Windows 10 Upgrade Ultimate Guide: All You Need to Know Before Upgrade

We are just couple of days away from getting Windows 10 to our computers, but before you hit the upgrade button, you should be careful about a lot of things especially if you have lot of personal data on your computer and it is the only daily driver for you. If you have reserved Windows 10 earlier, then you must have learnt that Windows 10 will be a free upgrade for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users.

Windows 10 Installation on Virtual Machine

Is your PC ready for Windows 10?

First important thing to know is whether your computer is capable of running Windows 10. Don’t worry, Windows 10 is going to be more faster and less resource hungry, so if your PC has Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, then there should not be any problem for Windows 10 from hardware capability point of view. Next thing you need to look for is the drivers compatibility with respect to the existing devices like Webcam, Microphone, Speakers, Touchpad, so on and so forth. Don’t worry there is a easy way to find this.

Click on Get Windows 10 icon on the taskbar and then click on Check your PC.

Get Windows 10 Icon

Get Windows 10 Icon

Check your PC

Check your PC

The tool will scan your computer and gives you a report of the Windows 10 compatibility. For example this is what my test PC running Windows 8.1 shows:

Windows 10 Upgrade Report

Windows 10 Upgrade Report

If you get incompatibile report, then you will have to see troubleshoot based on the kind of error. If it’s a hardware compatibility, you need to upgrade, but if you have Windows 8.1 or Windows 7 installed, it’s seldom the hardware capability problem. The most common problem is the incompatible drivers issue for which you will have to troubleshoot on case-by-case basis.

Backup your Personal Data

Once you figured out that your PC can run Windows 10, your journey to Windows 10 upgrade begins and at this time it is very important to take a backup of your personal data on your current Windows PC just incase something terrible happens during Windows 10 upgrade and you had to format your hard drive in mid of installation! There are several ways to take a personal data backup:

  1. Manual copy paste of files into a external media which is OK for few number of files.
  2. Use Windows 7 Backup and Restore or Windows 8 File History
  3. Use third-party programs like Cobian Backup, Paragon Hard disk Manager, etc..

Data in cloud services like OneDrive, Dropbox, Google Drive, Box etc, will remain untouched even after formatting hard disk, so it’s OK to not take a backup of those files.


Take your Current Windows Backup

When you upgrade to Windows 10, it’s like a one-way ticket, you can’t use System Restore or any built-in tools to come back to your original Windows. So it is sensible to take a backup of your current Windows version just incase you decide to not like Windows 10 after upgrade and may want to revert to your earlier Windows. Again there are several ways to do this:

  1. Use your computer’s manufacturer provided software like Lenovo’s OneKey Recovery etc..
  2. Windows 7 Backup and Restore if you are upgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 10.
  3. Windows 8.1 can use File History to take System Image backup. Here is how:

System Image Backup on Windows 8.1

Before you proceed, note that you need a external hard disk , blank DVDs or a network location to store the Window System Image. So connect the external disk hard disk now or make sure you have free space as much as your PC’s hard disk occupied size. System Image is a exact replica of your complete PC along with Hard disk partitions, personal data, and Windows OS too. You can use this backed up System Image to restore your PC. For example, if you take a System Image backup on 26-July at 10:00am, upgrade to Windows 10 on 30-July some time, and then use that System Image Restore anytime you will come back to 26-July at 10:00am system status along with that day’s personal data.

Windows 8.1’s File History feature also lets you take a Windows System backup. Go to charms, click Search, type File History and click

 

Launch File History

Launch File History

Click on System Image Backup.

File History - System Image Backup

File History – System Image Backup

Select the location where you want to store the System Image and Click Next.

Save System Image Backup Location

Save System Image Backup Location

Windows will confirm the locations that are being backed up. Click Start backup to begin the process.

Backup Settings

Backup Settings

Congratulations, you are now all set to upgrade to Windows 10!

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Kiran Kumar

Hi there! Kiran Kumar is an Engineer by profession, and loves blogging primarily on Microsoft Windows operating system and also enjoys reviewing software and products. Currently, he is exploring Windows 10 and you will see a lot of articles on know-how about it. When he is not writing for TWP, he enjoys time with his Family, listens to lot of music, enjoys Biking, and occasionally plays racing games on Xbox One.