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Upgrading Windows7 to Win10 for free

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Mike Tomlin17/01/2020 12:27:36
2 forum posts

Just be aware that if you are upgrading to Windows 10, Windows Live Mail no longer works and there is no upgrade path to the new Windows Mail program that comes with Windows 10. The new Mail program is web based and it is not possible, (without a lot of faffing) to create sub folders to store mail, so it is practically useless. To get WLM functionality ie. to store mail on your own PC, you have to pay to upgrade to Outlook or use a non-Microsoft product like Thunderbird or eM Client. And there seems to be no way at all to easily export the diary from WLM. So if like me you have loads of data in Windows Live Mail stick with Win 7 for as long as possible.

David Hall 917/01/2020 13:53:42
188 forum posts
12 photos

Keep your old laptop or create a dual boot system so that you can boot up a different operating system (I really like Ubuntu, but that's not the point of this thread....)

There's so much spyware and virus/keycoders out there that I don't feel comfortable running the same system to make financial transactions as the one I browse with and (particularly) receive emails on.

I have my older laptop that is slower than many, but has no extra software loaded (makes it seem faster). This is the machine that I use for anything that I might have to enter financial details via. It is not used for casual browsing, i can browse on my PC and when the time comes to say, buy a holiday, do that on the laptop. I keep the laptop as a secure device.

Keep it clean, don't browse anything but known, trusted sites, make special email addresses for when you "have" to create a login for run-of-mill stuff (not the one you use for finance). Use your regular PC for general use.

Good luck with choosing a new machine. ... I wouldn't know what to offer as I don't know how you might want to use it.. but as has been said, avoid the lower spec/no-name machines, particularly anything with a low memory capacity. Starting point for memory (for me) is 8G and up.

Jon - Laser Engines17/01/2020 14:11:48
5105 forum posts
221 photos

The whole hysteria of viruses and spyware is exaggerated to say the least. as long as you dont visit myvirusinfestedwebsite.com or any other weird/unknown site, and dont click every weird looking email attachment that arrives in your inbox the chances of finding something nasty are very low.

But, if you are worried windows 10 has its own antivirus built in anyway

Peter Jenkins18/01/2020 19:42:33
1349 forum posts
132 photos

Pleased to say that despite my laptop having failed with the update process, my desktop update to Win 10 was, insofar as I watched it, seemed to be pretty painless. Thanks kc for the tip,

kc19/01/2020 15:56:56
6224 forum posts
169 photos

Well that makes about 3 others who have upgraded very easily without cost so far.

One thing I have noticed about Windows 10 is that the clock is now accurate.......before the computers clock gradually lost time and was way out by the time GMT changed to Summertime- since Win 10 it is always right. Presumably everything on Win 10 is updated frequently including correction to the clock.

Peter Jenkins19/01/2020 17:13:31
1349 forum posts
132 photos

Make that 4 kc as I've just updated my wife's desktop. Have to say, it's been a pretty painless experience with the desktops which are hard wired LAN connections. My laptop was on the WiFi and ran into a problem and the install stopped. I might plug the laptop in on the hard wired LAN and try again.

Alex Ferguson 224/01/2020 08:18:23
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44 forum posts

Having been away for a couple of weeks sea kayaking and cycling around Samoa I missed the start of this thread.

October 2018 Microsoft killed about a million Win10 computers with an update. Wiped all the data and they reverted back to Win7. Fortunately I copied all my partner's data over before it was all wiped. So, having been using Windows for a couple of decades she now sits down in front of a computer running Linux Mint and has been doing so since then.

And? And nothing, simply carries on doing what she always does in the same manner except it doesn't lose screen drivers or printer drivers each month, just keeps going. Same browsers, Firefox and Chrome, same office suite, LibreOffice, same sound editing Audacity, basically the same as before or better programmes.

Jon - Laser Engines24/01/2020 08:31:05
5105 forum posts
221 photos
Posted by Alex Ferguson 2 on 24/01/2020 08:18:23:

October 2018 Microsoft killed about a million Win10 computers with an update. Wiped all the data and they reverted back to Win7. Fortunately I copied all my partner's data over before it was all wiped.

That was unfortunate, but when you consider that over 400 million pc's use windows 10 and say a million were bricked, its hardly a big issue...unless you were one of them admittedly. But, as data should always be backed up in case of hardware/software failure its not like its the end of the world and a reinstall of windows, while inconvenient, is not a long job.

As for the hate regarding drivers, i have to confess i have never found it a problem. I have more driver problems thanks to Nvidia and AMD than due to windows. Its why i never update drivers. Once something is working i leave well alone!

Alex Ferguson 224/01/2020 08:42:48
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44 forum posts
Posted by Jon - Laser Engines on 24/01/2020 08:31:05:and a reinstall of windows, while inconvenient, is not a long job.

As for the hate regarding drivers, i have to confess i have never found it a problem. I have more driver problems thanks to Nvidia and AMD than due to windows. Its why i never update drivers. Once something is working i leave well alone!

So how long to reinstall Windows or do an update from 7 to 10? Could you do it in 10 minutes?

How long for an entire system load?

I've recently had to install software on 10 computers given with no software. 10 minutes to have an up and going system ready for use, browser, office suite, etc. etc. with Linux Mint. Yes, I then spend a bit of extra time doing "fiddles" to set things as I want them but that is a personal option.

As for screen drivers, they simply work as they should without fighting and loading special drivers as needed for Windows. Plus no virus problems. All updates tell you what they are going to update and you do those when you want to and only those you want to do.

Peter Christy24/01/2020 08:49:24
1677 forum posts

Exactly! I ditched windoze decades ago, and have never had a problem since!

--

Pete

kc24/01/2020 10:28:04
6224 forum posts
169 photos

Alex - but how long did ( does ) it take for a Windows user ( non IT person ) to use the Linux Mint system? - I am not being funny or clever i genuinely want to know! Many people have grown up with Win 3.1 onwards and are easily able to use any Windows system but don't want to change if there is a huge amount of re- learning involved.

Jon - Laser Engines24/01/2020 11:37:57
5105 forum posts
221 photos
Posted by kc on 24/01/2020 10:28:04:

Alex - but how long did ( does ) it take for a Windows user ( non IT person ) to use the Linux Mint system? - I am not being funny or clever i genuinely want to know! Many people have grown up with Win 3.1 onwards and are easily able to use any Windows system but don't want to change if there is a huge amount of re- learning involved.

Exactly. Linux is hopeless for those who are used to windows and just want things to work as they always have. Installing windows, yes its a bit annoying but honestly you could have the system rebuilt in half an hour if its got a half decent spec. I have recently been on a binge of installing windows and its really not that time consuming. Not like the old days of windows 98!

For my purposes, gaming, linux is even more useless.

As for display drivers the only time i have them not work is when nvidia or amd release a bad driver. AMD are notorious for this but i have had nvidia drivers break stuff as well. Usually these driver updates are released to support some new game and this can break other stuff which is why i dont update them once my system is working nicely.

Now, none of that dismisses linux as an option for those who are tech savvy and want to go for it. But the problem with this thread and those like it is that people who are interested in tech and understand it bombard those who just dont care with way too much information. The scope of this thread was windows based, getting it for free, how to get it updated and how to get the best from it. Even the conversation about SSD's was getting to intense which is why i ignored all the information about nvme, the various flavours of nand flash, etc as its just not relevant. The same would be true for overclocking, memory timing adjustments etc. I enjoy all that stuff. I run overclocks on my cpu and graphics card, i have all manor of monitoring and tweaking software installed to tune my hardware and keep it running cool etc while extracting the maximum performance. But, this is not the audience for that and neither is anything really beyond the realms of discussing windows itself.

Bob Cotsford24/01/2020 11:57:10
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8152 forum posts
449 photos

I had a spell using Linux a few years ago, both Ubuntu and Mint, but found it too much like work. Windows emulators didn't emulate other than in for very basic applications. Far too much need for command line fixes. Maybe it's improved these days but as I'm retired now so out of the IT business and just a consumer I will stick with Windows and my old disk based versions of Office as they just work 99.9% of the time.

My advice to anyone using ANY PC is to invest in an external hard disc, ideally a USB unit around 500GB to 1TB, and a USB memory stick. Use windows to make a recovery drive on the USB stick and then use a backup utility (Aomei or similar) to take regular backups of your system and data. That way you can recover close to your current position pretty quickly. Neither process is difficult or time consuming but save a lot of frustration when things go wrong.

Edited By Bob Cotsford on 24/01/2020 11:58:38

Tony Harrison 224/01/2020 13:30:19
261 forum posts
3 photos
Posted by Bob Cotsford on 24/01/2020 11:57:10:

"I had a spell using Linux a few years ago..."

Over the years I've seen recommendations for Linux many times, but even among computer-tech types (such as the people who fix our computer problems when those arise, which is rarely) I've met hardly any. Since Windows works well for the great majority of people, nearly all the time, I see no point in undergoing the hassle of learning another system. Someone's reference (above) to PCs crashing through a Win10 update surprised me, never experienced anything like that.

"My advice to anyone using ANY PC is to invest in an external hard disc, ideally a USB unit around 500GB to 1TB, and a USB memory stick..."

Doesn't everyone do this? Surprising, though on reflection it must be quite a few times that friends have mentioned losing everything when the PC crashed - and on being questioned about backups, they admitted to not having done this*... To me it's just baffling that anyone might not back up valuable (or even not so valuable) data, preferably more than once. I've used multiple external HDs for decades, and have enjoyed watching the price come down so that e.g. the 2Tb drives I prefer are cheap as chips.

*Re backups, I'd bet many people don't backup their phones. I've had iPhones for some years, despite my reservations about Apple products, because they work so well - far better than the 'orrible Blackberry. Backing these up requires iTunes (unless there's an alternative I don't know about) and I loathe iTunes! I tried it for my digital music database some years ago, and found it awful, plus Apple puts all sorts of crap on your PC that you need to beware of. So I keep iTunes quarantined on an old but still functional laptop, and backup my phone periodically. Proved handy two years ago when I committed the embarrassing faux pas of ditching my phone in the toilet, slipped out of my shirt pocket while rearranging clothing... Fished the thing out straight away but nothing I did would revive it; bought a new iPhone straight away, plugged it into iTunes, restored all my data.

Bob Cotsford24/01/2020 14:33:22
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8152 forum posts
449 photos

Tony, I was one of those "computer-tech types (such as the people who fix our computer problems when those arise ". I doubt many people who are just home users ever do backups, it just doesn't occur to them until they've lost all their scanned to disk photos that they may have any data of value. Emails too, if you use a 'local' email storage system such as Windows Mail or Thunderbird you can lose all those electronic receipts for anything bought over the web. I buy USB external drive housing and fit the drives out of redundant computers (doesn't everyone upgrade every couple of years?wink) Nowadays I use Yahoo free online email and just don't email confidential info that I wouldn't want being sold on such as bank details. Everything is backed up by Yahoo and I can access emails anywhere from any web connected device.

I draw the line at backing up my Android based phone, anything I want to keep gets moved to the laptop where it gets backed up.

Peter Christy24/01/2020 16:23:20
1677 forum posts
Posted by Jon - Laser Engines on 24/01/2020 11:37:57:Linux is hopeless for those who are used to windows and just want things to work as they always have. Installing windows, yes its a bit annoying but honestly you could have the system rebuilt in half an hour if its got a half decent spec. I have recently been on a binge of installing windows and its really not that time consuming. Not like the old days of windows 98!

Sorry, Jon. I have to disagree with you there! That might have been the case a decade or so ago, but a modern Linux distro loads in a fraction of the time it takes to install Win 10, is more stable and only updates when you let it!

I agree gaming can be a pain, but I don't use my computer for that!

As an example: My wife is a complete technophobe! You've heard of people with "green fingers"? Well, she's the exact opposite when it comes to anything electronic or mechanical! As soon as she touches anything hi-tech, it immediately starts to misbehave!

Her computer had windows on it, and it was nothing but trouble. I was constantly having to sort it out. In the end, I got fed up , wiped windows and installed Mageia Linux. Haven't had to touch it since!

She had no problems at all switching from Windows to Linux, and I doubt many other people would have either. Yes, it used to be a "geeks" system, but that was back in the days when all model aeroplanes were noisy!

We've got quieter, and Linux has overtaken windows in the usability stakes. Linux has progressed, where windows has just got even more bloated and slow.

cheeky

--

Pete

Alex Ferguson 225/01/2020 00:49:33
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44 forum posts
Posted by kc on 24/01/2020 10:28:04:

Alex - but how long did ( does ) it take for a Windows user ( non IT person ) to use the Linux Mint system? - I am not being funny or clever i genuinely want to know!

Time? Half a minute?

My partner's mutters were that I'd not put her icons in the same places on the screen i.e. visual layout. Then she carried on as usual using her computer but with Linux instead of Windows. That easy.

I'd say those who think going to Linux is a big learning step don't know how to use Windows fully anyway.

Basically the question is, what does the user do with their computer? If emails using Firefox or Chrome for Gmail, (Thunderbird for other types) maybe a few documents and a spreadsheet to keep track of birthdays or CD collection, browse for news, play Freecell. Then the answer is half a minute to get used to the easier layout and with the same software.

A new folder? Two right clicks instead of 3 and a scroll as per Windows.

Keyboard shortcuts? Same.

Admittedly someone who knows the best way to layout the desktop helps but try going from XP to Win7 then Win8 (disaster), 8.1 to fix it and on to Win10 which is a bit more like Win7 and answer the question "How long to suffer those relearnings?"

How do you shut down Windows 7 & 10? Bottom left corner, click and then click on Shutdown? Not if Windows 8 where you click somewhere on the screen and then towards the top right. So Linux is like most but not all Windows systems and they Win8, might be quite different from the previous Windows systems.

Gaming? A whole different "ball game" as they say.

If suggestions are wanted for setting up I have a list I use so private message me for it.

Martin_K25/01/2020 08:39:02
130 forum posts

A bit of terminology. Linux is the kernel, the small piece of software that interfaces directly with the hardware in your computer. The suite of additional programs that with Linux make an Operating System is known as a Distribution. Distributions are packaged collections of programs to support a particular style of use, typically including a Desktop Environment (DE).

MS Windows comes with it's own Desktop Environment. Alex's description of 'Linux' in the post above is actually largely about the DE. Some Distributions have a DE that behaves like MS Windows. I do not use a full blown DE at all, I prefer my CPU cycles to run applications, not a fancy user interfcace.

Everyone here is already using Linux, even if unseen. Anyone with an Android tablet or smartphone, Android runs on the Linux kernel. Embedded systems, many routers, set top boxes etc. run Linux. All the world's supercomputers run Linux, probably most web servers too. At the other end of the scale electronics hobbyists with devices like the Raspberry Pi. Linux is portable (between different CPU architectures) and scalable (across differnet sizes of machine).

How you customise the software added to the Linux kernel appears to be a source of confusion in this thread.

Edited By Martin_K on 25/01/2020 08:43:04

Jon - Laser Engines25/01/2020 09:41:59
5105 forum posts
221 photos

Ok so what i am hearing from Peter and Alex is that if someone who knows how sets up linux to look like/function like windows then someone used to windows can use linux really easily and that is ample justification to recommend it to everyone devil

Come on guys, what if that person has no idea how to set it up? windows is at least very good at telling you how to install it and windows 10 is the best of them all as you basically leave it to do its own thing and come back when its done.

I also dont seem to understand the stability problems you keep mentioning. w10 seems good at that and 7 was too. 8 was a dogs dinner mind you but not as bad as something like windows Me. i have many memories of trying to nurse that through an install!

Still, as i said before the whole linux issue is beyond the original scope of the thread. Perhaps create the new one for a windows vs linux death match  

Edited By Jon - Laser Engines on 25/01/2020 09:43:10

Tony Harrison 225/01/2020 10:54:50
261 forum posts
3 photos
Posted by Jon - Laser Engines on 25/01/2020 09:41:59:

I also dont seem to understand the stability problems you keep mentioning. w10 seems good at that and 7 was too. 8 was a dogs dinner mind you but not as bad as something like windows Me. i have many memories of trying to nurse that through an install!

Edited By Jon - Laser Engines on 25/01/2020 09:43:10

Agree Jon. IMO life's too short to faff around using a different OS. WinXP Pro was great, so was Win7, avoided Win8 because of its bad rep, Win10 is fine too. Personalising it is easy: though I've used personal computers since the early '80s I'm not a tech geek, just averagely competent. So far as I can see, many/most people's persistent PC difficulties are self-inflicted, and for most folks I really wouldn't advise making life more difficult by using a relatively obscure and non-standard (in terms of domestic, private computing) OS. Those with greater understanding of such things use Linux and are more than happy with it (hi Pete!) but really it's overkill.

rgds Tony

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