Question Upgrading to a new PC ( Windows 10) from a current Windows 7 OS

username110

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Apr 23, 2016
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So here’s the issue:
  1. I’m still running Windows 7 and didn’t bother to get the free upgrade to Windows 10 during the free period because I was not a big fan of it.
  2. The news broke loose that Microsoft is no longer supporting Windows 7 starting next year.
  3. This rises security issues that I don’t want to risk.
So here’s the deal: I need a new setup.
The PC build I’m running on is a build I put together with technology from 2010. Yeah, my PC is almost ten years old, I know...

With that being said, I’m looking to completely revamp my setup, only retaining the old power supply and the case, as those are still in pretty decent shape and are perfectly sufficient enough.

The problem that arise from this is that I want to retain most, if not all, of my stuff on my current PC when I build a new one. I’m aware I can import my current OS to the new build but that would mean I’d still be mounting Windows 7 to the new build and that kind of defeats the purpose.

So my question is, what would be the best steps to take to ensure I’m able to retain most of my configurations ( aside from backing up my personal files on an external drive cause I already got that covered) when moving from my old Windows 7 to the new Windows 10?

I’m perfectly content with just re-installing all my programs on the new OS, no big deal there, just a major headache.

Unless there’s not much I can do about that and most I can do is just backup my files and start from scratch with the new OS. I just want to know if I can bypass needing to start from scratch as much as possible.
 

wpgwpg

Admirable
You probably need to buy a new Windows 10 license and start with it. Any new motherboard you get will probably not be compatible with Windows 7, and when you change motherboards, you often have to do a clean install anyway. The drivers that come with new motherboards will likely require Windows 10 too. That of course means you'll end up reinstalling all your apps.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
  1. A free Upgrade to Win 10 still works. I did it just a couple of months ago.
  2. The "news broke" years ago. The Lifecycle has been published forever.
  3. Those same "security issues" have already been backported into Win 7 & 8, you just didn't notice. And you can turn most/all of that OFF.
So, the way forward if you don't want to invest in a new OS license for your new PC.

1. Upgrade your current system to Win 10.
Create a Win 10 USB or DVD. Here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10
Boot from that, and it should give you the option to Upgrade your current install and license to Win 10.

2. Link that WIn 10 license to a Microsoft account. Here:
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/20530/windows-10-reactivating-after-hardware-change
https://forums.tomshardware.com/threads/windows-build-1607-and-activation.2786960/

3. Build your new system (including a new PSU!)
Do a clean install of Win 10 in this new PC.
Then, follow the rest of the instructions in the above links, and it should allow you to activate the Win 10 in this new hardware.
 

AllanGH

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Mar 10, 2019
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This occasions a thought...In Debian, all I have to do is list-out the contents of my apt cache, or copy everything to a jump drive, to duplicate an installation easily; so....does windows have some sort of a manifest function that lists all user-installed programs and apps?
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
So my question is, what would be the best steps to take to ensure I’m able to retain most of my configurations
About the only "configuration" things you can keep will be browser settings. Bookmarks, saved passwords, etc.
All your applications will need a clean install with the new OS
 

Mandark

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Sep 13, 2002
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This occasions a thought...In Debian, all I have to do is list-out the contents of my apt cache, or copy everything to a jump drive, to duplicate an installation easily; so....does windows have some sort of a manifest function that lists all user-installed programs and apps?
Yes. Wmi and poweshell
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
OK....will scamper off to Google that up.
It's not quite the same as Debian. One of the problems is...what constitutes an "application".
In Windows, the driver for your GPU or keyboard counts just like MS Office or Photoshop. And all that info gets written to the Registry and elsewhere. Which you cannot just apply to a new install. Each Registry is absolutely unique.
 

AllanGH

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Mar 10, 2019
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Well, my system isn't windows-based, but I am writing these down so that I can take care of future system moves that can't be handled with a cloned image. User customizations are the least of it, and the family can do those for themselves. It's the application installations that are the pain, and if I can script those, things will go a lot faster in the future.

Drivers are actually easy--those are dictated by the hardware itself. I consider drivers to be a part of doing the windows installation.

It's the compliment of user space programs that vary from machine to machine that are the pain in the butt. If I can have a list for each machine, that makes my life easier.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Well, my system isn't windows-based, but I am writing these down so that I can take care of future system moves that can't be handled with a cloned image. User customizations are the least of it, and the family can do those for themselves. It's the application installations that are the pain, and if I can script those, things will go a lot faster in the future.

Drivers are actually easy--those are dictated by the hardware itself. I consider drivers to be a part of doing the windows installation.

It's the compliment of user space programs that vary from machine to machine that are the pain in the butt. If I can have a list for each machine, that makes my life easier.
Cloning to a new drive in the same system needs no configuration.
It is a 100% duplicate.

Cloning to a whole new system is not recommended. Windows is unlikely to even boot up in new hardware.
We all wish it were otherwise, but it isn't...:(

For a basic load of FOSS Windows applications, I use ninite.com on all new systems and installations.
Select what applications you want, download the small exe.
Run it, and it goes and gets the current version of whatever you selected.
 

AllanGH

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Mar 10, 2019
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Cloning to a whole new system is not recommended.
Sorry...I was unclear. If new hardware is in play MB, etc., it's a new install.

Cloning is my go to strategy for drive swaps; in the same way I moved everyone in the house over to SSDs:
Drop the mechanical drive into "Slot A" on the drive cloner,
Drop the SSD into "Slot B",
Turn it on and start the cloning process.
 

AllanGH

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Well...."so many people" don't remember DOS, as a matter of fact; and I would imagine that even fewer remember optimizing the sequence of the autoexec.bat entries, along with config.sys. Even back in the day, there weren't a lot of people who who could properly streamline memory management for what they wanted their machine to do.

LOL....and they paid....uh....certain people to do it for them.

Yeah...it is a slap-you-in-the-face sort of obvious aspect of OSses.
 

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