Upgrading Windows 7 to Windows 10

Why upgrade?

Microsoft has announced that they will "end of life" Windows 7 in January 2020, meaning they will stop releasing security updates for this operating system. When that happens, Windows 7 will become a security vulnerability, and Network Services will block Windows 7 computers from accessing the Dartmouth network, as they did with Windows XP.

We recommend that you upgrade to Windows 10 if you can. Please contact us at computing@thayer.dartmouth.edu with questions or concerns, or to start the upgrade process on any Windows 7 machines you have.

Upgrade options

When upgrading from Windows 7 to 10, there are a few options to choose from, and several optional steps that might be useful in easing the transition. The two basic options are:

  1. Wipe the machine and install a clean copy of Windows 10. 
    1. Pros: 
      1. start from a clean slate 
      2. much less likely to encounter bugs with drivers or applications you run on the machine
    2. Cons:
      1. Have to reinstall any apps you want, besides the standard suite that comes on all Thayer machines (Office, PDF reader, browsers)
      2. can be somewhat time consuming, if there are a lot of applications and data is stored locally
  2. Upgrade directly from 7 to 10 without wiping the machine.
    1. Pros
      1. keeps all your apps and documents in the same place.
    2. Cons:
      1. may not work at all, depending on applications/drivers installed
      2. applications may not function properly
      3. there could be driver issues
      4. time savings may be nullified by the time it takes to debug these issues

Steps we can help you with to make the transition easier

  • Move all data you can to Google Drive/Thayer Shares
  • Account for all application licenses
  • Acquire device drivers for instruments

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