The countdown begins you now have 4 days left to claim your Free Windows 10 “Upgrade”…
The Free Upgrade to Windows 10 TH2 from Windows 7 SP1 and Windows 8.1
- [Optional] Downloading Windows 7 SP1 or Windows 8.1 Installation Media
- [Recommended] Creating a Full Windows Image Backup using Macrium Reflect
- [Recommended] Upgrading the Unified Extensive Firmware Interface (UEFI) and optimising the UEFI Setup
- [Optional] Cleaning up a Drive WIPE vs FORMAT
- [Mandatory] Downloading a Windows 10 TH2 Installation Media and Clean Installing
- [Mandatory] Notes on System Drivers
- What if I’m running Windows Vista or Windows XP?
GWX get Windows 10 now displays a warning sign.
If opened you’ll be greeted with a countdown.
If you open Internet Explorer in Windows 7/8.x you will also get a notification which will take you to another countdown.
Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 Free Upgrade to Windows 10 Threshold 2 via Clean Installation
My guides have focused on Clean Windows Installation and are now at 8.5 million views! 🙂
[Optional] Obtaining Installation Media for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1
Before Clean Installing Windows 10 TH2 some people are asking whether there is a way back to their previous Windows Version. I instruct here in Downloading Installation Media for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1:
- Download a Windows 8.1 with Update 2 OEM and Retail .iso
- Download a Windows 7 SP1 OEM and Retail .iso
Microsoft have made it deliberately awkward to Download Windows 7 SP1 OEM. I give the best roundarounds to overcome the issues marketing have forced engineering to take at last minute and my guides now cover OEM system locked preinstallation for Dell, Alienware, Lenovo, IBM, HP, Compaq, ASUS, Acer Sony and Samsung OEMs.
The only OEM .isos not available to Download are the Windows 8.1 with Bing and Windows 8.1 Single Language with Bing .isos. These were sold only with systems which were below £300 for a limited time.
[Recommended] Creating a Full Image Backup
I instruct in creating a full system image of your old Windows Installation using Macrium Reflect.
This guide also has two tutorial videos:
[Recommended] Optimising your Unified Extensive Firmware Interface Setup
One of the top reasons Windows 10 Upgrades or Clean Installations fail is because the systems Unified Extensive Firmware Interface (UEFI) is out of date. I have made a guide which discusses not only in updating the UEFI but also optimising the UEFI settings for a Windows 10 Installation. In particular the GPT partition scheme and SecureBoot:
Systems built before 2011 do not have a UEFI BIOS but have a Legacy BIOS. This should also be updated to the latest version before Windows 10 Clean Installation. This guide has 2 associated tutorial videos:
1. Updating the UEFI BIOS
2. Enabling UEFI and SecureBoot (Dell UEFI BIOS Home system)
3. Enabling UEFI and SecureBoot (Dell UEFI BIOS Business system)
[Optional] Cleaning up a Drive
A common misconception exists between the words WIPE and FORMAT. I explain these terms in my guide below and discuss in particular the best ways to WIPE both a SSD and a HDD. Note one should WIPE if they are suffering from a Malware attack or plan to sell their system on. You may get away with just a FORMAT for regular use.
This has an associated tutorial videos
1. WIPE vs FORMAT – SSD vs HDD
2. Use of Parted Magic to WIPE a SSD or HDD
[Mandatory] Creating Windows 10 TH2 Installation Media and Clean Installing Windows 10 TH2
I have probably one of the most detailed Windows 10 TH2 Installation guide adequately covering the Windows 7 OEM and Windows 8.1 OEM licenses. My guide instructs on how to determine your correct Edition of Windows 7 OEM and Windows 8.1 OEM as well as determine your Product Key. Then to determine what Edition you should Clean Install. I instruct on Creating Bootable Installation Media for both a UEFI BIOS and a Legacy BIOS and then have instructions taking you through the Clean Install:
Again a number of associated tutorial videos are available.
1. Download a Windows 10 TH2 OEM and Retail .iso and Make a Bootable USB
2. Clean Installation of Windows 10 TH2 using a UEFI BIOS
Windows 10 has the a huge native driver base and so the drivers for most hardware are actually found inbuilt into Windows 10. Moreover Windows 10 Update has an even larger driver collection and automatically finds drivers for most of your systems hardware. The drivers are usually supplied direct from primary OEMs such as Intel and AMD.
There are a few driver issues with Windows 10. The first issue is with Intel Management Engine Interface. Windows 10 preinstalls an old version of this driver which leads to issues when the system comes out of sleep. In many cases the system just displays a black screen. The latest driver should be obtained via Intel and is only applicable if you have an Intel system (usually with a UEFI BIOS).
This has no audio but I demonstrate the installation here:
The second issue is with Touchpads. My guide to force install the latest Synaptics or Alps Touchpad has ended up highly popular 390,000 views meaning that a great deal of people had Touchpad issues and carried out the workaround.
This isn’t my tutorial video but its excellent and links to my guide. The tutorial video also has 130,000 views:
The third common issue regards to frequent disconnects for Wireless Cards. Dell unfortunately update drivers using the systems models and not the hardware IDs. By listing the Wireless cards via their hardware IDs and taking drivers from the newest models I managed to obtain a set of newer drivers for most of the Wireless cards than Dell list on their own Drivers and Downloads pages! These updated drivers often fix the issues with the Wireless Card. This guide is also surprisingly very popular at 359,000 views.
What if I’m Running Windows Vista or Windows XP?
Officially the Free Upgrade to Windows 10 is only for those who have a Windows 7 OEM/Retail or Windows 8.1 OEM/Retail license.
Unofficially the Windows 10130 Insider Preview was eligible for a Free Upgrade to Windows 10 Pro. Because the Windows 10130 Insider Preview installs and activates with a generic product key anyone running Windows Vista or Windows XP (as long as their system passes minimum requirements for Windows 10) can install Windows 10130 Insider Preview and then use this as a stepping stone to get a Free Upgrade.
I document this upgrade path in great detail. My 10130 Insider Preview Upgrade path has now 150,000 views and 400 comments (often of successful installs).
Although 10130 expired the Free Upgrade may be continued merely by changing the date in the Legacy BIOS setup. I also have 2 associated tutorial videos for this:
1. Preparing for the 10130 Free Upgrade Path
2. Carrying out the 10130 Free Upgrade Path