The publicity would have you think that now that Microsoft is ending support for Win7, you must buy a new computer. Nothing could be further from the truth. Almost all laptops and desktops that have legal copies of Win7 can be upgraded to Win10 for a fraction of the cost of a new computer and still run almost all of your old software.
So if you are not the type that wants a new computer every year for the latest little improvements, I asked my good friend and laptop genius Richard Eckerlin to walk us through this. Whether you hire Richard to make the upgrade for you (very competent and inexpensive) or you do it yourself or even you hire someone else to do it, as a consumer, the following will help to keep you out of trouble and prevent you getting ripped off.
It is true that not all software running under Win7 will necessarily run under Win10, especially software that is no longer even supported by its authors. The only way to run this software next year would be to keep your existing Win7 machine on the shelf and far from internet and virus connections.
I have one old XP machine that I keep running just for one very old graphics presentation program that has never been re-created beyond XP – the same I used on 8 years of HGTV television live broadcasts and still use in teaching venues – just to point out that machine progress is not necessarily performance progress.
To upgrade a computer to Win10 from Win7 you have two choices after backing up all your data:
A - Leave all the old software and apps on the old computer with an upgraded operating system – the quickest way to go but you may be bringing some sluggishness and some viruses of the old machine over to its upgraded version;
B – Keep all the data but erase all the programs and then do a clean install on the upgraded machine – more time consuming but better final performance. By the way, with a brand new Win10 computer you will have to reinstall programs anyway.
So here are Richard’s Top 10 Tips to upgrade a machine to Win10:
1) Backup your files on an external USB stick or Hard Drive before you start.
2) Remove any Wireless Mouse USB transceiver before you start.
3) Perform any Windows 7 or 8.1 Updates before you start.
4) Remove all Viruses from Windows 7 or 8.1 before you start.
5) Certain HP Laptops require a BIOS Upgrade before you start.
6) If you plan to upgrade to 32-bit Windows 10, use Windows 10 version 1803, not higher. (Most new machines and many old machines are runing on 64-bits and the version of Win10 must match the machine.)
7) Once you upgrade to Windows 10, spend the next several hours performing all Windows 10 "Updates". Do not get lazy as some technicians do and skip these updates. They are VERY important.
8) Some Anti-Virus programs like Norton may "block" Windows 10 Updates. You may be required to totally remove the Anti-Virus program and re-install later.
9) If you do a "Clean" install of Windows 10, please have your original install keys or certificates of authenticity handy in order to re-install software like Microsoft Office 2013, 2016 or 2019. These versions "encrypt" their licenses, so you require the original 25-digit codes in order to re-install.
10) Do NOT purchase a Windows 10 software package thru the Big-Box Stores. Not only is this the most expensive $$$ way to go ($200+ taxes without installation) but this software even if never opened is NOT returnable and they will NOT give you your money back. Instead find an honest computer technician that can "LEGALLY" upgrade you to Windows 10 and can also perform the work for under $100 dollars.
(C) Copyright 2019 by Richard Eckerlin (16 Westminster Ave. N., Montreal West 438-938-6240)
Honest Computer Technician in business since 1986 (33+ Years Experience).
Hours 12PM (Noon) to 6PM Monday thru Saturday.
Open during the holidays except for Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day.
Tell him Hi from Jon Eakes.