With Windows 10 being rolled out in waves, there are likely a large number of people who are enthusiastic to get the upgrade now. Staring at your Windows Update and asking it to check again is a process that will get old fairly quickly.

If you want to upgrade now, and you really don’t want to wait, you can download the software yourself to initiate the install.

There are a couple of warnings I’ll give before you do this though. Windows 10 is really unlike any previous version rolled out. The plan is to be constantly updating and improving it over time, and adding features. As such, as of the day of the launch, it is a bit rougher than other builds of Windows at launch. It also might mean that your particular device may have a compatibility issue. To check the status, click on the Windows 10 reservation icon in your system tray – it looks like a white Windows logo – to open up the reservation.

Inside of this, there is a hamburger menu icon on the top left. Click this to expand the menu, then open the “Check your PC” option. This will display a compatibility report which you should verify is ready to go before proceeding. You may have to wait for device driver updates from your manufacturer before the system is Windows 10 ready.

If you don’t have a backup of your PC then that is the next step. You can make a system image using our Backup Guide and you may want to make a recovery drive too in order to get back to that system restore if needed. I’ve not had any issues with the upgrade, but I still didn’t skip this step.

Gabe Aul sent out an email tonight to Windows Insiders explaining how they can get the upgrade. Microsoft has a page up with the tools to download and create a bootable USB drive or ISO, and you can find it here:


Go there, and download the tool. Run the tool, and it should give you the option to either upgrade the PC you are on now, or download the files to a USB or ISO. I’ve not had any luck with the “upgrade this PC” option, so I had to do the download. I downloaded it to a USB drive.

Then, instead of booting from the USB drive, simply navigate to it in Windows Explorer and run setup.exe from there to initiate the upgrade process. It takes a few minutes to get ready, then it will prompt you asking what you would like to keep on your PC, and then it does the upgrade. This is only meant to be used from a genuine copy of Windows, and it should activate correctly after.

If all of this seems a bit daunting, you may want to just wait for the upgrade to be delivered to you through Windows Update. But it might be a good idea to get that backup done anyway.

Source: Windows Insider Program

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  • Einy0 - Friday, July 31, 2015 - link

    Interesting to see all these successes. I have been able to upgrade two laptops from work so far, one from Windows 7 and one from 8.1. They both had Windows installs done about a week ago. All updates installed. I used the media creator I found on launch day to perform both. The Windows 7 machine was not simple, after several failed attempts, I found some instructions someone had made for failed upgrades to Windows 8.1. It basically involved running several commands to clean space on the hidden boot/utility partition. The Windows 8.1 machine's upgrade was a walk in the park. Insert media run setup and let it go. I've also tried updating a Windows 7 machine at home and I haven't figured out what is wrong with that one so far. The worst error message ever: "Windows upgrade failed" with an ok button below it. No details at all. I guess I'll have to go searching for a log file somewhere on the machine when I get some time.
  • JonHK - Friday, July 31, 2015 - link

    Interesting that Brett has no luck with the Upgrade this Computer now option. This has worked without literally any problem on 4 PCs for me - 2 custom builds and 2 Sony laptops with Win 7 and Win 8.1 on one of each respectively. I was frankly expecting the laptops to have issues with custom keys not working but everything was working just fine, including the over 6 year old one. The only thing I had to do on the most recent custom build was update the Nvidia drivers for a GTX970 using Nvidia's own tool. So far rock solid on all machines although there are definitely UI issues (primarily inconsistencies) to be addressed as well as design decisions that just don't work (like white headers on apps). Edge also clearly needs a lot of work but I suppose they have been somewhat open about that.
  • Brett Howse - Friday, July 31, 2015 - link

    It was instantly failing on the machine I was trying it on, but since I have about a dozen devices to upgrade creating the USB key was the right thing to do anyway.
  • marraco - Friday, July 31, 2015 - link

    I ask Anandtech to review with a lawyer the Windows 10 license. Particularly the "Microsoft Privacy Statement".

    I'm deeply worried by that.
  • lilmoe - Friday, July 31, 2015 - link

    If you're that worried, hire a lawyer yourself.
  • Flunk - Friday, July 31, 2015 - link

    If you don't like it, you're free to not install it. Just like anything else.
  • TemjinGold - Friday, July 31, 2015 - link

    So I don't have the reservation icon and can't seem to get it. Does anyone know how to manually get that icon?
  • Brett Howse - Friday, July 31, 2015 - link

    You have to ensure all of your Windows Updates are installed. Failing that, there's a couple of things to try on the internet that may help you out. But this was delivered via Windows Update so that's the place to start.
  • lilmoe - Friday, July 31, 2015 - link


    Download the MediaCreationTool (choose whether you want 32 or 64 bit), run the file, choose "Upgrade This PC Now", and you're all set. Make sure you upgrade FIRST on that PC to activated, then you can later create installation media if you want to clean install (format)...
  • lilmoe - Friday, July 31, 2015 - link

    to *get activated

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