Wednesday, August 12, 2015

If it ain't broke, don't fix (or upgrade) Windows.

Windows 10 – the Grand Revolution. All the features you want (that Apple already had). Cortana (the name and voice of the AI in the videogame Halo, developed by ex-Mac programmers), multiple desktops, integrated apps and features, huzzah. All new. Well my PC told me that Windows 10 was ready to install. The previous week I had made a clone of the SSD drive to a backup SATA drive using Macrium Reflect 5. Worked like a charm. I was ready. I could install Windows 10 without worry and revert if I need to. So I did.

The install had downloaded the files already and it was just setting up. So I watched it go for a bit, then I returned to work. There was a big percentage readout on the screen telling me how much was left. Then it said it was “cleaning up a few things.” Then this curious message. “This is taking a little longer than expected, but we’re almost done.” Then the desktop appeared with a big black box around it, like it was no using the full resolution of the screen. Ha, I said, I can fix that.

Then I tried to go to the Start menu. Nothing. Clicked in the Taskbar. Nothing. Search box? Nope. Icons on the desktop seemed to respond to clicks so I launched Chrome. Opened up. But I still couldn’t access anything at the bottom... Maybe I wasn’t waiting long enough. But the hype said Windows 10 would be faster. Didn’t seem so here. Maybe I need to restart. So I did. And lo, it was better. A little. The display was up to full resolution, and the Search box yielded a popup. Once. Then was silent. The speed hadn’t changed much.

Did a search (on my iMac), and found others with a similar problem. Microsoft said there might be a software conflict and to try a clean boot by disabling the startup files. Except I couldn’t get to msconfig because the Search wouldn’t respond. I found I could right click on the Start menu icon and get a contextual menu, and there were some options I was able to use to get to Start Up tab and disable some stuff, but it wasn’t msconfig so I didn’t think it would prove useful. I was right.

Then... then I had a thought. I opened the Disk Management app and looked at the hard drives. Um, what? Windows 10 had gone ahead and upgraded my backup on the SATA drive, not the SSD drive. Huh? What was I gonna do now? I powered down and disconnected the SATA drive. Booted back up and voila! back in Windows 7. Grrr. Well, that was a waste of time. I will have to reclone the SSD drive and then disconnect the SATA drive in order to try again. If I want to. Maybe I don’t. I was having no issues with Windows 7, and now that I did the upgrade once, I can do it again should I choose. It would be interesting to see how it runs on the SSD. And even if I compared the Win 10 install on the SATA to Win 7 on the SATA, I might be inclined to say it may have been faster. But I will have to choose wisely...

So, to sum up, if it ain’t broke, don’t go installing Windows 10 – especially without a backup, a disconnected backup. Perhaps wait until the first Service Pack... Hope Apple’s upcoming El Capitan OS X upgrade fairs better.

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