As many of you probably already know, Windows 7 and Windows 8 users are capable of getting the new Windows 10 Upgrade for free. If you’ve already clicked the tiny Microsoft logo down in your system tray and reserved your free upgrade, you can patiently wait for it, or you can download the media creation tool now and upgrade to Windows 10 today. But what happens if the upgrade does not go well? Are you prepared for the worst?
Windows 10 System Requirements
You should first make sure your computer is capable of upgrading to Windows 10. If your PC is running Windows 8.1 already, chances are you should have no problem. Here are the official system requirements for Windows 10:
Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster processor
RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) for 32-bit or 2 GB for 64-bit
Hard disk space: 16 GB for 32-bit OS 20 GB for 64-bit OS
Graphics card: DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver
You can find your system specs by going to the Start button and typing msinfo32.exe into the search box.
Image Your Computer Prior To Upgrading To Windows 10
You should consider creating an image of your Windows 7 or Windows 8 install prior to performing the upgrading to Windows 10. An image is a snapshot of your entire disk that can be used as a path to salvation should you decide you do not like Windows 10 or if Windows 10 breaks your computer. There are easy to use programs out there such as CloneZilla and Macrium Reflect Free that make imaging easy.
You can also take this opportunity to upgrade to a Solid State Hard Drive. SSDs have come down in price and is an affordable way to super-charge your computer. If you decide to go this route, use either CloneZilla or Macrium Reflect Free to create a clone of your existing Windows 7 or Windows 8 machine. A clone is an exact duplicate of your partition. Next, remove the old spinning hard drive and insert the SSD. You can now perform the upgrade on the SSD and have a safe copy of your old install on the spinning drive. Here is our recommended SSD and here is a handy Hard Drive Adapter Cable to make cloning or imaging easy.
Run Windows Update
You may immediately find some things are not working when Windows 10 loads for the first time. Maybe the graphics are off or maybe your printer no longer prints. The first thing you should do after upgrading to Windows 10 is run Windows update. This will pull down any new Windows 10 drivers your computer may be missing. To run Windows Update from Windows 10, go to the search box near the Start button and type Windows Update.
Perform A Clean Install Of Windows 10
To reset your Windows 10 PC and wipe everything, open the Settings app, select Update & security, select Recovery. Next, click the “Get started” button under Reset this PC.
Select “Remove everything,” and this will wipe all your files. Before doing this, make sure you have backed up all of your personal files–pictures, music, documents, etc.
Revert Back To Your Previous Version Of Windows
If you created a disk image or cloned your old hard drive prior to upgrading to Windows 10, you can go back to your previous version by re-imaging your computer or by putting your old hard drive back in.
Hopefully, your Windows 10 upgrade went smoothly. If you have any questions or problems, please join our free computer repair forums and ask your question in our Windows 10 forum.