With all the best of intentions, Microsoft has pushed out Windows 10 as an upgrade for Windows 7 and Windows 8 computers. They’ve run all sorts of tests to ensure it will be a smooth transition for their users, and for the most part it is. However, since you’re reading this article, you might suspect there are cases when it does not go so smoothly. You are correct!

First step: Backups!

Make sure you have a complete backup of all of your data before proceeding. Use the built in Windows Backup or any third-party tool to create a system image of your computer. This should be stored on at least one (and preferable two) external backup drives that you have tested restoring from.

Step 2: Virus Scan

Be sure your system is in good working order and doesn’t have anything lurking beneath the scenes. A hidden virus could cause the upgrade process to fail part way, leaving you with an unusable system. Or, if the upgrade succeeds, you may have a virus that’s now harder to identify and remove because of the significant changes to your system. Be safe, and take the time to run a scan with a good tool like Malwarebytes. If you’re already encountering more severe symptoms of a bad computer virus infection, you may want to consult with your IT Guy.

Step 3: Are your programs compatible?

Do you have proprietary or industry-specific programs that might not receive a lot of support? These programs may not yet be compatible with Windows 10. Check with your software vendor before proceeding.

Step don’t-hold-your-breath:

You’ve got reliable backups, and clean system, and all your software and hardware is fully compatible with Windows 10! The upgrade process can take quite a while, so you may want to hold off until the end of the day when you won’t be needing your computer. Cross your fingers and start the upgrade! If all goes well, you’ll have the brand new Windows 10 operating system waiting for you upon your return.

If not, this is when you’ll be most thankful for those backups you did earlier.

Good luck!