• Time to upgrade to Windows 10?

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    I’m getting more and more of this kind of inquiry. From NG: I live in a village of 3500 homes in the heart of the UK and write articles for our local
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    • #41744

      Great description, Woody…. Also it’s a bit of a gamble updating specially for the ‘silvers’ as NG puts it, myself included… there are several things one needs to do before upgrading…. ie. Image backup and also being prepared to replace/renew drivers being 2 things that come to mind. Also perhaps reviewing the current software.
      Guess it would be good to have a list of things…specific to our needs and our machines… each one of us being different in some ways. But the biggest obstacle is the possibility of problems besetting the actual upgrade itself. Know there are many for whom it’s been plain sailing…… but also know of many personally who have become ‘unstuck’ by it all. I understand also that Win7 and Win8.1 are going to be supported until 2020. So it gives one a certain peace of mind to know that, and when the time comes
      maybe a new PC/laptop will take one through to Win10. and of course hopefully by then a lot of the current ‘problems’ will have been ironed out! Just my 2 bits!!! LT

    • #41745

      Totally agree with LT’s post here.
      One way is to backup everything and be prepared as well as possible before biting the bullet and upgrading in place, but for those less experienced technically or less inclined to spend the time with the issues arising from an upgrade in place, waiting for Windows 10 to mature a bit and buying a new computer designed for Windows 10 when the time comes might be the best option.

    • #41746

      I just did a rollback to Win7 from a Win10 forced upgrade that happened last Sat to a couple of old geezers (ages 99 and 73). They are the average Joe Public.

      They knew nothing about creating a set of restore disks when they got the new PCs (desktop and laptop). I did that for them today.

      They had no backups, would not know to do them even if they had known the upgrade was coming.

      They had the GWX app icon in the the Taskbar, kept X’ing out of the popup upgrade offers.
      Had no idea of how it happened to them.
      Had no idea how to roll back to Win7, or if it was possible.

      Did not know what to do with the tiles in the menu.

      The upgrade hosed their network connections.
      They had no idea how to fix it.
      They called their ISP and their Dish TV services – to no avail.

      They could not get on the Internet or receive e-mail (which is the main use of their computers).

      Thank you Microsoft!!!!

      I rolled the desktop back to Win7 and installed GWX Control Panel on both computers.
      I will add them to my “protected” list and deal with them every Patch Tues. until this goes away (hold my breath!).

      What an UNNECESSARY trauma!!!

    • #41747

      “They have basic needs”

      I recommend you to grab another computer (or a virtual machine) and try Windows 10. Then try Debian with Cinnamon desktop environment. Then write down your experience as an old geyser.

      You can also get 2 laptops and visit some friends asking them to use for an hour and say which one they would pick and why.

      And of course, please don’t forget to mention that Windows 10 includes a “privacy policy upgrade” too.

    • #41748

      I’ll second your motion on agreement CH but I’d like to dwell a bit deeper on something you said… “a new computer designed for Windows 10”.

      I tried installing Win 10 on two older systems that M$ gave the all clear to and they both failed miserably. One of them through the automatic update chute and the other using the ISO. Both were imaged before beginning and I’m happy to say they were both quickly returned to life as usual with Win 7.

      The smartest choice in my mind is to have a computer that was designed for Windows 10 and not trusting the word of M$ that the one you have will work just fine. From everything I’ve seen along the campaign trail M$ will stoop to any level imaginable to get their Win-X numbers up!

    • #41749

      Extended support for Win7 SP1 ends January 14, 2020
      Extended support for Win8.1 ends January 10, 2023

    • #41750

      I think you have a good case for setting those computers to Never check for updates, at least until July 29.

    • #41751

      The upgrade is a case of hit and miss. I have two laptops at home, one from 2010 and another one from 2011, both running Windows 10 now. They both have i7 CPUs Gen 1 with 8 GB RAM and Gen 2 respectively now with 16 GB RAM which I need for running virtual machines on top of Windows 10, which may be the secret for being good enough for Windows 10. Both laptops tended to run their CPUs at full speed continuously and get overheated for no reason and after applying the configuration which Woody posted on my behalf in relation to core parking few months ago, now they run hot only when the situation require full power.

    • #41752

      I’m a dyed-in-the-wool geek, lifetime software engineer – 40 years experience and with some gray hair.

      At the moment I’m the hands-on owner of a small software engineering business. I have several computers and run Windows 7 and 8.1 on them.

      My workstation running 8.1 is powerful enough that I can run any number of virtual machines, and I occasionally boot up every OS from XP to Windows 10 in a VMware virtual machine.

      Like Woody here, I’ve a lifetime of Windows experience, and I’ve always tweaked my Windows setups to derive the most value from them. That’s what led me to using – and liking – Windows 8.1 for the workstation.

      Keeping with my tradition, I’ve tweaked Windows 10 in a virtual machine test environment into something that’s suitable for my engineering use. I’ve even made the desktop look elegant by resurrecting Aero Glass.



      After all that I have chosen **NOT** to upgrade the OSs on my workstation nor small business server from 8.1 or 7.


      Windows 10 is NOT better – in any way. It actually reduces functionality I need when carefully compared to its predecessors. With every new build they are actively removing things I need.

      But even worse, Windows 10 will be updated by Microsoft to change things at least every 6 months. They’re about to do it again. This will mean many of my tweaks will be overridden/reverted. Things I have tested and found acceptable may be changed.

      Things I have gotten used to will be different.

      I’ve actually written a 1000+ line re-tweaker script to return an upgraded system substantially back to a good state, yet I STILL won’t choose to rely on Windows 10.

      The promise of instability is simply too much to bear. Near as I can tell, THAT at least is not age-related. As a pro user I can’t stand it. But casual users I’ve known seem to want their computer for THEIR use substantially all the time as well.

      Ask your oldsters whether they want to have to reinstall their OS every so often, or whether they want to deal with Windows Updates taking over their system – and making it unavailable for their own use – every few days.


    • #41753

      Advice to the UK: Do not update to Windows 10 as it is an open book to your computer life. Beware of Microsoft as they are angry because their Win 10 spying is not tolerated by approximately 70% of the world public, Microsoft is slowly loosing their bid on Windows 10,

    • #41754

      Obviously I don’t agree with your post – it isn’t supported by proof positive – but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it! Win10 definitely snoops more than its predecessors, particularly if you turn on Cortana. But nobody knows what information is being sent, or how it’s being used.

      I would guess that Win10 spying is ignored by 70% of the world public, and that’s too bad, really. People should understand what they’re getting in to with Win10.

    • #41755

      Points well taken — as one geyser to another…

    • #41756

      I think you missed my point CH.

      You and I realize it’s a hit & miss scenario but the average non-technical person with the mid level to low end computer they bought a few years ago are just taking the word of M$ telling them that life’s going to be GREAT in Win 10 land… just click here to hop aboard!

      I’ve told every person that’s asked for my advice to NOT upgrade their present systems from Win 7 to 10 regardless of the hardware under the hood. If you really feel you’ve got to have Win 10 then buy a new system that was designed specifically for it. And I even offer to buy their Win 7 systems from them if they buy new ones.

      If M$ were forced to provide full support or reimburse users for what they’ve had to pay to recover from the failures how anxious do you think they’d be to push this GWX campaign as obnoxiously hard as they have and still are?

    • #41757

      The problem is not what is or is not being sent, but what can be sent. With the telemetry (spying) infrastructure in Win10 (and fully patched Win7 and Win8.1 machines), we have no idea what is able to be sent now and especially with a minor tweak of a forced update.

      I do know that when a Word or Excel document crashes in Win7, if you look at the file created when Windows asks if you want to share it with MS, you will often find some of your text or other data that was open at the time during the crash. Is this all sent when it asks to send to MS? Maybe and maybe not – but it was in the files that were created to be sent.

      When IE crashes it send a lot of the website data (url, html, etc.) you were at that might have contributed to or caused the crash.

      This can be a treasure trove for anyone or organization that chooses to exploit and analyze it. Many countries do not have the protections of law for this activity.

      I never allow any data to be sent if I am asked. I used to allow the Win7 Action Center to send problems, but in 5 years have never heard boo back, even though I have often found solutions on the web (this site included) the same day.

      I am doing an update for a friends laptop, but I am preparing a series of live USB Linux images as Noel said above to see if she would prefer those. She hates her daughters Win10 and uses an iPad for most of her routine surfing. I already introduced her to LibreOffice and she is using it with no compatibility with her MSOffice experiences.

      For me the forced updates and spying are the major issues, but the forced advertisements (great! tiled spam from the OS!) leaves a foul taste also. To me Cortana is an alleged “solution” to a problem I never had, but I archived and filed documents and email in an organized fashion and never used the default Office save feature instead I always used “save as”.

    • #41758

      What CAN be sent? That’s easy. Everything. It’s the same with your phone, your car and your refrigerator….

    • #41759

      I am wondering what is the percentage of those who have their entire life documented by themselves on Facebook but at the same time are complaining about the amount of telemetry in Windows.

    • #41760

      True. And you should add the ones who use Chrome. Truth is, we don’t know what’s being collected – and anybody with an open mike (as in Siri or Alexa – or Cortana) is certainly at risk.

      I think this is going to be one of the big political questions of the next decade.

    • #41761

      Before anyone agrees to a W-10 update, they should search for the drivers their PC will need. It is a flat-out lie that W-10 includes all necessary drivers. Just as a test, I replaced the system drive of five-year-old PC with a wiped drive and installed W-10 from a Microsoft disc which can be downloaded from Microsoft for free. I used another PC to search for the Intel drivers I would need. There were no drivers available for the on-chip graphics, but this particular system had an NVIDIA graphics card and drivers are available for it. Realtek drivers are available on its website. Chipset and LAN drivers are available on intel.com if you know where to look, but a proper ME driver was not available (I used the one for W-8 and got a BSOD). I took a chance on an ME driver advertised for 3rd Generation and later, even though this processor is 2nd Generation. It seemed to work, but I only used it on and off for two days. If I did not have an NVIDIA card, I would have been forced to settle for the generic Microsoft driver which would probably have worked for most purposes. W-10 did not supply an ME driver, which was indicated by Device Manager, though some Intel personnel believe that having no ME driver is acceptable. No chipset or LAN drivers were indicated in Installed Programs, but W-10 obviously installed generic ones. After installing the drivers I found, I ran XTU and saw that CPU usage percent was in the 90s, different from normal where the meter is pegged at 100%, leading me to believe that Turbo Boost was not working properly.

      I agree with the people who advised to move to Linux. I recommend Fedora and Debian.

    • #41762

      That is what I was driving at.

      The privacy issue is still young enough to have not generated enough case law, but the implications are clear. I do know that vehicle black boxes, GPS systems and smartphone photo geo-tags and tracks have all been successfully used in divorce cases against wondering spouses and in criminal and civil cases. Employees are being asked by private industry to disclose social media accounts and in some cases even passwords prior to hiring. New proposed guidance for government security clearances include disclosing social media accounts.

      As a result, and more from my job before I retired, I have always preferred to take simple precautions and try to keep as low a profile as possible online.

      My rule is that what can connect or send data can be accessed and the data collected and exploited. Best to minimize identifiable data.

    • #41763

      If you want to minimize identifiable data, and don’t feel comfortable with the fact that Microsoft collects data about you, best to switch to Linux, avoid Chrome (use Firefox), don’t use Google Search (DuckDuckGo), and always run a VPN.

      ‘Course, you’d also have to avoid using a mobile phone (or even a landline for that matter), and pay with cash or bitcoin only. You’d also need to avoid walking in public, given the current state of facial recognition, and hope you never end up in a hospital!

      The question is how comfortable you feel entrusting all of these companies – not just Microsoft – with your data. And heaven help ya if you live in a house that has a “smart” electric meter.

      I really do feel that data privacy will be one of the foremost legal questions of the next decade. We already have some data protection regulations in place for, e.g., health records and credit records, but they don’t apply in this case. Unless people give up – which may be a reasonable reaction – there will predictably be large-scale problems in the future.

    • #41764

      Fedora is good advice for those running away from the complications of Windows 10. Just kidding 🙂

    • #41765

      Times are changing. I think it comes and goes in cycles.

    • #41766

      I’ve coded in assembler to Java and everywhere in between, on Unix, RTOS, Windows, and Linux. Complication is not new to me.

      Only an amateur would ignore a BSOD which often refers to a device driver problem. Microsoft did not supply proper drivers for W-10, a fact some people do not appreciate or accept.

    • #41767

      A good rule of thumb is to wait until a service pack has been released to move to a new operating system. Otherwise be prepared for issues along the way.

    • #41768

      But there are, and will be, no Service Packs.

    • #41769

      Oh yeah that’s right. Looks like a new rule of thumb will have to be made with Windows 10. Wait until the end of support for Win 7/8.1 to switch may be it.

    • #41770

      It is not about you, most readers here are not developers or have even basic knowledge about programming, so I think Fedora which is the cutting edge and highly experimental version of Linux from Red Hat is not necessary appropriate for everyone. If I was to use Linux, I would go for a more mainstream pro version like Red Hat Enterprise or CentOS. Most end-users would find easier something like Ubuntu and I see that Mint comes often in discussions.
      I think you are right about the Windows 10 Drivers, but this is mostly if you are expecting performance drivers to come with the OS, which was never the case. The drivers which come with the OS are safe drivers with minimal functionality but most stable. For more functionality, especially for graphics, the manufacturer’s drivers are in general the best option.

    • #41771

      Yup Julia, those are the correct extended support cutoff dates for the normal client versions of Win7 SP1 & Win8.1. The “Embedded” editions of Win7 SP1 & Win8.1 have different support end dates, which end several months later.

    • #41772
    • #41773

      This is from John Wink
      KB3156421 – Spinning dots after installing the update, computer either hangs or uninstalls the update

      I have only the spinning dots.
      Uninstalling the update is not fixing the issue.

    • #41774

      I resolved the issue and posted the answer here http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_10-start/windows-10-start-search-no-longer-works/705b0189-a22a-4062-9080-6a1010b1e3ef

      I don’t claim that solution to be appropriate for everyone, unless Microsoft documents the ACLs to be required as per my configuration. Otherwise, although the risk is minimal, that configuration can open security holes while resolving a functionality issue breaking Cortana and the Search functionality.

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