Windows 10. Should I upgrade?

There is a huge push from Microsoft to upgrade to Windows 10 and I keep hearing people ask if they should do it. Well, the answer is simple. Maybe. There are a few things to consider before making that choice. By looking at each facet of this gem called Windows 10, we can determine if it is the right choice for you.

Windows 10 is Microsoft’s answer to all the hate mail they got when they released Windows 8. They found the features of 7 that were missed the most and put them back into 10. Then they took the features hated the most in 8, and modified them to be more 7ish. Thus Windows 10 was born. If you liked Windows 7 and hate Windows 8, then Windows 10 will be just fine for you. If you are using Windows 7 and have never used Windows 8, then Windows 10 will be fine for you too. If you are currently using Windows 8 and you really like it, then Windows 10 is NOT for you. If you prefer Windows XP over them all, well, switch to Linux Mint and get the free XP Theme.

There are one or two questions that can make this an easy decision. First of all, “Am I unhappy with the Windows version I am using now?” and secondly, “Do I prefer to have the latest and greatest at all cost?”. If you answered no to both of these questions you can just ignore Windows 10 for right now and deal with it the next time you have to buy a new computer. If you answered yes to either or both of the questions, then you can proceed with exploring if it is the right decision for you at this time. Just because you answered yes doesn’t mean it is the best decision.

The first reason you may not want to upgrade is your computer may not be compatible with Windows 10. There is an automatic check at the beginning of the upgrade process that checks the major components of your computer to see if they are compatible. I have not had very many issues with this that couldn’t be solved with some new drivers. The next reason would be because some printers and other external components are not compatible with Windows 10. So if you have a printer that is 3 years old or older, it may not work with Windows 10 and you may need to purchase a new printer. Sometimes you can download updated drivers from the printer manufacturer to make the printer work, but not always. Other external devices, such as Wi-fi adapters, will also need to be checked. Lastly, some software is not compatible with Windows 10. You will want to check into any software you use and make sure it can be used on Windows 10. Most Microsoft titles will be fine, but there are other software programs that will not work. Some of the software companies have a new version or will be making a new version, but that is up to those companies to do that.

If you are planning on trying it out and then going back if you don’t like it, there are a couple things to consider. Reverting back is not as easy as it should be. The Windows 10 upgrade changes your registration key from your current version to the Windows 10 version. It stores this information in a special area of your computer called the BIOS. This is handy in many regards but when you choose to restore your computer back to factory settings with your recovery media, there can be complications. Also, if you have any ‘hiccup’ while downloading it can be catastrophic. A poor wireless connection or the power going out for a second can cause an upgrade in process to crash beyond recovery. This requires starting everything from scratch and can lead to the registration complication. I suggest using a direct ethernet connection when attempting the upgrade.

If you truly want to try it out and not risk your computer’s current condition, you can use a second hard drive. By removing your current hard drive you can always put it back in and have your computer exactly the way it was. Use a new or used drive to reinstall your current operating system on. This is the same thing you would do if your old hard drive failed except your old hard drive is fine and can be put back in if you choose. So once you have reinstalled and updated your current Windows on the new hard drive you can upgrade to Windows 10 and see if everything works the way you like. If not, you can go back to your old hard drive. If you like it, you can put the old drive back in and do the upgrade on it. There are even ways to clone your hard drive so you can try out the upgrade with all your programs and stuff. Then if something goes wrong, you have the original drive to go back to.

In conclusion, upgrading to Windows 10 is not for everyone. Hopefully this article has shed a little light on the topic for you. If you still feel unsure about it, or if you want more advice, feel free to Email me questions. If you would like help trying out the second hard drive idea, feel free to call, text, or Email me for more information.

Monte Armstrong