Three weeks after the launch of Windows 10, my Windows 7 desktop machine finally told me it was okay to upgrade. (I forced updates on three laptops–I finally did my wife’s after the Windows 7 partition corrupted itself and lost the boot loader–and a Dell Venue 8 Pro mini tablet. But I wanted to leave one computer alone to see how long it would take to get the official “okay” from Microsoft. Three weeks was the answer, I guess.)
A Rough Start
That does not mean, however, that the upgrade experience was seamless. Yesterday morning, as I did nearly every morning since launch, I clicked the little Windows icon in the System tray to see whether it said “your reservation is confirmed; we’ll let you know when it’s ready” as it normally does. Yesterday, however, it said I was ready to upgrade. It informed me that, if I clicked “Continue” (or whatever it actually said–I probably should have written it down), there would be a 10 second pause, and then it would ask me to review the license, and then I would be able to determine when to actually do the upgrade. So I clicked to continue, expecting a 10 second pause, and expecting to let it do its thing while I went off to court.
That didn’t happen.
Instead, it gave me the soothing spinning Windows 10 ouroboros circle of balls, and a message that it was “Working on It.” I let it run for ten minutes before finally needing to trot off to court.
When I got back, the circle was still spinning and it still said it was working on it. This is not an uncommon experience, turns out, and as much as these new error messages are friendlier (“something happened,” “the store has stumbled,” “this is taking longer than expected,” &c), they are not any more helpful than the old technical error messages.
There Are Answers Out There
After trying a couple of suggestions that were offered on Microsoft’s support forums (one of which required running the command prompt, and which seemed to really do nothing), the best suggestion I saw was simply running Windows Update, checking for new updates, and then seeing the option to upgrade to Windows 10 through a dialog box there. Sure enough, that did the trick. There was about a 10-second pause, the option to accept the license, and then it started downloading the files I would need to upgrade. As those files were “only” 2.7GB, I wonder if they comprised the cumulative updates that have come out in the past 3 weeks, since the whole point of the reservation process was to allow Microsoft to trickle-distribute the Windows 10 installation files to a hidden folder on the hard drive over the course of weeks so that installation would go faster. (And the reason I suspect they were the updates is because after Windows 10 installed, I didn’t need to thereafter download all the cumulative updates.)
Once those files downloaded, it shut down the computer, and over the next hour or two, Windows 10 installed.
One interesting aspect of upgrading this way, rather than the method I had used with the other computers, is that it did not give me the option to essentially clean install. Not that I would have necessarily wanted to clean install this machine–this was definitely going to be a simple upgrade which kept documents and applications in place. But it is interesting nonetheless.
And Then it Was Done
And, at the end of the day, once you get the thing to actually download and update, it’s a pretty mundane experience. It’ll work just fine and, having tested it across a nice variety of devices–Atom-based tablet, Core i3 laptop, Core i5 laptop, Core i7 laptop, and Core i5 desktop–it seems to have no issues performing well on pretty much anything you might be running. (Seriously–if it can run on an Atom it can probably run on a Celeron…)
That being said, there are a handful of privacy-related issues that I will address in my next post in this series.