Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Windows 10

I took the plunge this week and updated from good old Windows 7 to the shiny new incarnation of this long-running title. Microsoft has been nagging me all year, with its nasty trick of including the upgrade in its normal updates, and when I marked it to stop it going ahead, putting it back on the approved list without telling me. However, it is free so musn't grumble too much.

In the past I have migrated to new versions of Windows by buying a new PC; it's been so long since I last did an in-situ upgrade I can't remember what it was (Windows 3.1?)

I am miffed at the following which really should not have happened:
  • Nearly 3gb of files were downloaded last year. When I started the upgrade the whole lot were downloaded again. Why? Either the first lot should never have been sent or the last lot were not needed. 
  • Despite all sorts of assurances that settings would be retained, the video driver for my relatively new graphics card, GTX 960, was overwritten and replaced by a much less capable Microsoft driver. Yes, a Windows 10 version was available from Nvidia, makers of the graphic chips. My anger is that Windows did not tell me it was ditching the driver.
  • Similarly with the audio driver. There was no sound until I forced Windows to run a diagnostic test whereupon it sorted itself out. I then had to reinstall a piece of software for making recordings because the system had got confused about which audio driver did what.
  • The next day, when I did a restart, the system started doing updates which took about 20 minutes to complete. No warning that I would have to wait or chance to delay them. Just an irritating little swirly dot shape on the screen. Updates the day after an installation? What were they? I clicked on a popup that told me that the system was updated, expecting to see some details and all that happened was that the popup went away.
  • My date and time formats, set to normal UK (dd/mm/yy) changed to American (mm/dd/yy)
  • My currency format, £, changed to $.
  • Many of the desktop icons have been replaced by black oblongs. This seems to be an intermittent fault and the proper icons sometimes come back after I go in and out of the settings commands. There's a few comments on this behaviour on the web and it appears to go back to Windows 8 and even 7. But no acknowledgement of it from Microsoft. [Update: it seems the problem was created by a registry tweak to remove the pointless little "shortcut" arrow that goes over the icon to show that it is a shortcut, even though you know that already since you are the person who put the shortcut there in the first place. Hopefully a better tweak will come along]

That's the gripe list so far. Everything else does seem to be working. My desktop looks exactly like the old one (apart from when icons go black, as mentioned above), there's some funny little tile things if you click the start  Windows button but I've deleted the pointless ones (like Twitter which refused to update live tweets from people I follow).. My most complex piece of software is probably Skyrim with a number of mods. It failed to load until I removed them; now I am slowly putting them back one by one to see which is the culprit and the finger is pointing at one of the graphics enhancements.

Moral of this story: Don't upgrade to 10 if you are not confident about changing settings, reloading drivers and reinstalling software, or if you don't know someone who can help. Go for a new computer instead.

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