Windows 10 updates

Windows 10 updates 10/10/2019

Windows 10 1903
Start, Settings, system, Adout, scroll down to Version.  look for 1903 or higher.
Start search for WinVer click Run COmand.  Look for 1903. if your number is lower than 1903 then you are out of date.  You might see 1803 or 1809 for example.
Windows 10 1803 end of life
Home, Pro, and Pro for Workstation editions of Windows 10, version 1803 (the April 2018 Update) will reach end of service on November 12, 2019, update these devices, as well as those running earlier versions of Windows 10 that are past end of service.

Windows 10 installs

update posted 2019/02

There are many time that you may need windows 10 installation media.  You can create installation media for free at:

Example installs

Fresh install of windows 10 on your Windows 7 PC – If you own a legal copy of  windows 7 8 or 8.1 then you can install MS Windows 10 on a fresh blank hard drive in that computer.   You may be asked for your Microsoft Product key (or COA code) then when you do your fresh install of Windows 10.  If you have your old windows 7 COA sticker rthen use that product key when windows 10 asks for it.

Reinstall Windows 10 on a PC that had a hard drive failure.  If this same pc had windows 10 activated on it before then Microsoft has tracked that install and lets you just reinstall Windows 10 and activate it with out entering any key.  During the install just look for and choose the option that you don’t have a product key.  Then after the install you can activate windows 10 without entering the a key.

Why does this work?

You may recall that the free windows 10 upgrade window sort of ended back on July 29, 2016.  Or maybe you remember that you could still do upgrade untl Dec 31 2017 said that somebody in the family may someday appreciate the adaptive technologies inside windows 10 but that after Dec 31 2017 the same upgrade will cost $119-$199.  Well all of that was sort of true.  Windows 7 and 8 users can still upgrade to Windows 10 for free if they do a fresh install of windows 10.   Also there are ways to upgrade to Windows 10 for less than $100.  Once I saw whole computers selling for $168 including windows 64 bit Professionals.  I knew there were ways to  get windows 10 for less than $119-$199.

Windows 10 has been out since about 2015 so by 2018 many of the bugs have been patched in windows 10 and even improved with the with the Windows 10 Anniversary Update.  Further  many software manufacturer have created or modified their products compatible with Windows 10.  So I would now list windows 10 as one of the best and most stable Operating systems.   Meanwhile Windows 7 and 8.1 are approaching end of support dates and windows 10 now accounts for 29.4% of all browsing.  See: Current Market share by Operating System Stats  (By comparison all Mac OS combine for under 7.3% of all browsing).  So all indications is that now is the right to make that upgrade to windows 10.

Is your PC compatible with the upgrade?  Maybe.  If you have an i3 or greater processor and 4 GB or more RAM,  with windows 64 bit or newer and 100 GB free space on your hard drive then you probably should give it a try.  Microsoft officially sets the Windows 10 System Requirements much lower.  However both lists ignore that there may be driver compatibility issues in the upgrade and there is no reliable list that definitively tells you which PC’s will upgrade smoothly.  in early summer 2016 many “non- compatible” PCs upgraded accidentally and the upgrades generally went well.  So if you are willing to take the risk to save $120+ dollars then that is another reason to try it.

As always please back up your windows COA and software keys, and your important data onto an external drive and/or a cloud product (like Google Back-up and Sync, One drive or Dropbox).  Please also double check that the data is really backed up. The best way to check your back up is to restore to another computer and test the data before you upgrade.  Once that is complete then you may be ready to try that Free Windows 10 upgrade tool before time runs out on the free upgrade deal.

Microsoft's lifecycle support page still clearly shows 'Windows 8' is supported - which it isn't. Image credit: Microsoft


may 18, 2016 update:

Many people have had problems after their computer upgraded to windows 10.  Microsoft leads you to believe your computer is compatible with windows 10 but what they are saying is that because your computer meets some minimum requirements of speed and ram that it MIGHT work and they might schedule you to automatically upgrade to windows 10 with little warning.  

In reality many older windows 7 computers do not have all the windows 10 drivers so after the upgrade or after windows 10 automatic updated you realize that you no longer have networking or internet, sound, video options, sometimes it is mouse and or keyboard. Once there is an upgrade you get a small window about 30 days to” 

go back to windows 7 or 8.1   Start menu,  Settings,  Update & security” icon, “Recovery,”  “Go back to Windows 7” or “Go back to Windows 8.1”  Get started”

There are 2 other options.  Perhaps your computer manufacturer ( LenovoToshiba.  HP Asus  Dell, Samsung, Acer, gateway etc) has new drivers that will fix your problem.  Sometimes Intel has new drivers for your chip-set or on board sound and video.  So you can stay on windows 10 and get your computer working again.  But as you only get 30 days to go pack to windows 7 (or 8.1) I suggest that if in doubt go back sooner rather than later.  

______________             _  

(original Post Feb 2016)

Windows 10, like any new product, creates opportunities to get into your pocketbook.  Therefore, there is no shortage of marketing material and articles touting it’s virtues.   But’s lets also be practical.  For most users computers are not their life so have little ability to “improve your life.”  Let’s also be real about who is using windows 10?  about 16% of us compared to 46% of us are on windows 7 and 10% on windows XP. (There are actually more people on XP than all versions of mac combined).  Almost no big companies have adopted windows 10 as they just recently converted to windows 7 professional.  Even Microsoft has not promised an improvement in performance when transitioning to Windows 10.   So windows 10 is not exactly a necessity of life.  Lets reference the most Current Market share by Operating System Stats  only 16% of all web browsing happens on windows 10*

I am not saying: nobody should upgrade.  I am just warning extra cautious when contemplating an upgrade.  Don’t be tricked into overly optimistic thoughts of compatibility and productivity increases.  Be weary when a computer manufacturer or Microsoft Tells you you can or should upgrade.  Realize that they have a vested interest in getting you to cross over to windows 10.  Meanwhile, they offer no warranty or even free support if the upgrade fails.

Many “independent” technology authors are printing promotional articles overplaying the simplicity of upgrading.  However be cautious and consider:

  1. Research availability of your specific computer’s windows 10 drivers before considering an upgrade.
  2. Do you have time to learn a new OS?  If windows 10 drivers are available then prioritize your windows 10 conversion like the opportunity to learn a new language.  So, if your work isn’t transferring you to Italy next month then learning Italian is a hobby.  Prioritize Windows 10 the same way.  Windows 10 does not help you write emails faster or build cooler websites, play video games faster nor even convert video’s better for posting on YouTube.  It is basically a cooler look with different notifications for reading social media and it’s interface is better than Windows 7 for touch screen’s like tablets and phones.  Basically it enhances play more than work.  If technology is one of your hobbies then play on.  If your computer is for business…. upgrade with due caution.

Is my computer Windows 10 upgrade compatible?

“Go Ahead…. Upgrade to Windows 10….., my Precious”..    OK, It does not really say that.  Just remember that Microsoft is not guaranteeing your has windows compatible Driver’s.  So they have nothing to loose.  The risk is all yours”   Worst case from Microsoft’s perspective?  Your windows 10 upgrade fails and you buy a new computer (with new windows 10 pre-installed.  Everybody (else but you) Wins!!  Perhaps, Blibo Baggins, you like a little adventure?!  

Microsoft has been pushing annoying and misleading pop-ups that say your computer is compatible for the upgrade.  Do Not Trust those Microsoft tests!!!  The Microsoft test does not check to see if your computer manufacturer has made and tested Windows 10 compatible drivers.  Despite what that pop-up infer’s,  most Windows 7 computer models do not have windows 10 compatible drivers available.  So you may experience issues after your windows 10 upgrade.   Issues can range from: computer slowness, loss of sound, inability to control sound, video display issues, your mouse and keyboard may no longer work, upgrade failure, total loss of access to your data, even “bricking your computer” is a potential outcome of an upgrade gone array.  (“Bricking” means your device is ruined so badly that it becomes only functional as a brick).

One potential client came to us desperate.  His computer upgrade worked for about 60 days.  Then, without warning and after a MS windows 10 auto-update,  no keyboard or mouse would work.  With out a keyboard or mouse he could not roll back to windows 7.  So hard drive had to be pulled and backed up.  Then windows 7 had to be reloaded from scratch.  There is also the chance that your computer will upgrade to your satisfaction.

Is the upside of the windows 10 upgrade worth the risk?  Your answer should depend on confident answers to these 7 questions:

  1. Are there new windows 10 drivers for all you computer’s components and peripherals like printers?
  2. Are you 100% sure you are fully backed up?
  3. Do you have a real paper Certificate of Authenticity (CoA) for windows 7 or 8?
  4. Do you have all of your software keys and manufacturer’s software reload discs?
  5. Are you comfortable and familiar with the reload process if your computer fails to upgrade to your satisfaction?
  6. Is this your only working computer?  if not then Dirty Harry would say:
  7. “So, You gotta ask yourself: Do you feel lucky? Well do ya?  PUNK!!?”

Which computers have drivers tested as Windows 10 upgrade compatible takes some work to find.  Perhaps manufacturer’s would rather sell you a new computer than help you upgrade you old computer?

Here is a list of: dell computers tested for windows 10 compatibility.

Other lists or look ups are also a bit hidden:  LenovoToshiba.  HP.     Asus and Dell have pages that let you check support for specific computers.  Acer is a moving target.  An old link is here (Acer) but that link is currently invalid.

“Sorry! I don’t want any adventures, thank you. Not Today. Good morning! But please come to tea – any time you like! Why not tomorrow? Good bye!” – Bilbo Baggins. An Unexpected Party.

If you do not want to invite Windows 10 to unexpectedly come to tea then you can remove the windows 10 popups.  There is an App for that.  (shocking!)  see links in the next paragraph.

GWX Control Panel    This free tool can remove and disable the ‘Get Windows 10’ notification area icon on your Windows 7 or Windows 8. The author made 2 versions but I prefer the  GWX Control Panel as a standalone executable because it is so simple.   Just download it run it, and click OK.  next you will see about 8 or 9 wide buttons.  Click just once each of the 5 buttons that have the words “Windows 10”  Ignore the other buttons.  Then exit.

You may choose to read this user guide but it will make it sound way more complicated than it needs to be. If you are even more geeky than me then consider the “GWX CONTROL PANEL RELEASE NOTES” section of the user guide for MD5 and SHA-1 checksums of all official releases.  Assuming that your mind just said:  “Wait,  WHAT!?”  Then re-read the 1st sentence in this paragraph.

What about a buying a new computer?   Yep, you have much less at risk if Windows 10 is pre-installed or the computer has compatible drivers.  Just remember for any new computer to budget a few hours to set it up, hook it to your network, load standard software, install printers and configure your back ups.

What about buying a windows 7 computer that can be upgraded to windows 10 later?  Here are some computers on Amazon that are Windows 10 Compatible

Is your printer compatible with windows 10?  See PC Magazine.

How to Go Back to Windows 7 or 8.1

If you accidentally upgraded to windows 10 or want to go back then that is generally easy for the 1st 30 days.  after that then not so much.

There is no shortage of articles promoting the features of windows 10.  (Microsoft is a very successful marketing company).  For one example click:  Best Windows 10 features

* February 2016 % of web traffic by DESKTOP/LAPTOP Operating system

52.34%    Windows 7               (2009)
12.82%    Windows 10             (2015)
11.24%     Windows XP           (2001)
9.83%     Windows 8.1            (2013)
3.72%     Mac OS X 10.11        (2015)
2.43%     Windows 8               (2012)
2.20%      Mac OS X 10.10      (2014
1.78%       Linux
1.66%      Windows Vista        (2007)
0.87%     Mac OS X 10.9         (2013)
0.34%     Mac OS X 10.6         (2008)
0.28%     Mac OS X 10.8         (2012)
0.28%     Mac OS X 10.7         (2011)
0.12%      Windows NT            (1996)
0.05%     Mac OS X 10.5         (2010)
0.02%     Mac OS X 10.4         (2005)
0.01%     Windows 2000        (2000)
0.01%     Windows 98             (1998)

February, 2016 Browsing By DEVICE TYPE:

Desktop 73.34%     Mobile/tablet 25.90%

Browsing by Mobile/tablet Operating systems
59.17%     Android OS
32.62%     iOS
2.72%      Windows Phone
2.26%      Java ME
1.66%      Symbian
1.46%      BlackBerry BlackBerry
0.07%     Samsung OS
0.02%     Kindle OS

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