The method of moving from one operating system version to another can vary significantly based on the OS. In this video, you’ll learn about upgrading Microsoft Windows and the difference between an upgrade and a clean install.
<< Previous Video: Installing Operating Systems Next: Microsoft Command Line Tools >>
Before you install Windows, you need to carefully examine the location where you’ll be installing this operating system. What drive is in the system now? Is the drive empty or does it have data already on it? You need to understand exactly what’s on the storage drive, because there is a potential you could be overwriting everything on that drive during the installation process.
If the drive isn’t very large or the user directory doesn’t happen to be too overwhelming, you may want to backup that data just in case. You don’t want to be in a position where there were important files on that drive, they were overwritten during the installation process, and now there’s no way to recover that information.
The actual partitioning and formatting of the drive will occur during the installation itself. So there’s no additional prep that you’ll need to do to this storage drive. As long as you’ve backed up all of your data, you’re now ready to install onto that storage device.
Before even starting the installation, there’s still a lot of work that you could do to make sure the insulation is going to go smoothly. The first thing is to check the minimum operating system requirements for memory, disk space, and any other hardware you might be using on that system. There’s a hardware compatibility check that you can run directly from the Windows installation media. In Windows 10 this is called the Windows 10 Upgrade Checker. It will automatically check your hardware and let you know if it’s ready to install Windows 10.
During the installation process, you’ll have a number of questions you have to answer. You’ll need to know which drive and partition you want to install this operating system. And you may be asked for license key information during the installation as well. You also want to check to make sure that the applications you’re using in your existing operating system will work properly in your new operating system. Just because you’re moving from one Windows version to another doesn’t mean that your applications will be compatible across both of those different versions of Windows.
If there’s an existing version of Windows on this drive and you’re moving to a new version of Windows, you may be able to perform an upgrade. The upgrade will keep all of your files in place and simply install the new version of Windows on top of it. If an upgrade path is not available, you’ll have to delete everything on the drive and install a new version of Windows from scratch.
If you are upgrading, you’ll be able to keep all of the configurations that are on that system today. And if there are any local user accounts, all of those user accounts will be available once the system is upgraded. This can save you an enormous amount of time. You won’t have to install any of the applications. You won’t have to rebuild any of the user account information. And all of the data will be there waiting after the installation is done. This is something you can do very quickly from a USB drive or a DVD-ROM. You can simply run that upgrade directly from the installation media.
If you are performing an in-place upgrade, you’re keeping all of your applications and all of your documents in place. To perform this upgrade, you would plug in your USB drive or install your DVD-ROM and then launch the setup from inside of your existing operating system. With a clean install, you’re deleting everything that’s on that partition, and you’re reinstalling Windows from a brand new configuration. To be able to start a clean installation, you would install your USB drive or DVD-ROM with your installation media and then you would boot the system using that media.
If you purchased an upgrade to Windows 10, you can download that version directly from Microsoft. And Microsoft includes a media creation tool that will install the Windows 10 upgrade onto your USB drive.
One important consideration about an upgrade is you cannot upgrade from a 32-bit version to a 64-bit version of Windows. And you can’t upgrade from a 64-bit version to a 32-bit version of Windows. To be able to perform that type of upgrade, you would need to use a Windows migration tool and be able to copy off all of your information, perform the upgrade, and then copy everything back onto that system.
There are a number of different options when upgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 10. To upgrade to Windows 10 Home, you would need to be running Windows 7 Starter, Windows 7 Home Basic, or Windows 7 Home Premium. If you want to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro, you would need to be running all of those, or you’d need to be running Windows 7 Professional or Windows 7 Ultimate. To be able to upgrade to Windows 10 Enterprise, you would need to either be running Windows 7 Professional or Windows 7 Enterprise. If you’re not running those particular combinations, you’ll need to perform a clean install to be able to move from Windows 7 to Windows 10.
To upgrade from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10, you would need to be running Windows 8.1 Core to be able to upgrade to Windows 10 Home or Windows 10 Pro. If you’re already running Windows 8.1 Professional, you can upgrade to Windows 10 Pro or Windows 10 Enterprise. And if you’re running Windows 8.1 Enterprise, your only option is to upgrade to Windows 10 Enterprise.
This is the Windows 10 installation program. And it’s a very similar installation, whether you’re installing Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 10. You’ll be presented with this main screen once you boot from the Windows installation media, asking you for the language, the time and currency format, and the keyboard or input method. Those are correct. So we’re going to press Next to continue to the next screen.
On the next screen, you have two options available. One is to install now. And the other is to repair your computer. We’re going to perform an installation in this video, but in the troubleshooting section, we’ll look at the different options available in that Repair Your Computer link.
Right now, though, let’s click Install Now. If you’re installing Windows for the first time, you’ll be asked to activate Windows with your product key. You would put the product key in at the prompt and press the Next option.
You’ll then be presented with the licensing terms. You’ll want to read through those terms. Click that you accept the license terms. And click Next to continue.
You’re then asked if you want to upgrade the existing version of Windows on this computer or if you want to install Windows only. In my particular case, there is no existing version of Windows to upgrade. So I’m going to choose to install a new version.
Windows then presents me with partitioning options. And you can see that I have a single 60 gig drive that is completely unpartitioned. There is unallocated space on the entire drive. So I’ll click the New option. And I’ll use the entire drive to be able to install the Windows operating system into that single partition.
When I click Apply, Windows will say to ensure that all Windows features work correctly, Windows might create additional partitions for system files. This is mostly for your recovery partition, so that you won’t need this additional installation media later down the road for troubleshooting. I’ll click OK.
The Windows insulation program has created four separate partitions for this Windows 10 installation. The first is a 500 mg partition for our recovery partition. We have a 100 mg partition as a system partition. And then we have a 16 mg partition as a Windows reserved partition. Microsoft may use this partition for other purposes later on. The primary partition is this 59.4 gig partition. And that is the partition I’d like to install Windows. I’ll make sure that it’s selected, and we’ll click Next.
At this point, Windows starts copying the files that it will need to complete the installation process. Now that Windows has copied the files that it needs, it will reboot the system to complete the installation.
I’m going to choose United States with our mouse. And we’ll have Windows continue the installation. Our keyboard layout is the United States keyboard layout. I do not want to add a second keyboard layout.
You then have the option to configure this for personal use for a system you might have at home or for an organization. And they make the note that your organization will have full control over this device. In my configuration, I’m going to set this up for personal use.
At this point, you can use your Microsoft account for your authentication into the system. You also have the option to create an offline account that doesn’t use this Microsoft account. If you’re choosing an offline account, you can choose the name that you would like to use on this computer. I’ll choose Professor. You’re then prompted to create a super memorable password. You want to be sure to remember your username and password the next time you have to authenticate.
To be able to recover from this offline account, you’ll need to create security questions. So you’ll be prompted to create three separate security questions for this system.
You’re then given the option to use Cortana as your personal assistant. You can choose to enable it or disable it from this screen. Windows also gives you the option for the privacy settings that you’d like to use. This includes Cortana speech recognition, finding your device, diagnostic data, and more.
At this point, Windows has everything it needs to be able to complete the installation process. And now our Windows 10 installation is complete, and we can begin using the operating system. Although the base installation is complete, we still want to check the operating system and make sure everything is running as we expect. If you did run into problems during the installation process, you’ll want to perform the normal troubleshooting to see if you can resolve some of those issues.
But there are still things that need to be done with the operating system itself. We need to make sure we have all of the latest service packs and security patches, so that we know our operating system is up to date and secure from any vulnerabilities. We also want to be sure we have the latest drivers running, especially if we’re now running a new version of an operating system and check to make sure that you’re using the latest applications so that you know they’ll work properly in your new OS.