Posts Tagged ‘Upgrade’

A tale of updating to Windows 10

Written by AboKevin on . Posted in Windows 10

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W10desktop

First of all; I’m back 🙂

I spent this summer in Lebanon and was able to update my laptop, a Multicom W550SU to the “final” bits of Windows 10 through the insider preview program, which I was a part of. A process that was totally problemfree. When I returned home to Norway, I updated the Surface Pro 3 through a Windows 10 reservation, once again a totally hassle free process. Then it was time for my self built desktop PC…

I had enrolled that PC in the insider preview program, and it had been upgraded to the the 10130 build before I went to Lebanon. When I restarted the PC after having been closed down for a month, I first went to Windows update to start the process of getting it to RTM status. No such luck. Something happened to the build and the update process froze, as well as in some weird way destroy the build in such a way that UAC prompts froze, and I was unable to start update through the downloaded ISO bits, both directly from the desktop as well as from a USB-key. I was even unable to get up the task manager in order to see which process had been frozen up. Trying to boot from the USB-key only gave me the option to clean install Windows 10, since an upgrade is requiring you to start from within your current OS.

Frustration was building up, and I attempted to repair the 10130 build. Which I actually were able to do, without anything being repaired that is. Rolling back to the previous build was next on the list, no luck there either. So without checking further (stupid mistake) I decided to wipe the disk and perform a clean install from the bootable USB-key.

During the install process I skipped entering the install key, and decided to wait with that piece of information until the bits were on the machine. Finally I was greeted with the Windows 10 desktop and went into settings to activate it. To my great chagrin it would accept neither my Windows 7 Ultimate or Windows 8.1 Pro keys. So what I had to do was to clean install a previous version of Windows (7 or 8.1) on the disk, activate that version, and then do an upgrade to Windows 10. Ok. So where is my Windows 8.1 ISO file? Could not find it, but found my Windows 7 Ultimate one. I then made a bootable USB key with that ISO on it and booted in order to wipe the SSD and yet again install Windows 7 on my machine – I never saw that one coming.

I then ran into a new problem. In 2009 everyone obviously had wired keyboard and mice, at least not my Microsoft 7000 wireless keyboard/mouse combo that I have. And no such thing in the house. Having one at work, I brought it home the next day, chose my language versions and continued setup only to run into yet another problem! After having formatted the SSD through the installer it was unable to locate a system drive or a partition on which it could install Windows!? What now? After searching through some forums, I discovered that this obviously was a common problem for people trying to install Windows 7 on a SSD on a system with multiple HDD. Solution? Unplug your other HDDs so that the system only sees your SSD and it will recognize the drive and install the OS. A bug that has been known for years, but the solution was obviously not built into my 6 year old ISO file.

Ok, so the install went smoothly from then on. Finally seeing the Windows 7 desktop again. But going into device manager showed me that I had multiple devices without drivers (chipset, USB3, LAN, PCIe and so forth). So then I had to go to my laptop in order to download the drivers for my motherboard from ASUS. But what kind of motherboard do I have? Nothing was easily readible on the board itself. So I had to fire up the command window (Win + R, enter cmd) and then enter

wmic csproduct get name,identifyingnumber,uuid

After having downloaded the drivers, moved them over to the desktop PC and installed them I was finally able to activate Windows 7 Ultimate. Puh! And then finally time had come to upgrade to Windows 10. And this time it all went smoothly.

Lessons learned:

1. Before entering preview programs or running beta software make a recovery disk/partition so that you are able to easily roll back once you run into problems

2. Want to upgrade Windows 10 for free and want a clean install? Upgrade a genuine and activated version of either Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 to Windows 10. Activate it, and then do a PC reset or wipe the disk and clean install it. Do not do what I did!

3. Murphy’s law is alive and kicking. So back-up or download all necessary drivers and have them readily available before starting the process.

Good luck! It is worth it. Because Windows 10 is a great OS, but more about that in another post.

 

Short review of iOS 6.0

Written by AboKevin on . Posted in Apple, iOS 6, iPad 1st gen, iPhone 4

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I upgraded my iPhone 4 to iOS 6 today.I am not particularly known for being patient, so when I found the upgrade package I downloaded it and upgraded as soon as I could.

First attempt was a complete failure, necessitating a restore of the phone, but second time around everything went just smooth. Why it didn’t succeed the first time, I don’t know since I did exactly the same steps both times, but anyway.

What is new on an iPhone 4? First of all, the YouTube app is gone, and so is the Google powered Map application, the latter having been replaced by an Apple-provided in-house developed map application.

Several apps have gotten a face-lift, primarily the iTunes app and the App Store app. Facebook integration is present in most apps, and there are a lot of small features built in here and there. For a more complete listing of the new features in iOS 6, check out Apples’ site.

In the gallery below I show some of the new apps and redesigns, and give my comments on each picture.

 

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So what is missing on the iPhone 4? Siri is still not here, neither the ability to make FaceTime calls over cellular data networks. Made for iPhone hearing aids is not available, and neither is the panorama feature of the Photo app. In the new Map app, flyover and turn by turn navigation is not available for the iPhone 4.

So what then is my conclusion? For a totally free upgrade this is a no-brainer, even with all the missing features from iOS 6. I recommend you get the update as soon as it becomes available. Apple touts this as the most modern mobile OS there is. I do not agree, but iOS has been improved upon, and version 6 is really something to get. That said, some of the things missing from the iPhone 4 is a mystery to me. Why no FaceTime over cellular? Unfathomable! Another point of contention for me is the fact that this update is not available for my first generation iPad. They do provide some of the features of iOS 6 for the iPhone 3GS, so why not the iPad 1? Don’t ask me, it does not make any sense.

What do you think? Is iOS 6 something you want, or like? What is your opinion on the missing features? Let me know in the comments below.

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Upgrading to Windows 8

Written by AboKevin on . Posted in Windows 8

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As most of you probably know Windows 8 RTM was released to MSDN and TechNet subscribers on 15 August. As could be expected I immediately downloaded the bits (Windows 8 Pro (x64)). Normally I would go for a fresh install, backing up my data, formatting the C drive and reinstalling from scratch, but decided on trying out the upgrade path this time around. In this post I will detail that process, as well as sharing my experiences with you – and give you some advice if you are contemplating doing the same thing. I did this on both my aging laptop (HP Pavilion dv7-2114eo) and my aging homebuilt desktop based on the Intel Core2 Quad Q6600 CPU. The results of the upgrade process varied, and turned out slightly different, but I will come back to that later in the post.

Upgrading the laptop

After having downloaded the iso-image file, I copied it over to a USB stick using the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool. I started with my laptop and inserted the USB key, opened Windows Explorer and double-clicked the setup.exe file. The following splash screen emerged, changing into the next one informing me that it was preparing. The old familiar process known from Windows 7 and previous version has obviously been revamped.

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After the preparations were done, I was asked to type in my product key. In Windows 7 you could skip that step, and was thus granted a 30 day trial period before having to activate the product. That option is no longer there, and you have to input a valid key in order to install Windows 8.

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Once the product key in typed in and you have clicked Next, you are presented with the License terms, as most people usually do, I just accepted the terms without reading them…

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You are then presented with three options; (1) Keep Windows settings, personal files, and apps (2) Keep personal files only or (3) Nothing. I decided on option (1) and continued.

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The process is then making sure you are ready to install Windows 8.

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Which it turned out that I was not. I first had to uninstall Microsoft Security Essentials and Microsoft Virtual PC 2007, as well as confirming that I had to reinstall my languages after upgrading. I clicked the appropriate buttons in order to uninstall the applications in question.

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After that, I had to restart the PC in order to continue the process. If you have the same two programs on your computer I recommend uninstalling them before starting to install Windows 8, although no guaranties from me on that; you might have other programs that the installation program might react to.

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After rebooting I was given the choice of starting over, or to continue from where I left off. No price money for guessing what I did.

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The installation process then had to make sure once more that I was truly ready

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Which I was. Just to make sure, I was informed of what was going to happen. Finally time to hit the Install button.

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The screen then was completely occupied with this;

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Nice of them to inform me that this might take a while. Must be the understatement of the year. First it showed the progress in percentages on the preparation face. This took the close to 40 minutes. The it said that it was going to restart in a moment. According to Microsoft a moment can be anything up till say around 10 minutes… Then the machine rebooted, and I was presented with a black screen with the Windows 8 logo on and the installation progress continued. And continued, and continued… After a total time of around 2 1/2 hours I was finally presented with the new intro animation – informing new users of how to get to the charms bar. Then the machine did some last minute tinkering, which included installing the metro apps I had already installed in the Windows 8 Release Preview, and finally I was looking at the start screen. Everything seemed to work just fine. All my files and settings were there, and the machine apparently ran just smooth.

Comparing the Windows Experience Index on the laptop before and after upgrading gave me this result:

 

WEI

The score systems as been upped to a maximum of 9.9 as opposed to the 7.9 max on Windows 7. Although my base score is the same, the subscores for memory, and gaming graphics went slightly down(from respectively 6,2 to 6,0 and from 6,7 to 6,5), while desktop graphics performance took a serious hit (from 6,7 to 5,6). I can only speculate that this is caused by immature graphics drivers, and I will see if this improves over time as those are updated.

Upgrading the desktop

Upgrading the desktop computer followed the path of the laptop down to one thing. It took considerable shorter time to accomplish than on the laptop. The complete process was finished within an hour.

The Windows Experience Index for this machine reads exactly the same as before;

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And although the system is getting old (the current system was built 4 years ago, just upgrading the storage since), it still is more than fast enough for me (just trying to soothe myself – the need to buy newer and shinier toys is always present Open-mouthed smile)

Conclusion

Yes, I spent a long time doing the upgrade, especially on the laptop, but was in the end presented with a seemingly perfectly working computer(s). The laptop booted a lot faster after the upgrade; From Windows logo to login it now takes 20 seconds compared to the several minutes long process that Windows 7 took lately. Wake up from sleep takes a couple of seconds, compared to a process that sometimes would freeze for so long that it actually took shorter time to just hard reset the machine and start over. Time will tell if this will continue, or whether this system also will degrade over time.

When contemplating an upgrade, the big plus is that you will most probably have all your programs and settings carried over and working once the install process is finished, but do also consider the fact that you – like me – probably have accumulated a lot of programs and settings that you no longer are using, as well as remains over previously not to successful uninstalls. All that is carried over as well.

A fresh install is thus exactly that a fresh start, which I recommend every so often.

After using the laptop for a couple of days, I ran into problems with starting my favorite twitter application; the desktop version of MetroTwit. It just would not start. Uninstalling and reinstalling did not help. On the desktop the program ran just fine, so I concluded that the problems had something to do with some of the myriad of settings and programs I carried over to Windows 8 in the upgrade process, and after bending my mind (for approximately 10 minutes) I decided that I would try to refresh the Windows 8 installation, which means scrapping all applications and programs, but keeping the files and settings. But that is the story for my next post.

What are your experiences with upgrading to Windows 8? Will you recommend or advice against it? Any questions to the process? Post it in the comments below and I will respond.

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