OT: Upgrading to Windows 10 directly, for free


PeterWright wrote on 2/8/2016, 5:10 AM
Hi Peter

Yes I've tried lots of things

One of your links:.

Clicking on “Upgrade now” downloads “Get Windows_sds.exe”
Clicking on this, a window opens – click on “Run” … nothing happens.

Before I try going for an ISO - does this only lead to a fresh installation?

If at all possible, want to avoid a new installation - I want to upgrade what I've got, partly because of all the "apps" that are already installed, but mainly because in W7 I have Windows Live Mail, and this contains an archive of hundreds or thousands of carefully organised emails going back years, both private and business, and losing this is unthinkable. If there's a way round this I'd love to hear.
PeterDuke wrote on 2/8/2016, 6:56 PM
Well, I have finally downloaded version 1511 (build 10586), but it doesn't give me the option to skip the installation key, like an earlier version did. When I enter the key reported by Belarc Advisor for my build 10240, it says that the key is invalid.

Hmmm. Have I downloaded the wrong version? Is it impossible to get a free upgrade directly to 1511? Is Microsoft still re-arranging the deck-chairs?
Stringer wrote on 2/8/2016, 7:05 PM
You may need to try the key with v10240, and then upgrade to 1511 if it works with 10240..
PeterDuke wrote on 2/8/2016, 9:51 PM
I was using the key that appeared after upgrading Win 7 directly to Win 10 build 10240 via the media generation tool.

I also tried my Win 7 key with build 10586 (v 1511), but that also failed. I read in a blog (or two) somewhere that Win 7/8 keys would work with build 10586. Perhaps Microsoft has now changed that as well.

To be continued...
PeterDuke wrote on 2/9/2016, 1:33 AM
Note to Peter Wright

I have just discovered another Microsoft gotcha! That is why I couldn't understand your last post.

If you access http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10 from Windows XP you get switched to http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10ISO and vice versa if you use a later version of Windows.

On the http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10 page (but not the other) there is a statement that says that if you are on an Enterprise edition, the Media Creation Tool and Upgrade Now button do not work, and to contact the Volume Licensing Service Center.

Are you by any chance on an Enterprise edition?

I also came across this site
PeterWright wrote on 2/9/2016, 6:46 PM
Thanks Peter - is OEM the same as Enterprise?

I'll try that anyway ....
PeterDuke wrote on 2/9/2016, 7:25 PM
Not necessarily. I have an OEM version of Windows 7. OEM versions are supposed to be used only by Original Equipment Manufacturers. You ask them to build you a computer and to put Windows on it for you. I have seen some suggestions that OEM versions can be problematic with regard to the free upgrade. I wondered whether that was behind the normal update process being broken on my system.

I am currently working with Microsoft Customer Support. He has got as far as initiating download of yet another Win 10 ISO file that is estimated to take another 10 hrs! This copy has a slightly different file name to the one I downloaded (he tried it but it wanted a key) and is coming from microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/techbench. He thinks that he won't have to enter a key for this version. We will see - tomorrow.

Enterprise edition, as I understand it, is for large companies such as Telstra where I used to work. I think the installation disc is pre-configured for the company (the company name is hard coded in, for instance) and doesn't use a key. It would include a site licence. There could be minor extras as well.
PeterDuke wrote on 2/10/2016, 8:16 PM
I am now updated to build 10586 (version 1511) on my main computer. This time on the download page I used the "Windows 10" option rather than "Windows 10 Single Language". They both ask you to choose between "English" (EN-US) and "English International" (EN-GB), so the "single language" qualifier is not clear to me. EN-US and EN-GB are treated as different languages, as I found out when I tried to update an EN-US installation with an EN-GB disc. The "single language" version is slightly smaller. The important thing is that the plain Windows 10 version did not ask for a key.

I understand that the "Windows 10 KN" and "Windows 10 N" versions do not have the Microsoft Media Player, but it can be added later. What the difference between these two versions is I don't know.
PeterDuke wrote on 2/10/2016, 8:30 PM
While stumbling around on the internet I found a comment that although the Media Creation Tool had reverted back to Build 10240, the build 10586 version was still available on some development sites. I downloaded a copy from http://download.microsoft.com/download/1/C/4/1C41BC6B-F8AB-403B-B04E-C96ED6047488/MediaCreationTool.exe

If you right-click on it, select Properties and then Version, you will see 10586.

I have not tried to use it.