Should I upgrade to Windows 10?

There’s been plenty of hype around Windows 10 and rightly so. First things first, if you received a notification advising you can upgrade to Windows 10 seriously consider the following:

  • Have you backed up all critical information on your device so in the event your upgrade fails you can access these files?
  • Are all applications that you use on your device compatible with Windows 10?
  • Do all your peripheral devices (WiFi card, graphics card, monitor etc) have Windows 10 drivers?
  • Do you have a rollback plan (performed an image backup of your machine to external media)?

Win10Upgrade

Here are a few thoughts from my experience on upgrading my laptop to Windows 10:

  • I performed an in place upgrade to Windows 10 Enterprise from Windows 8.1 Enterprise. I downloaded the ISO, mounted it and ran the setup.exe . I left my laptop to grab some lunch, came back after 30 minutes and the upgrade appeared to complete successfully. Awesome.
  • I restart my laptop so I can install any unknown drivers for the laptop and I get the black screen of death similar to what other users were getting in the technical preview. I tried the usual fixes (BIOS, safe mode, system restore) to no avail.
  • Time for a rebuild.
  • Created bootable USB Windows 10 device and installed a fresh copy of Windows 10. I restarted my laptop and reviewed device manager for any unknown drivers.
  • To my surprise, Windows 10 had installed all up to date drivers necessary for my laptop without me having to hunt down anything (impressive) including my Biometric Synaptics Fingerprint scanner.
  • 75% of upgrades at our office failed resulting in staff needing to rebuild their machines from scratch.

Think twice before that upgrade. Stay tuned for what my thoughts are on Windows 10!

Configure IE 10/11 startup settings (registry)

I had an issue configuring the way Internet Explorer started up at a client site. They use an intranet home page and every time someone closed their current browsing session and reopened internet explorer, the software would hang momentarily then reopen the tabs they recently closed down. The option in IE is under Tools > Internet Options > General as below

IE Startup Options

Easy enough right, definitely. Now for a single user this isn’t such a big deal but as a sys admin running Windows 7, Server 2008 R2 infrastructure environment for several hundred users group policy would be the answer, right? I had a hard time looking around for the adm or admx files and tried leveraging the Internet Explorer Administration Kit to no avail. I didn’t have a Windows Server 2012 server onsite. So what’s the easy answer? Registry 🙂

They details of the entry are as follows

Key Name: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\ContinuousBrowsing
DWORD Name: Enabled
Value: 0 – Start with home page, 1 – Start with tabs from the last session

IE Startup Registry

So amend this via GPO (add a user policy registry entry or logon script) and voila!

 

4 handy features in Windows 10

So what happened to Windows 9? I guess 7, ate, 9….. (insert cicada noises). Put that aside, let’s start fresh. Windows 10 preview is here. So what’s so special about Windows 10. Here are 4 handy features that I personally like from Windows 10.

  1. Revamped Start Menu
    Windows 10 Start Menu
    Here you can pin, unpin, resize, move, uninstall within the one menu. In my opinion, this is a key feature for people to adopt to the new OS. They’ve integrated “Metro Apps” with the regular Windows applications very well in this version.
  2. Task View (multiple workspaces)
    Windows 10 Task View
    This is pretty much Ubuntu’s workspaces with a Windows twist. Similar to the principle of tabbing in web browsers, task view allows you to separate different functions for when you use the computer. As an example, your first task/workspace may be used for emails and office applications only, your second task/workspace may have a line of business application running, and your third task/workspace can have your web browsing. Here you can manage your activities in different spaces.
  3. Home folder in Windows Explorer
    Windows 10 Home
    Now you have a home folder that has all your favourite folders as well as frequent folders that you access.
  4. Copy and paste in command prompt
    Windows 10 Copy and Paste
    My personal favourite. Copying and pasting in command prompt. Now you can press ctrl+C and ctrl+V to copy and paste into command prompt. None of this ^v business 🙂

We’ll get into the server/client bits and pieces in another post that is still to come 🙂