I’ve had quite a few questions like these from readers: “You have answered questions about converting to Windows 10 from 7 or 8. I operate Vista what’s my situation?” and “It is only free on computers that can upgrade. Not all computers with windows 7 or 8.1 can run it. The processor must be the right kind.”

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The free upgrade to Windows 10 is only available for users of Windows 7, 8, and 8.1.  (That does not include Enterprise editions for business).  Windows 8 users must first make the free upgrade to 8.1.   If you are running Windows XP or Windows Vista, you are not eligible for the free upgrade.

If you want to upgrade your device to Windows 10, you’ll have to pay around $100 to do it. Of course your device has to meet the minimum system requirements.  If you’re running 8 or 8.1, you shouldn’t see an issue.

The requirements for Windows 10 are:

  • Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster.
  • RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit)
  • Free hard disk space: 16 GB.
  • Graphics card: Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver.
  • A Microsoft account and Internet access.

These requirements are virtually identical to the Windows 7 minimum requirements:

  • 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor

  • 1 gigabyte (GB) RAM (32-bit) or 2 GB RAM (64-bit)

  • 16 GB available hard disk space (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)

  • DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver.

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But there’s an additional requirement: your processor must also be able to support PAE, NX and SSE2.

  • PAE gives 32-bit processors the ability to use more than 4 GB of physical memory on capable versions of Windows, and is a prerequisite for NX.

  • NX helps your processor guard the PC from attacks by malicious software.

  • SSE2 is a standard instruction set on processors that is increasingly used by third-party apps and drivers.

You can check your XP or Vista system by clicking here to download the Window 8.1 Upgrade assistant and running it.

~ Cynthia