If you're still trying to decide whether to update to Windows 10, see 'Upgrading to Windows 10?' post in this forum.
If by contrast you've already made up your mind and yes you want to install, know that installation glitches abound. Because, there's a different method of installing, versus prior. Because, MSFT's installer is buggy. Because, the installer instructions are not good. So how to best avoid problems?
Click here to see the latest and probably most error-free procedure. But it won't be as easy as the article sounds.
BE SURE TO CLONE AND BACKUP YOUR DRIVE BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING. Both clone and backup. For one might fail. DO NOT RELY ON WINDOWS' CLAIM TO REVERT YOU if you don't like what Win10 'offers'. Too many reports of borked prior 'old' files. So clone (use Macrium Reflect or Clonezilla) and backup (again, Macrium Reflect, though some like EaseUS and some others like Acronis).
- ALSO BE SURE TO SET A RESTORE POINT. Since historically, MSFT has never gotten backup and restore right, I don't trust it. But some swear by this step. Win10 installs typically report that the restore points don't work, and they cannot revert. So do the CLONE first, if you value your time at all.
MSFT installations typically bork unless you first remove (prior to running the install):
- ALL anti-virus programs (McAfee, Norton, Kapersky, AVG, etc);
- all MS Office products which are older than 2 years, and even maybe newer;
- all third party software which taps the low-level machine function, like EaseUS, Acronis, Macrium, etc. (virus programs do the same, and that's why Win installs bork)
- you temporarily disconnect all peripherals (i.e., if you have two HDD, disconnect the one you'll not be using for install, have no flash or SSD connected at the time, no webcam, printer, etc.)
- you uninstall proprietary drivers which are special. These vary so much I can't be specific.
After installation, whatever you removed, can usually be reinstalled without a hitch. This is especially true for old MSFT programs. Old programs work very well in Win10 64-bit, even Lotus, old MS Office, DOS with DOSbox to 'husband' its view.
Food for thought? Yell at me if I'm unclear.
Earlier articles also work better for some, as follows.
* Thurott's steps, Click here: uses an older version of the Media Tool, and Rufus.
* NickAu (on Youtube)'s steps: Click here. NickAu did a live tutorial and used the July 2015 version of the media tool.
* For the latest Windows 10 download tool direct from MSFT, click here.
* The earlier tool Mr. Thurott used: click here.
* For Rufus, click here.
Also, click here and read both article and comments to troubleshoot/learn of issues related to the new 'Product Key' procedure. Essentially, the key isn't but an activation okay stored inside your machine and on MSFT's servers: this solves some headaches, yet creates others.
The essential steps to avoid a borked machine are usually:
1. CLONE YOUR HARD DRIVE FIRST. For likely you'll need it.
2. Make sure your BIOS settings allow you to boot from the usb or CD (click here for steps). This means hitting F12 or F10 the second you turn your machine on, until you see 'boot menu'. Then select 'setup', and go in there and change 'boot sequence' to specify the CD/DVD and usb/floppy first, before the hard drive. Select 'Legacy' not 'UEFI', and then near the bottom of the tree of options, you want to disable 'fastboot' (a suboption usually under 'POST' in the tree). Else you can't boot from a DVD or usb, and you can't troubleshoot when something goes wrong.
3. BURN THE ISO TO A DVD. Because often, there will be a glitch with the usb, so you need an alternative. Also, this same iso works to help you reinstall Windows, when it inevitably breaks.
4. The above steps will become relevant for reinstallation or troubleshooting, but for first-time installation of Windows 10 'free', the procedure is different. Be in your old Windows 7 or 8.1 (not cold boot), select 'upgrade' and 'keep nothing'. For the installer wants to verify your older Windows is genuine, but won't tell you that. So if you don't do this step #4, but instead pick the other options, you may have problems. Many who didn't follow this #4 -- because Microsoft didn't warn anyone! -- many who didn't follow this #4, report problems: in tenforums, wilderssecurity forums, Amazon, elsewhere. In other words, installation might work if you chose something else, but after the installation or during, there will be problems. Sometimes the problems are so bad, you can't recover.
The installer creates new folders that are hidden, or puts new files into existing folders. This is partly why, once an installation borks, it's nearly impossible to fix, as you can't revert back to before the folders were created. Two of the folders are (hidden) $windows..BT and Software Distribution.