That’s a great question to ask if you are considering upgrading your system. A fresh Operating System may sometimes offer a boost in speed, reliability and new features to explore. With a little bit of research, upgrading to a newer operating system can be a easy painless process. But first, you need to know where you stand!
Over the past 10 years Microsoft has jumped from the quirky Windows Vista to the stable Windows 7 and pushed the envelope (a little too far maybe?) with Windows 8 followed shortly by its fix 8.1, then ultimately offered the grand release last year of Windows 10. The newest darling of the pc world, Microsoft made headlines worldwide last year by offering Windows 10 to everyone as a free upgrade. Great news for anyone who remembers the long lines years ago waiting to purchase the latest Microsoft OS. While you may not be running Windows 10 yet, with consistent pop-ups from Microsoft urging you to make that leap it is good to know what you have before you take the plunge.
The easiest way to determine which version of Windows you are running would be to check labeling that may be present on the outside of your unit. Typically placed on the sides or bottom cover of the pc you may find a Microsoft branded sticker marking which version of Windows you may currently have. Keep in mind, this may not always be accurate particularly if you received the unit second hand, the operating system may have been up or down graded.
If there isn’t any labeling or you can still get confirmation of which OS you have by first going to the start menu in the lower left corner (If you do not have this, chances are you are probably running Windows 8 or 8.1) and navigate to the header marked Computer. Right clicking on Computer will bring up a box which will include the word Properties click on this box and it will bring you to a system information page which will give you great information about your PC such as which version of the OS you are running, whether it is 32 or 64 bit, how much RAM your system has, and which processor is being used.
After you have settled the issue of what Operating System you are using, the next thing you must do before upgrading will be to go to your PC manufacturers website to check for any compatibility issues with the new Operating System. Units running on XP and Vista may be able to handle an upgrade to Windows 7 but will probably not be able to handle 8, 8.1 or 10. Units on 7 may be up-gradable to 8 or 8.1 but may not be able to make the change to 10. This is because of very specific driver related issues. Keep in mind, moving forward with an upgrade on a system that is not compatible may result in data loss. We can not stress enough how important it is to check if your manufacturer has created drivers for your particular unit to work with the new OS you want. Microsoft is not going to check for you, and will not cover you if you fail to do your own due diligence.
If all looks good feel free to move forward with an upgrade, or if you are still not for sure reach out to a professional computer technician. We are more then happy to check compatibility, load your chosen Operating System as well as any drivers to help your unit run fast and efficient.