Fundraising complete, next renewal is August 2022. Paypal Donation Links US dollars CDN Dollars

Upgrading Win7 to Win10 without having to do a clean install

For general computer discussion & help, come here

Moderators: EvilHomer3k, Bakhtosh

Post Reply
User avatar
jztemple2
Posts: 6176
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2009 7:52 am
Location: Brevard County, Florida, USA

Upgrading Win7 to Win10 without having to do a clean install

Post by jztemple2 »

OK, this discussion has probably been done before and if so, you can just point me to the appropriate threads. If not, read on...

My wife, who is laid up after knee surgery, has given me the green light to upgrade her desktop computer from Win7 Home Premium to Win10. She wants me to do it next weekend, so I have seven days to get prepped. One requirement she has is that if it at all possible, she doesn't want to have to reinstall a bunch of data and programs, which is to say she doesn't want me to have to reinstall them. So I'm looking at, what, upgrading to Win10 so that all existing programs and data stay intact? Is that the proper term? So any advice on how to do this safely would be appreciated.

Also, I already do full backups of her rig regularly, but I have a spare 1TB external drive and wanted to do a clone of her C: drive so that if I totally mess up the upgrade, I can just put the original software back on the drive in the machine. I did something similar early this year when I changed out the HDD in a laptop with an SSD, but I don't remember the software I used. Any suggestions on this too?

As usual, thanks in advance for help on this.
“When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new.”

― The Dalai Lama
User avatar
Alefroth
Posts: 5844
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 1:56 pm
Location: Bellingham WA

Re: Upgrading Win7 to Win10 without having to do a clean install

Post by Alefroth »

It's been at least 4 years since I've done it last, but it is really quite painless.

https://www.zdnet.com/article/heres-how ... 0-upgrade/
User avatar
LordMortis
Posts: 64102
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 11:26 pm

Re: Upgrading Win7 to Win10 without having to do a clean install

Post by LordMortis »

No Guarantees but Windows 10 Media Creation tool was still working as of a month ago. Get an 8 gig memory stick, put it on there and then run the creation tool installer. It should give you an accurate summary of how well it can perform the upgrade and it is still allowing you to upgrade your license for free.

Honestly you want to do this anyway. 7 is dead in December and it's security support is already lacking. Doubly so if you haven't been updating and missed the SHA 2 update requirements coming in to July.

https://www.microsoft.com/en-ca/softwar ... /windows10

Follow the guidelines for:

Using the tool to create installation media (USB flash drive, DVD, or ISO file) to install Windows 10 on a different PC (click to show more or less information)

You can back out before you commit and one of the early check marks allows you to choose to try and retain your files, retain your programs, or do clean install.

So just pay attention as you go. If you pay attention as you go, you have a very good chance at getting the outcome you commit to.

That said, always back up your files before you do something that could have catastrophic results.

(I don't have great results with cloning active OSes, so I will defer to someone who does. I know people who swear by Chronis. I've sworn at it. The big OEM players like Dell and Lenovo allow you do a full OS and state backups. You have to follow their method and again roll the dice.)
User avatar
Blackhawk
Posts: 30742
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 9:48 pm
Location: Southwest Indiana

Re: Upgrading Win7 to Win10 without having to do a clean install

Post by Blackhawk »

LordMortis wrote: Sat Jul 13, 2019 11:48 am No Guarantees but Windows 10 Media Creation tool was still working as of a month five days ago.
Tweaked.
________________________________________
The light at the end of the tunnel

Black Lives Matter
User avatar
jztemple2
Posts: 6176
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2009 7:52 am
Location: Brevard County, Florida, USA

Re: Upgrading Win7 to Win10 without having to do a clean install

Post by jztemple2 »

Thanks for the replies. I'm always nervous about doing any major software upgrades like this, but your replies have been encouraging :wub:

And of course I'm going to try this on my wife's machine before I even consider doing mine :wink:
“When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new.”

― The Dalai Lama
User avatar
Zitterbacke
Posts: 672
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2004 11:24 pm

Re: Upgrading Win7 to Win10 without having to do a clean install

Post by Zitterbacke »

I had problems with the upgrade stuck, because of multiple hard-drives connected whilst upgrading and the antivirus messing around (Windows Defender)
So two things: switch off Antivirus, unplug any drive you don't need.
Gaming? Nope, I'm into Bitwig.
User avatar
jztemple2
Posts: 6176
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2009 7:52 am
Location: Brevard County, Florida, USA

Re: Upgrading Win7 to Win10 without having to do a clean install

Post by jztemple2 »

Zitterbacke wrote: Sun Jul 14, 2019 4:24 am I had problems with the upgrade stuck, because of multiple hard-drives connected whilst upgrading and the antivirus messing around (Windows Defender)
So two things: switch off Antivirus, unplug any drive you don't need.
Good to know, I'd have failed on both counts.
“When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new.”

― The Dalai Lama
User avatar
Blackhawk
Posts: 30742
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 9:48 pm
Location: Southwest Indiana

Re: Upgrading Win7 to Win10 without having to do a clean install

Post by Blackhawk »

Make sure you remember to remove any swap files on those other drives in advance.
________________________________________
The light at the end of the tunnel

Black Lives Matter
User avatar
jztemple2
Posts: 6176
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2009 7:52 am
Location: Brevard County, Florida, USA

Re: Upgrading Win7 to Win10 without having to do a clean install

Post by jztemple2 »

I did the upgrade this afternoon. I decided to do it on my computer before my wife's but first I got a new SSD and cloned my C: drive in case anything horrible went wrong. It was reasonably painless, but I've noticed a few things already, like the customized shortcuts on my desktop went to transparent because apparently that particular icon design isn't in Win10 :evil:. Also all my desktop gadgets are gone. I seem to recall that they were no longer supported in Win10, but damn I loved having all those cool things readily visible, like network up/download speeds and CPU functions. Anything free I can get to replace them?

UPDATE: Also, according to my system info page, "Windows is activated" and I have a new product key. So free after all. Cool 8-)
“When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new.”

― The Dalai Lama
User avatar
Blackhawk
Posts: 30742
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 9:48 pm
Location: Southwest Indiana

Re: Upgrading Win7 to Win10 without having to do a clean install

Post by Blackhawk »

All gadgets are long since gone. They ended up being a security nightmare.
________________________________________
The light at the end of the tunnel

Black Lives Matter
User avatar
jztemple2
Posts: 6176
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2009 7:52 am
Location: Brevard County, Florida, USA

Re: Upgrading Win7 to Win10 without having to do a clean install

Post by jztemple2 »

Now my next question. On Win7 I had a local account password, basically so you had to enter a password if you restarted or powered up. It was not needed if I just had the machine in sleep mode. I want to remove that, but I can't find a place for it. This is NOT my Microsoft account password, which Win10 keeps wanting me to set up. Any idea how to remove a local screenlock password? I might be missing it on the various Settings screens.

Also, apparently WinKey + Right arrow key + Right arrow key + s to make the machine go to sleep is now gone. Is there now a new keyboard shortcut?
“When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new.”

― The Dalai Lama
User avatar
Anonymous Bosch
Posts: 8750
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 6:09 pm
Location: Northern California [originally from the UK]

Re: Upgrading Win7 to Win10 without having to do a clean install

Post by Anonymous Bosch »

jztemple2 wrote: Sun Jul 21, 2019 6:45 pm Any idea how to remove a local screenlock password? I might be missing it on the various Settings screens.
Try this.
jztemple2 wrote: Sun Jul 21, 2019 6:45 pmAlso, apparently WinKey + Right arrow key + Right arrow key + s to make the machine go to sleep is now gone. Is there now a new keyboard shortcut?
Here are the relevant shutdown/sleep keyboard shortcuts for Windows 10.
"Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters." -- Daniel Webster
User avatar
jztemple2
Posts: 6176
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2009 7:52 am
Location: Brevard County, Florida, USA

Re: Upgrading Win7 to Win10 without having to do a clean install

Post by jztemple2 »

Anonymous Bosch wrote: Sun Jul 21, 2019 7:24 pm
jztemple2 wrote: Sun Jul 21, 2019 6:45 pm Any idea how to remove a local screenlock password? I might be missing it on the various Settings screens.
Try this.
jztemple2 wrote: Sun Jul 21, 2019 6:45 pmAlso, apparently WinKey + Right arrow key + Right arrow key + s to make the machine go to sleep is now gone. Is there now a new keyboard shortcut?
Here are the relevant shutdown/sleep keyboard shortcuts for Windows 10.
Awesome! Thanks :wub:
“When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new.”

― The Dalai Lama
User avatar
jztemple2
Posts: 6176
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2009 7:52 am
Location: Brevard County, Florida, USA

Re: Upgrading Win7 to Win10 without having to do a clean install

Post by jztemple2 »

Anonymous Bosch wrote: Sun Jul 21, 2019 7:24 pm
jztemple2 wrote: Sun Jul 21, 2019 6:45 pm Any idea how to remove a local screenlock password? I might be missing it on the various Settings screens.
Try this.
That worked great! Got rid of that pesky password check.
Blackhawk wrote: Sun Jul 21, 2019 6:19 pm All gadgets are long since gone. They ended up being a security nightmare.
I got my gadgets back via 8GadgetPack. Seems legit and I scanned the heck out of the download. I'm now using the same gadgets I had since 2014 on the Win7 installation. According to the version info the pack was last updated in May of this year and all the ones I usually use seem to be operating correctly.
“When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new.”

― The Dalai Lama
User avatar
jztemple2
Posts: 6176
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2009 7:52 am
Location: Brevard County, Florida, USA

Re: Upgrading Win7 to Win10 without having to do a clean install

Post by jztemple2 »

One problem I did have with the Win10 upgrade on my machine was that my attached printer wasn't recognized and I had to use the wizard to actually create a new printer device. Weird.

I did my wife's rig tonight, with great trepidation as not only is it a machine from 2012, but she is rather casual about any kind of management of programs, icons, settings and the like. And she has two printers which after the problems with my one, I was expecting the worse. And yet everything went quite smoothly and even the printers are fine, worked right away. And just like my machine, Windows is activated on her rig without having to pay for anything or even enter a code. Cool.
“When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new.”

― The Dalai Lama
User avatar
Anonymous Bosch
Posts: 8750
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 6:09 pm
Location: Northern California [originally from the UK]

Re: Upgrading Win7 to Win10 without having to do a clean install

Post by Anonymous Bosch »

BTW, if you value your privacy, I suggest using O&O ShutUp10 and W10Privacy, which are free privacy tools that help prevent Windows 10 from spying upon and tracking you. While you can manually enable many of these settings from the Windows 10 control panel, keep in mind that Microsoft has a frustrating tendency of automatically resetting all of their privacy-violating shenanigans after installing a Windows update. However, using privacy tools like O&O ShutUp10 and W10Privacy means you can save your privacy settings, so you can easily re-enable them even after installing a Windows update.
"Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters." -- Daniel Webster
User avatar
jztemple2
Posts: 6176
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2009 7:52 am
Location: Brevard County, Florida, USA

Re: Upgrading Win7 to Win10 without having to do a clean install

Post by jztemple2 »

Anonymous Bosch wrote: Tue Jul 23, 2019 2:20 am BTW, if you value your privacy, I suggest using O&O ShutUp10 and W10Privacy, which are free privacy tools that help prevent Windows 10 from spying upon and tracking you. While you can manually enable many of these settings from the Windows 10 control panel, keep in mind that Microsoft has a frustrating tendency of automatically resetting all of their privacy-violating shenanigans after installing a Windows update. However, using privacy tools like O&O ShutUp10 and W10Privacy means you can save your privacy settings, so you can easily re-enable them even after installing a Windows update.
Thanks, that's good to know. Should I use both, or is one preferred over the other?
“When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new.”

― The Dalai Lama
User avatar
Anonymous Bosch
Posts: 8750
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 6:09 pm
Location: Northern California [originally from the UK]

Re: Upgrading Win7 to Win10 without having to do a clean install

Post by Anonymous Bosch »

jztemple2 wrote: Tue Jul 23, 2019 9:26 am
Anonymous Bosch wrote: Tue Jul 23, 2019 2:20 am BTW, if you value your privacy, I suggest using O&O ShutUp10 and W10Privacy, which are free privacy tools that help prevent Windows 10 from spying upon and tracking you. While you can manually enable many of these settings from the Windows 10 control panel, keep in mind that Microsoft has a frustrating tendency of automatically resetting all of their privacy-violating shenanigans after installing a Windows update. However, using privacy tools like O&O ShutUp10 and W10Privacy means you can save your privacy settings, so you can easily re-enable them even after installing a Windows update.
Thanks, that's good to know. Should I use both, or is one preferred over the other?
Since they each include certain settings that aren't necessarily in the other, you might as well use them both. That way, you'll get a more comprehensive selection.
"Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters." -- Daniel Webster
User avatar
LordMortis
Posts: 64102
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 11:26 pm

Re: Upgrading Win7 to Win10 without having to do a clean install

Post by LordMortis »

jztemple2 wrote: Tue Jul 23, 2019 12:44 am And just like my machine, Windows is activated on her rig without having to pay for anything or even enter a code. Cool.
That was what I was looking for and was a pleasant surprise with Media Creation tool. And the upgrade is for ever. If you wipe your machine with an F&R and then do a clean Windows install, MS should remember your MB,HD,CPU combo and the activation should happen the first time you are internet connected.

I don't tend to play with too many of those tools. I gimped whatsherface on an early version of Windows 10 and when the next version came out the gimping broke my whole OS so now I'm gun shy. I find 10/Edge/what'sherface/apstore integration to be very temperamental.
User avatar
jztemple2
Posts: 6176
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2009 7:52 am
Location: Brevard County, Florida, USA

Re: Upgrading Win7 to Win10 without having to do a clean install

Post by jztemple2 »

jztemple2 wrote: Sun Jul 21, 2019 11:37 pm
Anonymous Bosch wrote: Sun Jul 21, 2019 7:24 pm
jztemple2 wrote: Sun Jul 21, 2019 6:45 pm Any idea how to remove a local screenlock password? I might be missing it on the various Settings screens.
Try this.
That worked great! Got rid of that pesky password check.
Yup, it worked great on my machine, but when I upgraded my wife's machine, which had no password protection and went right from sleep to the desktop, it now stops at the Win10 pretty picture screen. A key press takes it to the log in screen, where a second key press brings it to the desktop. I tried the Try this fix above, in all sorts of combinations, including adding a password and then trying to remove it with Netplwiz. But no matter what I try, it still has to go through two menu screens it never went through before :grund:

My wife is not amused :roll:
“When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new.”

― The Dalai Lama
User avatar
Anonymous Bosch
Posts: 8750
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 6:09 pm
Location: Northern California [originally from the UK]

Re: Upgrading Win7 to Win10 without having to do a clean install

Post by Anonymous Bosch »

jztemple2 wrote: Tue Jul 23, 2019 4:44 pm Yup, it worked great on my machine, but when I upgraded my wife's machine, which had no password protection and went right from sleep to the desktop, it now stops at the Win10 pretty picture screen. A key press takes it to the log in screen, where a second key press brings it to the desktop. I tried the Try this fix above, in all sorts of combinations, including adding a password and then trying to remove it with Netplwiz. But no matter what I try, it still has to go through two menu screens it never went through before :grund:

My wife is not amused :roll:
Not to worry, that ought to be easily remedied.

Go to Control Panel > Accounts > Sign-in options. Verify under Require sign-in that it is set to Never. Then, scroll down to Privacy and uncheck Show account details and Use my sign-in info.

If memory serves, that should do the trick for your unamused trouble n' strife.
"Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters." -- Daniel Webster
User avatar
jztemple2
Posts: 6176
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2009 7:52 am
Location: Brevard County, Florida, USA

Re: Upgrading Win7 to Win10 without having to do a clean install

Post by jztemple2 »

Anonymous Bosch wrote: Tue Jul 23, 2019 5:08 pm
jztemple2 wrote: Tue Jul 23, 2019 4:44 pm Yup, it worked great on my machine, but when I upgraded my wife's machine, which had no password protection and went right from sleep to the desktop, it now stops at the Win10 pretty picture screen. A key press takes it to the log in screen, where a second key press brings it to the desktop. I tried the Try this fix above, in all sorts of combinations, including adding a password and then trying to remove it with Netplwiz. But no matter what I try, it still has to go through two menu screens it never went through before :grund:

My wife is not amused :roll:
Not to worry, that ought to be easily remedied.

Go to Control Panel > Accounts > Sign-in options. Verify under Require sign-in that it is set to Never. Then, scroll down to Privacy and uncheck Show account details and Use my sign-in info.

If memory serves, that should do the trick for your unamused trouble n' strife.
Thanks for the reply. The path I found was Control Panel > User Accounts but there isn't a next step called Sign-in options. However, using a search I did find "Sign-in options" in Settings. My screen shows below. On my wife's machine the section in red (my markup) wasn't there, but once I added a password to her account, that "Require sign-in" option did appear. I set it to "Never" and then ran Netplwiz to remove the requirement to ever need a password. I then crossed my fingers and voilà no more two extra screens. At least for now :roll:

Image
“When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new.”

― The Dalai Lama
User avatar
jztemple2
Posts: 6176
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2009 7:52 am
Location: Brevard County, Florida, USA

Re: Upgrading Win7 to Win10 without having to do a clean install

Post by jztemple2 »

Anonymous Bosch wrote: Tue Jul 23, 2019 2:20 am BTW, if you value your privacy, I suggest using O&O ShutUp10 and W10Privacy, which are free privacy tools that help prevent Windows 10 from spying upon and tracking you...
Holy crap, I just took a look at both those programs. That's a lot of settings, especially W10Privacy :shock:

Are all you folks using these programs and turning everything off? Any problems afterwards?
“When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new.”

― The Dalai Lama
User avatar
Anonymous Bosch
Posts: 8750
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 6:09 pm
Location: Northern California [originally from the UK]

Re: Upgrading Win7 to Win10 without having to do a clean install

Post by Anonymous Bosch »

jztemple2 wrote: Tue Jul 23, 2019 10:54 pm
Anonymous Bosch wrote: Tue Jul 23, 2019 2:20 am BTW, if you value your privacy, I suggest using O&O ShutUp10 and W10Privacy, which are free privacy tools that help prevent Windows 10 from spying upon and tracking you...
Holy crap, I just took a look at both those programs. That's a lot of settings, especially W10Privacy :shock:

Are all you folks using these programs and turning everything off? Any problems afterwards?
You don't have to turn everything off unless you're totally paranoid.

W10Privacy colour-codes all of its settings as either Green (safe to set), Amber (worth checking carefully) or Red (best not to mess with these unless you're certain of what you're doing). O&O ShutUp10 has an even simpler UI. Under the Action menu you can use "Recommended," "Recommended and somewhat-recommended," or "All settings" for tin-foil hat wearers.

Anyway, if you stick with the Green-coloured settings in W10Privacy and the "Recommended" settings in O&O ShutUp10, you shouldn't have any problems at all (I use "Recommended and somewhat-recommended" in O&O ShutUp10 personally). You can always tweak the additional settings if and when you find the need to do so, as both programs do a reasonably good job of explaining the purpose of each setting with tool-tips and such.
"Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters." -- Daniel Webster
User avatar
jztemple2
Posts: 6176
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2009 7:52 am
Location: Brevard County, Florida, USA

Re: Upgrading Win7 to Win10 without having to do a clean install

Post by jztemple2 »

Thanks, that sounds like a way to go on the privacy settings :wub:
“When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new.”

― The Dalai Lama
User avatar
em2nought
Posts: 3928
Joined: Fri Oct 15, 2004 5:48 am

Re: Upgrading Win7 to Win10 without having to do a clean install

Post by em2nought »

Building up the courage to upgrade my work HP desktop computers from Windows 7. LOL :mrgreen: So far the installer wouldn't function for my work laptop, the program told me my laptop was missing something required to use Windows 10. I could have sworn my eight year old laptop met all the requirements. :doh: Might have to get another darned Toshiba, this one's been to Asia two or three times now, and once to South America. Must be pretty rugged as laptops go?
Good Night, and Good Luck.
User avatar
Smoove_B
Posts: 44440
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 12:58 am
Location: Kaer Morhen

Re: Upgrading Win7 to Win10 without having to do a clean install

Post by Smoove_B »

Just saw this on Blues - you can still upgrade Win 7 and Win 8 to Win 10 for free:
Two years ago, I ran tests to see if it was still possible to upgrade from earlier versions of Windows to Windows 10 for free. Back then, this worked without any issues.

Today, I decided to re-run these tests to see if upgrades are still free. It should not come as a surprise that it is still possible to upgrade Windows 7 SP1 and Windows 8.1 devices to Windows 10 provided that these devices have a genuine license.
I do have an old Win7 desktop sitting around, collecting dust. Maybe I'll give it a try. It's not like I have anything else to do. :D
I'm so far off the map the sun is shining
User avatar
hitbyambulance
Posts: 7817
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 3:51 am
Location: Map Ref 47.6°N 122.35°W
Contact:

Re: Upgrading Win7 to Win10 without having to do a clean install

Post by hitbyambulance »

Smoove_B wrote: Sat Jan 02, 2021 7:31 pm Maybe I'll give it a try.
no 'try' needed - it will work. MS has been very liberal about the Windows license upgrades since the new and improved telemetry in Win10 gives them so much more valuable user data to monetize.
Post Reply