How do I upgrade my old computer to Windows 10?


I often get asked ‘How do I upgrade my old computer to Windows 10?’

You know that old computer you have been using all these years?

It’s probably out of date by now and if you want to upgrade it with latest Windows release – Windows 10 – well then today’s your lucky day because I’ve got just what you’re looking for! If you’ve been using Windows 7, 8 or 8.1 these past years and want to upgrade your computer with the latest release of Microsoft’s operating system, then today is the day it happens!

You can actually do so without having to buy a new computer! In this article, I will explain how you can upgrade your Windows PC from any version of Windows from XP up to Windows 10 without needing to buy a brand new computer.

At this point, you must have known that Windows 10 has been available since July 2015.

Do you wish to upgrade your older computer to Windows 10?

Technically speaking, you will have to buy a new license either as Windows comes in two versions: retail and OEM. These versions are not interchangeable which means that if you end up getting a retail version you cannot use that on a OEM-based motherboard , but what makes them different is mostly the price! Here’s a quick breakdown of the different versions:

Retail version: costs around $200 and your motherboard must have a unique key on it, which is specific to that motherboard. This means that if you ever plan on upgrading your motherboard, you will need a new license as well! You can buy them from Microsoft or other retailers like your local Officeworks.

OEM version: this version only costs half of what the retail version does (around $100) but it’s meant for pre-built computers! Here’s the catch though, your hardware (motherboard) must be identical to what was used when Windows was activated! If you end up changing even one little thing about your computer, the operating system will stop working!

In case you didn’t know about it, these are the requirements for upgrading from previous versions of Microsoft Windows to Windows 10:

  • Processor: 1GHz or faster processor or SoC
  • RAM: 1GB for 32 bit and 2GB for 64 bit
  • Hard disk space: 16 GB for 32 bit OS 20 GB for 64 bit OS
  • Graphics card: DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver
  • Display: 800×600 pixels or greater, 32bit color depth (minimum)

Note that if your computer doesn’t meet the requirements, it may be too old to upgrade. For example, if your current OS is Windows 7 Starter Edition 32-bit installed on a netbook that has only 1GB Ram and 1GHZ processor speed, please download the appropriate Windows 10 release from Microsoft’s official site to check whether the upgrade will go successfully.

How do I find which Windows I’m on?

If you’re not even sure what version of Windows do you have, there are several ways to find out: – Open System by clicking the Start button, typing About your PC near the Search box, then clicking About your PC in the search results. – Right-click Computer in the Start menu or on your desktop, click Properties. – Click Start Menu > Control Panel > System to check for Windows 7 at minimum.


What if my computer doesn’t meet the minimum requirements?

Because the old computer does not meet the minimum requirements for Windows 10, it is highly recommended that you purchase a new PC or upgrade your existing one.

For those who are not stuck with a black screen after upgrading their computers to Windows 10, they need a constant internet connection and 1 GB of RAM for 32-bit operating systems or 2 GB for 64- bit operating systems. A 16 GB storage space for 32-bit operating systems or 20 GB for 64-bit ones is also needed.

Steps to upgrade:

1. Backup

Before updating Windows, you should always create a backup of your files first. If the upgrade doesn’t go successfully, or if your computer no longer boots up after installing Windows 10, you’ll at least still have all of your data to work with. If you don’t have an external hard drive big enough to back up everything on your PC’s internal storage, click here for our guide on backing up only selected folders and files.

2. Turn off your computer

Once you’re sure that your important files are safe and ready to be restored in case anything goes wrong during the upgrade process, shut down your existing version of Windows (e.g., 7 or 8). Boot from the Windows 10 installation media by restarting your computer and selecting the option to boot from the flash drive or disc.

3, Restart computer with disc in

If everything goes according to plan, Windows 10 should automatically install itself from this bootable drive in a matter of minutes. But if you’re stuck with a black screen, don’t fret — there may be some simple solutions. If they don’t help, try restoring your computer’s bootable hard drive using a system image backup  (similar process as when upgrading).

When the installation completes and the PC boots up to Windows 10 for the first time, confirm that all of your programs and files are intact and ready to go. But if you’re stuck with a black screen, don’t fret – try restoring your computer’s bootable hard drive using a system image backup (similar process with Windows 8). If all else fails, you can always get in touch with one of our Melbourne technicians to help you upgrade your computer.

Steps to upgrade my Windows 8 computer

Simply go to the “Updates” tab in your system settings and click on “Check for updates”. If there are any critical updates available, make sure to download and install it before going back to the “Updates” tab and checking for a Windows 10 upgrade. Your computer will check with Microsoft servers if you can upgrade to Windows 10, and after a few minutes of checking, tell you whether or not you can download the new OS. Just follow these steps: Download the installer from Microsoft by clicking on this link,  and follow all prompts until installation begins – do not restart when prompted!

After about 20 minutes of installation, just go back to the “Check for updates” tab and check for a Windows 10 upgrade.

– Enter your product key (the one that came with the installer) when asked – Follow instructions from there onward to complete transition from old computer to new Windows 10 version! It is as easy as 1, 2, 3!

Enjoy your upgraded old computer with Windows 10! Just make sure you have enough space in your hard drive before upgrading. Minimum requirements for an operating system are at least 16 GB of free space in hard disk. Hope this article helped you change your old computer into a new Windows 10 version! Until then: best of luck changing old computer into Windows 10!

What if the Windows 10 update didn’t go as planned?

Just follow these steps:

  • Open Settings on your computer – Click on “Update & Security”
  • Click on “Advanced Options” (on the left side of your screen)
  • Click on “View your update history” (you can’t miss it)
  • Click on “Uninstall Updates”, then right-click each update you want to uninstall and click uninstall – Click on “Go back to previous build”
I am a computer engineer holding a bachelor's degree in Computer Science, complemented by a Master's in Business Administration from University of Strathclyde, Scotland. I currently work as a Senior IT Consultant in Melbourne, Australia. With over 15 years of...