Before doing a Windows 10 Upgrade . . .


Brian Vogel <britechguy@...>
 

. . . please, please, please - if you have the resources to do so - buy yourself an external backup drive and take a full backup, including system image, of your system regardless of what version of Windows it happens to be running.  Also create a System Recovery Disc using the Windows utility to do so for that version of Windows.

           If I have learned one thing over my decades of working in the computer biz it's that backups are not optional if you want to avoid almost certain disaster at one point or another.  They are seldom needed, but when they are needed they are either the best solution or only solution.  The cost of a backup drive is under $100 (often well under $100 for a 500GB or 1TB USB 3.0 compact model, these days) and that's much more economical than, heaven forbid, needing to try to get data recovered from a hard drive that's actually crashed.

           In any event, if for any reason the Windows 10 upgrade were to stall, or even if you wanted to go back to your Windows 7 setup and you're either past the 30-day rollback period or the rollback doesn't work for some reason, having a full backup of your system, including system image, is the only way you're going to get what was your former Windows environment back.  Reinstalling and re-customizing an earlier version of Windows from scratch (or any version, for that matter) is a grand PITA compared to recovering from a system image backup.

           Also, you really want to be taking regular backups of your user data using either the built-in Windows utilities or some third party tool, and you need the external backup drive to do that.
--
Brian


The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing in the right place but to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.

        ~ Dorothy Nevill


Brian Vogel <britechguy@...>
 

I'll add a P.S. to the backup drive recommendation:  If you cannot afford one, and know someone who has a large one that's nowhere near to full that you're close to, ask if they'll loan you theirs to take a one-time full backup, including system image, before you upgrade.

If your upgrade goes smoothly and you decide after, say, 90 days that you appear to be fine and dandy then instruct the person you borrowed the drive from to feel free to nuke your backup whenever they need the space.  I would ask them, though, to hold on to it until they need the space since it never hurts to have it and it's no issue unless you don't have the room to backup your own stuff.  I've got backups from at least three machines on my 2TB drive, and at one point had more than that.
--
Brian


The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing in the right place but to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.

        ~ Dorothy Nevill


Arianna Sepulveda
 

Brian, I've heard that the hard drive you use shouldn't have anything on it except the system image. Is this true? Also, I've tried doing this system image before, and tried to put it onto a "Usb stick that was more than large enough, and Windows refused. it said that it either had to be a DVD or hard drive. Can you shed any light on this? I really want to make a system image, but I don't want to use DVD's which can be easily scratched.


Thanks,
Ari

On Jun 16, 2016, at 8:51 AM, Brian Vogel <britechguy@...> wrote:

I'll add a P.S. to the backup drive recommendation:  If you cannot afford one, and know someone who has a large one that's nowhere near to full that you're close to, ask if they'll loan you theirs to take a one-time full backup, including system image, before you upgrade.

If your upgrade goes smoothly and you decide after, say, 90 days that you appear to be fine and dandy then instruct the person you borrowed the drive from to feel free to nuke your backup whenever they need the space.  I would ask them, though, to hold on to it until they need the space since it never hurts to have it and it's no issue unless you don't have the room to backup your own stuff.  I've got backups from at least three machines on my 2TB drive, and at one point had more than that.
--
Brian


The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing in the right place but to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.

        ~ Dorothy Nevill


Brian Vogel <britechguy@...>
 

Ari,

           The system image for my laptop, including all user data which the Windows system image taker includes by default, takes up about 26.5 GB on my backup drive at the moment.  While it's possible to get a USB flash drive that would easily hold that, I've never even attempted to do system backups to a flash drive, and never use DVDs because it just eats too many and takes too long.

           As I mentioned, and this is far from strictly my opinion, if you have a computer and it would make you wail and gnash your teeth should it suddenly die for any reason, you really must obtain a backup drive and use it.  These days a 1TB drive, which is more than most typical home users would ever come close to filling up, can be found for about $65 at full price and significantly less than that if you watch for sales.  These things just keep getting cheaper and cheaper.  The Toshiba Canvio 2TB drive I have was about $98 on sale when I bought it around 2.5 years ago and now and the same unit is less than $75, not on sale, now.

           You really want to use an external backup drive when possible for both capacity and speed reasons.  The File History function now built in to Windows is, in my experience so far, absolutely great and I recommend that people keep their backup drives plugged in to either their laptop or desktop computers when those are going to be "non-mobile" for any period of time.  If File History is on backups of user data take care of themselves.  You still need to take a full system image any time you've done enough work (e.g., installed or removed a bunch of programs, done a major OS upgrade like the upcoming Windows 10 Anniversary Upgrade, etc.) where you really would not want to have to go back to where things were prior to that work and do it all again.

--
Brian


The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing in the right place but to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.

        ~ Dorothy Nevill


Brian Vogel <britechguy@...>
 

Ari,

            I realize that I didn't answer your question about the backup drive containing only backups:   balderdash!!  I have always used my system backup drive to keep all kinds of of other data on as well.  It's a hard drive and there's nothing sacred about the fact that it's used for system backups.  Just don't mess with the folders containing the system backups and/or file history and you can use the drive for whatever else you might need it for.
--
Brian


The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing in the right place but to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.

        ~ Dorothy Nevill


Brian Vogel <britechguy@...>
 

I wanted to bump this because, for Windows 7 users in particular (but it applies to Windows 8/8.1, too), it is a very good idea to run the System File Checker command before you take your backup and before you attempt your upgrade to Windows 10.

See the attached files for details.  The first deals only with how to run SFC and/or DISM.  The second is an updated version of my guide on how to safely upgrade to Windows 10 that now includes this information as step one, even before doing a full system backup.
--
Brian


The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing in the right place but to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.

        ~ Dorothy Nevill


John Wilson <j.wilson07@...>
 

Hello Brian,

I have  just tried this and get the expected "must be an administrator" message. However, I can find no place (using NVDA) to check a checkbox to permit this. How/where do you do this?

Additionally, would it not be just as good to run the disk checker from within windows?

Thanks.
John.

On 21/06/2016 16:27, Brian Vogel wrote:

I wanted to bump this because, for Windows 7 users in particular (but it applies to Windows 8/8.1, too), it is a very good idea to run the System File Checker command before you take your backup and before you attempt your upgrade to Windows 10.

See the attached files for details.  The first deals only with how to run SFC and/or DISM.  The second is an updated version of my guide on how to safely upgrade to Windows 10 that now includes this information as step one, even before doing a full system backup.
--
Brian


The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing in the right place but to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.

        ~ Dorothy Nevill



Brian Vogel <britechguy@...>
 

John,

        There is no simple answer here, as it all depends on how you're invoking Command Prompt, which is my preferred locale for running either SFC or DISM.  If one wants to capture the output to a file one can use redirection to a file name to do that.  An example of that would be:

                                 SFC /SCANNOW > SFC-Output.txt

If you are invoking Command Prompt from either a Cortana Search Result or a Desktop Shortcut that does not have administrator privilege turned on in the advanced shortcut properties, then you must hit the Applications/Context Menu key (or equivalent) and choose "Run as administrator" from the context menu.  As I outlined in the document about upgrading, and have just confirmed again, for any existing desktop shortcut, if you bring up the context menu for it and select Properties the dialog opens in the shortcut tab and there is an Advanced button at the bottom of that tab.  If you activate the advanced button you will get the advanced options dialog, which allows you to set the Run as adminstrator property via checkbox, then you have to "OK" your way back out to the desktop.  Any time that particular shortcut is invoked it will run the underlying program with administrator privileges.

-- 

Brian


The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing in the right place but to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.

        ~ Dorothy Nevill


John Wilson <j.wilson07@...>
 

Hello again Brian,

I am using Win8.1 and had already tried to invoke a Context Menu after going to the Command Prompt with:
Run, cmd
No Context Menu existds.

You are denied access when typeing:
sfc /scannow

I also tried:
sfc /scannow > sfc-output.txt
and was told Access Denied.

I know nothing about Cortana and have no Desktop icon for invoking the command prompt.

Where do Igo from here?

Thanks.
John.


Brian Vogel <britechguy@...>
 

John,

          Get used to the use of "Cortana" as the new terminology for Windows Search (plus a lot of other features which you can tweak).

          Hitting the Windows Key and then typing, in this case, "Command Prompt" is what brings up Command Prompt as the first result in the results and already selected.  You can immediately hit the Applications/Context Menu key to get the "Run as administrator" option in that menu.

          I explicitly advise against using the Run dialog, typically invoked via Windows Key + R, for commands that need to be run as administrator.

          Nothing I've written about with regard to SFC or DISM will work, period, unless you are running a command prompt or Power Shell elevated to administrator.
--
Brian


The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing in the right place but to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.

        ~ Dorothy Nevill


John Wilson <j.wilson07@...>
 

Hello again Brian,

Urika! I've now got it working.

I had  already tried Windows Key and typing Command Prompt and got the result you speak about but I didn't realise that you could invoke a Context Menu at this point.

Thanks.
John.

On 23/06/2016 03:17, Brian Vogel wrote:

John,

          Get used to the use of "Cortana" as the new terminology for Windows Search (plus a lot of other features which you can tweak).

          Hitting the Windows Key and then typing, in this case, "Command Prompt" is what brings up Command Prompt as the first result in the results and already selected.  You can immediately hit the Applications/Context Menu key to get the "Run as administrator" option in that menu.

          I explicitly advise against using the Run dialog, typically invoked via Windows Key + R, for commands that need to be run as administrator.

          Nothing I've written about with regard to SFC or DISM will work, period, unless you are running a command prompt or Power Shell elevated to administrator.
--
Brian


The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing in the right place but to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.

        ~ Dorothy Nevill



Brian Vogel <britechguy@...>
 

John,

         Glad to hear you've achieved your goal.  This sort of back and forth also helps to clarify things for others who will follow in your footsteps later!
--
Brian


The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing in the right place but to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.

        ~ Dorothy Nevill