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My most recent Windows 10 recommendation is here: Should I Upgrade to Windows 10? – I keep that one updated as things change.
Is it time to update my recommendation for Windows 10?
Hi everyone, Leo Notenboom here for askleo.com. It’s the middle of November, 2015 and as I speak, Microsoft is apparently in the process of rolling out a fairly major update to Windows 10.
I don’t yet know how well that is going. The initial reports haven’t started coming in yet, but since I’ve been promising an update every couple of months or so with respect to my recommendation on what you do with Windows 10, I thought I’d take this opportunity (while they’re updating the software) for me to update my recommendation.
Let’s take a look at what the results might be when you update your Windows 7 or Windows 8 machine to Windows 10. Naturally, either of two of things will happen when you perform the update or upgrade to Windows 10. Hopefully, it will work. In reality, that’s actually happening most of the time.
At least my sense is that it is in fact working most of the time. Now, once it works, however, something else comes into play. People are either happy or they’re not. If people aren’t happy, maybe because they just aren’t comfortable with the amount of change that Windows 10 introduces, or they just don’t like some aspect of it – anything from the software itself to maybe the privacy controversy.
Nonetheless, the bottom line is that they’re just not happy with Windows 10. Hang on to those folks for a minute. If we step back, of course, the other thing that can happen when you upgrade your Windows 7 or Windows 8 machine to Windows 10 is that it won’t work. In that case, you’re left with a machine or peripherals that don’t necessarily work.
So, one of the things that I want to point out today before I even make a recommendation is that image backups can rescue you from either of those two situations. If you just don’t like Windows 10 after the upgrade, or if your upgrade actually fails in some regard, and I’ll talk about that more in a moment, an image backup taken immediately prior to performing the upgrade is a safety net that basically protects you from all possible outcomes.
Either you’re happy with Windows 10 and move forward, or you’re unhappy and it doesn’t work and you simply roll back by restoring that image backup to the state your machine was in prior to even trying Windows 10. Now, let’s talk about that “doesn’t work” scenario, because one of the things that I’ve started to see is a bit of a trend.
You may recall in some of my earlier comments on Windows 10 that failures seemed somewhat; I’ll just say “random”. I couldn’t really discern pattern between one machine’s failure and another and another’s. That’s starting to change a little bit. Here’s the common thread that I’m starting to see and it’s simply this: The Windows 10 upgrade process will make it appear as if your machine is compatible, is supported and will work.
Unfortunately, it’s simply not always or not completely right. Where most people are running into this are with peripherals – be it printers or other external devices that are connected to their computers for which there are no Windows 10 drivers and for which the manufacturer is not yet supplying Windows 10 drivers.
Perhaps they don’t even have any plans at this point to supply those drivers. What your left with is maybe a computer that works but a printer that doesn’t because you’ve upgrade to Windows 10.
Naturally, the upgrade can fail in other places as well, but peripherals are the most common one that I’m starting to see. I have seen failures where the upgrade process would claim the things you’re going to work, and it actually fails the actual upgrade of Windows 10.
Again, it varies a lot but the one common thread, the closest thing I can say to a common thread is that the machines are a little bit older. Newer machines, if you get a new machine with Windows 10, you’re great, you’re golden, but if you’ve got a machine that’s actually just over a couple or years old or if you’ve got peripherals that are especially over a couple of years old, there’s this additional risk that even though Windows 10 upgrade will work or appear to say that it’s going to work, it won’t work completely.
So, what does one do? Well, there are a couple thoughts and here’s my bottom line recommendation: One, there’s no rush still to upgrade to Windows 10. The free update will be provided until like next July, so there’s still time to evaluate whether or not it’s really the right solution for you. It may not be.
Staying with something works is perfectly acceptable. If you’re going to upgrade to Windows 10 for whatever reason, an existing system, Windows 7, Windows 8, being upgraded to Windows 10, then by all means take that image backup first but that’s something you should do regardless. Always take an image backup of the machine prior to upgrading to Windows 10, regardless of whether or not you think it’s going to work because about the time you assume that it’s going to work, it will fail in some way and you’re going to want to go back.
Yes, Microsoft does have this roll back option, so that within the first 30 days you have the option of going back to your previous installation of Windows. Because this issue happens with peripherals, I am hearing from people that actually don’t find out until well, the 31st day to get a little bit smart about it, but at some point after that window has closed, they come to the realization that something that they use perhaps not as often is actually not working with Windows 10, and they don’t have that roll back option.
If you’ve got your image backup, you have the option to roll back simply by restoring that image backup to your machine. Finally, one last thought: If you are again, interested in moving forward to Windows 10, do a little bit of research perhaps with the specifics machine you are using or the peripherals that you rely on.
Do some Google searching. See if other people are having problems with Windows 10. Their experience could, potentially, save you a fair amount of time. So my bottom-line recommendation: Wait some more. I would actually have most people wait at least for a couple more months – into January or February of 2016 before evaluating whether or not they want to go into Windows 10.
There’s no rush; there’s still no rush to get there. On the other hand, if you are going to go to Windows 10 then by all means make sure to take an image backup first. It’s one of the reasons that I’ve been focusing so heavily on various versions of backup tools to make this kind of thing possible.
Be it Macrium Reflect, Macrium Reflect Free or EasUS Todo or any of a number of other tools, get that image backup taken before you perform the upgrade, and you’ll always have that safety net in case something goes wrong.
So, as always, let me know what you think. Let me know what your experience with the upgrade has been. If you’re watching this anywhere but on askleo.com, here’s the link, go visit that and I’ll read every comment that gets posted. I’d love to hear how things have been going for you. Until next week, I’m Leo Notenboom for askleo.com. Thanks for watching!