2015-07-31

Windows 10: the first impression

Since my computer had been refusing to update itself from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1, I was about to give up any hope of updating to Windows 10 in the foreseeable future, as this upgrade required Windows 8.1 as a precondition. But early on July 29, the very day when Windows 10 was supposed to be released officially, I stumbled upon a page on Windows 10 Media Creation Tool on the website of Microsoft itself. This tool also allows users of Windows 8 who had technical problems in migrating to Windows 8.1 to upgrade to Windows 10 for free and without waiting. So I decided to jump at this generous, but hidden, offer from Microsoft.

It was a breeze to install Windows 10 using this tool. It took me only a couple of hours to do so. All my software programs that worked on Windows 8 also seemed to be working on Windows 10, until I found that one keyboard layout manager to modify Windows keyboard was not working anymore. After I tried to upload my customized keyboard files, the system crashed. This nightmare happened one day after I migrated to Windows 10. I tried every conceivable solution to fix this problem. But unfortunately, nothing helped, and I had no choice but to try the only seeming solution that still remained I didn't want to try - resetting my computer (while keeping all the personal data intact). I spent a whole day on the following day reinstalling (and recustomizing) about 100 software programs I had before this crash that were erased in the process of this resetting. The only consolation for this waste of time is that now I have a cleaner system with no leftovers of already uninstalled programs and other things I'm not sure about. This way the usage of my SSD shrank by almost 50 GB!

The first change one notices immediately in Windows 10 is the return of the Start menu, though it's not the same as that of Windows 7. So the first thing I did when I installed Windows 10 was to install Start10, a ridiculously cheap but super-useful tweaking tool for restoring the Windows 7 Start menu, just as I installed itse predecessor Start8 for Windows 8. I consider this the single most important program for any user of Windows 10 who prefers typing to touching. Another thing that impressed me is that Windows 10 starts up even faster than Windows 8.

Windows 10 isn't, however, free from problems, and they are actually the same ones inherited from Windows 8. When I encountered them while still using Windows 8, I was stupid enough not to write down the solutions I found. So I had to look for them on the web from scratch. But this time I wrote them down in a plain text file for myself and probably for others, too. Here are the main nuisances and their solutions:

  • Don't display the lock screen at the startup: Local Group Policy Editor (available only on Windows Pro) > Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Control Panel > Personalization > Do not display the lock screen: Enabled
  • Don't show OneDrive in File Explorer: Local Group Policy Editor > Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > OneDrive > Prevent the usage of OneDrive for file storage: Enabled
  • Don't forget folder view settings: Registry Editor > HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell > In the right side pane right click > New > DWORD (32-bit) Value > Name it BagMRU Size > Right click BagMRU Size > Click Modify > Select Decimal and type, let's say, 10000
  • Apply the customized view of a folder to all the other folders of the same type: File Explorer > View > Options > Change folder and search options > View > Folder views: Apply to Folders
  • Do not combine taskbar buttons: Control Panel > Taskbar and Navigation > Taskbar buttons: Never combine

All in all I'm very satisfied with this latest version of Windows and strongly recommend users of Windows 8, if not of Windows 7, to consider Microsoft's free offer to upgrade to Windows 10.