Can still be feasible to upgrade an existing Window 7, 32 bit installation on 2020? I tried and yes, it is.
Actually this is a suggestion of some of the best articles on this topic, this ZDnet howto by Ed Bott (archive) and this howtogeek howto by Chris Hoffman (archive) to convert a Windows 10 32bit to 64bit.
Tested upgrade path
I’ve walked a long installation path, starting from an 11 years old DVD. This is not the ideal scenario, but I got a very clean state to start from.
- Install Windows 7 Professional OEM from DVD or restore from system partition to get a clean state
- Upgrade Windows 7 Professional using Windows Update
- Upgrade to Windows 10 Pro 32bit, preserving the reserved partitions using the Upgrade this PC now path
- From Windows 10 32 bit, create an installation USB with Windows 10 Media creation tool choosing to create a media for an Other PC
- Install the new system above the old, preserving the reserved partitions
The howtos cited explains the above steps, but here are some supplmental tips on different scenarios, plus some things that maybe aren’t so clear at start. I’ve tested all of these:
- You need an installed Windows 7 version to do the update following the howtos above.
- Do not mess with reserved partitions: I don’t know if it will broke the upgrade path, but I don’t and it works.
- You can use Clonezilla to make copies of your OS any time. Personally I do:
- Before the Windows 7 to Windows 10 update (between 2 and 3)
- After the 32bit installation (before 4)
- After the 64bit installation (after 5)
- Using Clonezilla, you can easily change the Hard Drive keeping the previous state of the OS intact if something goes wrong, ready to be restored.
- If you have a Windows 7 Professional OEM, you will get a Windows 10 Pro with auto-activated digital license.
- If you have Windows 7 on an unreadable DVD, try to change the reader before trying to clean up the surface.
- If you have a DVD, make a copy with something like k3b and flash it on an USB with WoeUSB or similar to speed up the installation
10 steps to transfer files without using iCloud or other cloud services: an iPad and Windows are all you need.
- Windows (tested on Windows 7)
- Wi-fi router
- Create a new folder ipadshare on your disk (even removable) to host files
- Right click on the folder > Share with... > Specific users…
- Click on the bottom arrow on the dropdown > Create a new user > Another account (second to last element) > Create new account
- Type the name and the password for the new user (no Administrator)
- Back to the Share with…> Specific people… window:
- Select the new user from the dropdown
- Click on Add
- Give her read/write access
- Connect to the same Wi-fi router your Windows PC is connected to
- From home screen go to Settings > Display and Brightness > Auto-Lock > Never
- From App Store, Install and open FileExplorer (free)
- Enter into Local or Photos
- Tap Edit and then Select all on the bottom (or select one element at time)
- Tap Copy into
- Select Connections > ipadshare. Type user and password and then tap Save.
Do not lock the screen during the transfer process since otherwise FileExplorer free can freeze. After the transfer, check the transferred items before deleting them from the ipad.
Photo by AddictiveTips.com.
Your system worked well. Then, one day, the startup after login is very slow and you cannot figure out why. There are 4 diagnosis steps and 8 steps to follow to make your PC faster in these cases.
- Windows orb > Search for “event”
- Click on “Event viewer”
- Take a look to critical and errors
- Go to Administrative events and explore errors to look for malfunctioning drivers or applications
How to fix
- Download Autoruns for Windows by Microsoft
- Extract Autoruns and enter the directory
- Right click on Autoruns64.exe (Autoruns.exe on 32 bit systems)
- Run as administrator
- Click on the Logon tab
- Remove check from all entries you think are slowing down the system
- Click on Services tab
- Remove check from all services you think are slowing down the system: be aware that some services are essential to some applications so if you don’t need them you have to unistall the application to avoid malfunctions
- Do not touch the driver tabs! Disabling the wrong driver you can compromise your system
- If you have more than one antivirus software, e.g Avira and Microsoft Security Essential update the one you want to keep and uninstall the other in order to avoid conflicts
Disable any application or services you don’t need, uninstall unwanted or malfunctioning applications, restart the system and check the time elapsed after login and the Event viewer.
If you think a USB device is the culprit you can try USB Oblivion to remove unused USB drivers.
Usually you can solve many issues this way but if you haven’t you can try a strongest method using an utility disk.
Issue: Opening PuTTY no login information are returned and then the connection is closed.
Solution (Windows 7):
- On the taskbar Right click and then Disconnect the VPN
- Look for the VPN icon and then Right click on VPN shortcut icon > Properties
- Select Compatibility tab and then check Run as administrator
- Launch OpenVPN: a message will be prompted to allow the app to run as administrator
These steps will help you to block some of error reporting to Microsoft.
To help you in the task of finding error reporting issues install and run the free Kaspersky Security Scan: you will be notified by a list of issue affecting the PC the other antivirus usually don’t tell.
One of it is the notification to Microsoft of system states in situations like crashes. To stop sending Microsoft information like this you can follow these steps.
- On Windows 7, search “Action Center” in Windows > Search (or in your language, e.g. “Centro operativo” in Italian)
- Go to the 2nd voice on the left bar “change settings”
- Go to 2nd voice of related settings about error notification
- Check the very last element (Never check for solutions)
- In the previous screen check the first element about software use is disabled
Now take care about Microsoft Internet Explorer:
- On Windows 7, Run gpedit.msc
- Go to User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Internet Explorer
- Double click on Turn off Crash detection and then “Enable”
- Under Browser Menu Disable “Turn off the ability to launch report site problems using a menu option”
If you don’t use Internet Explorer as your main browser, disable also this under User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Internet Explorer:
- On the starting page option, check disable and set starting page as about:blank
- Run Internet Explorer and confirm the dialog about the about:blank as default page
- Now standard user cannot change the default starting page
Now go to Internet Explorer:
- Go to Gear (top right on IE 11) > Internet Options > Advanced > Security
- Select “Do not save crypted pages on disk”
Now go to Kaspersky Security Scan, go to Reports and refresh the list of issue. Note that if you have an antivirus, like Avira, Kaspersky will tell you autorun are active even if Avira block it so you can ignore these warning in this case.