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Can I Upgrade to Windows 10?

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So, can I upgrade to Windows 10?

Hi everyone, I’m Leo Notenboom for

It’s a common question I’ve been getting of late. My original recommendation was that you wait a couple of months after Windows 10 formal release and then make a decision after waiting, like I said, at least a couple of months.

I’m recording this at the end of September 2015. It’s been a couple of months. What’s the state of the universe? It’s complicated. There’s still no simple answer. I want to go over some of the issues I have still with Windows 10 and the reason that I can’t recommend it as a blanket upgrade for everybody just yet.

First, after seeing a number of people upgrade to Windows 10, I have to say that there are, I’ll call it an above-expected number of problems with the upgrade itself. Many people have upgraded, and it’s working just fine. Every upgrade that I’ve done personally has worked just fine, but I’ve been hearing from folks that actually go through the upgrade process and end up with a machine that is not working properly in some fashion.

Most common are things like external devices that aren’t supported by Windows 10 – printers being a big one. That makes it very difficult for me to just say, “Upgrade” because there is the possibility that you could, especially on slightly older machines, run into some compatibility and performance issues that you might not have expected from an upgrade at this time.

My expectation was that Windows 10 was going to be very similar to Windows 8.1 in terms of compatibility and support, and that turns out to be slightly less than true – just not quite as true, not quite the same, as the same as Windows 8.1 as I was expecting, and that’s unfortunate.

The other big issue that’s come up since Windows 10 was released is, of course, the whole issue relating to privacy.

When you install or upgrade Windows 10, you’re accepting an End User Agreement that actually allows, apparently, a fair amount of your data, your information, to be shared with Microsoft and/or its partners. Now, it’s unclear exactly what happens with that data, or how much data, in fact, they are collecting and using. That’s part of the problem.

Now, I’ve posted a couple of articles on installing Windows 10 and adjusting the privacy settings at the time of installation, and also going back in and adjusting the privacy settings on an existing installation of Windows 10. Unfortunately, the overall sense is that we’re still not 100% certain exactly what Microsoft is doing with this, and they aren’t necessarily being clear.

So, the privacy issue tends to be something that, again, it’s not a deal breaker for me, but it definitely causes me second thoughts and makes it difficult for me to just provide that blanket recommendation that yep, it’s time to upgrade. – It’s not.

So privacy, in general, is something that you’re going to have to weigh when the time comes to upgrade to Windows 10.  I will say that there are issues, apparently, with both Windows 7 and Windows 8 where some of the privacy changes that have happened for Windows 10 are being implemented in Windows 7 and Windows 8. updates.

So, that may not be something that you can avoid simply by avoiding Windows 10, but the point is that there is a large issue here, and what I really want is for Microsoft to do two things: One, come clean. Be clear. Tell us what information they’re sharing; why they’re sharing it; what they’re doing with it. Just be open about the process.

And second, give us more control. We have a lot of the user interface that is dedicated to privacy. That’s fantastic. I really appreciate that. But I don’t have the confidence that says it really is everything. And that’s something that I think Microsoft needs to address. So until those kinds of things get addressed, again, it makes me kind of reluctant to just sort of make this blanket recommendation that it’s time.

The third issue doesn’t really have so much to do with Windows 10 functionality as it does with Microsoft’s tactics. And that is that if you’re running Windows 7 or you’re running Windows 8.1, it is very possible that Windows 10 has already been downloaded to your machine whether or not you asked for it.

Now, like I said, that has nothing to do with Windows 10’s functionality, whether it will work for you, whether it’s going to be compatible with your hardware and so on. Unfortunately, it speaks to Microsoft’s tactics. They really, really want everyone to install Windows 10. I kinda sorta get that, but I really, really resent the huge download, the disk space that’s taken up, the amount of bandwidth that’s been taken up to make that happen in order for them to push Windows 10 as hard as they possibly can.

That adds to my reluctance to make this blanket recommendation that it’s time to upgrade. It has nothing to do with Windows 10’s functionality; this really has to do with more Microsoft’s tactics that I find rather frustrating.

So, what’s the bottom line recommendation? Well, it boils down to this: If you’re running Windows XP or if you’re running Windows Vista, it’s time to upgrade. The question is what do you want to upgrade to? I would recommend that you upgrade, at least, to Windows 7, possibly to Windows 10 if you’re willing to accept the issues that we’ve talked about so far.

The thing you must do regardless, especially since these are older machines typically running XP or Vista, is you must back up your machine, and I don’t just mean back up your data, I mean a complete image backup of the machine, so that after upgrading to Windows 10, if you decide that the upgrade has failed for you, that it’s not working for you, that there’s something wrong with it or something that you don’t like, you can restore that image backup and go back to exactly where you were before you tried the upgrade.

So, XP and Vista users, yea, it’s starting to get time to thinking about upgrading. It’s just not clear to what. Now, if you’re running Windows 7, or if you’re running Windows 8.1, and you are “happy” then I’d recommend staying exactly where you are right now. Don’t fix something that isn’t broken. If Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 are working well for you, keep on keeping on. They’re both supported, they’re both good operating systems, and they will be supported for some time to come. There’s no rush to go to Windows 10 if you’re in that situation.

Now, if you’re unhappy with 8.1, then obviously you can go either way. You can downgrade to 7 or you can upgrade to 10. If you’re going to do that, I recommend to try the upgrade to 10. And my admonition to back up applies here as well. Make sure you take an image backup first, so that if you get to Windows 10, and you find that it doesn’t solve your pet problems with Windows 8.1 or it’s not compatible with your hardware, you’ve go the opportunity to easily revert back to what you had before and you’re no worse off.

So, for everybody else, when can we upgrade to Windows 10? Well, again, there’s no rush. There really is no rush. If what you have is working for you, then I actually don’t recommend upgrading at all. I don’t recommend doing it any time soon. There’s just no reason.

Now, in July the free offer for a Windows 10 upgrade goes away, so at a minimum, we’ll talk again in July of 2016. At that point we can make the decision as to whether or not that free upgrade is something you want to take advantage of or you want to postpone. There are ways and techniques that we’ll talk about when that time comes. My guess is the landscape is going to change a little bit between now and then, and they may even have more incentives, more offers that we can take advantage of for the folks that have delayed installing Windows 10 until that time.

Again, if you just can’t wait, take a backup first, by all means.

Now, to put a timeframe, to put a more concrete timeframe on it, like I said, there’s no need to rush; you can certainly wait until July, but what if you want to upgrade. What if you really do intend to upgrade but just want to do it at a more reasonable, more stable time than today.

My original recommendation was based on waiting for two months after Windows 10’s formal release. Well, that’s right about now, and I can’t make that recommendation; I just can’t. So I’m going to push it out two more months. In other words, now towards the end of November 2015, it will be time to re-evaluate whether or not Windows 10 makes sense for the majority to upgrade to. Until then, we’ll see what happens. Things could change. There will be fixes. I’m hoping that they’ll address some of the privacy concerns.

I’m not convinced that they will, but at a minimum, if things get more stable then sure, we’ll talk about whether or not at the end of November, it becomes the right time to do so.

One last little scenario that I do want to address that I didn’t address earlier, and that is if you get a new machine. If you get a new machine and it comes with Windows 10, take Windows 10. It really is a fine operating system, particularly on new hardware where you know that it’s compatible with everything you’re getting.

Yes, the privacy issues are concerning, and I’ll point you to those articles to adjust the privacy settings in Windows 10 as it comes on your new machine. But in terms of being a functional, usable operating system, actually it is pretty good. I’m pretty happy with it so far, as long as it’s compatible also with the software that you care about.

So, what’s your experience with Windows 10? Have you used it yet? Have you installed yet? How was the install process? Did it work for you? Are you happy with Windows 10? Did it fail for you? How did it fail and what did you do? What are plans? Are you going to wait for November? Are you going to wait for July? Are you going to switch to Linux? Let me know in the comments down below.

Again, as usual, there’s a link to this article on where you’ll find moderated comments and the transcript for this video. As always, I look forward to hearing from you. Until next week, I’m Leo Notenboom for See you then.

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78 comments on “Can I Upgrade to Windows 10?”

  1. I am currently using Windows 8.1 and have no problems with it so I will be following your recommendations during the coming year. Thank you so much for all you do in guiding us into the future with respect to Windows 10.

  2. Hi Leo:

    I’ve been using Windows 10 since 8/10/15. At first when my PC went to sleep I could not wake it up. I had to power down (power switch) and power back up. This lasted just a few days and has not happened since. So far all my software works and my printer (Lexmark Pro 905) works even better, I had to restart the print spooler each time I wanted to print in Windows 7. I did go through and turned off all the switches that were on so Microsoft could access my system.

    Bottom line: For me Windows 10 is functioning just fine.

  3. Well, my only experience so far with Windows 10 comes from two clients who upgraded and had the computer unusable after the update. (And, of course, neither of them had bare-metal backups, or any backup at all for that matter.) So, my extremely small sample size agrees with your “not yet” assessment.

    On the other hand, a few co-workers upgraded to 10 without any issues.

    • It seems to be really hit or miss. I’ve not found any really good common threads or indicators of who will or will not have a problem. Many are upgrading without issue (i.e. the two machines I’ve upgraded here), many are installing without issue (i.e. the three virtual machines I have here), and others are having real problems. Part of me wants to say that those most likely to have a problem are those who didn’t prepare with an image backup. :-)

  4. Have two desktops running Win7… they will stay there until they are replaced… probably 3rd or 4th quarter 2016. I prefer to move to a new OS at same time as purchasing a new machine. Have a “netbook” running Win7… it too will stay on 7 until it dies or is Craig’s Listed. Lastly, a Win8 laptop (upgraded to 8.1 with numerous snags to overcome) will be upgraded to Win10 when it gets the Leo “Seal of Approval”… maybe spring of 2016. While 8.1 was a big improvement (again after working through a very painful upgrade accompanied by ongoing derisive comments about Microsoft), it lost so many useful features in Win7 (kept and/or improved from XP) that saying goodbye won’t be a big loss.
    I’m a long, long term MS OS user. But, they have produced some real stinkers. Why such junk comes from MS is a huge mystery to me. I’m guessing they are pushed by the hardware folks so they can put out “new, shiny toys” for the mad-dog consumers. If MS would direct all those marketing $$ to producing quality software, they wouldn’t need to market the way they do… a quality OS would sell itself.
    Keep the updates coming Leo… like this one, a 2-3 month status would be very much appreciated!

  5. My personal machine is a Linux box, but I recently upgraded another machine in the house to Windows 10, or rather, let it perform the upgrade itself during the night. Overall I was impressed with the process. The user got to it before I did the next day, and was completely unaware he was using a new OS. His desktop was the same, with all shortcuts in place.

    One minor problem was that Windows Defender was off by default, and refused to turn on. After a bit of research, I determined the problem was actually that he had another antivirus program installed, and Windows Defender apparently doesn’t play well with other antivirus programs, or indeed at all. After uninstalling the 3rd party antivirus, Defender was happy again. As an aside, the 3rd party antivirus was a pain to get rid of; on each reboot (after “uninstalling” it) it threw a popup asking me to install the post-Windows 10 update of the program, with no option to disable the popup. I finally searched and manually deleted all files named for the antivirus program, and that took care of it, but boy was that annoying; an antivirus program acting just like a virus.

    Overall the transition has been pretty painless, though, at least regarding actual Windows issues. Oh, and the UI seems to be generically familiar enough for the somewhat less than computer-literate user to navigate fairly easily. They’ve moved a few things, of course, but nothing so far has caused me to think “well, that’s stupid.” (Unlike Windows 8 with its lack of a start menu, for example.)

    Regarding sharing data with Microsoft, I think (or at least like to think) most of that data would probably be regarding how Windows 10 interacts with software and hardware: crash reports, performance data, and so on. That’s what I’d do, anyway, if I were Microsoft. That way I could better and more easily support the OS. And more easily means less expensively.

  6. As you used to work for Microsoft I think we should take your comments seriously. I have two computers – a laptop and a desktop – both running Windows 7 and, at the moment, both working OK. I am going to wait until you say it’s OK to install. You mentioned, in the article, that Windows 10 may have been downloaded without our knowledge – is there a way we can check if this has happened? (Apologies if you have already covered this. If this is the case perhaps you could direct me to the article.)

  7. TBH, I updated straight away and everything seemed to work….. until drivers started failing and causing memory leaks because the new ones weren’t out.
    So just like Leo, I recommend not updating until Jan 2016.

  8. All I know is I had a massive shutdown after my first download of Windows 10. Nothing worked like it used to. Nothing. Fortunately, I was able to get back to version 8.1, although every time I open my computer there’s a “warning” message in the lower right corner that “This copy of ‘Windows is not genuine.” Maybe not. But it works.

  9. I have three machines, 2 were running Win8.1 and one Win7. I upgraded the 2 Win8.1 machines and am pleased with the improvement. It runs smoothly and is way easier to use than Win8.1 was.

    But the upgrade from Win7 didn’t work. There was an Intel driver that was not compatible, with no compatible replacement, and I had to roll it back to Win7. There’s not such a huge difference in function between Win7 and Win10, so I’ll leave that one as Win7 until later in the cycle. Hopefully before July 2016 Intel will have a compatible driver and I will try it again.

  10. Hello Leo,
    I am running windows 8.1 and it works very well for me. However, the small window in the taskbar asking me to upgrade was rather annoying, so I found a way to eliminate it.
    As far as windows 10 goes, the only time I’ve had a chance to play with it was when a client asked me to upgrade his laptop to it. The upgrade was seemless and it seemed to be functioning well.
    I, however, do believe in your statement that “If it’s not broke, then don’t fix it.”
    Thank you for your articles. They are always precise and to the point. I look forward to receiving them each week.

  11. I have installed Windows 10 on about 6 machines so far with only 1 issue, and that is when i had to roll back to windows 7 on 1 machine it would not recognize the built in NIC interface. Even when adding in a PCI network card it would not recognize it. Had to format and reinstall windows 7.

  12. I had to buy a new machine so I then took the option to upgrade to windows 10 as I had reserved it on my old windows 7 laptop. The upgrade process was fine with no issues but then things went downhill. I had to revert back to the original OS w 8.1. The machine ground to a halt freezing regularly, the internet was so slow it was like going back to dial up. Programmes would fail to open but most frustrating was how slow it was working at especially as it was brand new straight out of the box with relatively good specs with i7 processor etc.

    Will be taking Leo’s advice and staying clear for a good while yet and only when Leo with his knowledge etc says the bugs and fixes have been for the most part sorted out will I then give it a tentative try again.

  13. I have 3 identical HP desktops, all running Windows 7. 1 is “my” computer and the other 2 are connected to TV’s for streaming. I installed 10 in both of those machines. One worked fine. The other installed an update that wiped out all our Chrome bookmarks. Two identical machines; different results. I’m with Leo on “my” computer. I think I’ll wait a little longer.

  14. Perhaps am just one of the lucky ones, but have had absolutely no problems at all with he w10. Printer, scanner, game controllers, external drives, etc., they all continue to work just fine. You get used to whatever older system you were with (I had window 7) and maybe not liking this change, but can tell you if you just get over it, and accept the more modern things, and there are plenty of upgrades and improvements here, there is a reward to you.

  15. I had a desktop that came with Windows 8.1 (no option to downgrade to 7) and was unhappy with the user interface.
    Let the upgrade run itself to 10 and have been very happy with it.

    My wife has a Win 7 laptop and we will make a full image backup before we upgrade it. I am her primary support for various “How do I?” questions and it will help to have matching menus.
    The upgrade of her machine will wait a little bit (the download has already been done) because she is self employed but changing the area of her work. We will let that settle out first.

  16. Am owner \ tech for PC repair service. Have upgraded three machines to Windows 10. Updated Win 8
    .1 DELL All-in-One and DELL Win 8.1 laptop. Both went very smoothly. Both took about 45 minutes for just the update.
    Installed Win 10 on and old LENOVE laptop with Windows 7. The update took an hour and had lots of problems. It refused my Windows 7 code key and I had to contact Micro$oft to get it registered.
    Have seen a dozen problems with HP printers and other peripherals. NOTE: Micro$oft claim that a service pack will be released in October.

  17. I was cautious about upgrading the family PCs to W10, a mix of laptops and desktops, 6 in all. About half of them were a straightforward hassle-free success, but where they went wrong, the upgrades went really wrong. So far as I can tell, the issue is that if you don’t already have a robust computer installation, eg a trouble-free W7 running on a fault-free hardware box, the heart transplant that is the W10 upgrade exposes problems that you just didn’t know you’d got. My solution for the failures was to perform a wipe-and-reinstall of W7, make sure it was activated, then use W10 downloaded onto a USB stick to upgrade it to W10 again. In only one case did this not work, and I concluded that the problems were actually with the ageing laptop hardware supporting the new installation. I further suspect that it’s not so much the specifics of Microsoft’s W10 upgrade process that’s the problem—maybe ANY extensive upgrade like this would expose unsuspected problems—it just exercises the machinery that bit harder, in new circumstances. And I know that doesn’t really sound fully rational to a computer engineer, but it seems to be a fact of life.
    As a recently-retired school IT Manager, I’m better equipped to work round these problems than is the average user, and not only did I have backed-up disk images to revert to if necessary, I also had a back-up of all the hardware drivers from the W7 installations, just in case. In the event, I did not really need the latter, but of course, the images held all my documents and so on, ready to be plugged back in to the new W10 installations. I have found no actual compatibility problems with drivers, printers or such like. But I did have to discard an old laptop…
    I have to agree with Leo that is it ain’t broke then don’t fix it, but anyone actually wanting to upgrade to W10 without buying a new PC with it pre-installed is probably going to have to face the same potential problems I did.

  18. Holding off for now. Have 5 machines to upgrade. Notebook will go into Linux. Older PC will attempt to climb from XP via Win8 (an upgrade I have yet to get to – takes me years to get stuff done). Laptop which is Vista to Win7 will attempt Win10. If that seems pretty good, then the other 2 machines will go from Win7 to Win10.

    The real issue for me is “How do I do a CLEAN install of Win10?” I have all my media dating back years (in one case to Windows 3.1) and have data backups (as I do a clean install if I ever have issues). Rather than downloading 4 or 5 times, I would like a single ISO.

    Advice about doing a clean install is very welcome.

    • To do a clean install for the “Free” version requires you do an upgrade after you have a full backup verified good image (think of insurance). The upgrade will register your old Win 7 or Win 8 license key making it valid for the Win 10. After that, anytime you wish to do a clean install, go for it. It asks for your license key of course, just enter your original Win 7 or Win 8 license key for that machine and continue on. On some newer machines in the last 3 years or so, you will not see a old license tag on the computer. Don’t panic, it is built-in to a chip on the motherboard so when you do a clean install, it finds the hard coded key and automatically registers the clean install and continues on with a new life. Best wishes.

  19. Hello, I did a clean install on one of my bench PCs. The install never asked me for a PC name or a User name so set up some ridiculous default names which are meaningless to my network. I still need to try another clean install and do the long version and see what happens, however, MS’s change in attitude is really “bugging” me and we are loosing more and more control of how we the user wishes to do things with our own PCs!

  20. Hi Leo,

    Thank you for keeping us updated on the progress of Win10. I too am doing as you have recommended…holding off upgrading. I am running 2 machines ( both Dell XPS ), one is Win 7, the other Win 8.1. I am very happy with both systems. However, I do prefer to stay up to date if there is good reason to upgrade. I found it interesting ( confusing? ) when going to Dell’s site and checking to see if they had tested either of my machines that they explicitly stated they had no plans to test either, yet there was a list of machines they did test. Therefore, their recommendation was to not upgrade to Win 10 since they had no plans to test. Given that info, I ran Microsoft’s compatibility test and that indicated all was good to go for the upgrade on both. So, that leaves me not trusting either party. I’m waiting until the last minute to upgrade, if I do at all. IMO, anyone not following your advice regarding making a full backup of their machines is begging for trouble no matter what the manufacturer or Microsoft says.

  21. Hi I upgraded a few days after the release at the end of July. Mainly because I was getting a lot of requests asking if I’d done it yet (people come to me because I used to work in IT & teach it these days to seniors – mainly tablet Android users).
    I did have problems even though my machine is only around 6 months old. Not major issues, the main one was the unpredictability of Cortana & the new task bar. I’d be using it for a few days & it would fail. It would then fix itself (as it said it would) but eventually stopped doing fixing itself. Couldn’t find any answers so along with some other minor issues, decided to roll back.
    The roll back process was OK except returning a blank screen (which was soon overcome) but once back my 8.1 installation seems better than it was originally – which is something I find odd (makes me think that the original install was not exactly the same as the recovery build).
    So will give it another go at the end of Nov 2015.

  22. My kids bought me a new laptop and upgraded to Windows 10 and I have been getting used to it for about a month now. I am having no real problems beyond finding stuff on the new screen since my old PC had XP on it. I have installed two older printers successfully and am working on getting the pictures copied.
    My wife has gotten used to it too, but since returning home is happy with her old XP PC I recommend the new system especially if you have an older machine.

  23. I backed up my machines using Macrium following Leo’s instructions, and made separate backups of photographs and other documents using Windows Explorer, then dove into the Windows 10 upgrade the first day or two it was available. My machines crashed repeatedly and were not usable the first week or so, until I figured out that Apple iCloud software was preventing some updates from completing. Resetting Windows on one of the computers allowed the upgrade and updates to complete, and when I uninstalled iCloud from the other, it completed it’s update and was usable.

    I find that my computers start and shut down more quickly, and that I am able to work at least as quickly, if not faster, and that memory is as well managed, or better than before. My Wacom tablet driver works better than in Windows 7, and my printers and Color managment devices work fine. However…

    The main problem I have with Windows 10 may have to do with administrative permissions, or read/write permissions which were somehow changed or developed a conflict during the upgrade. When I check the properties in the folders I can’t save in, I see that the folders are marked read-only. I can change the read-only checkbox selection, but the read-only mark returns. Some programs do not have permission to save in my documents folders or libraries. Even though I am logged in as an administrator, sometimes the system says I need to contact the administrator. Google Drive app also doesn’t work yet, which also may be a problem with permission to use a folder. It might be that Windows 10 is conflicting with sharing/syncing types of software over permission to use certain folders or drives. I hope this is a place where people can give me advice on what to learn so I can fix these problems!

    • I have not yet run into your permissions problem yet, but will keep watch. As to Google drive, it likely is the permissions as it works for me. Though not a solution to your issue, try one such item and right click the icon, select properties, and click the Comparability tab. Near the bottom is run as administrator, check the box, click OK and then try it out. This may at best be a temporary work around.

      As to your first statement, many pieces of software are tied tightly to the OS version. This requires updating to a new version in the new OS. Occasionally, this requires removal of the old program first, then installing the new version. Better software will tell you this up front, and ask if you want to uninstall the old version before installing the new one. Some software developers wait until the new OS is out before upgrading their software but most will have that within 30 days of the release date. Many but not all AV packages are this way. If I figure out what happened to your system and don’t forget, I’ll post back. Best of luck.

  24. I had a laptop with Windows 7 for 4 years. The motherboard failed last March. I got a new machine with 8.1 and had nothing but frustration and misery from the very first day. I took it back to the vendor, and their techs determined that the chip was bad and refunded my money. I opted to buy a new mother board for my old machine, and returned to 7…however, I’ve also downloaded and installed Linux Mint/Rebecca. While it isn’t as flashy as Windows, it is fast and functional. I like it!

    I don’t know if the problem I had with the new 8.1 laptop was due to defective hardware or because of an incompatibility between the software and hardware or not. Hearing about everyone else’s frustration with Win 8 (and now 10) on top of my own experience made me very cautious about upgrading to 10…or anything from Windows…ever.

    • From you comments, it sounds like a hardware failure and that happens like anything else. As to Win 8, the change was way overboard considering most people have resistance to change. If they did a little bit at a time it would have been better received after upgrading to 8.1. If you right click an open area in the task bar and click the Navigation tab, you have a lot of options. I uncheck the top three and check all the rest. Then, except for the start menu issue, it looked more like the normal desktop we are use too. If you right click the Windows flag icon where the start menu button would be, you get a menu of most frequently needed things you look for. Otherwise, left like the Windows flag and you get small icons of everything you would find on the start menu, hovering the mouse over the “All programs” without the folders and a bar at the bottom to horizontally scroll. They really wanted you to use the charms bar on the right side hidden similar to old Vista, but its just different and that change is disliked. From 8.0 to 8.1 they also added the ability to minimize these screens or close them. So upgrading 8.0 to 8.1 was the best move and should have been what was originally released with these type of settings.

  25. Like Windows 10 but I’m still waiting for it to become truly compatible with my Dell XSP laptop. Sleep doesn’t work at all and hibernate is hit or miss so I don’t use those functions.. However setting those two issues aside the system seems stable. Boot up is a little faster, and I like the interface. I’ve been hoping Dell or Intel/Nvidia would be forthcoming with suitable drivers since sleep/hibernate problems seem to be a known issue with display drivers, but at this point I’m not expecting much . Anyone contemplating a Windows 10 upgrade should check their manufacturers website as some do offer lists of supported models and more importantly lists of non-compatible models. Microsoft marketing of this platform , in my opinion, has bordered on deceptive, and I really think anyone with an older computer (mine 4 years) should be extremely cautious and take every precaution as suggested by Leo and others to back up a good operating image, or at least all your data before trying any upgrade with an older computer. My laptop seems to work great except for the sleep and hibernate issues and neither is essential for me but for many or most people with laptops that’s actually a big issue. But what I have discovered is that companies like Dell, Intel, etc. are probably not going to put resources into making compatible drivers for every outdated product (for them probably 2-3 years old) that they have sold or installed in a computer just so it will work with Windows 10.

    • I have a 5 year old Sony Vaio laptop. I upgraded it to Win 10 because I need to understand it to be able to help other users. I’ve had no problems with it and all of my peripherals work. On the other hand, I haven’t found any compelling reason to recommend an upgrade to Windows 10. Generally, each new OS is more secure than the previous one. In this case, I’m really not sure, because some of the new features such as Wi-Fi Sense might open some unexpected vulnerabilities.
      I never would have taken the plunge without a full image backup.

    • You didn’t specify you OS version, but my guess is its Win 7. And your likely correct about availability of Win 10 drives, at least anytime soon. You might try a windows 8 driver as it should work and reduce or eliminate the problems. As to hibernate mode, some more modern systems don’t even allow it, though I use it a lot. But it is also turned off on many systems and you need to go into the power options. Right click the battery icon in you sys tray, select power options and when the screen comes up, look at the menu on the left side. Select what buttons do. The next screen at the bottom show the option for hibernate, but you can’t change it. At the top is a blue link that will unlock these locked options. Go back to the bottom and select hibernate and save.

  26. I have tried to install W10 6 times now. Each time, it seems to work OK but when I try to close it, I get BSOD and an error message System Service Exception and it reboots, only to get the same error message again etc,etc. I have regressed to Windows 7 now and will wait until it becomes clear what the problem is. Also my version of Virtual Box no longer works, even on Windows 7.

  27. I have upgraded one Windows 7 machine (64 bit) one Windows 8.1 (32 bit) and 3 Windows 8.1 (64 bit) and the only issue I had was one Windows 8.1 machine was missing Start button and task bar was funny but a shut down and reboot fixed that. I personally like 10 but there are a few little bugs to be fixed. I don’t put anything private on my machine so don’t worry about that very much, any way what about all the privacy stuff with Google and Apple they all do it. I like the fact that it is updating almost daily to stay ahead of the bad guys like Apple does. By the way nothing down loaded on it’s own I had to tell it to down load in all 5 computers I upgraded. The system image before an upgrade is a must if you loss things like your banking stuff because going back to your old system on that 30 day option does not put them back in. I have a student who Upgraded and lost all his banking apps. Again no way will I bank on line. No hardware or software issues but I don’t have any hardware that is older then 2 years. I lost hardware and software going from XP to 7 but none with 8, 8.1 or 10. The Win 10 does boot a little faster but nothing like a hybrid or SSD drive.

  28. Pardon my ignorance, but I ticked the box to receive the Win 10, and it still tells me it is “validating Windows 10 for my PC” although twice recently there has been a very fleeting notice on my screen which seems to tell me to install, although it has been so fleeting I really am not certain what it says before vanishing ?
    I have a Toshiba Satellite L 50-B about 16 months old, running Win 8.1 from new.
    My questions are……..if Win 10 has been downloaded in the background, where should the files be stored, and if indeed it is downloaded, how can it be an advantage to leave installation for another couple of months – IE how/when would improvements & fixes be introduced if it is sitting on my PC but not installed ?

    • The Windows 10 files should be located in the “c:\$WINDOWS.~BT” folder.
      If the installation files are older, when you install Windows, you have the option of downloading the updates at installation time and having them installed along with Windows. Otherwise, those updates would be installed as part of the automatic updates.

  29. Tried updating a couple of weeks ago. Got 87% with no problems and then it stopped with an error code which I did not write down, but when I googled it it said it referred to an extenal device. I turned machine off and rebooted and it went back to Windows 7 with no problems. Bottom Line, I’ll wait a couple months before trying again, as you reccomend.

  30. I waited patiently for Microsoft to notify me that it was “ready” to install Win10 on my 5 year-old Lenovo T400 running Win7x64. After installation, the OS failed to load any mouse driver, making the cursor non-existent – and no way to control the computer. Great. After a couple of forced shutdowns, I now have mouse control – but LOTS of other features and drivers specific to my machine are not functional. The only Lenovo Utility included in their “App” section ended up blue-screening by computer 3 times in a row! Needless to say I won’t be attempting to load THAT anymore.
    Worst, the Win10 Start menu is NOWHERE NEAR as functional as Win7 – you can’t drag shortcuts to your favorite files or browser bookmarks, you can’t specify “display as a link, or display as a menu” the way you could before, and the IE replacement (“Edge”) is a complete joke – calling it a “basic” browser would be a huge overstatement. You can’t navigate ANYTHING – it doesn’t even have a menu bar! Seriously MS? Fortunately IE11 is still included, but every time you click on a hyperlink, the OS insists on asking you EVERY time – “What program would you like to open this file?” – even after you’ve told it a HUNDRED times to ALWAYS use IE!
    The only way this OS is functional is to download the 3rd party Classic Menu and spend a LOT of time trying to make it look like WIn7 – which should tell you everything you need to know about Microsofts’ total disconnect about how people actually use it’s OS in day-to-day desktop computing. SUPER disappointing.

  31. You report “Most common are things like external devices that aren’t supported by Windows 10 – printers being a big one.”. External devices require drivers. What OS contains drivers that were not developed by the external device manufacturer? If these external device manufacturers have not already released Windows 10 compatible drivers, it is quite unlikely that they ever will. Waiting to upgrade an OS for this reason is Waiting for Godot.

    • Probably true in most cases but Microsoft has been working with some device manufacturers to resolve driver issues.
      Windows Blog – Privacy and Windows 10
      Which stated:
      “A great example of how this data was used effectively was just last month, when aggregate data showed us that a particular version of a graphics driver was crashing on some Windows 10 PCs, which then caused a reboot. This driver was not widely used, but still the issue was impacting customers. We immediately contacted the partner who builds the driver and worked with them to turn around a fix to Windows Insiders within 24 hours. We used the data on Insiders’ devices to confirm that the problem was resolved, and then rolled out the fix to the broad public via an update the next day – all-in-all, this data helped us find, fix and resolve a significant problem within 48 hours.”

  32. Hi Leo,

    I’ve upgrade – or tried to upgrade – five machines to Windows 10; three desktops and two laptops.

    Four of the upgrades went fairly smoothly with only one laptop having a display driver issue which – for me anyway – was easily sorted.

    Most of the upgrades were from Windows 7 Pro which had just the display issue mentioned earlier. It was of interest to note that a Windows Old directory appeared and the offer made to go back to the previous version of windows if I wanted to. The offer would expire in 30 days after upgrade. I haven’t used it to find out how well it works as I’m enjoying Windows 10.

    One laptop, running Windows 8.1 Pro got 97% of the update done and then, for reasons still unknown, wouldn’t continue and reverted back to Windows 8.1 Pro. I’ve tried two more times to upgrade and the same thing happens every time. It intrigues me and one day I’ll get back to seeing what the problem is.

    I’ve been impressed that equipment at least 10 years old – a Toshiba laptop – has upgraded with little problem and operates faster than its original operating system Windows XP Pro or the Windows 7 Ultimate it was running at the time of the upgrade. (I generally don’t keep equipment that long but this laptop has never failed me and its display is still very good.)

    Privacy is not a big issue for me. I do note that advertising on webpages is now more concentrated on the pages I generally visit regularly. More pronounced now than when I was on Windows 7 or Windows 8.1; maybe I’m noticing it now as privacy is being mentioned a whole lot.

    My opinion of Windows 10 is positive and I recommend it as a more polished operating system than Windows 8.1.

  33. I wish that I had taken your advice and waited another two months before installing 10. I have 3 computers, my main computer is now on 10 and throwing problems. including malware, which it never had on Windows 7. I also know others who never publish anywhere but are having issues. I notice form the comments that some people with older machines have converted to Linux. As a result I have now changed my old Vista computer to Linux Mint and it is working far better than it ever did on Vista. In fact, it is running better than the machines on Windows. What do you think of the idea of recommending that people with Vista and XP do a clean install of Linux?

    • I agree with Leo and Mark. I go back to 1996 playing with Linux. A geeky OS, but there are many versions, some better tailored to Windows migrants. I am no expert in Linux, but for many things we do with browsers rather than programs, it works great. Though there are some Windows programs that can be run with the aid of Wine ( you research it), some programs will run. Many, not all, Linux programs might look primitive compared what is on Windows and lots you will not find at all. Most have names you will not recognize either from the Windows world. For an Office like program, Libre-office is best.
      Almost anything ran better than Vista that like 8, tried to bite off way to much and bogged down the system. You needed to go in and tune and tweek lots of setting mostly to turn off features to get much better performance. I think most Vista machines will upgrade to 8 and 10 (very similar requirements) but you might need a drop-in a graphic card for compliance. You can still get valid copies of Windows 7 which should work to upgrade Vista if your inclined. With all the updates applied (over 240 which you cannot get easily in one shot), it should let you know if it might be upgradable to 10. I will be trying this in the not to distant future on one Vista machine.

  34. For months, my computer said my version of Windows 10 wasn’t ready for reasons I do not know. A couple of weeks ago, I bought a laptop and two hard drives, one internal and one external. I learned a valuable lesson when swapping hard drives. I moved data from my lowest drive to my larger drive and took out the smaller drive. I didn’t do a full image backup, so this messed up the Windows 7 Ultimate installation I had, AND I lost my Windows 7 installation disc. Fortunately, I was able to get the Windows key and a new installation disc and was able to restore Windows 7, but it took longer than I thought. I installed some other software, and I eventually installed all the Windows Updates. Well, one of them was Windows 10.

    I put off Windows 10 upgrade for a couple of days to update my backups. I didn’t do a full image backup, because I just did a restore of Windows 7, so I felt I didn’t need one. I assumed the upgrade would take hours, but it took LESS than an hour. I’ve had no problems, and even some software I had problems with are gone. Even the GameHouse games are running as I reinstall them. I even like the newer browser, but I only use it for when I read things.

    As for recommending Windows 10, I’m not entirely sure. I’ve got no compatibility issues, so far, but it may not work for everyone. Even my printer that’s VERY old works with 10.

  35. I saw the Windows 10 download/install icon appear some months ago, but although I eagerly waited for the time when I could download/install it, there were problems. Installs (three attempts) froze at 32%. Very disappointing.

    I am using a Windows 7 Sony VAIO and it’s been a workhorse for a long time now – so much so that I can’t get the time to move things off it and onto a Windows 8.1 laptop I also have – a shame…

    Sony will not release the drivers until December 2015, so this is a non-event and installing… ? …well, I don’t know yet – I’ll stay tuned. Disappointing that there wasn’t more coordination for an easy upgrade. If not for that, I might already be in Windows 10 already.


  36. I use NERO for backing up, I am not very knowledgable at this , How do I do a FULL IMAGE BACK UP?
    I read your advise many times on this and still don’t know exactly how to do it.
    Could you please give me clear details.
    Thank you for sharing your expereiences with us.

  37. Last week in my updates i was informed that my machine had downloaded 10 and it would be installed next time I restarted or, if I left it on, within 24 hours my machine would shut off and restart automatically and install 10. Not thrilled about it as I preferred to wait a few months more so I printed the “undo” instructions just in case and left the machine on, setting it to “sleep” when not in use. Next day, when I arrived home from work, it flashed a “15 minute warning”. I got my undo instructions and my non-express-install-to-maximize-privacy instructions and waited. Still waiting! I even shut the unit off and restarted it. Not sure what gives but not really upset either. When/if it happens, I’ll be ready!

  38. If I decide to replace Win7 with Win10 it will not be before January, which gives me reliability and peace of mind for my online Xmas shopping etc.
    I’ve been running the previews since last year and my main problem with the system and its functionality is that it doesn’t always recognise the Synaptics touchpad/mouse/styk.
    That is manageable but there is something which bothers me: the difference between 64 & 32 bit systems or more specifically, how GWX (Get Windows 10) evaluates the system. The 64bit upgrade has been downloaded to my laptop and I’ve converted it to a ‘.iso’ file in case I need it next year.
    The 32bit version of GWX flags my laptop as having a CPU that is not compatibile.
    Does not inspire confidence.

  39. I tested a very late version of Windows 10 preview edition on an old laptop and was impressed how well it ran, so I figured that it would work even better on my desktop machine, so I did the upgrade. Have been disappointed in the performance, especially when going on the internet. I was able to make some tweaks that helped a little, but it seems that the older CPU on this machine bogs down a little more with Windows 10 than Windows 7. I like the functionality of Windows 10 a little better than Windows 7, but it’s not THAT much better. I have one PC with XP, one with Windows 7 and one with Windows 10. I like XP the best still, but since it is insecure and not supported, I don’t use it much. My Windows 7 machine gets the most use. I expect 10 will improve over time, but I doubt they will do much for older hardware to make it work better, so eventually in a year or two it will be time to replace my old hardware and move on to Windows 10. I do agree with Leo that the privacy concerns are troubling.

    • I have worked on several systems and I suspect it is a drivers issue. I am not affiliated with IO-bit, but they have a free to use product called Driver Booster that I have used on my own and other peoples machines for a number of years and had little problems with errant drivers updated. Last month I had a fair number of the motherboard drivers along with other device driver including the ethernet and WI-FI drivers. Note: I’m not pushing this option. You can do this the old fashion way by going into Device Manager, expand all, and one by one right click, select update driver and select online search. Your choice but I bet things improve after rebooting.

  40. I upgraded to Windows 10 on my HP laptop from 8.1 a few weeks ago. I am quite happy with it. I have tried upgrading on my Dell desktop (Windows 7) a couple of times. It has failed with the code C1900101-40017. I will keep trying. I have also had a problem with my wife’s Toshiba laptop (Windows 7).

  41. Hi Leo ,

    I guess some of my hareware in my computer is not compatible with Windows 10 . I immediately upgraded to win 10
    on the day that it was released and the upgrade went smoothly from my 8.1 but once at windows 10 I noticed that I
    couldn’t watch youtube videos and also I wasn’t able to watch my saved videos because Windows Media Player didn’t accept
    the code or something like that . I could still watch Netflix though . Also , I wasn’t able to get a full screen view of my
    saved pictures because of other additions that I didn’t want or ask for taking up the space . Therefore , I ended up going
    to system restore and getting my Windows 8.1 back and I felt relieved .

  42. Here’s a question that I can’t find an answer anywhere. I downloaded Win 10 on the first day it came out. I replaced my Win 8.1 and the following week I decided to build another computer for myself and give my old one to my wife. I purchased all the components and attempted to reinstall my old hard drive in the new build. My wife wanted to keep her hard drive with her information on it running Win 7 Home edition in my old computer. When the new build was fired up, Win 10 said that I had Win 8.1 being used on 2 computers and I would have to purchase a key to continue. Both of my Windows are legal, so I deleted Win 10 and went back to my Win 8.1. Now my unanswered question. When I and my wife attempt to load Win 10 the menu pops up and says that we have illegal copies on 2 computers and must purchase keys to continue. She has my old motherboard with her hard drive installed and I have the new motherboard with my hard drive installed. I attempted to get pass this by repairing Win 8.1, but it wants to completely re-format my drive and load win 8.0 which is what my disk is. Is there a workaround or do I re-format both disks and start over?

    • I had a licensing issue with a version of Windows I was using. I got a phone number for Microsoft, not online, but it came up through following the procedure of legally registering my version of Windows. It involved letting the tech guy access my computer to change a couple of settings and everything was fine. It was legit, but looking back, if I had to do it again, I’d probably ask him to walk me through the procedure, just in case. One warning: Don’t trust any Windows or other support phone numbers you find using a search engine, most are scams. Often if you enter those numbers into the search engine, the same number is listed as the support number for several companies. That’s a sure indication of it being a scam.

      • Thank you Mark. I’ll contact Microsoft directly and explain my problem; hopefully they can resolve my problem since their software caused it.

  43. I have used Windows 10 for a couple of weeks. For me, it’s a excelent OS – by far much better than 8/8.1. There’s the issues about compatibility and privacy, but the funcionalities like a new (and decent) start menu and the virtual desktops turn Win10 a excellent choice. Like they said, Microsoft alternate between one good version, and one bad version of Windows.

  44. My laptop just lost its screen so I have to buy a new device and for the first time in 20 years I have had to stop and think very carefully instead of just buying a new Windows machine. I have decided to change from Windows to Linux (Ubuntu) for two reasons. First, I think there are indications that Microsoft wants to eventually move its services to a subscription model and that only works in the long run if the whole thing is cloud-based. That’s no good to me – I spend a lot of time on a boat in places without internet connectivity (I can’t afford satellite data rates). The second reason is privacy – or trust. I really do not trust the structure of Microsoft’s privacy model as expressed in the Windows 10 setup. If I thought that Microsoft only wanted to collect data about crashes I’d happily let them do it (probably would keep them quite busy). But does anyone seriously think that’s all they are going to take? I think it’s very likely that one by one the privacy options will disappear, and using the salami-slice or boiling frog analogies nobody will change their operating system. Just my two cents, as they say.

    My boat’s computer runs XP – and since it has no connection to the outside world I will keep it until I can no longer maintain the hardware.

  45. I am in agreement with Leo’s comment “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” I am running Windows 7 on a machine that’s a few years old. Everything I have, software and hardware, is running fine and as it should, Wi-Fi, Router, Printer, External hard drive and all associated software. I find that I depend on my computer for important tasks much more than originally thought. I have read about some people having Windows 10 related problems after their downloads were complete. Specific to my machine, the Windows 10 pre-installation check tool has an issue with my Broadcom Virtual Wireless Adapter. I have been following a Microsoft Community Thread regarding this issue and no one has made any moves to fix this; not Microsoft, not Dell, not Broadcom. Suggested remedies run the gamut from uninstalling this OEM Driver before any attempted upgrade installation to using Drivers labeled for other manufacturers machines. Whether I would experience the same or a different set of problems is another issue but it does give me reason for pause and to ask myself a question. Do I want to jeopardize my current stabil machine and all its’ functionality that I depend on for day-to-day use for the sake of a “free” upgrade? As Leo has also stated, my current operating system is and will continue to be supported for a while yet. Chances are by the time Microsoft stops supporting Windows 7 with updates; I’ll probably be ready for a new machine, so my answer is “No!” I, like Leo, will continue to monitor the issue and wait to see if Microsoft addresses any of the issues I have and can make me feel more confident about the upgrade and if they can sell me on the necessity of downloading it to an older machine before I am ready to move to a new one with an operating system pre-loaded from the manufacturer.
    Windows 7 is a very good, stabil and relatively trouble free OS. I have it, I like it, I’m familiar with it, all my peripherals and software work with it, I’m gonna keep it! For now, Microsoft, thanks but no thanks!

  46. I have upgraded three PCs to Windows 10

    From PC
    W8/8.1 HP Pavilion Tower, early in August 2015.
    W7 ACER Laptop, late in August 2015
    W XP ASUS Netbook. Late in August 2015

    Basically all have upgraded; but a few quirks on the way.

    With all of them, MS should have included some indication of progress in the first major phase, as it was impossible to judge whether any progress was being made, until very nearly at the end.

    Also without following through, I noted a fleeting MS Message – apparently that it was only possible to revert back to the previous Windows Version, “one month” after successfully(?) upgrading to W10.

    With the Tower, one of the later upgrades/corrections, lost the Ethernet Wired Connection to the Router; and I had to restart both the Tower PC and the Router/Modem, to re-establish this connection.

    Strangely, that does not seem to have happened with the other two PCs, which are WiFi-connected.

    Since the latest upgrade/connection last week, often on the Web, I get the message “Page is unavailable” or similar, on the Tower – not checked on the other two.

    This seems to correct and connect as soon as I move the Mouse.

    I have lost the use of one ancient Graphics Program – must try re-loading, as I found it very easy and convenient to use.

    The Laptop is used by my lady-wife, so I don’t have every-day experience of using it; and the Netbook is my business/travel machine, so not frequently used; so unable to really comment on those, other than that they do seem a trifle faster, both booting and in use.

    • Likely the need for an ethernet driver update to correct the problem. As to the graphic program, first check for an updated version after trying the re-load and if it still doesn’t work. Last resort is to check out compatibility mode on the program. Right click its icon and select properties. One of the tabs says compatibility, select it and at the top is a blue link for trouble shooting that may figure out what is needed. Its a bit of a hit and miss option, but if it works, that’s all that counts.

  47. Great video Leo…..thank you. I’m running Win 7 and was shocked one day about a month ago to turn on my computer and see a message that Win 10 had started installing itself without me doing anything to promote that. I panicked and stopped the install and my computer hasn’t run well since.

    I’m hesitant on many levels to install Win 10. I’m not sure system can handle it because when I run sfc /scannow it tells me I have corrupted files that it cannot fix. I have read an exhausting amount of tutorials that say Windows Update itself! caused the corrupted files and I have also read that it’s an erroneous message and I don’t have corrupted files. ………computers give me migraine headaches……and I don’t get migraine headaches.

    So I don’t know if X % of Win 10 was installing in my OC and me putting on the brakes screwed my system up or something else. I’ve run lots of anti malware which comes out clean…..but I never believe there aren’t aliens still lurking below the surface of my OC just waiting for the right time to devastate my world.
    I guess my question would be can I install Win 10 with supposedly corrupted files. Hope to hear from you but I know you are a busy busy guy. Again thanks for the work you do.

  48. Becareful, doing an upgrade of a running system, Win 10 keeps many drivers, so it tends to work fine. Do a clean install later, if you don’t have a copy of your drivers, you are in for a surprise.

  49. Hi Leo,
    Thanks for your advice. I’m fairly pc-illiterate and any problems I’ve had with my pc is always because I’ve downloaded or upgraded without fully understanding what the heck I’m doing. You’ve certainly saved my a lost of stress, and for that I am forever thankful. I’m following your advice…if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I’m using Windows 7 and will be sticking to that until you revisit your opinion when it gets closer to July, 2016.
    Once again, You Rock!

  50. I have not read all the comments, so I don’t know If someone else has said what I’m about to say. I have two ssd’s that I upgraded to Windows 10. After the upgrade, I did a fresh install. I have to say that both machines are running fine. One machine is a 1 1/2 year old build, and the other machine is a 5 year old Dell.

  51. I upgraded to Windows 10 from Windows 7 Professional on my HP ProBook 4530s, 8 GB RAM, i5 processor. It was difficult to get 10 to run though the HP fingerprint reader and facial recognition security software, but it eventually worked. My drivers now have disappeared. I have no mouse driver on the machine now, and HP’s website and Microsoft’s are no help. Nor are the various driver update software packages, including the ones on this website. I easily upgraded to 10 on my Dell, Lenovo, and Acer machines. There were no driver problems on those. I have old mouse installation CD’s for Logitech, but Windows 10 won’t permit them to run!!
    How can I get a mouse driver?

  52. I did a fresh install of windows 10 on my Sony Vaio – VGN- SZ 483. The only problem not solved is the driver for the built in Web Cam.
    Has anyone any ideas or suggestions?



      • After getting windows 10 to work on my Sony Vaio I can assure you I have looked everywhere to get the webcam to work without success. But I will continue to search for an answer.

        • Unfortunately, a new operating system can mean the obsolescence of some hardware. A USB webcam isn’t expensive.


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