Windows 10 arrived, as promised, on July 29, 2010. Members of the Insider Program got it first, though, truth be told, we’d been running it since Build 10240, which was pushed out to insiders a couple of weeks before the official launch.
For everyone else, though, well, I’m not exactly sure when you’ll get a notification that you’re ready to upgrade.
Basically, if you reserved your copy when that silly little icon popped up in your task bar, that told Microsoft that you wanted to upgrade, and it began dripping the installation files into a hidden folder on your root drive. At some point, the folder is ready, and you’ll get a notification to upgrade. I guess. I haven’t officially received that notice with any of the computers I’m using.
I am, however, running official Windows 10 installations on two machines, and am currently attempting (for a second time) to put it on a third. The experience has been largely positive.
How Did I Get Windows 10 Without the Official Notice?
Thanks to tips from a variety of sources (mainly thurrott.com) I got it directly from Microsoft’s “Download Windows 10” website. Easy enough. Now, you will need to know, at a minimum, one piece of information: whether you are running a 32-bit or a 64-bit version of either Windows 7 with SP1, or Windows 8.1. You can find this in Windows 7 by clicking on the start menu, right-clicking on “Computer,” and looking in the middle of the page in the section labeled “System.” There you will find “System type:” and it will tell you whether you have a 64-bit Operating System or a 32-bit Operating System, circled in red in the image below.
If you are upgrading from Windows 7, you will also likely need to know whether you are running a Home version or a Pro version (circled in blue, above).
In Windows 8.1, you can get to the same screen by going to the desktop and right-clicking (or long-pressing) on the Start icon, and then selecting “System.” The OS is circled in blue below, and the version of Windows 8.1 being run is in red.
If all you see is Windows 8.1, and nothing else, then you will upgrade to Windows 10 Home. If you see Windows 8.1 Pro, then you will upgrade to Windows 10 Pro.
Really Important Importation
You really should make sure that your critical files are backed up somewhere. Whether it’s to an external hard drive, a NAS system, to a cloud-based storage solution, or whatever, you need to do it. All sorts of things can go wrong (especially if, as I found out, you get overly aggressive with how you muck about your system) and you will want to be able to have access to all those files (which I was able to do, because I made a backup).
Back to Microsoft’s website, you will click on the version of Windows 10 you want to download and install; it must be the same type (32-bit or 64-bit) as you are currently running.
A stub file will download. Run it, and we’ll pick this discussion up in the next post on this topic.