Windows 10 Upgrades

Many of you are now looking at possibly upgrading your Windows 7 and 8 computers to Windows 10.  Microsoft has done something unique in offering this as a free upgrade.  The decision to do this is not as easy as it seems.  Below I will walk you through factors that you need to consider before attempting this.

Factor No. 1.  Are you sure you want to do this?

Windows 10 is quite a different animal from Windows 7 and 8.  It is basically a combination of the two.  Windows 7 was a very nice upgrade from XP and is very user friendly.  Many people disliked the new Windows 8 look with all of the square tiles and loss of functionality of the task bar.  What they did to make Windows 10 a little more user friendly is to make it where you can use the tiles and also use the traditional taskbar.  It is better than Windows 8 but the intuitive feeling you get with Windows 10 is not as good as Windows 7.  The new internet browser in Windows 10 is very poor in my opinion.

What I would suggest that you do is to take a look at it to see if you really want to upgrade.  You can give me a call and stop by and take a look at a Windows 10 computer or you can go to a retail store and just play with a new computer that has Windows 10 on it.  The other option is to go to the Microsoft site or to You Tube and look at some videos that explain some of the changes.  You can even search “Windows 10 new features” on Google and take a look. This will help you determine whether or not you really like the looks of it.

Factor No. 2. Will it actually work on your computer?

This is the biggest factor.  Will Windows 10 actually install or work well on your computer?  Just because it says that you get a free upgrade does not mean that it will run or install on your computer.  What you need to do is to go to the manufacturer’s website that made your computer and verify that there are software drivers for Windows 10 for your particular computer model.  A little explanation here on software drivers.  Software drives are pieces of software that you install that will help your internal computer components like the screen,  wireless card and such work with Windows 10.

Many computers that say you can upgrade have not been tested with Windows 10 and the manufacturers are not writing Windows 10 drivers.  This is the baffling part.  Just because it does not have Windows 10 drivers written for it does not mean that it will not work well on your computer.  It just means that there is no guarantee that it will work.  I have seen computers that ran beautifully when upgraded and others that were quite flaky.  I have seen laptops where you are in the middle of the upgrade and all of a sudden the screen goes black and you might have to hook an external monitor to it to see what you are doing in order to finish the installation.

The software driver issue is not as big a problem with desktops as it is with laptops.  The biggest issue I find with all computers is with graphics drivers.  These graphics drivers allows your screen to function properly.  If you don’t have the right graphics drivers the screen looks dull and it just responds very poorly.  On a laptop this is a huge issue because you cannot change the graphics chips in them.  On a desktop it is a secondary issue because you can always add a new video card that is Windows 10 compatible if it does not work well.  That will add roughly $60-75 to the cost.

Factor No. 3.  Will you have to spend extra money because of it? 

Another factor are the hardware considerations.   Put simply, will it run well if you upgrade?  What this comes down to is whether or not your processor and memory capacity gives you a computer that will run well after upgrading.  The last thing you want is to upgrade and have a computer that you have to sit and wait on every time you push a button.  If you have a really slow processor with marginal memory(RAM) it could mean that you need to possibly spend more money to do more upgrades.

The other issue regarding hardware is the devices you hook to your computer such as a printer, scanner or webcam.  If these devices do not have software drivers for Windows 10 then you are back to buying more hardware.

The other item to consider is software.  Will your current favorite software application work with it?  Do the research and find out before upgrading.  It could be that you might be better off waiting until you buy a new computer.  It will have Windows 10 on it.

Summary of the questions you need to have answers to.

Do you think you will like Windows 10 well enough to want to upgrade to it?
Will it even install on your computer?
Will you have to spend extra money on upgrades to make it work?
Will your external hardware work with it?
Will your favorite software work with it?

There are a lot of things to consider when upgrading.  They seem straight forward but it does take some research to get a clear answer.  I give advice for free so take advantage of it if you need it.  Having to bring a computer to me to reinstall windows on because of a bad decision costs a whole lot more.

If you decide to go the upgrade route make sure that you back up all of your data up before you start it.  It should be fine but things  do happen and you do not want to have to pay for data recovery.  Also, start the upgrade process early in the morning.  This process can take hours depending on the speed of your internet connection and the speed of your computer. Make sure that if you are upgrading a laptop that you have access to an external monitor.  As I said, the screen can go blank in the middle of the process and you need to know what is going on with it at all times during the process.  During the process you need to give input on different dialog boxes to get it to finish.