[Clear Steps Guide] What to Do Before Upgrade to Windows 10?

In this post, you’ll learn what to do before upgrade to Windows 10 to avoid irreversible results due to accidental errors during the Windows OS upgrade.


By Lucas / Updated on May 12, 2023

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Although Windows is gradually leading to the Windows 11 era, Windows 10 still takes up the biggest market. If you’re still using Windows 8 or Windows 7 or earlier Windows systems, well, you may need to think about upgrading your Windows sooner or later. The new system is safer than the old OS because Microsoft always stops the supporting service for old systems.

But, many feedbacks show that upgrading to Windows 10 causes data loss and other serious problems, so are there any skills to do before upgrade to Windows 10 to avoid troubles? Of course, here, in this post, we’ll show you how to prepare for Window installation and upgrading your PC.

What to do before upgrade to Windows 10?

In fact, a common reason for many normal users who may not upgrade to a new Windows system is how to safely upgrade. Users will worry about accidents that will cause irreversible troubles during the upgrading process, such as data loss, PC crashing, and freezing.

Therefore, to help you safely upgrade to Windows 10 or Windows 11, we list some methods to show you what to do before upgrade to Windows 10. If you’re having a headache because you’re not clear on how to upgrade your Windows PC securely, this post will help you a lot.

1. Create a recovery drive for Windows update

To avoid computer malfunction due to incompatibility of the operating system with the drivers or the computer failing to start after a failed upgrade, the first thing you should do before upgrading to Windows 10 is to build a recovery drive.

It might be a bootable CD/DVD or a USB disk that can help you swiftly restore the Windows system to a safe condition when you encounter a problem while updating the operating system.

Step 1. Insert your USB flash drive with ample free space on it into the computer.

Step 2. Search Create a recovery drive in the search box. Click the option and open it.

Create recovery drive

Step 3. Check the box "Back up system files to the recovery drive" and click Next.

Back up system files

Step 4. Wait until the wizard prepares to copy files to your flash drive.

Step 5. Select your USB flash drive and click Next.

Select USB

Step 6. Read the warning note carefully that is “Everything on the drive will be deleted. If you have any personal files on this drive, make sure you’ve backed up the files.” Then click Create to continue.


After you have created the recovery drive successfully, there will show the final message “The recovery drive is ready”, and then click Finish.

2. Check PC information

The second thing you need to keep in mind is that different Windows systems have different requirements for PC, for example, Windows 11 needs a GPT system disk, but not all Windows 10 versions need it. Manufacturers of various brands do an excellent job of keeping a list of systems that are compatible with particular versions of Windows. If you’re using Windows 7/8, you can easily search all information about your PC to check if it can run Windows 10 or not.

3. Back up your disk

This is the most important preparation before upgrading Windows. Many users may experience data loss while installing the updated Windows. Similarly, many people experience file loss or damage while upgrading their operating system to Windows 10. Thus, it's critical to back up important data and precious files on your PC to another storage device before installing Windows 10 or any Windows OS upgrade.

In this situation, we suggest you directly back up the entire system disk to make sure everything can be restored securely and quickly. You can choose AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional to conveniently realize this idea.

This is a great backup program for Windows 11/10/8/7/XP/Vista users. It can duplicate a hard disk to another without losing any data, including the Windows operating system.

There are two cloning methods available:
◤ “Clone Disk Quickly” refers to copying the utilized sectors fast to the target disk or partition.
◤ “Sector-by-Sector Clone” refers to copying all of the old disk's sectors to the new disk.

Also, cloning only Windows OS to another drive (data partition excluded) is an excellent option if you only want to back up your system.

The operation is very simple and clear, let’s see more details.

Download Pro DemoWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 1. Install and run this tool. In the operation bar on the top, in “Clone”, select “Clone Disk”.

Disk Clone Wizard

Step 2. Here, choose a suitable method based on the differences mentioned above (choose the first method as an example).


Step 3. Select the disk where the cloned file is located (take Disk 1 as an example).

Source disk

Step 4. Here, select the target disk you plan to clone to. (take Disk 2 as an example). If your target disk is an SSD, you can check “Optimize the performance of SSD”.  The purpose of this is to improve the SSD read and write speed.

Choose target disk

Step 5. In this step, you can adjust the size of the target disk partition. If it is cloned to a smaller hard drive, then the first item is greyed out.

Edit partition size

Step 6. You can preview all operations this time in this window. Click “Apply” to submit for execution.


4. Make sure system has sufficient space

If you intend to update to Windows 10, you must ensure that your system drive has adequate capacity to accommodate the upgrade. Many consumers experience Windows update failure during installation because their system disk does not have enough space to install a new operating system.

Windows need more space

Regardless of whether your Windows 10 is 32-bit or 64-bit, you must leave at least 32GB available before updating to Windows 10.

You can check your disk partitions in Disk Management, if there is unallocated space right behind your system C drive, you can directly use Disk Management to increase the system drive space.

However, if the unallocated space doesn’t stay at the correct location for extending the C drive, or there’s no unallocated space, only the C drive and a data drive with big free space, don’t worry, AOMEI Partition Assistant will help you.

If your system disk has unallocated space but is not right behind your C drive, you can go to the “Merge Partition” function to merge this space into your C drive.

Add unallocated space to C drive

If there’s no unallocated space but D drive with large free space, the “Allocate Free Space” is your choice. This way can share the free space from one partition to another on the same disk.

Step 1. Right-click the drive which has free space, and select “Allocated Free Space”.

Allocate free space

Step 2. In the pop window, you can allocate free space from the D drive to the C drive. After setting up, click "OK".

Allocate from D to C drive

Step 3. Click "Apply" and "Proceed" to execute the progress.


Tip: You can also release more space by moving apps from C drive to another location via the “App Mover” function.

5. Uninstall third-party antivirus tool

One of the most prevalent sources of problems with significant operating system updates is security software. It's performing its job: preventing modifications to your system setup. Antivirus software may identify and report an unusual update; making significant changes to system files may indicate an ongoing attack.

When the operating system has been successfully upgraded to Windows 10, you may reinstall the anti-virus software. However, if you upgrade to Windows 10, you may not require anti-virus software because the operating system includes a highly effective built-in anti-virus system.

6. Disable unnecessary startup programs

Startup apps will also occupy resources of memory and may make the upgrading take more time.

Step 1. Press "Ctrl+Alt+Del" simultaneously and choose Task Manager.

Step 2. In the pop-up dialogue, click the Startup tab, and the startup apps will be listed.

Step 3. Right-click the program and choose "Disable".

Disable startup apps

7. Fix hard drive and OS errors

If you have been operating a Windows system for many years, even if it is working smoothly, there may be potential roadblocks to a successful update. Damaged apps, operating system upgrades, incorrect shutdown, power outages, and other circumstances might harm files on the hard disk, making the Windows 10 upgrade difficult. When upgrading from a prior version of Windows, damaged system files might occasionally prevent the setup from operating correctly.

Step 1. Type “cmd” in the search box next to the start button, right-click CMD, and choose “Run as Administrator”.

Step 2. type: sfc /scannow

SFC Scannow

This will check for any integrity violations. When complete, restart your computer

Another command-line utility that users may execute on a machine running Windows 8 or later is the Deployment Image Servicing and Management program, which is used to service a Windows installation.

Step 1. Press the Windows key + X

Step 2. Click Command Prompt and run as administrator.

Step 3. Type each command then hit Enter after each scan is complete:

Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth

Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth


Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

Restore health

8. Disconnect non-essential devices

If you have non-essential external devices connected to your computer during installation, such as a printer or scanner, they might interfere with the setup engine and keep the installation from completing since Windows 10 is attempting to discover and install them. Thus, keep only the keyboard and mouse connected, and disconnect any external hard drives or USB drives that are connected.


If you don’t know what to do before upgrade to Windows 10, then this is how to prepare for Window installation. With these methods, you can safely upgrade to Windows 10. And if you want to upgrade to Windows 11, AOMEI Partition Assistant will also offer you reliable help. You can use this tool to easily convert the disk to GPT without data loss, check PC compatibility, or even run Windows 11 on unsupported PC.

In addition, if you also want to efficiently and safely manage a Windows Server PC, there is the Server Edition for you.

Lucas · Staff Editor
I prefer peaceful and quiet life during vacation,but sometimes I watch football match if my favorite club performs brilliantly in that season. And I love reading, painting and calligraphy, thus I send my friends festival handwriting cards every year.