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Windows 10 Progress Notes

Ventura County Computers has been hard at work taking a look at Windows 10 to see if there are any patterns in the problems of upgrading.

We have some fairly simple guidelines for potential upgrade problems:

  1. Do not upgrade until the Windows 10 notification tells you it is ready. The notification in Windows 7 and 8.1 appears in the system tray (lower-right corner of the screen in the shape of four white squares. Most of the problems have been caused by forcing an upgrade when all the drivers haven't been downloaded.
  2. Windows 7 is more problematic than Windows 8.1. Virtually everything can be installed from 8.1 but lots of legacy hardware like old printers and scanners, and legacy software won't make the trip. Most of it wouldn't make the trip to 8.1, either.
  3. Do a full system backup before upgrading. We don't mean copying all your data. We mean an image you can use to restore your Windows 7/8.1 system back to exactly the way it was before you attempted to upgrade. Yes, the upgrade tries real hard to make sure you can roll back failed upgrades, but do NOT count on it.
  4. Run thorough virus and spyware scans before installing. (Did we really need to tell you this???)
  5. Make sure you have copies of all your software ready to reinstall in case they don't make the trip and don't forget key codes or other hacker protection codes you will need.
  6. Windows 10 will not install on Windows 8. To get to Windows 10 you first have to upgrade from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1.

War Story

To give you an idea of what can go wrong, here is one self-inflicted problem install we have had.

Our network tech, Toby Scott, upgraded from Windows 8.1 to 10 on July 29 (the official launch day) on both his home and work computers. Home went great. No problems of any kind. Work was a different story. There wasn't an Nvidia graphics driver for his work computer, which was running dual monitors. The default Microsoft graphics driver would only display the same content on both monitors. In trying to download a working graphics driver, Toby blew up the install and had to start over with a clean install. This meant installing every piece of software, his email (all 5 accounts), printers, scanner, OneDrive, Dropbox and several other online programs. It took him 2 days to get everything up and running. He ignored #1 above.


If you are running Windows 8.1 and would like to upgrade, go ahead. For the most part, the upgrade works with minimal issues. For Windows 7 users, the issues are murkier. Do you use a lot of old hardware, like printers and scanners? Some of them won't work well with Windows 10. Ditto for old software, particularly anything DOS based.

If you try an upgrade and have any issues, remember, we are here for you. Just bring it in and we'll have it up and running quickly. If you'd rather shortcut any problems, just bring it in and tell us to do the dirty work. It shouldn't take more than an hour. Either way, we're here for you.