Archive for the 'Windows' Category

17
Aug
15

Windows 10 “Upgrade” Experience

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.

Before Upgrading:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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:

  1.  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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

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23
Jul
15

Windows 10 – Upgrade or Not?

windows-10July 29, 2015 is when Windows 10 becomes available at the tempting price of “free” for pretty much any computer that can handle it.  But I wouldn’t upgrade just yet.  Personal feelings of Linux superiority aside, it is way too early to try this fledgling PC OS.  “Let the pioneers take the arrows,” as they say.

In general, check this quick list based on your Windows version to see what I think:

  • Windows 8/8.1 users: Wait until mid-August and see what other non-pundits are saying and then give it a spin since it’s free and probably what you hoped Windows 8 was already.
  • Windows 7 users: Wait until September to see if other Windows 7 users actually find value in the new interface.  Make sure you have enough RAM, since upgrades to Windows typically slow your computer down.  You have until July 2016 to take the free upgrade, so take your time and consider if getting a new PC in that timeframe is not a better decision.
  • Windows XP users: You stuck it out this long and your PC is old.  If you want a change consider Linux first, then a new computer with Windows 10 if you have to.  IF your computer is fast enough to run Windows 10, you probably would have quit this article already 😉

For a more complete look at Windows 10, this TechRadar article has great details:

http://www.techradar.com/us/reviews/pc-mac/software/operating-systems/windows-10-1267364/review




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