Windows 10 – My Upgrade Experience

The internet is ablaze with Windows 10 news this weekend. I guess it’s time for me to upgrade… This post will detail my experience upgrading to Windows 10 from Windows 7.

My history with Windows

My first experience with Windows when I was 10 years old. My parents had bought a HP Intel Pavilion with a whopping 14GB hard drive, and Windows 98se.

hp6605

I was first exposed to the wonderful world wide web on that machine and even wrote my first lines of  HTML on it. Of course, it was used for lots of Diablo 2 and StarCraft as well. Ever since I’ve noticed a pattern.

Every other version of Windows has been less than great.

When Windows 8 came out I avoided upgrading. There was a lot of bad press around it and it’s new Metro UI. I was happy with 7, so I never upgraded. 8.1 came out and was received much better than the base version of 8, but I still didn’t want to upgrade. I’m 2 full versions behind the curve now and I want to stay relevant and “hip” (or at least as hip as a Windows user can get), so I will dive deeper into the rabbit hole and experience Windows 10.

Current System

My install of Windows 10 may be different than yours. Here’s my hardware so you have an idea of what to expect if you have similar specs.

  • 8GB ram
  • Intel i5 sandy bridge (2500K) 3.3ghz x 4
  • Sandisk 128GB SSD
  • Seagate 1TB 7200RPM drive
  • nVidia GTX 770
  • Dual monitor

Windows 10 Upgrading Downloading

Saturday Aug 1 – 11:15 am
The “Get Windows 10” application sitting in my system tray still hasn’t prompted me that it was my turn to upgrade. I’m impatient so I google “get windows 10 now”. The top link (http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/how-to/windows/how-install-windows-10-now-3575135/) tells me to go to Microsoft’s new Windows 10 download page and download from the appropriate link, in my case that’s the 64bit software.

I run the software, and it simply shows me this:
Windows 10 - something happened

If I wrote error messages this awful in my applications, I’d get shot. Seriously, off to a great start Windows 10… something happened, clearly, and you won’t give me a clue as to what.

Off to Google I go. Searching for “Windows 10 something happened”

A Wired article is the #2 result. Inside it says:

According to ‘monoWench‘ the problem resides in your language settings and is easily fixed if you’re able to re-download a specific language set.

Users should (apparently) go to “Control panel”, “Language and region”, then go to the region for the United States, click “Administrative” and change the language to English (United States).

Yup. “something” sure did happen. I’ll keep that in mind, next time something happens, it’s the language settings…

11:25am
I follow the instructions, reboot my PC and run the upgrade application again.

windows10 - Downloading begins

Awesome. That was only a little painful so far.

12:15pm

I’m at 45% downloaded. Stepping out for a bit, when I get home it should be done.

2:00pm

Download is done, I hit next and…

Windows 10 - More downloading...

More downloading!

2:10pm

Windows 10 Ready to install

See you on the other side.


Windows 10 Upgrade

Sunday Aug 2

Well… I survived. Not without some issues though.

Overall the install process was really seamless. The only software that stopped working was my server for a VOIP application I fixed it. I had to delete the old murmur.sqlite file and redo the server. Not a big deal.

My video drivers needed to be updated to display a nice resolution again. One Windows update and one restart later, my nVidia control panel came back.

The audio drivers from my mother board didn’t play nice after the update.  I uninstalled my old ones,  and restarted the computer. Windows default sound drivers automatically are used and my speakers work again.

Pros

  • New window snapping options are nice.
  • Start menu is back! (it was never gone for me…) I had to do some tweaks and enable a lot of folders that I’m used to having in the start menu. I’m dissapointed there is no option to go straight to “This Computer” from it. I like the metro widgets… they are small, clean and unobtrusive. I really like that I can make my start menu wider / taller.Windows 10 Start Menu
  • Dual monitors work much better in Windows 10 than Windows 7. I no longer need to use extra software to extend my taskbar across both screens.
  • Task view (replaces Windows key + Tab) is nice and much better than simply having a prettier alt+tab.
  • Multiple desktops! This is something unix has had forever. I can now have a messy desktop instance for whatever, and a clean one for development!
  • DirectX12 (haven’t seen it in action yet, but a new version of DirectX is always good).
  • New settings menu is niceWindows 10 Settings Menu

Cons

  • Some iffy default settings for privacy. Click here for a guide detailing what to disable.
  • It killed my murmur server I fixed it.
  • Removing my old audio driver was the only way to get my speakers to work.
  • Windows forgot my library mapping between versions. I had to re point my pictures, music, video, downloads, documents libraries to their appropriate locations (in my case, on another drive entirely).
  • Some default programs were changed. Windows suddenly wanted me to open my .pdf documents with it’s new browser, Windows Edge. No thanks.

I’m pretty happy with the upgrade. Nothing has broken too badly yet and I haven’t noticed any performance issues. The notification center is probably going to get old fast though. I haven’t used Cortana yet as I don’t have a Microsoft account, but she is tucked away in the search menu anyways so she’s not bothering me. The built in mail app is nice and hooked up to my Gmail easily.

Overall I’m impressed. Microsoft has taken some cues from Apple for menu design. The flat look is nice and probably lighter an resources than Aero ever was, but I do miss the glass look. I think the average user will be very happy with the upgrade. I hope to dig up some more features that will make a more advanced user fall in love with it as well. As long as it stays stable, I’ll probably stick with it.

2 Comments

  1. Too much trouble for the likes of us.
    O_o

    • Yup. Don’t bother. If whatever you’re running works for you, then stick with it. Windows 10 isn’t stable enough for everyone yet in my opinion.

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