Jude from Louisiana writes:

Hi.  I have some  questions about Windows 10. You mentioned about it being free the first year out.  What I was wondering is if I upgrade my windows 7 to windows 10 will it be the premium like I have now or will it be the same for everyone. Also if at some point in time my drive fails after upgrading to windows 10, will I still be able use windows 10 when I reformat the new drive after using the recovery disc if I have the product key for it? Would a disc image of my drive with windows 10 solve all these questions? If the image will work is there a free image program you recommend?

I can’t answer your question for sure, there are still a lot of unknowns about Windows 10. But it will depend on whether or not the upgrade form 7 to 10 functions like a service pack where you keep the settings and files or if it will be a clean install where you have to back those important files up first and install a completely new operating system. Either way, you’ll still need the activation code for Windows 7 and you may have to reinstall it and then do the upgrade again.

windows10crop

Mirroring your drive is an excellent idea, in fact it’s great idea for anyone. A program like Laplink DiskImage can not only copy Windows, but all of the other programs on your computer, but it is not free.

But since you are looking for free alternatives, you may have one right there on your Windows 7 and 8 computer and probably on  10 as well.  I’ll show you how to do this in 7 and 8. Instructions for 10 will have to wait for now, as I don’t see that option under settings in the Technical Preview, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be one in the final version.

In Windows 8 open the search charm and look for File History. Then choose System Image Backup.

For Windows 7,  open the Start Menu and type “backup” then choose “backup your computer” from the results.

backupyourcomputer

Then choose “Create a system image.”

system image

You can then choose an external drive for your backup. Make sure you external drive has enough space to back up your operating system.

createsystemiomage

 When you’ve finished the backup, make sure that you also create a system repair disc that can be used to boot your computer and re-image your system.

systemreapirdisc

~ Cynthia