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Author Topic: The Ultimate Windows 10 Upgrade FAQ Page 1 of 2  (Read 123 times)
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« on: November 12, 2017, 05:43:02 AM »

OK you guys, so I decided to try and clear this up once and for all and put together the ultimate Windows 10 Upgrade FAQ on the web.

This page should answer EVERY question you could possibly have the Windows 10 upgrade process. A lot of you have written into us to ask about the process and hopefully, this page will help to answer those questions once and for all.

Oh, and by the way, since this is a pretty long list of questions, we have an option for you.

If you would like to get this FAQ in a nice formatted Adobe PDF document you can read later, you can download the PDF below.

Let’s get started.

Windows 10 Upgrade Frequently Asked Questions

QUESTION: What is Windows 10?

Windows 10 is the successor to Windows 7 and Windows 8.1.

QUESTION: What are the hardware requirements for the Windows 10 Operating System?

» Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster

» RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit)

» Free hard disk space: 16 GB (32-bit) or 20GB (64-bit)

Graphics card: Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver A Microsoft account and Internet access

QUESTION: Can I transfer my Windows 10 installation to another computer after getting the free upgrade?


QUESTION: How many Windows 10 editions are there?

Microsoft announced its lineup of Windows 10 editions in May. All of the editions share common features but are sold and distributed differently depending on the type of device for which they’re intended.

There are two and only two editions of Windows 10 for installation on new PCs.

» Windows 10 Home is the cheaper option. It includes the entire Windows 10 feature set, minus a handful of features reserved for the Pro edition. OEMs commonly install this edition on devices aimed at the price-conscious consumer and small business markets.

» Windows 10 Pro is typically found on higher-quality, higher-spec business-class devices. It costs more and includes a group of features that enthusiasts, professionals, and anyone on a Windows business network will appreciate: Hyper-V virtualization, BitLocker encryption, the ability to set up a PC as a Remote Desktop server, and the ability to join a Windows domain or enroll with Azure Active Directory are the key ones.

QUESTION: How do I get my copy of Windows 10 activated?

When you upgrade an existing, activated copy of Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, the Setup program checks the current activation status.

If it determines the installation is properly activated, it contacts the Microsoft Store and generates a license certificate that is linked to that hardware. (A Microsoft Account is not required for this step.)

This automatic activation process is identical whether you use an ISO file to start the upgrade or do so from the downloaded upgrade files. After that first activation is complete, you can perform a clean install on that same hardware using an ISO file, which has a product key embedded in it.

As long as the hardware matches the previous installation ID, the installation is activated automatically. (Microsoft does not provide details of what goes into the hardware ID, except to confirm that it does not contain any personally identifiable information and is not used for tracking purposes.)

A watermark on the desktop reflects the build number of preview releases. Fully activated, non-Insider installations have no watermark. If you perform a clean install using the same Windows 10 edition that was previously activated on a PC or device, you can skip entering the product key and you will be automatically activated after setup is complete.

For all other scenarios, you can enter a product key for the corresponding edition of Windows 7, Windows 8 or 8.1, or Windows 10, and activate automatically after setup is complete.

QUESTION: I heard that after a year Microsoft is going to start charging for subscriptions. True?

Not true. The Windows 10 upgrade was free for a year – going forward there will be no subscriptions or surprise charges. It will remain free for the LIFETIME of your hardware.

QUESTION: Is Windows 10 free for my lifetime?

No, once acquired, Windows 10 will remain free for the LIFETIME of your hardware. Once your PC dies you will have to purchase Windows 10 or get it on a new PC.

All Windows 10 devices will continue to receive updates “for the supported lifetime of the device.” What does that mean? At some point in the future, your hardware will no longer meet the specifications for a new release, and that will be the end of the line.

But as long as your device can accept updates, it will get them.

QUESTION: What if I run Windows 10 Enterprise?

All that is handled differently under the separate volume licensing agreement your company has with Microsoft. These instructions to do not apply to you.

QUESTION: Where is the Windows 10 Enterprise edition located?

Windows Enterprise edition upgrades are available through the Volume Licensing Service Center. The Enterprise edition is also available in a time-limited evaluation edition and to anyone with a current MSDN subscription. The MSDN Subscriptions download page is also where you’ll find checked and debug versions for use by developers.

QUESTION: How many devices have made the move to Windows 10?

As of this writing (August of 2016), approximately 350 million.

QUESTION: Has Windows 10 been tested extensively?

Over 100 million users have tested this OS and given Microsoft feedback. This is the most tested Operating System in the world. In addition, Windows 10 is continuously upgraded and fixed going forward.

QUESTION: How do I get Windows 10?

Windows 10 will continue to be available for purchase, either on a device or as a full version of the software. You can buy Windows 10 on Amazon here.

QUESTION: Do I still qualify for the free upgrade offer if I’ve already downloaded
Windows 10 to a USB drive, but haven’t yet upgraded my device?

All upgrades must have completed and reached the “Welcome” screen by 11:59 PM UTC-10 (Hawaii) on July 29.

QUESTION: I’ve been told that Windows 10 spies on me. Is that true?

Like all modern operating systems, Windows 10 uses the internet to provide services, and it collects reports of crashes and installation failures to diagnose problems.

It also uses an anonymized ID to track which applications you install and how often you use them. Collectively, this information is called telemetry.

The company doesn’t collect your personal information except for the purposes disclosed in its privacy statement, it doesn’t scan the files on your hard disk except to index them so you can search locally, and it doesn’t have a keylogger.

As part of the “Windows as a Service” model, Microsoft has designed Windows 10 to share information for product improvement.

In addition, Windows 10 integrates online services, such as Cortana and OneDrive, to store and sync personal settings and to build personalized dictionaries using speech and keyboard input.

All of these options can be adjusted using privacy settings in Windows 10.

QUESTION: Is Windows 10 telemetry a threat to your personal privacy?

No, Microsoft is not spying on you with Windows 10. If you’re worried about Windows 10 telemetry, you can open the Privacy tab in Windows 10 Settings, choose Feedback & Diagnostics, and adjust the Diagnostic & Usage Data setting to Basic.

QUESTION: Is it true that updates are automatically installed?

Yes, with Windows 10 Home there is no way to selectively block updates, although you can schedule when the installation and any accompanying restarts take place, up to six days in the future.

Note that security updates and new features are included in cumulative updates.

If you restore Windows 10 from media, even using an older ISO file, you will only need to install the most recent cumulative update to get fully up to date.

Using Windows Update for Business, administrators of systems running Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise, and Education can defer upgrades for up to eight months.

Enterprise edition customers with Volume License contracts that include Software Assurance can deploy machines using the Long Term Servicing Branch, which accepts only security updates and no new features.

QUESTION: Are ISO files available for the most recent version of Windows 10?

Yes. Use the free media creation tool to download installation files as a single file, in ISO format. You can also specify that you want the installer files copied directly to a bootable USB flash drive.

The resulting file can be mounted directly by double-clicking it File Explorer in Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 (Windows 7 requires third-party software to mount ISO files) and contains files for both Home and Pro editions.

You can choose 32-bit or 64-bit installers or download a larger file that contains both.

QUESTION: Will the media creation tool still be available for customers to download Windows 10 installation media?

Yes, the media creation tool and Windows 10 installation media (ISO files) are available for customers to install Windows 10. You can get that here.

If you’re installing Windows 10 for the first time, you’ll need to enter a valid Windows 10 product key or buy a full version of Windows 10 during setup, for this tool to work.

QUESTION: What if I previously installed Windows 10 on my PC?

If you’ve previously installed Windows 10 on your device, you should have a digital license and Windows 10 will automatically activate without entering a product key.

QUESTION: My upgrade is complete. Can I delete the setup files?

I recommend that you leave them alone for now unless disk space is so tight that you absolutely must remove them.

The Windows.old folder contains files needed to roll back to your previous version if necessary. It will delete itself automatically in 30 days. You can do it manually by running Disk Cleanup Manager in administrator mode and choosing the option to remove your old Windows version.

But don’t do this just because you like a tidy system. To open Disk Cleanup Manager, click in the search box (next to the Start button) and type cleanmgr. Right-click the Disk Cleanup entry at the top of the list and choose Run As Administrator.

The setup files themselves are in a hidden folder called C:\$Windows.~BT. These will be very handy if you need to do a Reset or if you continue in the Insider program and need to roll back a build.

These too can be deleted from Disk Cleanup Manager, but I recommend that you leave these files alone. They can be very useful.

QUESTION: How do I reinstall Windows 10 on my PC?

After you upgrade to Windows 10, you can reinstall or do a clean installation on the same device. You won’t need a product key to reactivate Windows 10 on the same hardware.

QUESTION: How long will it take to upgrade my device?

That depends on the age and quality of the device hardware you are installing Windows 10 on. Most devices will take about an hour to upgrade as soon as the download is completed.

QUESTION: How do I free up space for the upgrade?

If you don’t have sufficient space, try removing files or apps you no longer need or use Disk Cleanup to free up space.

Devices with a 32 GB hard drive or older devices with full hard drives, might need additional storage space to complete the upgrade.

QUESTION: What if I have an external drive?

During the upgrade, you might be asked to free up space on your device or attach an external drive with sufficient space to continue with the upgrade.

If you attach an external drive, make sure to keep it in a safe place after the upgrade in case you need recovery options.

QUESTION: Do I need to uninstall some of my apps during the upgrade?

Some apps have to be uninstalled because they could cause problems with the upgrade process. You’ll be able to reinstall these apps after the upgrade to Windows 10 is done.

Other applications may have to be uninstalled because they won’t work correctly or might not work at all with Windows 10.

« Last Edit: November 12, 2017, 05:57:58 AM by javajolt » Logged

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