Windows-10 Upgrade without an Existing Booting Operating System

madorian
madorian used Ask the Experts™
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I have a windows-7 platform here which is bluescreening on boot.

I intend to upgrade it to windows-10.

If I boot with a windows-10 ISO, will it be able to upgrade it by detecting the existing Windows-7 or does the upgrade has to be started from within Windows-7, ie meaning I first have to fix Windows-7 to have it boot up and then upgrade?

Is there any way around fixing the Windows-7 and still be able to do a gratis upgrade?
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Distinguished Expert 2018
Commented:
You must run setup from within the existing OS to take advantage of the free upgrade.

With that said, unless it is bluescreening every few minutes, you should be fine. One of the first things the setup does is lay down a clean version of Windows PE and reboots into it. So if the bluescreens are software issues, they won't persist. And if they are hardware issues, booting clean wouldn't fix them.

From PE, the win10 image is then also layered clean. Then optionally your apps and settings are pulled in. There is a command line option to skip the import of settings and apps, but it won't necessarily hurt to try. If one of those settings imported is what is causing the bluescreen then you can always do a reset/refresh from the control panel. That reboots into PE and will wipe all settings reprise the drive with the "clean" win10 image, but already activated via the upgrade process. Best of both worlds. Free upgrade and a pristine install.

I've tested all of these variations pretty thoroughly and it works well. Like I said, the only issues you may have are hardware related bluescreens, or potentially software that doesn't even let you get to the point of upgrading the machine. If you are unlucky enough to hit either, you'd obviously need to replace the faulty hardware for the former, or reinstall win7 clean for the latter to take advantage of the free upgrade.

There is no way to bypass the OS check and take advantage of the free upgrade without a qualifying existing OS present and running on the machine you desire to upgrade.
Most Valuable Expert 2015

Commented:
Fix the cause of the Bluescreen first. once that is done you can try the upgrade from within your installed OS.

If the cause of the Bluescreen is hardware, you probably wouldn't be able install Windows 10 anyway, and it wouldn't make sense.
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
post the minidump  here, then we can help you out
find it in windows\minidumps
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Paul DawsCustomer Support Technical Specialist

Commented:
I'm not sure if this can be done in safe mode with networking. If your machine is stable in this mode and the upgrade can still be applied whilst running in safe mode then this may be a quick way to upgrade. If you don't know you get into safe mode by pressing F8 after POST.
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
madorian, plse post the dmp file and respond  to the posts

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Commented:
I know how to fix the problem, but I figured I didn't have to.

I'll accept the first answer, which says I have to run it from a running Windows-system, even though I don't like the solution;)

Author

Commented:
It's probably doable, but maybe not without as much hacking as required to just fix the bootup. Thanks.

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