I bought a notebook with Windows 10 Home and upgraded to Windows 10 Pro. This is my journey

I got it from the shop and pressed the power button as quickly as I could. It wouldn't start. I tried several times the power button. I came to the conclusion that I had to connect it to the charger. It worked.

The setup process of Windows 10 started. It had McAfee preinstalled (yuck!) with other software. I was already thinking I have to do a clean install. I used the option that comes with the operating system, Reset this PC, which is described as: "If your PC isn't running well, resetting it might help. This lets you choose to keep your files or remove them, and then reinstalls Windows". I'll give it a try, I said. The process took a lot of time (a few hours) but the device had the same state, it reinstalled all the junk. Also, it was Windows 10 Home.

I though that I really need to do a clean install this time. I already had an USB drive ready with Windows 10 Pro so I started the process immediately. I deleted all the partitions and started the process. It took about half an hour. After I setup my environment, I though that I have to encrypt my drives.

I searched online for ways to encrypt a Windows device. I got a lot of answers and this is were confusion appeared. TrueCrypt, an open source option, is considered unsecured because the owners left a weird message, stopped the developing and disappeared. Some still trust older versions of TrueCrypt, but not the latest. Some have moved to VeraCrypt, a fork of TrueCrypt. BitLocker, Microsoft's encryption software integrated in Windows, has it's own share of conspiracies. Nobody trusts any software of this kind, or any software at all, especially closed source. And why should anybody do that? Companies have showed a lot of times that all they want is profit. The end user is always left, well, at the end. :)

Although I felt confused, I decided I want to try BitLocker anyway. The major problem is that BitLocker is a feature available only in Windows 10 Pro (Windows Vista and Windows 7 Enterprise and Ultimate editions, Windows 8 and later Pro and Enterprise editions and Windows Server 2008 and later) which is extremely weird considering that Apple, the competition, has encryption enabled already in all of their devices. It's a different business model anyway.

"I have to upgrade my Windows 10 Home to Windows 10 Pro", I said. I had a few options. First option, the cheapest, I can install a cracked version of Windows 8 Pro and upgrade it to a genuine Windows 10 Pro. Second, buy a Windows 7 key and upgrade it to Windows 10 Pro. Third, buy the upgrade from Windows Store. Fourth and last, buy a new license of Windows 10 Pro.

I decided to buy the upgrade. Price was 99.99 US dollars. I start the process to buy. It asks card details, but I can't change the country. The store was set in US region and I was in Romania. I clicked next anyway and it gave me an error. I searched how to change the region. It's pretty easy, just open the Start menu and type "change region". You set the country and the store refreshes. I did this and I was surprised. The price almost doubled. It was almost the price of a new license of Windows 10 Pro in Romania. What the hell, Microsoft? Then I thought, if it costs more in another region, maybe there's a region where it costs less. :) I tried different regions until I got bored and decided that US region was the cheapest (I found one with 3500 US dollars). I used the Paypal option to buy the upgrade and in total I was charged 108 US dollars.

Microsoft's web store sucks. It is really hard to find the page where all the Windows products are. Same thing for the Office products. They were made without thinking about the user experience. Just use Google to search for the licence. It's very hard to compare the difference Office licences.

After I bought the upgrade, the process of upgrading started. It lasted about 10 minutes and a restart. Then I activated BitLocker for both drives. It lasted about 1 hour in total. Every time I logged I was asked to type the password for the second drive so I activated auto-unlock on Windows startup. Now I just have to type the user login password and both drives are unlocked, not just the OS one.

Why encrypt the drive? Because if the device is stolen, if they remove the drive from the device, they can't access the data.

Why not? Because if the drive has errors and is encrypted, you can't recover your data.

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