• Upgrading from Windows 10 Home to Pro

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    #2483697

    Thanks to the Ask Woody Forum, especially Susan Bradley, for enabling me to be more proactive about keeping my PC’s in service.

    I wasn’t able to get patch tools to work (WUMT, WuMgr) but eventually in Susan’s September patch spreadsheet, I came across the following in the tab: Rules for safe patching; Updates can be deferred on Window 10 Pro and above. If you’re running Win10 Home, we recommend upgrading to Pro.

    So that’s want I want to do for my PC currently running

    Edition Windows 10 Home

    Version 21H2

    OS build 19044.1889

    and I have a paid subscription for Bitdefender Antivirus Plus that recently renewed for $63.74

    Here’s what I’m planning to do:

    1. Cancel paid subscription for Bitdefender Antivirus Plus (today is day 29, they gave me 30 days to get a refund)
    2. Purchase Windows 10 Pro from the Microsoft store for $99 and use Microsoft Defender Antivirus.

    In preparation for the upgrade:

    • I ran disk clean up.
    • Although you recommend making an image backup, I have never used that kind of software. I’ve brought computer back into service from fresh installs of Window 10 by reinstalling application as I need them. I’m comfortable with doing that again, if it become necessary.
    • I have my data backed up
    • I’ve not made a bootable recovery disk; it seems overkill for my situation where I don’t customize things, don’t really have any noticeable issue with my current OS.

    Please review this plan, and let me know you thoughts.

    If I cancel the Bitdefender subscription will it go away immediately or should I disable it or perhaps uninstall it before upgrading to Window 10 Pro?

    Thank you for your consideration of my situation.

    Best, Beth

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    • #2483708

      To remove BitDefender completely, you should download the removal tool from the BitDefender website and run it. Otherwise, you may be left with fragments of the AV.

      Upgrading to Pro is easy. You just need to change the Product Key then follow the instructions under Settings\Update & Security\Activation

      However, should things go wrong and the computer no longer boots from the internal disk, you have no way to recover without a bootable Windows Recovery Disk/USB, so you should create one. You should also make a bootable Install Disk/USB with Win10 so you can reinstall the OS.

       

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      • #2484172

        It was helpful that you had mentioned Settings\Update & Security\Activation. It gave something to go on when the product key didn’t arrive. The Microsoft App store sold me a digital license that I eventually activated through settings on my computer.

    • #2483723

      uninstall old program, reboot, run its removal tool, reboot probably a good things for any AV program (so you need to get the removal tool before hand).

      Defender definitions (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/wdsi/defenderupdates) depend on having the ability to cope with updates with a 64 bit update so you may need to install some KBs first so you can use update the product to attend to the licensing.. https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/topic/2019-sha-2-code-signing-support-requirement-for-windows-and-wsus-64d1c82d-31ee-c273-3930-69a4cde8e64f

      If you just purchase a key (legitimately from Microsoft of course) it should be a case of adding it to your install with slmgr /ipk:{your product key}, activating it with slmgr /ato, and letting it fetch a few files from Windows update (so small you might not even see it happen) and it should reboot and spend a couple minutes applying the changes (mainly getting the “pro only” updates sorted and in place from the component store, but with a recent build again that could even be past by now (I last used that process about three years ago.. also should mention there are some special “oem” and “educational” keys where the process won’t work but you wouldn’t normally be buying that sort of key anyway..)

      That does seem like a lot to expend to stop updates – perhaps attend to Bitdefender at the end of its run and get Windows defender up and running and then see what other forum posts can offer by way of help and work arounds rather than diving in right now when half the globe seems to be descending into chaos.

      Also consider your new pro license will still have the same “end of support” date (https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/lifecycle/products/windows-10-home-and-pro) and that isn’t really that far away so its’ really down to your take on the likelihood of your system hardware reaching that date before something in the hardware fails (possibly irretrievably)- might be time to see who’s fixing what faults with your model. I used to maintain Mini ITX machines and we had to price in a new PSU into the maintenance fee over every three years (as many failed short of as beyond that age, and the first year covered by manufacturer warranty so wasn’t our problem..). Even the cheaper brand full ATX units generally ran to five which was about the age you start figuring in hard disk and optical drive failures. Other faults tended to be more random.. which is why we used to keep history on the machines until they expired as otherwise customers skipped maintenance until the machines were worn out.. though it was a good seller for extending the newer three year warranty pattern..

      And please read the forums about backup solutions.

      If you have anything you really must keep on the machine, you need to be thinking about that before you undertake anything else – specifically you need to get it backed up before you do anything, let alone before something unexpected happens and you’re left having to deal with it.

      A lot of computing engineer time is spent extracting the data from failed software installs and rebuilding a new one as sometimes the update state can get so confused the tools can’t resolve a solution for themselves (given your success with those tools, I’d wonder if your software is uncomfortably close to the edge of that cliff..) so a backup now could be more worthwhile than any software package you could and should be able to reinstall from its media, ready to take control of its build from the outset… so really back up your files and your software installation separately and get your recovery media organised before starting, so you have two routes back if it all goes horribly wrong. Getting data out of a failed installation is never as easy as backing it up while the software is at least operating.

       

       

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      • #2483847

        If you just purchase a key (legitimately from Microsoft of course) it should be a case of adding it to your install with slmgr /ipk:{your product key}, activating it with slmgr /ato, and letting it fetch a few files from Windows update (so small you might not even see it happen) and it should reboot and spend a couple minutes applying the changes (mainly getting the “pro only” updates sorted and in place from the component store, but with a recent build again that could even be past by now (I last used that process about three years ago.. also should mention there are some special “oem” and “educational” keys where the process won’t work but you wouldn’t normally be buying that sort of key anyway..)

        Why several commands when a single setting was recommended in the previous post?

        If you have a Windows 10 Pro product key

        1. Select Start > Settings > Update & Security > Activation.
        2. Under Upgrade your edition of Windows, select Change product key.
        3. Enter the 25-character Windows 10 Pro product key.
        4. Select Next to start the upgrade to Windows 10 Pro.

        Upgrade Windows Home to Windows Pro

        Windows 11 Pro version 22H2 build 22621.900 + Microsoft 365/Edge

        • #2484094

          I was probably typing at the same time as you and I ramble on a bit.

          It’s just the other way to do it in case something breaks, and for a end user purchased key it makes no difference how you do it.

          Well, actually it can if you have a Xeon machine with it’s eclectic Windows 10 workstation as that includes a CPU license and the GUI wont apply both licenses to the system as it sees the “wrong Windows edition”. (last minute sales “the customer needs a larger OS drive on this machine due out tomorrow and their old data drives added..” situation.) but that’s not an issue here..

          Still – all’s good, Beth40 now has all the info in one place.

          2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2483729

      Although you recommend making an image backup, I have never used that kind of software.

      Me neither until very recently. I highly recommend Macrium Reflect Free as it will do everything you need to easily make a full disc image of your hard drive/SSD making restoring Windows easy.

      They have an entire Knowledge Base full of information, including a Quick Start guide which I found useful. Besides that, there are plenty users on the AskWoody forums who are experienced and knowledgable with Macrium Reflect.

      If you do decide to try Macrium Reflect, as PKCano has said it’s advisable to make a rescue media – which is a bootable version of Reflect with a stripped-down version of Windows called the RE (Recovery Environment). You can actually have this bootable media on an external flash/hard drive containing other data, without needing to format it (unless it explicitly states otherwise). However, it is a good idea to have a dedicated flash drive for this since the files are less than 1GB (750MB in my own case).

      That way, if you lose access to Windows you can boot from that to restore your disc image.

      As for upgrading to the Pro edition of Windows 10: great idea, but $99? There must be cheaper options for a genuine key – at least I would think so.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2483758

      I appreciate your resonses

      PKCano writes: bootable Windows Recovery Disk/USB, so you should create one.

      I’m working on that. Macrium Reflect is $75. In the AskWoody Forums, I also heard about EaseUS To Do Back UP, I can get that for free based on the oldergeeks.com, I’m going that route.

      PKCanon writes: You should also make a bootable Install Disk/USB with Win10 so you can reinstall the OS.

      Is this some that I do when I have the Window 10 Pro installed?

      oldguy: Thank you for letting me know that there is an end of support for Windows 10; it is Oct 14, 2025, a little over three years away. The upgrade from Home to Pro keeps me from just blindly continuing with an annual Bitdefender subscription for my AV, so I’m saving money there.

      • #2483770

        Macrium Reflect has a FREE version (paid version is $75) which is fully capable of creating a full disk image and restoring it if need be. That’s all I use to backup and restore my computers.
        EaseUs ToDo also has free and paid versions.

        You should make a Windows Recovery Disk now for the Home version, before you start upgrading, so you can access the PC if something goes wrong.
        Then, once you have Pro up and running, make one for Pro for any problems that occur in the future.

    • #2483799

      With EaseUS To Do Back UP (after purchasing a ~$32 upgrade), I was able to make disk image file (iso) called EmergencyDisk on a USB. It’s is 0.6GB. Is this a bootable Windows Recovery Disk?

      • #2483896

        I was able to make disk image file (iso) called EmergencyDisk on a USB. It’s is 0.6GB. Is this a bootable Windows Recovery Disk?

        Have you tried booting the USB drive? I imagine it has a bootable version of the EaseUS program with some variant of the Windows RE and/or PE (Recovery & Pre-install Environments, respectively) which are stripped-down versions of Windows used for troubleshooting, disk management operations etc.

        These bootable recovery media are very useful in case your Windows installation is corrupted and cannot be accessed – in which case you can simply boot from USB and then restore the image from the drive it’s stored on.

    • #2483814

      Oh, I’m realizing from Coldheart I also need I disk image. I’ve used the EaseUS to back up my C: drive (where Win 10 is) to my D drive. It’s 88GB, but the used space on my C; drive is 124GB. Do I have a disk image of an appropriate size?

      • #2483895

        Do I have a disk image of an appropriate size?

        I can’t speak for EaseUS as I’ve only ever used Macrium Reflect, which as mentioned does have a totally free version which is absolutely more than adequate. With MR I recently made an image of my C: drive with ~400GB used; the resulting image was a shade under 300GB due to compression – so I would imagine EaseUS is similar though I cannot say for definite.

        Restoring the image however, you would need the actual uncompressed capacity on the target drive. The compression is simply to save on storage space, I would imagine.

         

    • #2483836

      Do I have a disk image of an appropriate size?

      I use Paragon Backup & Recovery for mine with “normal” compression and the backup image I made last Sunday for Drive C (62.5GB in use) was only 33.2GB so it was compressed slightly more than 53%.

      Of course, YMWV depending on how much the backup S/W you use compresses things.

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    • #2483897

      I’ve succeeded in upgrading to Window 10 Pro. It was a mess dealing with Microsoft. I got lost in their App Store. The upgrade wasn’t there after I purchased it for ~$105 with tax. I was expecting perhaps an email with product key, that never arrived. It took me a while, but I pressed on and found some link that got the upgrade to happen.

      The install went smoothly: I have all my data, didn’t need to use of the emergency and recovery files I made today. Better safe than sorry.

      Pleased to have made progress today in proactively maintaining my computers. Spending $137 for software today is small price for that.

      Many thanks to PKCano, OldGuy, Coldheart and the AskWoody organization

      2 users thanked author for this post.
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