Windows 10: Important precautions to take before upgrading to Windows 10

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  1.    02 May 2016 #1

    Important precautions to take before upgrading to Windows 10


    I recently upgraded two brand new off the shelf "computers" to Windows 10 and a couple of precautions saved me a whole lot of time. I say "computers" in quotes because one was a cheap 10" tablet from WalMart and the other is a cheap stick computer I am now using as a media player. Both computers are the 2GB RAM, 32 GB eMMC type computers with Intel Atom processors and Windows 8.1 + Bing. I also have 9 other computers in my house already on Windows 10 so I was not worried about making a recovery drive because I knew I had the other computers to make one.

    1. First thing, create a local user account and install Macrium Reflect Free. There is an option during the setup program to download just Reflect or to also include Windows PE. All you need at this point is just the Reflect program by itself which is about 40 MB. First thing we are going to do is make a backup image, so the less we have installed the smaller the backup image will be.

    2. Both these computers had microSD slots so each one got a 32 GB microSD card inserted. Ran a full image backup to the microSD card. Of course you would use a USB flash drive or USB hard drive without microSD capability. Explore the image in Macrium Reflect after it is done and make sure it has all the partitions included in it.

    3. My microSD cards both got drive letter E:\. I created a folder on each card called E:\DriversW8. From an elevated ("run as administrator") command prompt I ran:
    dism /online /export-driver /destination:E:\DriversW8

    This exports all the drivers installed that are not native to Windows to the created folder.

    4. I wanted the stick computer to have Windows Pro on it because I want to be able to remote desktop into it. I changed the Windows 8.1 product key to a Windows 8 Pro product key and did the upgrade. I checked to make sure it was activated, and it did activate online. Then I ran gatherosstate.exe from Windows 10 installation USB flash drive and captured the genuineticket.xml file. If you do not have a Windows 8 or 10 product key in bios, or you want to upgrade a version of Windows that you had to manually enter a product key for, you need to do this. It won't hurt to do it even if you do have a product key in bios, it only takes a couple minutes.

    4. Using Windows 10 build 10586 installation USB, I selected custom install. I deleted all the partitions in the eMMC ("hard drive"). Installed Windows 10 to the unallocated space. Windows setup automatically read the product key in bios and installed Windows 10 Home. They both activated online because of the product key in bios.

    5. Look in device manager and there were quite a few "unknown devices" and one device with an exclamation point. Right click on each one and first select the automatic method for updating device drivers. About half the unknown devices pulled drivers off the internet. For the devices that did not pull drivers online, I selected the option to search computer (or something like that) and browsed to my E:\DriversW8 folder. Each device pulled a driver from there. Also check your display adapter and make sure it isn't Microsoft Basic driver.

    6. During step 5 Windows update also kicked in, updating some drivers and installing the cumulative update.

    7a. The tablet had a couple issues. No screen rotation. Had to manually install a legacy driver for that by right clicking the very top entry in device manager and selecting install legacy hardware. Had to point it to the specific .inf file in my E:\DriversW8 folder (thank you Google!). Now the screen rotated but it was either upside down or 90 degrees off. More Google searching revealed there is a registry entry required to correct the orientation. Now I know there is a way to load the registry hive from the backup image, but I didn't want to take the time to figure that out. So, installed Macrium Reflect full install this time, Windows PE and all. Ran the option to make a boot entry for Reflect (which runs from Windows PE). Saved a backup image again of the entire eMMC memory. Rebooted into Macrium Reflect from the boot menu. Restored the previously saved Windows 8.1. Found the registry entry and exported it. Rebooted into Macrium from a rescue flash drive I had with Windows PE again, restored the Windows 10 image. Imported the registry key. Screen orientation all good now!

    b. Second issue was that Windows 10 replaced the imaging device driver for the two cameras with the wrong driver. Had to go to device manager and update device driver and manually pick the specific .inf file from my E:\Drivers8 folder. That made the cameras work.

    8. Now for the upgrade to Pro on the stick computer. Changed the Windows 10 product key to the generic Windows 10 Pro product key everyone gets from an upgrade. It upgraded to Pro but did not activate (expected). Changed the product key again to my Windows 8 Pro product key. Got an error back that the key was in use on another computer (not expected)?!? Ummm...HELLO! It was previously used on this same computer! So I copied the genuineticket.xml file I had saved from Windows 8 to the proper folder in Windows 10. Rebooted. Activated immediately.

    SUMMARY:
    Three important steps saved a lot of time/headache. Make a backup image of the current OS. Export the drivers from the current OS. Capture the genuineticket.xml file from the current OS. Then upgrade!

    Hope this helps someone.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2.    02 May 2016 #2

    NavyLCDR said: View Post
    I recently upgraded two brand new off the shelf "computers" to Windows 10 and a couple of precautions saved me a whole lot of time. I say "computers" in quotes because one was a cheap 10" tablet from WalMart and the other is a cheap stick computer I am now using as a media player. Both computers are the 2GB RAM, 32 GB eMMC type computers with Intel Atom processors and Windows 8.1 + Bing. I also have 9 other computers in my house already on Windows 10 so I was not worried about making a recovery drive because I knew I had the other computers to make one.

    1. First thing, create a local user account and install Macrium Reflect Free. There is an option during the setup program to download just Reflect or to also include Windows PE. All you need at this point is just the Reflect program by itself which is about 40 MB. First thing we are going to do is make a backup image, so the less we have installed the smaller the backup image will be.

    2. Both these computers had microSD slots so each one got a 32 GB microSD card inserted. Ran a full image backup to the microSD card. Of course you would use a USB flash drive or USB hard drive without microSD capability. Explore the image in Macrium Reflect after it is done and make sure it has all the partitions included in it.

    3. My microSD cards both got drive letter E:\. I created a folder on each card called E:\DriversW8. From an elevated ("run as administrator") command prompt I ran:
    dism /online /export-driver /destination:E:\DriversW8

    This exports all the drivers installed that are not native to Windows to the created folder.

    4. I wanted the stick computer to have Windows Pro on it because I want to be able to remote desktop into it. I changed the Windows 8.1 product key to a Windows 8 Pro product key and did the upgrade. I checked to make sure it was activated, and it did activate online. Then I ran gatherosstate.exe from Windows 10 installation USB flash drive and captured the genuineticket.xml file. If you do not have a Windows 8 or 10 product key in bios, or you want to upgrade a version of Windows that you had to manually enter a product key for, you need to do this. It won't hurt to do it even if you do have a product key in bios, it only takes a couple minutes.

    4. Using Windows 10 build 10586 installation USB, I selected custom install. I deleted all the partitions in the eMMC ("hard drive"). Installed Windows 10 to the unallocated space. Windows setup automatically read the product key in bios and installed Windows 10 Home. They both activated online because of the product key in bios.

    5. Look in device manager and there were quite a few "unknown devices" and one device with an exclamation point. Right click on each one and first select the automatic method for updating device drivers. About half the unknown devices pulled drivers off the internet. For the devices that did not pull drivers online, I selected the option to search computer (or something like that) and browsed to my E:\DriversW8 folder. Each device pulled a driver from there. Also check your display adapter and make sure it isn't Microsoft Basic driver.

    6. During step 5 Windows update also kicked in, updating some drivers and installing the cumulative update.

    7a. The tablet had a couple issues. No screen rotation. Had to manually install a legacy driver for that by right clicking the very top entry in device manager and selecting install legacy hardware. Had to point it to the specific .inf file in my E:\DriversW8 folder (thank you Google!). Now the screen rotated but it was either upside down or 90 degrees off. More Google searching revealed there is a registry entry required to correct the orientation. Now I know there is a way to load the registry hive from the backup image, but I didn't want to take the time to figure that out. So, installed Macrium Reflect full install this time, Windows PE and all. Ran the option to make a boot entry for Reflect (which runs from Windows PE). Saved a backup image again of the entire eMMC memory. Rebooted into Macrium Reflect from the boot menu. Restored the previously saved Windows 8.1. Found the registry entry and exported it. Rebooted into Macrium from a rescue flash drive I had with Windows PE again, restored the Windows 10 image. Imported the registry key. Screen orientation all good now!

    b. Second issue was that Windows 10 replaced the imaging device driver for the two cameras with the wrong driver. Had to go to device manager and update device driver and manually pick the specific .inf file from my E:\Drivers8 folder. That made the cameras work.

    8. Now for the upgrade to Pro on the stick computer. Changed the Windows 10 product key to the generic Windows 10 Pro product key everyone gets from an upgrade. It upgraded to Pro but did not activate (expected). Changed the product key again to my Windows 8 Pro product key. Got an error back that the key was in use on another computer (not expected)?!? Ummm...HELLO! It was previously used on this same computer! So I copied the genuineticket.xml file I had saved from Windows 8 to the proper folder in Windows 10. Rebooted. Activated immediately.

    SUMMARY:
    Three important steps saved a lot of time/headache. Make a backup image of the current OS. Export the drivers from the current OS. Capture the genuineticket.xml file from the current OS. Then upgrade!

    Hope this helps someone.
    Good description - especially tablet advice.

    Actually, it is may be worth making a recovery drive on the tablet as you cannot get hold of the 8.1+Bing OS from MS (some vendors will supply them at a cost).

    So if you did have to do a bare bones reinstall of Windows 8.1 e.g. if Macrium image failed (low probability but not zero), then whilst you can reinstall standard 8.1, it will not activate as the Bing key does not work on standard 8.1.

    Also, do not use "reset my pc" as in my tests, it fails miserably with Bing as it does not seem to be able to recreate or reconnect properly to the special compressed OS.

    Incidentally Macrium Reflect Free is the only imaging tool I found that backs up tablets and reliably restores.

    To be fair, I tested them around 18 months ago, and have not retested other tools since. It is because imaging tools seem a bit flakey on tablets (especially the unusual 32bit UEFI versions).

    To this end, I recommend making a recovery drive to avoid putting all your eggs in one basket.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3.    02 May 2016 #3

    I'll give you another precaution.

    I upgraded a friend's Windows 7 laptop to 10 with no problems and it ran great. But we had to go back to 7. He didn't know any of his passwords, so he couldn't get into any of his accounts. They offered to send his password to his e-mail account, but he didn't know the password.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4.    03 May 2016 #4

    Drivers is a big one. I've done six upgrades (two from 8.1 and four from 7) to 10, and while Windows update did the job on all of them, you could really be hurting if one of the new drivers didn't work properly.

    I know my brother had issues with his Nvidia card after the upgrade to 10, but he was able to solve it by manually clean installing a different driver from the manufacturer's website.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5.    03 May 2016 #5

    Usually, if you made an image of your previous OS and you get stuck needing a driver you can mount the backup image you made as a virtual drive and point the Update Drivers function to the Windows folder of the virtual drive and it will pull the drivers from your previous OS.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6.    03 May 2016 #6

    NavyLCDR said: View Post
    Usually, if you made an image of your previous OS and you get stuck needing a driver you can mount the backup image you made as a virtual drive and point the Update Drivers function to the Windows folder of the virtual drive and it will pull the drivers from your previous OS.
    Yeah, it should. I know my bro had one of the 700-series Nvidia cards, and I think Windows 10 downloaded a driver that gave it an error in device manager, which prevented it from starting normally if I'm not mistaken.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7.    04 May 2016 #7

    Hi there

    I'm surprised you guys have forgotten the most important one (IMO).

    Download free Macrium or any other comparable bootable free imaging program and create bootable USB (rufus is good for creating bootable USB from ISO)
    then IMAGE the HDD (i.e back the whole thing up to an external device) BEFORE doing any installs / setup etc etc.

    That way any problems you can restore the whole thing to complete Factory / Initial state again.

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8.    04 May 2016 #8

    jimbo45 said: View Post
    Hi there
    I'm surprised you guys have forgotten the most important one (IMO).
    Download free Macrium or any other comparable bootable free imaging program and create bootable USB (rufus is good for creating bootable USB from ISO)
    then IMAGE the HDD (i.e back the whole thing up to an external device) BEFORE doing any installs / setup etc etc.
    Respectfully, you might want to read the last sentence in my introduction paragraph and steps 1 and 2 in my OP:

    I also have 9 other computers in my house already on Windows 10 so I was not worried about making a recovery drive because I knew I had the other computers to make one.

    1. First thing, create a local user account and install Macrium Reflect Free.

    2. Both these computers had microSD slots so each one got a 32 GB microSD card inserted. Ran a full image backup to the microSD card. Of course you would use a USB flash drive or USB hard drive without microSD capability. Explore the image in Macrium Reflect after it is done and make sure it has all the partitions included in it.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9.    05 May 2016 #9

    NavyLCDR said: View Post
    Respectfully, you might want to read the last sentence in my introduction paragraph and steps 1 and 2 in my OP:

    I also have 9 other computers in my house already on Windows 10 so I was not worried about making a recovery drive because I knew I had the other computers to make one.

    1. First thing, create a local user account and install Macrium Reflect Free.

    .
    Hi there

    actually I DID read it -- my way is that you boot from the EXTERNAL macrium device -- so you image your computer just as it was before installing anything.

    Your method is fine too -- but sometimes these laptops go through a whole slew of initialisation routines when doing the first boot after purchase - so my way guarantees a "pristine state" copy.

    I wasn't worried about creating a W10 copy after upgrade but simply imaging the computer exactly as it was when it came out of the store.

    Of course you will need another machine to create the Macrium bootable program on - but that could be done before buying the new laptop. As for saving the image to an external device --since the initial stuff (before initial boot) is usually in some sort of compressed format your image should easily fit on a 32 / 64 GB USB key if you don't have any external HDD's.


    Both these computers had microSD slots so each one got a 32 GB microSD card inserted. Ran a full image backup to the microSD card. Of course you would use a USB flash drive or USB hard drive without microSD capability. Explore the image in Macrium Reflect after it is done and make sure it has all the partitions included in it

    cheers
    jimbo
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. Kyhi's Avatar
    Posts : 1,694
    Windows 3.1 to Windows 10
       05 May 2016 #10

    Jimbo,
    Your method is best described as Cloning the current HDD to an External HDD, as the method of backup..
    With Navy's method the Image File would be smaller in overall size, But not bootable...
    Navy's method would require you to Restore the Backup to a HDD to make it bootable..

    So just for the sake of others, Jimbo's method of Cloning the HDD to an external HDD allows the external HDD to become bootable, but requires more external drive space and requires the device to be flagged as a Fixed Drive

    Either way works.. Which is the best method? Depends on the user...
    The important thing is Always Make a Backup SYSTEM Image...
    A single partition backup, although good, is poor at best..
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


 
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