1.    09 Mar 2016 #1
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 13

    Upgrade to W10, roll back to W7, then back to W10 - possible?

    Hi there,
    I have a small net-top running Win7, which is primarily used as a WMC DVR/TV system in my living room. As is well known, WMC is not part of W10, and isn't coming back. I'd like to upgrade to W10 on this machine to try out some other options that are out there. However, some of these options are in beta, and I don't want to be stuck with W10 and no WMC on this machine through the whole beta cycle, if they aren't working well enough to please "other family members." In that case I'd like to go back to using W7+WMC. But, I'd like to eventually go to W10 on this machine, as I prefer W10 to W7, but only after a good replacement for WMC is found for me.

    I don't really want to do a dual boot solution, although if that's the best way I will consider it.

    So... I'd like to know if it is possible to take the upgrade to W10 on this machine, use W10 for a couple weeks or months, then go back to W7 if I want, and be able to re-install W10 again (without having to then buy a license for W10) once a long term / permanent W10 DVR solution for me is available?

    I'm thinking that if I take the upgrade, then create a clean install disc or usb stick for W10, I should be able to then go back and forth between W7 as much as I like, right? Or does MS limit this kind of thing somehow?

    As always, thanks for any information, tips, advice, etc.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2.    09 Mar 2016 #2
    Join Date : Jan 2015
    UK, Midlands
    Posts : 5,751
    Win 10 Pro (1607)

    Hi, once Win 10 has been activated on a PC, you can reinstall it as many times as you like. Even changing the HDD shouldn't affect that.

    Do check your netbook is Win 10 compatible.

    You wouldn't need to roll back the OS and later reinstall Win 10 - that would be horribly time consuming and could be tricky if you have problems getting Win 10 up first time.

    Idea 1: you could even simply swap the HDD in your netbook if it's accessible- have your win 7 build on one drive, Win 10, once you've upgraded, on another HDD.

    Idea 2: Or use disk imaging to put either your Win 7 or your Win 10 build on your one HDD in your netbook.
    If you want to change from Win 7 to Win 10 with all programs and drivers quickly without dual booting you can use disk imaging and create an image of each, starting with your present Win 7.

    1. Create a disk image of your Win 7 disk/partition before upgrading to Win 10 (a very good and wise precaution as it's possible to end up with an unbootable system - I did 1st time 'cos of one program installed).

    2. Upgrade to Win 10, make sure it works reasonably

    3. Create a new base disk image of your Win 10 disk/partition

    4. Complete any trials/configuration/tests/updates for your win 10 build

    5. Update your Win 10 disk image

    Now you can restore your disk image for Win 10 or Win 7 at will, and with SSD and USB3, that's reasonably quick - say < 15 mins.

    Disk imaging:
    Macrium Reflect free is favoured by many here.
    I still use Aomei Backupper, though some have reported issues previously with some disk configurations with SSDs. (And I have an SSD/hybrid HDD on this PC).

    ** make sure when you 1st install your disk imaging program to create its bootable medium.

    When you upgrade to Win 10, download and save the iso/create bootable Win 10 medium rather than simply upgradin by download. Why? If things go wrong you've got the bootable medium there to try again, or boot from, and it's very useful if you need to do an in-place upgrade repair install.

    Keep updating your disk image for both as appropriate (incremental images are smaller and faster than the base image).

    Be aware Uncle MS takes responsibility for your drivers. This can be problematic in some cases, but is meant to free you from updating drivers for your PC yourself. Don't try driver scanner programs in Win 10 unless you really can't find a driver (which has been my case twice) or for devices MS doesn't support.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


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