Sunday, 6 December 2015

More on Windows 10

I've had a chance to live with Windows 10 for a while, and I want to update a few things.

Control Panel

I finally found the classic mode Control Panel. It was hidden in the All Apps section of the Start (Window) menu. It had everything I was used to, and I've pinned it to the start tiles. You can find all the other administrative and system tools down there as well.

Virtual PC

The old Virtual PC that came with Windows 7 Pro no longer works. I use to use it for some older programs that I have, like some label software. I also had installed Sonar, but I've switched to Pro Tools, so I don't really need it anymore. I needed CorelDraw the other day, but I couldn't open Virtual PC, so I'm not sure what I'll do yet. I might stick it on my old laptop, just to convert some files. There is supposed to be a new VM called Hydra, but I haven't found it yet.


I liked it when it first arrived, but I got a new laptop for work that had Outlook on it, which is so much better. I still prefer Thunderbird on my desktop, but it doesn't show new messages in the tiles like Mail and Outlook. I may ditch it when it when my ExQuilla license needs renewal. ExQuilla is the plug in you need for MS Exchange services. It used to be free, but now requires a $10 annual subscription. I have Outlook 2007, but not 2013 like on my work laptop. I'll decide later.


As far a I have experienced, Windows 10 is quite stable. The only problem I have had has been my Creative X-Fi driver, which has a habit of disabling itself when the computer goes to sleep. That means no sound and no midi. I have had intermittent success restarting it in the Services snap-in, but usually I need to restart.

Start up

I think it starts up a little quicker than before. I've ordered an SSD drive, which I'll install next week, and that should make starting up less annoying. My laptops restart in about 20 seconds, as opposed to my desktop (SATA HD) which takes minutes. I wish I could install more memory like my work laptop has (16 GB as opposed to 8 GB). It's really fast. Excel spreadsheets update instantly.


I still don't use it. All my bookmarks are in Chrome, which I have installed on all my machines, so I don't see any reason to use it.


My last post discussed that my Toshiba Encore Mini had not yet updated. Well, it finally did, and promptly "bricked." There is only 16 GB of HD space on it, which wasn't enough to back up the old OS. Fine. It has a 128 GB memory card in it, so I redirected the back up there. Great.

Not. When it tried to boot, for some reason it panicked and wanted to reinstall the old OS. Unfortunately, you need the OS to read the memory card. It looped, and without an OS to install, I couldn't revert. To make matters worse, I couldn't download recovery media from Toshiba. I had to purchase it, and eventually discovered that the model number on my Encore was missing a digit, which made it impossible to use their online ordering system. I also couldn't reach them by phone, and it took about two weeks for their support forum to sufficiently answer my question that I could order it.

Instead, I purchased an HP Stream 7, which boasted 32 GB of HD space, plenty for the install. The good part about that was that I created Windows 8 recovery media, and restored my Toshiba. It formatted the drive a little smaller - I think because their OS recovery partition was larger. That precluded me from upgrading to Windows 10.

Except that when I upgraded my desktop, I created upgrade media. It was tricky balancing when the media was plugged in and when the keyboard was. Eventually, I had a clean upgrade that worked, as well as recovery media. Everything was perfect except that in portrait mode, the screen rotates the wrong way. I've tried many ways to fix it, but none have worked, so now I have just locked the rotation.

I prefer the HP Stream 7, because I can do more with it as a result of the more memory. I have discovered, however, that it's audio system is noisy, so I use the Toshiba to do any streaming that I want to do. That's a good use for it.

I still prefer Windows 10 over 8 at this point, and I think probably over Windows 7 as well.