As a consultant, I often have to do things for the experience, not necessarily because I think it is something advisable. Upgrading one of the computers I use to Windows 10 is one of those things. Today I upgraded a Windows 8.1 PC to Windows 10. Over the weekend my son upgraded his Windows 7 laptop to Windows 7, so I deemed it time to make sure I had gone through the process before advising others on the process. My experience hasn’t changed my prior comments, but I do have some tips based on having gone through the process.
- Make sure you have a good reason like a new feature or app, not just the lure of “new and free.” I still posit that Windows 10 just makes you learn new ways of doing things you could already do in Windows 7. If you want that challenge or like me just need to have that capacity, then go ahead.
- Have a good backup and plenty of time. You don’t know what could go wrong and should not test Murphy’s Law. Without a decent backup or if trying to squeeze the upgrade into a time slot before a critical deadline, you are just asking Murphy to remind you of the law. Upgrading my newer Core i7 laptop with 8GB RAM only took an hour or so after the download started, but your computer may be older or internet connection slower.
- Check the specs on your computer and critical equipment and programs to see that they are Windows 10 compatible. Anti-virus, backup, and printers are probably the most important to check due to their dependency on the operating system.
After the Upgrade:
- Use a local account on the computer as opposed to a Microsoft/hotmail/outlook.com account. I just like controlling the security on the computer and not having to authenticate to a corporation in the cloud.
- When prompted to accept the recommended defaults, don’t. You can try Microsoft Edge, Photos, Music, etc., but I’d think before the upgrade you had a reason to rely on a specific browser or photo app. You can always search the settings for the checkbox to reset to Microsoft defaults.
- Disable One-Drive. If youu use One-Drive already, then I guess leaving it on won’t hurt. But I don’t use it and I don’t like Microsoft trying to duplicate my documents in their cloud without asking. I right-clicked the One-Drive Cloud in the system tray and prevented it from starting automatically, then closed it.
- Allow time for updates and restarts. Even though I logged in and was using Windows 10 quickly after the update, some of my equipment wasn’t working (specifically my USB3 docking station). Not to worry, Windows detected and automatically update the drivers and it worked fine, after restarting.
- Test your various equipment soon after the upgrade. Microsoft seems to have done a good job with the upgrade process, but you should check your scanner, printers, most important apps, etc. soon after the upgrade. If not you may find they don’t work properly at a bad time or far enough down the line that you forget Windows 10 might be the cause.
I can’t really complain about the upgrade process. It was a good experience compared to past ones. I think Windows 10 will relegate Windows 8 to the junk heap that Windows ME and Vista established. That said, Windows 7 and XP were very solid versions that did not need upgrading for their generation and Linux is still a better long-term alternative from my vantage-point.