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OS Upgrades

Windows 10 logo

The free upgrade to Windows 10 expired 29th July 2016, but if you are still running an older operating system, don't worry - we can upgrade your system, so you too can reap the advantages of Windows 10 at a very competitive price.

If you go to the Microsoft Store you will find the price for Windows 10 Home Edition to be £119.99 inc VAT and the price for Windows 10 Pro to be £219.99 inc VAT

As we purchase licences in bulk we are able to carry out upgrades at a greatly reduced price. We can upgrade Windows 7 and Windows 8 machines for £50. Older operating systems such as Windows Vista and Windows XP require a full re-install (as well as new licence keys) so these upgrades are more expensive (normally £75 depending upon the number of applications and the amount of data that needs to be restored).  Both of these prices include licence fees so you have a genuine, fully activated copy of Windows 10. We will always fully back-up your system before an upgrade takes place, and if there are any problems running Windows 10 on your machine (e.g. unsupported hardware or incompatible programs) we can revert back to your original operating system and will only charge you £10.

Upgrade Options

RIP Windows 7: End of life Jan 2020

Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 can all be upgraded to Windows 10.

The upgrade process will keep all of your files and applications (as long as they are compatible with Windows 10) so they will not need to be re-installed afterwards.

The upgrade process will upgrade to the same "flavour" of Windows i.e. if you were using Windows 7 Home Edition, you can upgrade to Windows 10 Home Edition but not to the Professional version.

It is also not possible to upgrade from a 32 bit operating system to a 64 bit operating system.

However, we can perform a "clean" installation of Windows 10 on any compatible system regardless of the operating system you are currently using.

This means that even if you are using Windows Vista, or Windows XP, we can install Windows 10 on your system as long as the hardware is compatible.

With a clean installation we will back-up and restore all of your documents, but applications will need to be re-installed afterwards. This is something we can also do for you if you are able to supply installation media. We can also discuss alternative (often free) applications if you are unable to supply installation media.

You can determine whether you are using a 32 bit or 64 bit version of Windows by looking at the system properties or running the system information program: MSINFO32

If you are not sure and need help checking the version of Windows you are using, contact us and we will be happy to help.

Differences between 32 bit and 64 Bit versions of Windows

The main advantage of the 64 bit version of Windows over the 32 bit version is the ability to access more memory (RAM). The maximum amount of RAM that a 32 bit version of Windows can access is 4GB (2^32 bytes) where as a 64 bit version of Windows can access a massive 2TB (at least in theory, though hardware/BIOS restrictions may make this somewhat smaller).

Programs specifically written to run on the 64 bit version of Windows will run faster than the 32 bit equivalents.

There are other security advantages of 64 bit versions of Windows such as DEP (data execution prevention), mandatory driver signing etc.

The 64 bit version of Windows will still (generally) run 32 bit programs using the WOW64 subsystem. The main exception is anti-virus programs and programs that use direct hardware calls.

The 32 bit version of Windows can still run 16 Bit programs which the 64 bit version cannot. This includes old DOS based programs but very few people still have a need to run 16 bit programs.

In summary, the main advantages of the 64 bit version of Windows are:

Windows Hardware 10 Requirements

Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster processor or SoC.
Processor needs to support PAE (Physical Address Extension), NX (Non-Execution Bit) and SSE2 (Streaming SIMD Extensions 2).
Most processors purchased within the last 10 years will support the above.
RAM: Absolute minimum: 1 gigabyte (GB) for 32-bit or 2 GB for 64-bit,
but we would recommend at least 4 GB of RAM for 32-bit version and 8 GB for 64-bit version.
Hard disk space: 16 GB for 32-bit OS 20 GB for 64-bit OS
Graphics card: DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver
Display: min 800x600

The above table was taken from Microsoft's website

Risk-Free Installations

For a successful installation of Windows 10, as well as all of the hardware meeting the minimum requirements in the above table, suitable drivers need to be available for all the hardware.

You will often find drivers for Windows 10 are not available from manufacturer's website for older systems and they may often state the system is not compatible with Windows 10. Often this just means that they have not developed a driver for the system and it has not been tested with Windows 10. However, Microsoft have developed their own drivers for many devices and Windows 10 will often find a suitable driver, but if not we are often able to find one manually.

We always take a FULL system back-up before carrying out any work.

We will perform an upgrade or clean installation of Windows 10 and ensure that your system is fully compatible and drivers are available for all of your devices.

If we are unable to find suitable drivers or there are any other issues preventing Windows 10 from running trouble-free, we will restore your system to its original state.

Advantages of Windows 10

Windows 10 is the latest Microsoft operating system with the latest security improvements and will continue receiving mainstream support until October 2020 and extended support until October 2025.

Advantages of Windows 10 include:

Security: Improved security is probably one of the biggest reasons to upgrade to Windows 10. There are many new features that improve security as well as benefiting from the latest security patches.
Many of the features were introduced in Windows 7 or Windows 8 and have been improved, but if you are still using an older operating system the security advantages are huge.
Windows Defender: Windows 10 now provides a fully functional anti-virus and Malware scanner built into the operating system.
Bitlocker: Full drive encryption is included in Windows 10 Professional.
Microsoft Edge: Edge is Microsoft latest browser that is much faster and more secure.
Cortana: Cortana is Microsoft's personal assistant that can be used to control various aspects of Windows as well as search capabilities. If you have a suitable microphone device, this can be used for speech recognition as well as typing instructions.
Hyper-V: Windows 10 Professional includes Hyper-V manager that allows you to create virtual machines on your system (with suitable processor support).
3D Paint: Latest version of Windows 10 includes 3D Paint application.

End of Support Dates

Windows XP: 8 April 2014
Windows Vista SP1: 12 July 2011
Windows Vista SP2: 11 April 2017
Windows 7: 14 January 2020
Windows 8.1: 10 January 2023

Ensure you are not vulnerable to Crypto Viruses

Protect from Crypto Virus

Older operating systems are particular vulnerable to crypto viruses and ransomware attacks such as WannaCrypt Virus that recently caused havoc with NHS computers.

A patch for this particular vulnerability was released in March 2017, but older systems will no longer automatically receive such patches.

The best way to ensure that you are protected against this type of threat is:

If you are unfortunate enough to see this type of virus, DON'T pay any ransom demands - this can increase your likelihood of becoming a future target. Your files can only be recovered if you have a suitable back-up.

Please contact us if you would like further advice on carrying back-ups or if you would like us to audit your systems to check how vulnerable you are.