Windows 10

Microsoft has been pushing their Windows 10 OS a lot lately, but even though I have not been a big fan of Microsoft in the past I'm quite happy with it.

Microsoft made the software available to persons who wanted to preview it, so I took advantage of it and installed it in three PCs along with two virtual Machines for VirtualBox and VMware.  As time went by the software kept getting better and better with features added, the last and final release is Version 10240, which is close to the final version. One new thing they did is that those who previewed Windows 10 ended up with free copies of Windows 10 that do not time out as the other reviews. But if you are thinking of going out and installing it, it's too late as they shut down the review free install. Actually there is a way around that but you need to find it by yourself.

Windows 10 V10240 is a very nice OS it's a nice mixture of old and new features, in a very reliable package, all my software including software from the 90's run well with no glitches, with the exception of two software items;

  1. Chrome browser had a lot of bugs including taking forever to come up, I filed a detailed problem ticket on the issues and a few days later a new version appeared with all the problems fixed, good going Google.
  2. The second problem has to do with VirtualBox, it had some nasty issues that kept it from working with Windows 10, but there was a temporary fix, by re-installing a slightly older version the problems are gone. No doubt Oracle will fix that shortly.

Other than those two items everything else is working smoothly.

An interesting side story, when 10240 first came out Microsoft put out the ISO files of the OS, but a couple of days later removed them, why? It turns out that not all the install security features were turned on, and this ISO allowed the installation and activation of Windows 10 on a machine that did not participate in the review process, in other words any PC that you want. A few days later they disabled the activation key used by the ISO so one could not do any more free installs. But being an IT person sometimes one runs into a PC that just will not activate and there is a procedure from Microsoft to fix that problem by making the PC it's own licensing authority.

Needless to say I was on the ball and immediatly downloaded the ISO files while they were availble, and I know all the procedures to activate a PC that is refusing to, so voila, this PC had Xp but now it has a totally clean and activated version of Windows 10.

That ISO DVD can also be used to update and PC with Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 that has been prepared  to allow the free Windows 10 upgrade on July the 29th but by having the DVD I didn't have to wait so all my PCs have been upgraded except for two that I use with Ham Radio. I must say that having all the PCs with the same OS is rather nice from a mainteanance point.

On July 29th I recommend that you uprade your qualifying PC, but I would recommend one thing, first download and install Macrium Reflect, its a wondeful free program that will allow one to save or restore an Image of the OS to a USB Hard Disk. It's a tool that works rather well and has saved my skin several times when I either lost a Hard Drive or lost the OS. I keep images of all my PCs that are updated periodically in case a PC needs to be retored back.

Late addition:, I have run into several PCs that would not update, the update would fail on the last reboot and restore the old Window 7 software. I got around this issue by selecting to not download updates while converting the system. After a successful conversion I then updated the software by going to settings/Update&Security and asking the PC to check for updates.

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