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How to Prepare Your PC for a Successful Windows 10 Upgrade

Windows 10 has been available for the past couple months, but a lot of people still have not jumped on the free upgrade offer. But you need to keep in mind that the free upgrade offer is for one year and ends July 29th, 2016.

Prepare for a Successful Windows 10 Upgrade

There’s still plenty of time, so when you finally decide to pull the trigger, here’s some things you can do before you start the upgrade to ensure everything goes as smooth as possible.

1 – Fix Hard Disk and OS Errors

If you have been running an installation of Windows for many years now, it’s a possibility even though it’s running smooth; there might be potential blockers to a successful upgrade. Broken applications, operating system updates, improper shutdown, power outages and other factors can corrupt files on the hard disk that could make the upgrade to Windows 10 challenging. Windows for years has included built-in utilities that can fix most of these common problems. Be warned, you will need to get your hands dirty with the command line for some of these actions.

The first one we will start with is the check disk command that scans your hard disk for errors and makes attempts to fix them. If you are upgrading from a previous version of Windows, sometimes corrupted system files can prevent setup from working properly. See the following article for instructions:

How to Check if Your Computer’s Hard Disk Drive is Bad

Also, run the System File Checker utility that will scan your system and attempt to fix broken operating system files:

  • Click Start (Windows 8 users, press Windows key + X > Command Prompt (Admin)
  • Type: CMD, from the results, right click CMD
  • Click ‘Run as Administrator’
  • At the Command Prompt, type: sfc /scannow
  • This will check for any integrity violations
  • When complete, restart your computer
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For a computer running Windows 8 or later, another powerful command line utility users can run is the Deployment Image Servicing and Management tool that is used to service a Windows installation. Similar to the System File Checker utility, you can use DISM to correct corrupted system files and determine the status of the system.

  • Press Windows key + X
  • Click Command Prompt (Admin)
  • Type each command at the prompt then hit enter after each scan is complete)
  • Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth
  • Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth
  • Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth


2 – Disconnect non-essential devices attached to your computer.

If you have non-essential external devices (printer, scanner, etc.) attached to your computer during installation, these can interfere with the setup engine and prevent the installation from completing because Windows 10 is trying to detect and install them. So, keep the bare essentials attached, keyboard and mouse. If you have an external hard disk or USB thumb drive attached, disconnect those too, I notice those can confuse setup.

3 – Disable your Antivirus utility, non-essential services, and startup programs.

If you are upgrading from a previous version of Windows or a previous Windows 10 build, a typical blocker for Windows setup is security utilities. Disable them; these include Antivirus, AntiSpyware and Firewall utilities. In most cases, it is strongly recommended you uninstall these security utilities and install versions compatible with Windows 10. Norton offered a free upgrade to a compatible version of Windows 10 one of my systems.

Disable Antivirus

4 – Make sure you install the latest updates for your current version of Windows.

I have noticed before a new version of Windows launches; Microsoft might offer fixes that can make the upgrade go smoother. You can choose this option during the Windows 10 setup wizard, but it seems to take forever, instead, run Windows Update manually from within your current version of Windows. Click Start > All Programs > Windows Update (or press Windows key + R > type: wuapp.exe > hit Enter key) click Check for updates.

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5 – Make sure you have full administrative privileges.

If you are using a standard account, this can prevent the Windows 10 App from presenting the Windows 10 offer. If you are installing from the Media Creation Tool, that will be blocked too since setup won’t have the privilege to write setup files to the hard disk.

  • Press Windows key + R
  • Type: control userpasswords then hit Enter on your keyboard
  • Click Change account type

Make sure your account privileges is set to Administrator.

If your computer is part of a business network, you will need to demote your PC to Workgroup mode.

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15 Responses to How to Prepare Your PC for a Successful Windows 10 Upgrade

  1. RBBarker December 26, 2015 at 3:30 pm #

    Thank you, Your post is very helpful.

    • Virgilio Cabezon December 27, 2015 at 7:24 pm #

      Many thanks. Your tips were useful.

  2. Bon January 24, 2016 at 2:48 pm #

    Great post. Unfortunately, I still cannot install Win 10 on my HP 2000-bfwm laptop. Maybe someone can advise me. I’m totally burned out after trying all tricks etc. for two weeks.

    • Henrik May 24, 2016 at 11:32 pm #

      reinstall win 7 or 8 if you have,and then do it again.

  3. Ran Hansen February 25, 2016 at 7:15 am #

    I can’t get past the first step. “Click ‘Run as Administrator’” is not an option. How do I do that?

    • JoeKeyz July 13, 2016 at 6:08 pm #

      To run a program as a Administer: do the following:

      Right mouse click over the name of the file you want to run as the Administrator.
      A popup menu will have “Run as Administrator”. click it.. enjoy.

  4. John April 17, 2016 at 11:49 am #

    I’m having trouble downloading windows 10
    I get the pop up box to start download now or upgrade later
    But when i click on download all i get is the dots going round in a circle starting download
    But nothing happens it just stays in that loop

  5. Leigh April 20, 2016 at 5:16 am #

    I have the same issue as John, the dots going round in a circle starting download
    But nothing happens it just stays in that loop


  6. Diane May 10, 2016 at 11:41 am #

    I see a lot of the same problems I’m having, yet there are no answers from this supposed ‘certified computer technician and Microsoft Most Valuable Professional since 2010.’ person…

    Starting download…then preparing for installation…. 10 hours later NOTHING! Failed…. What gives? can we get some replies please?????

    • Henrik May 24, 2016 at 11:35 pm #

      If you have windows 7 or 8 on a disc reinstall it and then try again

  7. Bryan Smith May 31, 2016 at 3:20 am #

    I can get W10 supposedly installed but when gets to the checking for updates it gets stuck even after 4 hours doed not move and have to reboot. It has been suggested my Asus M3N78 pro is not compatible

  8. Mel June 21, 2016 at 9:54 pm #

    I get to the point where I am told to restart my computer for updates to take affect, I restart and then I get the same message time and time again. Any thoughts?

  9. holdum333 July 21, 2016 at 10:22 pm #

    Hi! @adacosta! Excellent tutorial! Thank you and kudos to you for this. IMHO if you have corrupted files, you might not be able to install W10 up dates and corrupted files may cause you more grief also
    Very nice Thank you!

  10. JulieR July 29, 2016 at 8:22 am #

    Page 2 of these tips link is just reloading page 1.

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