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Windows 10 upgrades are still available for free!

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MWmetalhead
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Windows 10 upgrades are still available for free!

Post by MWmetalhead » Sat Jan 25, 2020 12:39 pm

Do NOT assume you need to shell out $129.95 (or whatever goofy price Microsoft is charging) to upgrade from Windows 7 Home to Windows 10 Home or $199.95 to upgrade from Windows 7 Pro to Windows 10 Pro!

In fact, don't assume you need to shell out even a nickel! :hat

Instead, follow the steps listed here:
https://www.cnet.com/how-to/can-i-still ... heres-how/

I did precisely as the article instructed earlier this morning on a PC purchased in 2015, and it worked like a charm!

In my case, I upgraded from Windows 7 Pro to Windows 10 Pro. Worked like a charm!


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bmw
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Re: Windows 10 upgrades are still available for free!

Post by bmw » Sat Jan 25, 2020 1:51 pm

I have to correct some factual inaccuracies in that article.

First, from the article:
Windows 7 users who don't upgrade to the new version will no longer be able to get Microsoft's security updates or fixes, or technical support for any issues, leaving your computer at greater risk from viruses and malware.
This is outright FALSE. While Microsoft is sticking to their guns with regards to Windows 7 Operating System Updates, they did reverse course at the last minute with regards to virus protection. You can still download and install Microsoft Security Essentials for free (now baked into Windows 10 but available as a separate download for 7) and it will still receive daily virus and malware definition updates for the foreseeable future. Microsoft had originally said that these updates would cease on January 14, but they changed their minds just days before. I am not surprised given Windows 7's strong market share. Microsoft had to compromise somewhere, and it appears that this is where they did so.

Next:
It should be noted that if you have a Windows 7 or 8 Home license, you can only update to Windows 10 Home, while Windows 7 or 8 Pro can only be updated to Windows 10 Pro (the upgrade is not available for Windows Enterprise.
This only partially true. You can, in fact, use a Windows 7 or 8 Pro license to update to Windows 10 home, just not the other way around. In fact, if you use a Windows 7 or 8 Pro license to attempt to activate a Windows 10 Home installation, it will prompt you asking you whether you want to keep home or upgrade it to pro.

As someone who does this stuff for a living, the amount of misinformation out there, especially from otherwise reputable sources, drives me crazy.

One other thing - that article only deals with upgrades. You can also do fresh installs on any Windows 7 or 8 machine. Particularly interesting is Windows 8. If you have a Windows 8 machine, its COA license is likely embedded into the BIOS without a COA sticker to be found. If you put a fresh install of Windows 10 on such a computer, upon connecting it to the internet, it will AUTOMATICALLY ACTIVATE ITSELF using the Windows 8 COA embedded into the BIOS. Lastly, while this would technically violate your TOS with Microsoft, you can use any Windows 7 COA you might have on an old computer to activate Windows 10 on a newer computer.



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MWmetalhead
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Re: Windows 10 upgrades are still available for free!

Post by MWmetalhead » Sat Jan 25, 2020 6:02 pm

I was a Windows 10 skeptic - and similar to a car model that just underwent a complete overhaul that lacks a reliability track record - I was in no hurry to dump Windows 7. I was a satisfied 7 user. Worked pretty damn well on my PC.

I read about the comparability issues Windows 10 users were experiencing a few years ago and commented about it on this very forum. I wanted to make sure ALL the kinks were worked out before switching.

That said, so far today for me the transition from 7 to 10 has been virtually seamless. Boot time for my PC is quicker, there is no latency anymore when connecting to the internet via WiFi (I have a dongle plugged into a USB port on my machine), and graphic rendering is crisper.

The voice activated search assistant is a nice feature, and the ability to turn your internet-connected PC into a mobile hotspot is another interesting (even if not particularly necessary) feature. There are also some cloud computing friendly features built into 10 that pretty much take the Office 365 concept to a new level.
This is outright FALSE. While Microsoft is sticking to their guns with regards to Windows 7 Operating System Updates, they did reverse course at the last minute with regards to virus protection.
I disagree about the statement you referenced being "outright" false. The statement says Windows 7 Operating System Updates will no longer be provided, and you acknowledge same. Where you & I will agree is the fact the statement exaggerates the virus threat - especially in the near term.

I run Avast on my machine, and here's what they wrote yesterday on their blog:

https://blog.avast.com/avast-still-supports-windows-7

Tomorrow, I'm going to install Windows 10 on my laptop (it currently runs 8.1 - barf). We'll see how that one goes.


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bmw
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Re: Windows 10 upgrades are still available for free!

Post by bmw » Sat Jan 25, 2020 6:41 pm

From boot-up until usable desktop, a barebones installation of Windows 10 takes virtually the same amount of time to boot as does Windows 7. I've tested both on various different hardware, and side-by-side, the boot time is basically identical.

As to cloud computing, again, this is anecdotal, but the majority of my clients prefer stand-alone installation of Office and their files saved to their local computer. Some do use OneDrive, but I'd say a small majority doesn't use any cloud storage whatsoever.

As to compatibility issues - honestly I haven't run into many with Windows 10. Generally speaking, Windows 10's automatic driver installation is solid. I have occasionally run into issues where I have to do driver rollback because the update just plain doesn't work (the worst case I ran into was just last week where I had an older laptop upgrade the Intel HD graphics driver and the desktop literally turned to gibberish, like when you crack an LCD screen. I had to boot into safe mode to roll it back, and then all was good.

One specific area where Windows 10 is great is in regards to printers. Most of the time, you just plug your printer's USB cable in and minutes later it is ready to go without having to do anything. If your printer is on the network, simply search for printer, click on it, and you're good to go.

The two biggest gripes I have with Windows 10 are the never-ending, auto-installing updates that are still very difficult to disable or slow down unless you know what you're doing, and also the lack of an F8 safe mode option. You basically have to hard-power down your PC 3 times during start up to force a safe mode option, and I hate doing that.

All of that said, I NEVER do an in-place upgrade. NEVER. Don't think I've ever done one. If someone wants Windows 10, I install it from a base image I have personally created myself onto a new SSD and then afterwards transfer their data and settings from the old drive to the new one. On a solid state hard drive, I can blast a full Windows 10 image onto a hard drive over a SATA-to-USB 3.0 connector in about 2 minutes and 10 seconds. Pop that drive into the target PC, let it auto-update the drivers, activate Windows, and it is good to go.

MW - if your laptop came with Windows 8 and you're doing a fresh install of Windows 10, it should auto-activate itself. If not, open a command prompt and type the following EXACTLY as follows:

wmic path softwarelicensingservice get OA3xOriginalProductKey

That will display the BIOS product key and you should be able to activate windows with that key.



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MWmetalhead
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Re: Windows 10 upgrades are still available for free!

Post by MWmetalhead » Sat Jan 25, 2020 7:22 pm

Good info; thank you!


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km1125
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Re: Windows 10 upgrades are still available for free!

Post by km1125 » Sun Jan 26, 2020 1:31 pm

bmw wrote:
Sat Jan 25, 2020 6:41 pm
....
The two biggest gripes I have with Windows 10 are the never-ending, auto-installing updates that are still very difficult to disable or slow down unless you know what you're doing, and also the lack of an F8 safe mode option. You basically have to hard-power down your PC 3 times during start up to force a safe mode option, and I hate doing that.
....
I know you probably know this, but for others: You can set your network connection to "metered" and will will slow down or stop most of these updates. You can put it back to "unmetered" when you want to do the updates. You can do this for any wired or wireless connection, or just do it for some to have a bit more control over when the updates happen.



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MWmetalhead
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Re: Windows 10 upgrades are still available for free!

Post by MWmetalhead » Sun Jan 26, 2020 4:52 pm

Completed the upgrade to Windows 10 on my Windows 8 laptop today. Took twice as long as my desktop PC; about 3 hours this time. My laptop is a cheap one (AMD A8 quad core processor) and was purchased in 2013 or 2014.

The operating system works like a charm so far. Activation of Windows 10 occurred automatically; no license code or licensing fee required.


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thatonedude
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Re: Windows 10 upgrades are still available for free!

Post by thatonedude » Wed Jan 29, 2020 9:26 pm

MW, you might want to get rid of Avast, especially after this scandal:
https://www.pcworld.com/article/3516502 ... grams.html

I personally use Windows Defender and Malwarebytes on my Windows machine; on my Mac, I use Sophos and Malwarebytes (Macs can get malware, I don't care what anyone says).

Windows 10 is fine as an OS as long as you know what features to disable, especially the telemetry.


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Re: Windows 10 upgrades are still available for free!

Post by audiophile » Thu Jan 30, 2020 4:05 am

Plus it's almost worthless. MalwareBytes is much better at finding actual problems.


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MWmetalhead
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Re: Windows 10 upgrades are still available for free!

Post by MWmetalhead » Thu Jan 30, 2020 8:09 pm

I appreciate the info, thatonedude.

Problem is - so many of these damn software companies collect & re-sell our personal info, it's hard to tell who participates in that practice and who doesn't. (I never use the Avast web browser.)

Avast has actually been really good at preventing malware-infested web pages from loading, blocking malicious scripts from running, etc.

Before Avast, I used Kaspersky, but their software didn't seem to work well on my laptop. Caused system resource issues.

I was a satisfied ESET user a number of years back, but I abandoned their product for some reason. I honestly cannot recall why. Price, maybe?

I won't touch Norton or McAfee. I've never tried the full-fledged version of MalwareBytes (only the free version), and I've never tried Bit Defender or Avira.

A few years ago, I had a virus actually prevent me from launching the .exe file of MalwareBytes, so that makes me just a bit skeptical of how iron-clad the premium version of the software is.


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MWmetalhead
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Re: Windows 10 upgrades are still available for free!

Post by MWmetalhead » Sat Feb 01, 2020 3:54 pm

Windows Search indexing was fucking up drive responsiveness on my cheap laptop.

I disabled it - and voila! Everything runs better now.

Some great tips are offered here:
https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/4-tips-fi ... #diskcheck

I can vouch for the "superfetch" issue, too. That was causing headaches for me in Windows 8. I posted on that topic here over five years ago, long before the techie publications and websites paid any attention.


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Re: Windows 10 upgrades are still available for free!

Post by TheForce » Sun Feb 02, 2020 9:36 am

The transition to Windows 10 was a bit rough way back when due to the lack of a start button. Glad later updates corrected the issue and gave us back the start button.



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Re: Windows 10 upgrades are still available for free!

Post by bmw » Sun Feb 02, 2020 10:57 pm

MW - have you upgraded your computers to using solid state hard drives? If not, you should DO SO IMMEDIATELY. You won't believe how much faster they boot up and how much snappier and more responsive they are to literally everything. And considering where prices are now, there's no excuse not to.



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Re: Windows 10 upgrades are still available for free!

Post by MWmetalhead » Thu Feb 06, 2020 5:10 pm

Not yet, and I regret not doing so previously.

My PCs are already so old that I don't feel like investing more money in them. Once they hit the skids, any replacement I purchase will definitely be SSD equipped.


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