1. sinime's Avatar
    I have a friend that flat out doesn't want to upgrade his Win 7 notebook to Win 10, but was wondering if there is a way for him to unlock the free upgrade now (before it starts costing after July 29), BUT not update to W10? That way if he ever does decide to upgrade in the future, it won't cost him anything.
    07-01-2016 11:06 AM
  2. tgp's Avatar
    I do not believe there is a way to get the free upgrade without actually updating. There are a couple of alternatives though.

    1. He could upgrade to Windows 10, make sure it is activated, and then use the revert function to restore Windows 7. Reverting has been problematic for some, so this is not a fail-safe solution.
    2. This solution is safer, but you need access to the applicable program and another PC. Your friend could use imaging software to make a complete backup clone of his hard drive before upgrading to Windows 10. He would then upgrade, and after Windows 10 is activated he would restore the backup image. This is what I did. I work in IT, and our PC repair department has high quality imaging software. I used that on my own. I was planning to use Windows 10, but my laptop is older and it had too many driver issues. I restored my Windows 8.1 image, and I have been using that ever since. I wouldn't be surprised if the driver problems have been resolved by now, but since I probably won't be using it much longer (due to its age) I decided to keep it on Windows 8.1.
    07-01-2016 11:40 AM
  3. sinime's Avatar
    That's what I was afraid of. I don't think he would be willing to put forth that much effort. Just wish you could get a token or register a PC for the upgrade and just delay actually installing it.
    07-01-2016 02:57 PM
  4. mjperry51's Avatar
    Make a disk image of your current OS disk. Then upgrade to W10 and activate the upgrade. Then restore your OS image. In the future you can then download an ISO and do a clean install.

    Just don't make any big changes (new system board, etc), or you'll have to jump through some hoops to active W!0 again. . .
    07-01-2016 04:18 PM
  5. tgp's Avatar
    If it's not your computer, why are you so concerned about it? If he later wants to upgrade but needs to pay, that is his problem, not yours!
    07-01-2016 04:50 PM
  6. aybarrap1's Avatar
    Make a disk image of your current OS disk. Then upgrade to W10 and activate the upgrade. Then restore your OS image. In the future you can then download an ISO and do a clean install.

    Just don't make any big changes (new system board, etc), or you'll have to jump through some hoops to active W!0 again. . .
    Hook up an external hard drive, create the system image from the windows menus, and then your friend can upgrade. If the machine is OEM running Windows 7 pre install, there should also be a recovery partition or discs. If there is a partition to restore to factory image, then a backup of this on portable media should already exist (best practices) and if not one should be made prior to upgrading. With these two items upgrading then moving back should be easy.

    For the most part, the system image, while it takes time, can take place in the background while using the pc. After the upgrade, verify activation, then system image back. Regardless, there is no way to lock in the free upgrade without actually upgrading first. Windows 10, for the most part, is pretty stable now. After nearly a year, many of the bugs have been worked out.
    07-03-2016 07:14 PM
  7. steve2926's Avatar
    Yes. if you have a spare USB 3.0 drive (flash or USB HDD, 16GB or larger), then you can install Windows onto the USB drive using WinToUSB (free) and a Windows version 1511 install ISO (free from MS to download).
    Then you simply boot from the USB drive to Windows 10 and activate the system using it's product key.
    RMPrepUSB, Easy2Boot and USB booting: How to pre-activate all your Win7/8 systems for Windows 10 without actually installing Windows 10
    07-12-2016 05:35 PM

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