Will upgrading from Windows 7 to 10 cleanse my system?

My old Windows 7 installation is a mess. I can’t install new video drivers. Windows Update doesn’t update. Microsoft Security Essentials never seems to download all the new virus definitions. I can’t install the Epic Games installer. The system actually does most of what I want it to do: work, games. But these security-related things are increasingly alarming.

Would upgrading to Windows 10 cure these things? Or would it be a waste of $140?

The real solution is to build or buy a new PC, as I’ve been threatening to do for two years now. But I procrastinate, because I’m chea… thrifty. Also, I like my current installation of Adobe CS3, and I fear that I’ll have to pony up for Adobe’s expensive subscription model to run Photoshop, which I use every day.

Any thoughts or advice?

AFAIK you can still use your Windows 7 key to activate Windows 10. I did it last year. No need to buy a new copy if that’s still the case.

There’s a lot not working, and the end-of-life on Windows 7 is part of that. Not sure when all the stuff started going wrong, but upgrading to 10 is a good first step.

Also to answer your question: yeah, it’ll likely fix your problems. Windows 7 reached EOL last month, so it’s time to upgrade anyway.

Thanks for the replies. I’d actually found that Forbes free-upgrade thing, but it sounds too good to be true. I guess I’ll find out.

Thanks again. I guess I’ll go for it.

If it doesn’t, you should be able to get a grey market Win10 Pro OEM key for more like $30. I can’t vouch for anywhere though, as when I installed Win10 it just activated itself. This was despite most of my hardware changing at the same time I upgraded from Win7.

The thing that annoyed me most about Win10 compared to Win7 was that searching from the start menu now searches the internet rather than just your start menu. This gives it a notable lag. To fix this and some other annoying new features, I recommend Open Shell.

Thanks. About to give it a try…

Hmm, I downloaded the tool, it downloaded Win 10, it verified the download, I chose upgrade this PC now, but now nothing’s happening. Haven’t been asked to restart. The updater just stopped doing anything. I guess I could wait a bit?

A clean nuke from orbit/format and install from USB media would have been more certain.

It’s the only way to be sure.

Agreed, specially since your current installation has issues. Back up any files you want to keep ( you should have done this already…), use a spare USB flash drive to create the installation media, and do a clean install.

Even though an inplace upgrade does essentially the same thing, ever since Windows 8, and moves old install to a Windows.old folder, you still have the installer go through all the broken baggage that has accumulated and possibly why it’s stuck.

Backup any data you need to another external USB and be prepared to lose everything else, installed programs etc when you format the whole drive. Create install media using the 2nd option on this page:


Bit late now but my Win7 install was wonky to the point some updates wouldnt install and Win10 fixed it all.

Try creating install media with the tool. Either a USB installer or an ISO file. You can mount the iso as a virtual drive easily with the free WinCDEmu: https://sysprogs.com/wincdemu/

Then run the Win10 setup off the mounted iso or the USB.

Thanks for the further suggestions. I’ll do some more backing and up and maybe try the USB approach.

Would using system restore help at all? Or turning off Windows Update? It looks like Windows Update is incessantly searching for something.

Edit: Also, I use Photoshop CS3 every day. I worry that upgrading to Windows 10 will nuke my CS3 activation, and Adobe has taken CS3’s activation servers offline. Maybe I’d be better off building a new PC and leaving this one alone, as my Photoshop workstation? I’d have to figure out how to give it its own internet connection, but maybe a wireless connection is possible.

Further edit: I’m realizing that the upgrade to Win 10 may require more HDD space than I have available on my C: drive. It’s a 132GB SSD, but 114GB or so is full, leaving only 18GB free – not enough, it seems. I might try cleaning out some junk from that drive. Wish I’d bought a bigger SSD way back then, but then again, SSD’s were much more expensive ten years ago.

No, no, no, no, no. You are past tinkering with these options. Leaving it as-is as a Photoshop workstation is also a batshit terrible idea. Reactivating CS3 will work on a newly-installed Windows 10.

Thanks. Good, cuz I hate tinkering with Restore points and Windows Update, lol.

But will reactivating CS3 work? Adobe has taken down the CS3 activation servers, hasn’t it?

Worst case, I could just buy a new Photoshop subscription. Money can solve this entire problem. I just hate spending money unnecessarily.

You should ask on Adobe forums re: CS3. You let the problem get this bad with Win7 and CS3 (long running over into unsupported status) and delayed maintenance so that spending money is the easiest, but not the only solution. Depends how worthless your time is tinkering with unofficial and piratey workarounds.

CS5 was the last pre-subscription version and except for the PDF handling with Adobe Acrobat in that suite, I suppose CS3 would still be perfectly functional for everything except document handling. That said, I don’t understand how “let’s keep using this broken, insecure, unsupported station” and kludge through isolating Internet to it. You’d have to exchange/output/input files/documents with it at some point. Keeping it in this state is just quarter or half-assing it.

Doing a clean format-and-install allows you to save money and get your computer to a supported, security-patch-receiving state and allow you to deal with activating your copy of CS3.

Thanks. Yeah, I’m poking around in the Adobe and Ars Technica forums about CS3.