• Paul Fingleton

TIP: How to try Windows 10 on your PC without losing everything

Anyone can get Windows 10 on their Laptop or Computer for Free today, but it's not finished and may have some bugs or problems that you might not be sure you want to risk all your data on it. If only there was a risk free way to install the latest Windows 10 onto your PC without needing to create a virtual machine, creating disk partitions or risk losing programs that mightn't work if you upgrade your current OS. Well, there is, and it's not that hard to do. Follow these simple steps and you will be able to boot to Windows 10 and if you don't like it, you can be back to your original OS within seconds.

Before we start, the first steps might sound very complex, but we will explain as we go and hopefully you should feel confident to give it a try. As part of the process, we will be using the Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) to apply the Technical Preview image to a Virtual Disk (VHDX) file. After we do this, we can dual-boot with previous versions of the operating system, including Windows 7 and Windows 8. Important: This is only supported on Windows 7 (or later) without BitLocker enabled on the Drive. Instructions 1. Download the ISO file of Windows Technical Preview - Be sure to Download the ISO and not start the upgrade. 2. Extract all the files into a folder (e.g. C:\WinISO) 3. Go to Disk Management, click Action, then Create VHD. Use the VHDX file format and select the Size (be sure that it is large enough to meet the minimum specifications on the Windows Download page). 4. Select where to save the new VHDX (for example: “C:\” ), give it a descriptive name, click Save and then OK. 5. This may take a moment to complete, when it does, use the Disk Management and select to initialize the new disk. a. Right-click the new drive, select Initialize Disk and GPT, and click OK. b. Right-click the unallocated disk space and select New Simple Volume, click Next, Next, make note of the new drive letter, click Next, leave the default settings, click Next, then Finish. 6. Open the Command Prompt as administrator and browse to the Sources directory from where you extracted the Windows Technical Preview ISO file. (e.g. cd C:\WinISO\Sources) 7. Now we will use the DISM (Deployment Image Servicing and Management) command to apply the install.wim image to the new virtual hard drive. Type the following command and hit Enter: dism /apply-image /imagefile:install.wim /index:1 /ApplyDir:E:\ Where “E” is the drive letter you assigned to the new Virtual Disk, if you gave it a different letter, please use that in the command line. 8. After the DISM complete applying the image to the new virtual hard drive. The next step is to make the new drive to be recognized by the bootloader. To do this, in the Command Prompt type the following command and hit Enter: bcdboot E:\Windows Restart your PC and from the boot screen for the computer, choose the Windows Technical Preview and the system will boot like a new computer that is booting up for the first time. You’ll then need to complete the installation process as you would in a new PC.

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