Windows 10

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The latest update for Windows 10, due in March 2019 has been delayed due to a bug, which randomly allocates different letters to attached hard drives.  One notice I saw tells how to delay its eventual automatic installation.  :

If you’re on Windows 10 Pro, you can “pause” feature updates in the Windows Update section of the settings app. It’s not permanent, but it does buy you up to 35 days before the update is required. If you’re running Windows 10 Home, you can attempt to disable Windows Update, but that technique has a simple problem: it seems to undo itself after “a while”. If you’re not vigilant, you could end up with the update anyway.

I received a note from Microsoft about a possible update.  It suggested that, if I wished to unsubscribe from these confusing notices I could do so by click one of two suggested links.  The first did not respond. The second actually returned a 404 page not found !

2019 Microsoft just overtook Amazon as the richest company in the world.  Is it due to being the author of the most widely used operation system in the world ?  I suppose it could be the case but actually it is mainly due to their latest revenue stream : They have changed the payment method for the most popular Office Suite to an annual fee, which runs on both PCs and Apples.

Microsoft is determined to make Windows 10 the definitive Windows and will stop automatic updates for previous versions from 2020, even suggesting that they may charge.
In my opinion Windows, with its 30 year development, has become so complicated (and is written for so many different types of equipment) that it is almost BOUND to be slow and 'flakey', even on the latest equipment. If you don't believe me, take a look at what is going on in the background every time you turn it on: Press Ctl + Shift + Esc to see the Task Manager. Under the heading Processes, count down, using the down arrow.  Under that heading my laptop had 160 items. Under the heading Details there were even more.  Under the heading Services there were over 300.  Many of the titles appear in all three columns but I would warn against interfering with any of them ! Is it surprising that the processor has difficulty using all these files and processes on top of something called a Register which is a mile long text file whose job it is to point to all these things in the right order !
And yet Microsoft keeps trying to make the OS smarter by bringing in extra facilities. It is no wonder that even the smallest update is followed by another correcting the weaknesses of the first.  But Windows remains the major Operating System in the world, upon which so much depends.
So, can we find a better solution ? It seems unlikely in the near future. See this summary by Bob Rankin:

I just hope that, one day, Microsoft will issue a simplified version which will enable people to get on with their word procesing, spreadsheets and communication !

Windows 10 Password
 Microsoft was keen to make Windows 10 more secure, especially for people who leave their laptop on trains and in taxis !  So they insisted you enter a password at startup. To confuse you (as they do) they insisted that it was the password for your Microsoft e-mail (interpret that as the password for Outlook, Hotmail or one of their other discarded e-mail programs). If you haven't got one, you had better get one. But computers are slow enough to start up without having to watch it until you can enter you password. So.. if you are happy to have a slightly less secure home-based computer you will probably like to know how to start it without a password.  See the PCAdvisor instructions HERE  It isn't very difficult.  But I have to admit that I had to go round the houses a couple of times before I got rid of the password. Get back to me if that happens to you. Mind you, if you let your PC go to sleep, you may be asked for the password again. What a pain.

Bob Rankin also shows you how to reset the Windows 10 password at :

The latest Windows Upates

As of March 2019 the latest BIG update is September 2018 (named 1809). In fact it was buggy and was updated in October 2018.
Only the Pro versions of Windows 10 can defer updates. (Home Edition users cannot ). The update number refers to the month and year of the update.
But if you have not updated to the last major update, then the next one will not be delivered to you, and you will not be able to install it manually.So, it is important to have Version 1709, else Version 1803 will not install and so on.
You can find which version you have by typing 'Winver' in the search box. If you have had problems see Microsoft's Download Windows 10 page.
Should you defer major updates if your Edition of Windows 10 permits it?
It depends on how well Version 1709 is serving you right now. Bob's 'How-To Geek' page has an exhaustive (and exhausting) review of all new features coming in Version 1803. It includes “Easy Wireless File Sharing” and a new app called “Diagnostic Data Viewer” which shows exactly what data Win 10 is transmitting back to Microsoft;  “Quick Pairing for Bluetooth Devices” should have been here long ago. “Progressive Web Apps” will run in their own windows, have their own taskbar shortcuts, and generally behave as desktop apps should; unfortunately, they work only with the Edge browser. But PWA is a new standard for apps that Google, Mozilla, Microsoft, and even Apple are supporting, so it’s something we had better get used to.
Better user control over the permissions granted to apps is a welcome security feature. So is the improved “don’t let apps use my webcam” option. The HomeGroup concept is gone with Version 1803. Sharing files, printers, and other resources with a group of known or unknown users is better done with cloud storage and other modern solutions.

I have automatic updates set on on my Windows 10 laptop and it said the latest big 'roll-up' update had been completed. A friend did it 'manually' and it appeared to reboot many times before it was complete.
Some people have had problems with Microsoft updates. It is true that they are often followed up with corrections when they have received feedback. In future, Microsoft  is to offer Windows 10 update 'snoozes'. It says that people will be able to choose a time to activate updates and reboots. But this is NOT an option for Home Edition users

When attempting to install the 2018 update on an Asus laptop I had some difficulty.  The update demands at least 8Gb of space.  The little laptop had less than that out of a 30gb solid hard disk.  So it failed. I spent an age taking off every unnecessary file until, at last, the update installed.  The laptop then had a mere 3Gb space left!  Rooting around I found that the update had left the old version on there (presumably in case you decided to go back).  With so little space I decided it was better to remove the old versions and looked it up.  It said:

  1. Step 1: Click in Windows' search field, type Cleanup, then click Disk Cleanup.
  2. Step 2: Click the "Clean up system files" button.
  3. Step 3: Wait a bit while Windows scans for files, then scroll down the list until you see "Previous Windows installation(s)."

    After it removed all old versions the laptop had a respectable 14Gb of space
    It is possible that Microsoft would remove old versions eventually but I didn't want to sell the laptop with such a meager amount of space.

Know you Virtual Reality from your Augmented or Mixed Reality ?
Microsoft updated Windows 10 in October 2017 so that the latest generation of Windows 10 hardware devices and software can tap into augmented and virtual reality technologies. With the software upgrade, its fourth, Microsoft also announced plans by computer and virtual-reality headset makers to introduce new hardware for businesses, consumers and video gamers to take advantage of so-called “mixed reality” features in the October software release.

Mixed reality is the term Microsoft uses to describe software that covers both augmented and virtual reality (VR).

Augmented reality overlays text, sounds, graphics and video on real-world images that users actually see in front of them, while virtual reality creates entirely computer-generated worlds

The multimedia content can be viewed on computers, TV displays, smartphones, tablets or, in the case of virtual reality, on dedicated goggles. Microsoft plans to target these features first at advanced video game players using VR headsets, with business applications to follow, officials said.
Microsoft’s push comes as the U.S. tech giants - Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Apple and Facebook, along with China’s Baidu - increasingly battle to make augmented reality, together with artificial intelligence and cloud-based services, into the next computer platform.
As well as gaming and entertainment there will be applications for communications, manufacturing, fitness, health and retail.

Microsoft  has moved to a roughly six-month release cycle for feature updates of Windows from its three-year release cycle for disk-based versions of its operating system software.

The company also announced a range of devices from key hardware partners ready to take advantage of mixed reality features in the Windows 10 update available in mid-October from vendors including Lenovo, HP Inc, Dell, Acer, Asus and Fujitsu.
Microsoft’s new software release shrinks the laborious set-up of VR headsets for users to around 10 minutes, down from two to three hours (!) now and helps cut the costs of headsets, in a step towards making such technology more mainstream.

Other new Windows 10 features include a refreshed Photos app and the capacity to save files up to the cloud using Microsoft’s OneDrive service, without consuming local storage space. Win10 will also offer “Game Mode”, which allows video gamers to devote the full processing power of their computers to what they are playing, as if it was an Xbox game console, the company said.

Spring 2017 People have been objecting to the amount of information Microsoft is obtaining about users of Windows 10. A massive update (4gb!) was scheduled for some time in the Spring (17). This included a screen like this
Windows 10 Privacy settings

This will give you the opportunity opt out of various aspects of the OS.  Can't come soon enough.

Historically this was the sort of problem people have found:
September 2016
Microsoft have issued two updates in rapid succession.  Users found that the first stopped their web camera working.  The second stopped their PC working ! Mine went fine but there are many different machines out there.  on the differences in Windows 10. However, one feature, "Windows Hello",  is unlikely to be available until you have very sophisticated equipment.  The idea is to be able to avoid yet another pesky password by allowing you to sign in by recognising your fingerprint, iris or face. The first require a fingerprint reader, the second and third require a 3-D depth webcam, such as the Intel Realsense camera. And I just want to avoid a password altogether.  
So, if you are sure no-one is likely to get at your computer, you CAN remove it from Startup.  Tap in the word Netplwiz at Start (bottom left of the first screen).  Click it  and press the Enter key to run this program.  Next you will see User Accounts. Click on the name you use (should say Administrator). and UNTICK the box which says "Users must enter a user name  and password to use this computer"  You will be asked to enter the password you have been using and repeat that below.  Click Apply and OK.
EXCEPT in my case the little box was already empty ! But I was still having to enter a password.  SO... I  clicked the empty box, restarted the PC and went through the same rigmarole all over again, this time  unticking the box and restarting the machine :((  At long last I was able to start the thing without a password.

June 2016
 I installed Windows 10 on a laptop.  My troubles have just begun.  See below.

After more than half a year of teaching people that the only way to say “no thanks” to Windows 10 is to exit the GWX application—and refusing to allow users to disable the pop-up in any obvious manner, so they had to press that over and over again during those six months to the point that most people probably just click it without reading now. just made it so that very behavior accepts the Windows 10 upgrade instead, rather than canceling it. More on this theme from guru Leo Even more reason for people, who prefer to stick with Windows 7, to install GWXControl Panel.
August 2016
 Now the date for free update to Windows 10 has passed can you uninstall the GWX Control Panel which Leo (and I) recommended to stop the Microsoft's nagging?
But I gather Microsoft has given up being so pushy about Windows 10, so the GWX Control Panel device may not longer be required.

Leo seems to have it in for Windows 10.  He is suggesting ways of delaying Microsoft's Annual Updates  if in fact you have not already received them.

In this video on Youtube Leo clearly expresses doubt about the wisdom of doing this in view of the tricks that Microsoft has pulled in the past
In fact I just set up a Windows 7 PC for someone.  It went like a dream (not a nightmare) instantly installing the drivers for their webcam, sound, Skype and scanner+printer. So I added GWX Control panel as a matter of course, so they wont be bothered by Microsoft.  You can always take it off if/when you want to 'upgrade' to 10. And you can still get a fast refurbished Windows 7 Pro desktop for around 100. See Ebay.

My latest frustration: Password mania !
Having installed Windows 10 on a laptop and having accessed it many times with a password (which I would prefer not to have to use) I have now been repeatedly refused access due to an incorrect password.  The screen says I can always change it by going to HOW ? if I cannot access the machine. I KNOW I am using the correct password. And I am NOT using capitals.  Argh! what a program.  I now have an inaccessible laptop.  Fortunately I have two other pieces of hardware with SANE software!  :{{{  
So, I then restarted the laptop. On restarting it announced that it was the wrong password before I touched it.  But this time the same password let me in ! The clue : "", above, indicates that it is a Microsoft password that they are after.  To confuse us all, this can be, or (or!)  I happen to know that one ! Someone said "Never write down you passwords"  Who are they kidding ?!

Now and then, when I am trying to use Windows 10,  it says that my old e-mail program with NTLworld has the wrong password.  So, I went directly to My Account in Virgin and enter my password, which it accepts.  I amend it just in case someone has hacked it and return to where I was in Windows 10.  This time, on getting the message that I have the wrong password I click 'Forgotten password ?'.  A message is sent to my NTL email suggesting how I change my VIRGIN CLOUD password (which I already know!!).  So the password error is nothing to do with my NTL e-mail account  But that was not clear. Ah! found it written small at the top of that section. Mia culpa.
Same day, yet another frustration.  Simple soul that I am I used to like playing Spider Solitaire. Perhaps I should install it on the laptop while I am waiting for the desktop to go through one of its lengthy downloads, like iTunes.  Fools that they are they dropped Spider Solitaire from Windows 8.  There are versions but they alternately try and get you to play other games.  What a pain.

My early reactions
When I went to install Windows 10 on my laptop I was concerned because it did not seem to be downloading anything. The percentage stayed resolutely  zero.  After 30 minutes I thought it had failed and  switched off.
On restarting the PC later that day, I went to click on a program and the laptop announced it was closing.  But then  it announced that it was installing Windows 10 and not to switch off. It then continued to install various things and announced the percentage it had completed. After that I just left it to its own devices and it continued to the end of the process, with various reboots and warnings not to switch off.  I returned to the laptop after several hours and after a few preliminary announcements my desktop looks almost the same as when it was running under Windows 7 except that some of the shortcut items had changed. Web page items now had the Internet Explorer icon instead of a Google version. Also everything is tiny and overflowing the much reduced screen space.  It took me a week to discover how to cure this (increase the resolution from the minimum to the maximum, as it had been before the 'upgrade'.

n.b. If this is a common problem, right click on the screen. Click Display settings. Ignore Change the size of text etc and go down to  'Advanced Display settings'.  This is hidden lower down the screen..  There you can change the resolution (back) to what is recommended, and click Apply. Back out by clicking X and your screen should be more to your liking

I was able to get a 'normal' desktop screen by clicking start but when I began to use it, the changes under the hood became apparent.....

Clicking the Start icon (now a 'window pane') revealed a Windows 8.1 style set of items in square boxes.
It is headed 'Life at a glance' and has a Calendar; Mail (it strangely says 'We speak Yahoo'); Microsoft Edge; Phone companion; Twitter; Store (has social media and games)  Skype video; a colourful box which was initially suggesting Candy Crush but seems to be where one gets downloads;

Underneath 'Play and explore' (which wanted me to sign in with an email address I don't often use), were Groove Music; which immediately suggests you Go Premium (and give them your credit card), and Movies (3.49 each) No thanks..

I then hit a problem or two.  I use an Iobit program which reports a couple of missing files, which they kindly sent me.  All I needed to do was add them to the ASC folder. But it wouldn't let me because the program loads at startup.  Ah! Easy.  Just stop it in startup.  Msconfig ? Gone!. It suggests Task Manager, Startup programs.  I find and disable all the Iobit/Asc programs and restart the machine. It loads them anyway !  I know; I saw mention of the C:prompt.  I can surely add the errant programs by going to the folder and pasting them in... I find a way to go to the C: prompt, as of old.  Instead of C: an X: appears.  But it has no sub folders.  Try C:  C shows but it has no folders either.  Exit back to Windows 10.  I then uninstall all the ASC/Iobit programs and reinstall the whole thing.  What a pain!. Later I discover that typing Powershell at startup is a better way to get into the files of the computer..

After the unpopularity of Windows 8, which sought to make the OS more suitable for touch screen use, Windows 10 is expected to be more acceptable to those people who were more used to the older Windows XP style of  'desktop' screen. The appears to be true, although you may have to find it with a couple of clicks. 

What is new in Windows 10 ?

What ISN'T in Windows 10.  Those who found DVD Maker great for making DVDs that would play on a PC as well as on their DVD Player (to a TV)  will be very disappointed as this was dropped after Windows 7.  There is no suitable alternative, although you could see what MovieMaker can do for you.

Microsoft is hoping to make the latest version of Windows the hub of many devices around the home and have been cooperating with many manufacturers to ensure that, whether they are directly  or tirelessly connected they will just work. There will be up to nine kinds of Windows 10, though some vary only slightly. Updaters will get the equivalent Windows 10 to their original Windows 7 or 8. The basic version (Home) contains support for Windows Universal Apps, the Edge browser (as well as the latest version of Internet Explorer), Windows Hello facial recognition, Fingerprint recognition software and the Voice recognition software (Cortana).  The Pro version gives you tools for linking into Cloud Services (big deal!) and managing Mobile devices. Windows 10 Enterprise is like Pro but for those buying volume licenses. It also has something called Device Guard so uncertified Apps can be locked out (by the boss). There is also a Windows 10 for Education (cheap academic volume licenses plus some extras).  Mobile users may get Windows Mobile or Mobile Enterprise (for small screens) plus a light Office suite and the ability to connect to a large screen and keyboard.  There will also be versions for ATMs, robotics and yet another for those little machines with small capacities.
Where did Safe Mode go ? Since Windows 7 Safe Mode has not been accessible by just holding down F8 at boot up. See HERE if you want to install an easier way to get to Safe Mode. Safe mode loads a basic version of Windows and can be useful if it fails to start - particularly because of some Malware interference. You can then run restore or anti malware software.

Bear in mind that in November 2015 Microsoft issued a big revision of Windows 10, called Threshold 2.  This fixed a lot of problems with Windows 10. Microsoft is streamlining activation, restoring colored window title bars, integrating Skype, and improving the Edge browser. But they’ve also added advertisements to the Start menu. It arrives through Windows Update, as will all new versions of Windows. It also introduced something called ‘connected user experiences and telemetry. It’s essentially a tracker of your activities. Microsoft has started to record your key presses and even dictation!  Some people object to this and found ways to stop this.

Windows 10 introduced ways in which the program can track your activities and report to Microsoft.
What to do if you object to this tracking of activities ?
Hold down the Windows key and press R (for Run). In the box that pops up type in 'services.msc' and press Enter. In the list that appears in the next window scroll down until you find Connected User Experiences and Telemetry and double-click it. Click Stop. Select 'Disabled' from the drop-down menu and click OK.

Alternatively, if you haven’t installed/been offered the Threshold 2 update yet, the process will be listed as 'Diagnostics Tracking Service'. The steps to remove it remain the same – simply find the process by that name instead. Your PC or laptop will have one or the other, so be sure to check. With that, you shouldn’t have to worry about Microsoft leeching your private usage data. Until the next update, that is !

Note: This does NOT mean that you cannot change your mind at a later date

Guru Bob Rankin also suggests how to stop Microsoft's nagware:

Uninstalling update KB3035583 gets rid of the “Get Windows 10” utility on most systems. To uninstall the update on Windows 7 or Windows 8 systems: Go to Control Panel, then Programs, then Programs and Features. Click on “View Installed Updates" and you will see the list of installed updates in your Windows system. Search for KB3035583, select it with the mouse, and choose “Uninstall“. If a User Account Control (UAC) dialog asks for your confirmation, click on “Yes“.
Next, you need to make sure Windows Update doesn’t install KB3035583 again. Type “windows update” in the Start menu search box and click on that phrase at the top to open Windows Update. Click “change settings” in the left-hand sidebar. Uncheck “Give me recommended updates the same way I receive important updates.” 

There is an easier way
Bob also recommends a much simpler method - a program called GWX control Panel. This is a very well written program, which I have used on two Windows 7 PCs. On one PC  it worked perfectly, disabling the persistent Microsoft 'nagware'.  Unfortunately, on the other machine it disabled All Microsoft updates, so I had to do a restore to get back to a safe situation.  This shook my confidence in the program and I recommend strongly that you only use it if you are sure you can restore. THEN CHECK YOU CAN GET UPDATES. It is still vital that you get all other Microsoft updates appropriate to your PC,

Rolling back if you don't like Windows 10  (see under re the Windows Old Folder)

Bob Rankin also gives a brief guide to rolling back to Windows 7 or 8.  It goes :

1. Open the Start Menu and click Settings (or tap it on a touch display)
2. Click or tap "Update & Security
3. In the dialog window that opens, choose "Recovery" in the left column
4. Under the entry "Go back to Windows x" (Where x is Windows 7 or 8) and tap "Get started"

And here is Leo's guide if you decide to go back:

If you decide to go back It is important to revert to the previous version within a month before Microsoft deletes the old Windows files

Is Windows 10 really free for qualifying users ? 

Leo says: Many people have inferred the “free upgrade for the first year” offer as meaning that they’ll have to start paying after that year is over, much like the Office 365 subscription, They’re concerned that they’re somehow being sneakily moved to an annual subscription where only the first year is free.  He says this is not so.

What do people find bad about Windows 10 ?

It seems that some people are not very fond of some of Windows 10 'features'  Bob Rankin suggests the following if you want to 'streamline' it:

A 'professional' game player (I know a few of those) complained that when he was playing a game against hundreds of others Windows 10 suddenly decided to install an update. He lost contact with all his opponents and was none too pleased.

 is either a helpful voice-enabled artificial intelligence assistant or an annoying busybody that listens to everything you say. Here's how to disable Cortana, if you like. Click the Start button, type Cortana, and press Enter. Click the Notebook icon in its left-hand options pane (if it's not already selected), then select Settings from the list. Slide the slider control under “Cortana can give you suggestions…” all the way left to “Off.” Now Cortana is disabled, and all locally stored data she collected about your computing habits is deleted.

If you do want to use Cortana you cannot unless you enter a Microsoft email account.  This is either the ancient (and rather dodgy) Hotmail account or the modern equivalent, called Outlook (so confusing as it is nothing to do with Outlook Express OR the paid for app, - part of the Office suite - called Outlook) So, I tried my Hotmail address, which I rarely use.  It would not accept my password.  Unfortunately it did not offer me a way of getting a new one and kept saying "I can only help you if you sign in with a Microsoft account,  Do you want to go back and sign in ?"  After three attempts I got no further and gave up. Later I found that it accepted the same password !

The Edge browser is Microsoft’s alternative to Internet Explorer, and the default browser when you first run Windows 10. It cannot be uninstalled, but you can use another browser as your default. Just download Google Chrome or Firefox, open the browser, and find the “make default” button. In Chrome, it’s near the bottom of the Settings main page. In Firefox, it’s on the General tab of the Options page. Open either Settings or Options by clicking the “three bars” icon at the top of your browser’s main screen.

Windows Defender
 is Microsoft's built-in anti-virus protection for Windows 8 and 10. It's essentially the same as the Microsoft Security Essentials tool that was available for Windows XP, Vista and 7. Third-party lab tests have found that regardless of the name, it's inferior to almost every other Internet security software available. And with so many free alternatives that do a better job of protecting you, it makes sense to turn off Defender, and leave the defending to one of the free antivirus alternatives that I recommend. Doing so will disable Defender.

OneDrive is integrated into Windows 10 to facilitate online file storage and collaboration. Storing your files in "the cloud" with Microsoft OneDrive can make life easier if you have more than one computer, if you travel, or if you want to share files with other people. But if you use a different cloud storage tool (such as Google Drive) or you have no interest in cloud storage, you can disable the OneDrive feature in Windows 10. See this guide from Microsoft to Turn off or uninstall OneDrive.

Some apps can be uninstalled easily; by “apps” I mean nagware like “Get Office,” “Get Skype,” and even the “Get Started” tutorial. “Phone Companion,” Microsoft Solitaire Collection, Money, News, and Sports are uninstallable apps, too. So are most bloatware apps installed by your computer’s maker. Just right-click on the app in the “All Apps” view of the Start menu, then select “uninstall” from the dropdown menu.

Turn it Off...

Some Microsoft apps cannot be uninstalled this way. Fortunately, these stubborn apps can be removed with Powershell (gets you to the basic machine, like CMD used to) a scripting utility built into Windows 10. Launch Powershell by typing “powershell” in the Start menu search box, right-click on the Powershell item that appears at the top of Start, and click “run as administrator” on the dropdown menu. Then copy and paste one or more of the following command lines (shown in bold below) into Powershell’s command-line window and press Enter.

When finished type Exit and press Enter

3D Builder: Get-AppxPackage *3dbuilder* | Remove-AppxPackage
Alarms and Clock: Get-AppxPackage *windowsalarms* | Remove-AppxPackage
Calculator: Get-AppxPackage *windowscalculator* | Remove-AppxPackage
Calendar and Mail: Get-AppxPackage *windowscommunicationsapps* | Remove-AppxPackage
Camera: Get-AppxPackage *windowscamera* | Remove-AppxPackage
Bing Weather: Get-AppxPackage *bing* | Remove-AppxPackage
Voice Recorder: Get-AppxPackage *soundrecorder* | Remove-AppxPackage
Xbox: Get-AppxPackage *xboxapp* | Remove-AppxPackage

I managed to do this last one by typing it exactly, even to the upper and lower case and spacing.  Otherwise it was rejected.  However, as soon as I went to try something like Spider Solitaire, the XBOX thing presented itself and, once again wanted an Outlook email password. So, Xbox is difficult to get rid of.  Whatever happens, all roads lead back to Microsoft.

Telemetry is one more thing in Windows 10 that many users would like to eliminate. In a nutshell, telemetry is the transmission of data about your uses of Windows 10 to Microsoft. A lot of misinformation and FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt) surrounds telemetry, but suffice it to say that no personally identifiable information is being sent to Microsoft HQ. Overall, I prefer to leave it on and give Microsoft automatic feedback about what my computer is doing if it crashes (telemetry’s real purpose) so MS can fix bugs.

But if you want to turn off telemetry completely and permanently, here’s how: Type “services” in the Start menu search box. Click on the “Services” app when it appears at the top of the Start menu. Stop the “Diagnostic Tracking Service” in the list of services. Set the “Diagnostic Tracking Service” to “disabled.


The first update  - called Threshold 2 (Win 10 itself was Threshold 1) - actually removed some of the favourite programs which people had added. This has caused many users to become incandescent with rage at their impertinence. Adding the programs back has not created problems., so it was not due to incompatibilities.

Windows 10, even Windows 8, lost Media Player - some sort of copyright spat. But you can get an even more versatile player if you install VLC from Videolan

One of the annoyances was the introduction of a 'Lock Screen' which greets you when you start the PC.  Just another thing you have to click before you get to use it. It can be removed but it is a rather 'techie' fix described in an article by Bob Rankin HERE but many people will go pale at the the thought of editing the register, which is what is required.

Many people ask 'What happened to the Windows 7 Photo Viewer program ? One common complaint I've heard from people who moved to Windows 10 is that they can't find their pictures. Your photo files have not moved, but the Photos app hides the “complexities” of folder names and trees by default. The app automatically catalogs every image file it finds in the C:\Users\\Pictures folder on your computer. 

If you store photos in other folders, you will have to add those folders to the Pictures folder before the Photos app will catalog them. Open the Photos app, go to Settings and under the Sources section, click Add a folder. Find the folder you want to add, select it, and click Add this folder to Pictures. The new folder will appear as a Source, complete with its original path name.

Note that if you have a Microsoft OneDrive cloud storage account, Photos will probably catalog its image contents too. If you don’t want OneDrive images to appear in Photos, go to Settings and turn off that option.

So, “Can I get Win 7’s Photo Viewer back?”
If you upgraded from Win 7 or 8.1 to Win 10, the familiar Photo Viewer is still there, hidden as an option. Here is how to make Photo Viewer your default app for viewing images instead of the Photos app:
Open File Explorer and navigate to the folder where your pictures are stored. Right-click on any image file. Move the pointer over “Open With.” Select “Choose Another App” from the dropdown menu. Click the “More apps” option. Select “Photo Viewer” from the list of apps. Click on the “Always use this app to open .___ files” checkbox to leave it checked. Then click OK.

From one of my many contacts, read on:  (A really bad result)
This is just to let you know about my very recent upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10. To my surprise, the download and installation seemed to go well at the time.  The actual upgrade/installation takes some time, with the computer automatically switching itself on and off during the process, which is apparently normal.  The only downside (at the time) seemed to be that all dates in the machine had changed to the American format (including the dates on any existing and new spreadsheets. However, within a few hours, I had to use the (HP) printer, which Windows 10 began to uninstall without any instruction from me.  Minutes later, the computer would not work.  A black screen suddenly appeared which stated, 'Missing Operating System.'
Consequently, I took the computer to the company where I purchased the machine. The staff carried out tests and confirmed that the 'C' Drive was devoid of any Operating System. NO trace of either Windows 7 or 10!!  Even the small partition (where original components are stored) had been wiped from the drive.  Windows 7 had to be re-installed - and the engineer advised me to refrain from upgrading to Windows 10 until October, when any bugs should be ironed out.  He informed me that a number of customers had complained about Windows 10 carrying out unauthorised operations.  

Sequel :  The contact complained to Microsoft in the USA.  He got a groveling apology and even the possibility of compensation !

Leo Notenboom's answer to a similar problem (complete installation failure) was  : Instead of doing the download / upgrade path that seems clearly broken for you, I would instead download the Windows 10 DVD image, burn it to a DVD, and then use that to perform the upgrade. I’ve had much better luck with this. You may need to revert to your image backup to start the process – I hope you made one. You can get a copy of Windows 10 image in ISO format from Microsoft. ** see below.

After hearing this, perhaps we should take note of Leo's warning and back up before taking this radical step. See: HERE

** As a safety measure I made a DVD of Windows 10 on DVD.  It was a very straightforward method on a Windows 7 desktop

For a precis of Leo's article on backup please refer to Help16a.htm

Other Criticisms and problems
Suggestion from the web : After I installed the automatic Windows update all of my personal documents/photos/files etc disappeared and I was unable to locate them. I tried several times to restart my laptop, use the "Recovery" feature. THEN I simply enabled the "Guest" User Account (Control Panel>Users) and restarted my laptop and everything was back to normal - all my files were exactly where I had left them.  30 people found this helpful

Some people were disappointed to be informed that, after all, their PC was not suitable because their PC did not have the right drivers e.g. Nvidia graphic card software.

Microsoft have followed the Google route of introducing advertising to a number of features. These adverts will be personalised to the user. In order to do this Microsoft will gather information about the user, including their age, sex, location and their computer use e.g. buying patterns. This has brought protests from those who value their privacy. It IS be possible to prevent Microsoft from gathering such information. But the conditions are buried in 45 pages of text, which most people will accept without reading.
Another complaint is that the company will automatically update versions of the OS. This is being done  partly for security reasons .It is well known that many people do not install the updates, some of which are created to correct security weaknesses. Users of the business versions of the OS will get the opportunity to decide when to update but others will not be able to choose the updates. If something untoward happens it would be as well to restore the PC to the time before the update..

The WHICH magazine had a look at Windows 10 on mobile phones, They called it a 'Marmite' operating system (some people hated it) and concluded that, apart from for diehard Windows users, the Apple and Google (Android) systems were better for phones

Guardian : Criticisms

The Windows.old folder 
When you upgrade to Windows 10, a folder on your complete system (called Windows.old) will be created. This folder is nothing new. It was always created if you upgraded from one version of Windows to another, starting with Windows Vista. Essentially, the Windows.old folder just contains the old Windows system. From the Windows system files to your installed programs and each user account’s settings and files, it’s all there.
The new version of Windows just keeps it around in case you’d like to go back to that older version of Windows or in case you need to dig in and find a file. But, don’t wait too long — Microsoft will automatically delete the Windows.old folder to free up space after a month.Within the month it will be easy to revert from Windows 10 to Windows 7 or 8.1. After installing Windows 10, you can open the Settings app, select Update & Security, and then select Recovery. You’ll see a “Get Started” button under Go back to Windows 7? or Go back to Windows 8.1?, depending on which version of Windows you had installed before you upgraded. Click this button and Windows will restore your old Windows operating system, using the Windows.old folder as the source. 
See more at

Other Useful Links

Initial Email from Microsoft

How to Geek blog : Should you upgrade?

Specs required for Windows 10 :

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