1.    06 Nov 2015 #1
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 8
    Windows 10

    How do I upgrade from non-legitimate Win7 to legit Win10?


    So I'm helping my uncle upgrade to Win10. His computer was custom built by a friend we can't get a hold of. It has Win7 ultimate on it. It's only recently become a problem that the copy of Windows his friend included wasn't legitimate, so my uncle decided to upgrade to Win10.

    He purchased a copy of Win10 and downloaded the upgrade tool. When he input the activation key, it didn't accept it. When he then used the tool from a bootable USB, he was able to input the activation key and install Win10. However, it seemed to be a totally clean install. All the drivers are missing or not working and none of the settings carried over, as it did for me when I upgraded. It's essentially unusable, and neither of us have any idea how to get the drivers for this custom-built PC neither of us had a hand in. I've reverted to Win7, and now I'm trying to upgrade while keeping all previous settings/drivers/programs. When I input the activation key in the bootable USB tool, it's now telling me that it can't verify. When I upgraded, I was able to just skip activation and the take care of activation later, well after installation. For some reason, I don't see that option now.

    Any tips or suggestions? Is this typical of custom-built PCs or upgrades from non-legit Windows? Can I expect that we'll need to just clean install Win10 and then hunt down the drivers for the internal components of the PC? Any and all help will be much appreciated, thanks in advance.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  2.    06 Nov 2015 #2
    Join Date : Sep 2014
    Posts : 336
    Window 10

    If you've reverted back to Windows 7 then you should be able to see all of the current drivers and the hardware components by brand that they support. Catalogue the list of hardware, install Windows 10, and then find the correct drivers on the manufacturers' web sites.

    It's interesting you say "All drivers are missing or not working" because if Windows 10 booted then some of them are present and working (although perhaps generic), enough to boot. Additional hardware drivers could then be loaded as I suggested -- using the hardware descriptions you can get from the Windows 7 device manager.

    My only speculation on why the upgrade from Windows 7 failed is that it was not a "legitimate" copy.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  3.    06 Nov 2015 #3
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 9,550
    Windows 10 Pro

    You could try shrinking the Windows 7 partition to make room for a new partition to hold Windows 10. Format a new partition as NTFS. Install Windows 10 as a clean install to the new partition, which will automatically set up dual booting with the Windows 7. For any hardware that needs a driver, point device manager to the Windows folder of the Windows 7 install and it should be able to retrieve the driver from there.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  4.    06 Nov 2015 #4
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 8
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter

    True, some drivers are definitely working. However, some very key things are missing. I'm not able to connect to a network, despite an ethernet connection. It can't recognize and use the native resolution of the monitor, nor can it recognize a second monitor at all. It's exactly like when I've performed a clean-install on a pre-built computer with the provided disk copy of windows in the past, except in that case I also had a disk with all the drivers for the internal components included.

    You've got a good point about cataloging all the current drivers/devices. I feel pretty dumb for not thinking of that.

    I'm still surprised that "upgrading" doesn't carry anything over. There's also still the issue that for some reason we can't just do what we did before to install Win10 again. The activation key doesn't verify. Has it been "used up" already, since we used it to verify the first installation? That would also surprise me, since we're trying to use it on the same exact computer, and in any case when I checked the status of the Win10 installation it only said that it couldn't connect to a network to verify Windows.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  5.    06 Nov 2015 #5
    Join Date : Dec 2013
    Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts : 10,585
    Windows 10 IoT

    What version of Windows 10 did he buy a License for? Why I ask is the version you get via the free upgrade is dependent on what version of Windows you upgrade from. 7 Ultimate gets you 10 Pro. If he bought 10 Home, that is likely why his key is being rejected. It's looking for a Pro key. I'd just clean install, god knows what was done to that pirated version of Windows 7. You may be carrying over some unwanted stuff by upgrading. Once you have done the clean install, run Windows update a couple of times. You should then get most, if not all, of the drivers you need.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  6.    07 Nov 2015 #6
    Join Date : Sep 2015
    Posts : 2,366
    Windows 10 Pro 64-bit 1706 (CU build 15063.674)

    There are several utilities to detect hardware and find out the brand and model, even without any drivers installed. I use Aida64. You do not have to register. The trial version shows basic information and hides some details, but it is enough to identify the hardware so you can then download drivers. The first thing to do in Aida64 is to go at Computer->Summary which has most of the info you need, like chipset, graphics card, audio card, network. Any other device is at Devices->Windows Devices which is a clone of Device Manager. Expand the unknown devices and click on them to see the model at the bottom. If you identify the model of the motherboard (Motherboard->motherboard) you can then visit manufacturer's site to get all drivers for onboard devices. However to get the latest versions, I prefer to download directly from Intel, Realtek, whatever.

    After you have downloaded all drivers, save them on a USB Flash drive. Then clean-install Windows 10 and use the key to install the appropriate version and activate. Connect your USB Flash drive to get the drivers. Start from the chipset as all other devices depend on it.

    PS: If there are no Windows 10 drivers for a device, don't worry! Windows 8 and 7 drivers should work. Even Vista drivers work for old devices. Make sure you download the correct type 32-bit or 64-bit depending on your Windows version (some drivers are for both 32-bit and 64-bit).

    Realtek AC'97 audio warning: If the audio card is Realtek AC'97 (the legacy version, not the modern HD) the official Vista driver from Realtek, and the official XP driver cause a BSOD! The solution is to install modified Windows XP drivers for AOpen 1558-JLV which is a Realtek AC'97 clone. I have installed this driver in a system running Windows 10 32-bit and they worked while the official Realtek drivers gave me a BSOD.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  7.    07 Nov 2015 #7
    Join Date : Oct 2015
    Posts : 164
    WINDOWS 10 PRO Updated to last Build

    Quote Originally Posted by wintercat View Post
    True, some drivers are definitely working. However, some very key things are missing. I'm not able to connect to a network, despite an ethernet connection. It can't recognize and use the native resolution of the monitor, nor can it recognize a second monitor at all. It's exactly like when I've performed a clean-install on a pre-built computer with the provided disk copy of windows in the past, except in that case I also had a disk with all the drivers for the internal components included.

    You've got a good point about cataloging all the current drivers/devices. I feel pretty dumb for not thinking of that.

    I'm still surprised that "upgrading" doesn't carry anything over. There's also still the issue that for some reason we can't just do what we did before to install Win10 again. The activation key doesn't verify. Has it been "used up" already, since we used it to verify the first installation? That would also surprise me, since we're trying to use it on the same exact computer, and in any case when I checked the status of the Win10 installation it only said that it couldn't connect to a network to verify Windows.
    I upgraded 2 desktop 1 laptop and 1 netbook, the only drivers i had to install miself are the wifi usb adapter drivers, W10 did install all the drivers required, it even recognised and installed proper drivers for my wireless printer.
    Is very strange the ethernet card has not been properly installed, did you look at your BIOS settings' try to load the default settings, or just get a chip wifi adapter just to let W10 connect to internet and load itself all drivers.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  8.    07 Nov 2015 #8
    Join Date : Sep 2015
    Posts : 2,366
    Windows 10 Pro 64-bit 1706 (CU build 15063.674)

    If hardware is relatively new, then either the current drivers work or Windows Update automatically installs working (but not necessarily the best) drivers. For older hardware unfortunately this is not the case. To be 100% sure you won't have any problems, do not rely entirely on Windows Update. Try to manually install as many drivers as possible.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  9.    07 Nov 2015 #9
    Join Date : Oct 2015
    Posts : 164
    WINDOWS 10 PRO Updated to last Build

    Quote Originally Posted by spapakons View Post
    If hardware is relatively new, then either the current drivers work or Windows Update automatically installs working (but not necessarily the best) drivers. For older hardware unfortunately this is not the case. To be 100% sure you won't have any problems, do not rely entirely on Windows Update. Try to manually install as many drivers as possible.
    a Windows 7 Desktop should not be that old, the ones i upgraded were W7
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  10.    07 Nov 2015 #10
    Join Date : Dec 2013
    Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts : 10,585
    Windows 10 IoT

    My two desktop PC's are old, all drivers installed via Windows update, everything works, no BSOD etc. On first boot up some stuff may just the basic drivers. just run Windows update once or twice, or just sit back and have a cup of coffee while it sorts everything out.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

 


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