How to upgrade or install Windows 10
This page outlines the steps required to upgrade or install Windows 10 on a College-owned PC that is connected to the College network in offices and labs, or to the Staff Wi-Fi network.
The steps under Option A cover how to upgrade from an existing installation of Windows 10 to our latest supported version of Windows 10.
The steps under Option B cover how to carry out a full installation of Windows 10 Education, which can be required if a PC can no longer boot into Windows or the upgrade steps in Option A are failing.
Option A: Upgrading to the latest supported version of Windows 10
1. Backup your Data
Backup any data on your PC to removable media such as an external hard drive and/or to cloud storage such as your OneDrive folder or relevant departmental network storage. You should create backup copies of anything you have saved onto your PC such as Word documents, PDF files, PowerPoint presentations, image files, video files and audio files.
If you need some advice on what files to backup, please contact the IT Service Desk.
2. Hard Drive Space
Check that you have enough hard-drive space available to carry out the upgrade. The minimum required free hard drive space is 10GB, but it is best if you have at least 20GB free.
To see how much hard-drive space is available, click the Start button, type 'This PC' and hit Enter. Note the stated amount of free capacity for Local Disk (C:).
If you need to make more hard-drive space available then you should move large data files to cloud storage, such as OneDrive, and to external storage media such as an external hard drive.
You can also consider uninstalling unused applications under Start > Settings > Apps.
If you need further advice, please contact the IT Service Desk.
3. Compatibility Checks
The Windows 10 installation performs a hardware and software compatibility check prior to initiating. If it reports a problem running the upgrade because of this then contact the IT Service Desk at ext. 2000 (01 8962000) and we can advise.
- If there is a software incompatibility, such as an older version of McAfee Endpoint Security being present, then we may be able to assist in upgrading that software or advise on the best course of action.
- If there is a hardware incompatibility then disconnect any non-essential peripherals from your PC, including external USB hard drives, flash drives, SD cards, Bluetooth devices, printers and scanners. During the upgrade process, a keyboard and mouse, monitor, and an internet connection are all you need.
4. Local Administrator Password
Make sure the password for the built-in Administrator account for your PC is known.
If you are not sure of the password or not sure how to set it then follow our steps on the 'How to manage local profiles' webpage.
5. Edition of Windows 10
Check whether you are currently running Windows 10 Pro or Windows 10 Education, as you will need to choose during the upgrade. To check:
- Click the Start button, type 'winver' and hit Return. At the start of the main paragraph of information, approximately the fourth line, it will list if you are running Windows 10 Pro or Windows 10 Education.
6. Put Aside Enough Time
The installation process can take some time, anything from 1 hour upwards, so plan accordingly.
To follow these upgrade steps, you will need access to any Windows 10 PC which is connected to the College network or staff VPN service, to obtain the installation files.
- First you will need to obtain the installation files. From any Windows PC connected to the College network or Staff VPN service, click the Start button and choose Run.
- Type \\ntserver-usr and click OK.
- From the list of folders displayed, double-click PCSoftware, then double-click Windows OS.
- Copy and paste the folder Windows-10-21H2 to the Desktop of the PC that needs to be upgraded to the latest supported version of Windows 10. If you are obtaining these files from another PC, then you will need to use a USB key or external hard drive to copy the files to the PC that needs upgrading.
- Open the Windows-10-21H2 folder that you copied over in Step 4, and double-click setup (this may appear listed as setup.exe). This will begin the installation process.
- After a moment you will be presented with a 'Windows 10 Setup' window, with the heading 'Install Windows 10'. Just below this, click the link for Change how Windows Setup downloads updates.
- When prompted regarding 'Get updates, drivers and optional features' choose Not right now and click Next. You will then see the message 'Checking your PC'.
- If prompted to Select Image then choose Windows 10 Pro or Windows 10 Education and click Next. Make sure to choose the option that matches the edition of Windows 10 you are already running on this PC (see item 5 in the Preparation Steps above).
- The 'Applicable notices and licence terms' are displayed, choose Accept in order to proceed.
- You will then see a screen titled 'Making sure you're ready to install' which checks for the compatibility of software applications installed on your PC. If no issues are identified then click Next once this process has completed. If you are notified of specific issues and you need assistance in resolving them then please contact the IT Service Desk.
- The next stage checks that your PC has enough free hard drive space to complete the installation. If no issues are id en ti fed then click Next once this process has completed. If you are notified of specific issues and you need assistance in resolving them then please contact the IT Service Desk.
- If no issues have been identified you should see the screen below outlining that Windows 10 is Ready to install. You will not be able to use the PC while this stage of the process is underway, and it can take an hour or more to complete, with the PC restarting a number of times. Once you are ready to proceed, click Install.
- Once the installation is complete, the PC will restart and bring you to the Windows 10 login screen where you should be able to login with your College username and password as normal. All your previously available applications should be operational and your data files should be located in the same place. If any issues arise please contact the IT Service Desk.
Option B: Carrying out a full installation of Windows 10 Education
The steps in this section outline how to carry out a full installation of Windows 10 Education 64-bit.
- Before proceeding, it is especially important that you have a full backup of all your data files on removable media such as external hard drive and/or on cloud storage or network storage.
- To install Windows 10 Education 64-bit on your computer you will first need to create the Windows 10 installation media on a USB key and then start your computer from this USB key in order to begin the Windows 10 installation process.
The full instructions are available from the PDF link below.
The IT Service Desk are not in a position to carry out this work, but if you have any questions about the steps provided then please contact the IT Service Desk.