Windows 10 requirements and costs
Before getting to work and proceeding with the upgrade from Windows 8 (or 8.1) to Windows 10, I think it is appropriate to provide you with some more information about the specific requirements of the latest operating system from Microsoft, and the costs of the same. .
Let's start with minimum requirements that the PC must respect in order for Windows 10 to work properly, which do not differ much from those required for Windows 8 and 8.1 (therefore, in principle, you should not have problems).
- Processor: 1 GHz or more powerful.
- RAM: 1 GB (preferably 2 GB) for the 32-bit OS version, 2 GB (preferably 4 GB) for the 64-bit OS version.
- Disk space: 16GB for 32-bit OS version, 32GB for 64-bit OS version.
- Video Card: Any GPU with DirectX 9 or later support, with WDDM 1.0 driver.
- Screen: any display of 800 x 600 pixels or higher, preferably 1024 x 768 pixels. Resolutions lower than the latter, in fact, could cause the incorrect display of some elements or malfunctions of various kinds within programs and applications.
As regards the Costi, it is necessary to make a clarification: although Microsoft has granted, on several occasions, of upgrade Windows 8 / Windows 8.1 to Windows 10 for free (the first time on the occasion of the release of Windows 10), the initiative has officially ended.
To tell the truth, at the time of writing (December 2020) many users testify that they were able to upgrade at no cost; given, however, the scarcity of official indications from Microsoft on the subject, I cannot say so and I tell you that it may be necessary to purchase a valid license for the operating system.
Speaking of licenses, that of Windows 10 Home it costs officially 145€, while the license of Windows 10 Pro the 259€. You can, however, save quite a bit of money by purchasing the license on sites like Mr Key Shop, which sells 100% original licenses for Windows and Microsoft Office unused by businesses and corporations (for switching to cloud or subscription services), or Amazon (in the latter case, you must always be careful to avoid potentially dishonest sellers).
For more information on the purchase of Windows 10, I invite you to read the specific guide that I have dedicated to the topic.
How to upgrade from Windows 8 to Windows 10
Having made the necessary clarifications above, the time has come to take action and to explain to you, in practice, how to upgrade from Windows 8 to Windows 10 in various ways: with free upgrade, lossless upgrade and installation from scratch.
As a preventative measure, although switching from one operating system to another does not lead to data loss (unless you explicitly choose it), it is still a good idea to implement a data security copy, to be restored if things do not go the right way. In this regard, my guides on how to backup your PC and how to transfer files to external hard drive will surely make you comfortable. In case you need an external drive to use for this purpose, you can consult my buying guide dedicated to these devices.
How to upgrade from Windows 8 to Windows 10 for free
As I have already explained to you in the opening bars of this guide, the terms under which Microsoft grants the possibility of upgrade from Windows 8 to Windows 10 for free.
However, if you've turned on automatic Windows 8 / 8.1 updates and notice the presence of one flag of white color (the Windows logo, so to speak) inside the system notification area, near the clock, then I have great news for you: in all likelihood, you can request and get your free copy of Windows 10 !
Then click on the icon in question and press the button Book your free upgrade, to proceed: if you are entitled, the operating system will be downloaded and installed automatically via Windows Update.
If the icon in question is not visible for you, you can try to use the update tool made available by the big Redmond, to try to get a free copy of Windows: I am going to tell you about it in the immediately following section of this guide.
Be careful, though: if your copy of Windows 8 / 8.1 is not compatible with the free upgrade to Windows 10, following the upgrade, you will need to purchase a license for use for Windows 10 (with relative Product Key), or revert to Windows 8 / 8.1 within 30 days of installing the new operating system.
How to switch from Windows 8 to Windows 10 without losing data
If you want to upgrade from Windows 8 to Windows 10 without losing data and in complete safety, you can turn to the utility Media Creation Tool, which is the official tool made available by Microsoft for downloading and upgrading the operating system.
So, to get started, connected to the Redmond company's website, click on the button Download the tool now and wait for the necessary file to be downloaded to your computer; when the download is complete, start the executable obtained (eg. MediaCreationToolXY.exe) and press the buttons Yes e Accept, to start analyzing the computer.
At this stage, you may be prompted to close some programs or to download and install any important updates that are available: perform any required operations and, if necessary, restart the Microsoft assistant when finished.
Once the first checks have been completed, Accept the conditions of use of the operating system and wait for further checks to be completed. If successful, you can choose whether to proceed with the operating system update or whether to create an installation drive: therefore, put the check mark next to the item Update your PC now, in order to indicate your willingness to update your computer immediately; then click on the button NEXT and wait for the necessary files to be downloaded from the Internet. Depending on your connection speed, this may take some time.
Then click the button again Accept and, if necessary, wait for the program to download and install any updates for Windows 8. Subsequently, to complete the operating system update leaving all personal files and settings intact (where possible), click on the button Install.
Alternatively, click on the link Change items to keep and indicates the type of file to keep (personal data and applications or just personal data).
Once this step has been passed, the system update should start completely automatically, causing some computer restarts; when necessary, press the buttons NEXT e Yes to complete the installation phase and give rise to the last restart of the computer.
At the next login, you will find yourself in front of the screen of Windows 10 first setup, in which you will be asked to specify the settings to apply for Cortana, Windows Ink, the services of Windows diagnostics, graphic theme,user account and other aspects closely related to the operating system.
To proceed quickly, you can choose to use the quick settings. If, on the other hand, you prefer to manually set all the details, follow the wizard that is proposed to you on the screen (which I told you about in detail in this tutorial).
How to go from Windows 8 to Windows 10 by formatting the disk
How do you say? Would you rather perform aclean installation of Windows 10 and start all over again, thus going to eliminate the entire contents of the disc? It can be done but, in this case, you will not be able to retrace your steps and cancel the update made: following this operation, in fact, the current copy of Windows 8 / 8.1 installed on the computer will also be deleted.
To do this, you will need to create a USB key (the pendrive must have a capacity equal to at least 8 GB and it must be empty) or a DVD containing the operating system, boot the PC from the installation media created and proceed, in this way, to format the disk and the subsequent copy of the Windows files.
All clear? All right, let's go. To get started, download the tool Media Creation Tool as I indicated in the previous section of this guide, start it and, after having accepted Microsoft's license terms, put the check mark next to the wording Create installation media (USB flash drive, DVD or ISO file) for another PC.
Next, click on your button NEXT, verify that the language,edition and l 'architecture of Windows 10 are suitable for the computer on which you want to install the operating system (if not, remove the check mark from the box corresponding to the item Use the recommended options for this PC and use the drop-down menus proposed to define the download options you prefer) and click on the button NEXT.
Now, specify whether to create one USB flash drive to use as installation media or to download the ISO file operating system to burn to DVD later. In the first case, connect the USB pendrive to the computer, click on the button NEXTselect il name / drive letter device and start the creation of the media by clicking again on NEXT.
If you want, instead, proceed with the download of the ISO file, check the appropriate item, click on the button NEXT, indicates the folder in which to save the file and press the button Save.
Regardless of the type of media you have chosen to create, the data download phase may take some time: it all depends on the speed of your Internet connection. Remember that if you have chosen to download the operating system ISO file, you must burn it to a blank DVD using your preferred burning software.
Once the creation of the Windows 10 installation drive is complete, insert (if necessary) the media inside the PC, restart it and wait for the message to appear Press any key to boot from DVD ...: perform the latter operation, to make the computer boot from the Windows 10 installation disk / key.
If, on the other hand, you still see the Windows 8 loading screen, enter the BIOS and modifies the boot order of the PC peripherals, so that the boot is performed first from a USB key or DVD, and then from the hard drive. If you do not know how to complete this operation, I recommend that you read my tutorial on how to access the BIOS, in which I have provided you with all the necessary explanations.
However, when the Windows 10 installation screen launches, it specifies the language, time / currency format and layout keyboard to use, click on the buttons NEXT e Install and, if necessary, enter the code product key Windows (or click on the item Not now, to insert it later).
After this step too, if necessary, specify theedition Windows 10 you want to install, accept it the conditions of use and click on the buttons NEXT and select the item Custom: Install Windows only, to access the disk and partition management screen.
Having reached this last section, making use of the proposed tools and aware of the fact that subsequent operations will erase all data on the disks / partitions on which you are going to operate, select and Formatta the partition in which you had installed Windows 8 and, if you deem it appropriate, repeat the same operation for all the other partitions and / or disks present. If you prefer, you can delete any partitions you no longer need.
Once you have done the necessary operations on the disk (or disks), choose the partition in which to install Windows 10 and click on the button NEXT, to start the operating system setup process, which will be completed automatically.
At the end of this phase, the computer should restart and show you the Windows 10 welcome screen, through which you will have to make the first configuration of the operating system: Cortana and Windows Ink settings, privacy and location settings, user account, graphic theme and so on. More info here.How to upgrade from Windows 8 to Windows 10