Thumbs Up for the Windows 10 Upgrade

I have done the Windows 10 upgrade on a number of systems now including my primary desktop, with very few issues.  I have also been searching for reports of any problems.  The only problems reported that I have found are similar to my own experiences.  One system I upgraded and the advanced sound driver doesn’t work in Windows 10, so I can’t get Dolby Digital sound.  I am hopeful that a manufacturer updated driver will fix this down the road.  For now I have to get by with just stereo.  One older laptop I upgraded had a WiFi driver issue and I had to add a USB dongle to get WiFi working.  Driver issues are the only real problems I have encountered and heard about.

Since most of the upgrades have happened event-free, I am recommending that if you have a newer system and want to upgrade, then go ahead.  If you have a system that is 5 or so years old, you may want to check the manufacturer’s website and see if they have a recommendation.  As always I recommend you have a good back-up of your data and any software install disks just in case – but you should have these anyway.

How to start the upgrade process:  If you have gone through the “reserve” process and are now getting pop-ups asking if you want to upgrade, then simply follow the steps provided.  Close out of all programs and make sure you have an hour or so to allow the upgrade to process.  Once it’s begun, you will not be able to use the computer until it is completed.  If you have a fairly slow machine, allow an hour and a half to two.  It will ask you a few questions up front, so don’t walk away too soon.

If you want to upgrade but haven’t received the notice yet that you are ready to go, then you can go here:  Downloading this program and running it will start the process for you.  It can also be used to create a DVD install disk so if you have several machines and a slow internet connection you can burn a copy and use the disk to upgrade machines.  Note that there are 32-bit and 64-bit versions, and you need to match up with what’s on your machine.  Other than start the process, using this program or clicking on the upgrade notice both do the same thing.

Once the upgrade is complete you can verify things are working correctly.  You may need to check some settings and your default programs may have changed.  So you may not be quite as fast initially with the new version of Windows.  Overall Windows 10 has a very familiar feel and yet some differences, depending on whether you are moving from Windows 7 or Windows 8.1.

You may have heard there are some security fears with Windows 10.  Here is a write up detailing some settings you may want to change from the default.  To me, most of these issues just bring Windows more in line with what Apple and Google already do for information collection.  Some of the settings allow for the new Cortana digital assistant to do her thing.  You can’t have an assistant that knows nothing about you.  With the predictive typing and voice recognition there is the fear that keystrokes are being sent to someone else.  The article does mention that there could be a HIPPA violation if you use this service and are in health insurance and/or a medical practitioner.  The biggest issue I have seen is the ability to share your WiFi access with friends on Facebook or Skype.  How exactly this works is a bit of a mystery and so far there doesn’t seem to be a way to only share with certain friends, so for now I recommend disabling this feature.  Windows 10 also introduces a new concept in constant upgrading and I am sure this feature will be one that is adjusted based on negative feedback.

Not all facets of Windows 10 are completely polished yet.  There are still some areas that open screens like the control panel that have the old look and feel.  With Microsoft’s new philosophy on maintaining Windows as a perpetual service instead of a stand alone product I am sure these old vestiges of Windows 7 and earlier will eventually disappear and be replaced by newer more friendly screens.


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