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Awhile back I read a thread with advice on upgrading a PC. I cannot for the life of me find it now, and there was some great advice given! I have a PC with Windows 7 professional that will no longer be supported by Microsoft early next year. I thought about upgrading it to Windows 10, thereby not having to deal with reinstalling all my programs.

Looking for advice....IIRC some folks suggested taking the pc to a computer place for the upgrade rather than doing it myself. Others suggesting buying a new or refurbished pc with Windows 10 installed, then reinstall my programs.

I apologize for asking for a “redo” of a previous thread, but I could really use some assistance from the many resident experts!

Thank you in advance!
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Followup.....IIRC, Old Chap gave some recommendations on refurbed HP PCs available from Amazon?
 

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I change computers like some people change underwear...

Best bet is to buy whatever it is you want and have a local computer shop move all your stuff over (so long as you're okay with someone else potentially seeing what you do on your computer besides DC Forums).
 

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Upgrading from Win7 to Win10 may require hardware upgrades and application upgrades also. You'll have to look at the system requirements for Win10. If you're not comfortable with doing the upgrade yourself you should take it to a Pro. If you do it yourself, you should backup all your data before proceeding.
 

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I just went through this process myself. I consulted a lot of online information and a computer technician. That doesn't make me an expert, but here's what I came to believe, as well as what decision I made and why.

I saw four possibilities:
1. Upgrade my old computer.
2. Buy a refurbished computer already loaded with Win 10
3. Buy a "super deal" new computer.
4. Buy a state of the art new computer.

I chose #4. The possible problems I saw with #1 is that data, drivers and programs could be lost or become incompatible. It might work fine or it might be a mess, depending on a lot of factors. I don't have the patience for the mess.

The possible problems I saw with #2 was
  • The refurbs I saw were a somewhat better deal, but not hugely so, based on what you get. Keep in mind, computer technology is still increasing rapidly and competition is fierce.
  • The refurbs I saw sometimes had questionable warranties. The warranties looked good on paper, but online reviews were sometimes critical of actually trying to get warranty service.
  • There have been cases where refurbs come with malware and sometimes that is intentional. You could buy one and it would look fine, but then you get hacked sometime later.
The possible problems I saw with the #3, the super deals, even on Amazon, is that some of those computers have been made cheaper by opening them up and switching out components with cheaper stuff. Then the seal is broken and the factory warranty is void. There may be some sellers warranty, but good luck with that. I saw a Lenovo on Amazon and Amazon listed it as being from Lenovo. But some research indicated that it was not from Lenovo, but from an unauthorized third party reseller and that some of the internal parts were not standard Lenovo configuration. This stuff is very deceptive.

I finally bit the bullet and shelled out for a new, in the factory sealed box, factory configured laptop. There were actually a lot of options in that category. I like Lenovos and they had options from $400 on up, but the other major manufacturers did also. I got one that suited my budget. I am typing on it now and I like it a lot. I found setting it up and getting my stuff transferred was pretty quick and easy with an external USB hard drive. The hardest part is learning the differences with Windows 10, which I would have to do anyway.

I actually plan on eventually taking my old computer to a tech and have it completely wiped clean and reloaded with Win 10 from scratch, not just an upgrade, and getting a new battery for it. Then I will load it up with programs and data just like I did my new one. Why? It is a smaller travel computer that has a rep for being a bit more rugged than most and it has proven itself. It will give me a computer I can take on trips, watch DIY videos while doing work in the garage, etc. I won't care that much if it gets messed up or stolen. My new computer has an amazing big screen, plenty of storage and everything else I want. It will stay on my desk at home.
 

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Upgrading from Win7 to Win10 may require hardware upgrades and application upgrades also. You'll have to look at the system requirements for Win10. If you're not comfortable with doing the upgrade yourself you should take it to a Pro. If you do it yourself, you should backup all your data before proceeding.

I am doubling down on the above advice. As a Mac user I cannot advise not Windows 10 hardwares requires, but I can say that it is one hell of a mess if your computer does not meet the specs to run W10 properly. My neighbor did the upgrade himself and his W7 operated laptop froze up in the process. He took it to a local computer service facility where they told him his laptop was too undepowered to run W10. He bought a new laptop but he had to pay the pro to get the data off his old one and install it on his new one. Extra expense and lots of lost time really upset him.
 

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I had a computer that was only a year or two old and upgraded to Windows 10. The system is SUPPOSED to check to see if it is compatible. Well, it passed the check but it was not compatible at all. What a gosh-awful mess! Still within the 30 day period where you can change your mind and go back to your old operating system, I did that. Whew.

Now have 2 new computers that came with W10 on them. I do not like W10 but am not going to pay the extra $$$ to switch to Apple, especially since a lot of my old software that I use a lot is not compatible with Apple products.

I do back up my data - new files daily on a flash drive and every several months I do a complete back up on a larger capacity flash drive which goes into our safe. Plus, having 2 computers gives me a chance of having one that works if one goes belly up suddenly.

Not completely fail safe, but we are too lazy to take the latest back up drive to the bank safety deposit box when I create it. Shame on us.

One thing to be aware of is that unless you find how to turn OFF the MS cloud function in W10, it will automatically take everything on your computer and upload it to their cloud - all personal stuff, etc. If you load your data before turning off the cloud it will be too late! Unless you don't care if all of your stuff is "somewhere out there." I care.
 

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If you want a fancier system, get a PC with an SSD for your Win10 OS and Programs so that they'll launch faster and an HDD to store your data. The more RAM you have the more efficient your system will be also. It all depends on how much you want to spend. :yup:
 
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Let me preface my comments with the reality that people who do not run Windows 10 don't generally have anything to offer. Here are some specifics.

1) Upgrading. The upgrade from win 7 to 10 is simple and basically fool-proof.

2) Windows 10 is now the most stable OS that Microsoft has ever offered. I have 2 desktops (Win 10 Professional 64 bit) and 1 laptop ( Win 10 Home 64 bit) that have been flawless. Keep them upgraded and they run like a hose. Trust me...I've been using computers for a long, long time. A word about the desktops below.

3) I have an older Mac, and my daughter has a MacBook Air Pro that I help her with frequently. There is virtually no difference in the hardware between these and the PC offerings. They are all running Intel processors and therefore the OS is similar. The Apple computers are far, far less friendly when/if you ever become advanced enough to delve into such things as hardware. Apple also frequently makes hardware obsolete for no better reason than to maintain sales numbers. Their software is more idiot-proof, but way less flexible if anything needs changing beyond what Apple thinks you need.

I am on 3 years with one of these Hp 8300 SFF systems and two years on the other:

https://www.amazon.com/HP-Elite-8300-Quad-Core-Professional/dp/B076D71Q4L/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=refurbished+hp+8300+sff+computer&qid=1574962469&sr=8-1

These are lease-renewals (think doctor's offices which outgrow hardware every year or so) and are an excellent buy. I suggest a model with SSD installed, then you can add a 10 TB HDD. The SSD runs like a scalded rabbit, the HDD holds anything and everything running a little slower. The little handle on top of the case gives access to all the hardware - no screws or detailed take down. I can add (or change) a second hard drive (or SSD), RAM, sound card, USB 3.1 card, or video card literally in less than 2 minutes, start to finish. I can teach a 10 year old to do it.

Just an anecdote about hardware requirements for Win 10. Used to be laptops were a nightmare. Since everything took a proprietary driver, it was a real dance to upgrade an operating system and then first thing have to get the internet chip running so you can go find all the necessary drivers from the manufacturer, like Sony or Dell for that model. No more. Jump from Windows 7 to 10 and viola...all the Win 10 drivers install seamlessly and work perfectly. My Vaio laptop is almost 10 years old and upgraded easily from Win 7 to Win 10 Home 64. Microsoft often recommends far more hardware horsepower than is actually necessary. If your system runs Win 7, Win 10 actually makes better use of your hardware and loads things down less than the old version.

Long story short. Most people can upgrade from Win 7 to Win 10 with no problems. Those Microsoft approved refurbish houses working on leased trade ins do an excellent job. I frequently recommend people go with a Win 10 Pro 64 system like one of those, get it up and running (add a monitor at first) and then upgrade an older system so that you don't lose anything. Find a good professional shop just in case.
 

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The past couple months Ive been doing a TON of PC research. Last night I just built my first PC ever, one designed for pretty serious gaming.

If you want to save the most money, your best bet is to buy the parts and put one together. It is much simpler than you would think. If you like tinkering and working with your hands, you might quite enjoy it. I could definitely help you out with it if you would like.

If you wanted to upgrade your current system, and just swap to windows 10, it would be pretty simple. If your computer is a bit long in the tooth, some changes would bring it back to life. You could upgrade and install some new RAM. It is pretty cheap now. For instance, in my computer, for $150, I just put 32gb of FAST ram. You could upgrade to 16gb for $50. You just pop out your old RAM and pop these in.

https://pcpartpicker.com/product/FNprxr/gskill-aegis-16gb-2-x-8gb-ddr4-3000-memory-f43000c16d16gisb

Another option that would make a huge difference is upgrading to a new storage system, specifically a solid state drive (SSD). The fastest kind around now is the M.2 NVME type. If your computer is compatible, its just a plug and play. if not, you can buy a SATA type drive and just plug it into your motherboard. It is lightyears faster than an old manual spinning drive. If you are good with 500gb, those are cheap. A drive thats 1TB is a bit more expensive but good if you store lots of data.

https://pcpartpicker.com/product/MC3H99/team-gx2-512-gb-25-solid-state-drive-t253x2512g0c101
https://pcpartpicker.com/product/NzBTwP/team-gx2-1-tb-25-solid-state-drive-t253x2001t0c101

You could also upgrade your processor, but that would be a bit more expensive. Those two simple upgrades and an upgrade to Windows 10 would have you up and running, and your PC would have a new lease on life.
 

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One big issue with upgrading from 7 to 10 is that many/most big name brand computers have hardware that needs their drivers. If the maker doesn't provided drivers for newer OS versions, you may lose some functionality.

So before considering upgrade to 10, check the maker's support site. If they didn't update major drivers (video and audio in particular) I'd shy away from that route.

Also look at how much RAM you have. Win10 functions in 4GB, but I think it's much better with at least 8.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
My existing HP has this configuration:

i5-2400 3.1 GHz
4 Gig of RAM
500 Gig hard drive

Upgrade to Windows 10, or buy new CPU (refurb or new)?
If upgrading the OS, I’m not a geek....can I do it myself?
Trying to keep my cost down.
 

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For around $400 you could build a complete new PC that would run circles around your current one. It would be an AMD based system with integrated graphics (just fine unless youre trying to do any gaming), 16gb of RAM, and 1TB of SSD storage. With a system like this, from the time you press the On button, the system will boot and you will be operating the computer in 5-10 seconds. You could put it all together in an hour or less, and it would give you a couple more years of service. You would still need to buy a copy of Windows 10, but I didnt include that in the price, since you would need to upgrade to that anyway, no matter which way you go, thats a cost you will have.

Click the link and that would bring you to a list of parts that are all compatible that would give you a completed working PC. Im assuming you have everything else you need, like a monitor, keyboard, and mouse.

PCPartPicker Part List
 

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Discussion Starter #17
For around $400 you could build a complete new PC that would run circles around your current one. It would be an AMD based system with integrated graphics (just fine unless youre trying to do any gaming), 16gb of RAM, and 1TB of SSD storage. With a system like this, from the time you press the On button, the system will boot and you will be operating the computer in 5-10 seconds. You could put it all together in an hour or less, and it would give you a couple more years of service. You would still need to buy a copy of Windows 10, but I didnt include that in the price, since you would need to upgrade to that anyway, no matter which way you go, thats a cost you will have.

Click the link and that would bring you to a list of parts that are all compatible that would give you a completed working PC. Im assuming you have everything else you need, like a monitor, keyboard, and mouse.

PCPartPicker Part List
hmmmmmm........
 
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My advice, if you elect to build your own system, is to buy all of the components from the same vendor. Then, if you have compatibility problems, you won't have the vendors each pointing the finger of blame at the other.

Also, solid state drives have been getting better but I understand their is a read/write service life issue. The system monitors for failing memory locations and moves the data to unused areas to avoid corruption. This means you need more capacity than what you might think. The better SSDs are more expensive but are said to handle things more reliably. This suggests a bit of research is needed to verify and update this information as things have likely changed. Best practice would be storing the OS and other programs that are not frequently altered on the SSD and using a HDD for your data.

You should back up your data before handing your computer over to anyone for modifications; even if they are "pros".

One last suggestion: If you elect to buy a new computer, after you have confirmed its reliability, you might consider installing a Linux distribution on the old one. I'd recommend Mint; it's pretty friendly, and of course, free.
 

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What about Chromebook? I don't have one, and know nothing about them, but my volunteer org is switching us to Chromebook this spring. They look to be less expensive than Windows laptops.
 

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Open a Google search tab. Define your search as follows: defensivecarry:search terms i.e. defensivecarry:upgrade windows 7
With all due respect, and I mean that, are you saying we need Google to search DC? Have we given up on the site's native search function? FWIW, we might as well. It hasn't worked well for me for months. I put in words that I know have used uniquely on past posts and it does not show up.

Although I am not all that comfortable mixing DC and Google. Something bad is bound to come out of that.
 
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