What About The Morning After (The Windows 10 Upgrade)?



Before you upgraded to Windows 10, you cleaned out unused programs, cleared the IE cache, did a disk cleanup, a defrag and a backup, right? What about after upgrading? Pretty much the same list again! (Excepting that SSD’s don’t need user-commanded defrags – the OS handles that regularly in an intelligent way if the drive reports as SSD, and being SSD’s, you don’t want to wear them out unnecessarily.)

The first thing to do after upgrade is to check your Anti-Malware application. Update it or replace it for Windows 10. In fact, as soon as Windows 10 upgrade stops rebooting and you’ve got your Anti-Malware updated, run check Windows Update until it finds no more. (Several times, at least.)

Then, consider System Restore. You won’t need those old Windows 7 and 8 restore points any more, right? That could be another 10 – 30 GB. Again, it’s a one-way street, but I’m liking Windows 10 enough already to head down that street now. HOWEVER, a new quirk – System Restore is disabled by default in Windows 10!?! So, click on [Start], type [System Restore], press [Enter], click on your C: drive (or wherever you put Windows), click on [Configure], then you can both enable System Restore, give it some drive space and delete the old Windows restore points. If you have backups or System Images that you might ever want to go back to, then pull these off to an external drive and unplug it before you delete restore points. Yeah, you really need to do this – especially in the break-in period when users are broke in to the new OS, System Restore really should be enabled.

Next, the upgrade process creates a 10-30GB Windows.old folder. You can’t delete it directly without creating errors, but you can have disk cleanup do it for you, using the button for [Clean up system files], then the [Previous Windows installation(s)] selection. You know, of course, that you’ve given up the 30-day rollback option if you do this, right? If you have checked that all your apps work from Start menu and that all your devices have good drivers in Device Manager, it’s unlikely you’ll need anything more from Windows.old. So there’s a good chunk of your SSD that you can reclaim. (Maybe wait a couple weeks on this one, to be sure.)

So you’ve reclaimed space, you’ve done drive maintenance (all the way through cleanups into backup), and you’ve already seen that you can’t find anything anymore in Windows. What next? It’s the UI – User Interface.

  • You can start by dragging out the Metro page on the side of Start menu so you can see all the tiles you loved so much in Windows 8. Look at all the properties of Start menu and Task Bar.
  • You can [Start], type [Internet Explorer], right-click: pin to taskbar, maybe even remove Edge from the taskbar. Why?

o No Internet Options to clear cache, reset security, manage Add-ins…

o No File: Save – no menus at all! None of the menu features. Okay, that’s big.

o You can’t drag a URL directly onto a folder to create a shortcut.

o You can’t drag a URL onto the Favorites Bar (although going through the Favorites button isn’t much more difficult, it’s steps backward in usability).

o Print Preview has no custom zoom, no custom margins, no view sizing.

o Because you’re willing to trade all that for giving up the fantastic, new Reading View. (Yeah, it’s that good – web pages without all the ads. It’s hard to give that up.)

Look in your data folders, try all the file types – pdf, jpg, bmp, mp3, wav, doc, docx, txt, html. See if you like the new programs and lack of features. You might just go back to Acrobat Reader, Photo Viewer (I most enjoy MS Office 2010 Picture Editor), Media Player, real Word instead of Word Viewer, etc. Right-click a file: [Properties]: [Change] to choose a different program if you don’t like what they made for you. Maybe you just want to try out the new stuff first. (Maybe not.)

Try all your apps in Start menu. There may be a few that need upgrading to a Windows 10 version (or just uninstall). If there’s a must-have device or app that you have lost, consider running them in a VM = Virtual Machine (uses HyperVisor in Server or XP Mode in Windows 7, requires i3 or above CPU and enough RAM for two OS instances).

We mentioned Device Manager above, to be sure that your devices all have good drivers before deleting Windows.old. Many of your drivers might have been replaced already. Some will bring improvements in compatibility, speed and function, some will have lost device features (being universal drivers now), and some will need to be rolled back, again from Device Manager, properties of the device, to get your devices actually working again.

Take a peek in Control Panel for any new items. Look in [Security and Maintenance] for items that need attention. Check out [Storage Spaces] and [Work Folders] (Windows 8 features that are now yours, even if you just upgraded from Windows 7). These utilities, alone, might give you enough reasons to justify your upgrade from Windows 7!

After you have all your customizations of apps and UI done, it’s time to create another System Restore point, full Backup and [Create a System Image] (see Windows Backup in Control Panel). Save a copy on an external or network drive.

Now, it’s smooth cruisin’. See, that didn’t take long, did it!!

Oh, and call your Dad or Mom, and walk them through this, as well. It’s called “Bonding Time”. They’ll love you for it.

Originally written by NHSoCal Technical Instructor Bill Sullivan, MTAx3, MCSA x6, MCITP x4, MCTS x5, MCSE x2, MCT, CCNA, CISSP, CASP, COWA, CompTIA x5

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Feb 2016

By: Terry Mott