and have them buy some new and shining once it breaks. Lots of items have build in defects to make the items break. I have several old tech that still lasts rather than new stuff that breaks.

          32GB is too small for Windows 10. 32GB would be fine for Xp or Windows 98 or 95. This shows how much c*** has been built into Windows 1o system. Other code is telemetry (IE spyware or keylogger) in Windows 10.

      • #2317781
        WSprenticemarie
        AskWoody Plus

        I have a Linx Tablet which has 32GB Memory. The method I use to upgrade versions of Windows 10 is the same as Susan Bradley. Download the ISO from Microsoft Media Creation site and cut a DVD, and run setup from an external USB drive. I normally have about 10GB spare space and I have had no problems loading 18,19 and 20 versions including the latest 20H2.

      • #2317758
        anonymous
        Guest

        Yeah 32Gb Windows PC were addressing the Chromebook craze in education. Cheap cloud devices that ran a minimal OS basically a Chrome browser with a sort of cloud app ecosystem.  That type of system works great with a small storage solution, Windows however does not work well even with 64Gb storage if you store much on it, or install several applications. If all you have is 32Gb to work with, your probably going to be backing up and doing clean installs with a Windows upgrade. You can use certain external drives to help with these upgrades with small internal storage. But it’s definitely not as easy vs having plenty of internal storage to handle it. All my laptops have to have at least 256Gb of storage. Even then many OEM PC’s have some sort of restore partition that eats up space unless you opt to delete it.

      • #2317800
        doriel
        AskWoody Lounger

        Yes it not enough, I am experiencing every year on christmas. Every christmas my little present to my mom is, that I do updates for her so her 32GB chromebook is not bombarding her with error messages. Manually delete SoftwareDistribution and then do everything from the start. Disc cleanup does not remove SoftwareDistribution as a whole. It deleted 2GB of total 7GB folder size. After my intervention, aher chromebook updates with 32GB memory. Last year we purchased 64GB SD to be able to update correctly. Painfull experience.
        All she does is browse email via chrome, see some photos we sent her and sje plays Wattajong (or whatever). Nothing else is needed, but lot of bloaware sneaks its way through unseen bloating Windows into 15-20GB folder.

        Dell Latitude E6530, Intel Core i5 @ 2.6 GHz, 4GB RAM, W10 1809 Enterprise

        HAL3000, AMD Athlon 200GE @ 3,4 GHz, 8GB RAM, Fedora 29

      • #2317810
        geekdom
        AskWoody Plus

        For grins, I installed 20H2 on a very old laptop with 160GB. I wouldn’t want to work with anything less. You need to leave room for other software and data.

        Beta Work {Got backup and coffee}
        offline▸ Win10Pro 2004.19041.572 x64 i3-3220 RAM8GB HDD Firefox83.0b3 WindowsDefender TRV=1909 WuMgr
        offline▸ Win10Pro 20H2.19042.685 x86 Atom N270 RAM2GB HDD WindowsDefender WuMgr GuineaPigVariant
        online▸ Win10Pro 2004.19041.746 x64 i5-9400 RAM16GB HDD Firefox85.0 WindowsDefender TRV=2004 WuMgr
        • #2317815
          doriel
          AskWoody Lounger

          Do you really run 20H2 on

          • Win10Pro 20H2.19042.630 x32 Atom N270 RAM1GB HDD WindowsDefender WuMgr GuineaPigVariant?

          HDD and 1GB? You have my admiration for your courage.

          Dell Latitude E6530, Intel Core i5 @ 2.6 GHz, 4GB RAM, W10 1809 Enterprise

          HAL3000, AMD Athlon 200GE @ 3,4 GHz, 8GB RAM, Fedora 29

          • #2317820
            WSprenticemarie
            AskWoody Plus

            Strangely, the performance for just email and single tab browsing is surprisingly good. The real purpose of the Linx is as a test-bed for new installations prior to install on my primary PC.

            • #2317901
              doriel
              AskWoody Lounger

              Im not saying it does not work, but I dont have that much patience. Those machines are painful to use every day, but for some tasks why not. I have one old NTB from nostalgy, it contains only browser and Heroes of Might and Magic 3 🙂

              Dell Latitude E6530, Intel Core i5 @ 2.6 GHz, 4GB RAM, W10 1809 Enterprise

              HAL3000, AMD Athlon 200GE @ 3,4 GHz, 8GB RAM, Fedora 29

          • #2317889
            geekdom
            AskWoody Plus

            Yes, 20H2 is running on my laptop. I hope the axles don’t break and the tires don’t go flat.

            Beta Work {Got backup and coffee}
            offline▸ Win10Pro 2004.19041.572 x64 i3-3220 RAM8GB HDD Firefox83.0b3 WindowsDefender TRV=1909 WuMgr
            offline▸ Win10Pro 20H2.19042.685 x86 Atom N270 RAM2GB HDD WindowsDefender WuMgr GuineaPigVariant
            online▸ Win10Pro 2004.19041.746 x64 i5-9400 RAM16GB HDD Firefox85.0 WindowsDefender TRV=2004 WuMgr
      • #2317814
        rbailin
        AskWoody Plus

        Another problem you might run into when restarting after a year being turned off is that the Lithium coin battery on the motherboard that keeps the BIOS/UEFI settings active might become discharged. In this case, you’ll get an error message immediately after startup, the internal clock will be set to some date in the past, and you’ll have to re-enter any non-standard settings. The most common problem areas will be setting the disk controller to the correct method (ACPI or RAID), and setting the correct boot method (secure boot UEFI or classic BIOS).

      • #2317868
        Alex5723
        AskWoody Plus

        I normally have about 10GB spare space and I have had no problems loading 18,19 and 20 versions including the latest 20H2.

        How do you manage if the created Windows.old file is ~20GB+ and is something that can’t be avoided ?

        • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by Alex5723.
        • #2318005
          doriel
          AskWoody Lounger

          Use Update assistant and add some storage during update – can be USB stick, external harddrive or even SD card is enough. The asssistant estimates free space needed and lets you choose during the installation where store files, that cant fit to your C: drive.

          Dell Latitude E6530, Intel Core i5 @ 2.6 GHz, 4GB RAM, W10 1809 Enterprise

          HAL3000, AMD Athlon 200GE @ 3,4 GHz, 8GB RAM, Fedora 29

      • #2317880
        computerab
        AskWoody Lounger

        I do hope that no Windows10 laptops are currently being built with 32GB emmc.  It should be a criminal offence.  However, I have enjoyed myself during COVID upgrading various 32GB machines to include M.2 or SATA SSDs.   Not all laptops make this upgrade easy but best candidates are Acer Aspire ES-132 and variations (the ones with a very convenient service hatch on the back) and Lenovo 11IBR.   BUT always check hardware specs first – easy with Lenovo – not so easy with Acer.   The advantage with the Lenovo  models is that, subject to build spec, they take an M.2 card.  The Acers need a HDD cable which can be difficult to source for a reasonable price (PS. I bought up most of the EU supply at cost price 🙂

        A Windows10 boot USB makes reinstalling the OS a doddle, especially now that MS has simplified licensing.

        The other problem is memory.  4GB is fine for these low spec laptops.  But many come with only 2GB.  Is that enough to run an office-lite machine?  Again, Acer make upgrading nice and easy – there’s an empty RAM slot under that service hatch.  Well done Acer! (and I don’t often say that about Acer)

        • #2317920
          Ascaris
          AskWoody_MVP

          The advantage with the Lenovo models is that, subject to build spec, they take an M.2 card. The Acers need a HDD cable which can be difficult to source for a reasonable price

          Again, Acer make upgrading nice and easy – there’s an empty RAM slot under that service hatch.

          It depends on the specific unit. You can’t really look at one Acer and decide that the others are or are not upgradeable based on that. Even different variations of the same model number can have different upgrade options.

          My Acer Swift 1 (113-31-P5CK) has a m.2 slot that came empty when I bought the unit (64 eMMC is part of the motherboard). The slot is populated now with a 1TB Samsung 860 Evo SSD.

          The memory, on the other hand, is not upgradeable.

           

          Group "L" (KDE Neon Linux 5.20.5 User Edition)

      • #2317882
        Susan Bradley
        Manager

        As a person with an Acer Spin, yes 32 gigs is too small for Windows 10.

        Susan Bradley Patch Lady

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2317909
        anonymous
        Guest

        One additional thing about the laptop: if it doesn’t power up after it’s been charging a while, go ahead and try removing the battery entirely. For safety, unplug the laptop before you take it out, then plug it back in. If it starts, then you know it’s the battery, which you can replace, or just use the laptop as a desktop. If it doesn’t start, then it’s probably something else.

      • #2318015
        anonymous
        Guest

        I have a cheap brandless external USB drive which works for my 32G Dell machines. It is a hassle though to reload Office Home and Dropbox.

        MS instructions for mounting ISO for upgrade.
        https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10
        (Expand the “+” sections to see…)
        “…If you want to install Windows 10 directly from the ISO file without using a DVD or flash drive, you can do so by mounting the ISO file. This will perform an upgrade of your current operating system to Windows 10.
        To mount the ISO file:
        Go to the location where the ISO file is saved, right-click the ISO file and select Properties.
        On the General tab, click Change… and select Windows Explorer for the program you would like to use to open ISO files and select Apply.
        Right-click the ISO file and select Mount.
        Double-click the ISO file to view the files within. Double-click setup.exe to start Windows 10 setup.”
        Unmount when done

        • #2318025
          doriel
          AskWoody Lounger

          You should be able to run setup.exe, if you copy extracted files from ISO file. Just double click the ISO file and copy all files it contains directly to USB. There should be folders

          • boot
          • efi
          • sources
          • support

          and files

          • autorun.inf
          • bootmgr
          • bootmgr.efi
          • setup.exe

           

          I would post screenshot, but you are not signed in, so you wont see that maybe.

           

          boot

           

          Edit: sorry for folder Nová složka, that is not there by default, but it works anyway 🙂 hope this is usefull 2U.

          Dell Latitude E6530, Intel Core i5 @ 2.6 GHz, 4GB RAM, W10 1809 Enterprise

          HAL3000, AMD Athlon 200GE @ 3,4 GHz, 8GB RAM, Fedora 29

          • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by doriel.
          • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by doriel.
          Attachments:
          • #2318064
            anonymous
            Guest

            1)  Is there an advantage to move the files to a USB stick rather than mounting the USB hard drive?

            2) My 4 computers data files all have copies of the same Dropbox. The free limit on Dropbox now is just 3, so if I remove Dropbox to ease W10 normal upgrades I won’t be able to put it back. Thus, today for the first time created a symbolic link from Dropbox to OneDrive. OneDrive now reads and writes to the Dropbox files.

            CMD

            At c:\windows\system32> enter…

            c:\windows\system32>mklink /J “C:\users\Me\OneDrive\Dropsync\” “C:\users\Me\Dropbox\”

            CMD response…

            Junction created for C:\Users\Me\OneDrive\Dropbox <<===>> C:\Users\Me\Dropbox\2\

            “Dropsync” is a folder which didn’t exist and is created by the CMD prompt. Immediately OneDrive starts syncing Dropbox to the new OneDrive folder. Works great.

             

            1 user thanked author for this post.
            • #2318222
              doriel
              AskWoody Lounger

              Cant see how you can realistically mount ISO and upgrade, because there are several restarts during installation. I am convinced, that after restart ISO is unmounted.. Its a shame that Windows is so vague with informing users how to technically do things and I never saw somebody mounting iso and upgrading.

              Maybe it works, im just telling you my experience, as I created such USB stick and upgraded more than 40 PCs in our company manually.

              Dell Latitude E6530, Intel Core i5 @ 2.6 GHz, 4GB RAM, W10 1809 Enterprise

              HAL3000, AMD Athlon 200GE @ 3,4 GHz, 8GB RAM, Fedora 29

              • #2318408
                Paul T
                AskWoody MVP

                All the files required for the upgrade are copied to the hard disk / locally, then there is no issue if the USB is not mounted.

                cheers, Paul

      • #2318145
        Microfix
        AskWoody MVP

        W10 x86 can be installed/ feature upgraded on 32Gb storage if managed ruthlessly with some essential installed programs, portable apps/ 3rd party system utilities.

        Portable apps run from a USB flashdrive definitely help with this. Cleaning out the winsxs folder of superseded patches, remove uneeded features, hibernation removal, system disk clean etc prior to the upgrade can bring the footprint of a 32bit OS down to 8 to 9Gb so, the win.old folder size is dramatically reduced during the upgrade. Portable apps on W10 is the way forward on smaller storage devices (SSD being the optimal choice)


        No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created IT- AE
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