Windows 10 can be installed on any machine running activated version of Windows 7 or Windows 8/8.1 operating system (OS). Microsoft is giving Windows 10 upgrade free for Windows 7/8/8.1 users.
Here we will use a pen drive to upgrade from Window 7 to Windows 10, however process of creating an ISO file and installing Windows 10 from a DVD is also same.
Lets check how to immediately upgrade your Windows 7 computer to Windows 10 –
1) Create Windows 10 USB Drive –
First step is to create a bootable Windows 10 pen drive. Fortunately process of creating a bootable USB drive is extremely simply because Microsoft is providing its own tool for this purpose.
All you have to do is to download 32bit or 64bit version of tool from this link (it depends on which computer you will be running this tool for creating a bootable flash drive) –
After downloading run Windows 10 Setup tool and it will ask for pretty simple information such as Windows OS version, type of installation media (USB or ISO file), select USB Drive etc.
As we will be using an USB drive for Windows 10, select USB Flash drive as media (it should have more than 3 GB of space). Now setup tool will start downloading Windows 10 setup files. Once download is complete, this tool will automatically transfer all the required files to USB Flash drive and make it bootable.
Now we are ready to start installation of Windows 10 operating system, but lets first check few pre-installation steps.
2) Pre-installation Steps –
Before you start installation these are few things which you must do.
A) Backup –
Taking backup of your computer data will never hurt. Use an external Hard drive or a pen drive and copy all your important data on to it. Usually Windows install goes quite smoothly, but you never know when something may go wrong and your computer is left in a not bootable state. So think what files you will require to have on your external HDD, if your computer loses all its data because of any wrong installation step.
B) Find Windows 7/8/8.1 Product Key –
For upgrade Windows 10 does not require Product key of your existing Windows operating system. However once you upgrade to Windows 10 your existing key will be lost from your computer. So before you start installation of new operating system it is strongly recommended to confirm that you have Windows product key available.
If you are unable to locate your Windows 7/8/8.1 Product key, you last option is to use a tiny freeware tool from NirSoft called ProduKey. This software can extract Windows OS key from your currently computer. It will show product keys for almost all installed Microsoft products on you computer.
Note down the product key of Windows operating system. This may be required in future if you consider to install Windows 7 or Windows 8.
C) Change Bios Settings to boot from USB drive –
Before you could boot from USB flash drive, you need to make sure that you have enabled option to boot from USB in your computer’s BIOS settings.
For that restart your computer and follow onscreen instruction to get into BIOS settings (it can be by pressing F2 or F12 or some other function key at the boot time, it is different for different computers). Once you are into Bios, go to boot option menu and change first boot device to USB drive.
Save and Exit the bios settings. Now we are ready to start the installation of Windows 10.
3) Installation –
Connect your Windows 10 USB flash drive in any of the USB ports and restart your computer.
It should now boot from your pen drive and start the Windows 10 setup.
In-case if computer fails to boot from the USB drive, please check BIOS settings and make sure that you do not have FastBoot enabled, also your first boot device should be set to USB drive. Few computers also give option to view advance boot options, that can be used for booting from USB drive.
During Windows 10 setup it will ask you to activate it using your Window 7 or 8 key, but you should skip that for later. Your Windows 10 will automatically get activated when you upgrade your activated Windows 7 or Windows 8/8.1 machine.
Important Note for Windows 7 and Windows 8/8.1 users :
You MUST choose to upgrade your system and DO NOT do a fresh install of Windows 10 on a machine with Windows 7 or Windows 8/8.1. Because Windows 10 can not be activated using a Product key of Windows 7 or Windows 8/8.1. First time when you upgrade to Windows 10, your computer is registered with Microsoft activation server. After upgrading to Windows 10, you can do a fresh install of Windows 10 on the same machine, and it will not require any key for activation.