back to article Windows 10 pain: Reg man has 75 per cent upgrade failure rate

As your humble HPC correspondent for The Register, I should probably be running Linux on the array of systems here at the home office suite. But I don't. I've been a Microsoft guy since I bought my first computer way back in 1984. You, dear readers, can rip me for being a MStard, but it works worked well for my business and …

  1. Andy Non Silver badge

    Blessing in disguise?

    Now seems the perfect opportunity to give Linux Mint a whirl.

    1. Andy france Silver badge

      Re: Blessing in disguise?

      It's an opportunity but the evidence suggests that only IT people and their extended family even know Linux Mint exists. The chances are that more people will successfully migrate to Windows 10 today than have ever used Mint.

      1. Pompous Git Silver badge

        Re: Blessing in disguise?

        the evidence suggests that only IT people and their extended family even know Linux Mint exists.

        Locally, south eastern Tasmania, Linux Mint is going great guns thanx to w10 and recent w7 woes. These folks are commuters to the city and farmers.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Blessing in disguise?

        "The chances are that more people will successfully migrate to Windows 10 today than have ever used Mint."

        Define successfully.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. 404

      Re: Blessing in disguise?

      Linux Mint runs great on an ancient Acer Aspire One netbook that my 13 year old daughter runs around with -> Chromium, Thunderbird, and LibreOffice is all she needs for her Calvert home school education program and social stuff.

      Just the first I plan on converting over since Microsoft decided to go rogue with it's Windows 10 Malware_As_A_Service Anniversary update... who the hell do they think they are? I mean, damn.

      1. Tchou

        Re: Blessing in disguise?

        "Windows 10 Malware_As_A_Service Anniversary update"

        colloquially know as Win10 Porn Star, for it gets constantly fucked up by shitloads of messy downloads.

    4. Bitbeisser

      Re: Blessing in disguise?

      Well, I work as an IT service consultant and have (tried to) upgrade +200 PCs to Windows 10, with about a 50% success rate.

      But unfortunately, Linux Mint (or any other flavor) isn't a solution, as there are lots of real world application that simply don't exist in the Linux world, regardless what some geeks like to think.

      Quicken/Quickbooks, AutoCAD, WordPerfect, Legal Solutions (or any legal forms program for that matter) are just a few examples of applications that my users are depending on and there just isn't an alternative for them.

      But I have to agree that Micro$oft's antics are getting beyond the threshold that people can take...


      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Blessing in disguise?

        We've just converted from Quicken/Quick books to one of many Linux alternatives. Libre Office does the jobs fairly well too.

        I'm not saying there aren't apps which haven't got alternatives but at least some of those you mention do.

      2. Pompous Git Silver badge

        Re: Blessing in disguise?

        Quicken/Quickbooks, AutoCAD, WordPerfect, Legal Solutions (or any legal forms program for that matter) are just a few examples of applications that my users are depending on and there just isn't an alternative for them.

        So Corel Word Perfect for Linux isn't an alternative to Word perfect for Windows. Whoda thunkit?

  2. FBee

    Acronis could be the culprit

    ...if you set it up to "Press F11 to boot into Acronis Recovery"

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      Re: FBee Re: Acronis could be the culprit

      "....Recovery"" I've had zero problems installing Win10. None, zilch, nada. However, I have had previous problems with an upgrade build to Win7 from a Windows build that included a third-party backup tool which wrote its own disk partition. Our fix was to edit the build process to remove all the existing partitions, install Win7, then install the backup software. I suspect that, given (IIRC) that Acronis also screws around with disk management, starting from a blank drive install and then adding the Acronis later may solve the issue.

      1. PickledAardvark

        Re: FBee Acronis could be the culprit

        Yes, Windows (all versions post Vista) may fail to install if a third party tool has tweaked disk partitions. They may also fail if BitLocker has been deployed. My memory is hazy but Windows Post Vista expects a ~1 MB space for the MBR and it can usually fix self inflicted problems. When it fails, a crude partition wipe will allow Windows to install.

        But I don't think that solves a Windows over Windows upgrade problem.

        1. Blitterbug

          Re: FBee Acronis could be the culprit

          In my experience over the past year, the best route for 'difficult' systems was invariably:

          1. Back up user data.

          2. Install W7 + SP1 / W8.1 from scratch (or factory reset).

          3. Visit MS main page and choose 'I want this POS called W10'.

          4. Re-instate user data.

          Side note: Freshly-reset W7 machines need at the least IE 11 or Chrome / FF. All academic now I guess, thankfully! But these tips will still work for the paid upgrade I reckon.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: FBee Acronis could be the culprit

            Actually to be fair I think I did the same thing initially ... put in a minimal W7 install super-clean not much configured then upgrade it to W10 :D


            Re: FBee Acronis could be the culprit

            I installed Win10 about one week ago and have had no problems other than one package that wanted me to renew a license. I have an enormous set of software to include much system level stuff, and all of it is working. My system could not be updated to IE10 from IE9 no matter what I tried. I installed all maintenance that would go on, ran the platform update and the Windows Update repair program. I have a system with an AMD based GA-970A-D3 motherboard built in 2012 with an AMD FX-8370E Eight-Core Processor. I have two Intel SSD's, four other internal drives and an external full-time USB3 2TB backup. I have the "Acronis TIB Mounter" on my system. I have dual 1080P TV's running on an ancient AMD Radeon HD 5450 card. I have drivers for more printers and other devices than I can count. What could possibly go wrong...and yet the upgrade ran perfectly.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: FBee Acronis could be the culprit

        I also had precisely Zip problems upgrading to Win 10. Or doing it from scratch as well, just because. Target was an older Toshiba Core2Duo machine. Even with an actual spinning rust HDD and the original RAM, no problemo! Even better than before! Admittedly I do like upgrading the heck out of the drivers by hand afterwards but even the old HP scanner was willing to be driven by Win 10 using the old Win 7-64 driver ;)

        For the record I am more of a Mint person on general on other machines ....

    2. Alex416

      Re: Acronis could be the culprit

      Microsoft or Acronis could have (and should have) made this known to us. I have tried everything else over the last two weeks (after backing up my five computers with Acronis), but failed to update any of them before the deadline ... much internet reading and many different tries to no avail!

    3. thomasallan80

      Re: Acronis could be the culprit

      Same here.

      My desktop PC is an old ASUS PB5 Deluxe (I think I got it late 2006) with XP pro retail. I then got a Windows 8 Retail upgrade (I unfortunately missed out on windows 7) and upgraded it to that. Then when windows 10 free upgrade came around I got a 2TB drive and consolidated all the OS installs on that so I have windows xp, 8 and 10 on one drive and it runs sweet.

      The only issue I had with my desktop when upgrading to 10 was the stupid cisco vpn program completely obliterating all network adaptors (I think that's now fixed with a win 10 iso done about 3 months ago) which I had luckily backed up with win 8.1 partition before upgrading. Afterwards I then did a clean install of the win 10 partition to prevent any future issues since I'm not sure how bloated a machine that has XP SP2 -> XP SP3 -> Win 8 -> Win 8.1 -> Win 10 will operate.

  3. From the States

    Microsoft support will get buried tonight... all the people who super-procrastinated on the upgrade offer.

    I can't say I'm surprised if a home-grown system can't be upgraded. If it's an older system, Microsoft is still supporting Windows 7 with security updates through the end of 2019.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Microsoft support will get buried tonight...

      So many bricked/bootlooped computers, so few consumer rights...

    2. imaginarynumber

      Re: Microsoft support will get buried tonight...

      Tried to upgrade my Vaio Z11.

      Used the system tray upgrade icon. A couple of hours later it told me that I had a DRIVER_POWER_STATE_FAILURE. Eventually rolled back to 7.

      Now the icon tells me that my machine is not compatible and invites me to view the compatibly report, which, erm has a big tick and tells me that I am good to go...

    3. smf

      Re: Microsoft support will get buried tonight...

      I did two computers on the 28th, both went through perfectly.

      Neither of them were using the hard drives that the computers normally run with. After doing the trial run, I backed up the first hard drive to vhdx and am now wiping the disk to do a fresh install.

      Which will make 7 machines upgraded, some of which haven't had oem driver or bios updates in years.

      Google and perfectupdater (trial) is good enough to get anything working well.

      Or you could pretend that Linux has a good out of the box experience and use that.

  4. chris 143

    Linux system upgrade may not be much better

    As someone who's been happily running Linux on the laptops and desktops in my life for years.

    The actual ability to run a dist-upgrade successful may not be a lot better. Put cd in, install it'll almost certainly just work. Several years later when you want to update to the new current version? Consider starting from scratch with the new install cd

    I'd be surprised if windows 10 didn't work on your machines, in place upgrades are hard though...

    1. Len Goddard

      Re: Linux system upgrade may not be much better

      Trying to upgrade a linux system in one go after several years may well be problematic, but I ran an Ubuntu system which started at either 5.10 or 6.05 (I forget which) and did an upgrade in place every 6 months until I moved to Mint to get away from Unity. Oh, I might add that part way through that process I used remastersys to make an installable USB of my personal setup and install it on a new

      I also ran AIX on an IBM Powerpc desktop machine for several years. The system ran 24x7 except for kernel upgrades and GMT/BST nights - the OS could cope but some of the other sofware glitched when the clocks did funny things. My current Win 10 system can manage about 3 days before it gets so clagged up I have to reboot.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Linux system upgrade may not be much better

        "I ran an Ubuntu system ... and did an upgrade in place every 6 months"

        Upgrades break things. It's just the way things are. So minimise the risk by sticking to the LTS versions and only upgrading those when you absolutely have to.

    2. Dadmin

      Re: Linux system upgrade may not be much better

      Well, that has to do with the support level promised to your linux distro. I just upgraded my Lenovo x220 from Mint 17.2(Rafaela with Cinnamon) to Mint 18, while also blowing the (unlicensed) Win7/8 partition away and ALL YOUR SSD ARE BELONG TO LINUX MINT 18!!1!

      The main reason is that Linux Mint 18 has LTS. The Long Term Support will add years to the life of your Ubuntu derived distro, so you can just do little updates as you please or need, and not have to worry that the branch you're on will die and you're left with dusty old packages loaded with security issues. Plus you'll be getting the same kernel and package updates the newer branches get, as long as they're stable and available to your branch. And if you never use it for dirty Internet work, then you can jolly well keep it at the older rev until the disks stops spinning. My Commodore 64 hasn't had any software updates in a while, but it still works fine, since it's not connected to the scary, scary outside world.

      As for the article. Well, I feel your pain. It's easy to say HAHA Microsoft User, should have installed this or that, but in the end those Windows systems are what SMBs like to use. They can't all hire super-genius Linux wizards and enjoy the fruits of the community, with much improved performance and stability, and at such a low cost it boggles the mind. There are many considerations to getting out of the Windows environment, not the least of it being legacy systems and other compatibility needs. And so many systems are built into custom configs, even when they use off the shelf wares, that there is no one size fits all. Every single site is a different puzzle, and you may need more pieces than you realize to complete it.

      1. Dave Bell

        Re: Linux system upgrade may not be much better

        Linux Mint derives from Ubuntu, and is based on the latest Ubuntu LTS version. Mint 17.x versions do have changes, they're in the same territory as a Service Release. The new Mint 18 should last as long as any version of Windows.

        Windows gets awkward over hardware failure-and-replacement. And upgrade versions of Windows had led me into a chain of sequential installs from whatever the last full version had been. The hard drive had lasted a long time. Either find a whole series of Windows install disks, or install Linux.

        I switched to Linux. It was Mint 17.2 and the upgrade to Mint 17.3 went well. I have Mint 18 waiting. There are programs I use which don't have Linux versions, but they run fine with the WINE package.

        I can see how software that messes with partition tables might be a problem. I am not sure I would want to take the chance.

        A few months back I has the hard drive I was using under Linux start showing failures. New drive, install same Linux version, temporary hook-up of old drive, copy stuff over, it all worked.

        One thing to be careful of: there are some very old, effectively obsolete, answers out there to some common questions. And there are a lot of Linux distributions. I don't want another Windows monoculture, but a bit more support competence all around would be A Good Thing.

        This post now comes to a .

        1. Pompous Git Silver badge

          Re: Linux system upgrade may not be much better

          upgrade versions of Windows had led me into a chain of sequential installs from whatever the last full version had been.

          No need for that. Here's how to do a full install of w8 using the upgrade disc.

          And here's how to do a full install of W7.

    3. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

      Re: Linux system upgrade may not be much better

      It's dead easy to upgrade/reinstall if you put / and /home on separate partitions to start with.

      1. Martin Gregorie

        Re: Linux system upgrade may not be much better

        It's dead easy to upgrade/reinstall if you put / and /home on separate partitions to start with.

        Indeed. Did that a long time ago. One of the machines I did that on is - TA DAH - a 10 year old Lenovo R61i laptop, currently running Fedora 23 with an XFCE desktop because I prefer it to Gnome. The only enhancement was to add a 2GB RAM card (so 3GB total) which made it noticeably quicker, so its a reasonable development box for C and Java.

        Its still using the original disk drive, though its screen, fan and keyboard have been replaced.

        Now RedHat have introduced in-situ version upgrades for Fedora, moving from F22 to F23 was no harder than moving my RPi from Raspbian wheezy to jessie, i.e. start the process, wait until its done, then reboot.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Linux system upgrade may not be much better

        "It's dead easy to upgrade/reinstall if you put / and /home on separate partitions to start with."

        When the less knowledgeable users install say, Mint or Ubuntu, does the installation suggest this or is /home partition automatically created?

        1. CompUser

          Re: Linux system upgrade may not be much better

          The installation doesn't suggest it.

          People do it because they don't want everything lost if a newer or different version of linux is installed. It just makes life easier.

          I usually create 3 partitions, one for the OS, one for /home (in my case I mount it to /working and leave home alone) and one for a swap partition which linux uses.

          Mount the OS partition to / (which is called the root) and the other partition to /home. The swap partition will be automatically identified and used during the installation.

          1. Sandtitz Silver badge

            /home partition @CompUser

            "The installation doesn't suggest it.[...] People do it because they don't want everything lost if a newer or different version of linux is installed. It just makes life easier.

            It sure makes life easier when you're reinstalling, but the original question was about "less knowledgeable" users. That would include people who know nothing about partitions or who don't know the difference between /etc or /proc.

            If you allow Ubuntu or Mint to automate the installation, (which I guess most non-geeks would choose) is a separate /home created?

            1. CompUser

              Re: /home partition @CompUser

              It will not create a seperate partition for the /home directory.

              I've used Linux a fair bit but I'm not an expert.

              I install Linux to a different hard drive. I create the partitions under Windows using one of the free partition managers (MiniTool Partition Wizard is decent). Makes life easy. Recommended swap partition size is 2-4GB. On a small hard drive (say 160GB, you could allocate the OS to 50GB, the /home partition to 100GB and make a swap partition at the end). Linux isn't resource hungry so it doesn't need masses amounts of space to work. For larger hard drives, just increase the proportions, whatever meets your needs (OS 100GB max). Linux can actually be installed on much smaller hard drives.

              During the installation of LInux, do not allow the auto creation of partitions because you will get a single large partition with the OS (including /home) and a Linux Swap Partition.

              Do the partition selection/creation manually. If already created, just mount the partitions by selecting the partition and then entering the mount point (eg '/' and '/home') and the file system type (eg ext4). If you want to create the partitions with the Linux installer, just play around with it a little. You know the sizes that you want (eg 50GB for '/' and 100GB for '/home' and 4GB for the swap partition - just specify the file system type (ext4) and the mount points ('/' and '/home'). You wont have to specify the file system for the swap partition.

              If you already have information that you don't want to loose in the /home partition, make sure you don't format this partition for obvious reasons.

              If you make a mistake or are unsure, just restart the install process and have another go. Its a good way to learn. That's what I do.

              Before you do anything, backup your important data (documents, photos, software, everything). If you will install Linux to a different hard drive, disconnect the other hard drives so that they cannot be changed during the Linux installation. I would take a copy of your hard drive so you can restore it if necessary without losing anything at all. Norton's ghost is a decent program. If you use Windows backup, create a system image, make sure you select everything on the hard drive so it can be restored completely.

              There are many Linux users out there with masses of experience who will give advice freely.

              1. Martin an gof Silver badge

                Re: /home partition @CompUser

                It will not create a seperate partition for the /home directory.

                I have only installed Mint once recently. It was on an EeePC that has a 4GB and a 16GB SSD, so quite a tight setup. Having first wiped the whole thing (it was previously OpenSuse) it most certainly did partition the discs without intervention - it has given me an 8.2GB root partition and a 7.9GB home partition - though I may have tweaked the exact split, I can't remember. The 4GB drive is given over to swap.

                I have much more often installed OpenSuse these days. It, too, will suggest partitioning the disc by default. The machine I'm using to write this has a 120GB SSD divided into 32GB root, 8GB swap and 79GB home. Since building this machine I've installed 2x320GB HDDs in RAID1 which I use for local media files (e.g. videos I'm working on) and /home/videos (which is a standard subdirectory) redirects to that disc. Everything else lives on a NAS.

                I've used Linux a fair bit but I'm not an expert.

                Ditto. When I first dabbled with Linux some fifteen years ago it was like stepping back in time to the 1980s - my wife was a Mac OS user and I had been used to Windows and RiscOS and even Windows seemed (from a user's point of view) much more "together". I stuck with RiscOS. Ten years ago things were better, but having taken the RiscOS path I no longer had suitable hardware, nor the money to buy any. Five or six years ago when I was able to use some redundant hardware at work to look at it again, I was stunned at the progress and then, of course, along came the RaspberryPi. My RiscPC was well past its sell by date (though I still use it daily even now) and even my wife's fancy Mac Mini was getting long-in-the-tooth, so I scraped the money together to build a machine capable of running OpenSuse. I'm glad I did.

                It is by no means perfect, but there are several distributions which are both easy enough for someone with a small amount of computer savvy to install, and not so dissimilar to Windows or OSX that they are unusable "out of the box". I wouldn't give someone with no computer experience a blank hard drive and a bootable installation on a USB stick, but then I wouldn't ask such a person to install Windows nor OSX from scratch either.


              2. Vic

                Re: /home partition @CompUser

                It will not create a seperate partition for the /home directory.

                I've not done a Mint installation for a very long time, but other distros certainly do.

                On a small hard drive (say 160GB, you could allocate the OS to 50GB, the /home partition to 100GB and make a swap partition at the end).

                I wouldn't do that.

                I create a small /boot partition (100MB or so is usually plenty), then allocate everything else to a LVM Physical Volume. The Volume Group created from that then gets sliced up into (at least) / and /home. I generally allocate 10GB or so to each, and create a swap space of about twice the RAM size.

                The advantage of this is that it's trivial to resize each of these filesystems on the fly as you get a better handle on how the machine is going to be used. Disk space can be reallocated and filesystems grown without even needing to stop programs running; shrinking filesystems is a little harder, and enerally means rebooting the machine into a livedisk session.

                just specify the file system type (ext4)

                I avoid using ext4 for the root filesystem; I've found it reacts badly to power failure, and may require manual intervention to clean up afterwards. Other filesystems are fine, as the full toolset will become available once the root filesystem is mounted.


        2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Linux system upgrade may not be much better

          "When the less knowledgeable users install say, Mint or Ubuntu, does the installation suggest this or is /home partition automatically created?"

          Good question. Don't know because these days I always ignore any recommendations & go for a fully split install:/boot, /, /home, /usr, /usr/local, /var, /opt, /tmp & swap. And preferably with LVM so a good chunk can be held back and added where necessary.

          But a separate /home should be a minimum default.

      3. P. Lee

        Re: Linux system upgrade may not be much better

        >It's dead easy to upgrade/reinstall if you put / and /home on separate partitions to start with.

        And leave a separate partition for installing fresh upgrades, maybe have an FS with snapshots for your home partition.

    4. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: Linux system upgrade may not be much better

      I have found that distro upgrades are flaky if you have any unusual partitioning or RAID set ups.

      As another penguin-botherer mentioned, always put /home on another partition as then you can simply re-install the OS partition without significant risk to your own data. Often better, when creating partitions in the first place, is to create one for / of say 20GB and another of about the same that you keep for a future upgrade, and then one for swap, (maybe one of 10GB for /tmp as well) filling the remainder for /home.

      1. CompUser

        Re: Linux system upgrade may not be much better

        I prefer to create a /working directory on another partition and make sure I back up everything to that partition (including email, browser, installed software, howto, programming, references).

        I just put a symbolic link to /working on the desktop.

    5. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Linux system upgrade may not be much better

      "Consider starting from scratch with the new install cd"

      Yes, but Windows users usually have everything on C: - no /home on a separate partition.

      1. smf

        Re: Linux system upgrade may not be much better

        So? It's a good excuse to make sure everything is backed up, you know how to reinstall it and ditch the software and files you don't need.

    6. thames Silver badge

      Re: Linux system upgrade may not be much better

      By coincidence, I upgraded from Ubuntu 14.04 to 16.04 yesterday evening. It took roughly 2 hours in total. It was just a case of click on the upgrade button when it was offered, type in my password, and then let it go on it's own until it asked for permission to reboot (once) at the end. Everything worked fine without any problems.

      Looking at the screen on my PC, there's nothing obvious to tell me that the upgrade has taken place other than that one of the icons in the launcher bar has changed, and Firefox now uses Gnome style scroll bars.

      The PC is about 4 years old, and I built it from whatever inexpensive parts were available at the local computer shop.

      P.S. My experience in the past with Linux has been that a fresh install is usually a lot faster than an in-place upgrade. However, with a fresh install I would have to re-install the extra packages that I want. An upgrade takes care of all that for me automatically.

    7. Updraft102

      Re: Linux system upgrade may not be much better

      Yes, in place upgrades are inherently difficult. I recently upgraded my two main PCs from Linux Mint 17.3 to 18, and I had some problems with each of them. The difference is, though, that the Linux upgrader told me exactly what the problem was, and I (an individual who has been using Linux less than two months) was able to figure out what it wanted (without Googling anything!) and get things rolling again, and the eventual result was successful, with two flawlessly running Mint 18 installations. I'm using one of them right now.

      When Windows fails on an upgrade, it doesn't tell you anything, at least in my experience. Often, it just hangs, or else it reboots itself and never comes back up after POST. That's even worse than what the Linux update gave me (though I must say it was ONE Linux upgrade I did vs. many Windows ones; perhaps other distros do it differently).

      Granted, a novice user would not be able to interpret the Linux error messages and fix it (I am new to Linux, but not computers, so what I had learned in the first month was enough), but then a novice would probably not be doing a Linux upgrade in-place for a point increase. The Mint devs made it very clear that this upgrade presents risk and is not for inexperienced users, and it clearly states that you should have a backup before proceeding. It's enough to scare off any novice, and it should.

      MS, of course, told its users nothing of the risk or the need for a backup, even though it is just as true for Windows as for Linux.

    8. sitta_europea

      Re: Linux system upgrade may not be much better

      "Consider starting from scratch ..."

      Alternatively, read the codumentation. :)

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Irritable Bowel Syndrome

    Will it be safe to switch 'Windows Updates' back on tomorrow?

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Irritable Bowel Syndrome

      You first...

    2. VinceH

      Re: Irritable Bowel Syndrome

      Probably not. Even if the "free" Windows 10 nagware and "accidental" downgrades are no more, automatic updates are still likely to bring in the telemetry bits. I'd stick to doing it manually.

    3. John Miles

      Re: Will it be safe to switch 'Windows Updates' back on tomorrow?

      No - that will be the day they ask you to enter a credit card so you can download Windows 10 - I suspect that will be faster than Windows Update is, it took something like 16 hours from pressing search for updates to managing to download them.

    4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Irritable Bowel Syndrome

      "Will it be safe to switch 'Windows Updates' back on tomorrow?"

      Right, it's now tomorrow today - in fact here it's just into the day after tomorrow. Is the storm over yet?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Irritable Bowel Syndrome

        Nope, in the words of PM John Major, "its still there!"

  6. Kimo

    With my Asus laptop, it was clearly the BIOS that was the problem. Which does not factor into the Windows 10 Upgrade Adviser, so MS kept saying I could upgrade, as long as I didn't care about things like booting.

    1. smf

      It sounds like you might need to try a different BIOS, or boot loader.

      The only computers I couldn't get windows 10 on were p4m or earlier.

  7. montyburns56

    A painless upgrade for me.

    Even though I only have Windows on my gaming PC these days, my upgrade from Win 7 to 10 was surprisingly painless even though it took a ridiculously long time to do it. I dunno if I had no issues because I don't have loads of programs installed apart from the games themselves nor loads of peripherals, but I've got no complaints.

    1. Len Goddard

      Re: A painless upgrade for me.

      You were lucky. My win 7 machine would not upgrade although I was able to do a clean install from a Win 10 disk.

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: A painless upgrade for me.

        My win 7 machine would not upgrade

        See, even Windows 7 knows it's a bad idea to upgrade.

  8. Novex


    ...down to the problem really. MS so want us to move to Windows 10 for us to be fed their forced app installs, malvertising, etc, that they're basically trying to upgrade PCs that aren't suitable for it. Most likely this is because they're hoping that the bricked PC that results causes us to go and buy a new PC which can only run Win10 because disks to install older versions aren't readily available to allow a downgrade.

    On my ten year old Acer laptop I use Linux Mint 17.3 for general use now, dual booted with Windows 7. I'm happy to stick with that even after Win7 support ends. But I still hate Linux relying on CLI for way too many critical system adjustments.

    1. Dadmin

      Re: Boils...

      I would imagine that there must be some GUI front ends to some the the stuff you need to do in /etc to config your box. I don't use them myself, but search your distro; update it first, then search it for administrative tools and that should bring something to light. Then again, there's not much GUI you need for displaying and editing the fstab file or other simple files in /etc, it really comes down to knowing your way around the service and startup systems, and how to tell the difference between a BSD and a SysV based system. And with Win10 you have Powershell and soon a totally native BASH implementation. My advice to you is; if you want to be more than a simple "power user" who is chained to a mouse, then learn the command line. Sometimes it's the only interface you get, and knowing what to do inside it is a valuable bit of knowledge.

      I know, I got paid about US$1000 for a day's work on some down web site as a side project and it took me all of 10 minutes to fix it. The hosting provider had an outage and put the server back on a different subnet. Of course, they get charged for all 8 hours, you see. :) Command line only, the server was in Texas and I in California. No GUI, no mouse, no problem.

      1. Novex

        Re: Boils...

        Dadmin: there are some GUIs out there, and I do use a few, but the inconsistency in their design and deployment leaves much to be desired. I have done some CLI work in Linux (mainly on ClearOS a while ago now, as it doesn't have a desktop as such).

        I think there are actually several things I struggle with, which isn't the CLI itself, but more the way programs are implemented:

        • I don't have a good memory for all the different possible settings and all their possible values in abstract. I find physically seeing the settings and having the choices for their values visible on screen much easier to remember than relying on pure memory for text/number values.
        • When it comes to text files, again having a whole load of settings just in text is hard to remember, especially when many values aren't known. I then find myself having to find the man pages, struggling with those as they often only show available values, not what those values are really for. So I then have to find more illustrative help pages somewhere in order to remember what setting needs adjusting for a given usage of a settings file. I find I have to keep doing this every time, as I'm not using those commands/files often enough to get them to stay in my memory.
        • Dependency is also a problem. Having to remember what order a set of commands have to be run in, or even worse, not knowing that there is some earlier command I have to run in order to get the thing I want done to work often causes me trouble.

        So it's not literally the CLI that's the problem but more the way most developers rely on pre-existing knowledge, and dependency on other programs (without a proper explanation of how to use said dependencies) in order to use their programs, that's just way too convoluted for me to be able to reliably commit to memory. Having GUIs which are well designed and programs that let the user know about dependencies that might be missing is more what I need, and no version of Linux seems to be able to nail this one. Admittedly I don't think any OS vendor has ever got this right, especially not Microsoft, although their GUI has been more workable in the past (less so now with some of their screwing around with Win 8 to Win 10). I wonder if maybe this CLI reliance is one of the reasons why Linux struggles to get mainstream desktop adoption?

        (I'm not an Apple user, never have been (and have no intention of entering their walled garden), so can't comment on the way they implement system controls, but I gather their general UI is considered more user friendly.)

        1. Chemist

          Re: Boils...

          "I wonder if maybe this CLI reliance is one of the reasons why Linux struggles to get mainstream desktop adoption?"

          Any sane, modern (post 2005 ?? ) Linux doesn't have a CLI reliance as any number of people here will tell you. I use it all the time for everything ( since the early 90's, exclusively since ~2008) and when I use the CLI it's because I want to not because I have to. Sometimes it's quicker because I can just copy/paste from a note on the desktop, sometimes it's much quicker because I'm calling a script to process 1000's of files but it could all be done by a GUI if necessary .

          1. Chemist

            Re: Boils...

            "Linux doesn't have a CLI reliance as any number of people here will tell you."

            A liitle example BTW - I needed to install a network printer on one of my Raspberry Pis. Using a VNC client on my laptop to get the Pi's desktop I installed the CUPS package on the Pi from the GUI package manager, went to the web-based management page to install the network laser printer but didn't need to as it had already found it and it was already appearing in the print menus of anything that needed to print. And this on a Pi (which often does need CLI use purely due to the lightweight distro installed.)

          2. Novex

            Re: Boils...

            In my general use of Linux Mint 17 the fact I haven't had to frequently use the command line after initial installation suggests that in general use a distro like Mint is heading in the right direction. ISTR that the kinds of things where I needed to use the CLI was in order to check settings when advised to by other users when I was having issues with a Bluetooth adapter and needed to check the recent USB activity, and for hibernation issues which needed tweaking in order to change the swap file arrangement. In both cases the advice coming back from others was CLI-based, not GUI-based.

            I had to use CLI with ClearOS as it had no desktop at all (mainly using a web GUI for basic app installs and settings). To do anything more detailed with it required CLI, especially installs of software not included in the ClearOS management system, but I cannot remember most of the commands and stuff I had to use with that to change settings. I deliberately went with ClearOS because I knew that gaining some mastery of the CLI was essential to be able to cope with Linux, and I would have to confront it. I did start to keep a file of command lines for some of the things I had to do, as I had to go back to them just enough times to need it. However, I still dread having to use the CLI, it's not something I feel at home with even though I know I need to understand the way Linux programmers use it.

            1. Vic

              Re: Boils...

              ISTR that the kinds of things where I needed to use the CLI was in order to check settings when advised to by other users

              Well of course you're going to get that.

              If I'm debugging your system from forum postings somewhere, I don't have the time or inclination to try to describe to you exactly which menus to drag up from which applications, which options to select, which tabs to navigate, ...

              I'll send you a command to execute, and if you paste the response back to me, I get the data I need to progress with the diagnosis.

              That doesn't mean that a GUI solution doesn't exist - just that it's dramatically more effective for me to use the CLI to get your system running.

              I had to use CLI with ClearOS as it had no desktop at all

              ClearOS is a very specific distro aimed at headless installs. You wouldn't expect a desktop on this - it is unnecessary for the task at hand, and increases the potential attack surface.

              I deliberately went with ClearOS because I knew that gaining some mastery of the CLI was essential to be able to cope with Linux

              What you "knew" is incorrect; there is no need to use the CLI at all. But many of us choose to use it as it is a more effective tool than a GUI for the tasks we perform.


              1. Richard Plinston

                Re: Boils...

                > ClearOS is a very specific distro aimed at headless installs.

                It still can run WebMin for remote GUI (browser) administration.

                1. Vic

                  Re: Boils...

                  It still can run WebMin for remote GUI (browser) administration.

                  Indeed. What I was getting at was that that might not have been the best distro to choose ab initio...


        2. Richard Plinston

          Re: Boils...

          > no version of Linux seems to be able to nail this one.

          Just get WebMin.

      2. Updraft102

        Re: Boils...

        " Then again, there's not much GUI you need for displaying and editing the fstab file..."

        True, but even then there is Grub Customizer, which seems to really work well.

    2. Geoffrey W

      Re: Boils...

      My impression was the opposite of yours, that they are insisting on newer machines only. I have several older and non critical machines that I wanted to put windows 10 on but it refused point blank with all of them. Chip set requirements for W10 are much higher than for W7, which is quite happily running on said machines. If they really, really, REALLY, wanted W10 in everyone's lives then they would have let it run on and be installed on any old junker out there, but they don't. So, no W10 for me until I retire one of my main machines and get a new one, which, to be honest, has been my standard operating practice for longer than I've been alive.

      On a side note, I must say I do feel a little left out of all the horror W10 appears to be causing around the world. Whats wrong with me? Am I not good enough or something? On my main W7 machines, which are W10 compliant - no nagging, no surreptitious downloads, no misleading dialogs, nothing! And all with absolutely minimum effort from me. What am I doing wrong?

      1. raving angry loony

        Re: Boils...

        Possibly because you haven't been paying attention to the other stuff being installed for you? That or you have Enterprise or Education versions and a lot of money to spend?

      2. Updraft102

        Re: Boils...

        I put 10 on most of my PCs (for a short while). It worked beautifully on my Core 2 Duo laptop; everything worked out of the box, including the fingerprint scanner and the wireless button/LED. If I liked Windows 10, it would have stayed on there.

        I then tried it on my single-core AMD Turion 64 laptop from around 2005. I tried the x64 version of 10, as that was the DVD I had on hand. It installed and ran fine, though it clearly wanted more memory; the hard drive would thrash as soon as I opened pretty much anything. Of course, the 896MB of RAM is well below what MS recommends, so that's not surprising. Still, there were no BSODs or strange behaviors.

        That one was not an upgrade from 7 or 8. It was a clean install, and had I wanted to keep using it, MS would expect to be paid for it, and I sure was not going to do that for 10. I rolled back to the original XP installation, which works fine for that laptop, as it does not need to access the internet to do what I need it to do. I'd investigate a lightweight Linux distro if I needed it for internet stuff.

      3. jinx3y

        Re:...what are you doing wrong? nothing most likely...

        @Geoffrey W

        ...apart from my own experimenting with the system itself, Win10 has given me no problems. I even went so far as to break down and buy new hardware just to see how much of an improvement I could get (my old system ran on some Gigabyte MB with an AMD64 and 4 GB RAM - not much by today's standards, but adequate for some games and a bit of dev work).

        Whatever... the new system is "up to date" as far as good gaming machines go. The only issues I had was trying some silly tweaks of my own which brought everything down - my fault, not MS. Learning my lesson, I reinstalled Win10 (yes it takes a bit - the download is huge), disabled some of the stupider things I didn't need (and "adjusted" the hosts file to block some of the return data) and voila! no weirdness, no hiccups, etc. I have games, dev stuff, Hyper-V (running a DB and a web server), cygwin...what did I do wrong to miss out on the hate?

        I often find that when something doesn't work the way it is supposed to, I should check what it was I did that caused the problem instead of blaming everything/one else...

      4. 9Rune5

        Re: Boils...

        "On my main W7 machines, which are W10 compliant - no nagging, no surreptitious downloads, no misleading dialogs, nothing! And all with absolutely minimum effort from me. What am I doing wrong?"

        Ditto. I was running W7 Ultimate. I suspect Ultimate -> Pro is considered a downgrade, so hence no nagging.

        I still upgraded a couple of weeks ago. On my 6 year old i7 system, the upgrade went smoothly. My wife's Lenovo laptop: Smooth sailing. My previous work Dell laptop (which my son will inherit as soon as he stops hitting everything in sight) took a clean W10 install without a hitch (MS has a utility someplace that lets people put W10 on a USB stick and do a clean installation).

        No questions about BIOS updates or anything. I did struggle to enable Bitlocker on my new Dell laptop, but eventually something clicked and it just worked.

        My original plan was to upgrade my main computer and _then_ perform a clean W10 installation, but I haven't moved to our new home yet, so I am delaying the upgrade (shipping a 20kg computer might break something, so let us see what breaks first before we buy new stuff, right?). Hence the W7 -> W10 upgrade (which skips no less than two versions of Windows...!).

    3. ma1010
      Thumb Up

      Re: Boils...

      "Most likely this is because they're hoping that the bricked PC that results causes us to go and buy a new PC which can only run Win10 because disks to install older versions aren't readily available to allow a downgrade the upgrade to an older version".

      There, FTFY.

    4. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: Boils...

      "Most likely this is because they're hoping that the bricked PC" has a fatal flaw which is not everyone can afford to rush out and buy new computer. I know several who can not and need to get a current OS. A couple have moved to Linux Mint because they needed a computer but could not afford new kit.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Boils...

        '"Most likely this is because they're hoping that the bricked PC" has a fatal flaw which is not everyone can afford to rush out and buy new computer.'

        Marketing do not acknowledge that this situation exists.

        1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

          Re: Boils...

          "Marketing do not acknowledge that this situation exists." - It usually takes a couple of hours to backup the data, do a distro install, and reload their data plus a brief tutorial. And they are quite happy to pay me about $50 to do it. Some need a little hand holding but many seem to grasp Cinnamon quite easily.

          1. jinx3y

            Re: Boils...

            same could be said for upgrading a person's machine to Win10....I've done it numerous times after said user failed to do it themselves (most of the people I do this for are tech illiterate - teaching them Linux is far more involved than teaching them point and click with windows - let's face it, not everyone is boprn to be a CLI guru (regardless of how far Linux has come)

  9. LDS Silver badge

    "even performed a quick exorcism – Windows 10 still said it was there"

    Because once Windows 10 (or any of the suggested updated to improve the upgrade...) sent its telemetry to the mothership, you couldn't no longer hide anything from it - it KNOWS you have Acronis, and won't accept any other answer.... <G>

    Jokes aside, BIOSes should be quite standard today. Maybe the OS can be optimized with specific drivers and INF data for some specific CPU and chipsets, maybe you'll miss some of the most esoteric functions of your MB, but the standard features should be supported anyway - otherwise even the installer should have issues to boot. I'm believing the driver issues are the standard answer for "we don't have a f*******g clue why it doesn't work. So blame the HW".

  10. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    Guess at Windows 10 specific BIOS

    Are we looking at a TPM issue? As a complete penguin, I could be thoroughly wrong here, but as I understand it, Windows machines must be completely locked down to prevent users doing something without explicit permission from one of Microsoft's servers. Imagine if an exploit was found for an old TPM. The driver would already exist for Windows 7, but it would be 'impossible' to create one for Windows 10 because a user might be able to do something that Microsoft want to charge extra for - say extracting a local copy of a file held for ransom on OneDrive.

    I thoroughly welcome you to explore Penguinland - on days well in advance of deadlines. On your first visit to the command line, you want 'man 1 less', and find the button that exits from less, which is used for displaying manual pages. Next up is 'man 1 man', and look for the command for searching for manual pages referencing a specific topic. After that, try 'info info' because some raving gnu hates man pages. Before frustration sets in, read about asking questions.


      Re: Guess at Windows 10 specific BIOS

      Microsoft added a mandatory hardware requirement for a TPM chip with effect from 28th July 2016 (i.e. two days ago).

    2. Lost In Clouds of Data

      Re: Guess at Windows 10 specific BIOS

      No. As per MS: "As of July 28, 2016, all new device models..."

      My 8 year old PC is sans TPM and upgraded from 8.1 to 10 with barely a hitch...

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    W510 Woes

    Interestingly, my W510 workhorse updated without any hiccups, driver related or otherwise.

    My mother's laptop appeared to choke and die half way through the installation process - but apparently this was simply the installation finishing and it works like a charm.

    Overall, my successful, issue-free installation rate must be at least 90%... Can't see what all the fuss is about...(!)

    1. Dan Olds

      Re: W510 Woes

      You lucky bast*rd! I really wanted to get the W510 updated and saw on the web where others have posted that they made it work without a problem - but according to MSFT, mine won't. I'll probably try to upgrade the other three systems with a clean install and transfer programs and settings, but no time for that right now.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: W510 Woes

      "Overall, my successful, issue-free installation rate must be at least 90%"

      As per my previous comment: define successful.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: W510 Woes

        There is no success. Even if you get installed without a hitch, you are forced to beta test stuff for paying customers... That's the dealio

  12. Efros


    I have installed W10 on two decade old machines who have never had their BIOSes updated, no issues other than the rather long installation time.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Works for me

    Sounds like a local PC issue. I installed Win10 on a bog standard, off-the-shelf, 8 year old, Acer desktop. It started with Vista, became an Ubuntu box after a single login to Vista (to prep for Ubuntu), and was upgraded to Win7 the moment I got my hands on the upgrade.

    In place update to Win10 went perfectly fine. Only fix was to install a different driver for better resolution support.

    Tech support has soup between the ears for saying it requires a Win10 ready bios.

    I'm actually thinking I'll add BSD to this little workhorse. I've gotten good bang for the buck thus far.

  14. Jim O'Reilly

    Incompetence or conspiracy

    Microsoft advertised free small print!

    When I tried to upgrade a 7 year old desktop, the online upgrader stuck at "99 percent complete" for 3 days. The clean upgrade options using USB and DVD both failed. These reported they couldn't see my new SSD. Likely all the failures are due to missing drivers or BIOS.

    These existed for Win 7 a year ago...I did a clean build from DVD and upgraded to current level. We must therefore ask if Microsoft messed up or if they deliberately removed old elements to force some obsolescence. Either way, they fail a truth in advertising test and I suspect that there are many other Windows 10 upgraders who've had similar problems. Perhaps Microsoft should extend the upgrade window (no pun!) and fix the problem.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Incompetence or conspiracy

      "Perhaps Microsoft should extend the upgrade window (no pun!) and fix the problem."

      No. It's over. Let all those W7 boxes run unmolested from now on.

    2. John Lilburne

      Re: Incompetence or conspiracy

      I had no end of trouble with a Dell Precision T1600. Recently (3 months ago) rebuilt and installed w7 pro. Upgrade wouldn't work. Had to install on a reformed SSD disc. Don't just reformat the C partition you need to delete the system partition too. W10 wouldn't install if that was there. Whined about being unable to change it. Though the error message said something else.

  15. chivo243 Silver badge

    All things considered

    I'll not be trying the waters of Win10 at home. My wintel hardware at home is oldish, one XP, one Win7, and one Linux.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Smashing Windoze

    was the best thing I've ever done!!!

    The only thing I would say is that you will have a teething term whilst you adjust to Linux (frustration at having to learn / think you way around a new system as you have become so used to the way MS windows does things).

    Once you have this teething term out the way it's all good.

    I've used several versions of mint (even debian edition - which was a nightmare to update - but this was some years back). I finally found that XFCE was my cup of tea and and after sometime using the less used XFCE edition of mint moved over to Manjaro which IMHO is amazing - very user friendly plus 2 distinct advantages in that it is a rolling release (so no need to reinstall with each kernel upgrade - which is the case with many other linux distros) plus XFCE is the main desktop so it gets full attention with developement (Mint XFCE is more a side project).

    The point being that although I'm waxing lyrical about Manjaro (and to a lesser degree Mint) the world is your oyster. Set a separate home partition and you can chop and change Linux distro's until you find the one that's right for you - and there are many to chose from, plus limitless customisation options for whichever distro you choose!

  17. Darryl

    My 7 year old HP G42 laptop upgraded to 10 extremely quickly and smoothly. I think it might have got a BIOS upgrade back in 2012

  18. Michael Jarve

    Fine for some...

    I "upgraded" to Win 10 when it was launched with my (at the time) 4.5 year old desktop PC (Asus mobo, GTX780 video, AMD Phenom II x4 965BE, 12GB RAM). The BIOS hasn't been updated since 2012. Surprisingly, everything except the sound worked right out of the gate (the sound issue was resolved by lowering the sampling rate). This past June, I installed the first service pack November update, and again, experienced no issues. This is even after three previous in-place upgrades (Win7 Home->Win8 Pro->Win10 Pro). I'm anxious to see how my luck holds out with Service Pack 2 Anniversary Update.

    My mother's Dell laptop, two years old this summer, with straight Intel hardware fails completely and has to be restored to Windows 8, then updated to 8.1. Go Figure.

  19. This post has been deleted by its author

  20. Flatpackhamster

    There seems to be neither rhyme nor reason to upgrade failures.

    I had three clients with identical Lenovo Yoga flabtobs. One did the upgrade without a hitch. The other had a bit of a hissy fit but got there with some touchscreen driver updates. The third destroyed itself, creating an unbootable version of Win10 and deleting the backed-up copy of Win8 and the recovery partition.

  21. Gordan

    EVGA SR-2

    It's a miracle you managed to get it working with any OS in the first place. There are more firmware and hardware bugs and outright design problems on that board (as in actual bugs, not just a faulty board - the fraction of the ones that are outright faulty is a separate (and unpleasant) story entirely). I just retired the last one of mine having happily replaced them with Supermicro X8DTH boards, which are pretty much the same spec only without all the engineering having been done by the marketing team.

    1. Dan Olds

      Re: EVGA SR-2

      I've had great luck with this board. It's been humming away, sometimes for two weeks at a stretch, with no problems at all. Guess I'm one of the lucky ones. But since EVGA doesn't make this type of board anymore, my Hydra 3.0 system will probably be hosted on Supermicro parts like yours.

      1. Gordan

        Re: EVGA SR-2

        There are two classes of problems on the SR-2:

        BIOS/Firmware bugs:

        1) It struggles to POST with more than 48GB of RAM. The CPUs are rated for up to 192GB each, but a BIOS bug in MCH register initialization and timeouts prevents it from reliably POST-ing with 96GB. It can be made to work most of the time, but at the cost of running the memory command rate at 2T instead of 1T which has a significant impact on memory performance.

        2) Some of the settings profile in BIOS clobber each other (IIRC 4 and 1, but I'm not 100% sure, it's been ages since I did any settings changes on any of mine.

        Hardware bugs, substandard components, and design faults:

        1) Clock generators get unstable long before the hardware. It's supposed to be an OC-ing motherboard, yet above about 175MHz bclk the clock stability falls off a cliff.

        2) SATA-3 controller with it's 2x 6Gbit ports is behind a single PCIe lane with 5Gbit/s of bandwidth. So if running two SSDs off the SATA3 ports, the total bandwidth will be worse than running both off the SATA-2 ports hanging off the ICH10 SB.

        3) SR-2 is advertised as supporting VT-d. This is questionable because there is a serious bug in the Nvidia NF200 PCIe bridges the SR-2 uses, in that DMA transfers will seemingly bypass the upstream PCIe IOMMU hub. That means that when running VMs with hardware passed through, once the VM writes to it's virtual address range that happens to be at the same place where the physical address range on the host of a hardware device's memory aperture, the VM will write it's memory contents straight to the device's memory aperture. If you are lucky, that will result in a write to a GPU's apreture and result in screen corruption briefly before it crashes the PCIe GPU and the host with it. If you are unlucky, it will write to a disk controller's memory aperture and write random garbage out to a random location on the disks.

        This can be worked around to a large extent - I wrote a patch for Xen a couple of years ago that works around the issue by marking the memory between 1GB and 4GB in the guest's memory map as "reserved" to prevent the PCIe aperture memory ranges from being clobbered, but it is a nasty, dangerous bug.

        Similarly, most SAS controllers will not work properly with the IOMMU enabled for similar reasons (I tested various LSI, SAS and Adaptec SAS controllers, and none worked properly).

        4) NF200 PCIe bridges act as multiplexers in that they pretend there is more PCIe bandwidth available than there actually is. The upstream PCIe hub only has 32 lanes wired to the two NF200 bridges, 16 to each, but the NF200 bridges each make 32 available to the PCIe slots. So if you are running, say, 4x GPUs with each running x16, the net result is that even though each GPU will be showing up as being in x16 mode, only half of the bandwidth to the CPUs actually exists. This isn't so much a bug as dishonest marketing/advertising, similar to the supposedly SATA-3 controller.

        5) SB fan is prone to seizing up. This has happened on all of my SR-2s within 2-3 years - not great when the warranty on them is 10 years, and even refurbs for replacements ran out over a year ago, with some motherboards still having 7 years left of their supposed warranty.

        There are more issues, but the above are the biggest ones that stuck in my mind.

        FWIW, I just ordered an X8DTH6 to replace the last of mine. There are too many issues for it to be worth the ongoing annoyances.

        But I guess if the requirements are simple (no virtualization, mild or no overclock (so why buy this board in the first place?), <= 48GB of RAM), no more than one SSD hanging off the SATA-3 controller) it might just be OK enough for somebody who doesn't scratch the surface of what they are working with too much.

        1. Soruk

          Re: EVGA SR-2

          Note to self: Park this one with the PCchips TXPro-100.

          Sounds like the TXPro-100 has found itself a successor. Now THAT was an awful board.

  22. The Real Anonymouse

    Proof that leaving things to the last minute is just bad IT practice and stupid!

    So Windows 10 has been available for free for a year. Plenty of time to run trials, dual boot systems, check it out and so on. Plenty of time to be a responsible IT person. Plenty of time to find out that Windows 10 is the best MS OS ever, and it was free, for a year. Guess what, many device drivers from Windows Vista work cleanly on devices that weren't supported on Windows 7.

    I'm just an amateur home user unlike 'Reg Man" here, except that I have had only one failure, the ATI graphics chip on a ten year old Toshiba laptop that was way overdue to be put out to pasture anyway.

    What I didn't do was leave it to the last minute and then blame Microsoft for my own incompetence. Ten year old peripherals, yeah, they are working, supported or not. Sometimes with Windows 7 64 drivers, sometime Windows Vista 64 drivers. No need for a new BIOS for my old Intel Mobo. PALM PDA, remember those, over 10 years old, syncing quite happily with an open source driver!

    Most of these problems can be addressed with a little planning and research. That's what good techies and professional IT people do. They don't upgrade their critical business systems 24 hours before the deadline and expect everything to work.

    So, @TheDanold - Don't blame Microsoft for your lack of planning and irresponsible attitude. With a little forethought most of these things can be fixed, but lack of planning is your own problem.

    So, given your sample size of four systems, if you give yourself time, you can probably complete the upgrades to Windows 10 successfully in the future, it just won't be for free. Let's see, three failed systems, so that's between around $350 and $600 for new W10 license upgrades. What is a little planning and forethought worth?

    Above all, you have left things to the last minute, and then tried to pass the blame to somebody else. Frankly, I do not find that a very credible stance for someone trying to be an IT professional.

    1. Dan Olds

      Re: Proof that leaving things to the last minute is just bad IT practice and stupid!

      I'm glad that you had a chance to log in and tell me off, mom, I wasn't sure you'd see this article.

      1. The Real Anonymouse

        Re: Proof that leaving things to the last minute is just bad IT practice and stupid!

        Yikes! You think I'm your Mother? God, I don't want to have to accept that level of guilt or responsibility!

        No, you're just blaming others for your lack of planning. Man up, Dude!

      2. The Real Anonymouse

        Re: Proof that leaving things to the last minute is just bad IT practice and stupid!

        Face it @Danold - You didn't follow established IT practice, and you f*@ked up because you didn't do so. You do not have a legitimate IT leg to stand on and blaming Microsoft for your own failure is not a defensible platform. When did incompetence become a valid internet platform for comment?

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: Proof that leaving things to the last minute is just bad IT practice and stupid!

          There's no real deadline, you can still get Windows 10 for free. Go to the Windows 10 accessibility offer page on MS' website and confirm you use accessibility options on Windows 7/8. One free upgrade is yours.

          They are desperate to push this, I can only assume takeup has been pathetic in spite of all the shenanigans with GWX.

          So Mr. Real Anonymouse, you can give it a rest.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Proof that leaving things to the last minute is just bad IT practice and stupid!

      "I'm just an amateur home user"

      And it shows.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A year on

    And if you have broadcom WiFi, you might as well give up ever getting a stable windows10.

    I gave up because of this, the privacy issues, and the horrible metro UI.

    Happily sticking to windows7 and will go to either (or both) Linux and a Chromebook if Microsoft stop supporting win7

  24. Steve 114

    Old Dell, Sony, HP, Samsung laptops here all worked thus: spare drive, clean Win7 SP1 install & activate (no updates), Win10 loaded from stick, DVD or online, success first time. Ancient Sony with 1 gig memory is faster (er, less slow) than it's ever been with XP. Now they're all logged free for Win10, back to the old drive until such time as I think I want it.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Windows Upgrade - Best Practice

    First rule, never upgrade your system over an old one with all the apps you have installed. It never works properly. You need to do a clean install.


    1. Back up all your important data.

    2. Then install windows using a clean install.

    3. Then reinstall all you apps

    Is this a pain? Yes. Why is it best practice? Installing your apps after a clean install, ensures you will have you apps/devices upgrading with the proper Windows 10 drivers, and app files upgrades/updates.

    I have Windows 10 x64 Home running on my Acer Aspire 5738z ( Intel Core 2 Duo T6600 / 2.2 GHz

    ) without any issues, and all my apps work. This pc is not 8 years old.

    1. Dan Olds

      Re: Windows Upgrade - Best Practice

      Yeah, I think that's what I'll end up doing - a clean install, then use the Windows 10 transfer utility to help things along.

  26. PickOne

    System reserved partition size?

    Something to check - The minimum required size of the 'System Reserved Partition' seems to be increased on every upgrade from Windows XP (100 MB) to Windows 10 (500 MB). Resizing may not be automatic, and resulting error messages (if any) are usually misleading.

  27. HungryMan

    I have only had one failure

    I have done a lost of windows 10 upgrades this last year. so far only 1 failure, but it really was not a failure as a much as is was driver issue with a Dell Latitude D510 with a NVidia graphics chip. this is a 12 year old laptop. the upgrade did completed successfully, but had problems when viewing images in a google or Bing search. IE, Edge and even Chrome would crash. I talked with MS support and it is a known issue with the video card drives on that model. since it is older, Dell/Nvidia are not going to make a new driver for it. so we reverted back to windows 7 using the rollback feature which worked perfectly. I was really impressed with the fact it rolled back with out issues.

    1. Benno

      Re: I have only had one failure

      Fair enough, but why did the upgrade readiness checks pass then?

      If it's a known issue, then the upgrade should never have started in the first place.

  28. Tim Ryan
    Thumb Up

    I have had only one issue

    My 2012 vintage Asus Zenbook had a touchpad driver issue that was quickly solved with an update. I have been running W10 since the CTP's in late 2014. It is definitively the best windows release ever, and the only release that has a reliable upgrade in place percentage. No guarantee, but the vast majority will fully update with all your apps ready to use. My 2008 vintage I7 Quad desktop with an ancient bios was cheerfully upgraded and has been running thru probably 50 update builds in the Insider fast loop.

    What kind of geek would leave all this to the day before the gimme license expired....

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: I have had only one issue

      "What kind of geek would leave all this to the day before the gimme license expired"

      The kind who lets the unwary go first to find out the problems. But it seems this approach doesn't work here.

  29. Jonathan 27

    If you have a problem, try a fresh install. I've found it generally solves any upgrade-related issues with Windows 10.

    Anyone who says any Linux distro is easier to install or update than Windows is crazy. My most recent Linux install (Ubuntu 16.04 LTS) was the easiest install I've ever done, but still I couldn't get Nvidia's switchable graphics to work, even on proprietary drivers. I had to try 4 different driver versions (all of which came from Ubuntu "tested" repositories) before I could get one that actually worked. I also get a "Something has crashed" error every time I log in, but it doesn't seem to cause any issues.

    The last time I installed Fedora (last year) it took me weeks before everything was working properly. And you know what I think about in-place distro upgrades? Backup backup backup. I think only 1/4 to 1/2 of the times I've tried one of those has it worked properly. At this point I only do it if I have time to do a reinstall.

    To sum that up, linux is really useful, but it's not as easy to install or update as Windows, Mac OS, Android or iOS. But hey, pretty much every distro beats FreeBSD!

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "Anyone who says any Linux distro is easier to install or update than Windows is crazy."

      Yup, I'm feeling a bit crazy.

      It could be something to do with the time it took to take a brand new W7 laptop and bring it to current with updates (omitting nagware & telemetry of course). An update version that spent hours apparently looking for updates but not doing anything. Time spent googling, being lead to several alleged updates which, on clicking Download went straight to a page thanking me for downloading and giving install instructions but not downloading anything. Then, having got an update version that worked, going through the remaining recommended update descriptions one at a time deciding which to hide & which to install.

      I wouldn't tackle that for anybody but my grandkids and even then I was sorely tempted to wipe it & take a few minutes to install Linux. Maybe next year.

    2. dosida

      For Nvidia's switchable graphics to work you need to install the bumblebee package the primus package and the nvidia drivers (if they don't get pulled down as dependencies of those two).

      I've been using Debian Jessie since it was still on the testing phase on my HP Envy 17 laptop and my quad core I3 desktop and updates have never been easier. For best results don't mix repositories (from testing) just use any backports branches from the official repos because whatever packages are there, have been compiled, packaged for and tested with the stable versions of Ubuntu.

      To sum up, if you don't treat your Ubuntu system like your Windows system everything including updates and system-wide upgrades, will work as easy as it is designed to be.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Quite liking win 10 now

    Avoided doing any upgrade until about 3 months ago, My win 8 dell vostro laptop (dual boot mint which I'm using now) upgraded fine. Don't use Windows on it very often, mainly use mint.

    Dell Vostro Desktop failed upgrade and automatically reverted to Win 7 Pro, no real idea why. Despite removing Cisco VPN I could not get it to run another preinstall check despite trying numerous fixes. Gave up in the end and I downloaded a Win 10 upgrade disk and upgraded using that with no issues.

    I also this week upgraded an old Dell Vostro laptop from the same disk without issue and a HP Desktop.

    Obviously in every case turned off everything I could that provides feedback to MS and disabled cortana.

    Have to say been using my desktop for a couple of weeks now and not had an issue with anything, better than win 8, much like Win 7 and suprised to say got used to it quickly. Removed all the tiles from the start menu today and quite happy with it. Haven't bothered installing classic shell as I did before on Win 8 as I've quickly got used to the new start menu. I have most stuff I use pinned on the task bar or it appears automatically in the most used apps.

    Only thing I have noticed in every case windows set American date format and American spelling, easy enough to fix but a tad annoying, similarly all the default tiles are clearly configured for American market. In each case it turned the screen to a default 1024x768 until it downloaded a suitable driver for the screen card and screen (fun if you upgrade on one screen and then boot on another, be patient it will sort itself out). The upgrade is very clunky, looks cobbled together and there are lots of places where you have to be patient, because you might think it has hung and reboot.

    I don't like the forced updates, even on win Pro all you can do is schedule it which means you have to choose a time it will reboot your pc without further warning. Pity its not more like other software where you can just ask it to remind you later and do it when you are ready.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Quite liking win 10 now

      Will you like it with the Anniversary Update which will make Pro push adverts and apps like Home?

      I'm sure there'll be a hack around it, but who would want to spend their time constantly fighting the OS manufacturer to get their OS to do what they want? Sod that.

  31. paularlen

    Linux is new to me.I can see enough to know it's the finest OS I have ever used ! I look forward to learning all about it over time.

  32. DainB Bronze badge


    Although it is obviously too old to be supported by Lenovo Windows 10 installs and runs on it without any issues, even dock station is recognized and everything works as it should (minus LPT port but who really needs it in 2016).

    1. DainB Bronze badge

      Re: R61

      I wonder if person who downvoted this runs Mint, seems it attracts only idiots.

      1. KjetilS

        Re: R61

        I wasn't planning on downvoting you, and I wasn't one of the original ones, but "seems it attracts only idiots" deserve two.

        1. Alumoi Silver badge

          Re: R61

          Kjet, make it 3.

        2. DainB Bronze badge

          Re: R61

          Thank you for taking time to prove my point.

  33. druck Silver badge

    I don't know what I was smoking yesterday...

    ...but I decided to try to upgrade an old Windows 7 HP Pavillion laptop, on the basis I'd just put an SSD in it, and still had the original disc in case it went tits up.

    This was despite trying out Windows 10 on an even older HP netbook about 6 months ago. I kept finding it switched on after doing upgrades in the middle of the night until finally one upgrade got stuck, and after rebooting, it supposedly rolled itself back, then it booted to an empty desktop. Attempts to repair it resulted to it not booting at all, so now it runs Mint+Mate faster and better than it ever did with any flavour of Windows.

    On the laptop just like with the netbook the automatic upgrade downloaded 3GB, took hours to get to 87% then stayed there indefinitely, and on rebooting returned to Windows 7. I still had the media creation tool on an SD card from trying to fix the netbook, so tried that, but luckily it wouldn't accept the 100% genuine licence key from the sticker on the machine, and that brought me to my senses.

    Now W10 is no longer free, I'll never be tempted to try it again.

    1. Pompous Git Silver badge

      Re: I don't know what I was smoking yesterday...

      Now W10 is no longer free, I'll never be tempted to try it again.

      [singing] Liberated, I won't go there again, go there again... [/singing]

  34. Chris King


    Did anyone else just get the thank-you e-mail for Windows Insider Program folks ?

    Thanks for all the free testing, bug reports and telemetry, sucker - have some wallpapers and a cheesy animated .GIF as way of thanks.

  35. YARR

    You can bypass the upgrade advisor

    When I upgraded my PCs last year I didn't wait for Windows Update to install the upgrade advisor. Instead I grabbed the Windows 10 installer direct from Microsoft's website. This seems to bypass the upgrade advisor, though there are still some (less stringent) compatibility checks done at the start of the installation process. This let me install Windows 10 on an ancient Pentium M XP-era laptop that has no officially supported video driver.

    My main gripes are (i) the installer downloads the entire Windows 10 image BEFORE running compatibility checks, so if anything fails it backs out and you have to download the OS again. (ii) To get the free upgrade from 7/8 you have to download the OS for each PC. You can't use an ISO image because that requires a product key. This is a real problem for people with usage caps.

  36. This post has been deleted by its author

  37. Kev99 Silver badge

    I'm not at all surprised. If you go to several PC maker sites, they list which boxes are supported for Win10. If yours isn't, such as my Toshiba Satellite L775D-S7340 or my home built Gigabyte GA-MA770-UD3 based machine or my basic HP Pavilion A6400f, you're screwed. The only machine I have I wouldn't consider upgrading is a netbook my wife wanted 6 years ago.(Remember those? The future of computing?)

    In my own opinion, the computer computers have been browbeaten and bought off by Microsoft so Redmond can reach its fictitious goals of installed units.

    I did try try several versions of Win10 thru the insider ring. The 30 day rollback didn't work and I had to reformat the HDD to reinstall Win7. What I did see in the insider builds was a poorly designed OS written for cell phones and other phablets.

  38. Ropewash


    ...I cannot comment on the Win10 process since I'm not going to install it on any of my machines, but I'd like to address a personal view or two to the growing crowd of new Linux users.

    Just like these Win10 guys you get both ears full of "It installed flawlessly for me, what's wrong with you?" and then "I could never get it to work, I hate it." all in the same thread.

    Both are true actually, it really depends on what you want to do and what hardware you're trying to do it on.

    My example;

    I have a Blu-ray burner that I'd quite like to use, a Samsung printer I need to use and a TV in the other room I'd like to run a seperate screen over HDMI to and have sound working when it gets there preferably.

    So what's the issue then? install Mint and away you go.

    Nope. Mint supports the printer and the TV just fine but it's disk burning backend was cdrkit that hasn't seen an update since God rested and can't close out a BR data disk in a way that doesn't spew errors. It's easily said "go download cdrtools instead and compile that." but trying to tell a new user to install the dev tools and do a ./configure && make && make install is going to give them the screaming heebie-jeebies.

    Later on I got sick of Mint actually losing it's own update repos and decided to give it a miss and move to Manjaro (no clue what release, it was 2013 though and it's been rolling along ever since)

    Yay. cdrtools is right there in the repo. Easy as a pacman -S.

    No printing for me though. Not until I'd chopped out their entire helpful blob of print drivers that seems to target everything except my Samsung and put in a nice clean CUPS and visited the AUR for some samsung unified drivers, also pretty easy with yaourt but now I'm having to remember two package managers for one system.

    So how about that TV? Well, that was a bit of a bastard. The XFCE volume control didn't see my nvidia card as a valid sink and it took an install of pavc and one, just one, run of it to bring it up. However XFCE had no working vsync on my setup so videos tore a lot, I didn't try alternative compositors. Tried and very quickly dropped KDE. Sound was still an oddly intermittant issue and tearing was almost ubiquitous on every screen ever drawn by that system, tried every init and config trick documented but it always came creeping back. Since I liked Cinnamon so much on my Mint installation I swapped to it and haven't looked back. It has an actual working default compositor and the volume control is a breeze to use, although you can only have one of them, so no multiple screens/taskbars with a control which means if I forgot to swap sinks to the TV I'd have to go back to the computer and do it right after I'd just got comfortable.

    (why are there so many volume controls in Linuxland anyhow? Seriously.)

    I'm not going to go into what's going to happen when I swap to a high dpi monitor and keep the 1080 TV, that's probably going to mean a move to AwesomeWM with compton or something as the nvidia twinview is frankly shit at it's one and only job and cloning will not work... Like how I can't run the TV at 24fps without the monitor matching it for some truly ugly looking window drags.

    So yeah, Win10 might be a pain that I'm just not going to deal with, but Linux isn't without it's odd bit of cantankerousness either, though I'll take every ugly, boot-breaking reversion that I've ever done a roll back from over just one forced update of my Windows box.

    (Side note: I've been running Linux since Redhat 5 in the late 90's when getting your 3Dfx banshee card working meant some serious time spent banging your head on a desk and I am STILL having to go to google for commandline syntax. Yeah, I'm just that newb.)

    1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: Linux...

      Peripheral support by OSes is often flaky and depends on the OS, the vendor, and the age of the device. I have had hardware the would not work on later version of 'bloat work fine with Linux and other devices lack any driver. Generally though I have seen Linux support some incredibly old peripherals which the last 'bloat does not have a driver for but newer kit tends to be more touch and go with Linux though it is improving.

      1. DainB Bronze badge

        Re: Linux...

        Peripheral support by Linux is often flaky and depends on the OS, the vendor, and the age of the device.

        Fixed it for you, you're welcome.

        1. Ropewash

          Re: Linux...

          Peripheral support in Linux is provided without much help from the manufacturer and can sometimes be flakey. Windows has always needed driver disks supplied by the vendor and will continue to do so. Win10 somehow manages to lose support for devices that had drivers in Win8.

          !! and those drivers still work in Win10 if you install them yourself !!

          - Based on my only experience with Win10. Some Win7 laptops at work got involuntary "upgrades" and promptly dropped their USB3 ports. I googled a bit and it turns out loading the Win8 driver from the vendor restores the ports. Good job Microsoft, I feel confident leaving my hardware in your capable SaaS hands.

  39. Andrew Jones 2

    In every case that I have encountered so far of failing to upgrade to Windows 10, it has been resolved by reformatting and starting from scratch. If they had just allowed you to enter your existing product key into their website and activate it for Windows 10, so you could then do a fresh from scratch Windows 10 install it would have been great, but no in one case I had to go through the painful process of Windows Vista install and upgrade to Windows 7 and upgrade to Windows 10.

    1. Timo

      they did - scratch upgrade

      AJ@: I did just that - I did a clean install on a new SSD in an old machine, downloaded the W10 install disc, and when it asked for a key to activate I used the W7 key. Worked. As if it didn't even notice, or care that it was an old key.

      That process has been known and publicized for most of 2016. Sorry you didn't know that!!!

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bios issues.

    You think they would have bios /UEFI down by now but nope. I have an ASUS MB that I was able to install windows 8/10 no problems. Windows 7 required a bios update. I've been called out to a site were the customer complaint was the machine would not go to sleep right. I was called out to replace the MB and flash it to the most current bios. That did not fix the issue. I called HP support and they just told me it's bug in windows that will never be fixed. Quick google search revealed that that specific line of HP did not sleep/hibernate right .

    My absolute favorite was this one. I was called out to replace and IBM mother board. Procedure dictates you flash the bios and write the service number to the board. I did this and thought Every thing was peachy. It was not. It would not boot. I reinstalled the OS and nothing. I called it in and their solution was to issue a new mother board. I went through three mother boards before I got an call from an old timer. He told me not to flash the bios Some ass wipe bungged the the bios so that you can not boot off a SATA device. The guy did not put it that nicely.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why the heck would you wait until the last day?

    That doesn't give you any time to sort out problems before the upgrade is no longer free.

    1. Dan Olds

      Re: Why the heck would you wait until the last day?

      Yeah, you and all the other people who nailed me for this are right - I shouldn't have waited until the day before the last day. The problem is that I had a bunch of other projects, business things, that I needed to do and that, along with some travel mixed in, got me into procrastination mode up until nearly the last minute. So I do take responsibility for that.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    MS said I could have Win10 & they're trying to instal it now.

    They supposedly ran the update checker thingy & claimed that the computer was good to go so they're currently force feeding it to my computer & will attempt to make it work.

    I wish them luck since I'm not sure how this Commodore 64 is gonna cope.

    I'll get my coat - it's the one with the *#(%#)@@&$


  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I didn't inhale

    Is it safe to go play again now?

  44. jonfr

    Windows 10 in general

    Windows 10 doesn't need any special BIOS drivers, since the BIOS is the basic part of the computer and it doesn't require any drivers since it's a none interactive part of the computer when it comes to the operating system. Don't this people know anything?

    It is however interesting that I did notice Windows 10 appear to interfere in the operating of and old 16bit BIOS that I was using with Windows 10. After using Windows 10 on that computer basic buttons to enter the BIOS settings did not work. I don't know what happened, but the motherboard did crash few weeks after I installed Windows 10 so it might just be that.

    As for Windows 10 it's decent for games (older games might not work at all on W10), that is the only thing I use it for and I won't use it for anything else at the moment. I plan on adding few items later on. I continue to run Windows XP for things that are never going to work properly on Windows 10 or anything down to Windows Vista due to changes in how Windows works.

    For servers I recommend FreeBSD/NetBSD or OpenBSD. The thing about BSD is that it's not really good with the desktop and it might never be good at it. If you really want to learn how to do Linux properly, install Gentoo Linux the hard way. Debian is fine, but it doesn't add new things quickly or allows much freedom (as is the case of most binary distros of Linux or any Linux distro out there). What distro of Linux works for the author of this article I don't know, he will have to discover it on his own.

    1. Bodge99

      Re: Windows 10 in general

      Thing is.. most modern machines don't actually have a "bios", even if the manufacturer describes it so. More recent machines have firmware. These are often as buggy as heck (e.g. poor ACPI esp. buggy DSDT's).

      The OS do use these. This is one of the reasons why manufacturer supplied drivers for certain hardware often work better than either the MS "certified" ones or other more generic ones.

  45. Neil Alexander

    Needed a Windows box at home, but feared that the upgrade advisor would jump in at some point and molest my machine if it was running either Windows 7 or 8.1. Decided to install Windows Server 2012 R2 with the desktop experience features instead. At least it won't accidentally (deliberately?) become Windows 10.

  46. TRT Silver badge

    Contrary to the article...

    I've found a great number of very old and unusual systems will take the upgrade. I've handled at least 30 surprise upgrades. Admittedly 50% of the laptops failed to get WiFi connectivity after the upgrade and they had to be rolled back. And one of those failed to roll back, still giving me grief, actually. The roll backs I have done are because the users didn't want W10. Of the desktops, only two failed on hardware compatibility. So I'd say it's more of a 55-60% failure rate.

  47. ro55mo

    I suspect MS are using Windows 10 to force a PC refresh cycle. The hardware vendors certainly don't want you upgrading to Windows 10 if they can sell you a new bit of kit instead.

    I tried to upgrade a friends laptop the other day. The upgrade wizard said everything was okay. Upgrade finished and I was presented with a totally black screen. Plugged the laptop in via HDMI and all appeared well. I could see everything.

    More investigation showed that the on board Intel HD 3000 graphics (2nd gen i3 processor) has no Windows 10 drivers.

    So why the f*** did the upgrade wizard give me the okay to proceed?

    Ended up wiping the device, reinstalling Windows 7 and all the vendors device drivers, then restoring my friends files.

    Personally I have now been using Linux since Windows 8 came out. One hour of trying to use the Windows 8 UI on a normal PC did the trick.

    1. DanceMan

      Re: using Windows 10 to force a PC refresh cycle

      I had a CFL football game (Canada) on in the background two days ago and I heard an ad at least 4 times for upgrading to a new computer. It was from Intel. The commercial was focussed on the old hardware being slow. So Intel's feeling the heat, and this problem of flagging sales goes all the way back to Win 8. Those here know that any C2D with enough ram and even better, an SSD, is easily quick enough for most user's needs, gaming aside (I don't.)

  48. kendolew

    Exactly the same issue. Uninstalled Acronis, and it still came up saying they can't upgrade because of Acronis. I bypassed it by running the windows setup directly (If I'm not mistaken it's automatically downloaded to C:\Windows10Upgrade.

    Problem sorted, and upgrade completed without a problem.

    It's a bug within the upgrade app itself.

  49. captaindon130

    I have a Lenovo R61 that has been running Windows 10 for the last year. Why are you trying to upgrade rather than do clean install? We all know that any operating system tends to bog down after time. Why install a new O/S over all this garbage?

  50. decgeek

    Windows 10 works on T61 and should on R61

    Upgraded my T61's to Windows 10... Ran into hang problem at 99% with their Windows 10 upgrade assistant (even on a T420 i5 cpu with 8gb of memory.

    Built the Windows 10 Pro usb stick and I'm good.

  51. kezersoze

    Fine for me

    I've upgraded 7 machines to Windows 10 without any significant issues. My 8 year old desktop that originally ran Vista upgraded fine. Both my parents machines updated without problems as did my sister, her boyfriends and a couple friends PCs. The worst issue was bad drivers for old graphics cards. Took a bit of fiddling, but got it working in less than an hour.

    Can't say what other peoples problems are, but I've had less problems with W10 than any other version of Windows I've upgraded to.

    Good luck to all

  52. Davelinne

    Asus G73JH Not For Windows 10

    I'm having similar problem with windows 10. Since it was released, I have installed W10 more than 10 times. I can only use it for two days and the system freezes up, an attempt to restart it, get is stuck at booting section, if it manages to get desktop area, after few minutes, it freezes up. I have tried all options, consulted a number of windows system specialist, none could resolve it.

    I think, Microsoft need to do something about this. I have been windows fan all my life but this experience is a bit of frustration. I won't switch over because of that anyway.

    Today will be my last attempt, if it does not work, then I stay put with Windows 7.

  53. smartypants

    Do yourself a favour and recommend chromebooks to relatives.

    Upgraded from Ubuntu 14:04LTS to 16.04LTS, both at home and work this week. At work, I can no longer use both monitors (I'm running a VM on VMWare). Apparently this is due to a kernel issue, but after hours of stackoverflowing, loading new kernels and new video drivers, nothing works.16.04 came out months ago and the hardware I'm using isn't new. Meanwhile, at home (running via virtualbox), I have a different set of problems now that I didn't have last week.

    In each case, the road leads to stack overflow and a long list of try this and try that - all deeply command-line based, lots of restarts, lots of not being able to even fire up the desktop... lots of wondering why I bother. This is precisely the sort of nightmare I would rather not do for myself, let alone for a relative on the distant end of a phone line.

    Yet months ago, I hosed my home machine by upgrading from Win 7 to 10, so that's hardly better either. As for macs, well I did my time with them a long time ago. No. My advice to relatives therefore is to stick to gardening or get a chromebook.

  54. heyrick Silver badge

    they won't be happy to see their free upgrade hopes dashed

    Feel for those who actually pay for W10 once the free upgrade time ends...

  55. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    The power of suggestion

    Windows 7 is a fine operating system and will be supported until 2020. Windows 10 has very few new APIs and none that are currently compelling: an upgrade is quite simply not required and may in some cases be counterproductive.

    But Microsoft dangled the carrot of a "free" upgrade to Windows 10 in front of everyone and although you probably thought you wouldn't do it, the idea of taking advantage of "free" lured into this experiment. The science behind this is well understood and used to drive up prices for many time sensitive events.

    Well done to the marketing department of Microsoft. Mind you, I expect that there will be plenty more "limited offers".

    1. Dan Olds

      Re: The power of suggestion

      I know! I'm such a sucker for anything 'free'....

  56. RonWheeler


    Had no issues here with Acronis (2014 cheapy OEM version sold by Scan).

    Only one of my machines had simply-won't upgrade issues - a nasty old Intel chipset laptop with PowerVR graphics drivers that have a stuck in time binary.

    Only machines I've stuck with default interface is Linx 10 tablet - it works well there. Others wither have Classic start (HTPC) or full Object Desktop by Stardock. Win10 is technically okay, just butt ugly and invasive on a desktop.

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "So now three out of four of our PCs are suddenly obsolete in the Windows world"

    Really? Windows 7/8/8.1 stopped working on them have they?

    1. Dan Olds

      Nope, that's a good point - all of them are on Windows 7 Pro and working excellently. The only thing I'm really concerned about is security updates. According to the company, that's going to be in 2020, so I should be ok.

      I like to have every system running the same o/s if at all possible, but that's a nit. I'm pretty solid with my Windows 7 chops and Windows 10 doesn't look that much different. I guess I would just like a tidier personal infrastructure, but you can't always get what you want. (But you can get what you need - to finish the phrase...)

  58. Nathan 13


    Can MS leave my W7 computers alone now until 2020 and stop trying to install spyware, nagware, and shitware disguised as essential security updates.

    Diary note in Oct 2019 to start learning a different OS, and conveniently will probably need to get new kit by then.

  59. stevenotinit

    Always easier, if possible, to do a fresh install

    Yes, I know, sometimes a fresh install is impossible. I think MS has cut costs way too much, and these kind of disasters happen. Good for profits short-term, horrible for long-term profits and customer service.

  60. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Win 10 adding insult to injury

    What I find spectacular is that these incompatibilities are not detected BEFORE the upgrade.

    We have whole bloody nations being harassed that they ought to succumb to install Windows 10, but as soon as they do (by, for instance, trying to cancel it like any other Windows nuisance program) it turns out that all this nagging was the equivalent of a lemming's invitation to jump off a cliff. I bet those failed installs will still be counted by MS as installs, though, functional or not.

    I also think there will be an extension to the free update period because MS still needs to hit the numbers. If there are not a critical mass of victims users, the switch to the subscription based Windows tax is not going to work. If you absolutely have to have it irrespective of the problems you'll invite I'd give it a few days - as soon as sales turn out as expected (read: nowhere near what they'll tell the press) they'll come up with another excuse to give the first hit for free, in the process also pissing off the people who DID unwisely fork out for it.

    Meanwhile, I'm testing all sorts of Linux live CDs because I can :). All my hardware is quite happy with Linux. The exception is one box which is happy to start up a live CD, but a fixed install always needs manual video correction as it suffers the curse of an older nVidea cards and I'm to cheap to get a new one. I'm planning on eventually ditching that specific box, but the sodding thing keeps on working :).

  61. Anonymous Coward

    Tell me about it!

    My Acorn Atom can't be upgraded to Windows 10. For shame MSFT, for shame!

  62. Anonymous Coward

    A bad workman always blames his tools

    I'm running Windows 10 fine on -

    Home-made Tower PC running a vintage Intel Q6600

    HP 54L mini-server

    HP Elitebook 8440p

    Acer Revo nettop

    HP Elite x2

    Where do I apply to be El Reg's IT expert?

    1. Dan Olds

      Re: A bad workman always blames his tools

      You probably have to be able to write in more than just bullet points for one.

  63. JeffyPoooh

    The Black Screen of Failure

    One of the desktops presented The Black Screen of Failure about 80% of the way through. The mouse pointer was still alive.

    After a bit, I tried Ctrl+Alt+Del and was able to bring up the Task Manager. I then noticed (for the first time in my life) that it includes a 'New Task...' button. Browsed to the Downloads folder and clicked on the Win 10 Upgrade Assistant thingy. It carried on to completion.

  64. Roopee

    My Little Speculation

    I agree with many posters here that Win 10 has probably done more for Linux than anything else has, but it has done even more for Win 7 - I've stockpiled a few W7 licenses, I'm expecting them to go up in value...

    For the the record all my desktop/laptop PCs except 2 are now on W7 (even my 2008 BootCamped iMac and one only just upgraded from XP), one multiboots a few OSs that I need to know about but have no intention of using (you know, stuff like Vista and Win 10) and my ex-Vista recycled HTPC runs Mint 17 (because it does the job beautifully, it's free and it boots really quickly).

  65. Frank N. Stein

    It's a bait and switch trick to get consumers to buy new PC's with Windows 10 installed. Nothing more. Nothing less. There have been different versions of this trick going on forever. My Mom's PC upgraded to Windows 10 and the video and audio no longer worked. Switched her back to Windows 7. No need for the upgrade. It isn't free any more anyway, and there's no need to spend money on it.

  66. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ive been using windows on the desktop since windows 3, but after seeing all the windows 10 bait and switch crap. And then back porting all the spyware, key stroke logging and data exfiltration into 7 and 8 by calling it a critical update, im done. So far 4 out of 7 systems/vms swapped to linux with the rest this week. I really couldnt be happier, thanks to a wine patch all my games run, all my systems are quicker, use less memory and less disk space and im only sorry i didnt do it sooner. Ive had no end of people asking me about linux as an alternative the past few months, microsoft have done more to fire up people to switch to linux is the last 12 months than anything thats happened to desktop linux for as long as i can remember.

    1. smf

      I still haven't met a normal person who has heard of Linux, let alone wanting to switch to it. So desktop Linux is still dead in the water.

      Linux vs Windows as a religion is pretty scary.

      1. Pompous Git Silver badge

        I still haven't met a normal person who has heard of Linux, let alone wanting to switch to it. So desktop Linux is still dead in the water.

        Either you don't get out much, or rural Tasmanians are abnormal*. After being fucked over by MS, locals are going to the local computer fixit guy and he's installing Linux Cinnamon Mint on very ordinary users' machines. He has been doing this for a year now and he reports that he gets less support calls from his Linux clients.

        For those of you with the fixation that only windoze clicking on buttons, double-clicking icons, scrolling and choosing options works exactly the same on windoze, OS X and Linux. If you're too fucking stupid to do that on a Linux machine, you're too fucking stupid to own a computer.

        * Tasmanians are reputed to have pointy heads (two each) and fuck their close relatives. There's a smidgeon of truth to this.

  67. Ropewash

    This made me laugh.

    From the Microsoft User Agreement for Windows10, section 12.b

    "Canada. You may stop receiving updates on your device by turning off Internet access. If and when you re-connect to the Internet, the software will resume checking for and installing updates."

    I can also stop receiving updates by replacing my computer with a couple cinder-blocks and a cardboard box with a GUI drawn on it in crayon but that's not what I want to do now is it?

    Given Microsoft's track record I'd be loathe to let them update my clock settings without reviewing first whether that update would remove the calendar, the system backup program, e-mail reader and windows media center (whoops, already gone)

  68. Dandy

    Linux works pretty much on everything. (I'm typing these words on an old Athlon XP machine without SSE2 and only 1 GB or SDRAM!) If you want a good solid desktop my advice would be to give Ubuntu or a Ubuntu variant a go: Ubuntu Mate or Linux Mint - Mate for an old machine and Cinnamon for a more powerful one. Hand on heart you will end up with a better, more secure, and reliable computer than Windows could ever give you. Really unless you're a programmer that writes application for Windows or need to use some non-Linux Microsoft based software, e.g., Adobe Flash or Dreamweaver, Linux does everything as well and most time better than Windows, gratis. Gone are the days when you had to be a Linux expert to install the OS and/or software for the OS. As it's free and can dual-boot why not give it a go? My bet would be that after installation you'll find you end up using Linux over Windows before you realise it.

  69. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip

    I'd definitely recommend using the upgrade program rather than Windows update

    Failing that, the 'boot image to DVD/USB and install from that' option.

    In the two VMs I updated (one with an architecture similar to a pentium 3 with a Core 2 Quad hanging off it (Xen's qemu-traditional), the other similar to a penryn Core 2 system (Q45 - qemu-xen), both using rombios rather than uefi) I upgraded a Windows 7 SP1 install (no patches beyond SP1) and it installed fine.

    My Dad wasn't so lucky - his much more modern system (low end Core system) repeatedly blue screened, but at least it rolled back flawlessly.


    There seem to be a lot of Linux fans hogging this thread. Many users out here don't really have that option in the sense that they don't even have the concept. Many here have apparently forgotten how much fun previous system upgrades have been. When it comes to bricked systems and driver problems, there have been plenty, Win10, once you get past what is left of the Metro interface, performs as well or better than Win7, and basically doesn't look or act much differently. A little effort can make it look and act even more like Win7. It certainly loads and task switches a bit faster. I am no enemy of Linux, but my business users are largely unprepared for such a shift and/or cannot find a version of their present software or even an adequate replacement program for linux...chicken and egg problems. Certainly, anyone who uses only email, browser and basic suite software can use almost any OS, if they can only get there. For the vast majority, that leaves Win7 or Win8 or Win10. Hopefully, those of us who are knowledgeable can help them with whichever is their choice rather than try to bludgeon them into our choice.

    1. Pompous Git Silver badge

      Win10, once you get past what is left of the Metro interface, performs as well or better than Win7, and basically doesn't look or act much differently.

      OK smart-arse. Where's Windows Media Centre then? If the computer spends 95% of its uptime acting as a glorified TV set-top box, what use is it running w10 when there's no software to talk to the TV capture card?

      On my desktop machine w10 kept popping up a dialog box every few minutes that told me "you appear to have a graphics problem".* The solution might have been to purchase a replacement video card, but there's no fucking Hardware Compatibility List any more! What are you supposed to do? Keep buying video cards until you find one that works? FFS!

      The video card is an ASUS Radeon R7 250 and the box it came in is labelled "Windows 8.1 compatible". It works fine with Cinnamon Mint and a driver from ASUS. Also works fine with W7 when I occasionally need it.

    2. Pompous Git Silver badge

      There seem to be a lot of Linux fans hogging this thread. Many users out here don't really have that option in the sense that they don't even have the concept.

      It seems odd to be called a "Linux fan". As a retired MS Professional and partner in a MS Certified Solution provider, I've often enough been called a MS shill by the Linuxen.

      You might not have noticed, but most Reg readers are computer professionals. And, shock horror, spend a lot of time with these things called servers and routers that run various flavours of Linux. I've only recently retired a 486 running IPCop, a Linux router product that ran for more years than I can remember.

      Linux on the desktop only happened for me a year ago when MS decided to use up all my Internet bandwidth with multiple downloads of sodding w10. I still have software that needs Windows and so my machines variously dual-boot w7 and run w7 in a VM. But, and this was a big surprise to me 12 months ago, I spend nearly all of my time running Cinnamon Mint.

      Not having to do daily battle with MS is a great relief. Installing/uninstalling software and applying updates no longer entails interminable waiting. People who still rely on me for computer problems are reporting that becoming freshly Minted is a great relief. Unless there's a cogent reason for not doing so, support from me these days entails letting the user loose after booting their machine from a Mint DVD and then asking if the can live with it. So far, there have been only extremely positive responses. Absolutely no bludgeoning required. I suspect you are nowhere near as knowledgeable as you claim to be.

  71. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    W10, nope, nope and nope

    I use Acronis 2015 on W7 on a 6 year old quad core Intel box (I cant remember MB or processor and too lazy to look) installed and ran Windows 10 fine, looks awful, some programs removed, important settings moved or removed, 'start' menu is still a waste of time and i don't want Cortana because it uses Bing - rolled back to 7 after giving it a fair go (two weeks), this was before i discovered you could get rid of GWX.

    Microsoft and Free Software do not fit together in any context other than Microsoft do not give anything away for free without some ulterior motive or method of totally shafting the customer.

    All of the people falling for the (remember this is marketing) term 'free' in this offer are neglecting many years of being turned upside down and shaken until every last penny/cent has fallen out of their pockets.

    You will pay for Windows 10, maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow but soon and as the usage numbers climb more people will wonder why have they been putting this off and will be conned into an 'upgrade', its more and more likely that all the free users will have to put their hands in their pockets.

    I know many people that have installed it and less than a week later uninstalled it, i cannot be the only one to have seen this happen time and again and yet i don't seem to see this reflecting in the usage figures.

  72. abufrejoval

    I've installed Windows 10 on older hardware than that

    I've installed Windows 10 on quite a few Core 2 machines, Acer notebooks that started with single core Pentiums and which eventually got upgraded with T3200 CPUs + SSDs but still use chipset graphics, various home-grown desktops with ASUS P45 boards and of course some newer stuff as well.

    Clean installs generally worked much better, I'll admit freely. When it came to migrations, Windows 10 mostly failed when there was no separate boot manager partition or if that was too small. Since quite a few of these machines had started their life with Windows XP and then migrated to Windows 7, many of them just had one primary partition and Windows 10 doesn't seem to like that. Others came from a larger hard disk and had been squeezed to a smaler 128GB SSD with all partitions adjusted proportionally. But a 50MB boot manager partition isn't big enough for the upgrade, inceasing its size via Paragon typically help things along.

    Acronis is a standard part of my kits so I'm pretty sure I went through some upgrades with Acronis installed and preserved. Paragon also survived, I think.

    Drivers seem to work from as far back as Windows XP if you get them in 64-Bit (or install a 32-Bit Windows 10, I guess). Certainly Windows 7 drivers generally work, but may lack some features.

    I've been avoiding UEFI in the past and I keep avoiding it today, which may have helped keeping things simple and Linux compatible.

    Because I tend to run Windows 7, Windows 10, Windows 2008R2/2012R2, ESX and various Linux or even BSD flavors in parallel on all these systems just by popping in another SSD (used to be floppy disks ;-)

    If you are thinking about leaving Windows and can't get comfortable with Linux you could try running RemixOS, basically a desktop flavored Android x86. Microsoft Office is available for that and your Office 365 licenses can be reused. Of course there is plenty of other Office suites which also run on Remix like Softmaker's, which are surprisingly good and proper quick, even on old hardware or low-cost Atoms.

    But Office 2010 actually also runs under Linux if you use CodeWeavers Crossover extended WINE emulator.

    Generally there are far more options than you tend to believe.

  73. Stuart Halliday
    Thumb Up

    Had no problems what so ever upgrading. Neither did several of my friends.

    Just saying.

  74. freebsd124

    I don't understand that you people still run that DOS (Dead Operating System) based shit. for crying out loud....surely you can find a better alternative for that being MACOS, Linux or even FreeBSD. Its absolutely beyond my comprehension that business people still making themselves depend on a OS, which is so full of sh****. No wonder you got so many aggressive $W users. Been running MacOS for years and NEVER had a problem, apart from the fact that I never EVER used a virus scanner and time-machine is doing a perfect job. C'mon people!!! get wise and change your habits!!!

  75. CPU

    Mulit-boot woes

    I run Win7 + Win7 multi-boot disk using Paragon as my backup and mulit-boot. Upgraded one of the Win7 to Win10 without issue (2011 bios). Tested Paragon and mulit-boot still worked. Ran the Win10 clean up, still good, left it 5 days to make sure nothing weird fails. Then Multi-boot stops working at start up.... then Win10 refuses to run Paragon Backup - not an error, Win10 says I'm not allowed to run it any more (full stop). I de-installed Paragon from Win10 (the only option that still works for that proggie), then I use Paragon Emergency boot disk to re-activate the other Win7 partition whaich also has Paragon, which then allows me to re-install the multi-boot options to the mbr.

    In summary: Win10 decided it didn't like Paragon. What annoyed me was there was no prior warning, it deliberately stopped the proggie from working many days after upgrade. That is a damn worrying situation to be in, what if it wasn't a utility, what if it was something really important?

  76. azaks

    definition of insanity?

    Wasn't Einstein's definition of insanity doing the same things over and over and expecting a different result? Or did the author think the Acronis app compat messages were just a joke and the upgrade would just magically work on the other machines?

    Still, 3 out of 4 does make 75%, and it made a catchy headline. Just a shame he didn't try it on a 100 machines for a 99% failure rate. Doesn't quite mask the authors display of incompetence though.

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