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Friday, 31 July 2015

Upgrading to Windows 10

I upgraded a desktop computer running Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit (with no touch-screen ability) today. Here are some key observations from my experience

- Overall performance seems a faster
- There's a bunch of new features that I will most likely never use but might be handy in the future.
- There's a few other minor features that I like and probably more as I investigate.

- The upgrading process is a little buggy
- The Start Menu is still a mess for desktop users
- More settings have been moved to the All Settings section and some overlap with those in Control Panel, and some have moved to new locations so you have to hunt for them (but, you can always type them in, in Search).
- The user interface is flat and less attractive

I won't roll it back to Windows 7. I think the upgrade was worth it for the performance boost. The Cons above are mainly minor and there are workarounds for them.
- If you hate change, especially in the way the operating system looks, don't upgrade. 
- If you are very particular about your solitaire games in Windows 7, don't upgrade. 
- If you have a system that is only a few years old with Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 on it and you would like better performance, I would recommend upgrading.

I initiated the upgrade from the Windows 10 upgrade app. (I had reserved the Windows 10 upgrade via this app weeks ago. A notice popped up saying my upgrade was ready today.) Eventually, I ended up at a screen that said Working On It for a long time. I researched this issue and followed the common suggestion to solve the problem: Restart the computer, open Windows Updates and upgrade from there instead. Once I did that there were no more glitches with the upgrade.

It took about an hour in total (not including the time it sat on Working On It).

All the data in the user account was still there as was the wallpaper and the user account settings. 

All the installed programs worked with only a couple of updates required. AVG Free needed a restart, and although the video card seemed to work okay, I downloaded and installed a new driver for it. Even the network printer and the PS3 that this computer connects to (via PS3 Media Server) connected fine.

I played around with the Start Menu for some time. Since I could not pin useful things to it after minimizing it/removing all the tiles, I opted to go with Classic Shell. For anyone who still wants the efficiency of the Windows 7 start menu, this is the way to go. Classic Shell is free and can be customized in many ways (including drop-down menus for This PC, listing the drives, and a drop down menu for Control Panel).

There are a few other minor annoyances that I figured a way around without too much hassle.