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Chip Levinson
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Windows 10 Upgrade or Fresh Install for 7 Pro Desktop

Hello, due to a variety of reasons, I am a long-time user of a 64 bit Windows 7 Pro SP1 desktop who has made no plans for its impending end of support.  I am looking for advice on the best way to transition to Windows 10 - upgrade or fresh install.

My computer is a custom built desktop that I am very happy with and do not want to replace.  I have many applications installed, some of them are older and I am afraid I will lose them in the transition...

I am not sure what info you will need to help with the decision, but here are some key specs on the desktop:

  •    Motherboard: ASUS P8Z77-V LK LGA 1155 Intel Z77
  •    CPU: i7-3770K 3.5 GHz
  •    RAM: 16 GB (can expand if needed)
  •    Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 V2 1GB 192-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2
  •    Monitors: two 24" LED monitors
  •    Boot drive: Samsung 850 Pro 512GB SSD
  •    Other internal SSD: Samsung 840 Pro 256GB SSD
  •    Other Internal HDDs:  Multiple Western DIgital HDDs (2TB and 8TB)
  •    Network: Member of server-based Workgroup
  •    Server: Dell Power Edge 110 II running Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials (manage server using Remote Desktop from W7 PC)

If the best path is to update my boot drive, it currently has only 57GB free.  There are a lot of pictures and videos I can move off it to free up 200+GB of space.  I am more than happy to purchase a new SSD for a clean install of W10 if that is the better way.  I have plenty of open slots or I may simply replace the existing 256GB SSD.

Is it possible to have a second SSD boot drive for Windows 10 and keep my existing drive so if I run into application issues I can boot off the old W7 SSD when needed?

I want to make the transition over the next 10 to 15 days, but would like to buy any required hw/sw before the end of the year.  I know I need a W10 Pro license ($200) and possibly a new SSD and maybe a RAM boost to 32GB?

I am going to start the process of checking and updating the firmware and bios on all my devices - something I have not done in a while.

Thanks for your help!

P.S. I have a W10 2-1 laptop I just purchased and can use when I need features like a touch screen. I can say I want to make sure One Drive is disabled on my desktop.  It would be nice to add a fingerprint reader for sign on if that is easy to do.  Touch screen abilities can wait for now - but I would be interested to know how I can add it in the future.

PPS. Update - I was pulled away on some family matters but no plan to resolve this in the next 5-7 days.
Windows 10InstallationWindows OSWindows 7Desktops

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nobus

8/22/2022 - Mon
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kevinhsieh

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Chip Levinson

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Hi Kevin, thank you so much for the suggestion.  A few follow-up questions.  1. What is the best s/w to use to clone the drive?  and 2) would it be possible to clone the drive to a larger drive?  I just purchased a 1 TB Samsung 860 Pro SSD.  I would like to clone to it and have the extra 512GB for Windows 10.

Also, do I need to worry about updating all BIOS and drivers?  I checked and I think I am running the latest BIOS on my motherboard.  It has not been updated since 2014.

Finally, any thoughts on increasing RAM from 16GB (2x8) to 32GB (4x8) with identical RAM sims?  I do a lot of photography work and rouinely work with many RAW files that are 30MB+ in size.  Also fool around with video editing that to date has been HD but just bought a 4K camera.
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kevinhsieh

More RAM could help. Use cloning software that came with drive or Clonezilla. I suggest disconnecting all other drives before cloning. Do you have tested backups?
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Chip Levinson

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Thank you all for your tips.  I am going to begin the process shortly and will keep you updated on my progress and any questions.
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Chip Levinson

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Kevin what is the best way to have a tested backup?
nobus

imo just make a backup and restore it
Chip Levinson

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nobus, I just ran a backup of the full boot drive with Acronis True Image Home 2011 with Validation.  It passed the validation.  Are you suggesting I restore it to my actual boot drive?  How will I know it worked unless I test every application?  Or should I restore it to my new 1TB SSD, and then make it the boot drive and see if everything works?  Also, when I search for update assistant it seems to be a tool to help W10 users get updates.  Is there a tool I can run that will check all my PCs components and peripherals for W10 compatibility?  If so, would you pllease send me a link to that tool?
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nobus

well - the only trustworthy test is  to test it yourself
if you do not want that - you have to accept the "validation" whatever that may be
sorry - but i see no other way

i have stopped using Acronis maybe 10 years ago, and since then i'm using paragon - and never had a problem with it, and sometimes Casper
i suppose this goes true for all other imaging softwares; but i can only vouch for the ones i us

**** if you want to test it - restore it to another drive, and boot from it; if that is ok, you can test therest when you have more time, or need to do it
Chip Levinson

ASKER
Nobus,
I am going to use Paragon to create the backup.  Turns out I have version 14 already installed on the PC.  I think the latest version now is 17.  It says I need to uninstall 14 before it can install 17.  What if I did the following? 1) Format news 1TB SSD to NTFS and make sure it is empty 2) Backup full boot drive to another local HDD, 3) restore backup to empty and formatted 1TB SDD 4) boot from new SSD.  If everything works correctly, is the new SSD the same as if I cloned the original boot drive to it?  In other words, does Restore Full Backup act the same way as mirror image?  If so, can I then attempt to upgrade to WIndows 10 on the new 1TB (restored) SSD?
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