Question Need advice on trying to upgrade OS vs new computer

May 22, 2020
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Hi all,

I'm not sure what to do and could use some advice.

I have an old computer (9yrs?) that runs fairly well, but it's Win 7 and a few apps I'd like to use now don't support that OS. Here's the specs of my computer:

Model: h8-1124
Intel Core i7-2600 CPU @ 3.40ghz
8gm memory
64 bit - Win 7 home premium
https://support.hp.com/us-en/product/HP-Pavilion-HPE-h8-Desktop-PC-series/5146418/model/5156856/document/c03028644/

I was shocked at the price that this processor still seems to sell for.

I'm tempted to try and upgrade to Win 10 for free, but fear I'll get an error a long the way that renders my computer dead. However the specs of the $500-800 computers don't blow me away.

  1. Thoughts on the chances of a successful upgrade from 7 to 10?
  2. What do you think about the specs on my computer vs those available now?
  3. General advice appreciated
Thanks much for your time.

LB
 

Math Geek

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50/50 shot of it working. i still do it for free, however it does not always work.

the system will run win 10, that's not an issue. what i would do is install win 10 to a different partition or drive and run it as dual boot to see if it activates for you from your win 7 key. if it works, great you got win 10 now. if it does not, you can still run it unactivated until you decide to buy a win 10 key.

basically you can't lose this way and you don't have to blow away your win 7 install to test if it will work or not.
 
May 22, 2020
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These are both great ideas.

50/50 shot of it working. i still do it for free, however it does not always work.

the system will run win 10, that's not an issue. what i would do is install win 10 to a different partition or drive and run it as dual boot to see if it activates for you from your win 7 key. if it works, great you got win 10 now. if it does not, you can still run it unactivated until you decide to buy a win 10 key.

basically you can't lose this way and you don't have to blow away your win 7 install to test if it will work or not.
This is genius. Never crossed my mind. I have never created a dual boot.

  • Can you point me toward a resource you recommend for walking me through setting this up? (if you have one)
  • Do you recommend a different partiton or an external drive?
  • If I do follow this route, can I still go through the "upgrade from Windows 7" process? Would I still be upgrading or would this be a clean Win 10 install which I'd need to purchase.
Thanks again.

LB
 

Math Geek

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step by step and it's really easy. really you just point the installer at the new partition/drive and it does the rest for you. this should not be on an external drive!!! you can create a new partition on a single drive if that's all you have or get a second hdd to drop in just for win 10. but it needs to be internal drive.

when asking for a key, this is usually where you put your win 7 key to activate it. again 50/50 whether it will work or not. also note that if it does work, your win 7 install may deactivate since that key is now voided by the upgrade. so do keep that in mind as you do this. again 50/50 if that will happen as well. i've seen it both ways and have done it many times.
 
May 22, 2020
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step by step and it's really easy. really you just point the installer at the new partition/drive and it does the rest for you. this should not be on an external drive!!! you can create a new partition on a single drive if that's all you have or get a second hdd to drop in just for win 10. but it needs to be internal drive.

when asking for a key, this is usually where you put your win 7 key to activate it. again 50/50 whether it will work or not. also note that if it does work, your win 7 install may deactivate since that key is now voided by the upgrade. so do keep that in mind as you do this. again 50/50 if that will happen as well. i've seen it both ways and have done it many times.
Super helpful. Thanks.

Under your scenario of the Win 7 install not working anymore because the key was used for the 10 upgrade, should I assume that if this happens it will be because I have a working version of 10? Or could the 10 install not work and 7 be dead too?

I'd rather not have to pay $99+ to upgrade, but at the end of the day if that's what happens it's not the end of the world. Screwing around with a computer I can't get to boot for 2-3 days isn't the end of the world either, but it's close so I'd like to avoid that! ;-)
 

Math Geek

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if all goes well and win 7 stops working that should be because you have a working win 10 install.

obviously nothing is 100% foolproof so back up data accordingly. about the only issue you'll face if win 7 stops working but win 10 does work is how to remove the win 7 install and just use the win 10 one.

this is where a second physical drive is real handy. you can remove the win 7 drive and install win 10 onto the second drive. each will be completely separate and able to bot on its own. if win 10 works, format the win 7 drive and it's now a data drive. if it does not, then your win 7 drive is just as it was and you go on the way you were.

you change between OS's by changing the boot order at start-up. this is what punkcat was suggesting above. saves you having to remove win 7 from the dual boot without breaking the boot partitions. not hard to do but easy to mess up and leave whole system un-botable
 
not hard to do but easy to mess up and leave whole system un-botable
And this is why I would never recommend a dual boot with both OSes on the same drive. Besides, it's not like you need the win7 if the win10 works anyways.

Here's what I would do. You should have a drive that you use for backups right? Good.

Download the clonezilla livecd and boot it. If your backup drive is external attach it when needed. Use clonezilla to create an image of your entire win7 physical drive. You will only need as much space as you have data (and 1/2 that if you use the highest compression), so even a 1TB drive can be backed up on another 1TB so long as the original drive isn't full of data. Be sure to have clonezilla confirm that it can restore the image.

Once you have your image, you can literally remake your win7 drive just as you captured it, with everything just as you left it. And you can do this as many times as you want to as many physical drives as you want.

With this capability, you can now attempt to upgrade to 10 on your drive just as it is. If things mess up, you can use clonezilla to write the win7 back exactly how it was. And then you can try again or whatever you want. And you can do this until you get it.
 

Math Geek

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i do agree but i don't like to use the word never.

there are times it just can't be helped. you also get the problem with one drive having the boot partitions on it and of course the other drive is the os you want to use and keep. this makes it a bit tricky to remove the first os and get the second os booting right.

there's problems that can crop up no matter what you do. so long as you know what to expect and can handle it, then any way is good enough really.
 
May 22, 2020
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And this is why I would never recommend a dual boot with both OSes on the same drive. Besides, it's not like you need the win7 if the win10 works anyways...
i do agree but i don't like to use the word never...
Can't thank you both/all enough. I'm now going to decide whether I want to install a second internal drive (which I might have to buy and then install) or clean off one of the 7 external drives I have and work through the clonezilla process.

Either way it now seems like not work the risk of bricking my win 7 install.

Hmm....
 
May 22, 2020
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And this is why I would never recommend a dual boot with both OSes on the same drive. Besides, it's not like you need the win7 if the win10 works anyways.

Here's what I would do. You should have a drive that you use for backups right? Good.

Download the clonezilla livecd and boot it. If your backup drive is external attach it when needed. Use clonezilla to create an image of your entire win7 physical drive. You will only need as much space as you have data (and 1/2 that if you use the highest compression), so even a 1TB drive can be backed up on another 1TB so long as the original drive isn't full of data. Be sure to have clonezilla confirm that it can restore the image.

Once you have your image, you can literally remake your win7 drive just as you captured it, with everything just as you left it. And you can do this as many times as you want to as many physical drives as you want.

With this capability, you can now attempt to upgrade to 10 on your drive just as it is. If things mess up, you can use clonezilla to write the win7 back exactly how it was. And then you can try again or whatever you want. And you can do this until you get it.
So I created a mirror of my win 7 from the C drive to an external drive.

Does anyone know how I can confirm if that new mirror is going to work should I need it?

I'd hate to have a problem with the attempted upgrade of my C drive to Win 10 and then not be able to copy the external drive Win 7 back.

Thanks again.
 
May 22, 2020
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Wanted to update the thread (cause I hate seeing an old thread where I don't know the outcome) and thank everyone for their input.

I did all the backups and such but didn't need them. The upgrade went very smoothly. I just deleted the old win 7 install after win 10 working well for a week.

Thanks again everyone.
 

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