Upgrading XP Computer to Windows 10


Old 06-02-19, 09:09 AM
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Upgrading XP Computer to Windows 10

I have an Athlon 64 5400+ desktop computer, 2.8Ghz, that I want to upgrade. It has two hdds, 500Gb, one of which has all my files that I want to keep. I understand that the c: drive will have the new operating system and nothing else, a clean install.
My question is, what is the best and least expensive way to obtain the software I need? I see keys only forsale, download iso files, and cheap dvds and dvds over $100. Very confusing. Any suggestions are appreciated.
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Old 06-02-19, 10:05 AM
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If you're seeing one person selling a licence or DVDs etc, stay away from it unless it can be verified as new & still sealed from the factory.
The thing you are seeing is called piracy & is illegal & shady. Do Not get yourself caught up in that.

If you are buying a used disc for sale, be sure you are getting the original.... not a copy. Again, piracy. The other thing you need to watch for here is if its used, you may not have but one or two legal downloads left. I havent bought a new O/S software in a long time but they used to give you enough downloads for 3 computers. This would allow you to buy one original copy on a disc, then use it three times to update all your computers. After those three times, the serial number wont able any good after that. If you try to install it on a 4th, you would get a message that stops the install & wont let you proceed.
Having said that, You may only have one download now. I dont know. Maybe two. But be sure you know how many downloads you have left & get that in writing if you buy it through a reputable site like ebay that you can contest the purchase through.

DO NOT buy a copy! Period. The software is copyrighted & copies are illegal & piracy. ONLY the original can be sold by the owner of the software.

I am sure others will give you more advice.
Old 06-02-19, 11:30 AM
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Go on Microsoft's site and try downloading it. They still want everyone to get it and it just might download for free. Worth a try.
Old 06-02-19, 12:17 PM
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You can definitely download it from MS. But you will need a legitimate key to install it.
Old 06-02-19, 03:26 PM
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I made some progress, I think. My XP computer did not allow me to download the tool at the MS site, so I used a Windows 10 computer running the Home edition. I downloaded and burned a disk called windows.iso
Now I need to find a legit key. But, what version of Windows do I need to get a key for? I find a lot of keys for the Professional version and only a few for the Home version. Will the Install give me choices of which I want to install?
Old 06-02-19, 03:31 PM
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The .ISO file that you downloaded from Microsoft will give you the choice of installing either Windows 10 Home or Professional. Install whichever version you have an activation key for.
Old 06-02-19, 03:52 PM
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Another piece of the puzzle solved. Next step is to procure the key and then a lot of work to reload all of the programs that were on the xp computer. Seems like I have bought a lot of Windows operating systems over the years. Windows 95, XP, Vista, windows 7, and 8. I was able to get the 7 and 8 upgraded to 10 for free. On the other hand, Apple devices make this process much simpler.
Old 06-03-19, 09:05 AM
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You can download the disk image (.iso file) for Windows 10 direct from Microsoft here. Free.

And you can buy a Windows 10 key code for less than $30 here

And I haven't installed an OS from optical media in dog's years. If I'm installing an unmodified image, I use Rufus to create a bootable thumb drive that will install the OS. It's freeware and dead simple to use.

But you'll get a better result if you do a customized install using Bob.Ombís Modified WinPE. It lets you remove elements like Cortana and User Account Control so they're never installed. You can't un-install Cortana (or turn it off completely) but you can avoid installing in the first place. And UAC has always been slipshot and its worst implementation yet is in Win10.

For bonus points, Bob.Ombís Modified WinPE is an excellent rescue disk.
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Old 06-03-19, 10:21 AM
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Quick 2-cents here. I had a desktop HDD fail back in January, so I've gone through the upgrade process for several older computers.
IF you are going to install Windows 10, you will find that you initially enter the GENERIC Windows 10 Home key, or a GENERIC Windows-10 Pro key during installation, let the installation finish, reboot, and THEN enter the activation code. Just works better and cleaner that way.

However, there IS an easier way.

FIRST, make copies of all your XP files. Pictures, documents, emails etc. (I like the USB-Hard-Drive adapters ~$19 which work with SATA, IDE and laptop-IDE drives). You want to use the old fashioned "copy to" or burn to DVD as backups. THEN check that they are READABLE.
Next, find and download the free version of "Macrium Reflect" this allows you to clone drives, and to make disk images of an entire hard drive and/or the individual logical drives.
Use Macrium to make a disk image of the XP hard drive. After you have a backup disk images of the entire XP drive, THEN run "disk cleanup" and "checkdsk" and defrag on the XP drive. You want to "de-bloat" the XP drive as much as possible, meaning go through the User accounts and remove videos and pictures and documents (which you should already have backup copies of) You want to get the "smallest" XP drive that you can, THEN make another Macrium copy of the stripped down, but still working XP system on that drive.
If you have a current favorite Windows-10 computer, make a disk image of that hard drive as well.

SECOND, review the Administrator Accounts on any Win 10 computers, I highly suggest setting those up as Windows User Account. Switching to a "Windows Account" for the Administrator account means Microsoft saves the information about EACH computer being "activated" to use Windows 10. This cuts down on having to re-type activation keys anytime you make a hardware change.

THIRD use Macrium to restore the entire Win 10 disk image onto the former XP computer.

FOURTH, check e-bay for a Win 10 activation key, I found them for around $5 for just the key. AFTER you restore Win 10, restart once or twice, and THEN enter the activation code. Your former XP computer should now be running as a clone of your Win-10 computer.

Fifth, remember that stripped down XP-disk image file? Copy it back onto the new Win-10 computer. Macrium lets you mount images, justt like you mount an ISO of a cd rom. Even better, for most newish computers with RAM and virtulization, Macrium lets you BOOT the image and run it as virtual machine. So, you can double click the file, and your old XP computer will load and run in a new window.
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Last edited by Hal_S; 06-03-19 at 10:39 AM.
Old 06-03-19, 12:53 PM
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Thank you Hal_s for the explanation. It sure was detailed. It may be more than I need.
I took the time to save everything that I wanted in xp to a second hdd installed in the computer.
This is a spare computer for just in case. If I install Windows 10 from the iso on my main hdd will the xp operating system and all the files on that disk be erased? Should I format the hdd before attempting to install Windows 10, or is that just a waste of time?
Old 06-03-19, 02:59 PM
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If you have an existing Windows 10 computer use Marcrium to clone that hard drive, get new Windows-10 and MS Office licenses and you could be up and running in a few hours.

A few weeks ago, got a new touchscreen flip-book. Great computer.
Problem was having to reload or reinstall ALL the software.
My estimate was that it would have been at LEAST 14 hours to re-install-

Acrobat Reader & acrobat online
Brother printer driver
Chrome & login
Dropbox & login
Firefox & login
Kindle & login
Linkedin & login
MS Office & login
Onedrive & login
Pandora & login
Windows Live Mail & multiple email account logins

Instead, I made a disk image of the flipbook's OEM hard drive as a backup.
I made a disk image of an existing Win-10 desktop setup. Cloned the desktop hard drive onto the flipbook hard drive using a disk image. Copied the flipbook disk image file back onto the flipbook.

Booted the flipbook, and had a working clone of the desktop computer, with all the programs installed and passwords in place.

To re-load the drivers for the flipbook specific equipment, (touchpad/display/keyboard/webcam) double clicked on the OEM disk-image to mount it as a hard drive and tell Windows to search THAT disk for drivers. Entire process only took only a few hours.

The same thing applies for an XP computer, but you have to purchase a Windows 10 license. IIRC, you'll have about 30 days of a "nag screen" reminding you that Windows-10 is not activated.

Last edited by Hal_S; 06-03-19 at 05:07 PM.
Old 06-06-19, 09:13 AM
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I dislike Windows 8 Very much.
I didn't know that you could not install Cortana. Boy that thing is a mess!

You guys have given great information here. I did grab Rufus and made a boot
thingy from it.

Last edited by Dawter; 06-06-19 at 09:40 AM.
Old 06-06-19, 09:48 AM
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From what I have heard from people who adopted Windoze 10 it took weeks to get the hidden crap disarmed.
I remember somewhere that MS can get access to your computer and IF THEY determine your being a bad person they will turn you over to the authorities. READ the agreement carefully.

I am running Win7 and will not upgrade. It is all a scam in my opinion.
XP fixed most of the problems that NT had created, for some of the squealers.
Before you do anything check the hardware compatibility list for windows 10 (search it)
You may have some nasty expensive surprises.
The most I would do is do a reformat and clean install of XP. Just saying
Old 06-06-19, 10:19 AM
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Drangd, you said it!. I had to use a laptop for my employer and it had Windows 10 on it. It was a touch screen but boy is that thing a mess. LOL! And yes it is true if you don't go inside and find the secret hiding place to turn off Windows they may come and get you if you say something they don't like! I've never heard of anyone being arrested or anything but that's the word that's out- Windows 10 is spying on you. I love Windows 7 and I'll never do anything different if I don't have to although Windows Microsoft has stopped giving out any updates to it.
I'm on my second laptop. My first one I had for about 12 years and was running XP on it. I had updated and upgraded it so much that I couldn't put Windows 7 on it because it was too old to accept it.

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