How to safely upgrade to Windows 10

Following the launch of Windows 10 on July 29th, data protection firm Acronis has unveiled its top seven tips for a safe migration to Windows 10.

Microsoft revealed that Windows 10 has already reached 14 million devices since its launch, but some customers may be losing data during the migration, which Acronis hopes to help with.

Here the firm lists how customers can upgrade safely without losing any data:

1) Plan the upgrade – If there are multiple PCs in a household, you should not rush into installing Windows 10 on all machines right away. You should select one computer and upgrade it to Windows 10. This will help in learning what to do and what to avoid, and will make the upgrade process easier for other PCs.

2) Make sure the PC is suitable for the upgrade – With a recently purchased PC that runs an older version of Windows, you can most likely keep the machine and upgrade it to Windows 10. However, if the PC is over three-years-old, then you should consider replacing it with a newer machine that can run Windows 10 more easily. New OSs running on old machines can slow things down significantly. At some point, it will be running more advanced applications that require more computing power. When that happens, the hardware needs to be upgraded anyway. You should plan ahead so the PC can run the more advanced applications, thus avoiding the need to upgrade twice.

3) Back up the old PC – Before doing an upgrade to Windows 10, all the information and applications on the original PC need to be backed up. Upgrading without backing up all of the files and the system as a whole can lead to data loss. Even Microsoft states ‘unexpected PC crashes could damage or even delete your files, so you should back up everything’ before you upgrade. Windows 10 is not a simple Windows update, but rather a clean rollout of a new system and the install process will wipe out many folders containing important files or data.

4) Use disk imaging technology for backup, not just file copy – Windows, even XP, is a complex OS and some data lives outside of files. There is multiple data that has not been saved in a file or folder, like passwords, preferences, and everything that exists on the computer in applications. For this reason, it is useful to have a backup solution with disk imaging technology that simultaneously backs up the entire system while also backing up individual files. If you opt for just a file backup solution, you will be unable to restore system configurations or application data on the new OS.

5) Back up everything – Over time, you may have filed documents into desktop folders, temporary files, or even the Recycle Bin. Even these forgotten folders have to be backed up, as well as any hidden partitions. Such partitions, as found on Acer, ASUS, Dell, HP, and IBM machines, allow to restore the computer back to its original state. So it is extremely important to back it up, too.

6) Follow the 3-2-1 backup rule —The 3-2-1 backup rule recommends that you create three copies of the data, store the copies on at least two different storage media, and to save one of these copies offsite.

7) Save older backups after the upgrade – Once switching over to Windows 10, you should still keep older backups of data. They may need them again if something goes wrong and they decide to go back to the older version.

This news comes after analyst StatCounter revealed Windows 10 usage share has grown by 3.2 per cent

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