1.    09 Jan 2016 #1
    Join Date : Sep 2015
    Posts : 47
    Windows 10 home

    How best to install windows 10 on an older laptop?


    I have a bootable USB stick with windows 10 home on it that I used to do a clean install on my main laptop. I was considering using it on an older laptop as well, but my concern is with the validation. The older laptop isn't new enough to have the windows CD key in the bios, so I don't think it will validate automatically like my newer laptop did. There is a sticker on the bottom with the windows 7 professional CD key, but unfortunately the last 5 or 10 digits have been rubbed off to the point that they are unreadable. Does that mean that I can't delete the disk partitions and do a clean install like I did on my newer laptop? I considered doing the job using windows update, but windows update doesn't give me the option to get windows 10, nor do I see a windows 10 icon in the system tray. I tried turning windows update on, but since it has been off for a few years it reported that there were about 100 updates to install. My one past experience trying to install that many updates suggests it will probably take about 10 hours and then fail during final processing. Does it prevent you from seeing the windows 10 update until you have done all the windows 7 updates first? Does it make sense that one should spend all that time updating an operating system that one is just about to overwrite? (By the way I already have service pack 1). Thanks in advance for any suggestions you may have.
    ~Paul
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  2.    09 Jan 2016 #2
    Join Date : Jan 2015
    UK, Midlands
    Posts : 11,106
    Win 10 Pro (1703)

    Hi,
    First consideration is - what advantage do you consider upgrading to Win 10 will give you? Is it worth the effort of doing it? Even if it's trouble-free it will take you some hours.

    You can try it and revert, either because you can once Win 10 is installed, or if things go horribly wrong, by using disk imaging wisely.

    1. Once you have installed Win 10 on a PC, you can thereafter clean install and it should activate automatically.
    2. Even if you had the OEM license code, it would not be accepted if the first win 10 install were a clean install.
    3. You should check the laptop manufacturer's site and forum and search generally if you are concerned you might have compatibility problems. Bear in mind that even if the site does NOT offer Win 10 compatible drivers, you may find all is ok.

    For example, my HP laptop is 5-6 years old- it came with Vista. There are no Win 10 drivers listed. However it's running Win 10 64 bits.
    4. Use disk imaging. That means you can always try it - and revert. You can always restore your laptop to how it was when you created the image. So
    a. Download and install Aomei Backupper or Macrium Reflect free now, create the boot disk, and disk/partition images to an external medium e.g. large USB disk.
    b. Do all the updates
    c. Update your image
    d. Download and create installable medium for the appropriate Win 10
    (This is a good idea, as you can subsequently use it for another install attempt or for an in-place repair install later if necessary).
    e. Try the Win 10 installation from normal mode.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  3.    09 Jan 2016 #3
    Join Date : Dec 2015
    Posts : 6,346
    Windows10

    Quote Originally Posted by dalchina View Post
    Hi,
    First consideration is - what advantage do you consider upgrading to Win 10 will give you? Is it worth the effort of doing it? Even if it's trouble-free it will take you some hours.

    You can try it and revert, either because you can once Win 10 is installed, or if things go horribly wrong, by using disk imaging wisely.

    1. Once you have installed Win 10 on a PC, you can thereafter clean install and it should activate automatically.
    2. Even if you had the OEM license code, it would not be accepted if the first win 10 install were a clean install.
    3. You should check the laptop manufacturer's site and forum and search generally if you are concerned you might have compatibility problems. Bear in mind that even if the site does NOT offer Win 10 compatible drivers, you may find all is ok.

    For example, my HP laptop is 5-6 years old- it came with Vista. There are no Win 10 drivers listed. However it's running Win 10 64 bits.
    4. Use disk imaging. That means you can always try it - and revert. You can always restore your laptop to how it was when you created the image. So
    a. Download and install Aomei Backupper or Macrium Reflect free now, create the boot disk, and disk/partition images to an external medium e.g. large USB disk.
    b. Do all the updates
    c. Update your image
    d. Download and create installable medium for the appropriate Win 10
    (This is a good idea, as you can subsequently use it for another install attempt or for an in-place repair install later if necessary).
    e. Try the Win 10 installation from normal mode.
    No disrespect but the above is over complicated.

    1) Create backup image of current windows 7 installation to another drive using either windows backup and restore or Macrium Reflect Free (or similar) Note: create an image - do not clone.

    2) create bootable usb stick using media creation tool.

    Windows 10

    3) Do not boot from usb stick, simply insert it and click setup.exe, choosing not to keep programs.
    It is important NOT to do a clean install by booting from usb stick, as you do not have a windows 7 key (hence step 1).

    4) Optionally clean install by booting from usb stick if the upgrade gives any problems.

    You do not need to spend many hours doing endless windows 7 updates using media creation tool.

    Above should take no more than 3 hours or so.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  4.    09 Jan 2016 #4
    Join Date : Sep 2015
    Posts : 47
    Windows 10 home
    Thread Starter

    Quote Originally Posted by cereberus View Post
    No disrespect but the above is over complicated.
    Yes I think his contention that windows 10 will not activate after a clean install used to be true, but is true no longer.
    I'm still confused on the fine points however.

    1) Create backup image of current windows 7 installation to another drive using either windows backup and restore or Macrium Reflect Free (or similar) Note: create an image - do not clone.
    I can create an image backup using the Acronis software I have on there, although I'm not sure what the point is. I have nothing on their I want except the operating system itself, but I don't want windows 7 at this point.

    3) Do not boot from usb stick, simply insert it and click setup.exe, choosing not to keep programs.
    It is important NOT to do a clean install by booting from usb stick, as you do not have a windows 7 key (hence step 1).
    Ok, so it sounds like the windows 10 install program on the usb stick can extract the windows 7 key if windows 7 is actually running. Is that correct? If that is true, one would think there is some other program, or hack that could extract my windows 7 key for safe keeping in case the install using step 3 above fails

    4) Optionally clean install by booting from usb stick if the upgrade gives any problems.
    That comment is mysterious to me. Of course I hope the installation via step 3 works, but if it doesn't you are suggesting booting from the usb stick which means it can't extract the CD key. So why would I do that if it can't be validated? So I guess you are you suggesting that there is still yet a way to get it to validate in this situation (perhaps not easily however, explaining why this method is not the first choice?) If so, could you give me a hint about how this is done ... or perhaps mention a link that explains how.

    You do not need to spend many hours doing endless windows 7 updates using media creation tool.
    Thank god for that!

    ~Paul
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  5.    09 Jan 2016 #5
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 3,797
    10 Pro

    If you don't care what is on it, you could retrieve the current key with Showkey - Windows 10 Forums and then just clean install 10 Pro. You can't activate 10 home with a 7 Pro key.

    EDIT: Please ignore this. @cerebus is correct in post #7 below, my apologies.
    Last edited by lx07; 09 Jan 2016 at 13:10. Reason: Wrong info
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  6.    09 Jan 2016 #6
    Join Date : May 2015
    Central IL
    Posts : 4,332
    Mac OS Sierra

    Once you install Windows 10 as an upgrade. The machine that it is installed on, will show up in your Live account, just like Office 2013 & 2016.

    That means if you want to do a "Clean Install" after the update, to flush out any old code. You would just have to boot up with the USB stick, as long as it is not the having to install within Windows, You should be able to install as if it was a new drive.

    Do not check the box to activate the OS during the install. It will do that when you first sign in.

    Your activation info stays in your Live Account.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  7.    09 Jan 2016 #7
    Join Date : Dec 2015
    Posts : 6,346
    Windows10

    Quote Originally Posted by pmennen View Post
    Yes I think his contention that windows 10 will not activate after a clean install used to be true, but is true no longer.
    I'm still confused on the fine points however.



    I can create an image backup using the Acronis software I have on there, although I'm not sure what the point is. I have nothing on their I want except the operating system itself, but I don't want windows 7 at this point.



    Ok, so it sounds like the windows 10 install program on the usb stick can extract the windows 7 key if windows 7 is actually running. Is that correct? If that is true, one would think there is some other program, or hack that could extract my windows 7 key for safe keeping in case the install using step 3 above fails



    That comment is mysterious to me. Of course I hope the installation via step 3 works, but if it doesn't you are suggesting booting from the usb stick which means it can't extract the CD key. So why would I do that if it can't be validated? So I guess you are you suggesting that there is still yet a way to get it to validate in this situation (perhaps not easily however, explaining why this method is not the first choice?) If so, could you give me a hint about how this is done ... or perhaps mention a link that explains how.


    Thank god for that!

    ~Paul
    The key (pardon the pun) point is whether the windows 7 you have came preinstalled with pc or not. If it was preinstalled, a key extractor will only extract the oem-slp key which can only restore oem recovery disks (including bloatware usually), not standard ms isos.

    To reinstall using the standard ms iso requires a coa key on the sticker you cannot read.

    Thus unless you have oem recovery disks, or the coa key, you can never reinstall windows 7 again, unless you make an image backup (Acronis is fine).

    You must make this backup as it is your only insurance if you get significant windows 10 issues OR THE UPGRADE FAILS if you do not have oem recovery disks.

    Windows 10 does have a rollback function for 30 days, but not as reliable as it should be.

    When you upgrade windows 7, it checks your licence and if valid upgrades. Once you have done this windows 10 licence is tied to hardware, and you can clean reinstall 10 at any time.

    However, if you clean install the first time, you have no 7 key to check unless you can enter the coa key ie it will not activate without the 7 key. The oem-slp key will not work.

    So to summarise if you do not have coa key

    a) make image backup - only way to return to 7 without oem recovery disks

    b) ugrade first to 10 (essential if no coa key)

    c) clean install if you get issues

    If you installed windows 7 yourself, a key extractor would work, and yiu could skip step b. However if not sure, assume preinstalled and do step b.

    Always do step a first.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  8.    09 Jan 2016 #8
    Join Date : Dec 2015
    Posts : 6,346
    Windows10

    Quote Originally Posted by bro67 View Post
    Once you install Windows 10 as an upgrade. The machine that it is installed on, will show up in your Live account, just like Office 2013 & 2016.

    That means if you want to do a "Clean Install" after the update, to flush out any old code. You would just have to boot up with the USB stick, as long as it is not the having to install within Windows, You should be able to install as if it was a new drive.

    Do not check the box to activate the OS during the install. It will do that when you first sign in.

    Your activation info stays in your Live Account.
    This is not true. The activation information has nothing to do with your MS account. You do not even need an MS account although you would not be able to use all of the features of Windows 10.

    When you upgrade the first time, your hardware id is registered on MS activation servers, and when you reinstall, the hardware id is checked, and if previously registered, windows 10 is reactivated.

    Info in live account is purely for information only.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  9.    09 Jan 2016 #9
    Join Date : Sep 2015
    Posts : 47
    Windows 10 home
    Thread Starter

    Ok, thanks for all your replies. It's more complicated than one would first expect, but I think I understand well enough to proceed.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

 


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