- System Prechecks
- Downloading a Windows 10 .iso
- Extracting a Windows 10 .iso (Variant A)
- Creating a Bootable USB (Variant B)
- Upgrade Install from Windows 10 Installation Media
Unless you have a Faded Windows 7 COA in all cases A Clean Install of Windows 10 is recommended opposed to an Upgrade Install. Clean Installs have superior performance and less bugs crop up if Windows 10 is Clean Installed. To Download Installation Media and Clean Install see Downloading a Windows 10 OEM and Retail .iso.
If however you want to retain your files and installed programs then you’ll need to carry out an Upgrade Install. This guide will continue with an Upgrade Install although like I said I don’t recommend it as much as A Clean Install.
Note after the 29/07/2016 the marketing 1 Year Free Upgrade to Windows 10 came to an End. This means that Upgrade Installs are no longer supported by Microsoft unless you buy a new Product Key… The Windows 10 Upgrade setup has a recent weak modification to coax you into buying a Windows 10 key but can be overridden with a couple of clicks…
Last tested on an OptiPlex 760 on the 21/10/2016.
- On the 20/10/2016 this system had never had Windows 10 Pro Installed and hence had never been made a Windows 10 Pro Device.
- It became a New Windows 10 Pro Device when Upgraded from a Windows 7 Pro OEM base install.
- The Windows 7 Pro OEM base install was activated using Dell OEM System Locked Preinstallation.
If one uses the Windows 10 RS1 Media Creation Tool Directly and selects “Upgrade this PC now” they will be asked for a Windows 10 Product Key… This screen will reject Windows 7 and Windows 8.x OEM and Retail keys preventing you from carrying out an Upgrade Install…
There is an option to select “I’m reinstalling Windows 10” on this PC which is true in this case. The PC had A Clean Install of Windows 10 Pro before Windows 7 Pro was Clean Reinstalled:
Selecting this just gave an error which ended the setup:
When initiating an Windows 10 RS1 Upgrade Install from Windows 10 RS1 Installation Media if the recommended settings specifically “Get Important Updates” is selected:
A similar screen appears prompting you to input your Windows 10 Product Key. This again blocks Windows 7 and 8.x OEM and Retail keys as before:
If one doesn’t opt to get these “Important Updates” and doesn’t opt to leave feedback to make “the Installation of Windows Better” one can proceed with the Windows 10 RS1 upgrade unhindered. i.e. these “Updates” give the input your Windows 10 Key screen:
As 14393 is likely to be the last installation media without these “Updates” its likely the last installation media which can be used for an “Upgrade Install” from Windows 7 or Windows 8.1.
It is advised to Create a Macrium Reflect Windows Image of your Old Windows Installation before carrying out this guide. For more details see Backing up your Windows Installation using Macrium Reflect.
Note: Windows 10 Installation Media still accepts unused Windows 7/8.x OEM and Retail keys and activates them online making the system a Windows 10 Edition Device as normal. This is likely to be the case for the rest of time as they have became embedded as part of Windows 10 TH2 and Windows 10 RS1… You can use the installation media to perform A Clean Install however the remainder of this guide will take you through an Upgrade Install…
Before you even begin the Windows 10 Download you should know some details about your system. This is best done by looking at system information.
Press [Windows] and [ r ] to bring up the run command:
In the run box type in
Then press ok.
OS Name and Version
Take a note of the OS Name and Version. The Windows 10 RS1 Installation Media will be used in pretty much all systems running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1x OEM.
If you have a European Commission N Retail Edition (which is immensely rare) you will have to use the Windows 10N RS1 Installation Media.
Take a note of the SMBIOS revision…
- If it is 2.7 or greater you should have a UEFI BIOS with SecureBoot.
- If it is 2.6 you might have an Early UEFI System (UEFI without SecureBoot) or only a Legacy BIOS. You will need to check your BIOS Setup*.
- If it is 2.5 you will have a Legacy BIOS.
- If it is 2.4 you will have a Legacy BIOS and the processor should be checked for 64 Bit compatibility.*
- If it has an SMBIOS of 2.3 or less its below minimum system requirements for Windows 10.
For Intel processors e.g. the G640 as shown, Google search Intel Ark G640. As the instruction set is 64 Bit I am all set to run Windows 10 64 Bit.
Boot Mode and Secure Boot State
For systems with Windows 8 or Later installed you will have BIOS Mode and SecureBoot State shown. These technologies should be enabled where supported by the hardware.
This information doesn’t show if you are currently running Windows 7. For a Windows 7 install in all cases SecureBoot will be disabled (as its unsupported by Windows 7) and the UEFI Boot may also be disabled even on hardware which support these technologies.
Unfortunately to perform an Upgrade Install from Windows 7 you may need to continue using a Legacy Boot with the MBR partition scheme and without SecureBoot. This will offer less security and system performance. To Enable these technologies you must perform A Clean Install.
Without the Latest UEFI BIOS Version – Installation of Windows 10 may Fail!!!
See my dedicated guide on the UEFI BIOS which gives more detailed instructions on updating the UEFI BIOS to the latest version.
Downloading a Windows 10 RS1 .iso
The Windows 10 .isos are multiple Edition .isos:
- The Windows 10 .iso contains Windows 10 Home, Windows 10 Single Language and Windows 10 Pro.
The Media Creation Tools is here:
Scroll down until you get to Download Tool Now. Note do not select Update Now as it’ll ask you for a Windows 10 key…
Selecting Update now will ask for a Windows 10 Product Key (rejecting Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 keys).
Instead select Download Tool Now:
The Windows 10 RS1 Media Creation Tool is 17,881 KB in size:
If you right click the Media Creation Tool and select properties:
Then navigate to the Details tab it will tell you the version:
Launch the tool and accept the user account control.
Scroll down then accept the License Agreement screen:
Again Do not select Upgrade Now as it will ask you for a Windows 10 Product Key… Instead select Create Installation Media for Another PC.
The tool is supposed to automatically select the correct language, architecture and edition. You may wish to check this in particular if you are running Windows 7 with English (UK). For Windows 7 English (UK) and English (US) weren’t separate languages and Windows 10 unfortunately assumes that any English Windows 7 install requires a Windows 10 (US) iso.
Uncheck use Recommend options for this PC if you are needing another Edition (for another PC or it has made the wrong selection of Language):
Select your desired Language. I will use proper English (United Kingdom):
Select your Edition. In almost all cases this will be Windows 10.
The Windows 10 .iso is a 4 Edition .iso containing:
- Windows 10 Pro
- Windows 10 Home
- Windows 10 Home Single Language
- Windows 10 Education
“Windows 10" hence covers virtually all the Dell OEM Licenses for Windows 7, Windows 8.x and Windows 10 and most the Retail Licenses.
In almost all cases you want a 64 Bit architecture. The 32 Bit architecture should only be used for under powered older computers (Early Windows Vista systems).
Once you’ve made your select select Next:
Although the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool can create a FAT32 Bootable USB Flash Drive directly I prefer to download the .iso file and save it to an external hard drive. This way it is easy to remake a bootable USB should something go wrong when attempting to create the first one for instance files not copying across completely:
Select your location for the download e.g. in my case Downloads. Name your .iso accordingly and select Save:
It will take a while to download:
When done select Finish:
Ignore the message about burning the .iso to a DVD. DVDs are obsolete and a USB flash drive should be used. Its faster to make the USB, install Windows from the USB and also a FAT32 formated USB is accepted by a UEFI BIOS with SecureBoot. A DVD may be rejected in many cases.
Extract the .iso onto the Desktop (Variant A)
You may either extract the .iso to a folder on your Desktop (as Windows 7 can’t natively mount .iso files) or Create a USB Flash Drive to begin the setup from. The Bootable USB Flash Drive is recommended as it gives you a means of Booting from the USB Flash Drive if something goes wrong with the install.
To extract the .iso download and install 7zip which matches your architecture of Windows in my case 64 Bit:
Save the installer and run the setup:
Accept the User Account Control Prompt:
Then select close:
Right click the .iso and then select 7-zip and Extract to “”:
You will now have an extracted .iso on your Desktop. Select Close:
The setup.exe is in the root of this folder:
Creating a Bootable USB Flash Drive (Variant B)
With this .iso you may use Rufus to create a bootable USB:
Rufus does not need to be installed and can be run directly by double clicking on the application.
Accept the User Account Control Prompt:
The order that you use Rufus is important failure to perform the steps in the order listed may lead to an incorrectly created Bootable USB
1. Select the USB Device:
2. Load the .iso:
Press the button to load the .iso:
Select the .iso and select open:
3. Check the Checksums (optional). Note if one uses the Media Creation Tool setup files are Downloaded to your Computer and the .iso is created on your Computer. As the .iso is created on your computer the checksums will be unique.
Rufus has the option to check the checksums.
4. Rename the volume label (optional).
I like to include the build number and the architecture in my volume Label.
e.g. I use labels like:
5. Select the Partition Scheme and then Target System Type.
- If you have a system with a SMBIOS version of 2.7 or later or a SMBIOS version of 2.6 that has support for a UEFI Boot select the GPT Partition scheme. The File System has to be FAT32 in order to pass SecureBoot. This will only work with 64 Bit Windows 10.
- If you have a system with a SMBIOS version of 2.4 or 2.5 or a SMBIOS version of 2.6 that doesn’t support a UEFI Boot select the MBR Partition scheme. The File System will be NTFS formatted.
6. Click Start
Wait until Rufus says READY then you can close it an use your Bootable USB.
Beginning the Windows 10 Upgrade from the USB or Extracted .iso
Insert the Windows 10 RS1 (Build 14393/Version 1607) Bootable USB. Open the USB from within Windows Explorer or alternatively open the Extracted Windows 10 Folder on the Desktop:
Double click the setup:
Select yes at the User Account Control prompt:
The Windows setup will load and prepare:
You will see Windows:
It will then prepare:
Accept the license agreement:
Windows 10 assumes all English Windows 7 installs are English US, you may get this error message if you opt to Upgrade to English UK. Select OK:
Here you can decide what to keep. Since you haven’t followed my guide for A Clean Install I’ll assume you want to keep your personal files and apps so just select Install:
Windows 10 RS1 will now install and your computer will restart three times:
You will be prompted to select your user account and login:
You can either use Microsoft’s Express Settings or Customise the Settings. Its essentially a trade-off between convenience and the amount of data you want to share with Microsoft:
You can then opt to use Cortana or not:
You will enter the last few screens of the Windows 10 RS1 install:
Finally you will be on the Windows 10 RS1 Desktop. You should leave your system idle for 30 minutes or so and then check whether your system is activated.
Right click the start button and select system:
It should say “Windows is Activated” at the bottom: