IT Connect
Information technology tools and resources at the UW

Upgrading to Windows 10

The Managed Workstation Service (MWS) provides an easy way to get the most recent update to Windows.

How to Upgrade your Managed Workstation computer to Windows 10

About the upgrade.

This version of Windows will be at least as responsive and fast as your old version, and may perform better.  The upgrade process could take anywhere from an hour to several hours, depending on your specific hardware. Generally, the older the machine is the more time it will need to finish.  This process is only for Windows 7 devices supported by the MWS.  This will not affect files on network file shares like the MWS mapped drives H: and I: or the UW mapped drive U:, and it is always recommended that you keep a current backup of local files to a network share, to a cloud service like UW OneDrive for Business or UW Google Apps, or to an external disk. Before starting, please read this important information about MyDocuments


Step 1: Prepare for the upgrade.

Start the upgrade when you will not need to use the computer for a few hours, possibly at the end of your workday. Follow the steps below:

  1. Update the BIOS on your computer. You will need to do this by going to the workstation vendors website to download and install the most current BIOS version. MWS can assist in this process.
  2. Save your work, then go to Control Panel > Windows Update. Install any Microsoft updates that are available and restart your computer after the updates have installed.
  3. Log back in, but don’t open any programs other than to view these instructions.
    • Note: If you are using a wireless connection, it would be best to perform the upgrade when you are on campus.


Step 2: Start the upgrade.

  1. If you are using a MWS computer, then you should have a shortcut on your desktop labeled “Upgrade to Windows 10”.  Locate the “Upgrade to Windows 10” shortcut on your desktop.
    • Note: If the “Upgrade to Windows 10” icon is not appearing on your desktop, you can also install Windows 10 through Software Center.


      2. Right-click the shortcut and choose “Run as administrator”.

Run as Administrator Win 10

A User Account Control dialogue box will appear.  If you see the choices Yes and No, choose Yes to continue.  If you are prompted to enter a username and password at this step, that likely means that your account does not have rights to perform this operation.  Contact support by emailing to get administrative rights to your device in order to proceed to the next step. Include the computer name or serial number of your computer.


 The MWS (Nebula) Windows 10 Upgrade Advisor opens and prompts you to continue.  Select Yes.


When you see the purple screen, that means you have successfully started the upgrade program.  Nothing more will be needed from you until the upgrade is finished.  Your computer will display the progress of the upgrade and occasionally reboot.


Step 3: After the upgrade.

  • Press CTRL+ALT+DEL to log in to your computer.  The first time you log in, you will see a series of screens over several minutes as Windows 10 prepares for your first session.  When that process is finished, you will see your refreshed but familiar desktop, with your shortcuts, files, applications, and wallpaper.
  • You can delete the “Upgrade to Windows 10” shortcut by moving it to the recycle bin.
  • Microsoft has a series of short videos that explain new features and how to use them.  Get Started with Windows 10.


Note:  If you have been saving to your MyDocuments folder, you will need to save specifically to your H:, I:, OneDrive for Business or Google Docs instead.  In Windows 7, MWS redirected your MyDocuments folder to your H: drive automatically; in Windows 10, we no longer provide this function as it is no longer reliable.  If you continue to save to your MyDocuments folder, you are saving to the local hard drive, which is not backed up.