So, Windows 10 was recently released, so I decided to be brave, dive in and update all of my machines within the first few days of it being available for general download.
This will be a quick overview of how my updates went and the pitfalls I encountered. I’ll give some basic specs (if I know them!) so that those playing along at home can hopefully get something out of it if their systems are similar!
My PC was home-built, so the specs are as follows:
- CPU: i7
- RAM: 16GB
- HDD: 2TB (*really* slow SATA)
- Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti
I’d already put my name down for Windows 10 on this machine, so it was available for download…apparently. It took some finessing. Mine didn’t automatically detect – I had to do what many many others have done, and go into my C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Downloads folder and trash the lot. Once I’d done that – MAGIC! Update for Windows 10 appeared.
Hit the “Update now” and away it went. Download was surprisingly quick, maybe 30 minutes (cable connection). Install was a bit longer for me than it was for my better half, as he has an SSD. Took me about 45 minutes for the full install, including a few reboots.
Once it rebooted, everything appeared okay, except my display was a bit screwy. A reboot to try and fix it produced a really cool blue-screen (yes, they still have blue-screens…it’s just a much prettier blue!).
The two issues I had were:
- Getting the display drivers to play nicely (especially as I have two monitors)
- Stopping the random blue-screens I was having relating to AppleCharger.sys
Funnily enough, the display drivers was the trickier of the two – it took multiple reboots (with many a blue-screen…explanation on that shortly) to get it to start playing nicely, as it kept telling me that the new hardware wizard was already being used. It may very well have been in the background, but I certainly couldn’t see it to kill it!
Getting the blue-screens to stop was simple, after a quick Google – it appears that Gigabyte, in all their wisdom, install a really cool program called “ON/OFF”. This is what was causing the blue-screens. Go into Add/Remove Programs, uninstall the program and TADA! No more blue-screens!
So far, all the apps I’ve tried have worked fine without any issues – some have required a little bit of recalibration (Logitech Gaming software) but for the most part, my desktop appears to be playing with Windows 10 very nicely! Have connected my Microsoft account – not sure I like using that to sign in, but we’ll see how I go. All my standard apps (Chrome, VLC, Skype, Steam, Spotify) seem to be working just fine!
My laptop is an Alienware m14x – won’t bother with the specs, easy enough to look up!
This machine hadn’t been booted in a while, so it wasn’t down for the “Reserve your copy of Windows 10” thing. It did need a few Windows Updates which I proceeded to try and install in the hope that it would let me install Windows 10. Nope. Not even close. May have been because my updates failed (for those following along at home, if you get error 80070003, check out the instructions here)
Updates finally were able to download after applying said fix – took about 20 minutes (I know, I’m a BAD sysadmin…don’t take good care of my own PC’s!)
After updating, I then received the dreaded “Something Happened” error (laugh all you want, but it’s bloody annoying!). After some searching, stumbled across this post which had the most useful piece of information on how to fix this – change your locale to be US.
No joke – it works. For those of us poor suckers who use a different region/language, you’ve got to change it back for it to play nicely. Seems a bit shitty, but I’ll run with it if it means I get my Windows 10 dammit!
30 or so minutes later, laptop complete! Surprisingly, didn’t have the same drama with the NVIDIA GeForce that I did with the PC! Have tested a few games, Steam and Battle.net – no issues so far!
My tablet is an ASUS T100TA – as with the Alienware, the specs are readily available online.
Another machine in my arsenal that I didn’t sign up for the “Reserve your copy” thing. However, Windows Updates on this little baby went through fine, and the little Windows 10 thing popped up, so I clicked the “Reserve your copy”….and nothing happened.
Not content to wait (I’m Gen-Y, dammit!) I decided to go off and do the download myself. The T300 is weird – it’s a 64-bit machine but with a 32-bit OS. So I downloaded the 32-bit MediaCreator on my laptop (while waiting for the Windows Updates…) in the hope that I’d be able to do it.
Get a really lovely error. No wait. There is NO error. Just a really small pop-up box, with nothing in it but an ‘OK’ button. Click the button…nothing happens. Try and run the installer again to create the media and get the following phrase:
“Setup couldn’t start properly. Please reboot your PC and try running Windows 10 Setup again.”
I hate that sentence. It’s stupid and I’ve seen it WAYYYYY too many times now. I tried rebooting…no luck. Tried on the desktop. No luck. As expected, I just needed to suck it up and just try and run the installer directly on the tablet and let it download it’s 3GB update over wireless. It might take a good 10 hours, but it’ll get there eventually.
After seeing the issue of the “Something happened” disappear on my laptop (because I was doing both the tablet and laptop simultaneously at this point) I thought I’d give the change in region a go on the tablet.
Sure enough…tablet started it’s update straight after the region-setting reboot.
As expected, downloading took a long time, but not quite as long as expected – only about 40 minutes. I did place my tablet literally beside my wireless router, so that may have helped…
It’s currently “Upgrading Windows” and this may take a while… (9% and counting)
EDIT – I’m up, it’s the following morning and the update appears to have gone smoothly with only one small thing to fix up. The touchpad on the Transformers requires special drivers that aren’t part of the Windows 10 install (in fact, they’re not part of any OS install – remember I had to do the same thing when I upped to Windows 8.1) so it didn’t work at all after the Windows 10 upgrade.
No big deal – just need to go off to the ASUS website and download the latest drivers. A quick search on the webs shows other have had the same issue and can walk you through exactly what you need to do. Just a word of advice, you’ll need to uninstall the previous drivers (ATK & Touchpad) in order to install new ones. Have just done the install of the two new drivers and everything appears to be working fine, including all the smart gestures.
So there you have it – a desktop, laptop and tablet all updated to Windows 10 in just under 12 hours with very few dramas.
Few little quirks I’d recommend:
- Do a backup of your data, just in case – I didn’t have issues, but I trust my CrashPlan!
- Make sure your machine has had all of it’s Windows Updates installed – it may be painful, but it’ll save you so much teeth-gnashing and hair pulling
- Don’t just blindly click “next next next” – read the details on the screen. I’ve opted out of all the “Send your details to advertisers/view my web browsing history” etc. etc. but to be able to do that, you need to be paying attention
- Check that you’re compatible before upgrading – the Windows 10 app should let you know if there are any incompatibilities.
I wouldn’t recommend your average user try to upgrade straight away – if they encounter any of the issues I had (let alone all of them) it would be an extreme source of frustration. But give it a few weeks, and I think this will be pretty rock solid!
Happy Windows 10 everyone! ^_^