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Installing Windows 10 from windows vista

I have a Dell Inspiron 531, we have been using it for years, however over the last couple of years we have not used it. It has windows vista installed I am wanting to upgrade it to Windows 10. So I took a hard drive that had windows 10 on it and installed just to make sure everything would work with the hardware and all. Everything did work just fine.

I have downloaded the windows 10 iso and I have a windows 10 product key that I can use for it. I created the dvd to install it with however the computer will not boot with the dvd. I created it on a different computer and with the one I am wanting to upgrade. Every time I try to boot from dvd it says there is no boot device available. There is no potions in bios to boot from usb. any ideas on how to get this to work?

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Hopefully you used something like "Image Writer" and not just copied the ISO to the DVD because if you did copy it ain't going to work that way. :-)

Edit: Also make the USB or DVD on the Dell Inspiron 531 and not a newer computer to avoid UEFI complications.

Some computers will still boot from USB even if it is not an option displayed in the bootup menu on computers. Might want to have a look at the following link:


Might want to check out his (Dr Philip Yip) other Windows 10 installing tutorials too (includes installing from DVD as well)


@propman I created the dvd on both computers the way I always have burn image. I will have to look at the links tomorrow and try again. I’ll update when I try this.


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Hi Brent,

You are lucky your AMD CPU is 64bit. 4GB RAM is fine for most basic activities.

There are PCI Express ports for graphics card and even a USB 3.0 upgrade,

Before doing anything else update the BIOS. I believe 1.08 is the newest:


I’m presuming you downloaded the ISO file for Windows 10 64bit from Microsoft. Don’t use the DELL version - limited drivers, etc.

Download Rufus 2.18 last version for Vista and Window2s XP


Run this with a USB thumb drive in a USB port.

MBR Partition Scheme and the USB must be NTFS formatted.

Power on and tap F2 at Dell logo. Under “Main” change Legacy Diskette drive A to “None”.

Also, change the first boot priority to “USB drive”.

Hit F10 to” Save and Exit”.

Remember to change the first boot priority back to “hard drive”.

I may have left a small step out so be sure to carefully read the screens in the BIOS.

Let us know how it goes and don’t hesitate to ask more questions.

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Did you burn the ISO image to a DVD-R? Some computers will not recognize a boot media that is DVD-RW.

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Good point Dan!


@dancomptia This is new enough the drive should read -RW just fine. If you were talking a 2005 manufactured drive you may have an issue.

2006-present drives don't struggle with media as badly as the older ones. It's generally bad media on these newer drives.


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Unless your hardware has Win10 drivers across the board, Win10 is not very likely to work correctly no matter how hard you try. It is very picky about certain chipsets and these older systems are the most likely to give you trouble. Don’t buy a key until you see it works without issue (or if you did, don’t waste it).

You generally need to pick up a used Win8 or Win7 computer to get anything acceptable or purchase a entirely new system based on a modern platform. Practically speaking, the odds are generally not on your side.

The general rule is this:

  • Win8->10=good (Part change generally not required)
  • Win7->10=Needs work (Check hardware compatibility; change parts as needed)
  • Vista->10=unlikely to work (exceptions happen, but don’t count on it)
  • WinXP->10=0% chance (exceptions happen, but don’t count on it).

The problem is drivers go bad after 2-3 releases due to age and depreciated APIs and any Vista driver is officially 4 OSes old at this point. Hardware age and API depreciation is the primary problem with going beyond 2-3 releases.

As far as boot media you are better off using a USB drive. Dell computers have a one-time boot menu (F12) that presents the other boot options without a BIOS alteration on just about all of them besides the Pentium III systems (which aren’t even USB bootable without help).

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Hi Nick,

I got Windows 10 - 32bit working fine on a DELL Inspiron 6000 notebook which came with Windows XP Home. It mainly uses Intel chipset, so that probably helped.

The only problem I see for Brent is the NVIDA MCP61 driver which can be downlooade3d from NVIDIA's website below, but is XP driver and only 32bit:


or Vista:


Now the question is will Windows 10 at least install in some crippled state but none the less boot up. If it does try installing the driver in compatibilty mode. If that doesn't work well maybe Windows 7?

Worth a try.


@aactech The issue is W7 is dead as of 1/14/2020 so it'll be a short lived victory with 7. I'm just skeptical it will even work reliably. Win10 needs PAE (since Win8 BTW), which I think these 531's have so that isn't an issue. Exceptions are a thing as you found out, but you got lucky.

Win8 may work if the OP can find a license for it but that's probably the compatibility friendly limit.



Hi Nick,

I still think it is worth a try once he gets his BIOS boot settings sorted out. You never know with Windows, until you try. I'm still blown away by the DELL Inspiron 6000 notebook I upgraded. I mean it is 15 years old! His DELL desktop is only 11 years old. I just love the challenge of reviving "ancient" computers. If Windows installs its generic video driver then that simplifies the whole process. My only "failure" was the HP/Compaq Presario SR1820NX which is 13 years old.

I must take exception to your "...W7 is dead as of 1/14/2020.." comment (in the friendliest way possible) as I believe they are really only marketing statements from MS. Lots of third party security software even protects Windows XP as long as the signatures are updated!

I certainly would not use an "ancient " system for online banking and credit card purchases but email, Googling stuff, word processing - sure why not. SSD's make the old machines very usable.

People restore old cars, etc.

Cheers, Mike


@aactech I wouldn't advise it professionally, but I do understand where you're coming from. If it fails for you, it never left and went into the wild to be blamed later.

From a professional standpoint if it self implodes you're the one at fault - no thanks. On the other it's fair game to warn the OP that it generally doesn't end well but it may work AND to save their key until they see it holds up for a while (1+ months).

My comment on the W7 EOL date reflects more with internet use. If you keep it offline that's fine BUT don't put it online unless you absolutely have to. The extended support companies like Avira and Google provide don't last forever.


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Did you burn the image to the disc (Not just copy ISO over)?

Does the DVD drive work with any other disks? (Reading/Writing data?)

Is it the right version?

(Check your System info, if the system’s 32 Bit then the installer should be 32 Bit, if it’s 64 Bit, then the installer should be 64 Bit.)

If not, try opening the computer up and seeing if the DVD drive is connected (If it’s IDE, it should be in ‘Slave’. If it’s SATA, it should be in any port.) Try also changing connectors (IDE Slave 0 >> Slave 1, or SATA Port 2 >> Port 3, etc) or changing power cables.

If it comes to the worst, buy a USB DVD drive, and try booting from that. Otherwise, you’re going to need a USB stick with the image burned to it.

Good luck!

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