Tag Archives: Update

Windows 10 Upgrade

by Jim Guld, GeeksOnTour.com

win10Windows has released their latest OS to the public. It started rolling out to computers via Windows Update on July 29. I don’t necessarily recommend everyone upgrade their computers right away. There is no hurry, especially if you are doing ok now. If you do decide to upgrade I recommend having a current backup of your important data and performing a disk cleanup to get rid of junk on the drive. A high capacity and stable Internet connection really makes a difference.  I can only be responsible for the safety and security of my own computers, not yours.

There are two main reasons for any update. Number one is to fix bugs. Number two is to add functionality. Bugs can include security holes in the software. Hardware is changing all the time and the OS needs to adapt to make use of the advances. New software is made for new hardware, and vice-versa. If you are running old or limited hardware, you may have problems upgrading.

They Like it!

I have been an early adopter of the latest and greatest(?) operating systems from Redmond going all the way back to DOS 2.1. This upgrade is most interesting in that I have heard very few complaints about it. Indeed, I have mostly heard acceptance and even some grudging praise about Windows 10 from the gurus I follow and trust.

I installed this upgrade on our ASUS laptop (just used for seminars) as soon as it showed up in the system tray. I did not need to do anything special and it worked fine. My Surface Pro computer did have a hiccup the first time through the upgrade. I was low on disk space on the C: drive. The install automatically rolled back to Win 8.1. I used the standard Disk Cleanup to free up some space and tried again. This time it upgraded just fine. I have heard some reports of device drivers not working initially, but there is usually a fix for those. My Bluetooth keyboard and external monitor only came to life after a couple of reboots.

We were in the middle of a rally where we rely heavily on the seminar laptop for our presentations and live demonstrations. I didn’t even notice much of a change. That’s the thing about operating systems. You don’t really use them. They are just the way to get to your programs so you can get your work done. All my programs work fine, even Photo Story 3, which was made for Windows XP.

I do appreciate that Microsoft listened to unhappy users and brought back the Start Button. The new IE replacement Edge Browser has some cool features that I will report on as I learn more. I am still using Google Chrome as my primary Internet browser.

Caution for those using Cellular Data

Mobile users and those using metered data plans need to be aware that the download can be quite large and can easily put you over your monthly data allotment. If that is you, I recommend connecting to a public WiFi at the library or such. In addition, there are some settings everyone should be aware of to lessen data usage.

The Windows Update Delivery Optimization (WUDO) is a new way to distribute important updates. But, if you are using a limited wireless connection to access the Internet, it will use large amounts of data. It is optional and you can save precious bandwidth by disabling it .

Here are the steps to disable WUDO on your Windows 10 machine:

  • Open your Start Menu
  • Go to “Settings”
  • Select “Update & security”
  • In the left-side pane, select “Windows Update”
  • In the right-side pane, select “Advanced options”
  • In the new pane, select “Choose how updates are delivered”
  • Move the slider under “Updates from more than one place” to “OFF”

Another potential data thief is WiFi Sense. It’s a reciprocal feature introduced in Windows 8 that can let your contacts share your WiFi network without knowing your network password. It in turn connects you to networks and hotspots that your contacts share with you. It is only for Internet access; they can’t see your passwords and stuff, and you can’t see theirs.

  • In the “Settings” window, click “Network & Internet”
  • Go to “Manage Wi-Fi Settings”
  • Turn off the connection sliders.

If you have upgraded to Windows 10, let us know how it went for you. If you are putting it off, let us know why. If you prefer Mac or Linux, or anything else, that is fine. Just please ignore this post.

BUCS

Regular system maintenence will save you money.

A few simple tasks performed every week in this order will keep your computer in top shape.  It is also important to not invite malicious code into your system.  We call it BUCS – Backup, Update, Cleanup, Scan.

Backup.

You’ve heard it before. Hard drive crashed, no current backup. It could spell disaster for you or your company. There are lots of good programs available, some free, to help you effectively insure your data. I prefer backing up to CD, it’s easy, they’re cheap, and you can take them offsite for complete backup protection. 

If you have data that you work with on a daily basis (an accounting program or a database) I recommend backing up to your hard drive every day, then backup the backups once a week to CD.  There’s a great program called Karen’s Replicator which will automate this process for you. Just tell it what you want backed up, to where, and when.  Then, every day (or every night if you schedule it that way) it will make a backup to a specified folder on your hard drive (preferably external).  And … don’t forget to backup your Outlook (or other email program) files!

Update.

In the old days, I would apply patches and updates only if I needed them. Well, you need them now. Microsoft releases important security fixes regularly. You can get the Microsoft updates from any Internet Explorer browser window. Just click on Tools/Windows Update. This will take you to the Microsoft Update web site. Click on “Scan for Updates”. When it’s done you should see a link to “Download Critical Updates”.  Do it!  This is what protects you from things like the “Conficker Worm” that have been getting so much press. Better yet, keep your system set to Automatic Updates.

Then there’s antivirus updates. Just because you have installed antivirus software, it doesn’t mean you are protected – it must be kept up to date. Virus definition updates occur as attacks are recognized. An old definition file is no block to a new virus. Whatever antivirus program you have, open it up and check the menu options till you find “Update” and run it. Most antivirus programs also have a way to automatically update themselves whenever you’re online. Other nasties out there are Ad-ware and Spy-ware, I recommend Windows Defender to protect yourself from these. Defender is a free download from Microsoft for Windows XP.  It’s built in to Windows Vista.  I also recommend running CCleaner and/or Windows Live Onecare once in a while just for a second opinion.  Get the latest updates, be safe.

Cleanup.

Get rid of the excess files on your system. But don’t just go into the file system and delete files you don’t recognize. Use Disk Cleanup already on the system (Start / Programs / Accessories / System Tools / Disk Cleanup). Go through your email folders and delete old messages. Archive the old stuff if you want to save it, but get it out of your way.
Uninstall any programs you are sure you don’t use (Start / Control Panel / Add and Remove Programs.)

Scan.

Everything. Schedule scans for a time when you can be away from the computer. Run Scandisk (My Computer/right-click and choose Properties, Tools, Error-checking – on XP), Virus Scan, Spybot, Defrag (My Computer/right-click and choose Properties, Tools, Defragment Drive – on XP).
My middle name is “Reboot”. If you are having a problem with a program, just reboot (Start / Shutdown *xp=Turn off / Restart) and take a quick stretch. Both you and the computer resources will benefit.