Not every PC is cut out for an upgrade to Windows 10, and if you’re seeing error codes 0xC1900200 – 0x20008 or 0xC1900202 – 0x20008, those could be Microsoft’s way of telling you so.
Although Microsoft is offering free Windows 10 upgrades until July 29 for all consumers running Windows 7 or higher, some machines won’t meet the spec requirements, especially if they’re older and have already upgraded from a previous operating system such as Windows XP or Vista.
Here’s everything you need to know about whether your PC is cut out for Windows 10.
Windows 10 upgrade: System requirements
The easiest way to check your PC’s upgrade eligibility is through the Get Windows 10 app:
Click the Windows update icon on the lower-right corner of the desktop.
In the Get Windows 10 app, click the options button (which looks like three horizontal lines) on the upper-left corner.
Click Check your PC under the Getting the upgrade section.
This section should tell you whether your PC is fully compatible with Windows 10. For more information on the compatibility report, see this Microsoft help page.
Graphics: Must support DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver
Display resolution: 800×600
RAM: 1GB for 32-bit systems, 2GB for 64-bit
Free storage: 16GB for 32-bit systems, 20GB for 64-bit
To find out your PC’s CPU and RAM in Windows 8, search for System from the Start screen, then select the System menu. In Windows 7, head to Control Panel > System.
As for your graphics specs, open the Run command (Windows key + R), type dxdiag and hit Enter. You’ll find DirectX version and WDDM driver under the “Display” tab.
Other Windows 10 upgrade requirements
The spec sheet doesn’t tell the whole story. Microsoft notes that “driver and firmware support, application compatibility, and feature support” could all affect whether a PC can upgrade to Windows 10. Again, the Get Windows 10 app and the installation process should alert you to any potential problems.
You can also contact your computer manufacturer about any upgrade eligibility or other issues. Microsoft’s OEM and vendor index provides support page links, email addresses, and phone numbers for just about every PC maker you can think of.
One last thing to keep in mind: Even when an old computer meets the requirements on paper, it may not perform well enough in practice. If Microsoft is withholding the upgrade, it may be doing you a favor.
Jared Newman has been helping folks make sense of technology for over a decade, writing for PCWorld, TechHive, and elsewhere. He also publishes two newsletters, Advisorator for straightforward tech advice and Cord Cutter Weekly for saving money on TV service.