Windows 10 Is Here!

Windows 10 was officially unleashed by Microsoft on July 29th, and the reviews have generally been good. I've installed it on a number of PCs already, and it's been a good experience so far. For example, my work laptop is a Sager from 2008. This Sager came with Windows Vista. It had been upgraded to Windows 7 and a Seagate SSD and now with Windows 10. It ran very well with Windows 7 and with Windows 10 it actually runs better.

If you are thinking about upgrading to Windows 10, here are some tips to keep in mind before you make the plunge:

1) This is a major upgrade - back up your data first!! Operating System updates can fail, don't put your data at risk.

2) If you're the type of person that doesn't want to leave anything to chance, you'll want to capture your Windows 7 or Windows 8/8.1 product key. There are two easy ways to accomplish this. You can install Speccy from Piriform or Belarc Advisor from Belarc.com. Both of them can give you your Windows product key. In addition to that, Belarc Advisor can give you your Micrsoft Office product key (if you have it installed).

3) In order to get the FREE upgrade, you must do the upgrade from within Windows 7 or Windows 8/8.1. Now many experts will recommend doing a fresh install and I have to agree - that is generally going to be the best way to go. Which leads me to point 4...

4) When you do the upgrade from within Windows 7 or Windows 8/8.1, Windows 10 does not require you to enter your Windows 7 or Windows 8/8.1 product key - it pulls it in from the current Windows installation. When Windows 10 is done installing, you will see that Windows 10 is activated. If you want to do a fresh install, you can then download the appropriate Windows 10 ISO. Burn that ISO to a disk or make a bootable USB drive and you can wipe the hard drive clean and do a fresh install. When you are done reinstalling Windows 10, you will see that Windows 10 is activated. At this point in time, it appears that Microsoft captures a snapshot of your hardware - specifically your Motherboard's ID. As long as your hardware doesn't drastically change, Windows 10 will activate.

5) If you are upgrading an older Windows 7 or Windows 8 PC, now would be the perfect time to buy a SSD drive. You will want to do the upgrade while the old hard drive is installed. When the upgrade is complete, install the new SSD. Reinstall Windows 10. Windows 10 will be activated.

6) After booting into Windows 10 for the first time, you will want to check for Windows Updates. Microsoft has changed where you check for updates. Instead of finding Windows Updates in the Control Panel, you click on the start button and click on "Settings"

Then click on "Update and Security"

Then click on "Windows Update"

If you have other Microsoft products installed, you'll want to click on "Advanced Options" and then check the box for "Give me updates for other Microsoft products when I update Windows".

7) After Windows has been updated, you'll want to personalize your Windows 10 Start Menu tiles. If you don't like the tiles, they can be removed (unpinned) from the Start Menu. Some tiles (apps) can even be uninstalled. Right clicking on a tile will let you know if it can be removed or uninstalled from the start menu. Unpinning a tile removes it from view. Uninstalling a tile removes it completely. If you don't like the way Microsoft implemented the Start Menu, you can download a third-party Start Menu. My favorite is from Classicshell.net

I have found this version of Windows to be very stable. I expect it to get only better as time goes on. Be sure to check for Windows Updates often during the first 3 months - any major bugs should be addressed by then.