Windows 10 upgrade
Atomik.biz will carry out Windows 10 upgrades from Windows 7 or Windows 8. If you have Windows XP or earlier there is no free upgrade path unless the machine has a Windows 7 licence sticker on the side. In most cases machines running Windows XP are so old they won’t have a suitable performance for Windows 10, and the hardware won’t support many modern features.
Windows 7 became “end of life” on 14th January 2020. Windows 7 generally became available on 22nd October 2009. Like all its predecessors is was buggy and had a multitude of problems. Over its life, it has become stable and reliable, and everyone is used to it. Unfortunately, once an operating system becomes stable and, reliable Microsoft retires it and replaces it with something buggy, and unreliable and the cycle starts again.
Microsoft Windows 10 has been generally available since July 29th 2015. Microsoft claims they will never replace Windows 10 and it will continue to receive ongoing updates forever. Forever is a very long time so one day, Microsoft will probably change its mind.
Microsoft has changed the way updates are implemented. With previous versions of Windows, there was a major release like Windows XP or Windows 7. Many updates were released to fix bugs and add new features and occasional Service packs were released which bundled all previous fixes into a single package. Previously users had control over when to install updates.
With Windows 10, Microsoft took control of updates away from users and network administrators, which means updates often happen at inconvenient times. Some updates are enormous, so take a long time, and the machine is unavailable for use. Later versions of Windows 10 have mainly resolved those issues.
What does end of life mean mean
Once an operating system is “end of life” the manufacturer stops fixing bugs and security vulnerabilities. Manufacturers of other equipment like printers, webcams, USB devices of all types stop producing drivers for that operating system. The software will also stop receiving updates. The result is computers becoming increasingly more vulnerable to cyber-attack and driver and software problems will mean the machines become increasingly challenging to support. Having software which is out of support will invalidate Cyber Essentials Certification.
Windows 10 licences
Upgrading Windows 7 or Windows 8 to Windows 10 does not require a new licence. It does, however, need someone to carry out the upgrade. The upgrade takes some time and depends on the hardware and the speed of your Internet connection, but on average is about two hours. Incompatible software will be removed.
Most people will want an in-place upgrade which upgrades the current system and retains software, data and settings. After upgrading to Windows 10, some applications might need updates. Once the machine is running Windows 10, removing old drivers and utilities will avoid performance issues. Removing old recovery partitions will add some usable disk space.
Alternatively, the machine can have a new installation which is equivalent to getting a new computer. A fresh install will install quicker than an in-place upgrade and take up less space. A clean install will require all software to be reinstalled but will result in a better system. When reinstalling a machine to factory settings, it makes sense to replace the hard drive with a solid-state drive, especially in a laptop. Data can be restored from the old drive rather than from backups.
Over the past few years, most new business machines have come as standard with 4GB of RAM, which for most users was enough. Today most users running Windows 10 will benefit from upgrading to 6GB or ideally 8GB. On most machines, this will cost about £25 for an additional 4GB.
For a more significant performance boost, you might consider upgrading your hard disk to a Solid State Drive.
Testing and ongoing support
Once the upgrade is complete, testing will find any problems which are typically driver problems. Drivers are free from manufacturers, so we strongly recommend you do not use one of the many online “driver update” services. These are designed to make the company money at the expense of the home computer user. For more information, read “What not to do” in our page on Speeding up your computer.
Some Windows 7 features have been removed from Windows 10. These will need some reconfiguration. Atomik.biz will resolve these issues with our remote support service.