General discussion

How was your move from Windows 7 to 10? Painful or easy?

Dec 13, 2019 2:51PM PST

Hi friends, how are people experiencing moving from Windows 7 to Windows 10? I'm an IT idiot and rather dreading it! I found Windows XP Pro fine and have struggled since I bought a new PC with Windows 7 preinstalled. It would be lovely to hear how others found the move. Thank you!

--Submitted by Geoff B.

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Why the sudden “changes” in operating systems?
Dec 13, 2019 6:52PM PST

I tried “10”, but stuck with 7. I’ve been using Windows for over 30 years. I never understood why they would change the “front end“ without offerings way to still Süchte old front end. I get used to something and they want to change it, decrease my efficiency, and waste time learning something all over again. We should be given choices to keep the old, and slowly explore, and migrate or not. Forcing us to migrate is just ridiculous. You would have thought, after all these years, they. would have learned? I don’t mind spending the money upgrading, I just warpten to spend the time to learn how to navigate in a different way..yet again. Type a letter, look at my pictures, run a spreadsheet, open a browser, find a file....and be stable. Simple?

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Changes are part of life and needed.
Dec 14, 2019 8:38AM PST

In the tech world it's even more true than in nature.
The hardware change. The treats change and evolve. Old technology get phased out.

None of the front end change are ever arbitrary. They reflect the changes in our society.
If the look and feel of Windows where to stay unchanged since Windows 1, we never had Windows 95, as it would have disappeared well before that.

By the way, there are accessories that you can install that can give you the look and feel of any previous version of Windows. You can make Windows 10 look, feel and mostly act like Windows 95...

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Most changes are bad.
Dec 20, 2019 6:24PM PST

Most mutated creatures and plants end up dying without reproducing. I will stick with the tried and true.

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Dec 20, 2019 8:42PM PST

It would be nice if you would provide some links to some of these things.

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You CAN retain the Windows 7 look and feel
Dec 15, 2019 6:52AM PST

The actual upgrade process isn't bad, but it can be time consuming. It usually takes multiple rounds of downloading and installing updates, so be prepared to spend a couple of hours on it. However, unless you're running third-party antivirus, firewall or encryption software, it should proceed smoothly. I always switch the antivirus to Windows Defender before doing upgrades and decrypt any encrypted drives. I've done a half dozen upgrades in the past month and they all went smoothly if I followed the suggestions above.

As for the look and feel, the first thing to do is download and install Open Shell (formerly Classic Shell), which is free. It gives you a Windows 7-style Start menu again. It also hides of most of the Windows 10 "Playskool" interface (the stupid tiles and crap), though you can still access them through "Apps" on the startup menu. It provides options for Windows Explorer, too. Overall, you can retain enough of the Win7 interface that you'll immediately feel comfortable with it.

I use Open Shell on all four of my own Win10 machines and have installed it for multiple friends that I upgraded or who bought new Win10 machines and hated the interface.

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Classic Shell
Dec 20, 2019 5:34PM PST

The way to go
10 is designed for touchscreens not mouse 'n keyboard

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Classic Shell is now Open Shell
Dec 21, 2019 5:46AM PST

The original developer stopped updating it and it has been taken over by a volunteer developer ground and renamed. It's the same great product.

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Hoo Rah For Classic Shell
Dec 21, 2019 10:24AM PST

I was very disappointed with the look and feel of Windows 10 and I would have never upgraded to it. Classic Shell saved the day, it has the same feel and look as Windows XP (Hoo Rah). Microsoft doesn't seem to understand that there are users like me that prefer the look and feel of Windows starting with NT4. Not everybody has a computer / tablet with a touch screen. MS are you listening? Offer an alternative interface!

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The touchscreen can be turned off...
Dec 22, 2019 12:12AM PST

I was searching for a Win 10 laptop this week. I was able to find a way to enlarge and color my pointer. But the big discovery was finding out how to Disable the Touchscreen. Just dig through the Help/Search file for things you'd like to do to 10 to make things easier for yourself. This is part of my research before deciding if I'm going to make the jump to 10.

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windows 7
Dec 22, 2019 10:27PM PST

windows 7 is more easy if you use in pc and laptop.

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Open Shell is great
Jan 6, 2020 10:55PM PST

Open Shell helps a lot. I'm really not used to the Windows 10 interface.

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Most likely because of end of support for Windows 7
Dec 20, 2019 2:25AM PST
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If You're Happy Then Stick With Win 7
Dec 20, 2019 6:08PM PST

Use a good, secure browser and anti-malware. Example: Avast free version anti-malware/anti-virus includes their own more secure version of Chrome browser. We've used Avast successfully for several years at home. Their premium version can include extra protection if desired for about $20/year as I recall. Other brands offer similar coverage, too. Many people like Norton or AVG.
Invest in an external hard drive. A WD My Passport 2TB model might be a good choice. It's small, portable, fits in your pocket or a desk drawer. Plug its USB cable into your computer whenever you want and make a system image backup. Then unplug the drive and put it away until next time. If disaster strikes your system restore it from the full backup you saved on the external drive.
These simple methods should keep you going on Win 7 for a long time to come.
As for learning a new system, I was able to handle all the basics you mentioned within a day or so on Windows 10, no problem. Getting used to other stuff took longer but it wasn't really a problem. I tried a so-called user-friendly version of Linux a couple of years ago. It was more annoying to learn than Windows 10.
P.S. If you have a spare hard drive inside the computer you could use it for saving full backups. Just open the computer case and unplug the little data cable from the end of the drive after you make a backup. Reconnect it (carefully, of course) next time you want to do a fresh backup. And, it's good to keep your two most recent backups in case of an unforeseen glitch.

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Have to disagree
Dec 20, 2019 6:23PM PST

Lots of advice I disagree with in this post.

First, running an old OS is a security risk. Even with A/V and an up-to-date browser. The bad guys find fundamental flaws in the OS network code and bypass the other protections.

Also, manual backups are backups that get done for a coupla months, and then fall out of habit. Also, plugging in a drive for a backup makes it vulnerable to malware and ransomware during the time it's plugged in. You may find that your backup is as corrupted as your main disk.

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Have to Agree with MightyDrakeC
Dec 20, 2019 9:27PM PST

Continuing to use Windows 7 places all other computers on your network at risk - not just the old Window 7 system. Security is more complicated now. For example, even if you air-gap your old Windows 7 system, APTs can stay dormant on your computer for months or years before being activated. With no security updates, there is no way to close the OS holes they exploit.

Additionally, state-sponsored hackers (Russia, China, Iran) know that the election systems for some US counties are still on Windows 7 and (regardless of the fact that Microsoft has said they will support those systems) you can bet that there is already some sophisticated malware targeted for this opportunity. Like Stuxnet, this will get out into the wild. So there is no reason not to expect that any Windows 7 system out there may get infected.

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You're such a pessimist!
Dec 21, 2019 4:45PM PST

Sure, if what you say is true then the tens of millions of Windows 7 users around the world are DOOMED, if not today then surely very soon. They said that about Windows XP, too, but amazingly millions of users around the world still use XP without the system being being trashed.
I never suggested that everyone should stick with 7. I said you can if you take precautions.
Your claim of new backups being corrupted even if a removeable hard drive is used presupposes that the user has not protected his system and has failed to do thorough anti-malware scans prior to backing up.
If you insist upon invoking worst-case-scenario outcomes then I suggest that NOTHING you or anyone else can do will prevent intrusion,corruption, or dire losses. I can see you now standing on the curb looking left then looking right before crossing the street, but you get run over by someone who chooses to run a red light. NOTHING will protect you from every possible danger in this world.
I suggested a reasonable approach for the cautious user, not a guaranteed failsafe method .... because there is no such thing.

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Dec 21, 2019 9:51AM PST

You don't need to unplug your external drive if you just power it down. That's how I've been storing images of my boot/C drive. Also, you can go into the bios and disable any internal storage drive to keep it safe. The system boots without knowing it's there. That way, there's no need to open the case and mess with cables. I stored an internal backup on a friends computer that way to keep his young kids from messing w/ that drive.

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Or You Can Simply Unplug It
Dec 23, 2019 11:47AM PST
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Windows and Computers far better today with Windows 10
Dec 20, 2019 10:38PM PST

Seriously? If we adopted grimccready's view, then we'd all be back in MS-DOS using WordStar and Lotus 1-2-3 - and cursing our computers for all their limitations.

I've been using PCs since 1983 when a friend convinced me to get a C/PM computer because MS-DOS was invented by some kids in a garage and it would never go anywhere. Bad advice; as bad as the idea that we should just leave well enough alone and stick with Windows 7 or even Windows XP. Well, they were both pretty lousy operating systems compared to today's Windows 10 which is much more stable, more forgiving, faster, and more fun to use than any of its predecessors. If you, like me, don't care for the new Start Menu, just spend $4,99 for Start10 which will let you restore a Windows 7 style Start Menu ( - free 30-day trial). And for heaven's sake, get Office 365 which is far easier to use and so much more advanced than Office 2010 or 2013. Any society that doesn't grow and advance stultifies and deteriorates. Trust me, there was nothing good about growing up in the "good ol' days" of the 1950s. And the same goes for computer software and hardware. It just keeps getting better and better (except for social media and the 24-hour news cycle which have become plagues upon decency and humanity).

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Nothing Good About the Good Ol' Days, Huh?
Dec 29, 2019 10:57AM PST

" Trust me, there was nothing good about growing up in the "good ol' days" of the 1950s. "

Well, let's see. We had hot and cold running water, indoor bathtubs, showers and toilets, polite manners, respect for elders, good education, safe streets for us kids, live TV drama, rock & roll, jazz, blues, and some of the finest classical musicians in concert live on both radio and TV. For most of the decade we weren't at war. Food was safe to eat with no e-coli outbreaks, and my granddad could fix almost anything that got broken. Newspapers mostly reported the facts, books and magazines offered a world of culture, entertainment, and education. What's more, 98% of us did it without computers. Yup, at least in these ways those were the good ol' days. Now, where did I put my sliderule?

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Do you remember these.....???
Dec 30, 2019 5:04PM PST
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Long ago.
Dec 30, 2019 5:17PM PST

Somewhere in Tujunga.

The drive up with the trays was an A&W.

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Nice Building
Dec 30, 2019 7:57PM PST

But I've worked on computers larger than that building.

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Sure Do ... Almost!
Jan 5, 2020 11:57PM PST

Can remember everything in that video except for knickers-down-to-your-knees, or whatever the exact description was. Drive-in restaurants were always fun. Sometimes the carhops (waitresses) even wore roller skates. Hula hoops were silly but fun, public swimming pools were safe, and we all liked Ike.

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Used to Win10 now
Dec 13, 2019 7:22PM PST

I liked XP just fine. Got used to 7 and used for years. Tried 8 and did not like, Tried 8.1 and liked better. Liked Win10 (waited a while before loading it) better than the 8's so did not go back to 7 on most computers but kept 7 on 2. I did not have any major problems with Win10 except on one computer which was a Lenovo. My Dells and custom builts were fine. When the newer version of Win10 arrived I managed to destroy a Samsung laptop. Not sure truly if that was Win10 or me. Since it gave me an excuse to get a nifty new thin and light laptop I did. That was my first computer with Win10 factory loaded. I have no problems with it. There is a lot to get used to with the various changes - none of which as far as I can tell seemed really needed. It has been a long trail from Win 3.1 which is where I started. I am usually at least a year behind before I change OSs. Want others to get all those bugs found. So all in all I think you should be ok moving to Win10. You just have to steel yourself that there will be a learning curve and you will probably have a few bad words to say as you get used to it.

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Legacy games are mostly affected
Dec 13, 2019 7:24PM PST

Certain games like Fallout 3 don't work on my two computers with Windows 10 or Win 8.1. I have heard that other legacy games don't work as well. Much older DOS games with DOSBox sometimes work but not all of them. As to Fallout 3, someone on Galaxy of Games (GoG) responded to me and said that Net Framework 2.0 needs to be installed for FO3 to work. I am reluctant to try because I don't know what will happen to Win 10 if I do that. These are the kinds of problems you will face.

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Off topic: .NET 2.0
Dec 20, 2019 6:02PM PST

You're safe installing an older .NET. The different versions are designed to work alongside each other. There's a utility you can download that tells you which versions of .NET are on your machine. Chances are, you already have 3.0, 4.0 and 4.6 installed right now. Adding 2.0 won't hurt anything.

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Dec 21, 2019 10:02AM PST

If you have the inclination, try running a virtual machine w/ Win7 inside Win10 and install those older games there. I know that older programs work fine that way but games are more demanding. You'd think people should have tried this already. Scour the net for some results.

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"The Move" from a computer repair tech's point of view.
Dec 13, 2019 8:30PM PST

Being a tech I've performed a lot of upgrades in various versions. One of my personal upgrades ended up becoming a nightmare because of hardware. The Achillies heel on laptops is their pretty much "fixed" hardware. I have a laptop that when I got it I was able to immediately upgrade from Windows 7 to 8. The problem happened years later when I tried to upgrade to 10. The laptop manufacturer was promising up and down that I would be able to upgrade. Finally when Microsoft opened up 10, the upgrade failed. Weeks later I received a notice that the graphics card manufacturer decided not to make a windows 10 driver for the built in graphics. Due to my work and security this pretty much shelved this laptop as far as Windows was concerned. Eventually though I decided to take the dive and explore linux and installed it on that laptop. It's working out okay now.

Drivers are the usually the villain in most upgrade horror stories. I have had a few where the upgrade process stressed the hardware enough that it broke. I have also had an upgrade that was nearly impossible due to "price point" it was a tablet I was trying to upgrade. In trying to optimize screen size, memory, drive space and price point, something had to give. I was eventually able to upgrade the tablet. It took an on-the-go cable, external power and a USB drive to do it because there wasn't enough drive space on the laptop to download the upgrade software and still install it.

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I Agree, Hardware is Something to Watch
Dec 14, 2019 12:24AM PST

I have an old netbook. It runs only XP and, can run a Win 7 sampler. Beyond that, there are no drivers for any OS other than those. Not a thing I can do. Also, some older Pentium processors are not supported. So, if you want to do this right, you need to research the hardware that you have with the Win 10 HCL. This becomes more important if the Win 7 computer was originally shipped with an even OLDER OS. When my tax prep applications would not load on XP, I went out and found a great system for about $500 (plus a few hundred more in software and upgrades). Remember that laptops have more "custom" hardware than desktops (pads, displays, etc.) so they are even more sensitive to driver issues. I would avoid using MS drivers and go with OEM drivers. Eith the computer manufacturer (Dell, HP, etc.) or the component OEM (Logitech, NVIDIA, etc). Plan on whether or not you are going to go with 64-bit OS so you can make sure everything matches.

But, honestly, take a trip over to your local computer store (Best Buy, Fry's, etc.) and see what systems are "on sale". It might be a lot easier than trying to upgrade and see what apps work and which don't or if your old hardware is still supported. Just my opinion. All "new" just seems cleaner and you have the old system to fall back on if something goes wrong. But, if you do go the upgrade route, have really good backups! Ones where you can do a bare metal restore, if need be.

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