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Is it time to upgrade to Windows 10?

You will find thousands of web pages offering advice on Windows 10. Some of these are more focused on helping you decide if the upgrade is right for you. The Tech Guys are always concerned about security (supposedly the most important aspect of Windows 10) but we’re also understanding of the time you might waste using technology. Our position on Windows 10, as with any other operating system, is that it takes time to learn it, and with that investment in time, we expect something in return. We just haven’t seen a lot of return yet.

Upgrading to a new operating system is rarely “transparent”, and even Apple caused a bit of a learning effort when they changed the way scrolling worked in 10.8. The bottom line question is always, WHY should you upgrade and the answer is not always what you might expect. The answer quite often is “You don’t need to upgrade”. In our search of worthy articles, the one here is one of the better ones, once you wade through/between the ads. Don’t worry about it being in the UK, Windows 10 is the same for us as for those across the pond. While the article is pretty high-level, it does contain some useful links that give you some more depth to Windows 10 features if you’re interested.

What about the “Free upgrade”?

The free upgrade offer ends July 29th, 2016, so that date is fast approaching. If you bought a new PC from us within the past few months, it will have come with a Windows 10 license, so you do not have any deadline, as you’re already licensed to use it whenever you want to make the change. But if you have an older PC, running say, Windows 7, it’s not a bad idea to work through whether it’s really worth the time and potential hassle of trying the upgrade, free or not. Windows Vista support ends officially April 11, 2017, and Windows 7 support ends January 14th, 2020. So, if you’re running Windows 7 on a five year old PC, it’s pretty likely the computer will stop working before the software will end support.

Will my hardware support Windows 10?

If you purchased a computer from The Tech Guys, then most likely you have a Dell, and you’ll want to click on the Optiplex or Latitude link, depending on whether you have a desktop or laptop. Dell offers a site here to determine if your hardware has been tested for Windows 10 or not. We’ve found some units, not found on the tested list, will still operate just fine. Most Optiplex computers use common features and haven’t changed much over the years, other than chipsets. That said, if your PC is not on the list, it’s quite possible that one or more drivers will not be available and some component may not work. As the PCAdvisor article suggests, having a backup of your data is strongly suggested before “trying” the upgrade. We have found most of our clients have had very good luck returning the PC back to Windows 7 after the upgrade, but a few have had small, subtle issues that cannot be resolved. Any kind of backup other than a full image backup, will not resolve such issues. Call us for more info if you want to be sure about the backup you are using.

So I did the upgrade a while back and I’m now reading this article…

What now? If it’s more than 30 days, then you can only look forward. If it’s less, then you still have the option to revert. If it’s all messed up and you really want back to Windows 7, we can always save your data, and then reinstall Windows 7, which means you’ll lose your applications and we’ll need to find installers for them. I think if you get to this point, it’s best to call us to talk through your situation.

And what if I actually LIKE Windows 10?

Congratulations! Write to us and let us know what you enjoy most about it, and we’ll be sure to share that with others.

Posted in Newsletters

Clicking the red X doesn’t stop your PC from upgrading to Windows 10.

You might be thinking, “Some of my friends have been getting Windows 10 installed and hate it, so if I see something come up on my PC, I’ll just keep closing the windows.”

Essentially, ignorance is bliss, right? Well, your friends at Microsoft have picked up on this and decided that simp lying ignoring the question means you also want to ignore the consequences and they now take closing the crucial Win 10 upgrade window, as a “YES!” answer to the install.

Users MUST click on the “Here” link in order to kill the upgrade. Any other action is simply answering “OK”. For more info, please review the article posted here. Please excuse all the ads on the extreme tech site, but the content of the article is spot on with what we have been seeing with our clients. The bottom line is, if you get this window, don’t just “x-out” of it, but read it thoroughly and then decline the upgrade.

Posted in Newsletters

Can you really avoid installing Windows 10?

Microsoft has now moved the Windows 10 update into the “recommended” category, which means it now will get installed unless you alter their default Windows update settings to avoid “recommended updates”:

Go to the Control Panel,
Choose Windows Update,
Uncheck the box that says “Give me recommended updates the same way I receive important updates,”
Click OK to apply the new setting.

Afraid the Win10 upgrade will now get moved from “Recommended” to “Important” if everyone follows this advice? There’s no indication that will happen, but there is a way to regain control over those “Important” updates, too. Select Change Settings in the left pane and under “Important Updates,” change the selection from “Install updates automatically (recommended)” to “Download updates but let me choose whether to install them.” The downside to this change is that you will now have to decide which important updates to install and which ones to avoid, and to date, the Windows 10 “updates” have been masked such that no mention of Windows 10 is ever shown. It is only with further investigation where you find the update is related to Windows ten.

If you avoid making the change above, or your system already has the Windows 10 update prep tool installed, you still have a chance of avoiding the Windows 10 upgrade. Microsoft has stated that if the registry has a certain value set, the windows 10 upgrade will not start. I could post that registry key, but there is an easier method, provided generously by the folks at Gibson Research Corp (GRC) with a tool called “Never 10” The web page may be found here Towards the bottom of that page look for the green button “download now” to obtain the tool. The page will show you what the tool looks like, and to click on the “disable Win10 upgrade” button within that tool. It only takes a second and has an annoying audio that happens when you press the button. Clicking it again will enable the upgrade, should you decide later to go for it.

The final straw…

If all else has failed, and you find your PC starts into the Windows 10 upgrade, fear not. But, above all, DO NOT STOP THE PROCESS!!! Turning your PC off during the upgrade can really mess things up and there may not be anything The Tech Guys can do if you do not have a good backup. So, let it proceed! Once it has saved away your old system, it will start the full install of Windows 10. To make sure they get your permission and avoid litigation, Microsoft will display an End User License Agreement (EULA) for Windows 10. Simply DECLINE the agreement! Do NOT approve it, and there is no other option for the software other than to revert your system right there, back to the previous operating system. But note, after it reverts, it will try again in a short while, so running Never 10 is a great way to avoid this time wasting event. Call us if you have any questions!

Posted in Newsletters

Windows XP R.I.P.

The day has come and gone. XP support is officially over (as if anyone ever really called Microsoft) and everyone is running for the hills. Wait! Come back! It’s not that bad. Let’s mull it over and decide what’s best to do moving ahead. This short newsletter briefly describes your options so you can put your feet back on the floor again. Call us if you have any questions.

Volume 2 Number 1

Posted in Newsletters

Our first newsletter

Our first newsletter. Not much there right now, but you’ll get the idea. The purpose of our newsletters will be to highlight some new effort with one of our clients, helping them improve efficiency, or solve a problem. Since our customer base is so wide, encompassing so many different disciplines and employment types, we find that we can offer solutions you may not have considered.

Volume 1, number 1

Posted in Newsletters
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