Upgrading to Windows 11

By Bob Weiss

If you have a computer running Windows 10, you may have seen a notification that your computer can be upgraded to Windows 11.  If you can, you probably should.  Not all Windows 10 computers are capable of running Windows 11.  This is a an issue related to the presence or absence of certain security related hardware in your computer’s motherboard.  If you have it, you can, and if you don’t you can’t.  All new computers are shipping with Windows 11 installed.

I really like the new Windows 11, although I am still using my trusty Windows 10 laptop.  My business partner loves her new Windows 11 notebook.  After ditching the old Windows 7 menu, and dicking around with the new “Metro” tiled menu system in Windows 8 (ugh!) and 8.1 (oof!) and then the changed iteration in Windows 10, they finally get it right in Windows 11.  No more screen hogging tiles, just normal icons arranged in a useful manner.  My recommendation is is to upgrade to 11 if you can, and feel safe to purchase Windows 11 if you need a new computer.

Whether you are buying new or upgrading, the installation requires a lot of information in order to complete the set-up and customization of the operating system.  Here is a list of the setting you need to enter when setting up Windows 11 for the first time.

  • Country – US of course
  • Keyboard layout – US
  • Second keyboard – no need unless you actually use both Qwerty and Dvorak keyboards, or a foreign language keyboard.
  • Network – Wi-Fi or wired
  • Check for updates – go ahead and let the operating system update itself.  This step can take time.
  • The system will reboot.
  • Next you enter your license key if you have one. You only need this if  you are upgrading with a purchased operating system. The key is a 25 character string divided into 5 sets of 5 characters.  This is printed on the package you purchased, do not throw it away. With a new PC and with upgrades you should not need this
  • Name  your device – every PC needs a name, and it can be whatever you want.
  • The computer will restart again.
  • If you have a Microsoft account, you will need that information to set up your user ID and password.  If your email address ends with hotmail.com, msn.com, live.com, or outlook.com, you have a Microsoft account. Your Microsoft email address and email password should be your Microsoft account credentials.  If you have an Office365 or Microsoft365 subscription, you have a Microsoft account.  USE THAT ACCOUNT user ID and password.  Creating a new account when you already have one can lead to madness, and cause problems when you try to install your subscription to the new machine.
  • You Microsoft PIN or password
  • Accept data sharing for service and support purposes.
  • The next section lets you customize your experience, take a minute to look, but I just usually accept the default settings.
  • If you have a Microsoft365 or Office365 subscription, AND if  you used the Microsoft account you already have, it will semi-automatically download and install in your new computer.
  • You will be prompted to run updates again, to get updates for Office.
  • One more reboot, and you should be ready to rock and roll.

Good luck and happy computing.  Let me know how your new Windows 11 experience is working out for you.  You can always write a comment below the article on my website, or drop me a line at bob@wyzguys.com.



About the Author:

I am a cybersecurity and IT instructor, cybersecurity analyst, pen-tester, trainer, and speaker. I am an owner of the WyzCo Group Inc. In addition to consulting on security products and services, I also conduct security audits, compliance audits, vulnerability assessments and penetration tests. I also teach Cybersecurity Awareness Training classes. I work as an information technology and cybersecurity instructor for several training and certification organizations. I have worked in corporate, military, government, and workforce development training environments I am a frequent speaker at professional conferences such as the Minnesota Bloggers Conference, Secure360 Security Conference in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, the (ISC)2 World Congress 2016, and the ISSA International Conference 2017, and many local community organizations, including Chambers of Commerce, SCORE, and several school districts. I have been blogging on cybersecurity since 2006 at http://wyzguyscybersecurity.com

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