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  • Goodbye Windows 7 (almost), welcome Windows 10!

    Home Forums AskWoody support Windows Windows 10 Goodbye Windows 7 (almost), welcome Windows 10!

    This topic contains 23 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by

     LTL 2 months, 2 weeks ago.

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    • #322818 Reply

      LTL
      AskWoody Plus

      I have been in Group B for years now, trying to keep my Win7 Pro SP1 x64 desktop safe and free from all kind of junk(-ware). As we all know, that road gets harder and harder to thread – despite the great support from Woody & Crew. It’s doable, but it takes me at least an hour per week to keep up with the latest do or don’t updates -although I only run one standalone system at this location- and I’m getting fed up with it. (And I can imagine how much extra work and headaches this must give you company administrators.)
      I also tried out Windows 10 now and then in a virtual box for about two years, and Linux Mint on an external drive for longer. I couldn’t ‘understand’ Win10 at first. Especially in earlier versions it was hard to understand it’s different way of handling processes and all those scattered settings. I find that much easier now.
      Linux Mint is still incomprehensible to me in many ways. That is, if you want to know ALL the ins and outs and be able to tweak the system exactly to your requirements. So probably I won’t be going from Win7 to Mint as a daily driver, but I will keep it for special assignments.
      And because Win7 security updates will stop next January, I decided to take a deeper look at Win10 and really get to know it in the coming months to see if it can be my new daily driver.

      So I bought a second (faster and bigger) internal drive and installed Windows 10 Pro 1809 (build 17763.253) on it, which I downloaded with MS’ media creation tool in December. The installation found my hardware id and accepted my Win7 Pro registration code without problems. (Although all third party reg key finders came up with the wrong code, which was of course not accepted! Luckily I had written down the correct code somewhere years ago.)
      Before installing I cut the LAN connection, set WU to Semi Annual (non-targeted), deferred updates to the maximum possible, and then ‘installed’ WuMgr (Windows Update Manager) to take over the whole update shebang, and reconnected my LAN to download and install the latest Windows Defender updates. (I can highly recommend WuMgr: it’s very capable and easy to manage.)

      I decided not to install any third party anti-virus software. The Norton Suite on my Win7 seems to put a great strain on it – especially on start up. And since the biggest threat nowadays comes not from computer viruses but from different causes, I think that ‘old school’ anti-virus suites have lost much of their practicality. Furthermore, a system native anti-virus/malware suite will probably get more and more efficient over the years, and is much better streamlined with the OS it runs on.
      I then uninstalled almost all [unwanted] apps using Powershell and BCUninstaller. What’s left? Only Edge (which I don’t use) and OneDrive (which I use for business). Crippled Cortana, adjusted all privacy settings, crippled this and that with gpedit, and installed Windows Firewall Control to keep phoning home to a minimum. (WFC is another tool I can recommend. You can block any outgoing traffic, and set it on Learning mode and grant permission as you go.)

      To my surprise I find 1809 quite nice to work with after some further personalization tweaks. (Although it will take time getting used to the square design instead of Win7’s rounded one.)
      It’s much faster than my Win7, and applications seem to run smoother as well.

      So there you go: despite my initial hesitance towards Win10 and all the negative feedback I read, Win10 could well be my next daily driver. BUT: remember that this is on a standalone system – not connected to a company/enterprise network where most of the suffering is felt.
      And of course it remains to be seen how things will play out after coming ‘upgrades’ of Win10….

      I will update this post in coming months to keep you informed about all quirks.
      Cheers, LTL

      • This topic was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by
         LTL. Reason: Typos, always those *!# typos!
      • This topic was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by
         PKCano.
      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #322863 Reply

      bbearren
      AskWoody MVP

      FWIW I was also a Windows 7 Ultimate diehard.  I’ve been dual booting Windows for years (IMHO there is no better tool for working on Windows problems than a working installation of Windows that can dig into the problem Windows installation directly).  I’ve also been creating regular (at least weekly) drive images for years.

      So when Windows 8 came along, I upgraded the secondary Windows 7 Ultimate dual boot installation to Windows 8 for a look-see.  I didn’t like the Start Screen even a little bit, but found StartIsBack for $2.99 (it’s now $3.99) and installed it.  That made Windows 8 more palatable, and I still tinkered with it, but Windows 7 was still my daily driver.

      When Windows 8.1 came along, I upgraded the Windows 8 installation, also upgraded StartIsBack to + (it was a free upgrade), and began tinkering with it.  It got better over time, but Windows 7 remained my daily driver.  But Windows 8.1 with StartIsBack+ looked a lot like Windows 7, so much so that at times I had to double check to see which version I was logged into.  That caught my attention.

      So then Windows 10.  Same scenario, upgraded StartIsBack to ++(again, free upgrade), and began tinkering with “the last version of Windows” (Ha!).  I’m now on 1809, and Windows 10 has been my daily driver since 1709.  My dual boot is now Windows 10 1809 on both sides.  I built a NAS box some time back with 4 3TB HDD’s in a Raid 10 array, and Windows 10 on an mSATA SSD as the OS.

      My Dell Latitude E5420 (which I use in my project work) also dual boots Windows 10 1809.  When I connect to the company network via WiFi, Network in File Explorer starts growing as other PC’s, network printers and network printer/scanner/email behemoths begin showing themselves as available.  That company is a multi-national, with thousands of PC’s, workstations and other network hardware in the two networks it maintains, and all the PC’s and workstations run locked-down Windows 7 Enterprise.

      All that is to say that I don’t have any major issues whatsoever with Windows 10 1809, nor does a locked-down huge company network that is connected at the hip to Windows 7 Enterprise and Microsoft Exchange Server.

      I still do no-less-than weekly drive images of all my Windows 10 installations, all my data is duplicated at least daily (some of it twice daily) in multiple locations/machines, and periodically offline HDD’s.  I don’t worry about updates, because my last drive image is no more than a week old, and I can retrieve my data at will.  I use O&O Shutup10 to control the phone-home stuff.

      I still have Windows 7 Ultimate on my Dell Latitude D800 (almost 16 years old), and Windows 10 won’t support the CPU.  It runs Windows 7 faster than it runs its originally installed Windows XP Pro, and connects readily with my home network of Windows 10 machines.

      For everything else, Windows 10 1809 is better, faster, and more stable.  For me, it’s always been about my data, and the OS has always been secondary.  I keep my data protected, and if the newer OS lets me access/produce my data better and faster, that’s what I’m after.

      The first release of 1809 had no effect on my data because of my protection regimen, I only upgraded one of my installations, and when Microsoft pulled it, I just restored my latest image of 1803 and kept on truckin’ until Microsoft got 1809 straightened out.

      It’s my daily driver, and I’m fine with that.

      Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!
      "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow
      "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns

      "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware

      • This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by
         bbearren.
      • This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by
         bbearren.
      4 users thanked author for this post.
      • #322891 Reply

        LTL
        AskWoody Plus

        For me, it’s always been about my data, and the OS has always been secondary.
        That should be the case for me as well, but I must confess I find usability and eye candy also important.

        • #322970 Reply

          Cybertooth
          AskWoody Lounger

          For me, it’s always been about my data, and the OS has always been secondary.

          That should be the case for me as well, but I must confess I find usability and eye candy also important.

          Very true on usability and eye candy. I was an early adopter of Windows 10, joining the Insiders program. The hope was that MS would fix the UI that they ruined in Windows 8.

          Sadly, they didn’t fix it. Whenever I had more than one window visible at the same time, the flat 2D look and the hair-thin window borders surrounded by a blinding white made it difficult to tell where one window ended and the next one started. I gave Windows 10 a real try, using it for half a year, but eventually abandoned it. It was too much work to tell what’s what, and too hard on my eyes.

          My wife is on Windows 10 and one or twice a week she’ll ask me to do some troubleshooting on her PC. To this date, I find it annoying no end to work with its inadequately delineated windows and solid-color title bars.

          I tried a program that somebody devised to try to recreate the beautiful (and practical) Aero Glass look for Windows 10, but it was far from a user-friendly experience, I felt like I needed an advanced degree in computing to apply it. And then every so often the next version of Windows 10 would break it and I’d have to wait for the developer to issue a fix, then run through the whole rigamarole all over again. It, and Windows 10 itself, was more trouble than it’s worth for me.

           

          2 users thanked author for this post.
          • #322983 Reply

            LTL
            AskWoody Plus

            Apart from its squareness, I find 1809 quite easy to make more pleasing to the eye. It even has a dark mode, did you know? (I don’t use it.)
            I also tried AeroGlass and didn’t like it either. That kind of tweak software has always been instable.

            So either you (I, for that matter) adapt to the looks or run from it.

            1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #322905 Reply

      anonymous

      The Norton Suite on my Win7 seems to put a great strain on it – especially on start up.

      Norton puts a strain on any system, the file scanning on opening has been the slowest process for a decade. Also you did not elaborate how is it that you find Mint incomprehensible; Did you enjoy having to invest so much time setting up Windows 10?

      • #322925 Reply

        LTL
        AskWoody Plus

        I don’t agree. Norton is just one of many too big and deeply embedded av’s for the OS to handle smoothly.
        And regarding Mint: No one tells you to activate the firewall, in set up you’re asked if you want to update Grub, which if you do will ruin your boot, without knowledge of Terminal you won’t get far either, etc. I think setting up Mint and keeping it up-to-date is just as laboursome as is Windows 7/10.

        • #322999 Reply

          Arvy
          AskWoody Lounger

          in set up you’re asked if you want to update Grub, which if you do will ruin your boot

          How did it do that?!  It certainly shouldn’t and doesn’t in most cases.  My guess would be either that you were trying to mix UEFI-GPT booting with BIOS-MBR booting, or else your system configuration wasn’t properly prepared for it (secure boot off, compatibility mode support setting, etc).  Those are the most usual causes of boot problems for any system, along with Windows so-called “hybrid” boot feature which must be disabled before doing anything else.

          That’s very unfortunate.  If you’ve had that kind of initial experience, I can certainly understand your reluctance to repeat it.

          Asus ROG Maximus XI Code board; Intel i9-9900K CPU; 32 GB DDR4-3600 RAM; Nvidia GTX1080 GPU; 2x512 GB Samsung 970 Pro M.2 NVMe; 2x2 TB Samsung 860 Pro SSDs; Windows 10.1809; Linux Mint 19.1; Terabyte Backup & Recovery
          • This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by
             Arvy.
          • This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by
             Arvy.
    • #322913 Reply

      bbearren
      AskWoody MVP

      For me, it’s always been about my data, and the OS has always been secondary.” That should be the case for me as well, but I must confess I find usability and eye candy also important.

      If Windows 7 were more usable than Windows 10, I’d still be running Windows 7.  One of the advantages of dual booting is that one can compare OS’s on the same hardware, not real hardware versus virtual hardware.

      That’s what caused the “wait a minute, where am I?” thing when I was dual booting Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 Ultimate.  If a difference in usability isn’t obvious, what is the difference?  For me, it’s in features and/or stability.

      Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!
      "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow
      "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns

      "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware

      2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #322919 Reply

        LTL
        AskWoody Plus

        LOL

        Yep, I recognize that!

    • #322926 Reply

      Arvy
      AskWoody Lounger

      To my surprise I find 1809 quite nice to work with after some further personalization tweaks.

      Welcome aboard.  Like you, I tried for a while to maintain earlier Windows versions while dual booting Windows 10 for tentative “exploration” purposes.  And also like you, I installed Linux Mint on the basis that, in the longer run, I’d have to decide either to accept the future as designed by Microsoft or switch to something else.

      In the circumstances, I decided quite soon that continuing to maintain older Windows versions just wasn’t worth the bother.  I agree entirely that, after a somewhat shaky start, W10.1809 has been a pleasant surprise, at least in terms of reliability and stability if not any spectacular new features.  Its SSU and LCU updates have been relatively minor and free of “glitches” which is far more important than any additional “bells and whistles” so far as I’m concerned.  Nevertheless, I think my longer-term decision will be for the Linux option.

      Linux can be a little bit intimidating at first, at least some of which is merely its reputation as a “geeky” OS.  But Mint does quite a good job of making the transition easy for Windows users.  Don’t let yourself be discouraged by “ALL the ins and outs” and  “tweaking the system”.  It runs well “out of the box” in most cases, and there is plenty of friendly help available to assist with learning the finer points as you go along.  In most cases, any problems that arise have more to do with things like multi-booting and/or UEFI-GPT issues than they do with Linux Mint itself.

      Asus ROG Maximus XI Code board; Intel i9-9900K CPU; 32 GB DDR4-3600 RAM; Nvidia GTX1080 GPU; 2x512 GB Samsung 970 Pro M.2 NVMe; 2x2 TB Samsung 860 Pro SSDs; Windows 10.1809; Linux Mint 19.1; Terabyte Backup & Recovery
      • This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by
         Arvy.
      • This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by
         Arvy.
      3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #322932 Reply

        LTL
        AskWoody Plus

        Well, the thing is: IF something goes wrong in Windows, for the great part I know how to solve it – sometimes by unorthodox means. I often don’t know how to solve trouble in Mint – when it occurs.
        One has to have quite profound knowledge to administer the correct commands in Terminal. Which I don’t have and are hard to find. (Because people on forums who seem to understand things much better, often contradict each other.)

        • #322937 Reply

          Arvy
          AskWoody Lounger

          No question that long familiarity with fixing Windows issues can make a big difference in anyone’s willingness to start over in strange new territory.  In my own case, however, I consider it very important to have the option rather than being held captive by Microsoft’s views on increasing their profits at the expense of my freedom to control my own personal computer.  So I’m willing to put forth the learning effort (and to ask a lot of “dumb questions” as part of the process) in order create that freedom of choice.  On the other hand, I can certainly understand that not everyone will consider it worthwhile.

          And yes, you’re right about using the Mint forums to get answers.  Even with the best of good intentions, not all “helpers” are equally well-informed.  Learning to distinguish among good and not so good sources is definitely an important part of the learning process.  But no more with Linux than with anything else, I think.

          Asus ROG Maximus XI Code board; Intel i9-9900K CPU; 32 GB DDR4-3600 RAM; Nvidia GTX1080 GPU; 2x512 GB Samsung 970 Pro M.2 NVMe; 2x2 TB Samsung 860 Pro SSDs; Windows 10.1809; Linux Mint 19.1; Terabyte Backup & Recovery
          • This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by
             Arvy.
          3 users thanked author for this post.
          • #322954 Reply

            LTL
            AskWoody Plus

            I too find freedom of control very important. But till now, with the help of registry/services/gpedit/powershell/etc. tweaks I’m still able to hold MS back – for as long as it lasts. If I won’t be able to do that anymore, I will of course switch to… probably Mint.
            I also put effort in learning and asking stupid questions, but didn’t succeed in stepping up to a much higher level. I would need a Linux training for that.

            P.S. Which sources do you recommend?

            • This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by
               LTL. Reason: Darn typos
            • #322987 Reply

              Arvy

              Well, a lot depends on the individual’s areas of greatest interest which, in turn, depends heavily on what that individual wants to do beyond just getting the Linux OS itself installed and running.  Mint’s initial setup seldom requires anything more than “point and click” and fill in a few blanks.  There is a wealth of information available from Mint’s own community pages including lots of ideas and tutorials.  Start with the tutorials and most of them will suggest sources for additional information that may be of interest.

              The Mint forums aren’t bad either.  Probably best if you need an answer to a very specific issue that you’ve actually encountered.  In such cases it’s important to state your question very clearly and be prepared to provide operational and system details as requested.  (In fact, quick glib responses that don’t ask for any details may be suspect.  You’ll soon get to know the real experts in their own forum areas.)  Helpers who request details will usually include copy/paste command instructions to get the required information and so help you to learn some terminal inputs/outputs at the same time as you solve the problem.  But with Mint’s extensive GUI capabilities and many Windows similarities, there’s no great urgency about becoming a terminal command expert.  Just take it at your own pace, one step at a time

              2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #323037 Reply

      LTL
      AskWoody Plus

      Thanks for all the Linux/Mint input, guys. But let’s not linger on it and keep this topic on Win10/1809.

    • #323065 Reply

      agoldhammer
      AskWoody Plus

      I was “forced” into Win 10 from Win 8.1 when Adobe Lightroom would not update to a version I needed for a new camera.  The “explanation” is/was that there is Win 8.1 dll that causes a conflict and Adobe assumes everyone will be on Win 10 these days.  I was a little miffed at this but bit the bullet and updated three weeks ago by doing a fresh install (it also gave me the opportunity to buy a larger OS SSD).  Since MSFT only offers an ISO for 1809, that is what I installed and it went really fast.  I don’t have a lot of application programs so it only took a couple of hours to get the programs reinstalled and configured; almost painless.  I’m happy with everything I’ve seen in Win 10.  Boot times and application loading are much faster and Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop updated right away to the version I need.  Since I run some command line programs, I was happy at how easy it is to configure the PATH in Windows 10.

      I have another PC running my television and that one will be on Win 7 forever since it runs Windows Media Center (WMC) and a cable card so I don’t need a set top box from Verizon.  Since I only use this for television and streaming Netflix and Amazon, I’m not too worried when Win 7 is no longer supported.  I have a system back up plan and spare parts just in case there is a hardware issue down the line.  It is really too bad that MSFT stopped development of WMC as it is a great application.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      LTL
      • #323093 Reply

        LTL
        AskWoody Plus

        I don’t know if it’s still the case, but a few months ago it was still possible to download 1803 using the OSX user agent trick.

    • #323101 Reply

      Zaphyrus
      AskWoody Lounger

      the only thing you will hate  are feature updates.

      those giant updates  have the risk of bricking your computer if you dont have the right hardware.
      i wish there was a way to avoid them, other than that I am happy with Windows 10 too However regular Updates can be controlled in lots of ways

      Just someone who don't want Windows to mess with its computer.
      • This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by
         Zaphyrus.
      • This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by
         Zaphyrus.
    • #323139 Reply

      Cybertooth
      AskWoody Lounger

      Before installing I cut the LAN connection, set WU to Semi Annual (non-targeted), deferred updates to the maximum possible, and then ‘installed’ WuMgr (Windows Update Manager) to take over the whole update shebang, and reconnected my LAN to download and install the latest Windows Defender updates. (I can highly recommend WuMgr: it’s very capable and easy to manage.)

      Crippled Cortana, adjusted all privacy settings, crippled this and that with gpedit, and installed Windows Firewall Control to keep phoning home to a minimum. (WFC is another tool I can recommend. You can block any outgoing traffic, and set it on Learning mode and grant permission as you go.)

      @LTL, are this and this the correct links for the two programs that you discuss in the quote above? They look pretty nifty!

       

      • #323143 Reply

        LTL
        AskWoody Plus

        Yes and yes, and again yes: they are smart little fellows.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #323183 Reply

      Ascaris
      AskWoody_MVP

      As long as you are happy with Windows 10, then it is a good solution for you, and I’m glad you found it to be a good fit for you.  It doesn’t matter what other people say if you find that something works for you!

      Linux is pretty different than Windows in terms of the nitty-gritty admin stuff, but if you have become skilled in troubleshooting and fixing Windows, picking up Linux should be no problem. Some things are just computer things, and the same logic that applied to Windows applies directly to Linux.  Whether the settings you are looking for are in a .conf file or in the registry, they’re still settings that work like computer settings either way.

      When I say picking up Linux should not be a problem, I’m not talking about being able to rattle off all of the text commands from memory– I can’t do that myself.  I can, though, remember them enough to know which one I have to search for when I have a given problem.  Remembering the exact syntax of everything is still something I usually do not do even after using Linux for a few years now.

      A lot of the more arcane things with Windows were like this too.  I had to look them up when it was time to use them, but I remembered enough to be able to form a search that located what I needed in the first few hits in the search engine (which currently is Startpage for me, thanks to the suggestions of another Woodyite here).  One example is that I remember that there is a command that can be used to turn the F8 function during boot back on for Windows 8/10.  I remember that it uses bcdedit and {legacy}.  I don’t remember it exactly, but I know it’s there, so if I search “restore f8 boot windows 10 bcdedit, ” or something similar, it should pop up easily.

      The easy access to the internet makes this a lot easier.  Back before it was possible to throw in a few keywords and get an answer in seconds, it was more important to have references on hand, i.e. books, and I would jot down the syntax of commands I used to use later so I could refer to my notes where necessary.  Now that it is possible to be lazier and still get better results, I keep my Google-fu chops honed more than trying to memorize every command that comes my way.  I do remember some of them, but I mostly use the GUI in Linux, so it’s not like I am in the terminal all day.  I probably use it only slightly more than I did “cmd” in Windows.  Most of the time, graphical tools are available, but it’s nice to not have to depend on them too.

       

      Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.15.4 & Kubuntu 18.04).

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #323286 Reply

      Lars220
      AskWoody Lounger

      Thanks LTL for starting this topic, there is good information here. Like many others, my current base is Win7, but experimenting with LM19 and Win10 v1803.523 (Jan 8, 2019). Here are two links that may be on topic can interesting, the zdnet has “Option 4: Bite the bullet and upgrade.”

      https://www.zdnet.com/article/what-is-your-companys-windows-7-exit-strategy/

      win10 guru recommends dual boot as a possibility:

      https://win10.guru/windows-7-countdown-has-started-upgrade-now/

      I continue with Win7 as long as possible, and in meantime I will consider upgrading the VirtualBox 1803 to 1809 pretty soon, looks like it is stable now. Thanks for discussion.

       

      2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #323348 Reply

        LTL
        AskWoody Plus

        Thanks for the thanks, Lars.
        I’m getting to like Win10’s design more after a few days. When I now boot back to Win7 it somehow looks a bit dated. Figure that!

        Yes, I recently got to ‘know’ win10.guru and I like it. Ed Tittel and Kari Finn have a sometimes different view on matters, which is always refreshing. It was one of their articles that pointed me to Windows Update Manager.

        1 user thanked author for this post.

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