With the release of Windows 10 here, and the early adopters of the world already looking to jump onboard, here’s a quick rundown of things to consider to make sure your PC is ready for the installation process.
From proactive maintenance, to backups, to reserving your copy, we have you covered with these ten tips.
#1 Get a Microsoft account
If you have an Outlook.com account, a Hotmail account, an Xbox account, or a Live ID, you already have a Microsoft account. If you don’t, go get one today here.
It’s not required, but it makes things like synchronising settings across devices and backing up data and settings to the cloud much easier, and it’s free.
#2 Reserve your copy today
The fastest way to get Windows 10 onto your eligible devices is to reserve your free copy today. You will have up to a year to get your free copy but demand will be high and reserving a copy now is the way to go.
#3 Decide which edition is for you
If you go for the free upgrade, you will get the equivalent edition to what you are starting with, but you can purchase an upgrade to a more feature-rich version if you wish, or you may be looking to simply purchase a new copy off the shelf.
The core experiences are the same across all editions. That includes Cortana, Hello, Edge, Continuum and Multi-doing.
The majority of extra features in the business editions (Pro, Enterprise) and the education edition have to do with features home users won’t use, and which rely upon Active Directory.
The one main exception may well be Bitlocker. Even home users appreciate the importance of encryption, and having built-in encryption in the operating system is something that users maybe would want, even on home PCs.
#4 Make sure your hardware is up to snuff
If your computer is running Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 today, odds are very good that it will run Windows 10.
The minimum hardware requirements include:
• Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster processor or SoC
• RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) for 32-bit OS or 2 GB for 64-bit
• Hard disk space: 16 GB for 32-bit OS or 20 GB for 64-bit
• Graphics card: DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver
• Display: 800×600
The graphics card is key. If your card is not capable of DirectX 9 or later, Windows 10 won’t run.
#5 Run Windows Update and patch everything
Before beginning the upgrade to 10, make sure your current operating system is fully patched. The easiest way to do that is run Windows Update, and install everything it offers, even the optional stuff.
#6 Make sure your third party software is also up to date
Just as important is to update all your applications. Historically, some vendors have been slow to update applications to work with the new version of Microsoft operating systems at release.
They have had Windows 10 available to them for months but that is often not enough. If you have any apps that you can’t live without, check the vendors’ support sites to confirm they work with Windows 10 before you upgrade.
#7 Check your peripherals
Check out the manufacturers’ websites for any key piece of external hardware, like your printers, scanners, web cams, network cards and video cards to confirm that they have drivers for Windows 10.
#8 Back up your data
Upgrading to Windows 10 will prove to be the most successful and reliable upgrade ever…but it’s still an upgrade. Better safe than sorry is the way to go here, so back up any core data you must have before you begin, just in case.
#9 Make sure you have enough free space
You will need about 3GB of free space to download Windows 10 before upgrading. That may prove to be a challenge for small tablets with 32GB SSDs installed, so check to see what space you can free up before you begin.
#10 Know your software
The install will have to disable your security software before it begins. Windows 10 will save your settings, and then install the latest version of your security software, if it is compatible with Windows 10.
If not, it will install Defender. Check before you begin to make sure you aren’t caught off guard by a change.
By David Kelleher, Director of Communications, GFI Software