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Author Topic: How to switch to Windows 10 for free until Jan 14 2020  (Read 109 times)
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« on: December 22, 2019, 07:25:17 PM »
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Time is running out for anyone still on Windows 7. Soon there'll be no more security and software updates. Here's what you need to do.
The end is near: All support for Windows 7 expires on Jan 14,2020. While the operating system will remain fully functional, no more updates mean you could be working on a computer with major security holes that won't ever be fixed by Microsoft.
Considering that the number of vulnerabilities on Windows 7 that could be potential entry points for Trojans or viruses is steadily increasing, you need to have a plan to upgrade to Windows 10.
Most private users will be able to get a free update. Windows 10 accepts Windows 7 installation keys provided you still have that edition installed.
You can make the change in three ways: Upgrade the Windows 7 installation to Windows 10, replace it with a brand new Windows 10 installation or install the new operating system parallel to the old one.
Whichever you do, you should save your data beforehand and download the free Media Creation Tool from Microsoft. With this, the disk image required for the migration can be downloaded and saved on a USB stick, for example.
The advantage of a parallel installation is that all your programs, settings and data will remain untouched. The entire Windows 7 installation is preserved and is only a restart away.
If you're upgrading, the experts recommend that you check that all your drivers are up to date beforehand, in particular critical ones such as for the graphics chip or USB interfaces. You also need to uninstall any virus scanner, as Windows 10 brings its own (Defender).
Otherwise, the upgrade may fail due to outdated drivers or because the virus scanner blocks it.
When you go to upgrade, you need to insert the USB stick or DVD containing the Windows 10 disk image while Windows 7 is running and click on the "Setup.exe" file.
If you want a fresh install of Windows 10 that completely replaces Windows 7, you need to restart the computer so it can boot from the USB stick or DVD.
For a parallel installation of Windows 10 next to Windows 7 it's crucial that the hard disk has an additional free partition available. If it doesn't, you can create one in Windows Disk Management (Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Computer Management).
One of the first steps to take once you have installed Windows 10 is to check the privacy options under Settings > Privacy. You can get there by clicking on the Windows icon at the bottom left, followed by a click on the gear icon.
If you don't want to work through all the various menus yourself you can download a tool such as O&O ShutUp10, which proposes privacy-oriented settings to users and can set them up in one go.
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