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Free Windows 10 Upgrade - Usually $225 @ Microsoft (Previous Installation/Licence Required)

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Support for Windows 7 is now officially over, which means Microsoft wants holdouts to upgrade to Windows 10 to keep devices running securely and smoothly. If you have an older PC or laptop still running Windows 7, you can purchase the Windows 10 Home operating system on Microsoft's website for $225. But you don't necessarily have to shell out the cash: A free upgrade offer from Microsoft that technically ended in 2016 still works.

Here's how to get Windows 10 for free, if you're currently running a licensed and activated copy of Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 Home or Pro:

  1. Go to the Download Windows 10 website.

  2. Under Create Windows 10 installation media, click Download tool now and Run.

  3. Choose Upgrade this PC now, assuming this is the only PC you're upgrading. (If you're upgrading a different machine, choose Create installation media for another PC, and save the installation files.)

  4. Follow the prompts.

  5. When the upgrade is complete, go to Settings Update & Security > Activation, and you should see a digital license for Windows 10."

Above instructions/details taken from: CNET Article


Mod: As pointed out by bigjezza, a digital licence will not be deemed a legal licence, if using you are using this installer to upgrade without a valid windows 10 licence (from a purchase or previous upgrade). From Microsoft: "If you don't have a license to install Windows 10 and have not yet previously upgraded to it, you can purchase a copy here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/get-windows-10." For those who do not meet those requirements, install at your own risk.

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    • +3

      It does (if you choose upgrade ) and once upgraded and licenced, that machine is valid for a fresh windows 10 install, so you could upgrade, licence it and then later do a fresh install if you wanted to (as long as you don't change any significant hardware on that machine )

      • +1

        how do you migrate the license over again to a fresh install once you upgraded it?

        • +4

          The windows activation servers recognise your machine based on previous licence.

      • Doesn't really matter even if you have made significant hardware changes after a Win10 install. Within the last two weeks I replaced the motherboard, CPU, RAM, system drive, in my Win10Pro machine - basically everything and cloned the SATA SSD to a NVMe SSD.

        Windows came up as unactivated but I just ran the troubleshooter, click the link that asks if you've changed hardware when it can't work out the problem, log into your MS account, and it's activated again.

        All my machines use local accounts but I always switch to MS account login from each one, once, to ensure the system is registered to my account, then just switch it back to local account login.

    • Not if running as an upgrade the same user data and software will be there, some software may not work and may require upgrading or replacing with another that does support Windows 10.

    • I did it a few months ago, it does migrate the whole thing for you seamlessly. However, a few thing needs to done manually e.g sticky note, 32bit vs 64bit software,

    • It asks you during the download if you want to keep personal files and apps, just personal files or delete everything and start again.

    • If you choose to do an upgrade rather than a fresh install, it should keep all your user documents and files… You may need to install your programs again though.

      And that is only if nothing goes wrong - for peace of mind I would probably copy everything onto a non-boot drive or USB drive first.

      • I just installed 10 on two PC's and I didn't have to reinstall any games or programs. Only my gfx driver on one pc and my wireless usb driver on the other.

        All of my Skyrim mods remained as well, though I had to do some minor tweaking to get it to run again. (related to the way Win 10 handles UAC)

    • I backed up everything before I upgraded but didn't lose anything. All Steam and Gog games were still installed and ready to play. (tested most and all working fine).

      I expected absolutely everything to go wrong with this upgrade but nothing did.

    • If you mean user files and apps then no, they all transition, although a very few apps may not be compatible. I had a TV tuner/PVR that didn't make it, however I found a new one that is waaaay better than what I was using. And there is a freeware version .. :-) .. !!

      https://sichbopvr.com/

  • Is it worth upgrading for this type of computer:
    Processor: Intel i5 CPU 2.50GHZ
    RAM: 4GB
    system type: 64 bit

    • +4

      Yes

    • +3

      it's Free why not give it a try ? you can always revert back to Windows 7, just remember backup what ever is important.

      • Is it easy to revert back to Windows 7 once you've upgraded to 10? (Do you know if there Is there a time limit?)

        • +3

          Yes, very easy. You get 10 days from the upgrade date to revert back to Windows 7.

          Just go to "Settings" in Windows 10 then "Update and Security" and then finally "Recovery" tab. In the middle of the page will be an option "Go back to Windows 7". Press the "Get Started" button within 10 days from the upgrade date and that is it if you don't like it.

    • +3

      I run windows 10 on a 12 year old laptop upgraded with an ssd and it runs fine. I feel the ssd is important if you have 4gb ram or less on windows 10.

    • +1

      Yes and it should run really well. Upgrading to 8GB of RAM would improve performance for either Windows 10 or Windows 7.

      • Should upgrade to SSD before the RAM really

        • Well ideally you would do both at the same time.

          • @rogerm22: I agree, but if they have limited funds (or just want to flip it quickly) then the SSD is the priority.

        • Are you talking about the SSD hard drive?

  • Microsoft Piracy Team casually lurking in the comments updating their 'to be contacted' lists..

  • any coomers?

    • only zoomers

      • OK boomers

  • +2

    I've done this on hundreds of computers at work and it still works. (Unfortunately don't have volume licensing which would make things much easier)

      • +5

        why would he be worried? what he's doing is 100% legal. If MS is allowing the upgrade, he didn't steal it or anything.

  • +2

    upgrade to Windows 10 to keep devices running securely and smoothly.

    Who knew Microaoft was so good at telling ironic jokes?
    LMAO

    • +3

      According to this site which publicly announces all the known common vulnerabilities and exploits:
      https://www.cvedetails.com/product/17153/Microsoft-Windows-7...
      https://www.cvedetails.com/vulnerability-list/vendor_id-26/p...

      These are the total vulnerabilities each OS has racked up:
      Windows 7: 1283
      Windows 10: 1111

      The problem is, Windows 7 is just over 10 years old, while Windows 10 is almost 5 years old.

      The average vulnerabilities per year are:
      Windows 7 : 128.3 per year
      Windows 10: 222.2 per year

      Are we really safer on Windows 10?

      • +1

        The difference is that windows 10 will have those vulnerabilities patched, while windows 7 is stuck with them. No conspiracy here :)

        • +2

          You're assuming there are no patching problems. Late last year, we had like 2-3 weekends in a row where Windows servers went offline after applying patches and were stuck in blue screens. These are Windows server 2016 and 2019 deployments.

          And who can forget when a windows 10 upgrade patch deleted user data?
          https://www.reddit.com/r/Windows10/comments/9l2v3z/windows_1...

      • There are different releases of Windows 10, technically a different OS, vulnerabilities found are patched and likely be fixed in the newer releases

      • The problem is, Windows 7 is just over 10 years old, while Windows 10 is almost 5 years old.

        How many more people are searching for these now compared to 10 years ago?

        • There's lots more, but during the last 5 years, they didn't forget to search on Windows 7. It was just over a year that Windows 10 only surpassed Windows 7 deployments. Windows 7 was still very much a target, just a lot harder target.

          Windows 7 also still has a solid search function last time I checked, that can't be said for Windows 10. And no, searching in Windows 10 with cmd doesn't count.

          Feel free to do a vulnerability scan on your Windows 7 and Windows 10 machines and see the results

  • +5

    Taking bets on how long before bigjezza gets a name change to DisabledUser69696969.

    • -5

      Lol
      Just educating people. That technically this activates yeah.

      But activation and a software license are separate things.

      The offer ended in 2016. Simple as that.

      • -1

        And the offer restarted in 2020 as a final grace period for those still on W7 when support is ended.

        • Wtf? I upgraded 2 pcs last year thru this process

          • @nismo33: it was open the whole time, but unofficially.

      • +1

        Dig up…..

        • Ok. If it was resurrected show me the sauce

          • +3

            @2022: The download is from windows, and activates via windows activation servers, to update your existing windows 7/8 windows licence

            Microsoft don't want people running legacy windows…it's 100 percent windows supported and you're 100 percent the most clueless person in this thread…

            • @SBOB: No source. Ok. I’ll try not to read into that

              • @2022: Thank goodness, as clearly reading isn't a strong point….

            • @SBOB: Oh btw. My tech net versions are from Microsoft. Activate via Microsoft. Exactly like this. But if I put them into production at my mums cookie factory?
              Well. They activate. They are official.

              but it’s not licensed correctly

              • @2022: It's only early, but I'm nominating you for Ozbargain Most Incorrect Post Of The Decade…

                • @SBOB: Yeah happy to be proven wrong

          • @2022: Tomato or BBQ?

      • +6

        It only activates because Microsoft specifically lets Windows 7 and 8 product keys be used to activate it. If Microsoft did not want people upgrading for free they would stop this.

        • +4

          correct. They wanted to keep quiet about it because they didn't want the perception to be out there that people on W7 didn't even want to upgrade during the free period. It lets them upgrade quietly.

          They only announced an end date because they wanted to pressure you into doing it sooner. In reality, they still want you to upgrade but didn't want to look desperate. They wanted it to look like a privilege they're giving you, instead of them begging you to upgrade.

  • +7

    Been running Windows 3.1 with no problems since 1992. Can't see the point of upgrading.

    • +3

      DOS 6.22 was the last good windows ;)

    • -2

      3.11 offers networking improvements. I’d say you’re probably ok to jump to that and run setup.exe from that floppy (if it still works)

      • +1

        Mate, you have been a member here since 2013. I fully expected to see 2020, It's always Ok to admit you are plain wrong wrong wrong, which you are.

        • All I ask is an official word from M$. From this decade. Or the last 3 years - anything. But not from when the offer expired in 2016.

      • +1

        Don't forget to install win32s and trumpet winsock

        • yeah
          in autoexec.bat replace
          windows
          with
          windows :

          it will skip the loading screen and shave some time.
          True story

          • +1

            @2022: I didnt know that! Must have wasted me a hell lot of time!

    • I'm pretty sure you're safe from wannacry :)

    • Wow! My family has been using the same abacus since 1156. And is still works fine. .. :-) !!

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