Recovering from a Windows 10 nightmare…

November 27, 2015

On a warm Thanksgiving Day I let an attitude of “what the hell, let’s do this” overwhelm my better judgement and I upgraded my main computer from Windows 7 to Windows 10. The process seemed to go smoothly, but it took quite a while. Finally the installation finished and I was off and running on Windows 10, or so it seemed.  Everything ran slowly and many things seem to hang forever before they would even start. OK, I said, I’ll have to get used to things being a little slower, but maybe the benefits will outweigh that drawback.

Mind you, I don’t have an ancient and under powered system. It is a Dual Core I5 HP Pavilion dv6 Notebook, with 8 GB of memory, fairly good integrated graphics and an 800GB disk drive.  Yet that was no match for the bloat that Windows 10 threw at it. It was like one of those nightmares one gets where you appear to be running in wet concrete (remember thatFreddie Cruggerscene on the stairs of the original movie Nightmare on Elm Street?)

The big moment of realization and panic that I had made a bad decision came when I tried to open my Windows Live Mail. It doesn’t work under Windows 10, at least not without going through a bunch of repair work on the Registry and who knows what else.  I read several posts at various sites with recommendations for the fix and even got started into it before I encountered another little Microsoft gotcha – one has to buy RegEdit Pro from a Microsoft partner in order  to fix a problem that Microsoft created with the upgrade. No way!

panicWindows Live Mail is what I use to run my real estate business  and all of my old real estate deal email files were now unavailable to me (the use of Windows Live Mail is a problem of my own making that I need to address). Admittedly it was also my own fault for not doing more research into what issue and problems come with this upgrade. Every few years I forget how Microsoft operates and how little they seem to care about the disruption that things like their upgrades and updates often cause.

At least I had the presence of mind to do a complete image backup just prior to doing the Upgrade, so I thought that I’d be able to recover off that backup. That requires that I be able to boot the system off the DVD drive. Apparently the upgrade takes that out of play too, since the system just kept booting off the main drive, even with the recovery disk loaded in the DVD drive.  I was envisioning having to take my system into a repair shop, along with the backup drive to get the image reinstalled when I tried the Web forums one more time for advice on uninstalling Windows 10. I have to say that the ability to Recover back to the old Window 7 was the best thing that I encountered in Windows 10. It worked and I am back in business.

Usually, when I go off on a rant about the problems or pain that Microsoft whining childsoftware or its upgrades and updates has caused me some tech person from Microsoft will email me or comment on my post to tell me that I should have done this or that to fix the problem. My reply is that I should not have had the problem in the first place. There should be clear warnings as part of the upgrade process that let users know that various things that worked for them under their old operating system version likely won’t work after the upgrade. The upgrade does say that all of the files will still be there and that most applications will still work; but there is no guidance on apps known not to work after the upgrade.

If something as important as email is likely to be impacted, then some guidance and help on how to extract and save files of emails and contacts would seem to be in order.  If a new Mail system is installed as part of the upgrade, then there needs to be a clear mechanism to extract and recover emailfolders files and contacts from the old system (perhaps along with calendar information), since those files are still there – maybe even a Wizard to help. Telling me after the fact how I can work some more to recover from a problem that your update or upgrade caused doesn’t cut it. That is not productive use of my time.

I’m back on Windows 7 and will stay there until I’m forced to buy a new computer in a few years. I just want my apps to work, my email to work and my browser to work.  I am not at all concerned about not having the latest operating system bells and whistles. I’ve upgraded my iPad and my iPhone through at least two major IOS releases and never had a problem like this. Maybe there’s a message there. When it is time to upgrade my computer I’ll have to think about the OS; but, until then, I’d rather not waste any more time on it and certainly not on Windows 10.

OK, I feel better now.

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