With Windows 10 now being rolled out as a free upgrade to Windows 7 and 8 users, many are simply upgrading without taking precautions to ensure a smooth transition.
It doesn’t matter if you intend to do an upgrade instead of a clean install, we all want a painless switch – which is why we’re outlining the following steps.
1. Upgrade vs. Clean Install
Those currently using Windows 7 or 8 are able to simply upgrade without losing any data or programs. Vista and XP users will have to perform a clean install.
Upgrading is also much faster, so those with limited time will prefer that option.
However, if your system is suffering from bugs, always crashing or is way too slow, wiping everything and performing a clean install is highly recommended. There’s no need to take your problems with you.
2. Getting Your Machine Ready
If you’re upgrading:
Run the Disk Cleanup tool to remove temporary files and other junk
Install pending updates
Perform a full virus scan
Run the Disk Defragmentation / Optimisation tool. (Only if you use a HDD, don’t defrag a SSD)
Update all hardware drivers
If you’re doing a clean install:
Take note of all the apps you use, as well as the hardware installed (so that you know which drivers to install).
Keep your product key information for apps and games you’ve purchased with you.
3. Back Up All Your Data
Backups should be done all the time. Windows has two types of backups – a system image, which is an exact copy of the hard drive, and individual file backup. Creating a system image and backing it up on an external drive is the perfect option for those who are upgrading and you can always revert your system back to what it was, if needed. If you need specific files and are doing a clean install, you should back up individual files and folders.
Gamers with save files will benefit from the individual file backup feature since not all games use cloud-saves. This can easily be done by copying the entire game folder and then pasting it to a backup drive. Remember to copy the Steam / GOG / UPlay etc folders as well to avoid re-downloading your games.
If you’ve gone through all these steps, you’re ready to go. Now fire up that upgrade / disc / USB, sit back and let us install. Be sure to make a recovery drive once you’ve got your new system running in case you ever need to repair your Windows 10 installation. When you’re all done, let us know what you think of Windows 10!