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Upgrade my old laptop to Windows 10, or buy new one? Help!

Hello- I have an HP Pavilion 15t laptop G1V32AV (specs: Intel Core i5, 8GB DDR3 memory, 750GB HD) running Windows 7 with MS Office installed that I bought in 2014. Since Microsoft will no longer be supporting Windows 7 and I didn’t upgrade to Windows 10 when they offered it at no cost, does it make any sense to upgrade to Windows 10 now or just get a newer laptop? I use my laptop now only for storage and when I need a bigger screen which I is usually one to two times a week, and use my iPhone other times. The internal DVD writer is dead and I'm currently using an external one. Thank you for any help.

--Submitted by Lauren C.

Post was last edited on June 7, 2019 1:47 PM PDT

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Reply to: Upgrade my old laptop to Windows 10, or buy new one? Help!
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With those specs, you should have no problem. Just download the Microsoft Media Creation tool, let it create a USB drive for another machine, and then copy the contents of the USB drive to a new directory on the laptop. Double click the Setup.exe file and you're off to the races.

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You don't have to even do that.

Just open the flash drive folder and run setup from there. It will be great. If you want to do a fresh install you can use your windows 7 COA if the sticker is on the laptop. After you upgrade, run disk cleanup and do the system clean to and check to remove old version of windows to save a lot of hdd space. You want to do this cleanup after every new windows 10 upgrade too. Just do a google search for windows 10 1809 ISO and it's easy from there.

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What software are you using?

Before you make this leap, what version of Office are you using? Office 2010 works (better if you are running the 64-bit version), as does Office 2013 and Office 2016. But don't expect Microsoft support to be helpful with any updating issues, unless of course you want to upgrade to Office 365.

And while you're at it, you might want to take inventory of whatever else you have for software and utilities on the computer. If you're running an old version of Adobe Creative Suite, for example, blindly updating to Windows 10 could have dire consequences. You may find, um, unintended consequences, to doing that update — whether it's on your current system or a new one.

It doesn't sound like your computer is critical to your daily life, though, so I'd stick with what you got and do the upgrade — provided it doesn't mess up other applications you use regularly. Updating programs and utilities is the hidden cost to those "free" OS upgrades.

And I wouldn't give up on getting a free update to Windows 10. A quick Google search will show you there are still avenues for getting a free upgrade to Windows 10. Good luck.

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Office problems??

Strange…..I use the latest version of Windows 10 still with Office 2007 (!) without any problem….

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It's still free

Depending on what you're doing, that machine should be Good Enough for another coupla years.

Even though, officially, the free upgrade offer has expired, it turns out that Windows will still accept your Win 7 key.

I've had mixed results with upgrades in the past. If you have any niggling issues that you've been living with, there's a good chance those will cause worse issues with the upgrade. What I do is back up all my data, make sure I have my software keys/codes and then wipe the drive and install from scratch.

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Classic Shell/Open Shell

I forgot to add. Personally, I cannot stand the garish and busy Win 8.1/.Win 10 Start Menu. For years, all of my machines have been running Classic Shell. I find that far more comfortable. With Classic Shell, Windows 10 feels pretty similar to Windows 7.

Apparently, development has stopped on that product. But the author released the source code as open source. Volunteers have taken up maintenance of it and rebranded it Open Shell.

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It will work, but consider this

Will you have to purchase a new Windows license? If so, think about this - I suggest looking for a reconditioned laptop at some place like Microcenter or online from the manufacturers. There are lots of good deals, with the latest Window version, possibly really fast SSD drives, available extended warranty, the latest network connectivity, etc. for less than $450. You won't get a built-in DVD but you already have an external. You can donate or recycle the existing box at Goodwill. Since you are already going to drop close to $90 on the license alone, and would still have the old laptop, this is the chance to leap into the newer, lighter, hardware. The drawback is the need to migrate all the old data and programs. However, Windows does have some tools to help you do that if the old box is still working. I don't work for anyone mentioned above. I got a nice SSD-equipped Lenovo T450 going this route, rather than fixing an old HP with a broken keyboard, no Bluetooth, slow drive, wonky screen. All your favorite makers offer similar deals. Your old box has enough power to run the latest Windows, but it's still the old box. Laptops are fragile, the power supply and the disk have lots of miles on them. The economics of repairs are against you. Good luck whichever route you choose.

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no he won't, the upgrade is still free

MS just tell us it won't but I do it daily, really DAILY. I have 11 laptops and 2 desktop sitting here and done the same way.

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Do it NOW!

I would do it know as you don't have nothing to loose at this point. If it doesn't work out for you then go ahead and get something new. If you do it now and enter you Win 7 serial number you'll be good to go. Hopefully you'll take the leap before MS changes that. But I agree with the others the specs are good and you may even want to get a SSD drive and then you'll end up using it more than your phone. And consider the dead CD/DVD drive a moot point as most don't use them much anymore. Good Luck!

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Drivers CAN Be an Issue

Probably not a big deal but laptops have a lot of custom hardware items (motherboards, keyboards, pointing devices and DISPLAYS). Many of us found that Microsoft's versions of "generic" drivers (some carried from previous versions of Windows) just don't work. So, my suggestion is to go to the HP web support site and look at firmware and driver updates for your EXACT computer for Windows 10. You may need to match either 64-bit or 32-bit. I'd at least get them downloaded and placed in a file. (For Dell Users only -- I don't know if HP has something similar). Check to see if they will download drivers not by the make/model numbers but by a service tag or support number. That way, you'll get drivers downloaded closer to what your computer actually came with hardware-wise. If you've added hardware (external monitor, Logitech mouse, external HDD/SSD, check the websites for updated Win 10 drivers as well. Also, look into firmware. I loaded firmware into an old 64 GB SSD that was having issues and it fixed a few bugs and the thing ran MUCH faster. (If you update firmware, make sure that you don't drop power in the middle of a firmware update).

As others have said, there will be an issue of whether or not the upgrade to Win 10 will be free or not. If supported, you might want to see if MS will still let you type in your Windows 7 activation code. Personally, for an old machine "I" wouldn't pay for a Win 10 license. In that case, may be easier to by a new laptop. But if the specs you gave are OK for what you are doing, I'd try to stick with that box. You can always back up your Win 7 system (lots of great utilities around) just in case things don't work out too well. As for apps and programs (especially Office), I'd be careful there. If you need to upgrade apps, that may cost a bit of money and that is why you need a complete backup. If you stay on 7 and your current apps, you should be OK at least until MS drops final support. I moved off of XP (and bought a new machine) because tax software dropped support for XP and I didn't want to struggle with virtual systems and you still would need to activate those....

So, my gut reaction is:

a) Complete backup -- use bit-by-bit disk image software if possible or cloning software
b) Get current drivers and firmware from your OEM (HP) support site and have ready.
c) Do the upgrade. This will take a while. Use MS's media creation/download site.
d) Force updates until done and current.
e) Apply all drivers from the OEM site.
f) Try to Activate using your WIN 7 activation code
g) If it is broken, use your backup software (hopefully, boot-able media) to revert back to Win 7
h) Or you still have the option to buy new of everything and load data files from backup.

Good Luck.

By the way, before you start this (after the backup step) it would be a good idea to run some maintenance. Clean up the HDD, run CHKDSK, if not SSD then run DEFRAG. I honestly don't remember if MS has a ready-for-Win-10 app that you can run to tell you in advance if your hardware is supported. You can search for one though.

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No, no, no!

Back in the day, there were all manner of special chips inside laptops and desktops. Now it's all pretty much standardized commodity chips for motherboard, audio, wifi, Ethernet, webcam, mouse, keyboard. I have had near zero driver issues with Windows 10, as long as a driver is there for Windows 7. The driver models are very close. Where you run into trouble with Windows 10 drivers is with older printers and scanners and hardware produced in small volumes, mostly USB stuff. And forget about parallel and serial ports. They are so yesterday.

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Go the route of simplicity

Create Windows 10 Home x64 on USB

Unless your Win7 license sticker is worn out, try this method:
Run CMD: wmic path softwarelicensingservice get OA3xOriginalProductKey

Extract HDD

Install SSD of sizable choice

Install Win10 Home X64 onto SSD with bootable USB

Activate Windows 10 with license key when connected to the Internet

Move data back to SSD, but keep old HDD for potential backup needs

Not a bad idea to have a 2nd backup computer, we've all been there before

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Upgrade - unless you want a new computer :)

I have an old HP ProBook 6455b running the latest 1903 version of Win 10. I use it as a backup in case my desktop goes down and for travel. It is slow, but MS Office 2013, Quicken, TurboTax, Adobe Pro, Adobe Photoshop Elements all run fine. You can move your Win 10 license to a new machine later, and there are still ways to upgrade from Win 7 To Win 10 for free. Just Google.

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What's it worth, After Update?

I have two similar laptops that I bought a long time ago, which were indeed updated to Win-10 when I had the opportunity to update them free, and they work just fine, fully updated. Last week, I made several efforts to find buyers for them, and my best offer was $50. Are you really going to consider cost of updating at this late date?

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2014 old? Goodness me!

Hi Lauren,
I just moved a 2010 Samsung Laptop (Core 2 Duo T6600) to Windows 10 plus Office 2016 with no problems. The machine was originally Vista, so its product key was no use but I happened to have a Win7 Home Basic license lying around, so my Windows 10 was free. As others have said, you can't do an "Upgrade" for free but you can do a "Clean Install" for free (Google Ed Bott's instructions), which means, of course, you'll have to reinstall your applications (so make a note of all your product keys - try Belarc Advisor if you can't find them) after you install Windows 10 from a downloaded iso from Windows media creation tool. I went to 1803, because I already had the iso available. When it asked for the product key, I gave it the 7 Home Basic and the install generated a "Digital Entitlement" ( a product key held on Microsoft servers). No problems with the Win 10 during install or running since.

Depending on what your Office release (I'd guess 2010 or 2013 on a 2014 machine) and status is, that may or may not be an issue. A retail copy will install OK. I think an OEM version (supplied with the machine when new) should be OK, since you aren't changing hardware but I've not done one personally.

BEFORE you start, make an image copy of the machine with Windows 7's backup and restore, remembering to create the bootable CD or USB drive to restore the image if anything goes wrong.

If you decide to go with a replacement instead, as an earlier poster mentioned, a second user refurb is a good option.

Good luck!

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Why bother with either?

Why incur the headaches and privacy loss of Win 10?

Privacy: There are numerous articles about what MS is collecting from your use of Win 10, and it is almost impossible to prevent. MS is giving Win 10 away free for a reason and they are NOT a charitable organization, they are a corporation about making money - so if you think they aren't monetizing your information with Win 10, dream on. (Of course if you use an iPhone, you are probably giving away a lot of private info and don't even realize it, maybe you don;t worry about that?)

"One of Windows 10’s more controversial settings involves the collection of typing, handwriting, and speech data, which is supposed to help Microsoft auto-correct people’s names. This isn’t exactly a keylogger—Microsoft says it filters and slices up the data to avoid collecting personal information—but it’s still a bit creepy. It’s also enabled by default in Windows 10...." (from an on-line article).

Headaches: If your Win 7 system works, why "fix" it with Win 10 or a new laptop? Yes, MS will stop supporting Win 7 in 2020, but what effect will that really have on you? They are going to keep supporting enterprise users (for a fee) for some time after, and information about bugs/security holes will surely leak out to the general public, along with fixes for some time. Any search on the 'net will show you how buggy (sometimes disastrous) Win 10 updates have been - will the future be any better? It's a gamble.

If you ARE going to get a new laptop, why not try a Chromebook? In many ways superior to a Win 10 laptop, although both operating systems will collect user data by default, if that's an issue. Regarding the collecting typing that Win 10 does by default: "Chrome OS offers a similar setting, called Use a web service to help resolve spelling errors, but it’s disabled by default. Turning it on lets Chrome OS tap into the same web-based spell check that Google uses for its search engine, but in exchange you have to send everything you type to Google’s servers... (from same article).

Think about this: there are still about 40% of Windows 7 users who have NOT "upgraded" to Win 10, including many enterprise (business) users, even though the upgrade to the OS is still "free."

There is no such thing as a free lunch.

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Collecting Data

One of the reasons MS changed their privacy policy isn't that they are collecting personal data (as part of telemetry), its that they now show advertising. If you use apps from the MS store, you'd see ads. The problems with advertising stem from that nobody just creates ONE ad and sticks it somewhere. The ads come from an ad source like (Google) or many others. That's why almost all website privacy policies, these days have to tell you what could happen. Try a product called Ghostery (I don't work for them...blah...blah) and, even without blocking, it will show you all of the companies that are tracking you just due to one single ad on the website. I have read Googles policies (for work) since 2011 and it is shocking that people will trust them with personal information but hats off to them for at least telling you what they will or can do with YOUR data. It's even funny reading the changes over the years from the time Google insisted they OWN your data to the changes that they don't own your data but you give them a license to do whatever they want, basically. Since I don't approve, I don't use Google anymore for anything. No Android, no Chrome. Not easy to get rid of trackers though.

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First, check health of hard drive...

What is the condition of the hard drive and how heavily has the laptop been used? There are several free tools to give you this information which is absolutely critical to making a decision what to do. Defraggler is the one I use most often to look at the Health (it's a tab you click) of a drive. If the drive is in good health, do the upgrade. Don't forget that when you replace a computer, you need to get your old data from the old computer, unless it is backed up on the cloud or on secondary external storage.

Also *** MOST IMPORTANT *** Windows 10 is still a free download which you can activate with your Window 7 product key.

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Upgrade or Not to Upgrade

Yes, UPGRADE. Your laptop is just at the edge of 'old' that it's a personal decision of finances. However, since your laptop has physical problems and is slightly old then I would recommend upgrade. If there were no physical problems (DVD dead) then I'd say it depends on how much you use it and and what you use it for. In this case, get a new machine. Nothing less than i5 7th/8th gen and 2nd Gen Ryzen 5/7 and 8GB memory and AC WiFi. The rest of the options are up to you.

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I have a W10 Desktop that is my main compter but W7 Desktop

If I update my W7 desktop to W10, it will still be a back up since I have a 3 year old W10 Desktop that will be my main computer. If it costs $100 it will be worth it. It is W7 Lenovo with a 500 Gig SSD, an i7 processor and 8 gig of ram. It would be kind of big and powerful for a back up, but I hardly ever use my Lenovo W7 today at all. In the era of computers, you never know when one may go bad and I would have to throw the Lenovo into action. I used the Lenovo full time from 2010 to 2016 when I got the new HP W10 Desktop. I don't have a spare car, but it is nice to have a spare computer.

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Total sense. I upgrade customer devices regularly with less specs than you have. More than likely you have a 64 Bit OS installed, so you should be in good shape for that minor issue. You can also clone the old HDD to an SSD and perk that baby up. If you are uncomfortable with updating any of this, then you need a tech that knows there stuff to do it for you. However, this then would call into question the need to replace, for which you may also need a tech. Whichever way you decide then consider tech help and transferring you stuff versus, living with some potential compatibility issues, of which, for most users will be little to none. So if you do little "fancy" programs or activities, the software update should be easy peasy. Be sure to back up your data before trying it, just in case you screw up Happy. !

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Yes Upgrade

That computer is just fine for Windows 10. You don't need to get a new one. Just google "Media Creation Tool" and it will take to a site to upgrade to Win 10 1903. Though it is possible that you have apps that won't run on 10, it is highly unlikely and even if you did, you'd need to replace them soon anyway. BTW, upgrading to Win 10 with the Creation Tool is free.

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I have done many upgrades, few problems

In the past few months I upgraded an HP dv4, dv5 and Toshiba Satellite of slightly newer vintage. These systems were all at least 6 years old. I actually do clean installs of Windows 10 on these using the media creation tool from Microsoft (download). I tried both USB key and DVD, either will work but USB is certainly less paintful. In each case, I was warned about missing drivers, but none of those proved critical and after installation I was able to either use Windows update or the original driver packages. These systems all now perform "better than new" with Win10 - because no "crapware" added. It helps to have someone who knows what they are doing help you if you are not confident.

I have a license for the one I will use (Toshiba), so that's something to consider.

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Consider Ubuntu

I have a Dell laptop about the same age with similar specs running Windows 8.1. It became incredibly slow and I decided to transition to a Mac Mini because I needed something fast and reliable for my voice over business. Once I did, the laptop began gathering dust. Recently, I installed Ubuntu alongside Windows and it now runs amazingly fast. Of course, it doesn't support MS Office or many of the mainstream apps/programs, but so far it's been great for browsing the net, email and other light productivity work.

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the whole world agrees, a solid state drive is the best way to improve any computer. DO that with w10 and you will be thanking us for years

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Depends on a couple factors

Determine if the model has a SATA 3 interface to the hard drive or SATA 2. It could go either way for that generation. If you have SATA 3, consider getting a SSD to replace the hard drive and see if it will let you install Windows 10 from a USB drive, using the Media Creation tool free download. (You'll need a USB flash drive of at least 8GB.) The free upgrade will often still work with a Windows 7 key. With the combination of the SSD and Windows 10 it will feel like a much newer laptop.

If you don't have the activation keys for Windows 7 and Office on hand, download the free Magic Jelly Bean key finder tool. It will find that info for you and allow you to keep a separate copy. If you're successful in upgrading the laptop, you can keep the removed hard drive as a backup for a while and then put it in a cheap USB enclosure to use as an external drive.

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Keep Windows 7, Add an SSD

For $50 you can get a brand new 500GB SSD (model name Kingston A400) if that's enough storage for you. Or, you can get the 1TB (1000GB) model for about $100 if you really need more storage capacity. Check it out at or Copy the old hard drive contents onto the new SSD and - zap - you have fast, responsive system. In fact, your old laptop will be faster than when it was brand new.
Windows 7 is fine. Just keep your anti-virus up to date and don't open emails from strangers!

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Win 10 Drivers

Is compatibly pretty much a done issue? I have an older HP laptop Entertainment PC. I have an SSD drive in it. When Win 10 came out we were suppose to run a compatibility tool to see if Win 10 will work. In my case, the only thing that wasn't supported was the Video card so I never upgraded it. I am hoping some day to upgrade if somebody would come out with some drivers. Input/thoughts?

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Just do it.

With an Intel I-5 you remain ahead of the pack or at least on par. Look at the descriptions of the computers in your sunday ads. You will see that the I-5 is still in the running. Win 10 is a truly great operating system. You will have a learning curve but nothing significant. So, just do it.

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