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Upgrading to Windows 10

Well, as predictably expected, we’ve been receiving a torrent of queries regarding Windows 10. In this post, we will attempt to answer many of the questions we’ve received regarding Micro$oft’s latest Operating System release. While we hope you find this to be informative, this is not intended to be a guide for you to diagnose problems with your upgrade, only to inform you of some of the caveats we have discovered by going behind others who have upgraded and had problems, as well as some of our own experience with upgrading machines to Windows 10. Since this is an exhaustive subject that continues to reveal more as it unfolds with time and even more experience, check back frequently for updates to this article for more information!

For Those Who Need to Catch Up

So, you may have noticed a new icon in your taskbar in the recent months that wasn’t previously there. It would look something like this:

At this point, you should click on “Check Your Upgrade Status” and check the PC for any possible compatibility warnings like so:

Continue according to the illustrations to follow:

You should have a screen showing something like this:

If there are any software incompatibilities, the software will be listed with a recommendation for it to be uninstalled. If there is a hardware incompatibility, you will be presented with information such as this:

In this case, you would not choose to upgrade until the hardware manufacturer has released a compatible driver for your Windows 10 upgrade or bring it in to us and we may be able to provide a workaround. Otherwise, you may return to the “Check Your Upgrade Status” item in the menu and you will have the following screen should your Windows 10 Upgrade be ready for installation:

You could choose at this point to click the “Ok. Let’s Continue” button and follow the onscreen prompts to upgrade your Windows 7 or 8.1 machine to the latest Windows 10. However, there are several things we have found helpful to do prior to the upgrade.

  • Check for the latest update for your video driver through device manager.
  • If none is found, go to the manufacturer’s website to verify that a more recent driver version is not available.
  • If one is available, install it and reboot your system.
  • Run Windows Update and install any important updates as well as the two optional updates there for Windows. NOT Silverlight, Skype or any other updates that are not specifically for the Windows OS!
  • Reboot once again after the updates install.
  • You may now attempt your upgrade!

We have found that many antiviruses are removed or dysfunctional after the upgrade. You may choose to uninstall your antivirus prior to the upgrade and then reinstall it immediately afterward. The latest version of Avast is Windows 10 compatible and we recommend it highly over its competitors.

We have also found iCloud to cause screen flickering problems. We suggest uninstalling it prior to the upgrade. It may then be reinstalled afterward. iCloud will most likely produce a folder permissions error as well. If you are not familiar with file permission settings, we recommend bringing it in to us to resolve!

There also seems to be a change in the way Windows 10 handles network file shares. This is more involved than we will get into here. Let it suffice to say that, if you use network file sharing, offline file synchronization or any network locations for mapped drives or shortcuts where files are stored on the network rather than on your machine, you should probably have us come out to do this upgrade for you to ensure you have access to these resources after the upgrade is complete.

The latest widespread issue being experienced by Windows 10 early adopters is a critical error message stating that “Start menu and Cortana aren’t working. The dialog box will look like so:

This issue is acknowleged by Microsoft as reported here. The repair that is working to permanently fix this requires launching powershell and using command line. it is quite involved and we recommend bringing your machine in to have it fixed in-shop. Until then, we have found that many will sign out as suggested by the dialog box and sign in to find the error persisting. Instead, after signing out, go to the lower right-hand corner of your sign-in screen and click on the power icon. From the choices, select “Restart.” You should come back to your desktop without the error, at least temoprarily. Eventually, when you have a few hours where you can go without your machine, bring it to us for the solution that is working for the vast majority of Windows 10 users we have worked with.

Following the precausions will render the best upgrade results possible. Also, as we run into new issues, we will document them here for your viewing and edification. Remember! An informed decision is a better decision. And we want your experience with your computer to be the best it can be. So check back here often for updates to this post along with our recommendations for each scenario.

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