How To Upgrade To Windows 10 Right Now UPDATE: This Sucks

Update: "Something happened". The day has finally come, Windows 10 is available to the public and if you currently have a computer with Windows 7 or 8 on it, you can get Windows 10 totally for free. Let me give you a few tips about upgrading your operating system and a few warnings.

I personally own 4 windows computers, 3 of them running windows 7 and 1 of them running windows 8 (which I've never really liked). I know that upgrading an operating system can cause problems and that is why I WILL NOT upgrade to Windows 10 on any of my main machines until our latest project is 100% complete. It's not worth risking months of work to upgrade to something that we really don't need. If you rely on your computer for your livelihood then I would suggest waiting at least a few weeks to install Windows 10. That being said, I do own 2 laptops that I rarely use for business and I am excited to install Windows 10 on them today. 

You may have noticed a small Windows logo in the bottom right of your screen that looks like this:

To upgrade Windows for free you can simply click on this icon and "reserve" your free copy by sending Microsoft your email address. Once you do this Windows will tell you to be patient and you will be alerted when you are able to install the update. This is extremely frustrating because you don't know if it will be ready in an hour or a week.

How to download Windows 10 directly from Microsoft without waiting

If you're like me and you don't want to wait, you can simply go directly to Microsoft's website and download the update directly here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10

Clean install vs upgrade

I don't like upgrading my operating system. In fact, I usually do a clean install of Windows every year anyway for a fresh start. You might be tempted to skip the upgrade and wipe your entire hard drive and install Windows 10 fresh. In this particular case, you shouldn't do that. 

Windows 10 is free for those of us who already own Windows 7 or 8. If you upgrade, Microsoft will automatically use your current OS product key and generate you a new key for Windows 10. If you attempt a fresh install without first getting a Windows 10 key, you will actually have to buy it. If you upgrade first, Microsoft will associate a new license with your computer and then you can do a fresh install without having to spend any money. 

How to do a clean install

Once you've spent a ton of time upgrading your computer to Windows 10 to get your free license, you will then need to go back to this page and download the Windows 10 installer again and click “Create installation media for another PC.”

The Media creation tool will create an installer on a USB drive or DVD-R. You will then need to restart your computer and boot from the USB drive in the bios by pressing F1 or F12 (it will say when your computer first boots up). 

Follow the directions and choose "Custom: Install Windows Only." Choose the correct hard drive and click "format." THIS WILL DELETE EVERYTHING ON THIS DRIVE SO MAKE SURE YOU'VE BACKED IT UP. 

After a few minutes of formatting and installing you will have a computer with a fresh copy of Windows 10 on it. As I understand it, Windows will automatically know your license key for Windows 10 even after you have formatted your C: drive if you perform the instlal in this order. I am currently working through this process right now and I will report back soon with my results. 

Update: This shit doesn't work

While I was writing up this post I was personally walking through the steps to update one of my laptops to Windows 10. In classic Microsoft fashion, the update has failed in way that is so stereotypically "Windows" that it's hilarious and sad at the same time. 

When I first got back to my laptop there was an error on the screen that said: "We couldn't complete the updates, Undoing changes, Don't turn off your computer"

Typical Windows right? Well I figured I would just have to restart and try once more and it would work. NOPE! I went back to the download folder and tried to start the update process again. I recorded the process for your amusement. 

"Something happened????" Is this some sort of joke? Something happened? No it didn't. Actually, nothing happened. No matter how many times I click on the installer and Windows tells me that "something happened" nothing will actually happen. At this point I'm so pissed off I'm going to forget about this for a day and revisit tomorrow. Maybe I should swing by the Mac store. 

Update number 2

Tonight I went to dinner with my girlfriend and she said "you seem like you're in a bad mood." I realized that I was in a bad mood and I had to explain how frustrated I was with my Windows 10 update. When I got home I decided to give the update one more try on a completely separate laptop.

The update took a few hours but went totally smoothly. When I booted Windows 10 for the first time my screen resolution was way out of whack. Everything was ultra low res and stretched out. I tried changing the screen resolution but the current setting appeared to be correct and it didn't give me any other options anyway. I started looking for display driver updates. 30 minutes into my search, SNAP! My desktop became "normal" again. I have no clue what happened but I assume Windows automatically downloaded some sort of update for me.

I started using Chrome and everything did appear to be working but it also seemed a bit slower than normal. I then switched over to Microsoft's new Edge browser and noticed that my 2 finger scrolling didn't work (although it does work in Chrome). I then figured out that 2 finger scrolling doesn't work anywhere in Windows.

I clicked on the start menu and the entire thing started glitching out. Mousing over one program would make another option or program appear above it and start blinking. Moving my mouse around then started to "paint in" other tabs of the start menu. It felt like Windows 98 all over again.

Now this is hardly a full review. I've used Windows 10 for about 20 minutes now but so far nothing is going smoothly for me, especially with so many glowing reviews out there. Tomorrow I'll give you another update but until then, I cannot suggest anyone upgrade to Windows 10 at this point, especially with a work computer.

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88 Comments

Justin Haugen's picture

Awaiting the impending and incredibly boring Mac versus Windows discussion.

Looking forward to trying out Windows 10 after the sure to follow bug fixes, security patches, and driver support.

Lee Morris's picture

Well I had high hopes.... And my hopes have been shattered

Marco Wagner's picture

I bet you didn't have to wait long before fanbois came out of their grandma's den.

Michael Kormos's picture

No discussion to be had! No such issues with Macs everysince I switched to them 10 years ago.

Justin Haugen's picture

I live in a windows and mac friendly household. No issues either.

Justin Haugen's picture

wait, I lied. The mac has a logic board that needs to be replaced. Whoopsie

Alice Avenne's picture

Pfff, Windows. The last good OS was Snow Leopard on mac and XP on PC, no mac or PC OS will ever be as good again I fear.

michael buehrle's picture

true. why do they always mess up a good thing ?

Deleted Account's picture

Almost agree, I think Win7SP1 is the best windows (if you can talk about MS products this way ;) ).

Tam Nguyen's picture

Hahahahahahahahahahahaha

ALEXANDER TARDIF's picture

Something. Happened.

No really it did!

Bryan Dockett's picture

That's too bad my entire upgrade took about 15-20mins zero insure. Curious, what are you downloading in Chrome?

Bryan Dockett's picture

oh never mind.... readers are leaders

Anthony DeLaurentis's picture

Same thing happened to me. What worked was loading that little program on another windows machine, and choosing the option to create media (iso file) for windows 10. Follow the wizard, creates an iso file, and even will open burning software after it completes and will create an installation CD. The program also gives you the option to create an installation USB stick. Either way, worked for me by doing it that way.

Kyle Ford's picture
Lee Morris's picture

This review is what got me so excited about Windows 10!

Kyle Ford's picture

Yea, I'm getting a push from Admin to upgrade our 40 or so PCs here to 10... Mmmmm Nope. Not until the first SP at least.

Deleted Account's picture

Is your "Admin" involved in IT anyhow? It is bad practice to implement updates without testing, not talking about deploying (beta) OS.

Kyle Ford's picture

No which is why they get told no.

Daris Fox's picture

It amazes me at how many people still think there's going to be a service pack, MS has stated several times over the last few months. There's No Service Pack, they have moved to AGILE development of continuous updates and upgrades to improve the system just like many other companies.

Kyle Ford's picture

Well then waiting 6 months for a large amount of steady updates to have been rolled out, so the kinks are ironed out before site wide deployment.

David Vaughn's picture

I don't understand why anyone would update from Windows 7.

Lee Morris's picture

Well I'm starting to feel the same way

Ariel Martini's picture

The biggest practical difference from windows 7 to 8/10 is that you can use apps from Windows Store. So far i havent found anything useful from there, but soon everyone will change their deployment method from download installer/install to windows store.

Marco Wagner's picture

Gamers have to update every time due to DirectX compatibility with newly released games. Wanna play the latest game in full visual glory? Run the latest windows.

Daniel Lee's picture

Quite a few gamers who had installed the trial versions of W10 reported better performance and more fps using W10. I'll be upgrading once I download the ISO (which will take ages since my connection is only 2.1mbs).

David Vaughn's picture

But DirectX 12 isn't even widely used by anyone yet, since it was just released with Windows 10. All current games are "bottlenecked" at DirectX 11, which Windows 7 supports.

Windows 8 is a pretty frivolous update as Windows tried to create a viable OS for its tablets, and the features in Windows 10 aren't standardized yet, so I just don't see why anyone would update unless they HAVE to.

Njoi Fontes's picture

I can't see why anyone would not update.... windows 10 is much faster, more secure and has quite a few features that make it better than windows 7 (cortana, snap view, action center, the built in mail app, live tiles are awesome for information at a glance, etc)

David Vaughn's picture

Well, all the issues people are having would be one thing. I would prefer not to risk that as an early adopter of the OS. Plus, was anybody really saying "Man, I wish I had a Siri for my desktop."

Not to mention the questionable stance that Windows has taken on the privacy of those who upgrade to Windows 10.

Nothing Windows has added since XP is anything that is fundamental to operating a computer.

On their Facebook there was a post that was like "The start menu is back!" Like we should be applauding them for adding back a feature that should never even have left into the vanilla version of their new OS.

Njoi Fontes's picture

If you only upgrade your OS because of something that you consider critical then you will be stuck in the past forever. There are many advantages on windows 10 that considerably speed up your work when compared to XP.

Please don't compare Cortana to useless siri because she is far ahead. She is fantastic for finding stuff not just on the web but also on your computer. For exemple you can type (you never need to use voice) "show me photos from last week" and she will. You can type " send an email to carl , type the email" and she will compose the email without even opening a web browser. Telling her to remind you about an appointment is also very useful indeed.

It's also incredibly useful having all notifications on a right pane, which include all email you receive, any appointments you have, etc. Virtual desktops is also very useful for us power users and Microsoft Edge (which replaces internet explorer) already outperforms all browsers on the market.

David Vaughn's picture

"If you only upgrade your OS because of something that you consider critical then you will be stuck in the past forever."

If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

I also have my desktop organized in such a way that I don't have any problem navigating or finding anything anyways, so really all this new stuff just seems like bloatware that I wouldn't use much anyways.

I just need something that runs my programs and video games. Windows 7 does that beautifully without spending 30 minutes attempting, and failing, updates every other day.

Also; I'm not sure Microsoft Edge is as fast as you think it is: http://mashable.com/2015/07/29/microsoft-edge-vs-google-chrome/

Njoi Fontes's picture

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it" Uau are you serious? With that mind set there would be no new versions of anything, hardware or software. No matter how good something is it can always be improved, and that should be obvious. Tell me are you using a black and white tv from the 50's? Why not?

No matter how organized you think your desktop is I will always be faster and more efficient on windows 10 than you even will on windows 7. Not to mention that my pc will boot much faster and run considerably faster as well. Again cortana is far from bloatware since she is extremely useful and very fast. Are you seriously going to miss out on direct x 12

Seems you are right about edge not being as fast as I though, but then again it is still very new and will only become faster with time.

I have nothing against windows 7 and It was a great edition of windows 10 years ago. I'm afraid that you are just too stuck on your ways and afraid of a little change that would greatly pay off if you just tried.

I must empathize that whatever issues lee was having are extremely rare, but if you are reluctant wait a couple of months for these last issues to be sorted out and then upgrade. With a proper backup you will have nothing to loose and a lot to gain.

David Vaughn's picture

I don't understand why you care so much.

Njoi Fontes's picture

I care because I find it extremely unfair that Microsoft gets criticized even when they managed to deliver a version of their OS that is really good and as bug free as a newly released version that runs on so many different hardware configurations can be. I find It ridiculous that someone like lee, that should know better, you advise people not to upgrade just because of his anecdotal experience.

It should be obvious that one case in a million is expected to go wrong. If there were reports that millions of people were running into serious problems it would be one thing, but this?

It simply seems to me that no matter what Microsoft does people will always complain and many won't even give Windows 10 a chance because of posts like this.

I would not be making this much fuss If I didn't truly think that Windows 10 is the current best OS in existence and I find it particularly useful to photographers (native raw support for one is great, as well as the ability to search photos much quicker).

Bill Peppas's picture

According to my info DirectX 12 will be added to Windows 7 as well ;)

Njoi Fontes's picture

Your info is wrong

Anonymous's picture

Bwahaahahaahahaah............ I remember the awesome blue screen of death in Windaz 95 like it was yesterday. 20 years later it's nice to know some things don't change!

Deleted Account's picture

LMAO!!! so true!

Justin Haugen's picture

People couldn't get over the Metro interface (which you are obligated to spend 0 time in) long enough to realize that Windows 8 outperforms Windows 7 and has more security features.

I've been a big fan of Windows 8.1 and I even see the utility in using Metro as there are some mobile apps I've been able to make use of.

Prefers Film's picture

I'll get Win10 as soon as there is a Classic Shell update for it.

Jeff Colburn's picture

Before you update to Windows 10, read this http://krebsonsecurity.com/2015/07/windows-10-shares-your-wi-fi-with-con...

Have Fun,
Jeff

Daris Fox's picture

Just to clarify what's going on:

http://arstechnica.co.uk/gadgets/2015/07/wi-fi-sense-in-windows-10-yes-i...

This has been in Windows since 8.1 and allows the sharing of WiFi between your machines and Windows Phone.

Plus it's not as if figuring out a WiFi passkey is particularly hard these days with the modern systems available.

Jeff Colburn's picture

I don't trust Microsoft, and I certainly don't expect that these keys will be kept out of the reach of hackers.

And yes, it is easy to figure out a passkey, but I don't want to make it any easier for some smarmy hacker than I have to.

Have Fun,
Jeff

Daris Fox's picture

I prefer to use Certs, I don't give out my WiFi Details and it's on a separate VLAN from the rest of the PCs. It also prevents MS sharing the key. The WiFi is only for my phone, everything else is hard wired for security and speed.

However I just switch it off.

Paulo Macedo's picture

You trust Apple right? Ohh dear Lord...

Jeff Colburn's picture

I never mentioned Apple.

Daniel Lee's picture

This doesn't bother me since I have my SSID hidden, I have hardly any contacts and I'm anti social so no one ever comes near my home.

chi tang's picture

I have had the same problem. I solved it by a disk cleaning via windows. Then i started the tool again for w10. Aftera while it was fully installed

Daris Fox's picture

If you have nVidia hardware and dual display rigs then stay away just now, they've dropped the ball regarding drivers. This is a rig that was in the Insider fast ring up until last month and was working but the latest nVidia drivers are just too flaky. Wouldn't mind so much but it's a K4000 professional graphics card that's pretty much guaranteed to be in this kind of config! The AMD FirePro doesn't have this problem.

The Something Happened is likely to be a corrupted download of system files. You need to delete them and then try again, There's a reason why MS is rolling out in stages, this is one of them because it's pre-loaded on your computer and when you use the media creator it's likely to corrupt that pre-load..

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