Follow our guide below to get your computer or tablet ready for Windows 10.
Windows 10 is set to be released to the masses as a free upgrade on 29th July 2015. The update goes out to 190 countries and covers 111 languages.
Does your computer qualify for the free upgrade?
Your computer will qualify for a free upgrade if it currently runs a genuine install of Windows 7 or a Windows 8 operating system. The upgrade to Windows 10 is free if you upgrade or reserve your copy within the 1st year after the 29th July. If you are using XP or Windows Vista the cost to upgrade to Windows is believed to be around the £99.99 mark for pro and £72 for Home.
If your computer is running Windows 7 you will need to make sure that the windows updates are up to date. For the upgrade to work your Windows 7 installation needs to be at least running Service pack 1 (SP1). If you are running windows 8 you will need to update to 8.1 before you can download and install the upgrade. The Service Pack 1 and 8.1 upgrade is also free so please get yourself updated before you attempt to reserve or upgrade to Windows 10.
Unfortunately If you are running Windows 7 or 8 Enterprise edition or an RT version then you will not be eligible for the free upgrade.
Will your computer or tablet be able to run Windows 10?
If you qualify for the free upgrade than your system is most likely ready and compatible for Windows 10. Windows 10 requires a minimal hardware specification of:
- 1GHz (or faster) processor,
- 1GB of RAM for the 32bit version (2GB for the 64bit version)
- 16GB free hard-drive space
- DirectX 9-capable graphics card that supports display resolutions of at least 800×600 pixels.
If you are using an older machine than your minimal specification should at least match or be greater than the above mentioned requirements.
If your computer or tablet does not meet the required minimal specs you may still be able to upgrade to Windows 10. You may be able to add additional hardware to your system. If you would like to upgrade your hardware please contact us as we can check to see if this is a possible option for you. We can also supply the correct parts and install them for you.
How to reserve your free Windows 10 Upgrade
You can reserve your copy of Windows 10 today by download all the latest Windows updates for Windows 7 SP1 and Windows 8.1. If you are using an older version of Windows 8 or non Service pack Windows 7 you will need to ensure you update these first.
Once you are fully updated a white Windows Icon will appear automatically in your task bar please see image below. if you click on that icon a program will launch with all the details on how to reserve your copy.
Back Up your Data
Probably the most import step is to back up any important data you may have. You can transfer photos, music and documents to an external drive or you can take a complete image (snapshot) of your existing operating system state. The glory of taking a snapshot is if you do not like Windows 10 you can go back to your last snapshot and restore you computer to the day it was taken. This includes your old operating system be it 8.1 or 7 and all your programs and files.
Anything can go wrong with Windows operating system upgrades and data can be lost. If you require help backing up your system please contact us as we can secure all your data and even help you implement a permanent backup solution for all your data needs. Backups are important and we find most people only realize this when they have lost their data and it needs to be recovered.
Will your programs and drivers work with Windows 10?
There is no guarantee that your current programs or drivers will work on Windows 10. However if they work well in Windows 8.1 than there is a good chance they will be fine in Windows 10. For Windows 7 users we would recommend running the Windows 8.1 upgrade assistant Upgrade Assistant. You can also check by using the Compatibility Center .
A similar tool exists for Windows XP and Vista users Windows XP & Vista Upgrade Assistant.
It is always best to try when possible to upgrade your drivers and programs prior to attempting an upgrade. This will ensure that the upgrade will run as smooth as possible. You could use IOBIT driver booster free edition which will check for any driver or program updates automatically for you. There is also SlimDrivers Free.
Run the compatibility troubleshooter
The compatibility troubleshooter comes installed on most recent versions of Windows. Windows 10 is no exception to this and has a very useful tool that can simulate a running program from an older operating system. If after you have completed your upgrade to Windows 10 you find that some programs do not work correctly. Try locating the programs main executable .exe file (commonly found in the C:\Program Files) and right-click it and select Properties. Click the compatibility tab and click Run compatibility troubleshooter. Follow the on – screen instructions.
Will you need anything else to get the most out of Windows 10?
Windows 10 brings new features. You may require additional hardware to use the new Cortana voice service. You will need a microphone and speakers. Windows 10 also brings with it a brand new browser that replaces Internet Explorer called Edge browser. It also has a feature called Web Note which allows users to add notes or make highlights on any website pages. This feature is great on touch screen devices but if your current monitor does not support touch you may need additional hardware. If you plan to use this feature regularly you may benefit from a pen and tablet input device. There are many to choose from online.
Are there any risks to upgrading early?
Some operating systems can take may patches (Windows updates) to get the operating system working correctly. In previous versions upgrading early has brought with it problems. When Windows Vista was released it was a major headache for early upgraders and IT technicians. There was constant problems with hardware incompatibility and system freezing and the dreaded blue screen of death. Microsoft has improved dramatically since them days with its Windows Insider Program that allows developers and members of the public to try out and test technical previews prior to the official release. This has helped Microsoft iron out issues that may occur. However such a program is limited to subscribers and the full broad range of devices remain untested. This can and does leave a window for error.
With Windows 8 there was also issues and most of these were to do with the graphic user interface being more geared towards touch screens and mobile devices. This was a big issue for desktop and laptop users. They then released 8.1 and 8.1.1 to try to rectify the complaints from its customers however the damage had been done and Microsoft suffered in sales revenue. Microsoft have announced that Windows 10 will be better than ever and the “free” upgrade is a way of apologizing for prior operating system mistakes.
There is always risks with upgrading early and for business we would recommend waiting at least 6 months before committing to a mass update of your business infrastructure. Home users, why not go for it as long as you have taken steps to back your data up than you should be fine. There is also a nice feature in Windows 10 to go back to your old operating system within the 1st 3 months of upgrading. The decision lies with you the consumer.
Do you need a hardware upgrade to run Windows 10 or advice on how to back up your device!
If you are thinking of upgrading to Windows 10 and you feel you could benefit from one of our services please get in contact with us today. We are here for you. IT Support Chichester looking after you technical needs.
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If you have any questions please comment below or get in contact with one of our technicians. We are always on hand to help you. Enjoy Windows 10 and if you need any IT Support in the future please remember our name.