Why should you upgrade to Windows 10? And how do you know if you have Windows 7, Windows 10, or something else? Go here for an article of mine which will tell you exactly that, as well as outlining the benefits (and criticisms) of Windows 10. Once you've established what version of Windows you have, and why you need to upgrade (Win7 expired Jan 2020), read further.
With any computer which's old enough to be running Windows 7, theres a few things you need to check first. The main one is the hard drive - most mechanical hard drives have a median lifespan of about 6 years, and a quarter fail in the first four years. So before upgrading, I need to check what is known as the hard drive's 'SMART' status indicators, to see whether there's any deterioration or bad sectors.
If the drive is clean, it's time to upgrade. But first we need to backup the existing setup to another drive, just in case anything goes wrong in the process - although generally it shouldn't, if there's anything that 25 years of building and fixing computers has taught me, it's that computers are basically rocks that we taught to think using lightning, and expecting lightning (electricity) to behave rationally is irrational.
With that out of the way, the upgrade process generally takes 2-3 hours, depending on the speed of the computer and a few other factors. Once done, I optimize the new setup and trim out the fat using my custom scripts. This turns off a lot of Windows annoyances such as the silly preinstalled games and seldom-used apps, the Microsoft telemetry (spying) and various other things. I also do a few tweaks to make the setup perform more like Windows 7 overall.
Generally-speaking this process tends to go pretty smooth, so there's little to worry about, and even if something goes wrong, the worst that can happen is I have to roll back to the backup I made of your hard drive. Once it's done I guarantee you'll be more happy with your existing setup than you would be if you installed Windows 10 yourself.
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