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Windows 10 launched today (read our review), but because Microsoft is releasing its new OS in waves, not everyone can get it right away. Furthermore, some users are having trouble with Windows Update (on one of my PCs, I got an error last night, and this morning it simply got stuck on “Checking for updates”). Thankfully, there’s a simple workaround.

All you need is a genuine copy of Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, Microsoft’s Windows 10 Media Creation Tool, and an Internet connection. Fair warning, though: This process will take a bit longer than going through Windows Update. It’s the manual version of everything the “Get Windows 10” tool is supposed to handle for you. Back up everything and make sure you’re ready.

If you’re running a 32-bit copy of Windows, download the tool from here. If you’re running a 64-bit copy of Windows, download the tool from here. If you’re not sure, hold the Windows key and press the pause/break button. See what it says under “System type.”

system_type

You should see the following after downloading and launching the tool:

windows_10_now_1

Hit the Next button and Windows 10 will start to download, which may take a while if you’re on a slow connection.

windows_10_now_2

The verification of the download should be quick.

windows_10_now_3

The Windows 10 installer is now being put together.

windows_10_now_4

Now the Windows 10 installer is being loaded.

windows_10_now_5

The Windows 10 installer will do a few checks.

windows_10_now_6

And more.

windows_10_now_7

Make sure to hit “Accept” on this screen or you’ll have to do it all again.

windows_10_now_8

This part was automatic for me, but either way you’ll be given the choice again later.

windows_10_now_9

Microsoft still needs to check if there are updates you may need before the installation.

windows_10_now_10

And again, a few more checks.

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Finally, the preparation is complete.

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You can change what the Windows 10 installer will keep, but be warned that if you hit “Back” you’ll have to go through the updates and checks again.

windows_10_now_13

At this point, I can’t take screenshots anymore, so here’s a few grainy pictures from my Android phone. This is the first screen you should see, before your computer restarts:

windows_10_now_14

You’ll then get a warning about a restart:

windows_10_now_15

And then you’ll be on this screen for probably the longest part of the upgrade process:

windows_10_now_16

Be warned: Microsoft isn’t kidding about the “Your PC will restart several times.” nor the “This might take a while.” messages.

After this is all done, just type in your password, hit Next, and go through the standard process of setting up the new OS.

windows_10_now_done

Before long you should be back at your Windows desktop, as if nothing has changed. But a lot has: You now have Windows 10!

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