Guide for planning the transition to Windows 10
As you probably already know, today – 29.07, the new Windows 10 is officially available. For the first time in the history of Microsoft operating system and in particular the word «available» should be understood a wide variety of things.
Users with a legal copy of the two latest versions — Windows 7 and 8.1 will get Windows 10 for free as an update directly from the servers of the company. Others can purchase the top-10 with a new computer – for example, people who pre-ordered the PC from Dell or HP. Others can buy directly a licensed copy of the operating system at a price of 5800 rubles.
Regardless of how you get Windows 10 if you plan to make the transition, you will deal with several small but important issues. To save time, I have prepared a short guide to ease your transition to «ten».
What to expect today?
In that case, if your computer is running a licensed and activated copy of Windows 7/8.1, at this point, you already had to update KB3035583, and with it the small icon «to Windows 10» in the lower right corner of the screen. In other words, Microsoft had to give you the opportunity to reserve a free copy of the new operating system. If so, then today (or in the next few days) you will receive a system notification telling you that Windows 10 has been downloaded to the local disk and ready to install.
Please note that this may not happen today, i.e. on July 29. A few weeks ago, the company warned that users are guaranteed to get Windows 10 on the day of the official launch will be only the participants of the program Windows Insider, who took an active part in the process of testing the new OS. Actually, to be more precise, they got Build 10240 (official final version of Windows 10) about two weeks ago – a small but nice gesture from Microsoft to all «insiders».
The rest of the users who reserved their free copies in advance, will get them in stages, in waves, for which, unfortunately, the company does not specify the exact timing. In any case, everything will happen in the coming days or weeks. If you have not ordered a free copy of Windows 10, you can still do this – the promotional period will be active for the next 12 months, i.e. until 29.07.2016.
The update is downloaded and ready to install. What’s next?
The upgrade process itself is very simple. The system will automatically install all the necessary components, the computer will restart several times. All phases of installation and configuration is thought out and generally are very smooth – for this Microsoft definitely deserves praise. Upon completion you will receive fully configured and ready to use the new operating system. Even the desktop icons and the taskbar will be at the same places they occupied in Windows 7 or 8. Moreover, all installed programs and devices will work fine.
Unfortunately, this is the perfect case. It is possible, after the transition you will face different challenges, the main of which will be associated with drivers for various components and peripherals of a computer. Most of the major manufacturers prepare for launch and provide drivers that are compatible with the new OS. The owners of processors and motherboards with chipsets from Intel, graphics cards from NVIDIA and AMD, audio, and network solutions from Realtek probably will not have any difficulties in this regard.
As a rule, the cause of the headache can only be old or exotic ingredients, but experience suggests otherwise. For example, if you own a discrete sound card is quite popular brand (Asus Xonar or Creative Sound Blaster), it is possible that after you install Windows 10, the unit will operate incorrectly or with degraded functionality.
A partial solution to this problem is to install compatible versions of older drivers – for example, many Xonar products work relatively well under Windows 10 drivers for the Windows 8 and offer all the possibilities. With Creative all a bit worse and the owners of their product is probably better to postpone the transition for a month or two until the company will release the appropriate drivers. To check exactly when Creative plans to release a compatible driver for your sound card on the official website of the company.
It is noteworthy that users of mobile computers, especially of the new and last generations, largely immune from such compatibility problems. This is especially true for people who bought a laptop with pre-installed Windows 7 or 8. Microsoft claims that in such cases, full compatibility is almost guaranteed, that is, if the computer works without problems with version 7 or 8, it will feel wonderful, and in company with 10 coy. However, before you click on the button «Start update», my advice to you, please visit the official website of the manufacturer of your laptop and check what it says specifically about your model in relation to transition to Windows 10.
Perhaps at this point some of you may be wondering, «Why upgrade? Isn’t it better to do a clean install?». Yes, in General, this is the best option, which is less likely to face difficulties caused by incompatible software. However, for users of legitimate copies of Windows 7 or 8 the upgrade is the only way to keep your operating system activated. When you upgrade to Windows 10 will not require a key, and after completion you will be a fully functional, licensed copy the new operating system.
Here is the place for one important explanation: if you have a home edition of Windows 7 or 8.1 for one language, then after updating you will have a Home version, but only Windows 10. Accordingly, Windows 7/8 Pro transformed into Windows 10 Pro.
If you insist on installing from scratch after the upgrade is complete, open the Settings app, go to «Update & security» — > «Restore» and reset the operating system («Return the computer to its original state»). This operation is familiar to users of Windows 8 since it debuted in it. In practice, the reset completely replaces the traditional reinstallation, which consists in using the installation media and format the disk.
More traditionally-minded people can download the image file (ISO) system and write it to external media – DVD or USB flash drive. Then, if you want, you can boot the computer and perform a clean installation (however I’m not certain that in this case you fly off activation) or use it for maintenance purposes and restoring Windows 10 in case of any problems.
As mentioned, Microsoft has tried to make the transition to Windows 10 is very smooth and unproblematic. However, problems and difficulties are not excluded. So, if you are using a computer for mission-critical applications and store it with valuable information before you begin the upgrade process, back up all files on the reliable external media.
Besides, I don’t suggest you to «jump into the pool with his head». Windows 10 has a lot in common with Windows 7 and especially Windows 8, but also contains a number of innovations from the point of view of interface options and system functions. So if you are not an advanced user, it’s a good idea if you first get acquainted with them: updated menu «start», new Edge browser instead of Internet Explorer, the so-called universal apps, virtual desktops and integrated options for search, including voice assistant Cortana.
For us Russian users, the latter is unlikely to be of particular interest, at least at first. Currently Cortana does not support a localized version of Windows 10 and «does not understand» Russian language, so if during the installation process you choose the local regional settings, it just will not be active and will not be available in the search box.
In that case, if English or one of the other supported languages, you are, of course, you can try exciting new features voice navigation and search. You just need to change the regional settings in the system settings. It is better to choose a region of the United States or great Britain.
And until you understand the new system, you will notice that many of the normal parameters now in new places and with new names. Users of Windows 8, many things will seem familiar, but if you were using Windows 7, be prepared to devote a little more time to understand the organization and principles of work in the new interface.