UPDATE 06/27/2020: Am reclaiming Media Library space by deleting old pics.


“After January 14, 2020, Microsoft will no longer provide security updates or support for PCs running Windows 7.” I used it for 9 years, moved to Windows 10 and Linux Mint this year. Had my Windows 10 full-license for about 3 years, but really only starting taking it seriously after the 1809 version came out in the Oct. 2018 update. Do you have a Windows 7 exit strategy yet?

Some possible options for exiting Windows 7:

1) Microsoft is still allowing an upgrade and/or fresh install to WIN 10 from WIN 7 (tho they don’t advertise it now) – I tried that recently with my two WIN 7 licenses and ended up keeping the WIN 7 on one computer, but doing a fresh install of WIN 10 using the WIN 7 full-license of another computer. Wasn’t sure how Dell’s OEM license would react if I tried a fresh install of WIN 10, so just did the upgrade but WIN 10 was just too slow using that method and I ended up going back to the WIN 7 there (rarely use it – other than I like the Media Player, so it will eventually become a Linux machine). The other WIN 7 was a full-license so was able to easily do a fresh install of WIN 10 on an old computer build.

2) Buy a Windows 10 Home full-license for roughly $129-139 … or buy the OEM license for about $100-110. You can ‘Cheat’ a tad and get an OEM license from KINGUIN for about $35. Put it on your current computer or a new build.

3) Buy a new computer with Windows 10 already installed. That would leave you the old computer for whatever, e.g. testing and/or learning Linux on.

OK … you could also leave it like it is, with WIN 7 on it. I remember trying to keep Vista going after Microsoft support ended, and it seemed to keep getting slower and slower. Even installed Ultimate Vista on one of my computers recently, just because I owned the license for it, and paid a lot of money for it many many ‘moons’ ago. Never used it after the recent install, so it got erased the other day when I moved Linux Mint to my newest computer build, ‘Rose’. Probably a lot depends on how you use your computer, and/or if it’s a desktop or laptop, and/or how confident you are working with computer hardware & software. Many factors to consider whilst considering a possible exit strategy from Windows 7.

If you’re using your computer for work, you’ll probably end up just buying a new computer; however, if you’re just an ‘Average User’ who surfs, maybe runs a small blog, plays Fantasy Football, some photo and video creation/editing, online shopping, online banking, etc then Linux would be an economical way to exit Windows 7.

Since Windows 7 loses Microsoft updates and support after January 14, 2020 here’s a simple exit strategy plan:

1) Basically two ways to do this – install Mint alongside WIN 7 or buy a new 120 GB SSD for about $20+- then disconnect the WIN 7 HDD and replace it w/ new SSD (that way you haven’t lost WIN 7 or any data). Installing alongside can get complicated for a newbie, and I like to keep all my OSes separate in order to avoid boot loader, MBR, etc later.

2) OK … you have removed that WIN 7 drive and replaced it w/ new SSD (you can always return to WIN 7 if this plan fails you, so you have nothing to lose at this point).

3) I suggest using Linux Mint 19.1 Cinnamon since it has a ‘Windows Feel’ about it, and I trust it for a new Linux user. You can either download it (download will be, linuxmint-19.1-cinnamon-64bit) or buy the ‘Live’ DVD, or USB Sticks, or SD Cards (I never tried that way) – Here. DVD’s are $5.95 and the other choices are more expensive.

4) Put the install DVD or USB (make sure your system will boot from USB) in and boot it. If it asks if you want to “Try” or “Install” select “Try.” You can test the ‘Live’ install media before installing and/or check settings and/or change settings (e.g. I always switch primary mouse button).


5) Select “Install Linux Mint” icon (upper left side)


6) Choose language … continue


7) Choose keyboard layout … continue


8) Install third-party software (I usually check this and it saves time later) … continue


9) If asks to “Unmount partitions that are in use” (select yes) … continue


10) Newer computers use UEFI mode, tho WIN 7 machines probably use standard BIOS; if a popup opens asking you if you want to “force UEFI” then select go back and it will continue normally


11) “Installation Type” … since you are using the new SSD then select “Erase disk and install Mint” (it may be selected already)


12) After making your selection in #11 above then hit “Install Now” at lower right … a popup asks if you want to “Write the changes to disks?” and you select continue


13) Where are you? … then continue


14) Who are you? … Your name – computer’s name – username, then choose & confirm password – then choice for Automatic login – then continue


15) Welcome to Linux Mint … it starts installing system. When finished it offers a “Continue Testing” or “Restart Now” – restarting will then ask to remove medium, and you’re ready for the new Linux Mint OS.

That’s it … you’ll probably like Mint so much that you’ll eventually erase the WIN 7 disk and use it for data & such. If you don’t like Mint, then unplug that new $20 SSD and plug the old slow WIN 7 HDD back in.