1. poit57's Avatar
    First off, I know that in order to take advantage of the free upgrade, the first step is to do an in-place upgrade from Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, then the activation for that machine will take place automatically. I've done this on several computers, but I've run into a problem and was looking for advice.

    I have my brother's old computer that has Windows 8.1. This computer has been replaced and has not been used since last March. Part of the reason it was replaced and hasn't been used is because, I believe due to some issues with the OS installation, it was running very slow for the specs of the hardware. My goal this weekend was to try to take advantage of the free Windows 10 upgrade, then wipe the hard drive and start with a clean install after the activation was successful.

    Here is where I'm running into issues. After installing over 200 updates to prepare it for the Windows 10 upgrade, the upgrade kept failing from Windows Update. I downloaded the media creation tool and ran the upgrade from the newly created ISO. Now, I'm stuck on the Welcome to Windows 10 screen.

    The screen says Welcome Tyler at the top and has two options at the bottom. I can choose the Next button or the link that says "Not Tyler?" which should allow me to set up a new user. The problem is that no matter which option I choose, the HDD led flashes for a couple minutes showing that it is working, then the computer just stops doing anything. After multiple reboots, I get stuck at this screen every time.

    These are the questions I have about this situation:

    1. Did I get far enough into the installation that the Windows 10 activation will have taken place? My fear is that a clean activation at this point will leave the computer in an unactivated state.

    2. If a clean install of Windows 10 isn't a viable option at this point, is there a way to roll back to Windows 8.1 from here without reinstalling the entire OS? This might give me a chance to do a system refresh on Windows 8.1 before attempting the upgrade.

    3. Would I be better off simply starting over with a clean install of Windows 8.1 and trying the Windows 10 upgrade on a completely clean system?

    I'm not worried about losing any data on this computer. I'm just looking for the most efficient way to go about achieving a successful Windows 10 upgrade.
    03-09-2016 08:28 AM
  2. pankaj981's Avatar
    Your best bet would be to reinstall 8.1, reactivate, and then perform the in place upgrade. Would you mind posting the basic specs of this computer? W8.1 ran pretty well on my 7 year old PC.
    03-09-2016 08:38 AM
  3. poit57's Avatar
    The computer was built in 2009. Here are the basic specs.

    Motherboard: Intel DP45SG
    CPU: Core 2 Quad 2.33 GHz
    4GB RAM (DDR3 1333)
    250GB HDD

    I've also successfully upgraded 3 other computers with the same motherboard chipset: 1 with Core 2 Quad, 1 with Core 2 Duo, and 1 with a Celeron processor. I think the underlying issues all go back to a problem with the OS install rather than anything hardware related, so I'll try reinstalling and activating Windows 8.1 first.
    03-09-2016 10:52 AM
  4. pankaj981's Avatar
    Yeah it definitely looks like a faulty OS install since the hardware is more than capable of running 8.1 smoothly.
    03-10-2016 07:30 AM
  5. poit57's Avatar
    I did a clean install of Windows 8.1 last night, and as of this morning, when I left for work, it was downloading the Windows 10 upgrade from WU. It was much less difficult than I thought it would be to start over.
    03-10-2016 08:03 AM
  6. pankaj981's Avatar
    Yep I know. I would suggest doing a clean W10 install after the W10 upgrade activation. Plus run through all the updates since they seem to iron out a ton of issues with the RTM build.
    03-10-2016 08:45 AM
  7. zerospace-net's Avatar
    You might not have needed to re-install 8.1 at all -- at least, I didn't in a somewhat similar situation. I actually re-built my old desktop PC (which was a similar generation to what you described above, Core 2 Quad CPU) a couple of weeks ago with all new hardware (skylake) except the SSD, and activated a clean install of Windows 10 with my 8.0 Pro (upgrade, no less) product key, without any issues. ;)
    03-10-2016 03:49 PM
  8. poit57's Avatar
    You might not have needed to re-install 8.1 at all -- at least, I didn't in a somewhat similar situation.
    I've already resolved my issue by doing a clean install of Windows 8.1 and upgrading from there. The real question in all of this is: At what point in the upgrade process does the Windows 10 activation actually occur?

    Being stuck at the Welcome screen and not being able to configure a profile to log into the OS, I had no way to verify if Windows 10 was actually activated successfully.
    03-10-2016 04:18 PM
  9. orlbuckeye's Avatar
    If you have the Windows 8.1 key you can do a clean install of Windows 10 and enter the Windows 8.1 key when it asks for a key. When Windows 10 first came out you have to install either Windows 7 or 8.1 first then upgrade but MS made the installer better (not requiring an install of the WIn 7 or 8.1 OS first)
    poit57 likes this.
    03-11-2016 08:43 AM
  10. poit57's Avatar
    That is good to know. Apparently, they have updated the installer for Windows 8.1 with Update 1 in a similar manner.

    I remember when Windows 8.1 first launched, the ei.cfg file in the installation package had to be modified to skip the Product Key step for people who had Windows 8 keys. Once the OS was fully installed, the user could then enter the Windows 8 key and activate the software.

    I recently used the media creation tool for the most recent installer of Windows 8.1 with Update 1. During the clean install of the computer this thread is about, I could not skip past entering the product key like I was expecting, but the installer accepted this computer's old Windows 8 key with no issues.
    03-11-2016 11:08 AM
  11. William Stovall's Avatar
    Well when you upgrade, then setup the default user, it activates when logged on. You might have to check

    This comment was posted on Windows Central for Windows 10 UWP.
    03-11-2016 08:21 PM

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