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  1. The Windows 10 Anniversary Update is fast approaching. To ensure users experience a smooth upgrade, here are some things you can do. Disable your Antivirus utility temporarily before attempting the upgrade. Click the respective link for the Antivirus utility you are running. Please remember to re-enable your Antivirus after successfully upgrade. - Norton - right click Norton in the Notification Area then click Disable Antivirus - McAfee - ESET NOD32 - Kaspersky - Avast - AVG - Trend Micro - Bitdefender - Webroot Secure Anywhere - F-Secure - Panda - Comodo Make sure your machine name is simple no periods or hyphens or dashes. Avoid using names such as "System" or Account or Administrator for your Machine. How to Rename Your Windows 10 Computer - groovyPost Restart a few times then try again. Click Start > Power Options > Restart Disable General USB Devices (example - Smart Card Reader). Press Windows key + X > click Device Manager > expand Memory technology devices. Right click SD Controllers, then click uninstall. If there is more than one, right click each, then click Uninstall. Perform a clean boot, restart then try again. Learn how to do it in Windows 10: How to Disable Startup Programs in Windows 10 - groovyPost If you are using a SCSI hard disk, make sure you have drivers available for your storage device on a thumb drive and it is connected. During Windows 10 setup, click the Custom Advanced Option and use the Load Driver command to load the appropriate driver for the SCSI drive. If this does not work and setup still fails, consider switching to a IDE based hard disk. If you are upgrading using the .ISO file, disconnect from the Internet during setup, if you are connected by LAN (Ethernet) or Wi-Fi, disable both then attempt setup again. There are multiple ways to do this, you can disconnect the Ethernet cable if you are connected to a wireless network. If you are connected to a wireless network, you can manually disable Wi-Fi by turning off the Wireless switch on your laptop. Another way that is even easier, is to open Action Center - press Windows key + A then click Airplane Mode. This will disable all network technologies. Proceed with the upgrade. If you are updating through Windows Update, when the download reaches 100% disconnect from the Internet LAN (Ethernet) or Wi-Fi then proceed with the installation. See previous steps. If that does not work, try using the .ISO file to upgrade if possible. How To Download Windows 10 ISO for a Clean Install ... - groovyPost then mount the ISO and start the upgrade: How to Mount and Burn ISO Images in Windows 10 - groovyPost If you are connected to a domain, switch to a local account. See section of the following article Leave a Domain: How to Join a Windows 10 PC to a Domain - groovyPost If you have any external devices attached to the machine, disconnect them (example, gaming controllers, USB keys, external hard disk, printers, non-essential devices).
  2. It looks like Microsoft is starting to make some attempt at closing the Windows 10 Free Upgrade loopholes. The Media Creation Tool, which provides detailed options for upgrading, now prompts Windows 7 or Windows 8 systems for a product key. The Media Creation Tool takes into consideration, users, who might have downgraded a previously installed and activated Windows 10 installation; by giving them the option to reinstall Windows 10, exempting them from the product key requirements. The new Digital License function attaches a Windows 10 license to the machine, permitting unlimited reinstalls without the need to have a product key or contact support to get the software reactivated. When users download the download the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool, they will see the following screen as usual. If the option to Upgrade this PC now is selected, the user will be prompted the enter a valid Windows 10 product key. Any attempts to enter a Windows 7 or Windows 8 product key will be invalidated: A new option has been added to the setup screen for users reinstalling Windows 10 on a previously installed and activated system. If your system has a Digital License attached to it, Windows 10 will automatically upgraded: Users can still circumvent the prompt for a product key by selecting the option Create installation media for another PC. There is another step users will have to follow in order to avoid being prompted to enter a product key. Even when installing from ISO, users can be prompted for a product key if the option Download and install updates (recommended) is selected. Instead, users should select the option Not at the moment. This will permit the upgrade to continue. I am sure Microsoft is working on a more concrete solution to ultimately end the free upgrade offer. In the mean time, you can still get it while door slowly closes. Thanks to Philip Yip of DellReinstallGuide for the tip!