What to Check Before Upgrading to Windows 10

By David Christie

The new upgrade is almost here (or already depending on time of reading) and boy are we looking forward to what will likely be a big o’l list of things that will go horribly, horribly wrong. If you have a computer that is only 2-3 years old (not out of box, from manufacture date) you will likely have little to no issues as far as having the preferred hardware specs required for optimal performance. If you have upgraded your PC from an earlier operating system already, or have programs and software that you have been using for a length of over five years, you may want to keep reading and make sure you avoid any potential implications that may come with blindly upgrading your computer.

Below we will cover IF you should upgrade. Then if it looks like your PC fits the bill, what you need to DO prior to your upgrade.

Current Operating System (windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1) -to check your systems specs right click “computer” on the start menu and click properties.

XP

NO.

Vista

ALSO NO.

Heavily recommend you do not. Unless your PC has been heavily, and regularly maintenance’d, and you are running with 8-16 GB of ram with a processor of at least 2.0 GHz. You COULD upgrade it, however this said computer will be pushing 5 to 8 years of use (2007 Vista first released). If this PC is a laptop, it will probably die by the time your done reading this article, and even if it was a nice custom desktop, much of the software/programs you’are using on it will likely not survive the conversion. Basically, the only people who will do this are PC tech’s who will do it for a laugh, or to test aged software on the newest operating systems.

Windows 7 (if you got your hands on a Windows 7 Starter edition, and you somehow get the Windows 10 update notice, don’t do it!)

This one’s gonna be the one you want to double check on. First of all, if you upgraded your computer to Windows 7 from Vista, then your computer is likely 5-8 years old. If that computer was one the 5 years variety, is a desktop, has been cleaned out by a technician, has had it’s hardware upgraded (RAM, CPU, power supply) to keep up with modern computer standards, AND you aren’t dependent on programs that are older then roughly 2010. THEN (and only then) you can go ahead and try it.

Basically Windows 7 owners have to check if they are using a older release of windows 7, or a version upgraded from Vista. If you bought your PC close to when Windows 7 was released, but you have a superior CPU and ram speed, you might be alright. Be cautious of older laptops. We don’t see many that last longer than 4 years. If you got a rickety laptop full of treasured memories or documents, and it’s making scratchy noises with the fan on max, back up that computer and put that stuff on a new computer instead.

Overall were looking for TWO things. That you’re confident your computer is in good working condition, and you aren’t using old, old programs that were designed for use on Vista (or even old windows 7 software). If you struggled to get something to work before, be ready for that struggle, or inevitable loss once you’ve upgraded. If you aren’t sure, just make a system image of your drive prior to the upgrade. It can be used to put everything back the way it was in case you do not like the upgrade.

Windows 8 & 8.1

You should be good, unless like in the paragraphs above, you upgraded from Vista, to 7, to 8, then finally to 8.1, and are currently wondering why there’s smoke coming out of the computer…If your computer is running real slow from previous upgrades, I wouldn’t recommend it. Though you CAN make a system image of your computer prior to upgrading. Then if the goblins inside the computer decide to take vengeance on you, you can simply put everything back the way it was and forget about all the bad things that happened.

OK! I think i’m OK to upgrade! what should I do beforehand? 

Backup your files!

If you don’t have a lot of pictures or video files on your computer, you might be able to get away with a 32/64 GB USB flash drive. These can be purchased for roughly $10-$20 dollars. (we bulk order them for 15$ per unit or find them when on sale.) If you have more than say, 120 GB’s of data, you can opt to just use multiple flash drives, or opt to get an external hard drive. These hold roughly 500 GB’s up to 2 terabytes (2000 GB’s) of data, of course they will cost a little more depending on the size you get.

Make a system Image File! 

If you load up the update and come back from work to an angry machine that’s hissing and cursing at you in dead languages, you can set your computer to EXACTLY how it was before you upgraded. IF you make the system image file BEFORE (<— cannot stress this enough) you proceed with the upgrade, you can make it as if you never did the update. think of it as a save file for a video game.

To do this you will need an external or internal hard drive that you are NOT using. Essentially what you’re doing is making an exact copy of what’s on the computer. So the more stuff you have on the computer, the more space you will need to make the file (Example- if you have 72 gigabytes of data on your hard drive, you will need something with at least 72 gigabytes of free storage)

Internet Explorer Will NOT BE THERE!

If you are among the many user’s (or are upgrading said users) who depend on “the blue e” to get you online to check your mail, Facebook, or this very article, you have been warned! Presumably there should be an option to transfer your bookmarks over to Microsoft’s new internet browser “Edge”. (they capitalized the blue e and set it on fire.) The old internet explorer browser will no longer be receiving updates.

Soon it be a security risk for people who choose not to upgrade and continue to use the browser. For those of you who are familiar with Chrome and Firefox apparently the setup is very similar to their browser settings. So if you need a bit of practice, or are trying to ease a user out of their comfort zone, try out out Chrome and Firefox. if you can use them, you can use Edge. and last but not least…

You should wait at least a week before you go through with it!

It’s a common trend for many to be cautious of brand new shiny technology. While the companies put their best efforts into ensuring that possible errors are taken care of before hand and kept to a minimum, things are gonna happen. The great thing about modern day technology though, almost all the problems that can happen to all the types of computers and the accessories associated with them, will be reported, reviewed, and posted online by many for all to see. There will be plenty of people eager to try out the new software to point out all the aspects of it, good and bad.

So if you wait a day or two. Then find out that everybody who downloaded the upgrade cannot use their mouse, open certain programs, download/upload speeds become unbearable, or the computers become sentient and demand you feed them the pet cat, go ahead and wait a bit. After the waters have been tested and a patch is released if needed, go ahead with the update. Most people have reserved their copy already, but just know that the update won’t go through until YOU confirm it and accept the EULA. On the release date the files should be automatically downloaded, then all you have to do is activate it at a time that works for you.

I hope you found the information helpful and that you resist the call of Mr hammer should you take every precaution, and the computer seems to be having issues, give us a call.  We can help you out.

 

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