Windows 10

Using the free set-up offered to the users of legitimately licensed Windows 7 and Windows 8.x systems, I upgraded 3 of my PCs to Windows 10. They are HP PCs of varying ages and processor/operating system configuration:

  • The newest is a 64-bit laptop that came with factory-installed Windows 8.1.
  • The oldest is a 32-bit desktop PC on which I had installed Windows 7 Pro.
  • The third is a 64-bit desktop PC on which I had installed Windows 7 Pro.

I am not an expert on Windows, computers, software, or programming. My relationship with computers is as a systems manager (aka computer babysitter), former programmer (who has not kept pace with changes in the field), and more knowledgeable than average user.

I am a learner, a problem-solver and a teacher. To many, I’d be considered an “early adopter”. (I jumped into the 64-bit desktop upgrade the day after Microsoft made it available.) This article is intended to teach you what I’ve learned and the problems I’ve solved from upgrading to and using Windows 10.

What I like

  • The free upgrade was incredibly smooth and efficient on all three platforms. I encountered no problems on any system. Even the old, 32-bit box finished more quickly than I expected. Whatever pieces of the procedure Microsoft downloaded before July 29th did a great job.
  • The Windows 10 Start menu is a compromise between Windows 7 and Windows 8. It’s not as “Windows traditional” as the Windows 7 version but, unlike the Windows 8 version, it doesn’t take over the whole screen.
  • So far, all of the old applications I’ve tried still work.
  • The 32-bit desktop has better screen resolution than it had Windows 7 Pro. I guess the video driver is improved.
  • I can use the whole screen. When the mouse pointer gets close to the right edge of the screen, nothing surprising happens … no options pop-up from the edge; no giant timestamp box in the lower left.

Mistakes I Made

  • For several days, I thought that Windows 10 had a major scrolling problem. After searching for it on the web, I learned that the wound was self-inflicted. I have a theme that changes the PC’s background to a different Astronomy image every 10 seconds. Windows 10 has a default setting that automatically selects an accent color from the background. Every time the background changed, the system reset the image … and bounced the scrolling back to the top. Turning off the automatic accent color eliminated the problem. Here’s a link explaining the behavior.

http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_10-files/windows-10-file-explorer-scroll-bar-keeps-jumping/11c11063-569d-4b37-97ea-68a438b5dff4?auth=1

  • The other mistake I made was a result setting up Cortana. (I’ll have more specifics about Cortana in the next section.) For Cortana to work, you need a Microsoft account. Somewhere, in one (maybe all) of the 3 Cortana configurations, I changed my logon from the local account(s) to the Microsoft account. As a result, I had to re-share my printer. (The printer is attached to the 32-bit system and accessed by the others.)
  • I thought this was a bug, but located the problem. Here’s the post that was originally in What I Dislike“:

When I tried to log onto the on-line site for my mortgage company with either Internet Explorer or Edge, it seems to be going through the log on process for a moment; then, returns to the log on screen with the message “Your company-name Online session is no longer active. Please sign on again.” It works correctly when I use Chrome or Firefox. All 4 browsers work fine for my credit union. Obviously, some “banks” have better web designers than others do. The most annoying part of this oddity is that it may be related to the version of Windows with which one started. Although both of the 64-bit PCs are running Internet Explorer 11. The problem occurs only on the one that was upgraded from Window 7 Pro. IE 11 logs onto the mortgage company website correctly on the one that started life as Windows 8.1.

The problem was in my settings. On the system that had the failure, my mortgage company site was listed in the Internet Options Security setting “Trusted Sites”. As soon as I removed it, the site log on worked fine. That makes no sense to me, but it was the fix.

What I Dislike

  • I REALLY dislike Edge. To begin with, it has a major bug. It cannot handle files on a mapped drive.  For example, it has no problem with:

file:///C:/Local_Grinch_Site/PERSONAL_INDEX

||| but gets the error “Hmm, we can’t reach this page” with:

file:///R:/Local_Grinch_Site/PERSONAL_INDEX

||| because it searches the web for the mapped drive “R:”. Internet Explorer,
||| Chrome, and Firefox treat “R:” the same way that they treat “C:”. Others
||| discuss the problem at:

http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_10-networking/microsoft-edge-cant-open-files-html-pdf-etc-stored/3780e206-8b86-496f-bf3c-de4853f4b0a5?auth=1

None of the suggestions mentioned in that stream helped me.

  • As if that weren’t bad enough, navigation in Edge is counter-intuitive to me. Of course, that may be proactive inhibition from Netscape, Internet Explorer, Firefox, etc. I have the a similar problem with Chrome.
  • Even though I’ve selected Internet Explorer as my default program for URLs (Control Panel -> Default Programs), I get a pop-up saying “How do you want to open this?” every time I click on a link from mail. Others have seen this problem:

http://www.tenforums.com/general-discussion/14973-how-stop-how-do-you-want-open.html

Some think it’s an intentional effort to push Edge on users. I have a lower opinion of human intelligence in general and the ability of software engineers to empathize with users. I think it’s a bug.

  • The task bar on my 32-bit box gets messed up from time to time. Images from the system tray overlay the left end of the bar, icons open a solid white vertical bar or do nothing, system tray icons disappear completely, etc., etc., etc. The only way I’ve found to correct this video anomaly is to log off and log on again.
  • I’m not sure what Cortana is supposed to do. I think she behaves like Apple’s “Siri” or Android’s “OK, Google” when she runs on a smart phone or tablet. On a PC, Cortana seems to be just another way to search the internet … and one can’t even converse with her orally on any of my PCs.

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