David's Blog | Misc ramblings about things in general, work and technical items of interest.

Archive for August 2015



Windows 10 Upgrade Experience

Typically I don’t upgrade the OS of a computer and run the OS that came with it. I get a new OS when I get a new computer that contains a newer OS. I decided to update the Windows 7 notebook I use at home as my main personal computer, though 80% or more use of it is related to ham radio. Here’s my experience:

I reserved my free Windows 10 update when Microsoft had Windows 7 and Windows 8/8.1 users sign up. When Windows 10 launched, within a few days I was prompted to upgrade and I held off a day or two until the weekend rolled around and I had some time. To prep, I uninstalled a few programs I no longer used and cleaned up temporary files that could be deleted. I then cloned/imaged by existing partitions using Macrium Reflect Free and the instructions found here to create a recovery image using a USB flash drive as the boot recovery and a USB hard drive as the storage for the images. It took about 1.5 hours or less to back up my 3 partitions and < 300GB from my Windows 7 notebook SSD.

Once backed up, I rebooted without the USB hard drive plugged in and initiated the Windows 10 upgrade. I again didn’t stare at the screens but it looks like a 3 step process – downloading what is needed, doing the actual upgrade, and then configuring settings. There are a few reboots that occur as part of the upgrade all handled by the automated process. I estimate that the upgrade process  took about 1 hour in total but I was doing other things and checking back from time to time.

As part of the final startup of Windows 10, there’s a screen to take the Windows 10 default options or customize and I chose customize because I knew a couple things I wanted to configure. There’s a known issue with Cortana, the Microsoft version of Siri, and at least one of my ham radio programs. It happens to be specifically around DDE, an older but still valid way for applications to communicate with each other. Seems Cortana causes a large slow down in DDE communications, so I told it not to enable Cortana. There were other options related to sharing of info/advertising I also disabled.

After completing the configuration screen Windows 10 booted up and I noticed I wasn’t on the internet. I could ping my router ( but I wasn’t getting out on the internet though other devices in my home were fine. This was the same for my wired and wireless connections on the notebook. After some messing around, I ran a “repair” on the wired connection and it became active. As I checked things out, after sometime between 10 & 20 minutes I noticed I again lost internet access. Another repair seemed to resolve it again reporting an issue with the default gateway. I started to look online and I saw multiple reports suggesting re-installing anti-virus software might resolve it, so I uninstalled AVG and ran for a while without any issues, so I then reinstalled  AVG and the issue has not re-occurred, even after 18 hours.

I configured Windows 10 to not share my download of Windows 10 with computers outside my home. It’s a way for Microsoft to not have to fulfill bandwidth needs for the millions of Windows 10 installations and, as long as you don’t configure it otherwise, your download of the Windows 10 installation will be used to share to others. You can configure your Windows 10 setup to not share with machines outside of your home and I have mine configured that way.

The programs I tested out all worked fine including my ham radio programs which rely on uncommon devices such as an Edgeport 8 port USB Serial device. I have encountered an issue with Family Tree Maker 2014 aka FTM 2014 and failing to startup successfully after upgrading to Windows 10. Most times after a failed startup , it would prompt to reset some settings and then successfully startup. Doing some digging this morning, this issue seems to be specific to the 64-bit version of FTM 2014 and the 32-bit version doesn’t seem to have issues. There’s a way to re-install Family Tree Maker with the 32-bit version as outlined here, but I’ll hold off for now and see if they resolve the 64-bit version issue.

I haven’t hit any other snags yet though I haven’t fired up every program I have installed. I’ve printed and scanned to my computer with the Epson Workforce 645 and that worked perfectly. Chrome is running fine, Quicken ran fine, TeamViewer, etc. All worked without having to take any action after the Windows 10 upgrade.

We’ll see how things work after an extended period, but so far the UI isn’t as jarring moving from traditional start menu based versions of Windows from what Windows 8 was with its tile view.

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