Windows 10 Upgrade

As readers of this blog know, I run Windows in a virtual machine (VM) on one of my Macs. Though I can do most everything on the Mac, there are a few apps that that I depend upon that do not run on the Mac so I run them on Windows. Also, I test various topics for this blog on both a Windows and Linux VMs.

Windows10So, I’ve decided to bite the bullet and upgrade from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10. The rest of this post will describe my upgrade experience and things for you to look out for with the upgrade.

Preparations

Before performing any change as major as upgrading your operating system, you should do a couple things:

  • Insure that your applications and devices are compatible. Check Microsoft’s Compatibility Center. I found the site to be helpful, but didn’t find everything I run on my Windows box, so I also needed to check with various app vendors also.
  • Back up your system! Let me say it again (with emphasis): BACK UP YOUR SYSTEM! Upgrades typically work fine, but they can go south and put you into a world of hurt if you’ve not backed up.  See my post on Systematic Backups for more information.  BTW: If you’re running in a virtual environment, simply take a Snapshot, which will permit you easily recover your system to a pre-upgrade state.
  • Finally, be aware of a new feature that has serious security implications: Wi-Fi Sense.

To insure that everyone in the World doesn’t update a once, Microsoft will put you on a waitlist.  To get on the waitlist, from your Windows 7, 8.0 or 8.1 system, look for the Windows icon on your task bar and click it:WinUpgradeGraphic

(BTW: If you are upgrading on a Virtual Machine like I am, you’ll need to see VMware’s Mike Roy’s instructions here. It’s also a good method to upgrade right away from your PC.)

Upgrade

I started the upgrade and at the initial screen, insured that both checkboxes were checked:

ready-to-install

From that point, all went smoothly. Your system will need to reboot several times and it took me about an hour to do the upgrade, but that’s with a solid-state drive, so it could be somewhat longer for you.  You’ll need to be patient.

Results

Overall, the upgrade went remarkably well and reasonably fast.  Everything appears to be working correctly.  I did have an issue reinstalling the VMware Tools, which is only an issue if you’re running Windows 10 as a virtual machine under VMware Fusion. VMware Tools manage Window’s use of the underlying devices and filesystems.  Without the updated Tools, my display didn’t work properly.  With a little work, I was able to reinstall the Tools and everything fell into place.

The desktop looks pretty much like Windows 7 and 8.1 desktop, so it should feel pretty comfortable. Microsoft got rid of the other mode, using the active tiles, which most customers hated.  The tiles still exist, but as part of the “Start” menu, which is kinda interesting:

Screen Shot 2015-08-03 at 4.38.36 PM

There is a new browser called Microsoft Edge that replaces Internet Explorer. Right now, it doesn’t support extensions, so if you use an extension, you can download Internet Explorer 11, which should provide a workaround until extensions are supported by Edge. Microsoft promises this support soon.

After I’ve used this new version of Windows for a while, I’ll post about my experiences.  Have Fun!

2 Comments

  1. You upgraded me to Windows 10. I am not confident of reverting back to Windows 7 Professional so can you do it for me? For you it will be very easy whereas I am computer illiterate.

    When will 10 function as well as 7? For me it was the devil you know. In your introductory info did you tell us we’d be on our own to revert? If so I would not have moved. For me it was better the devil you know!

  2. To be clear, I didn’t upgrade you, nor in the post did I encourage anyone to upgrade or not upgrade. I simply documented my experience upgrading to Windows 10. Each user needs to make these decisions for themselves.

    To your problem, reverting desktop/laptop OS back from major releases is typically not straightforward. The manufacturers (Microsoft in this case) do not provide a path to move back to a previous version, in large part because they are vested in getting their customers on the most recent platform. Also, there are significant security advantages in keeping one’s OS up-to-date.

    On security, Microsoft made significant changes to how they provide protection from malware in Windows 8, which they carried forward into Windows 10. Also, since they no longer support Windows 7 (except for extended support), one is not guaranteed of getting the most up-to-date OS patches in anything but Windows 8 and Windows 10.

    That said, reverting can be done, but it involves backing up your data, then performing a fresh installation of the older OS and applications. Then restoring your data. You might want to engage an expert to help you with this. Best Buy’s Geek Squad is one possible approach, though I’ve not used them for this, so I can’t vouch for the quality of their work.

    Regarding Win 10 vs Win 7: Win 10 is certainly different than Win 7, though it’s not as different as Win 8 was from Win 7. Microsoft heard the message from their customers about the difficulties using Win 8 and generally moved the user interface closer to what customers liked with Win 7.

    Unless there is a fundamental reason for reverting (e.g., some applications do not work), I would recommend living with Windows 10 for a while before attempting to revert.

    Good Luck

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