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Windows 7 reaches End of Life

14th January 2020

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With today being the day warned of by a pop up throughout 2019 if you are still running the now venerable OS that is Windows 7:

Windows 7 End of Life: everything you need to know about the death of Windows 7 (

Windows 7 logo, image: via Wikimedia Commons
Image: via Wikimedia Commons
Your Windows 7 PC is out of support message
(Click to enlarge)

Windows 7 will enter its End of Life on Tuesday, January 14, 2020. After that date, Microsoft will no longer offer patches and security updates for Windows 7.

That means that any bugs or problems still found in Windows 7 will never get fixed. Likewise, any security vulnerabilities could also remain in Windows 7, as Microsoft is unlikely to patch those unless they are very severe

Ending its extended support phase 19 years after its release with mainstream support in the form of any new features and warranty claims having ended back in January 2015.

After January 14, 2020, you’ll effectively be using a dead operating system. While your PC will continue to work, you’ll be stuck with an operating system that no longer gets patched. If someone finds a nasty bug or security vulnerability in Windows 7, they could easily take advantage of it, putting you at risk.

With your options being to upgrade the OS on your now presumably equally venerable system, opt for one of the various highly tribalistically evangelised free distros of Rumbunktous Linux that Moose of Moose ’n’ Buck in ManOChat chatrooms have long called you stupid for not adopting, or wait perhaps a little bit longer for the ultimate upgrade of a new PC with Window 10 installed. There is an old Zoostorm and a Netbook running in our home network but likely the former will join the latter now in losing its connection to the internet, unless…

Did you not used to be able to upgrade to Windows 10 for free? Indeed, but having been an attempt to persuade all to forget the lemon that was Windows 8 that offer with its peeving for many Windows 7 (possibly 8) users “Your PC is ready for your free upgrade” Upgrade Notice ran out mid 2016, but it appears the withdrawal of the free upgrade was halfhearted at best to placate OEM partners:

How to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10 for free (

ZDNet’s Ed Bott has been testing this method for years, and the free upgrade still works. It’s also really simple for anyone to upgrade from Windows 7, especially as support ends for the operating system today. Assuming your PC supports the minimum requirements for Windows 10, you’ll be able to upgrade from Microsoft’s site.

Involving the download of the Media Creation Tool from the Microsoft site which it seems will still update and activate without protest. That old Zoostorm should meet the minimum requirement and so may yet keep its connection.

Updated 15th January 2020

Success! Upgrading that old Zoostorm with the Media Creation Tool succeeded but did throw keeping that internet connection into doubt by immediately throwing up a driver error for the Realtek Ethernet NIC leaving without internet access, a web search suggesting it being a common fault for older Realtek kit which thankfully was fixed by downloading a Windows 10 64 bit driver on another system and upgrading with Device Manager.

Windows is activated with a digital license

Without internet access activation had seemingly failed but after a reboot activated with a digital license as article states. But if the possibility of driver errors is something you feel may leave you up a creak without a virtual paddle with no techie family or friend to call upon I would perhaps suggest not risking it and perhaps delay upgrading when able to a newer PC—old hardware was a notorious problem when it was released and still causing issues with the first anniversary update in 2016 (see related stories).

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