In my last post on Windows 10, I talked about a couple of failures I'd had installing the software. A few friends tried it and succeeded, so I gave it another go. First thing I discovered is that the best install path is to download the media creation tool. Run it and choose the "Install now" option. The process takes a couple of hours but seems to download the proper files. If you download the media to create an install disk, the install process is less reliable. Doing this with my netbook running Windows 8 worked perfectly, so I tried it on my ancient desktop running Windows 7 and it worked also.
With these two under my belt, I went back and tried the laptop that had failed the first time and succeeded with it as well. Finally, I tried my older laptop and got Windows 10 up and running only to have it freeze after a short time. I rebooted. It froze again. After running chkdsk without solving the problem, I checked on the Internet. Sure enough, there were a bunch of complaints out there for the same problem with no definite solution. So it was back to Windows 7 for that computer.
I'm left with the same caution that I expressed in the last blog entry — wait. Windows 10 is still experiencing teething problems. In spite of their extensive beta testing, there are bugs which could force you to revert to your old operating system. Best to wait and not be forced to do the install twice. The free period has many months left.
In addition to the bugs, there are privacy concerns with Win10. If you don't go to some lengths to stop it, the operating system will phone home to MS extensively. During the install process, Win10 will try to trick you into believing you have to create a Microsoft account to get the OS to work — you don't, but the options to install with a local account are nearly hidden. Even after creating a local account, many privacy settings will be set to send information unless you drill down into the settings to find them. Getting the OS to not send telemetry info to MS requires editing the Registry and turning off several services. Winaero has a tutorial. Completely shutting off Cortana is even trickier. I realize everyone with a smartphone gives away a lot more information than MS is getting from Win10, but that doesn't mean I want to compromise my privacy to that extent. On the three computers that are running Win10, I've done all I could find to correct the privacy holes and the operating system seems to still work well.
One other annoyance with Win10 is the number of "modern apps" it installs. Some of them can be easily uninstalled but most require using powershell to uninstall them. Once uninstalled you'd think that would free up space on your drive, but Win10 doesn't actually get rid of these apps. If you look at the hidden "C:\Program Files\WindowsApps" you'll see that they're all still there. To completely delete them, I used the Unlocker program which is available at most software download sites. On one of my computers I was able to free 1.45 Gbytes of space by deleting all the apps that I wasn't going to use. That's a lot of wasted space. Before you completely delete the "modern apps" remember that you can only get them through the Windows Store which requires a Microsoft login, so if you think you might want to use them in the future, just do a standard uninstall and you'll be able to recover them.