back to article Run Windows 10 on your existing PC you say, Microsoft? Hmmm.

Throughout my career I have seen many Windows releases with minimum requirements that were a little bit deceiving. Sure, the machines would boot, but you would sometimes have enough time to brew a fresh pot of coffee before the computer was in a usable state. That usable state excluded any applications you wanted to run on top …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In my humble experience an in-place OS upgrade or "repair" is usually a waste of time, even for most home users who are not counting time as cost. Gather your data, stick in a new HDD (or be bold/foolish and wipe the current one), new OS, the software you actually need, and finally restore your data (AV scanned as needed).

    If that fails, well your DR plan was pants all along, wasn't it?

    Or if said machines are more than 3 year old just wait a few months more then renew them with Windows 10 pre-installed if you really must have it.

    1. AMBxx Silver badge

      So far, Windows 10 has upgraded perfectly from Windows 8 & 8.1. Not tried 7 though.

      Any driver from Windows 8.1 has worked on Windows 10. Not so bleak after all.

      That said, 1GB RAM - no chance!

      1. Boothy

        It's nice to de-clutter anyway periodically. The amount of unused apps, and stuff left behind by uninstalling things builds up over time.

        My current main rig, a Win 7 64 bit desktop (gaming etc), was re-built about 3 years ago (new MB, CPU etc). It's stable, no issues really, but after 3 years is due a rebuild/refresh. So this Win 10 update is a good excuse.

        1. MikeHuk

          Works fine on my old Lenovo 64 bit Win 7 Laptop

          As a happy Windows 7 user I was not that interested in Windows 10 but thought I’d give it a try. I downloaded and installed the preview on a Lenovo E520 Edge 64bit laptop which I hardly ever used as it is so annoyingly slow with Windows 7, treacle like is a better description. Much to my surprise Windows 10 booted straight to the desktop and was lightning fast both starting up and in use! I have loaded up some of my usual programs – Office 2007, Libre Office, Firefox, Thunderbird, Nexus, VLC, Picassa, etc and they all run perfectly and faster than on Win 7 on my quad core desktop. I also loaded up some old games – Quake 2 & 3 and they ran really well and seem to be more compatible than under recent versions of Windows. All drivers work although initially the Lenovo sound driver did not work but MS fixed it in a later build. The start button works ok and I am grudgingly starting to use the tiles. The latest build (10166) is rock solid and remember there are over 5 million insiders like me who have been testing(I have reported 125 issues since I started testing in January an as far as I can tell they all seem to be fixed)

          It has revitalised my laptop and I am finding I am using it more and more. It is not perfect and there are things I would change but I have not found any showstoppers and it is only a beta. Obviously Microsoft have put in a lot of work here to try to win back acceptance after Windows 8/8.1. I for one will definitely upgrade when it is released.

          1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

            Performance-wise, your post is interesting.

            I'll have to try and get a version running on a spare machine, just to get a feeling of it.

            But I simply hate the interface, and even more the Store and the principle of renting my apps that is barreling down in a very visible train.

            My apps are mine. I've already paid for them, I will NOT rent them yearly.

            I God do I hate that interface.

            1. MikeHuk

              I certainly agree about tiles as they were under Win 8/Metro and was the main reason I never upgraded from Win 7 but under Win 10 the tiles are not a big deal, you can resize them down to almost icon size if you want and make the tile area much smaller.. If you really want to get rid of the tiles alltogether I understand Classic Shell and other addons still work as they did under Win 8. Most of my regular programs are on the taskbar so I rarely use the start menu anyway.

          2. Contrex

            Re: Works fine on my old Lenovo 64 bit Win 7 Laptop

            I can echo your comments. I have a 1 month old Zoostorm "Business PC", i7 4790, 16 GB RAM, Win 8.1 downgraded to Win 7. I was not terribly keen to install a preview on my new baby, so I dug out a Dell Latitude D830, Core 2 Duo, 2 GB RAM 80 GB HDD that was bought refurb off Morgan a couple of year ago.with XP SP3. I installed Build 10162 64 bit. It works fine. Updated to 10240 last week. All the hardware detected and functioning, including the Intel 4965 wifi. I can RDP into it and try out the Win 10 experience on my desktop, seems quite snappy, and possibly by July 29 I might be ready to upgrade the Beast. As you noted, it has transformed the laptop, so much so that my wife now prefers it. I plan to stuff an SSD into it next.

        2. Shady

          Now all you need is a new case and PSU. And a sticker on the front that says "Triggers Broom"

      2. Aloosh709

        My brother's laptop (my old laptop) is 1.2ghz and works fluidly on Windows 10

        1. Annihilator

          "My brother's laptop (my old laptop) is 1.2ghz and works fluidly on Windows 10"

          You'll notice it was the RAM that drew the "no chance!" comment, not the processor speed. Processor speed is utterly meaningless these days anyway - you can get a mobile Core i7 running at 1.2GHz today, which would rather piss over the same-frequency Athlon XP I spent a fair penny on back in the early-2000's

      3. David Hall 1

        My experience echos this.

        I have been testing windows 10 since the first build on a particularly complicated windows 7 (originally) Sony laptop which has the joys of dual GPUs and a ton of 'Sony specific' stuff. That said I have to run allowing unsigned drivers to let me use the hacked windows 8 / Nvidia / Intel GPU drivers.

        Rest of experience is fine.

    2. big_D Silver badge

      I did an in-place upgrade of my wife's Sony VAIO when Windows 8 was released. It went fine and the VAIO was a lot more responsive afterwards.

    3. JC_

      Gather your data, stick in a new HDD (or be bold/foolish and wipe the current one), new OS, the software you actually need, and finally restore your data

      This bit is the sticking point - having to call up the vendors and hope that they'll let you 'activate' another time with the same license key. Penance for not obeying RMS, I know, I know...

    4. Sgt_Oddball

      I'd rather not..

      My desktop is getting on for 3+ years old but I doubt I could get the warm feeling of 5ghz out of newer hardware without paying silly money. Besides, my kits been running the beta win 10 plus a couple of severs and win 8 host without any issue what so ever (though the ssd does make a difference) now my laptop that's getting replaced soon... I've had enough of the damn thing being slow on 8 but it is 9 years old...

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      ... with Windows 10 pre-installed if you really must have it.

      Pre-installed Windows isn't something I'd recommend using. Vendors put all kinds of dodgy crap in it.

    6. TheVogon

      "In my humble experience an in-place OS upgrade or "repair" is usually a waste of time, even for most home users who are not counting time as cost."

      Recent versions of Windows do deal with in place upgrades far batter than older ones, and accumulated "cruft" is mostly dumped in a windows.old folder that can later be deleted after the migration. However, yes clean install is preferable where possible.

      "But Win10 is going to be mess"

      Build 10166 is already close to production ready from my testing - and it's rumoured RTM is going to be around build 10240 so I can't see why it would be 'a mess'.

  2. Mage Silver badge

    I think all my laptops ( bar one) and PCs would run Win10

    If there were drivers. Probably some don't have drivers. Graphics likely a big issue. Also PC Card SCSI adaptor for scanner would need replaced for a new Laptop.

    A new laptop to replace a totally Matte finish 1600 x 1200 screen laptop with decent backlight is seriously expensive and wider. 16:9 is too wide. 1080 is worse than decent 2002 screens.

    It's only cheaper to get a new laptop if it's a very basic usage, in which case perhaps Browser + email and Libre Office on Linux will do anyway. Cheap laptops have too rubbish a screen.

    But Win10 is going to be mess. So I continue my hybrid research:

    1) Native Applications on Linux

    2) Some windows applications on WINE

    3) Really old stuff in DOSBox

    1. dogged

      Re: I think all my laptops ( bar one) and PCs would run Win10

      > A new laptop to replace a totally Matte finish 1600 x 1200 screen laptop with decent backlight is seriously expensive and wider. 16:9 is too wide. 1080 is worse than decent 2002 screens.

      Nah. A 2013 Thinkpad X1 Carbon with that exact screen (in touchscreen formation no less) will set you back about £300 on Ebay.

      I know this because I bought one.

    2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: I think all my laptops ( bar one) and PCs would run Win10

      Indeed and that is the problem here.

      I can see all PC manufacturers having kittens.

      Instead of the usual refresh bonanza, they are looking at famine here.

      This is unheard of - reqs dropping instead of forcing a hardware upgrade.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. codejunky Silver badge


    I managed to install Ubuntu 12 on a 1GHz celeron, 512mb ram old XP machine (when it became end of life) which took some time for the installer but was definitely usable (with unity and running multiple applications) but obviously not quick.

    Not a plug for linux but watching the minimum requirements balloon every release of windows is not pretty.

    1. shifty_powers

      Re: Ha

      Well seeing as the minimum requirements have been the same for Windows 10, 8.1, 8 and 7 then the last part of your comment doesn't really hold water.

    2. Paul Westerman

      Re: Ha

      But the minimum requirements aren't ballooning, are they? Win10 requirements are the same as Win7 so they've been the same for nearly 6 years.

      1. AMBxx Silver badge
        Thumb Down

        Re: Ha

        How are the screen drivers for Linux? Drivers for obscure peripherals?

        Thought not.

        1. hplasm

          Re: Ha

          "How are the screen drivers for Linux? Drivers for obscure peripherals?"

          Better than the MS non-provided ones, I'll wager.

        2. shifty_powers

          Re: Ha

          "How are the screen drivers for Linux? Drivers for obscure peripherals?

          Thought not."

          As someone whom has used Linux pretty extensively, (and I probably shouldn't admit this but my wife was a UX designer for canonical; I know, I still haven't forgiven her...), I can say that the screen drivers work perfectly fine 99% of the time and it's pretty rare I find an obscure peripheral that does not work. Ironically Linux will be in a far better position for this than Windows 10 will be. (Also completely OS agnostic. Have used Linux and all versions of Windows pretty extensively, currently using OSX).

          1. FlatSpot

            Re: Ha

            @shifty_powers so just 99%, so the screen drivers don't work for 14mins each day.. think I'll pass thanks

        3. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: Ha

          @ AMBxx

          "How are the screen drivers for Linux? Drivers for obscure peripherals?"

          They are fine. Been over a decade since an obscure hardware problem and that was mandrake linux not liking the onboard sound card (worked when a sound card was inserted). Why have you found problems? And the NVidia drivers autodetect the type of card and install the correct drivers (I have a few choices but all correct) while my win7 doesnt know what it is pre installing the drivers from disk (or look up on linux and then download the right drivers).

          While I was not trying to plug for linux your comment has provoked me to also mention that linux can auto detect our network epson printer and auto config for it. Windows needs the drivers disk and cant seem to do it any other way than the annoying installer which takes 3 pages and then a slow wait to detect. Linux picks it up in 3 secs!!!! But that is not MS's fault, the driver disk is from epson.

        4. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

          Re: Ha

          But what are you counting as an obscure peripheral?

          I've had problems with a Pinnacle PCI video capture card, but to be fair, there was no post XP drivers for that anyway.

          And a slide scanner. Ditto, no XP drivers, and Linux support patchy, but I can run XP in VirtualBox to access it over USB.

          I did also have some problems with a broadcom wireless chipset from around 2001, but it would not work with WPA in XP, even using the available Windows drivers.

          But graphic cards? The open source nvidia and ati drivers work well (at least for 2D) with most old hardware, in fact much better than the legacy Windows ones once the proprietary windows ones have dropped all support. And the open source 3D support is getting better all the time, and for reasonably current hardware the binary non-free drivers actually work very well. There was some criticism of multi-head support, but it does work, although maybe not as easily as Windows, and again, it's getting better all the time.

          Similarly sound, network, wireless, USB devices. I have far more problems with Windows drivers rebuilding older machines than I do for Linux.

          Generally for older hardware, if someone wrote a Linux driver for it at some time in the past, it's still there and probably still in the repositories and the module stubs are still in the kernel, unlike Windows, where the old drivers more often than not will not work at all.

          One word of caution for people with older Celeron, some Atom and some Mobile Pentium processors (like the Banias Pentium M that was put in many laptops in the early noughties) that either do not support PAE (Pentium Address Extension) or report it wrongly. Modern Linux distro's often do not come with kernels that support these systems. It is sometimes possible to work around this, but generally it's not worth the effort.

        5. Flocke Kroes Silver badge


          While I was reading the article, and it mentioned potential problems finding Windows drivers for old hardware. I was just thinking - its a pity Windows users do not have all the source code for the drivers, with a license that allows anyone to maintain and distribute.

          For new hardware, it is really worth checking driver availability before purchasing _new_ and _unusual_ devices for a Linux box. Old or common place devices simply work - with existing drivers that come with the distribution. I recently went through the list of USB device drivers that come with the Linux kernel. In the enormous list were sack full of DVB decoders that I did not buy a few years ago because I did not see support in the kernel. I also saw the familiar top quality but ancient input devices still supported even though they have not been on sale for well over a decade.

          You mentioned 'screen driver'. In Linux terms, I think you mean 'frame buffer driver'. In its simplest terms, a frame buffer is some memory, and if you change a byte, the corresponding pixel on the display changes colour. I have never had any problems with the simplest frame buffers. I have had to wait for mode (resolution) changes to be available via the standard kernel interfaces, but text and X11 are almost always available early on. 2D, 3D and video decode accelerators support can be anywhere from excellent to binary blob (eg as bad as Windows). 3D vendors have been getting the message about proper open source drivers, and most have taken action (anything from doing the job properly to lip-service). Fortunately Linus swears at them until they do something useful.

          One of the reasons I fled from Windows 95 (IAVO) is I got bored with install a driver, reboot, install a driver, reboot, install a driver, fail to install a driver, wipe and start again because a five minute reboot was required immediately after installing any driver. Another reason was a game telling me I needed the latest version of a driver, getting that version from the manufacturer's web site, and the install software telling me I needed the distributor specific version, and the distributor's web site showing only the original driver.

          Now that Microsoft have got their act 'together', and they are releasing a new version every few years, I can see pre-XP driver hell returning. I intend to sit back and roar with laughter (and buy some cheap second hand components).

        6. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          "How are the screen drivers for Linux? Drivers for obscure peripherals?

          Thought not."

          To add to what others have said about the huge amount of drivers shipped with Linux, Linux also loads drivers based on chipset rather than device. For example if you had 3 WiFi dongles from separate manufacturers, on Windows, you'll have a separate driver for each dongle, on Linux, there is 1 driver for the chipset that encompases all 3 dongles and it's probably already included.

          I've not even thought about drivers on Linux in years, the worst incompatibility I've had in a decade was a snap purchase of a brand new Nvidia card, it was a rush purchase, I was running an old Fedora (19, current was 21) and the open source nouveau driver was too old. The binary driver fixed that until I could upgrade to 21.

          1. Cynic_999

            Re: @AMBxx

            My experience has been that Linux does indeed have drivers for most common peripherals, but they often only *partially* work. The last time I tried a Linux install, for example, it operated my 5.1 sound card in stereo, but refused to drive all six speakers (even though I had selected the 5.1 option and it claimed it was driving all speakers). My graphics card was accommodated, but could not be switched to match my screen resolution (so I had interpolation artefacts), and the HDMI output did not support 3D in any form whatsoever and would not route audio via the HDMI (not that I need to, but others might). Then there's the question of the associated programs needed to use many peripherals to their best advantage. Linux may well be able to send basic print jobs to my printer, but there is no way I can find to tell the printer to print onto a printable DVD instead of paper, which on Windows was handled by a dedicated CD printing program supplied by the printer manufacturer. The same is true of executing the printer's head cleaning routine - with no user interface on the printer itself it can only be achieved from a PC application. Maybe there was a way of connecting to the printer via WiFi as I do under Windows, but I was only able to work out how to connect from the PC's USB. So yes, Linux provided me with a working PC, but one that was severely crippled.

        7. MrWibble

          Re: "Drivers for obscure peripherals?"

          Oddly enough, I have an old unknown brand scanner (approx 10 years old) that was abandoned into the loft since it never worked correctly on XP.

          Since then, I've upgraded to Ubuntu, and a few weeks ago, I needed to scan something - thought I'd give it a go, and lo and behold, it just works (tm).

          1. Stephen Leslie

            Re: "Drivers for obscure peripherals?"

            Odd, isn't it? A few years back a guy had a laptop and the pointer/trackpad would freeze. I tried to help but he had switched out Windows for Linux, so there wasn't much that could be done unless one wanted to get buried in a morass of research and config files, which I didn't have time for. The laptop's trackpad worked on Windows; odd the decisions people make.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: "Drivers for obscure peripherals?"

              See, when it comes to laptop graphics, I had the opposite: it worked well on Windows but not on Linux. It's an old Dell Inspiron laptop (old as in it had a dock, a CD-ROM that doesn't work anymore and USB1 ports. I like it, though, because of the 1600x1200 screen). Thing was, every time I tried to put Linux on it, it wouldn't behave. The open-source Noveaux drivers only worked at the most-basic level (all the graphics chugged and forget about VDAPI acceleration), and none of the binary blobs from nVidia worked on it, leaving me basically up crap creek and forced to switch back to XP just to have something operational.

              More recently, I tried a recent Mint on a much more recent model. Graphics were only OK but the printer support left me worried because it would frequently bug out and leave me with a pile of pages of a line or two of garbage.

        8. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Ha

          "How are the screen drivers for Linux? Drivers for obscure peripherals?

          Thought not."

          Pro tip: never reply to your own rhetorical question; you might be wrong and if you're just trolling you almost certainly will be wrong and the folks here will be queuing up to tell you.

        9. JEDIDIAH

          Re: Ha

          Obscure peripherals? What did you have in mind? I'm probably more into the "obscure" stuff and I'm a Linux user.

          Besides, most people aren't interested in a SCSI microscope so crowing about it really isn't terribly relevant.

        10. Deryk Barker

          Re: Ha

          Actually, linux hardware support is much better than windows. And older hardware is far more likely to be supported.

          Even newer hardware: back in the days of Vista my college leased a whole bunch of HP laptops with it installed.

          Vista would not even see a USB mouse. USB in 2008?????

          Linux has had the edge over windows in terms of hardware support for several years now.

          1. Kiwi

            Re: Ha @Deryk Barker

            Vista would not even see a USB mouse. USB in 2008?

            2008? Hell, I still see Win 7 and sometimes even h8 asking to reboot after plugging in a USB mouse or USB stick in 2015!. And sometimes you have to wait for ages for it to pick up a new keyboard. Which it may not try to do until the user has logged in. Which is pretty damned difficult without a working keyboard attached. Why is it still so hard for windows to pick up a basic kb or mouse?

            When Windows can use mouse or keyboard within a second of it being plugged in, any basic mouse and keyboard, then you can start to think about boasting about its great driver support. While it still struggles with something so basic as a HP 3 button+scroll mouse, or claims to need a reboot to use a USB stick....

            1. jelabarre59

              Re: Ha @Deryk Barker

              > Why is it still so hard for windows to pick up a basic kb or mouse?

              Or worse; you move the machine to another location and fail to plug the KB and mouse into the exact same USB ports. Then MSWin has to re-search and re-install the drivers, because you *obviously* changed hardware...

              1. Kiwi

                Re: Ha @Deryk Barker

                > Why is it still so hard for windows to pick up a basic kb or mouse?

                Or worse; you move the machine to another location and fail to plug the KB and mouse into the exact same USB ports. Then MSWin has to re-search and re-install the drivers, because you *obviously* changed hardware...

                Yup, see that one often.. And worse - it asks for the bloody drivers disk! But plug it back into the original USB port and hey, works without needing the disk.. (Actually, can't recall if I've seen that asking for drivers problem on 7 or if that was only a Vista thing... But asking for a disk because you changed USB ports, when the thing works OK in a different port?????)

      2. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: Ha

        @ shifty_powers and Paul Westerman

        Sorry guys, I know what you mean but I am talking about the actual requirements to make things work on it. Granted from win7 resource use massively improved from vista (I still hate supporting it) and win 7 is good, but I certainly could not get that to run on a clapped out old XP machine.

        As for windows 8 I admit to being biased against anyway but comparing it against 7 on comparable hardware I find 7 to seemingly run better. I am not sure if they sorted out the caching problem on 8 yet but I know a few gamers who had to disable some stuff so win8 wouldnt occupy RAM and ruin their game play.

      3. Paul Shirley

        Re: Ha

        "Win10 requirements are the same as Win7"

        The difference is Win8.1 was the first time Microsoft made an effort to actually reduce Windows footprint, turning a laughable min spec that only applied to a bare install into one that works if you install things and use it in anger. A usable Win7 min spec should have been higher, as my brother discovered the hard way with his unusable Win7 laptop - even after we cleaned all the crapware off it.

        So far Win10 looks like it inherited the 8.1 slimline footprint. And the same lack of drivers I was hit by in Win8 ;(

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ha

        The minimum requirements are what it needs to install and run. The minimum requirements for a computer to be useful are much less modest.

    3. Turtle

      @codejunky Re: Ha

      "I managed to install Ubuntu 12 on a 1GHz celeron, 512mb ram old XP machine (when it became end of life) which took some time for the installer but was definitely usable"

      That it is possible to extend the life of an obsolete computer that was underpowered when it was bought a decade ago is really not terribly important for very many people.

      1. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: @codejunky Ha

        @ Turtle

        "That it is possible to extend the life of an obsolete computer that was underpowered when it was bought a decade ago is really not terribly important for very many people."

        I would agree with you. The reason for keeping this clapped out thing working was the owner was an elderly relative and would not pay to replace the machine (expects not to be around long enough to justify it) but since she was learning and enjoying having a computer I was determined she would not be stuck with something unsupported and insecure.

        I do wonder if it would have been a good idea for old XP machines being thrown away to be bought up and install linux for the older users. They dont care about powerhouses, they want something that works at low cost.

        1. ChaoticMike

          Re: @codejunky Ha

          >> I do wonder if it would have been a good idea for old XP machines being thrown away to be bought up and install linux for the older users.

          Hmm. My elderly Mother in Law was sold a Surface Pro running 8 (and latterly 8.1) last year, and she has had nothing but trouble, entirely down to the UI. I showed her a Linux Mint box, and she was instantly more at home because I'm guessing it's no coincidence just how much like the Windows '95/XP shell it looks. (Apologies; I don't usually write such tortuous grammar).

          The kicker would then become how well she could get on with LibreOffice, Thunderbird and Firefox or Chrome, because with the best will in the world, again they represent a significant change from the Office applications she is used to (you have no idea how hard it was to get her away from Outlook Express, even though the Windows Live Mail client was demonstrably better, whilst looking very similar).

          Management of change is (a) ****ing expensive, and (b) rarely sufficiently well planned. The thing I hate most about the IT industry (25 years experience now, currently an Enterprise Architect) is that the rate of change is so stupidly fast for rarely more than incremental hangs in capability. We are still doing a lot of very similar tasks to what we were when I started, but it appears in many cases to be harder or more complicated than it used to be. Maybe I'm just an old fart (51...!).

          (Shouty icon because there doesn't appear to be a soapbox)

        2. Turtle

          Re: @codejunky Ha

          "I would agree with you. The reason for keeping this clapped out thing working was the owner was an elderly relative and would not pay to replace the machine. I do wonder if it would have been a good idea for old XP machines being thrown away to be bought up and install linux for the older users. They dont care about powerhouses, they want something that works at low cost."

          I think that that's actually a good idea.

          1. Hargrove

            Re: @codejunky Ha

            The idea of Linux for the elderly (I myself resemble and resent that remark) is a good one.

            The assumptions of the IT industry. . . that everyone has a systems administrator to call on AND is able to spend upwards of 500 to 1000 US dollars every other year to buy a new system is nonsense. Computing is evolving to provide more instant gratification. However, for serious information management, the technology is beginning to melt down.

            Only users who are computer expert (computer literate and computer savvy isn't good enough any more) have a fighting chance.

            As others have commented, being forced to use the cloud for APPs, which seems to be a universal objective of the industry, has serious issues. Particularly, so if some of the more draconian and predatory licensing practice migrate to the cloud.

            For the reader who commented that they had bought their applications. . . Only in a world where common sense and morality applied would that be the case. But alas, we do not own the APP; we just have license to use it under conditions specified by the vendor. I have the distinction of being the only person I know who actually reads the damned things. They can easily run to tens of pages, and are written in such arcane an convoluted legalese as to defy understanding.

            My guess is that in the not too distant future the terms and conditions of licensing will require users to cede ownership of their own information to service providers, retaining only limited use right to what they have produced.

            The good news is that anyone who wants to download a selfie of their junk to social media, will be able to do it with two clicks (three if they count undoing their belt.)

        3. Eion MacDonald

          Re: @codejunky Ha

          I refurbish XP machines on a low demand Linux system (not all signing -dancing graphics) to allow these old folk to keep their email (on Thunderbird or webmail) and browsing going. They do not want as pensioners to do two things: A) spend money on new stuff; B) much more important learn a new OS which is very different to old systems [Age, memory, learning - it, is easier to give a similar to XP machine in Linux nowadays with many varieties. Some just work with a USB Live system without alteration of XP machine.]

  4. Pen-y-gors

    Spring cleaning time

    Although my Win7 laptop is way over the minimum specs, I'll be buying a new one (probably early next year, once all the Win 10 bugs are ironed out) Excellent chance to remove all the crap, upgrade software etc. And drivers...I had an old Shuttle box that worked fine with Ubuntu (several releases ago), tried updating Ubuntu and the embedded video would no longer work. One dead Shuttle, and I can't be bothered to try and install another distro.

    1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

      Re: Spring cleaning time

      Ubuntu is sometimes it's own worst enemy.

      It's actually very good at telling you that there are proprietary binary drivers available for your video card, and telling you what you need to do to enable the non-free repository and switching to the driver.

      Unfortunately, it's not very good at telling you that the new binary driver you've just installed as part of the update has dropped support for your graphics card. The result, you put the update on, reboot the system, and hey presto, you're back in un-accelerated 640x480 16 colour world, or if you're very lucky 800x600 VESA mode, whichever is the lowest common denominator. But you should get some sign of the screen working, even if it's just text-mode.

      The solution is to remove the nvidia or ATI fglx drivers, and install either the nv or nouveau driver for nvidia cards or the radeon driver for ATI cards. Nouveau and radion both provide some 3D function, although it's likely to not be as good as the binary driver (but still perfectly adequate for 2D work and even things like Google Earth).

      Another solution is to work out which the last binary driver supported your card, and back-level the package to that, or even add the repository for the earlier release and back level, and then freeze those packages. But this later option can sometimes lead to strange booting effects, especially if the KMS support for the cards has changed.

      BTW, a fresh install would probably just work.

      1. Charles 9

        Re: Spring cleaning time

        "Another solution is to work out which the last binary driver supported your card, and back-level the package to that, or even add the repository for the earlier release and back level, and then freeze those packages. But this later option can sometimes lead to strange booting effects, especially if the KMS support for the cards has changed."

        And this is assuming the old drivers CAN be backported. Many old drivers break against new kernels that changed things beyond their understanding, and recall we're transitioning to the v4.x kernel series which already has a few major changes in it vs. v3.x (and pray you don't require a driver that was last used on a v2.x kernel).

        1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

          Re: Spring cleaning time

          In my experience, apart from some kernel stubs for exporting a minimal API to the adapter, most of the code to drive the adapters is in the X Server modules, and thus run in user-space, not kernel space. You're mostly isolated by KMS in kernels from about 2.8.

          I was assuming that the type of problem I was addressing was one where someone ran a normal 'apply some security fixes' upgrade, which as a result broke support for the adapter they had. With most distro's, this will not introduce a new kernel, and regressing to a driver in the same version will most likely work.

          But you are right. I should have said "Another possible solution, assuming that the interfaces haven't changed.....".

          I was mostly thinking about distro's like Ubuntu and Fedora. All bets are off if you do a dist-upgrade. I have encountered that sort of problem with a Ubuntu 10.02 to 12.02 upgrade on a machine with an embedded Nvidia 7100 display adapter (I don't need significant 3-D capability on this system), where I got absolutely no graphical display (text mode only) at all until I worked out what had happened. And then I moved the disk into a new system with an 8800, and things got quite crazy again for a short while until I realised that I had frozen the Nvidia packages to get the 7100 working! And don't mention cheap ATI 9250 cards! I really want to forget those completely.

          I'm really not looking forward to Mir and Wayland, because I mostly understand how this works with X11. More to learn and more to get wrong, and probably whole generations of older graphics cards that will not work at all, no matter what you do.

    2. Col_Panek

      Re: Spring cleaning time

      Do you buy a new car when the ashtray gets full? And why didn't you install Mint instead of fooling with Ubuntu?

  5. Dave K


    To be fair, most people running a 32bit OS are doing so for legacy/compatibility reasons, not for CPU compatibility issues. With the exception of the earlier Atom CPUs, pretty much all PC CPUs have been 64bit for around 10 years or more.

    I'd say if you still have 32bit only systems, they'll either be absolutely ancient, or will be very slow and early Atom based systems (still a number of years old). Unless compatibility with old software or peripherals is required, they should be replaced promptly regardless of whether Windows 10 is adopted.

    1. slightly-pedantic

      Re: 32bit?

      I think I'm right in saying that some of Intel's first atoms for windows 8 had not got 64 bit drivers (integrated graphics iirc). They are also still being sold. Can't imagine they are going to work either.

    2. Bluto Nash

      Re: 32bit?

      I disagree. I have Win 10 10162 running quite serviceably on a Lenovo S-10e netbook with 2GB and a 64GB SSD. I had to go 32 bit for processor compatibility as it's a klunky old N270 Atom (single 1.6 Ghz core).

      Yes, it ran a number of Linuxes on it, but there was always something that never quite took (Mint 15 was best, IMO). Used it as the sacrificial box for Win 10 and was quite pleased with the results, since my expectations weren't necessarily high for it.

      Re: Drivers - it uses the old Intel video card that's built in, and I added (for USD $10) an Intel 802 bgn card that it likes just fine. Add a BT dongle and I have a perfectly serviceable little box that I can drag around easily and get stuff done on. I didn't want to throw away a box whose only fault was age (or I'd be out as well), so this has been the breath of life to the lil' nipper.

  6. Jim Hague

    Minimum requirements

    I think it was a review of Win95 back in the day that commented that the stated minimum requirements (4Mb RAM, 20MHz 386) should be regarded in the same light as minimum requirements for an Atlantic crossing of an air mattress and a packet of sandwiches...

    1. nk

      Re: Minimum requirements

      I had a friend in the late 90s who stubbornly refused to upgrade his PC. He was of the mentality that you don't upgrade hardware until literally nothing runs on it any more. He had not upgraded from his 8086 XT until 1994.

      We were joking about windows 95 (he was on still on dos of course) and I told him about the minimum requirements which he happened to meet. He had 8MB RAM and a 386DX 40 Mhz

      He actually went ahead and installed win95 on that machine and told me it ran well. I did not believe it so I had to go and see it.

      I must say I was very surprised as it actually did run respectably. He could browse the internet (little more than plain html at the time) and use an email client.

      It was not fast but not that much slower either than my 75Mhz Pentium with 16MB RAM, provided you only did one thing at a time.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Minimum requirements

        Awesome, back in the Windows 95 era, I was ~15, we had a 386SX (33Mhz, 4MB RAM). I was a proper geek and I'd been itching to see Windows 95, but the disk was too small (20MB iirc). I managed to get it installed onto a 100MB ZIP disk (connected over a parallel port in virtual hard disk mode) from 32 floppies. It took most of the day to install, and a fair old while to boot, but it did, eventually.

        I was so proud, for about 15 minutes after which I got bored of waiting for menus to appear and went back to Win3.1.

        I miss those days.

      2. Stephen Leslie

        Re: Minimum requirements

        I remember upgrading our AMD 486-DX100 from 4MB RAM to 8MB RAM and watching Microsoft Works load in half the time, only 25 seconds! B L A Z I N G !

        1. JEDIDIAH

          Re: Minimum requirements

          Windows 3.1 and 95 were both pigs until RAM prices finally dropped and I could go from 8M to 32M.

          My first Win box started out at 4M and was immediately upgraded to 8M because 4M with 3.1 was just too painful coming from the ST (where 4M is a bloody bonanza).

          I would not trust the minimum specs.

    2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Let's be clear about one thing

      Microsoft's "minimum requirements" have always only been the requirements to run the OS.

      Apps are an additional burden that you need to provision for, which nobody knows how to do.

      In my view, with today's prices on RAM, if you try with anything less than 8GB, you are wasting your time. Windows 7 needs 16GB to run okay. If Windows 10 really is the bee's knees some people are making it out to be, well 16GB won't hurt, right ?

      And as for disk space, your OS on one disk, your data on another with the swap file. Been working like that since Win95 and I've never seen any reason to do otherwise.

      Of course, if you have a laptop, all that is out the window.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Let's be clear about one thing

        Except some older mobos (like mine, and old 757 with a Core 2 Quad on board) max out at 8GB. I'm planning on a replacement as it's Vista-old, but I've still got plans for this old workhorse.

        BTW, 4GB is a pretty safe setup for 7 as long as you don't hammer it. One laptop I have chugged a lot until I maxed it out at 4GB; now it's no longer chugging. I also have a laptop that runs 8.1 comfortably at 4GB, too, and I'm pretty sure it's got room for more in case I send it up to X (I can play with this one as it has very little baggage).

        As for disk choices, depends on what you have on it. Having the OS on one drive may not help much if you have a lot of programs like Steam games that also have lots to load. I'd love to see 2TB+ SSDs come down, but I'm more content with a lot of bulk space.

      2. AceRimmer

        Re: Let's be clear about one thing

        "Of course, if you have a laptop, all that is out the window."

        I presume you're not speaking from a position of knowledge or experience.

        My current and previous laptops have the OS on one physical drive and data on another physical drive and they are both very much in the room and to my knowledge have never passed through any windows

      3. JC_

        Re: Let's be clear about one thing

        And as for disk space, your OS on one disk, your data on another with the swap file. Been working like that since Win95 and I've never seen any reason to do otherwise.

        SSDs. Your reason has arrived (and been waiting some time for your attention).

        1. Simon Westerby 1

          Re: Let's be clear about one thing

          You don't want your swap file on an SSD, unless you want to kill it early ...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Let's be clear about one thing

            "You don't want your swap file on an SSD, unless you want to kill it early ..."

            If you're using your swap file *that* much, you probably want/need more RAM anyway. Swap should be used primarily for unused stuff that doesn't need swapping in/out a lot, if you're constantly swapping on running applications, get more RAM.

          2. JC_

            Re: Let's be clear about one thing

            "You don't want your swap file on an SSD, unless you want to kill it early ..."

            The last SSD endurance test I saw had the first device failing after 0.75 Petabytes of writes, while the others were approaching 2PB. With that kind of endurance and their ever increasing capacity, it's pretty unlikely that the swap file will cause a problem.

            Every laptop in our office came with an SSD and only one of them (mine!) has a regular HDD, as well. Along with every phone and tablet around, they all swap to SSD and the manufacturers seem to be happy with that.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Summary of article

    FUD...please buy some new PCs sales are right down....FUD.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Summary of article

      Oh, and don't forget that you can't build your own because win 10 is not available as an ISO.

      1. Dan Paul

        Re: Summary of article

        No Ivan but it will be available from Newegg as an OEM DVD by the end of the month.

      2. dogged

        Re: Summary of article

        Terry Myerson and Gabe Aul both promised that ISOs would be released after the 29th.

        So there's some more FUD - did you think the article didn't have enough?

  8. KingStephen

    I have installed the W10 preview on an old Dell laptop that previously ran Vista, and it flies along. And everything seems to work just as it should, even the printing. That machine was bought in the pre-W7 days so it's quite old, and 32 bit. Performance is much better than it ever was on Vista.

    All the apps that I had on it work after being reinstalled.

    It was a clean install and not an upgrade, so that probably is the best way with W10, but it does make me think this article is more scaremongering than is justified.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      And you got the win 10 install ISO where?

      1. Hellcat

        And you got the win 10 install ISO where?

        Given this is a Microsoft preview, this may surprise, but from Microsoft.

        Of course, 10 seconds with google would have answered that.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @Hellcat, I know that for the preview. I should have been much more precise in my initial comment and added that microsoft have carefully not said that there will be an ISO of the final version.

          So I rephrase my question. Where do people building a new computer to replace an older unit running win 7 (or even just changing the hard disk to get a clean install) get the release ISO from?

          1. Hellcat

            Without getting my crystal ball out of the cupboard, I will have to imagine the OS will be made available in the same formats as previous recent releases.


            Seems a bit of a derp question. Microsoft have also not said that there will not be an ISO available. How about a bit of wait and see, unless you have insider (not the tech prev group) knowledge.

          2. Boothy

            @ Ivan

            As far as I know, you either have to buy a retail copy (i.e. non upgrade), or you have to upgrade 'in place' over the existing Windows install. As this is (as far as I know) the only mechanism available for registering your existing installation as being valid for the free upgrade offer.

            If you don't like this restriction, go buy a new disk via $RetailerOfYourChoice

            If you do the in situ upgrade, you can still do a clean install afterwards. You can create Win 10 install/recovery media from within the updated Win 10 machine itself, then wipe the system and do a fresh install afterwards (to the same hardware).

            MS also stated somewhere that after release, Win 10 ISO images of the retail version would be made available to download from MS (was on one of their forums, tying to find the link). But you still need to have done the in-situ update first, in order to register your PC with Microsoft (it's done at hardware level now). Otherwise the fresh install won't recognise the machine, and so wouldn't be a registered install.

            If your wanting to install to a new HD (or SSD), I'd suggest doing the in situ update first, write or down load the ISO, install the new drive, then a fresh install.

            1. DJV Silver badge

              @ Boothy

              Please don't feed the troll.

            2. Cynic_999


              If your wanting to install to a new HD (or SSD), I'd suggest doing the in situ update first, write or down load the ISO, install the new drive, then a fresh install.


              No good for my way of doing things. The way I have always upgraded is to do a fresh install of the new OS on a fresh HDD, but keep the old system intact on the old HDD. I have a caddy that allows me to swap the boot HDD easily. I can then try working only with the new OS, but when I encounter a problem when attempting a task, I can swap back to the previous OS easily and get the job done without delay. Later when I have more time I can do battle and get the particular task working on the new OS. Frequently this is nothing more than installing the relevant application that I forgot to install on the new OS (or did not have the install files or registration keys to hand), but there are also quite often occasions when the particular application I used to do something on the old OS (e.g. mount an ISO image as a virtual DVD drive) will not work on the new OS, so I have to hunt around for a compatible application that does the same thing.

          3. Innocent-Bystander*

            I know that for the preview. I should have been much more precise in my initial comment and added that microsoft have carefully not said that there will be an ISO of the final version.

            They said you could download the final version's ISO and clean install it after you have activated your upgrade. Not sure where you are getting your info from. Clean install from an ISO is in the cards, it's been specifically stated.

            The same goes for Windows 8.1. You can create a backup media of the clean OS from Microsoft's website.

      2. Paul Shirley

        well I downloaded mine from Microsoft...

      3. Preston Munchensonton

        And you got the win 10 install ISO where?

        Literally, the first link...

  9. Siv

    If you are going from Vista, 7 or 8/8.1 it will work

    I can't see why people are worryng about Windows 10 working from an upgrade perspective. Each successive release since Vista the actual real world load imposed by the O/S has gone down. Windows 7 was all about refining what was done in Vista and making it much lighter weight so that it could be installed on the fad at the time which was netbooks. I clearly remember Sinofsky waving his netbook around and showing off how it ran Windows 7 in 1GB RAM and very limited spec.

    After that with Windows 7, the focus was on getting into tablets running either ARM or Intel Atom chips with great power saving and great battery life, so 8 was much lighter than its two predecessors. It was just a shame that its interface just did not work for PC and laptop users using a keyboard and mouse.

    Windows 10 is designed for the same low power scenario, so will run happily on older desktop hardware if that previously supported Vista, Win7 or Win8/8.1.

    You might struggle if you have a low RAM and CPU version of XP but anything beyond that will work unless you have some very strange setup that just happens to use a CPU or Graphics version that isn't supported. If that is the case you will be warned by the Windows 10 setup program and it will back out of the upgrade so there should be no reason why anyone should get into troubles.

    Also people like me who are on the Insider Preview have already whittled out the vast majority of bugs before you even get anywhere near it and there are over a million insiders so with that number of testers pretty much all hardware combinations will have been exposed to it and any issues reported and by now fixed.

    As long as you don't try and hack round the Windows 10 installer and pay attention to what it recommends in terms of not running Windows 10 if your system is not compatible you should not hit any snags.

    Windows 10 is going to be what WIndows 8 should have been, like Windows 7 was to Windows Vista and Windows XP was to Millenium and Windows 2000.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: If you are going from Vista, 7 or 8/8.1 it will work

      I just posted much the same thing until I noticed yours. The kernel version is the same - Vista was 6.0, 10 was 6.4 until they decided to hide the fact it has been incremental upgrades for nearly a decade by updating that to 10.0. What bloat have they added since Vista, other than Windows 8's useless touch GUI no one wanted?

      The Windows 10 PC will even perform significantly better than a lower end PC purchased running Vista on the day it launched 8 1/2 years ago, if you replaced the original hard drive with a SSD.

  10. Slacker@work

    Quote of the year?!

    "..minimum requirements that were a little bit deceiving..."

    Lies, damn lies and Microsoft technical briefings

  11. JP19

    "any machine running Windows 8.1 should be capable of running Windows 10"

    Why wouldn't a machine run a polished version of the same turd?

    If you are running Win 7 why would you care?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    32bit version supports older hardware, >2Gb RAM with PAE

    On Windows 8.1 32 bit Pro, I run a Yamaha SW1000XG from 1999/2000 (that I bought for a Windows 98 PC) now in an Intel Core 2 Duo dual core 1.86Ghz desktop. This machine's processor is 64bit but also supports 32 bit mode for 32 bit editions of Windows. Because the drivers for this sound card were only ever 32bit (latest ones were Windows XP), I have installed the 32 bit edition of Windows 8.1 Pro. The sound card works perfectly, using the 32bit XP drivers. I would expect (hope?) Windows 10 32 bit to have the same outcome.

    As for saying 32bit machines are ancient I would disagree, as this desktop machine is dual core and runs most apps competently. There are even quad core intel processors to be had on ebay cheaply that would support 32bit mode and therefore older 32bit hardware with a 32bit edition of Windows: 7, 8.1 and perhaps 10.

    Also, depending on how such old hardware iteracts with the address space of the CPU, PAE (Physical Address Extension) may be possible allowing for >2Gb RAM on a 32bit Windows edition.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    SSD Essential

    I have tried the Win10 preview builds on a range of different hardware. Overall I found it runs very well even on older hardware but having an SSD is essential. As far as processor and memory goes Win 10 feels very light but it uses the disk a lot. After the first install if you have a normal HD then it will churn away for 30-40mins at least and be hard to use. Even once its settled down then the Start menu and Metro apps are very laggy. Any Win updates take ages to complete with a normal HD.

    So basically if you want a good experience you absolutely need to be running from an SSD. Win10 boot time is incredible by the way, blink of an eye fast.

    1. Boothy

      Re: SSD Essential

      The only time I've noticed any HD 'churn' with Win 10 preview, has been when it's been downloading the next release.

      Otherwise things like the Start Menu etc have been quite snappy. And this is running under a VM on a HDD.

      Usually a slow Start Menu tends to mean either there isn't enough free memory available (so system data has been pushed to VM on disk, and stalls when it tries to pull it pack into RAM), or there is a driver issue somewhere.

      Although SSDs do rule, I can't see me ever putting a primary OS on a HDD after using SSDs for about the last 3 years or so.

    2. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: SSD Essential

      I'd say an SSD is essential as a boot/OS drive for basically any hardware or OS now.

      The only thing HDDs are good for is bulk storage now.

      1. JEDIDIAH

        Re: SSD Essential

        > I'd say an SSD is essential as a boot/OS drive for basically any hardware or OS now.

        I used to think that. I was experiencing a lot of IO waits and blamed it all on Canonical. I juggled things around using multiple units of spinning rust trying to reduce contention. Even contemplated buying a nice fat SSD to replace my boot drive with.

        ...then it turns out that it was just a failing drive.

        Once replaced with spinning rust that wasn't in the process of actively dying, all became well. Need for SSD upgrade averted.

        Not all Operating Systems are created equal.

  14. John P

    After being hurt more than once by failed upgrades, I was as sceptical as anyone that the upgrade from Win 7 to Win 8 would actually work without murdering my machine.

    I approached it with the expectation that I would have to do a clean install anyway, thus relegating the upgrade to just an experiment. To my surprise, it worked perfectly and I didn't have a single problem with it for the 6 months I used it before I bought an SSD and decided it would be nice to have a clean install rather than transfer the existing install.

    I will approach the Win 8.1 to Win 10 upgrade with the same view, but considering upgrading from 8.1 through 5 or 6 Win 10 preview builds has been pretty smooth for me so far, I'm cautiously optimistic.

  15. Zog_but_not_the_first
    IT Angle

    I'm puzzled...

    ... by this creeping tendency to talk of "apps" on desktop (and laptop) machines. Do the writers mean programs, or are "apps" radically different in some way?

    Given that the terminology is ported from smartphones I guess an app is something that executes a hopefully useful function while slurping your personal data and uploading it to the land of fluffy kittens and unicorns "cloud", while a program does something useful without being a nosey parker.

    1. Spoonsinger

      Re: I'm puzzled...

      I think you'll find that people talked about applications being 'apps' way before Apple stuck their sticky snozzles in. (Which is basically a reason why Apple couldn't clamp down on the usage of the term).

  16. Stevie


    So it will install on any reasonably recent PC running big name brand hardware. This appears to be in line with every other MS Windows release.

    Meanwhile, in the real world of six-year plus old kit, not so much.

    Scaling for the large enterprise was a real challenge for MS, who in the NT3 era seriously under-estimated the desktop count represented by "large". Understanding the economies of those large enterprises still eludes the marketing and R&D department's spokesdrones.

  17. Captain Underpants

    Jesus fuck, the articles about Windows 10 seem to draw out complete numpties at times.

    Anything that has run Windows 7 or later passably well, will in all probability run Windows 10 just as well or better. (My home test box is an HP Elitebook old enough to have a Vista COA on it, and 10 preview runs better on it by a good bit than the original Vista install - and that's after a I spent a bit of time applying the usual tuning to cut down the Vista bloat like disabling Aero, turning off search indexing, etc).

    About the main issue you'll hit is the same issue every version since Vista has had - increased amount of disk indexing means that old and/or slow drives are a more noticeable contributing factor to slow performance. But again, it's unlikely to be worse on 10 than 7,8 or 8.1. And in any case, upgrading to an SSD will cost the bones of £100 if you decide to do it.

    If you're a business that buys desktop computers on a "buy then run it 'til it dies basis" and don't have the ability to correctly guess what sort of initial spec will be required for a 5+year lifespan, you're doing your spec definitions wrong. And if you're not, well, you can install Win10 when you like without any anticipation of basic "won't boot"-type hurdles.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      SSD prices

      "And in any case, upgrading to an SSD will cost the bones of £100 if you decide to do it."

      I would have thought that for a lot of office desktops 120G would be plenty, which means in any kind of volume around £50 each. Even if users have custom builds, it's a job which could be scripted and handed over to low cost help, like students.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    16GB free disk space??? WTF, why so much?

    1. dogged

      > 16GB free disk space??? WTF, why so much?

      Mostly for the rollback facility. The upgrade stashes the guts of your old Win7/8/8.1 in a Windows.old directory and can revert to it at any time in the first month after install if you decide you don't like Win10.

  19. Akr

    True. Old computers are going to suffer.

    True. Old computers are going to suffer. Even my laptop with Intel Pentium P6200 doesn't boot Windows 10 when I have using Windows 8.1 on it from years.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: True. Old computers are going to suffer.

      "when I have using Windows 8.1 on it from years"

      Quire clever since it has been out less than 18 months.

  20. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "Love it or hate it, the app store is here to stay"

    Sorry, but fuck that.

    I already have the apps I need. I have bought them. They are mine. I do not believe that Windows 10 is all that different from Windows 7 - Microsoft has already amply demonstrated that it was totally allergic to truly new code (otherwise we wouldn't have seen many of the same vulnerabilities for Vista then we saw in XP).

    If Win10 cannot accept installing my existing apps that I do not need to rent, I see no use for it.

    If Windows 10 prevents me from installing things that work perfectly well under Windows 7, then it is simply not fit for purpose.

    In any case, I am in no hurry to upgrade. My Win7/64 platform works fine and does what I need at the speed I need to do it. I sincerely hope that, by the time I need to replace the hardware, Steam OS will be a reality and I can get a Linux build that will not blow my neurons to get working and be finally done with this bloated virus platform called Windows.

    Unless they revert to a proper PC-based UI and do away with any "store" requirements. If Microsoft can accept that it is MY PC and I know how to manage it without needing a nanny every second click, then maybe I'll check Windows 1 0 out some day.

    1. elDog

      Re: "Love it or hate it, the app store is here to stay"

      Hear, hear! You enunciated my biggest concerns about the move from Windows 7 to 10 (or 8/8.1).

      I am not going to be pushed into rental "apps". I can find very good OSS alternatives if needed but I believe my Windows 7, 16GB, 2SSD laptop will suffice for awhile.

      It will definitely suffice until a proper desktop manager comes back. I don't know the difficulties in replacing the Windows 10 DM but there are some great and clever people that have supplied me with stellar add-ons, modifications to Win3.1-Win7 and I see a bright future for their products.

      (Running simultaneously a Win10 VM and a Mint17 VM, both at 4GB.)

    2. dogged

      Re: "Love it or hate it, the app store is here to stay"

      But if you consider it to be a Windows version of apt-get you wouldn't be too far wrong, especially now that Win32 programs can be packaged for Store distribution.

      It ain't just WinRT apps anymore, Toto.

    3. Captain Underpants

      Re: "Love it or hate it, the app store is here to stay"

      Thus far there are no requirements to use the Store or Store-based apps. Nor are there requirements to use a Microsoft-enabled account for the OS itself.

      Nor, to the best of my knowledge, are they stopping you from installing x86/x64 type executables of the kind that have always been used on Windows.

      So while I totally share your terror of some sort of mutant Windows version which imposes iOS-like limitations on the end-user (without any iOS-like benefits), I do not share your conviction that Windows 10 is anywhere close to being that mutant Windows version.

  21. Ken Hagan Gold badge


    I had a couple of pieces of USB-based hardware that worked fine on Win7 and refused point blank to work on Win8. Since MS provide the actual USB stack (y'know, the bit that actually talks to the effing hardware?) and the kernel major version number hasn't changed for 7, 8, 8.1 and (early betas of) 10, I have to conclude that the device itself changed its higher-level protocol whilst I was installing Win8.

    After all, it couldn't be a case of some numpty testing for equality of version number rather than for the existence of an interface, and neither could it be the fine hardware vendor taking the opportunity to stiff me for a new scanner. No, no.

    Fortunately, the majority of hardware vendors get this right and MS can in most cases arrange to lie to the numpties who don't, but there's always one so I'd echo the advice to check your hardware before upgrading. (Edit: particularly if it is a Canon.)

    1. janimal

      Re: Drivers

      I'm not suggesting you upgrade your OS or your Canon gear...

      I have an ancient (XP ERA) canon photo printer, that is stilol perfectly functional, but when I switched to XP 64bit, there were no x64 drivers. At that time I had a lappy with XP pro (32bit) so I just kept that around just for printing.

      Now on W7, I use XP32bit in a Virtual Box VM.

  22. Howard Hanek

    Graphics Drivers

    Even fairly recent Intel based laptops (a huge portion of the market) don't have proper video drivers which leads to all kinds of problems in everyday business use. I've been waiting almost a year for Intel to develop them so we can migrate.....but no joy. I suspect they won't be forthcoming making for a very expensive solution. Replace the laptops if you want or require Windows 10.

    1. Sandtitz Silver badge

      Re: Graphics Drivers

      "I've been waiting almost a year for Intel to develop them so we can migrate.....but no joy."

      So...your company would have migrated to the Win10 beta almost a year ago if only Intel had better gfx drivers???

  23. jason 7

    Installed it on several 2007-2009 spec machines.

    And all have worked just fine.

    2GHz AMD laptop CPUs, 2GB of ram etc. etc.

    Drivers are not an issue either as to be honest you can get Windows 8/Windows 7/Vista 64bit drivers to work just fine.

    If you find the odd rare bit of hardware that 10 doesn't recognise out of the box then a driver should be easy to find or you should ask an adult for help.

    In fact just last week I installed it on a 2005 spec Toshiba tablet laptop. Installed 98% of the hardware first go. The Vista 64 bit driver got the audio working no problem.

    Any vaguely competent IT person should be able to get the old Windows 7 infrastructure up to date if they so desire.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Installed it on several 2007-2009 spec machines.

      Actually, video drivers may be a sticking point.

      Remember that Windows X will introduce WDDM 2.0 and DirectX 12, both relatively new graphics implementations that are meant to be closer to metal. If Windows X requires WDDM 2.0 drivers, there may be difficulties.

      1. JEDIDIAH

        Re: Installed it on several 2007-2009 spec machines.

        You're kidding? Yet another Windows video driver model?


      2. jason 7

        Re: Installed it on several 2007-2009 spec machines.

        Never caused a problem installing 8/7/Vista on DirectX 11/10/9/8 capable kit so I don't see any reason for that to change.

        Currently it works just fine.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Installed it on several 2007-2009 spec machines.

          DX11 was just an incremental upgrade vs. DX10.

          DX12 is a whole other kettle of fish. It's to 11 what 10 was to 9, a major rewrite: in this case to give graphics drivers lower-level control for performance improvements. IIRC, WDDM 2.0 depends on DX12 to pull off its new features.

          Vulkan is supposed to be Kronos's answer to this in the OpenGL world.

  24. This post has been deleted by its author

  25. ScissorHands

    Trooping along fine on my original MacPro

    Yep, first generation MacPro running Windows10 like a champ. All the Apple 64-bit drivers applied and worked properly after the installer was patched for the 64-bit drivers to be available on the MacPro1,1. Just got 8GB more RAM, for a total of 12, and an SSD.

    Low-cost computing. Until HEVC becomes popular - these 4 Xeon cores can't hack 1080p HEVC with pure CPU power alone (there's no accel)

    1. cream wobbly

      Re: Trooping along fine on my original MacPro

      Aye, Windows 10 runs fine on my (nearly) 10 year old MacBook 4,1. Meanwhile, OS X 10.10 doesn't.

  26. Idocrase

    Newest part in my computer is approaching 4 years old. Oldest part in it is approaching 8 years old.

    Aside from needing new case fans, it all works fine and on windows 7 plays most of my games without quibbles, and photoshop well enough.

    On windows 10, it boots twice as fast, runs on the same amount of ram and generally behaves better than it ever did on 7, including allowing a few games that were no-go on Win7 to actually function ('Tachyon: The Fringe' anyone?)

    Now, I am working from an in place upgrade, having been with win10 since the low 9000's release, and been unwilling at the time to wipe everything and start over at the time and utterly unwilling to use that POS 8.x. Biggest problem I have turned out to have been caused by flashplayer...

    When the final release comes along I will like-as-not do a clean install, but hell, this really is the least hassle ANY windows upgrade has ever been and I remember trying to use '95 at work...

  27. Sureo

    "systems accumulate cruft no matter what you do"

    Everybody believes that, but has anyone quantified it? If your computer is running fine after a few years, why worry about it?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "systems accumulate cruft no matter what you do"

      Yes, all those incremental patches and bugfixes and so on and their associated Restore Points, not to mention all the programs, configurations, and cruft that accumulate in the Registry and AppData directories. It's kinda like patching leak after leak after leak in whatever springs to your head. Eventually, you're gonna have more patch than original material and reliability takes a hit. In which case, it's usually beat to switch out for a fresh one with all the bugfixes streamlined in for maximum efficiency (because doing it this way means none of the old stuff hangs around).

  28. DButch

    Windows 10 running well

    On my original Build 2011 Samsung Tablet. In fact, running better than it did with Windows 8 (the new bits seem to have solved a USB host controller timing issue that meant that sometimes I would get touch OR bluetooth but not both until I uninstalled and reinstalled the device).

    Dual core 1.6 GHz Intel Core i5 processor and 4GB memory - so a BIT above minimum specs. Fast boot (that's the SSD) and snappy general performance.

    Start menu is still a mess - takes up WAY too much real estate, but I don't care - I got a replacement from Stardock and am working fine with my Windows 7 start menu in place. The "Modern UI Applications" run just fine in resizable windows.

  29. John Crisp


    Do I really need a nearly a gigabyte of HP windows driver cruft when my Linux box installs it automatically without even asking for a disk ?

    Ridiculous and I still don't get it. Why do I want all that spyware with every driver ?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Drivers

      Yes, because in several cases Windows had workable drivers but none of the Linux distros did, making them a non-starter (since one of the missing drivers was for the video chip).

  30. Aloosh709

    Here is the best thing with my experience with Windows 10 Tech Preview, I took out my ssd which had Win 10 installed in and installed it into my friend's Pc which has a different motherboard, pretty mucb everything was different to what I had. But here's where it got really good, it worked right away, it just came up with a screen saying installing new drivers and stuff like that, and right after it booted straight to the login screen, no reinstallation required.

    1. DukeMcA

      I would call that a positive review and welcome news. It seems to have taken them many years to fix that issue....

  31. Fuzz

    NX bit

    Your CPU will need to have NX support, so anything pre P4 prescot or pre AMD64 will not work, this is also a requirement for Windows 8 so anything that runs 8 will be OK but not all computers running 7 will be.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: NX bit

      8 and 10 must be more strictly enforcing memory partitioning which requires hardware support. I suspect CPUs without it will be blacklisted by the "Get Windows X" program.

      It should be noted that not all Prescotts had XD included, but I think all that did were LGA755, meaning if you don't have an XD-enabled CPU, it should be possible to switch it out for one that can without having to switch out anything else.

  32. Al Black


    "Any machine running Windows 8.1 should be capable of running Windows 10...To those people who, by choice or need, are still running Windows 7, no such guarantee or statement has been made."

    Anyone who upgraded a Vista or Windows 7 PC to 8.0 will recall how much faster their existing hardware ran under windows 8. 8.1 upgrade made no perceptible difference to boot time, so if they say that Windows 10 runs as well on the same hardware as 8.1, then Windows 7 Hardware will run better on 10 than on 7: you can guarantee that, IF it is true that win 10 is as fast as win 8.1 on the same hardware.

  33. DukeMcA

    Specs, schmecs....

    1GHz, 1GB or 2GB of RAM, are they insane ? That's what it takes to boot the damn thing, not to actually use it ! They ALWAYS understate the specs when they introduce a new system, without fail. Moreover, 2GB RAM on even a high-end Core CPU probably isn't going to perform very well even with only a browser running, regardless of which one you choose...

    1. Alan Edwards

      Re: Specs, schmecs....

      Currently working in a Windows 8.1 VM, running 2Gb RAM on one core of a Pentium G2120, no problems at all. Firefox and Thunderbird are running, 57% memory used, CPU not being touched.

      My sister has one of those Linx Windows 8.1 tablets with only 1Gb RAM. I set it up for her, that gets down to half a gig of RAM in use on boot.

      My 1Gb RAM Dell Android tablet - about 150Mb free on boot, constantly freezing as it runs out of RAM. A known problem with the Android port to the Atom CPU apparently, I wish I'd researched it better before I bought it.

  34. Araxian

    drivers are easy

    there are literally over a hundred of driver utilities , slimdrivers, driver genius etc, that will find the proper driver for almost any hardware, by the device id. i use them alot when upgrading drivers for laptops after a os upgrade, as the laptop manufacturer rarely updates drivers for laptops beyond the os that it originally had. also works for oddball peripherals, as often the chipset or device with the same hardware just newer model has drivers for the newer os. had an older hardware raid card that didn't have windows 8 drivers, turns out it, their new model has the same chipset with matching ids just different model number. works. sure i could peruse 20 different sites manually and find all the drivers i need, but why when a util can find it for you in a few secs.

  35. gzuckier

    2 gig?

    My windows 7 is barely usable with 4 gigs, limited by 32 bitness.

  36. cortland

    What I want to know is

    If I buy a new Win 10 equipped computer online for $US 199 haven't I just bought the HARDWARE (new!) for $80? And haven't I got six computers downloading humongous updates already?

    My Acer Iconia W3 (Atom) has been thrashing away at a year of accumulated updates for two days... mea culpa!

  37. Alan Edwards

    Not bad on crap hardware

    My main machine is a Dell XPS-8100, must be about 6 years old now. Still plenty fast enough for Windows 10, only things I'm missing are USB-3 and SATA-3. A clean install of Windows 8 killed the Bluetooth module, I'm hoping in-place upgrading from 7 to 10 will keep it going.

    I've put the Windows 10 tech preview on a Lenovo Q180 - Atom D2700, 2Gb RAM, 160Gb hard drive. Everything works, and it's quick enough. 4Gb RAM and an SSD would make it very usable I reckon.

    I'm going to dig the Samsung NC-20 (1.2Ghz VIA Nano) out of storage, stick one of the spare SSDs in it and give it a go, because why not? It might make a nice light laptop for when I don't need the i5 in the T410.

    The 1.6Ghz Pentium-M Compaq might be pushing it though :-). That one's about ready for the dump I think.

  38. W. Anderson

    another consideration for unsatisfactory Windows 10 upgrade.

    The article writer did not offer the alternative of reverting back to Windows 7 (or possibly 8/8.1) should any hardware vendor legitimate driver issue blow up the whole Windows 10 upgrade process.

    Purchasing new windows 10 pre-installed computers should not be the only choice under such circumstances.

    The other consideration for Windows business computer users not mentioned in the article is migration to business class Linux Operating System (OS) software, which in 2015 can run most standard and even many custom Windows applications in a Virtual Machine (VM), e.g. VMware, at native speed with exact same functionality, reliability and compatibility as on original Windows, and the computers generally run faster than with Windows install in most cases.


    Windows 10 Final Release installed and stable

    Windows 10 Final Release installed and stable

    I have been running Windows 10 Technical Preview builds from Windows 8.1: 10159, 10162, 10166, 20140. These builds have been reliable and solid as Windows 8.1. Today, install 10240, identifies itself as Windows 10 and not as a Technical Preview.

    All these people who are afraid of installing Windows 10 on their existing PCs should not even give it a second thought...go ahead! My PC is a Intel Core duo 2.4 Ghz, 3.5 GB RAM, 500 Mb HD. Runs Win 10 like a champ.

    In summary, except with additional features, Windows 10 is the same technical experience as Windows 8.1.

  40. neiliewheeliebin

    I'm running Win 10 on an Atom z7375f tablet with 2gb ram and it absolutely flies, Microsoft isn't kidding about those low minimum specs.

    It seems to be just as quick to use on my tablet as it is on my i5 4460 /GTX780/8gb RAM gaming PC, when I'm using my tablet it doesn't feel like a major downgrade in performance at all, for example Edge browser is just as fast and smooth theres no lagging whatsoever its the same fast user experience on all my systems

  41. jontyrp

    Windows 10 Rock Solid

    I've been running the Windows 10 Insider Preview since very early in the preview program, on a Dell Vostro 1700 Notebook, purchased in March 2008. The original OS was Windows Vista Business x86, which was upgraded to Windows 7 Professional x64 (clean installed) soon after Windows 7 was released.

    I'm now running Windows 10 Pro (Build 10240) x64 on this machine and it is running faster and more stable than with any previous version of Windows. The Specs are:

    1). Processor - Intel Core2Duo T9300 @ 2.50GHz

    2). RAM - 4 Gb DDR2 (533Mhz)

    3). NVidia GeForce 8600M GT Graphics card (256Mb )

    4). Primary Drive - OCZ-Octane SSD (256Gb) as System Drive

    Secondary Drive - Seagate ST1000LM014-1EJ164 (1Tb Hybrid HDD) used for Data.

    So while this system is above the minimum requirements in most respects, the Processor is definitely on the older side, as is the NVidia graphics card, but both work just fine. All the other hardware in the system had drivers available out of the box from Windows 10 and everything is working as expected.

    I've also tried Windows 10 on a 10 year old Dell Inspiron 9300 notebook. While the x86 version installed OK and again had drivers for all the hardware out of the box, it does crawl. I suspect this is mostly due to the notebook having a PATA HDD rather than the newer SATA. It seems to be the disk IO operations that are causing the slowdown.. So I would NOT suggest installing Windows 10 on such an old system.

    But anything that is a similar vintage to the Vostro 1700, or newer, should be quite happy running Microsoft's newest OS.


    1. dennycrane1963

      Re: Windows 10 Rock Solid

      Hi Jonathan,

      I as well have been running Windows 10 on my 1700 Vostro. My system is similar to yours. My issue is with the express slot. I had been using a USB 3.0 express card with Windows 8.1. Now this seems to be the only device not working since I moved to Windows 10 Pro.

      Any advice?

  42. Jason Walker

    I'm running Windows 10 on my aging Dell XPS M1730. If anything its running better now with Win10 then it has with Win7-8 before on it.. It's updated all my drivers without issue, and whilst takes a min or so to boot to a usable desktop etc this is quicker then before..

    Roll on July 29

  43. westlake

    OS Compression In Windows 10

    Paul Thurrott explains OS compression in Windows 10:

    "One of the many things that makes Windows 10 unique is that this version of Windows takes up less space on a disk and requires fewer resources than its predecessors. Microsoft accomplishes this magic with a technology it calls OS compression, reducing the storage footprint of Windows 10 by 5.5 GB to 14.6 GB overall.

    It goes something like this: Windows 10 uses “an efficient compression algorithm” to compress system files and it includes recovery enhancements that have removed the requirement for a separate recovery image.

    That system file compression bit gives back 1.5 GB (for 32-bit Windows) or 2.6 GB (for 64-bit) of storage, Microsoft says. And the Push Button Reset functionality—PC Reset and PC Refresh—has been redesigned in this version to not require a separate recovery image. That saves an additional 4 GB to 12 GB of space. (This latter advance applies only to PCs, laptops and tablets, not phones.)

    Of course, this raises an obvious question. If there’s no recovery image, how does Push Button Reset even work?

    According to Microsoft, “the Refresh and Reset functionalities will [now] rebuild the operating system in place using runtime system files … this take up less disk space [and] it means you will not have a lengthy list of operating system updates to reinstall after recovering your device.” That’s right, it’s a two-fer.

    (If things really go south, you will need to have created recovery media, which I’ll be documenting here on this site and in the forthcoming book Windows 10 Field Guide.)"

    Microsoft Explains OS Compression in Windows 10

  44. greypowerOz

    anyone remember Vista "ready" machines?

    Disclaimer: I moved from Micro$oft to linux when my XP machine died and VIsta was the "current" version of Windows.

    I supported any number of really unhappy Vista users with the "minimum spec" machines (RAM in particular) which were woefully slow in use (particularly once an AntiVirus package was running)

    This has made me very suspicious of "minimum specs" from MS :^) From comments already posted it seems like RAM is the key factor in "acceptable" performance of the Windows10 previews.....

    Is anyone willing to remove RAM down to the "minimum" and let us know how it affects your usability "in real life" ? :^)

    ... (IE willing to take one for the team!!!)



  45. cortland

    So no hope

    For my AST 10 MHz AT, even WITH a sixpack memory board, eh? The 12 GB HP quad core Phenom, though, that might work.

    All files scanned, saved on a backup HDD along with a full disk image -- and a boot DVD prepared. If they force the update, I'm ready.

    Onward! Onward! Swords against the Foe

    Forward! Forward the lily banners go!

    Sons of France around us,

    Break the chain that bound us,

    And to Hell with Burgundy!

  46. Chronicle

    If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

    Why are so many users lining up like sheep to be herded into Microsoft's Win10 pen? Whenever I've done upgrades in the past, it hasn't been because "the flock" is doing it. It's been because I noticed a new feature I felt would be of value to me. I saw no new feature in Win8.1 and see no new feature in Win10 that would make me want to take the leap. So, why take it?

    One other note. Starting with Win7 (which is what I'm using now), Microsoft made a quantum leap into the area of "licensing control" over users. If you have to replace your motherboard or do any significant hardware modifications, the OS may recognize them as "creating a new computer" ... even if you're using the same one you've been using. If that happens, you end up with a screen warning saying your OS is invalid. In short, Microsoft takes you into "their court" where you're guilty until proven innocent ... and where they have the ultimate thumbs-up or thumbs-down decision over whether you're innocent. Fortunately, with Win7, I've found about 2 or 3 ways "around" that issue that have worked for me in the past. But, I'm assuming that later versions of Windows tighten that noose of control.

    One note on Win10. I understand that Microsoft has taken away a user's ability to "refuse" updates. And, they do updates on "their" schedule, not "yours." Example.

    Imagine you're a college student working on an assignment due tomorrow. You get to a point where you realize you "must" visit your local library for research - and the library is only open for another hour. So, you turn off your laptop to take it with you to the library - only to be faced with this on-screen message:

    "Windows is performing update 1 of 127. Do not unplug or turn off your computer until all updates are complete."

    Hmmm. I think I'll stick with Win7. I've turned off Windows Updates ... choosing to do them manually about once a week, just before bedtime (so I can sleep through them).

    1. TheVogon

      Re: If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

      "It's been because I noticed a new feature I felt would be of value to me. I saw no new feature in Win8.1 and see no new feature in Win10 that would make me want to take the leap. So, why take it?"

      For many users there are 2 good reasons - a) It's better than Windows 8, and b) Direct 12 - which gives a quoted average of 40% improvement in graphics performance - much higher in some cases - so gamers will be jumping on board.

      1. Chronicle

        Re: If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

        I imagine that Direct12 would be of benefit to gamers or people who do high-end CAD/CAM work (or video editing). But to John Q. Homeuser, it has no significance. Speaking of gaming, the only game I play on my Win7 computer is solitaire - which, as I understand, Win10 takes away.

        BTW, I have an Acer Win7 laptop. But it will become a backup laptop shortly, replaced by another Win7 laptop I'm having built for me - including a lot of hardware features that runs the OS at its maximum output. Daily backups of Firefox/Thunderbird profile directories will prevent me from losing my desired cookies, history, bookmarks, email, and address book. And hard drive cloning of both systems via an iDsonix external dock done once monthly (or after a major software upgrade) should take care of the rest.

        Hehe, I'll probably be using Win7 when Microsoft comes out with Win22 (grin).

        1. TheVogon

          Re: If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

          "the only game I play on my Win7 computer is solitaire - which, as I understand, Win10 takes away."

          No - you can play Solitaire on Windows 10.

  47. Mr rhs

    My Windows 10 experience so far

    My PC is Lenovo Z570. Intel I5, 2.5ghz, 8gig of ram, nothing special. I dual and triple boot all the time. Main operating system (2yrs) is FreeBSD with KDE desktop. I know, the purists don't like that but hey it is BOMB proof and does not morph itself without your permission. I Vboxed Win10 last week using Win7 as host, and save for the manual install of "guest additions" it came out perfect and by that I mean fully accelerated capable of 3d rendering right out of the gate. For those of you who do not virtualize OS's that is not and easy thing to do. So that got my attention. I have and old Microtek scanner that is so old Microtek does not support it. So my ultimate test for any OS is to install this scanner. Drag the files out of the shared folder to the desktop, no problem. Run installer as administrator no problem. No driver in hardware tree. Had to turn off MS digital driver signing thingy. That was slightly cryptic and any casual user would definitely have a problem with that. Install (vista 64 bit driver) no problem. Run scanner and bingo it works like a charm. To top it off since this OS runs seamlessly I went back to Win7 and scanned the same page, no problem. A perfect Vbox program in my opinion.

  48. trsheila

    I uninstalled windows 10 and they were very civilized about it. THEN nothing worked! I had to format and use my backup and we all know what that entails. Thanks to you I just uninstalled 10 far no problems.....but now I don't have auto updates on. What a pain. I do have 64 and that's a lot of space to lose.

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