Windows 10 came out on June 29th at 00:00 here in Belgium which gave me about a head start of 8 hours compared to the consumers in the US, so I prepared my Surface Pro 2 (SP2) running Windows 10 Insider Preview (IP) 10240 for the upgrade.
So, here’s my story.
I wanted to do the upgrade, not a clean install, which meant I had to revert to Windows 8.1 that shipped with my Surface Pro 2. Also, I didn’t wanted to waste my Windows 10 MSDN keys on my personal devices.
A factory reset can easily be done via Settings => Update and Security => Recovery => Reset this PC => Get started => Restore factory settings in Windows 10 IP.
Unfortunately, this failed because I deleted my recovery partition that came preinstalled on the SP2.
Actually, I deleted all of them, so I could get more disk space.
So, I downloaded the SP2 recovery image from Microsoft : https://www.microsoft.com/surface/en-us/support/warranty-service-and-recovery/downloadablerecoveryimage?productId=100110237
After that I unzipped it onto a FAT32 formatted USB drive and booted the SP2 into recovery (VOL DOWN during startup)
I wasn’t able to Reset my PC. These where the errors I got :
- The drive where windows is installed is locked
- Unable to reset your pc a required drive partition is missing
Eventually, I ended up reinstalling Windows 10 IP 10166 to get a working version onto my SP2 and restart the process.
This time, I let the Windows 10 IP installation re-create the partitions for me.
So at that point, I had Windows 10 IP 10166 running on my SP2.
Then, I tried to revert to the SP2 recovery image again, with the same errors as mentioned above.
I rebooted the SP2, got into recovery and cleaned the Windows 10 IP partition using DiskPart : http://knowledge.seagate.com/articles/en_US/FAQ/005929en?language=en_US
After this, I was able to Reset my PC using the SP2 recovery USB image.
At this point, I had Windows 8.1 running on my system as the Microsoft gods intended when they shipped the SP2.
So, this meant I had to wait for the KB3035583 update to install and reserve my copy of Windows 10.
I decided not to wait that long and downloaded the Media Creation Tool : http://windows.microsoft.com/nl-nl/windows-10/media-creation-tool-install to start the upgrade.
I chose Upgrade this PC now to start upgrading.
Since then, everything went smoothly, I ended up with Windows 10 PRO fully activated on my SP2!
After a Disk Cleanup of Windows Updates and Previous versions of Windows, my C:\ had about 16,4GB in use!
But I wanted a clean installation of Windows 10, so I opened Settings => Update and Security => Recovery => Reset this PC => Get started => Remove Everything. After all of that, I had about 10,4 disk space in use, my version of Windows 10 PRO was activated and running smooth.
I tried to upgrade the Windows 7 ULT PC at home, but due to limited disk space (50GB SSD, 10GB free) I had no option but to clean install Windows 10 from ISO. So I created a bootable USB drive using the Media Creation Tool and booted the PC up, did the Upgrade. After doing the upgrade it was activated and genuine.
Then I did a Disk Cleanup, Reset my PC, Remove Everything.
Now I have an upgraded, clean SP2(WIN8.1) and PC(WIN7SP1) running Windows 10 PRO, activated, genuine.
I can see myself reusing the Reset this PC feature quite a lot in the future, since it takes away a lot of the effort on finding a legitimate product key and installation media to do a new clean install. The downside, is that you won’t be able to alter your hardware since Microsoft creates a hash of the machine it upgraded in order to activate it. So, I think having a store-bought copy of Windows 10 is something that can not be avoided in the near future.
Please note that both of my machines where eligable for upgrade to Windows 10 (WIN8.1 and WIN7SP1) Both of them where genuine and activated before the upgrade.