Windows 7 Users: Security Updates End January 2020

Dennis Faas's picture

Infopackets Reader Jerry K. writes:

" Dear Dennis,

I've read that the Windows 10 free upgrade ends at the end of this year. I have Windows 7 on my main PC and and my wife has Windows 8 on her laptop. In all, I find Windows 7 easier to use. Can we continue using Windows 7 and 8 indefinitely? Can you give me a few good reasons why I should get the free upgrade? "

My response:

I have been receiving a lot of questions lately similar to this, so I will try and answer this as best I can.

First let's address your first question: no, you cannot continue using Windows 7 or 8 indefinitely (at least, not securely). If you run Windows 7, you have until January 2020 to receive security updates from Microsoft - Windows 8 users have until 2023. Beyond that, your system will become vulnerable to hackers, exploits, Trojans, viruses, identity theft, malware, and the like because Microsoft will no longer patch any security bugs.

Now the second question - the biggest (and most important!) reason for upgrading from Windows 7 to 10 is that Windows 10 will continue receiving security updates and enhancements until 2025. Besides that, there are many, many excellent security features that Windows 10 offers that simply aren't available in Windows 7 or 8.

Windows 10 has Many Excellent Security Features

You've probably heard this before, but Windows 10 is the most secure Windows Operating System, ever.

Windows 10 has built-in antivirus (Windows Defender) and won't conflict with your existing antivirus - should you have one. All of this has been put together under the new "Windows Defender Security Center," which includes virus and threat detection, device and performance health, firewall and network protection, app and browser control, plus family options.

Another huge reason for upgrading to Windows 10 is the Windows 10 anti-ransomware feature which just debuted October 17, 2017. The anti-ransomware feature works by preventing your files from being encrypted by cyber criminals.

Adjusting to the new Windows 10 Layout

As for the layout of Windows 10 being different from Windows 7 - the biggest change is the Start Menu.

Personally, I don't like the Windows 10 Start Menu because it doesn't find what I'm looking for (whether it's documents, or internal Windows programs like Disk Management). When you search for something, it takes forever to find anything - if it finds it. Most of the time the Windows 10 Start Menu refers you to Bing, which is completely pointless if the thing you're searching for is actually on your computer (which is 99% of the time). Also I find the Windows 10 tiles useless and annoying, and a huge waste of space on my screen.

I've replaced my Start Menu with Classic Shell and it works just like Windows 7 and previous editions - even better. It's fast, light weight, and finds what you're looking for in an instant. Highly recommended and free!

What is Involved in Upgrading to Windows 10?

There are a lot of pros and cons to upgrading to Windows 10. I've outlined the good - now let's talk about the bad.

Since I have performed well over a hundred Windows 10 upgrades, I can tell you that things don't always go according to plan. Since you can't clean install Windows 10 off the bat (you need to perform the upgrade to get the free license) - there is always a chance of operating system corruption after the upgrade. In this case, parts of Windows 10 don't function properly, or are completely broken. Sometimes Windows 10 fails to install, reverts back to Windows 7 or 8, but breaks Windows 7 or 8 in the process. Not good!

Another big problem is that Windows 10 won't upgrade at all - it simply fails either with a strange error code, or gives you a "Something Happened" error with no error message (pic). There are a lot of reasons for this and often point to current operating system corruption. There are ways to get around that, but it's quite involved.

Should you decide to perform the upgrade yourself, my advice is: backup, backup, backup, and have a fail-safe in place such as an emergency rescue DVD (to restore backups) and even a Windows 7 or 8 DVD ready in case you need to do a full wipe.

Can You Help Me to Install Windows 10? What is Involved?

Yes I can help upgrade your system using remote desktop support! I can answer any questions you may have before the upgrade (and after) and perform the entire upgrade for you all by remote - click here to book an appointment by email.

When I install Windows 10, this is the checklist I go through with my clients - which also includes system optimization from top to bottom:

Back up the system before the upgrade, create rescue cd and installation media, optimize the system before the upgrade, verify file system, adjust file system / defrag the drive / adjust partition structure for backups and/or separating user data from OS, look for possible OS corruption prior to upgrade and/or virtualize the existing system, reset Windows update, disable certain programs from interfering with Windows 10 upgrade, perform the Windows 10 upgrade, configure and optimize Windows 10 post upgrade, disable Windows 10 spying, install a new Start Menu, troubleshoot post-upgrade installation issues if necessary, delete the old Windows installation, rearrange data on separate partitions (if necessary), rigorously test the operating system for post-upgrade corruption, defrag the drive again, do a post-upgrade backup, and more.

Additional 1-on-1 Support: From Dennis

If you need help upgrading to Windows 10, I would be more than happy to assist using my remote desktop support service. Once again - please remember that the deadline for a free Windows 10 upgrade ends December 31st, 2017! If you have any questions about the upgrade or would like to book an appointment - send me an email, and I'll get back to you as soon as possible. If you prefer, we can meet over your desktop for a free 15 minute consultation to address any issues you may have regarding the upgrade.

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ruellej's picture

Dennis...recently I went through the upgrade process (win7 to win10)and offer the following comments:

1] wrt backups...make a CLONE of the working drive instead of a simple image backup, and apply the upgrade to the clone. If something goes wrong, simply install the original HDD (or SSD).

2] Keep in mind that microsoft associates (links) the win7 and win 8 licenses to the windows 10 upgrade license (i.e. they are the same license). As such, you can not have a working version of both operating systems on the same license. MS gives 10 days for one to decide if they want to revert back to the previous OS or keep the win10 upgrade.

3] If you want to go back to the original OS (win7 or 8) you must go through the proper reversion procedure within win10, and no just simple re-install your original HDD.