Monday, August 03, 2015

Windows 10: Another catastrophe! (So far)

Well, I'm back! Back to good old Windows 7, still the best operating system ever invented.

It took me two days to find a way to get Windows 10 to install on my computer. I'm hardly the only one facing this challenge: Hit Google and type "Windows 10" plus "Something happened" (both in quotes). You may want to toss in the words "failed to install."

Many, many people have wasted many, many hours trying to get W10 to install. I downloaded the entire operating system several times. First, I tried it as an update: Mistake! Then, I placed it on a jump drive: Impossibly slow. Then I mounted an ISO file as a virtual drive: No good. Finally, I burned a DVD, using the last blank in the house.

Nothing worked. Nothing.

Then I stumbled across the trick outlined here. This trick involves some fancy jiggering with MSCONFIG. It is not something that Microsoft can reasonably expect average users to do.

Finally, W10 installed -- slowwwwwwwwwly. The system booted up...slowwwwwwwwwly.

There it was. The world of Windows 10.

Everything looked like crap. Everything was useless.

Even after I re-patched MSCONFIG, the big problem persisted: Windows 10 recognized none of my drivers.

No audio. No graphics card. (A generic graphics driver gave me some kind of picture, but it was awful.) No functional USB ports.

And worst of all -- no internet. I established that the problem was a driver issue. The drivers for my internet adapter wouldn't work.

Now, I'm not going to divulge the specs for my machine, because I shouldn't have to reveal such things. Suffice it to say that this system was considered pretty decent six years ago -- and although it is rather meh by current standards, it still does what it needs to do. Hell, I can even edit HD video.

In other words, we're not talking about equipment that is odd or unusual or underpowered or truly ancient. Millions of people still use these Realtek network adapters.

Eventually, I got the USB port to work by turning the driver off. (How's that for counter-intuitive?) In this way, I was able to install the latest driver for my network adapter, using another computer for the download and a jump drive to transfer the files.

No dice. The internet remained off-limits.

Fortunately, before this "upgrade," I had created an image of my C drive, preserving Windows 7 along with all of my programs, clean and pristine. So it was easy to get back to the world of Lucky Seven.

What went wrong with 10? I think that Microsoft rushed out a product that has a great deal of potential. Once again, the folks at Microsoft seem to be under the impression that everyone uses laptops purchased within the past four or five years. Little thought was given to old school desktop guys like me.

To the small extent that I was able to root and snort around in it, W10 seemed workable. It's not a masterpiece of poor design, as 8 was. Cosmetically, I prefer the elegant looks of W7 -- the subtle transparencies, the rounded corners. The new W10 start menu had me screaming at the monitor: "Hey, I didn't come here to check the weather. I came here to scroll through my programs. Where's the effing list?"  That said, you'll probably be able to configure the tiles to suit your needs.

Alas, without the internet, I can't solve any of the other driver incompatibility issues. go.

I'll try 10 again in a couple of months. Presumably, by that time the driver problems will be less obnoxious.

You may want to hold off on W10 until all of the kinks have been worked out -- and for god's sake, back up your system beforehand.

One other thing, dear readers: I'd rather not hear any predictable comments from the Mac and Linux evangelists. Also, please refrain from making any silly recommendations to go back to XP. Yes, XP was fine in its day, but just try to edit HD video with a system limited to 4GB RAM...
I know someone who still uses Win98.

Now, let me preach to you from the good book of OpenBSD. The creator of Linux called them "a bunch of masturbating monkeys" because of their obsession with security.
Good for you, I've been told by software expert to stay away from 10. My pro 7 works just fine and will be supported until 2020.
That's odd. I installed Windows 10 several months ago on an *old* streetscore machine. After the install, it treated everything like a generic device; I clicked 'update windows,' and it went out and found valid drivers for everything. I'd never run Win 7 on my own systems, only on friends', but Win 10 ran rings around anything I've seen on Win 7 or 8. (Of course, I immediately disable as much visual frou-frou -- that's a technical term -- as I can easily, as I'm of that antique belief that computers should be useful for something besides showing off the OS designers' chops.)
I installed W10 on one of my laptops.

It installed easily enough, but I couldn't figure out how to make it work. The controls failed to work about half the time.

One thing Microsoft did do right was to make it easy to go back to W7, which I did.
How could I click "update windows" Maz? NO INTERNET.

It's not just me. Google "Windows 10" plus "drivers" plus "problems." Lots of people are having drivers issues. And even if your system works now, the automatic updating will create conflicts in the future.

I've been researching the matter. Basically, Microsoft wants to replace all of the third party drivers on your system with Microsoft's own drivers. That's how the conflicts arise. Microsoft wants total control of everything on your machine.

I've also been researching privacy issues. Ten is a NIGHTMARE! If you sign the EULA, you literally give Microsoft the right to peek at everything on your system, including the email. That's not conspiracy theory. That is a plain fact.
Glad you scared me off for the moment-- I have a brand new Ferrari (Falcon NW) and this thing is making me nervous. I've built and hacked on computers since the 70's but I enjoy fixing just as much as enjoying changing mufflers on 30 year old trucks, which is to say-- not at all. Think I'll contact the world's best tech support at Falcon and get a temperature reading.
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