How to Upgrade this computer to Windows 10?


New Member
I have a VAIO core i5 laptop that died, seemingly of some sort of hard disk issues (or possibly a virus? ... However, McAfee didn't alert me to any virus problems).

I tried lots of fixes (including using a bootable recovery USB that I had created in the past. For some reason, however, that recovery USB just wouldn't work). Anyway, I finally managed to get the computer to initiate recovery via 'VAIO Assist' and then used CHKDSK to do some hard disk repair. After that, the computer seemed to work like new.

However, the next time I powered up the computer, I discovered that VAIO recovery had wiped Windows 8.1 Professional clear off the machine, leaving only Windows 8 Professional -- without a valid product key. Now the machine won't let me do anything until I enter a 25-character product key for Windows 8, which I cannot find. The computer was a gift, and I wasn't given a product key or back-up disks... for either Windows 8 or Windows 8.1.

I assume the best thing I can do now is to buy a new key for Windows 10, and I'm totally fine with that since there doesn't seem to be any other legitimate recourse aside from upgrading in Windows 10. In short, I just want that laptop to work again.

I see that Microsoft has Windows 10 Home for download ($139). Is that what I should do to get this computer running?


Essential Member
I see that Microsoft has Windows 10 Home for download ($139). Is that what I should do to get this computer running?
Since this is a laptop....going with an OEM would be the cheapest way. Which can be found on from $99 to $149. Just have to catch it at the right time. Or you could go with a retail copy which is if you ever decide to build you can use that PD Key.

Also, I would recommend replacing your hard those issues are an indicator of an impending hard drive failure. I would recommend a SSD and you can pick one of those up for around $50 now.


Extraordinary Member
What I did for several PCs and laptops several months ago was download the media creation tool and run it to install Win 10. All of the programs, data, and even desktop interface (I used Open Shell with Win 8.1 to make it look like Win 7) were retained. I got the upgrades for free.

This article from a few weeks ago says that the upgrade's still free: