Discussion Windows 7 and 8 users can still upgrade to windows 10 for free.

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
Clearly, most of us here already knew this, and it's pretty much common knowledge on the forums, but it's always nice to see a somewhat official validation. As well, this should serve as a reminder to anybody still running Windows 7, 8 or 8.1 that you can, and probably should, take advantage of the free update. Keep in mind, you don't need to "upgrade" in almost all cases. You can almost always do a clean install and simply plug in your product key from your Windows 7 or 8 product, even if it's an OEM key. I haven't seen it not work so far on any clean install.

https://www.techspot.com/news/83541-windows-7-users-can-upgrade-windows-10-free.html



Also, it is probably a good idea to read ALL of these:

 
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boju

Champion
Thanks DB

I'll be trying this soon, probably tomorrow on two computers and give an update on how i go. Hopefully the media creation tool accepts my serials because in 2015 after doing the upgrade to Win10 on one of the computers and then doing a clean install on it, the key i entered wasn't accepted.
 

Colif

Win 10 Master
Moderator
Note: clean install method may not go smoothly if PC originally came with Vista or older. Hardware makers don't all offer support for older hardware on new versions of windows.

Upgrades in this case would likely work.
 

boju

Champion
True.

Last i tried win10 on the system in my sig, it ran pretty good. Never tried on the older system with p6t delux (x58). Though do have a friend on the same platform running 10, hopefully it goes smoothly.
 

Aeacus

Illustrious
Herald
I guess i'm also forced into W10 and can't use my trusty W7 anymore. Due to that, i have few questions:
  1. Is it better to upgrade the OS (and thus keeping my data, hopefully) or make format and clean install?
  2. Which version of W10 i get, Home or Pro? Currently running W7 Pro SP2 64-bit OEM.
  3. At which point i should enter my win key? During installation or after it? (Found some conflicting info about it on the net.)
  4. Is there a W10 theme that makes W10 GUI look like W7?
 
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USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
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I guess i'm also forced into W10 and can't use my trusty W7 anymore. Due to that, i have few questions:
  1. Is it better to upgrade the OS (and thus keeping my data, hopefully) or make format and clean install?
  2. Which version of W10 i get, Home or Pro? Currently running W7 Pro SP2 64-bit OEM.
  3. At which point i should enter my win key? During installation or after it? (Found some conflicting info about it on the net.)
  4. Is there a W10 theme that makes W10 GUI look like W7?
  1. Try the Upgrade first.
  2. Win 7 Pro -> Win 10 Pro. Home -> Home.
  3. If an in place Upgrade, no license key needed.
 

boju

Champion
But will entering Win7 key work when Win10 install asks for it?

Ill try the update first as well but would be good to know if Microsoft's current media installer accepts keys from 7/8.1.
 

Aeacus

Illustrious
Herald
Currently in the process of cloning my OS drives, just in case W10 upgrade/install should crap out and i need to boot back into W7.

Oh, just remembered, should i disconnect other disk drives during OS upgrade? Have seen from the forums that W10 can create boot manager to 2nd drive, other than OS drive.

2nd thing as well, with OS upgrade, do we loose our personal settings in Firefox/Chrome? Like bookmarks, saved log-ins etc?

Thanks, i'll bookmark those.
 
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Colif

Win 10 Master
Moderator
if you upgrading, it will use the boot partitions (it won't even touch them I don't think) that already exist. It just changes windows.

its only in a clean that it will decide it wants to use GPT if your motherboard is UEFI and then it would use other drives if given chance.
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
But will entering Win7 key work when Win10 install asks for it?

Ill try the update first as well but would be good to know if Microsoft's current media installer accepts keys from 7/8.1.
Every time that I've done it, yes, that has worked. Even choosing to not enter the product key or activate during the installation and entering the windows 7 or 8 product key LATER, through the "System" applet in control panel, has worked, if you click on "enter product key" and enter it, it has activated SO LONG as the product key has not been used for some other system OR you have not changed motherboards. If you HAVE changed motherboards since using that product key for the Windows 10 upgrade, then you will HAVE to have attached it to a MS account. These should help with that.

 

Aeacus

Illustrious
Herald
So, today is the Win update day and W7 updated itself to W10 on my Haswell build without issues. Everything went smoothly and all our data is also present. :)

No such luck with my Skylake build though.

Got this error and i'm still back in W7:



Now what? Plug in the USB flash drive and try that way?
Also, i don't get why this error popped up. My Skylake build is much newer (Intel 6th gen, compared to Intel 4th gen in Haswell) and it should've worked without issues. 😕 Also, i pulled all drives, except OS drive on both machines before doing Win update, just in case.
 

Aeacus

Illustrious
Herald
I would say a USB fresh install, using your Win 7 key, when it prompts you to put your key in.
Well, that's the easy way out, IF it works. But how about long way so i can keep my data?
Also, i couldn't clone the OS on 2nd drive since the sorry a55 Acronis True Image (that i got with my Kingston SSD) can't detect my M.2 NVMe drive (960 Evo) to clone it. (Haswell OS drive is 850 Evo and that i was able to clone without issues.)

Edit: i'll make a new topic since troubleshooting may take longer and it wouldn't suit this discussion topic.
 

Colif

Win 10 Master
Moderator
The specialize configuration pass is used together with the generalize configuration pass. The generalize pass is used to create a Windows reference image that can be used throughout an organization.

For example, during the specialize configuration pass, you can specify different home pages in Internet Explorer® for different departments or branches in your business. This setting will then override the default home page.

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-hardware/manufacture/desktop/specialize

not exactly useful but explains when it fell over.
 

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