Should I upgrade to Window 10 64bit?           
 or why not just try it first for free?
The installer does Nero's Up and Down thumb (if your PC complies, the MS download is Free (only the License has a cost))
Near related,  is why does Windows 10 cause BSOD's (the infamous Fast boot feature , turn it off)

You can read the MS page and get lost in 10 seconds or...  see my W10 myths here.

Rule 1: Never let Microsoft tell you what to do ever. (You decide , only!) or ask your PC maker first if they support it !  See the MS bull  here.
Rule 2: Microsoft W10 updates can not be blocked fully now, only delayed a tad...  (this is new, and many folks don't like it on dial up...or using 4G or any pay as us use bandwidth, service provider)
Or just run W7 inside Linux VM forever. (with check points)
Rule 3, Do not forget to turn on the advanced processor features on first, in BIOS .  NX bit and others.    nor forget to edit the BCD edit file per here.
Will W10 load over XP, say year 2001 PC? Sure fresh loaded. XP is dead, (but not on any 2001 processor).
BTW some old 2006-2006 processors will load W10 but run so slow it is super pathetic.
A Pentium D , runs (last revision chip) but is overloaded 100% at the drop of a hat.
Core 2 Duo T8200 ,  runs but will not run like a new machine, but runs. (with great patience on the very early Core 2 CPU's)

I don't know,why would you upgrade?, see here?

Lets do Video cards first. I am a big fan of Nvidia user, and as such , here are all all card by them that support W10.

W10 for short, Windows 10 64b ,  32bit PC's are LEGACY  PC's (avoid these)
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) but I do offer cures here (one example only)
Won't install, or installs and DIES.(or crawls like a slug, and you  smash it to bits)
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 get a  new PC every 3 years, (silver spoon in mouth and all that bs) pure arrogance or pure ignorance.(what -eva!)
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, note that they all see the lies told by the talking heads)

GIVENS: (my comments)
64-BIT 100% Only, no comments on windows 10- 32bit (legacy PC's)
No comments on VIA processors  or ARM or other oddities nor INTEL NUC. by me, ever.
No comments 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 ("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.   (note many of these are impossible on a laptop, so avoid laptops if you can?)
  • CPU fails, upgrade it. To Generation 4 Intel processors.  (like a i7-4xxx )series. (some mobo will no let you, so see the next line)
  • Mobo not supported, the motherboard has  non compatible,  glue  logic chip (say ICH7  OR PCH) south bridge chip in the mobo,  buy a newer MOBO is the only solution (or new PC)
  • The same Mobo has on board, GPU chip that is not compatible, so disable this in BIOS and install a new compatible GPU video card in the PCI-e express slot and end the pain, easy.(desktops)
  • W8 and W10 both use only WDDM video cards and drivers now, so XP/VISTA and W7 can fail at the drop of a hat here, W10 does not support any XPDM video cards/chips/GPU,now.
  • The same Mobo has and onboard, Ethernet chip that fails, so disable this in BIOS, only, or do that and add a new PCI-e, or USB dongle Ethernet device.
  • The PC may fail for incompatible wifi chip, so disable it in BIOS ,or  upgrade a newer  min-pci card or PCI-e card to compliant card, or use  a wifi dongle USB.
  • Same with audio chips.  Disable it in BIOS and put in a new card ,or  USB dongle Audio device.(or just USB headphones only for sound) on Desktops this is super easy to do.
  • As you can see there are LOTS of solutions,  simply defeat the offending device in BIOS. (in many cases) or remove it. (if possible) If an addin card , replace it with a newer card.
  • The systems BIOS match you CPU processor there, if a wrong match W10 may get very upset .
  • There are some other odd parts seen in  laptops that can fail , like fingerprint chips or accelerometers. (and endless list of chips/features,  there are)
  • MS may find your PC  running pirated W7. oops.
  • MS may see W7 so corrupted it can not upgrade it. (so fresh install it and that is even more difficult (potentially))
  • MS my see old (say) W7 drivers there, that can not be found for W10 or the Certificates for them are FUBAR. (means , expired, dead, non-existing,wrong, or not matched correctly )
  • The W10 upgrade will accept the old W7 driver most times, but sometimes later,  if you need to do fresh install for any reasons, a bad HDD, or  total W10 corruption, then it fails. See why below.
  • "PCs upgrading from a release of Windows prior to Windows 10 Version 1607 will still permit installation of cross-signed drivers. (see new rules here)
  • PCs with Secure Boot OFF will still permit installation of cross-signed drivers.
  • Drivers signed with an end-entity certificate issued prior to July 29th, 2015 that chains to a supported cross-signed CA will continue to be allowed.
  • To prevent systems from failing to boot properly, boot drivers will not be blocked, but they will be removed by the Program Compatibility Assistant. Future versions of Windows will block boot drivers."
  • Windows 10 self signing is now OFF, for ever.
  • If you do see certificate errors make sure you coincell battery is over 2.9vdc and that the time and date on computer is not WRONG. first.
So , if  say you have  a large RAID array, running thev ery  fast LSI 9750 express card, 6GB/s  with the old 2009 driver, that ran for 8 years , zero problems, it may fail now, (I will advise on this later, after extensive driver searches)
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 FIRST: 64bit only.

They have both processors and glue logic (eg), or SOC. (system on a chip)
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.
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.
That chip was like $1000 each back then, so don't expect them to be laying around everywhere.
Not only that, most old  motherboards for it were FULL OF BUGs (BIOS), making that chip not fully enabled.
Intel tells that only Generation 3 chips and  up are ok, and sets  limits on Gen3.
You will see all GEN4 processors and newer are complaint. eg. (i7-4xxx) .
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.!  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,
The issues are newer instructions in the processor present and working right. 
NX bit , Most Early Intel CPUs with  Intel 64 also lack the NX bit    (NX?)

CMPXCHG16b(CompareExchange128 or CX16), PrefetchW (DCA)
+  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.
+ PAE 
ALL we get from Intel.com is one statement and  very hard to see foot note (1) on GEN 3 chips.... read those words carefull..   

The first mobile Intel chips to support XD/NX were the Core Duo,
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.

1Upgrade 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.
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/downloads/coreinfo

 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.

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...
If running and old PC with AMD and nforce glue logic https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Intel_chipsetsICHs sorry that has zero chance of working. (more dumpster fodder) send it to North Korea ? Maybe infect their uranium centrifuges?
That ended at W7  (see legacy here and read that on obsolete Nforce chips of any kind) as seen clearly here:
http://www.nvidia.com/Download/index.aspx?lang=en-us

As you can see all things have  beginning and an end,  in the real world. Sorry for Captain Obvious answers. but some 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, most this GEAR is in the dumps now. (long forgotten now or sold at GOODwill for $20)

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)
AM2 GO
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.

http://www.cpu-world.com/CPUs/K8/index.html
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)
  • Correct processor with full w10 instruction sets supported per above.
  • BIOS supports above processors, or your upgraded processor,  that matches above.
  • BIOS has those key features turned on, and BIOS not defective some are !, get the newest at your PC makers web site.
  • At an elevated command prompt (cmd.exe) Type "BCDEDIT" without the quotes and  see if NX is set to ALwaysOn. as see below,  Optin not Optout
  • The PC has many chips in  there, some may not work under W10,  is that a problem, only YOU KNOW THAT. (PCs are complex,some folks only use fractions of a PC in total.)
  • Many things can fail under W10 applications dead,  Printers, scanners, and vast number of old USB devices.  see cure below.
  • If W10 don't like your video card (GPU, upgrade it, but most laptops can't, but my HP 8540w  I can)
  • W10 don't like your LAN chips.  upgrade it. (with new card or new USB dongle of same type but does W10)
BCDedit (enter) in a cmd.exe box.  If this bit is not turned on, W10 will NOT LOAD. the NX bit. (a binary  bit)



There are ways to try it !  (the key questions is how to regress the most easy way?)
  • Download the Media Creation tool.(ISO maker)
  • Burn the DVD or USB stick.
  • Run it and it tells you thrumb ups or down. (just 3 steps)
  • Even if the 64bit OS loads and runs ok, you might not like it? or you APPLICATIONS hate it or your devices are now dead, like old printers are and old scanners. are.?
  • One way to protect the software on your current W7 HDD, is to do this trick below.  (a used HDD is like a whole $10)
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 or not. And is the least impact and wasted time. (a $10 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.
easy no?
 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)

Things to do , If we are unsure what's under the hood?

Download and run a handy utility called CPU-Z. (free) google it , it's EVERYWHERE.(this link is SAFE !)
or
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/downloads/coreinfo

or
cmd prompt.
C:\WINDOWS\System32>wmic cpu get caption
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..




Video, (graphics chips)
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.

Again...
From Intel's point of view.  (processors only) read it and weep... facts are facts,. repeated again, do to Intel made, most PC's.

https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/processors/000006105.html


Myths true or not on Windows 10:?
  • It invades my privacy, answer sure it does, but not with 2 clicks running (O&O SHUTUP 10.) NO IT DOES NOT. !
  • It fails to support vast numbers of processors, even 2000 to 2006 year range from Intel alone. (true, see the above sections for proof.)
  • W10 forces updates, answer TRUE.
  • W10 forces driver updates, answer FALSE turn it off.
  • Windows 10 records everything I do and tell MS this, no it does not with O&O shutup10.
  • Windows, 10 will not run vast numbers old USB toys like old 2000 year, web cams,  answer true,
  • W10 fails to run old printers and scanners, and many old thing, even as new as year 2000 things, answer true,  but is really not MS fault its the MAKERS FAULT THAT , in every case.
  • W10 may fail to install fresh on my PC. If some chips or devices do not support W10, answer true, and is vast things.
  • W10 has more strict certificate rules. for sure fresh installed, answer , TRUE.
  • W10 boots faster, sure it can.
  • W10 shuts down faster, and more reliably, answer TRUE.
  • W10  is more vastly more secure,  answer , TRUE.
  • Some folks must have Miss Cortana , (gee I don't)
  • Some folks (me) must have the GREAT Hyper-V feature ! (I love it and I run Ubuntu-17 in it.)
  • Some folks need the Edge browser, I don't I use Firefox v55 +
  • Some things in W7 are now missing in W10 , answer ,true but I will not list them as MS can change that in seconds, I don't care either , I run Firefox, and run VLC for video and run fubar2000 for mp3's.
  • Windows 10 killed dead IE11, no they did not, run box, type "Internet"  and wait, wait, there it is.... before your eyes.
  • Windows 10 start button sux, sure it does so run START10 by stardock.
  • Windows 10 Certificate new rules can be a ROYAL PITA !  TRUE!
That's enough,  all else to me is Windows Dressing. LMAO.


THE I/O  BUS: Here is  huge  list of chipsets on wiki.
  The I/O bus chips are the most hard to discover.  AKA, SOUTH BRIDGE or GLUE LOGIC.
ACH, PCH Intel chip sets .  (my HP Laptop runs PCH great under w10)

Some will have dead, USB ports after W10 installations,  for sure using Intel drivers direct from Intel, as they told you that.
Best of Best if HP PC is HP drivers,  run those, if HP says W10 not supported why buck that (like I do)?

The BIOS in your PC must BE windows 10 certified to run new UEFI  modes.  (secure BIOS and boots)

My PC 2009 HP 1/2 the HP apps for it are dead under w10 BUT I DON'T CARE.
You might, and my security package HP is DOA for W10 FOR EVER.


The Intel page on this is here (called INF utility) INF are driver script installers, like ICH7.INF , etc.

https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/20775/Intel-Chipset-Device-Software-INF-Update-Utility-?product=1145

In all cases load the chipset driver from HP, 1st. or things will not work right.
If not a HP PC , go to your PC makers web site click support and find your drivers. (or ask them for help)

For drivers failing see my page on same.



end , short and sweet. (now a 2009 example Laptop)
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.(as seen here)
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 2.  9-9-2017  (I have no best choices, only methods,. and tests...  )