Why not just try it first for free?
The answer is yes, if the PC is 2010 or newer, (64bit will fail on some less old PCs)
Avoid 32bit OS ! If you can.
First is W10 myths.
There are 2 paths, upgrade below or fresh installs here.
Upgrading to W10 is only limited to 2 things, 1: Is the PC fast enough or have enough RAM. AND 2: Does the PC have chips that are supported with W10.
If you just run the install it tells you quickly if the chips in your PC are supported. There is no better way than that.
If you need to boot (fresh install?) to DVD, or USB stick installs do this in BIOS(UEFI), Secure BOOT = disabled
W10 top reasons to fail in modern PC, is wrong BIOS version or Video card/GPU chip not supported, or other glue-logic chips supported, in the case of obsolete North or South bridge chips.
My W10 jump list is here, I have 7 page counting the below upgrade page.
The upgrade is simple, on W7 PC, you insert the install media (DVD or USB stick) and click on the setup.exe file on that media and answer the questions. (that is all there is to it, just do as it tells you)
Do the upgrade with the internet working, no better way is to connnect wired Ethernet jack to your router 1st step. (that way MS PnP can do its JOB)
If the installer sees the wrong OS there, already it stops and tells you that, and tells you only fresh install my work. (backup your data first)
The below is all commentary on pitfalls, myths and the like related to W10 upgrades. (yes, lots of pitfalls, huge in fact)
The MS pitfall list I made is here.
WRONG CHIPS: The CPU is first to fail installs, on fresh or upgraded W10.
BTW some old 2006-2006 processors will load W10-32,but run so slow it is super pathetic.
Avoid PCs older than 10 years old. (8 years or newer is best) Made in 2010 or newer is best.
Old dogs like thes are no good:
A Pentium D , runs ok (slow)(but only the last revision chip) but is overloaded 100% at the drop of a hat. Above PCs this old, ok? from circa 2005 relic PCs.
Core 2 Duo T8200 , runs, but will not run like a new machine, but runs. (see pathetic) Avoid DUO. circa 2006, ok?
Use a PC that is CORE i3, i5, i7 and generation 5 or newer. i7-5nnn.. (avoid CORE 2 anything)
Learn that most intel processor made for 10 or 20 or 30 years are not supported in W10 at all, that dream will never ever happen. (nor will Intel or AMD give you drivers for things that old)
Many old chips seen on the mobo are not supported now, like VIA, chips or old AMD Nforce south/north bridge chips.
Many old Intel, old graphics engines "GMA" are not supported. 1 example "GMA 3600 will not support Windows 10", See more dead chips here.
If your video card is old, best is to have new one first, a GTX1050 is super good choice ! On a Desktop.
or get and find and download the W10 driver first to your C:/my video driver/ folder. (create that folder and put it there first befor the upgrade)
Lets do Video cards first. (aka GPU cards or chips)
I am a big fan and user of Nvidia, and as such , here are all all card by them that support W10.
AMD-ATI Video cards are cover at AMD, and clearly does not support 1000s of card made, best is to look first. There.
W10 for short, Windows 10 64b , 32bit PC's are LEGACY PC's (avoid 32b
News flash MS says all new processors will only run on W10, (this freezes all old PC's on w7 that do not run on 10 now) ( I take this is a MS/Intel pact, WinTEL) But really is the death deal for W7 , for sure.
A very surprising turn of events.
Legacy is a huge dead weight like a battle ship anchor on MS legs. I agree, dump all legacy support. (say a 10 year swath of years and dump older PC's) .
By the way this topic really is W10 has very new and higher levels of security that old PCs , old motherboards or old chips do not support at all, for sure the CPU.
If the CPU is no good, W10 pukes. (balks)
W10 does not run on vast 1GHz PCs as MS told you, say made in year 2000, sorry they are so confused. see proof here. I call it the Shot Gun blast of bits!
1GHz processors started in the year 2000 with the Pentium 4, this is not supported with W10 at all.
That is 6 years of DEAD processors here.or more year 2000+
When the talking heads tell you it runs on most PC, they lie, they lie because of a 1 reason , they own or buy a new PC every 3 years, ( don't listen to the rich punks)
Ask the guy who does this work, real techs. doing it on vast machines, and get the truth. (or a test lab that does this and reports)
GIVENS: (my comments)
64-BIT 100% Only, as Windows 10- 32bit (legacy PC's) is bad idea: By the way 32bit OS is now officially Obsolete so end it now, upgrade to 64bit.
No comments on VIA processors or ARM or other oddities nor INTEL NUC. by me, ever.
No comments below on SERVERS or RAID systems of any kind, or NAS .
Consumer grade PC's only.
All comments based on newest release of w10, not old ones... ever. 2017+ September time stamped now, and forward in time.
The Trap, If you Upgrade a PC, to 64bit, Windows 10 may not install, as a fresh Install, due to your having a Generation 3 Intel Processor, (eg; I7-3xxx ) the 3 means gen 3 at Intel.com
MicroSoft Pitfalls ("MS")has an application program to test your system for W10 64bit compatibility. (the media creation tool and downloaded Media-creation Toolx64) < at microsoft.com.
Please do know that it can fail for trivial reasons, and in fact can be corrected easy with the following solutions.
The trick is to replace any part that W10 installer does not like using this:. (install a newer: video cards, sound cards, new wifi card or usb, new ethernet card, or USB dongle, upgrade BIOS?)
For most folks the CPU can not be upgraded, but your OEM PC maker has a qualifed CPU list, ask them and demand this list, if no list , sell your PC and get real PC or upgrade it (hardware).
I run w10 from SSD and then the HDD RAID is seperated (by my design , and intentions) So always boots, and only need 1 driver to make my fast RAID chip work. Certificates can be a horror, and a very expenive cure.
I am testing this driver now. (raid 9750-4i
INTEL CPU FIRST: 64bit only. (pit falls)
Fresh installs are best on for sure erased HDD (or SSD/ or m.2 card)
The most easy install is with UEFI turned off, in BIOS. ( a comment here is for older PC, not new)
They have both processors and glue logic (eg), or as Intel states SOC. (system on a chip)
Both means CPU and GPU on one die (chip)
Windows 10 will fail in 2 ways, now, install fails or install works great, but many chips are dead.
The hard part of SOC chips, is both the processor and GPU inside, both need to be true 64bit compliant, and most are....
The magic year is 2006, the first Intel chips that are truely 64bit, with all features needed inside.
Just because W7-64 bit runs ok does not mean W10-64b will. (due to new security rules!)
The first 64bit were called Netburst 64bit.
Most those are hopeless. (CPUs made in 2005/6 )
The first one that works is the Pentium D extreme or 900 series or specifically 965 and up. (if at all) Presler XE was the last one and may work. Just before, July 27th, 2006 and CORE 2 came out.
Window installer will in fact fail for most chips ever made, for sure those not supported now by the defunct chip maker, VIA or Nforce or?
The installer will fail even with old BIOS not upgraded, (many can never be upgraded)
Intel tells that only Generation 3 chips and up are ok, and sets limits on Gen3. (warning the rules for fresh install and upgrade are not the same)
You will see all GEN4 processors and newer are complaint. eg. (i7-4xxx) . on the Intel web site. (keep in mind if Intel has no w10 driver, neither will Microsoft.)
One oddity is that the early processors say like i5-650 ( that first digit is missing, that means GEN1) i3-2xxx is gen 2.
Keep in mind UPgrades are lenient and fresh installs are NOT. (and Fresh installs have more strict driver certificate signature, rule sets, and no USER bypass , option (skip this) !)
This funky certificate rule can be super complex to fix.! (or simple , case in point a new video card cures this error)
This is windows 10 not 7, windows 10 has higher security rules, for sure on UEFI and fresh installed.
64BIT Windows, needs these instruction features first to be compliant, (yes the devil is in those details)
The issues are newer instructionsin the processor present and working right. (this rule is complex because there are some many processors even in one family)
NX bit , Most Early Intel CPUs with Intel 64 also lack the NX bit (NX?)
+ LAHF/SAHF , Intel introduced this in Pentium 4 G1 stepping in December 2005 BIOS may show (enable)Virtualization Technology (VT) (VT may be optional in W10.
ALL we get from Intel.com is one statement and very hard to see foot note (1) on GEN 3 chips.... read those words carefully..
The first mobile Intel chips to support XD/NX were the Core Duo, (the 2005 slug chip)
The only sure way to know if it works right is to let the media creation tool and downloaded Mediacreation Tool x 64 , tell you it works.
or WAY 2, go here and see your processors (1000s there) and see if the features match.
The below is Intel page quotes. (tricky no?)
So of the ungrade works and 1 day later the old HDD dies, the fresh install fails, so I say do not use 3rd generation just for this one fact of life.
Unless installing w7 first then upgrading to W10 again seem like fun. (on every HDD death)?
only (read this foot note with due care!) Do not let this rule kill your PC dead later , say a new HDD is
needed later!!! That little "1" mark means NO on Fresh Installs.
The best way to see what processor you own is here. (A simple FREE tool, program, called coreinfo32) Intel.com also as free app for this.) Nice tool ,no? and free and from the maker. MS.
The check your shot gun blast here.....
This great page shows what I call the Shot Gun blast of bits, (feature sets) See Pentium D 965 there, and all those rows of +'s BINGO, works for at least upgrade to 64bit.
Keep in mind that page does not show die revisions or stepping revisions that can effect this greatly. (means you have do learn what you really have exactly )or learn to run and trust the MS media creation tool !
Intel says use Intel Ivy bridge and newer processors, Q2 , 2012 up. Q2 is April, May , June. see the yes rule above (bad news really)
Microsoft flat refuses to list all compliant processors, they only tell you it fails at install time, making planning , near impossble.
Best is to get a CORE I3/5/7 dash 4nnn procesor 4th gen, and end the pain.
NX bit or XD? ( A rose is a rose , by any other name? GAME)
Also note that NX (no execute bit) can be named differently so check for the option description in the BIOS, some names could be
EDB (Execute Disabled Bit),
Execute Disable Memory Protection,
EVP (Enhanced Virus Protection),
and No Execute Memory Protect.
LEARN THAT THE BIOS IN YOUR PC , MAY NEED A BIOS UPGRADE TO USE ALL THE NEW HASWELL ADVANCES INSTRUCTIONS OR W10 WILL FAIL TO RUN. PERIOD.
Virtualization Technology (VT)
The BIOS pages have a set of enables for the above, on all good motherboards ,if not? then flash it from the makers support pages.
AMD: (only) 64bit only... (and most Nforce chips do not run W10 at all )
If running and old PC with AMD and nforce glue logic chips are not supportted, (the old ones are not)
(more dumpster fodder)
That ended at W7 (see legacy here and read that on obsolete Nforce chips of any kind) as seen clearly here:
As you can see all things have beginning and an end, in the real world. Sorry for Captain Obvious answers. but some folks don't get it.
The first AMD processor that worked on W10 is (code name die F2, Socket AM2) not older.for sure E4 and older die versions NO.
The K8 series ran for many years, all of those are now OBSOLETE
The 64 bit W10- will not work with any processor that does not support *cmpxchg16b, prefetch and LAHF/SAHF and NX instruction sets.
That means early AMD Athlon x2 64, Opteron 185 , are SOL (sorry out of luck) , all 2005 made processors WILL NOT WORK. (and older)
Year May,23,2006 and newer at AMD are a "GO". (me sounding like a NASA Apollo 13 launch)
F2 DIE GO. called Windsor DIE (die is the chip actual inside the packaged CPU) DIES E6 , E4 and older FAIL.
All Athlons X2 64 with CMPXCHG16b instruction set are a GO. (X2 means 2 cores, nice)
The old Socket 939, 754 & earlier are A FAIL. NO GO. Buzz (Houston, sorry, orbiting is suspended)
AMD 64-bit processors, before Rev F ,will fail. Before Windsor F2 chip, dies version E6 and E4 will fail. (E = die revisions at AMD, E as in engineering change order or ECO)
These 3 - CMPXCHG16b, PrefetchW and LAHF/SAHF, and NX are required for upgrade to a 64bit version of Windows 10 from a current 64bit installation of Windows 7.
Covered here 100% (tedious to search yes) Complex page , warning ! but is Accurate.
This and below.
that ends AMD:
(PCs made late 2006, AMD processor and BIOS working right)
In all cases, the full list: (just to get w10 to load)
There are ways to try W10 even for FREE ! See fresh installs here.
One Cure, remove the current in use working W7 HDD, then grab any spare HDD 100% erased by you , This is just a test ,to see if you like it and does w10 like your PC?. a $10 used HDD is all you need)
Install W10 free, from above linked MS ISO. W10 is "free to download", no key needed now (click skip when asked), just to run it for 30 days, is always free to test W10 as it should always be... (but not W7 at MS)
Install W10, if it installs ok?, Bingo, now you know it does, now test W10 64bit on all your newly loaded applications, etc, do what you normally do.. See if you like it.?. ,most will hate EDGE, but IE11 is there.
But during the test install say no to 1 questions, asked, enter your COA key, just say no , skip this until later..
One side effect here (bad, IMO) is the new W10 load may try to commutate your w7 to w10 license,(not using test HDD) and if that happens , you need to do the MS official 30 day rule uninstall, to get the LIC, recended to W7.
Then put back the OLD HDD last. (to get W7 back just like it was, faster and no license issues doing the CURE way)
Or install W10 with no internet connected at all, so that activation is dead.
If the W10 loads and most or all things work then be happy. Now you know what to do.
Things to do for chip identification real , If we are unsure what's under the hood?
I use HWinfo32.exe portable
or Microsofts way:
C:\WINDOWS\System32>wmic cpu get caption
AMD64 Family 21 Model 2 Stepping 0
Look under Instruction sets and if you see SSE2, EM64T (indicates the processor has support for PAE) and either VT-d or VT-x
(which is what's needed for NX support)
Turn on NX in the BIOS first. !!! and in BCDedit.
You need all that and more.. to install W10
Video, (graphics chips) Upgrade it first with a video card that supports W10.
Nvidia support vast chips they made on w10, 100s ! get it at there home page... http://www.nvidia.com/Download/index.aspx?lang=en-us
There are other chips that must run on W10 ,vast that never will, most never will... from 1981 to 2009?
and a endless SEA of old obsolete chips/cards.
Nforce chips are hopeless now.... Dump them , now.
From Intel's point of view. (processors only) read it and weep... facts are facts,. repeated again, do to Intel made, most PC's.
Myths true or not on Windows 10:?
If you don't like W10 then run Linux. (many do about 6% and vastly used on Servers world wide)
THE I/O BUS: Here is huge list of chipsets on wiki.
Both North or South Bridge glue logic chips can be not supported in W10.
This is only 1 example and what you can do to see what is inside the BOX. (this is my vacation PC only)
Here are some Intel download pages on support for there GLUE-LOGIC.
After w10 installs or upgrades and other chips are are dead might find them using the ways stated in the link below. (or replace the dead device with USB of same type, (wifi or sound or?)
For drivers failing see my page on same.
This is my Laptop circa 2010; this the glue logic here, QM57, I show this to see just how powerful and imporant it is.
The bus chip here, Intels Ibex, you can see that it runs many important things. for sure USB bus. If its dead all things to it are dead. HP 8540w here. (w = 4 RAM banks)
W10 Tom Foolery by Microsoft.(as seen here) It sets a silly base line, nobody has. (most folks today are beyond this)
The first line below (IMO) on processor is silly,a PC can have a processor back to year 2000. that ran that fast and are hopeless with W10, as does old PC with 2 sticks of 512mB ram back in year 2000.
It is only silly because it Invites folks (hard hours wasted) with year 2000 computer to try W10 and then find out they ALL FAIL. 2006 is the year, not 2000.
The 1GHz. is wrong (historically wrong), what matters most is what processor is on your main board. It should say and 2006 or newer there, and does not.
What MS should say or better show, all compliant listed processors, (like above , I did under Intel/AMD)
The truth is some old PC have this, but will run at 100% CPU load doing anything, A SLUG IT WILL BE.
Direct X9 is year 2002, so don't expect any PC that old to work.
The big limit is Processor. (install time limits)
The limits on desktop and mobile processors are quite different, but here is my advice on all .
Run 2GHz processor minimum, never a 1 like Microsoft says.
And best is to own a PC with all + signs seen here. the best are marked "CORE". like I3(to 9) 4xxx , generation 4 and up are always best.
The most sad case is that W10 loads, and the PC runs like crap(a SLUG), as seen on any Pentium 4 D. 965.
Avoid all Celerons ! They are just defective real chips, die., At final test if a real chip is found with 1/2 the cashe dead, bingo it's a Celeron. (same with speeds pathetic , and for dead cores)
Think about a 2 core processor, one core dead new. throw it out or sell it like that, BINGO.? (all chips are graded at final test, some can be repaired, others not, some are totally dead, or shorted pins, dead = BIN16)
All chips are bin graded at final test for many factors, even toy grade is one, (leaky pins but runs ok, in toys)
I like top bin chips. I buy only them.
version 3. 9-9-2017 (I have no best choices, only methods,. and tests... )