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Updating Windows 10 soon, should I do it myself or...?

Updating Windows 10 soon, should I do it myself or have computer technician do it?

Here's my particular question for the CNET community about arm-wrestling with Windows 10 ... I am currently on a desktop with Windows 7, but last Christmas, I bought Alienware's Aurora R7 AWAUR7 Gaming Desktop with Intel Core i7-8700 (12 MB cache, up to 4.60 GHz with Intel Turbo Boost Tech); 2TB HDD; 256GB SSD; BT 4.2; NVidia GeForce GTX 1070 with 8GB GDDR5; and Windows 10 Home, 64-bit. While I purchased this gaming desktop in Dec. 18, it was manufactured on Aug. 31, 2018.

My question: I have never worked on Windows 10 but have had my share of aggravation (about the same as everyone else) with past versions of Windows. I've read all kinds of opinions about Windows 10, from one end of the spectrum to another. My specific concern is the updating, which I will have to do to get Windows 10 up-to-date when I start using this computer next week. I could get a tech in to do this for me, so that if something goes haywire during the updating process, I won't have to spend hours figuring out what the problem is and how to fix it. For example, I'm not clear about what the "Windows 10 Fall Creators Update" is and whether this is something that will drive me up the wall? In short, for those of you who are relatively comfortable with Windows 10, looking into your crystal ball, would you get a technician to do it if money wasn't a major issue and your sanity was, or do you think it's straightforward enough to click on "Windows Update" and watch it flawlessly update itself? Am I overreacting or too pessimistic in thinking that it would save me endless hassle to get a computer technician to do the updating for me?? Many thanks!

--Submitted by Trish M.

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Even on other OSes, there has never been "flawless."

That said at the office and home it's usually minor things like the default browser changes back to Edge but imagine users that had that changed for them? They would call that a flaw.

I never suggest a technician. At worst I've had to go get and install an audio or video driver.

PS. I bet some Apple and Linux folk will comment but again, even those, once in a while will not update flawlessly.

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Last Win10 Update

That's exactly what happened to us. Our user profile got wiped out on the last big update about a week ago. So Firefox got replaced by Edge and all our personalized settings, icons, etc were lost. Also, the path to Documents and other folders was messed up but we found it in a TEMP user folder. A clue to trouble is when the computer hangs during reboot and needs a hard reboot instead (powering down manually vs a restart).

Certainly not a disaster but recreating all our settings was a hassle. I doubt a technician would have fared any better.

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generally speaking

don't worry about it - most do not have problems with updates but it does happen. Just make sure you have backups of all files you cannot afford to lose.

I never had a bad windows update since windows 3.1.

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windows update

Thanks for tip

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Backup is important

Before allowing the update, like mentioned, back up the files you cannot afford to lose. Also set a restore point. This way if something does go wrong, you can go back to a point before the backup. I had a problem with one update but it finally took after 3 tries.

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System Image is the fall back

Seeing that you have a new computer to update, I do not expect you to have any problems. For absolute certainty I would suggest doing not only a restore point but a system image backup which is available to you in the new Windows 10. In fact it is the Windows 7 back up. Go for it.

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great tips

great tips...

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I have only learned here

Went from windows 7 to windows 10 1709, 1803 then 1903 ( think I gave the correct numbers . I was really nervous but glad I had no problems. I even downloaded 1903 by mistake so was terrified and no problems. I did read here from Grif Thomas (I think) about system restore turning off. Anyway did what they mentioned (still have notes) and not have any problems. Just wanted you to hear from someone that really just has to learn as I go because I have no one to ask. So many of these people on this site have saved me. For you it would be NO PROBLEM because you know what you are doing already.

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Microsoft support is available should there be a problem

A tech will take over your computer and fix any problems hopefully.

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Windows support seems to be only there to work them tough the bugs they probably already knew about. And, at least with all the other editions of Windows you're usually met
with "Windows can't find an answer to the problem".

In Microsoft's defence I have to say that creating an OS to apply to ALL the computers it;'s installed on is beyond anyone's camainity, But also (to be fair), we all seem to be unpaid beta testers for their products once they're released. Otherwise why all the constant 'fixes' and 'updates'?
To be honest, I have the free edition or a couple of machines and bought two PCs with 10 preinstalled and I'm less than happy with all of them.

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As you are unhappy with W10 please top post what you did to get happy.

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A tech will take over ... (?)

I don't know ... the techs that call me before I even know I have a problem all have funny accents and seem to be unaware of what really is wrong with my system(s) - they don't even seem to know how many I have. But they want access to them, so they can "fix things" - and, to be honest, I don't quite believe they are from Microsoft at all ... do you?

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Scam calls.

Don't fall for these or you will get bit. MS just don't do that.

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Updates are Easy peasy in Windows 10

Sorry to use an old cliche, but updating Windows 10 is a whole lot easier than in previous Windows versions -- especially once you have version 1903 installed. I'd recommend just doing the updates yourself using Windows Update -- but first be sure to make a backup image of your hard drive for the rare instance where an update might fry your "c" drive.

And make your life easier with this inexpensive add-on:
Start10 will enable you to set up your Start menu like a Windows 7 Start menu. It's available from with a 30-day free trial (you'll need to give them your email address, but that's all). Price is something like $5 and it's worth its weight in gold -- seriously it's a joy.

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Start10, etc.

Reply: From Trish - Many thanks for your comments. [1] Re: making a backup image of the hard drive, backing up my data, etc., to clarify, there is NOTHING on this computer yet, other than what came from Dell - which essentially is just Win 10 Home & any operating SW. I haven't even turned the computer on yet! Would you still recommend all the backups; image of "C" drive AND SSD drive, etc.?? [2] RE: Start10, I read somewhere awhile ago that Windows 10 itself had the capability to "replicate" Windows 7, e.g., by allowing a change to the Win 7 Start menu, etc. Is Start10 something different & better than what my memory recalls? [3] I will have to do updates from Sept 1, 2018 until May of 2019 before getting to version 1903. Is it v. 1903 in particular which is challenging, or the updates before it? Thanks again! TRISH

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Confused Responses

Hi Trish, I already did a response but somehow CNet "lost" my comment. Anyway to recap the major points:

Most of the responses incorrectly assumed that you were updating from Windows 7 (the computer that you are currently using) to Windows 10 (the Dell desktop that you purchased and have not used). Consequently, many of those responses were aimed at issues associated with that type of upgrade/update (Windows 7 to Windows 10) rather than an update of Windows 10 to a newer version release of itself. As such, some of the suggested precautions are unnecessary.

Your Dell computer should have come with a Recovery Partition already installed or an included Recovery Disc. This is done by most major computer vendors in the event of a major problem where you would need to return your computer to its initial factory installation status.

Before doing the Windows 10 Update, you should create a System Restore Point which would be the first and easiest way to return to the current state of the computer should a problem arise after doing the Update. If System Restore is enabled, then Windows would probably create the System Restore Point automatically before applying any major update but doing it manually will ensure that the System Restore option has been enabled on your computer.

Since there is always the possibility that the Restore Point can be corrupted or insufficient after a major Windows Update then you should also do an Image Backup, if you do not have a Recovery Partition or Recovery Disc.

An Image Backup should also be done periodically after installing Updates and/or Application programs in order to reduce the necessity of reinstalling software and updates in the event of system problems caused by an Update installation or system corruption from bad drivers or malware.

Note that no file backup is recommended/needed since you have not created/saved any files to the new computer.

Regarding the use of Stardock's Start10, this is not a requirement particularly since Windows 10 reinstated the Start Menu which had been eliminated under Windows 8. However, the Windows 10 Start Menu is a hybrid version of the one under Windows 7 so if you really prefer the "look and feel" of the Windows 7 version then you can either install Start10 or one of the popular, free, Open Source applications such as "Classic Shell" at ( ) or it updated version called, "Open Shell", at ( ).

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On an unused machine ... should not need tech help (unless you declare yourself extremely computer illiterate - which is not what I am getting from you.)

In earlier versions of Windows they had "service packs" which you downloaded and installed when it was convenient for you - backups of the status quo ante were still as important as they would be now with the automated Windows 10 update/upgrades. (We inherited a lot of the auto-upgrade technology and paranoia from the y2k "panic" - when big corporates decided that they needed full control over what exactly was installed on any and all of their machines and technology was built and rolled out to take care of that.)

Nowadays you can download install DVD images for the various variants and update levels of Win10 and update your system that way manually (something I prefer to some of the messy experiences we hear related here and in many other forums.) The hope is that by now the updates are going to be smoother and won't trash your system so easily anymore. I suspect that a lot of problems came from the fact that some updates took very long (also based on factors such as network speed, disk space and overall system performance) and machines sat there seemingly dead while cranking away in the background until users got tired of it and pulled the plug. Recovery from such situations wasn't well tested and as a result some machines were effectively "bricked" potentially losing major amounts of personal data (or at least the normal access to it.) Hence all the very good and important advice to have a working backup of all your personal data - on this machine you don't have any, so you're in the clear about that. Also, your system's recovery mechanisms should at least be able to get you back to exactly where you are now - factory status, backlevel but working.

There is no point in upgrading through all the previous levels, since in theory any upgrade should be able to work on top of any older state. Your timing, in that sense, is a bit unfortunate, since the next upgrade (hopefully much better that all the ones before) is due in September (so the name should be 1909 for September 2019.)

What I would try to do is something like this:

Start the machine without internet connectivity at first, so that it doesn't immediately start downloading the still current 1903 upgrade. Then find all the settings that will prevent or delay any upgrade activity for as long as possible. After that you can go online. Then wait for the users' reactions to the 1909 upgrade and once it seems stable download the install DVD and do an upgrade install from that. That way you are in the driving seat and get a hopefully undisturbed experience. Just don't forget that once you start using the machine you do have personal data on it that needs to be protected by backups.

Good Luck!

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On an unused machine ... a bit more

Good advice but if I recall correctly, Windows 10 Home does not allow the Windows Update process to be disabled. Consequently, the only way to avoid/delay this process is to disconnect the computer from the internet - assuming it hasn't already downloaded the update.

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... a bit more ... guilty

You are right - I read past Trish's statement that she is running "Home" - and that is restricted in how you can hold back on upgrades/updates.

But she can still boot up offline and install over the existing version with the downloaded disk. Then she will be "current" as per MS's definition and can safely connect - for the time being. The question is if Home users will get a degree of control over the process going forward. But at least she can avoid the catch-up process that would otherwise descend on her great but slightly backlevel (by now) system.

One question for her would be if - since money is not the big issue apparently - she should consider upgrading to Windows Professional, just to get that extra bit of control over the timing of upgrades - which can give her the window to comfortably upgrade from DVD before the downloads of the next big version start clogging up her pipe. (I would have to go back to an article I read a while ago to report here on what tweaks the user has to delay updates or upgrades at least for a while.)

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Updating Windows 10 soon, should I do it myself

It is easy and not like windows 7. Way too much hype on this topic. Have been using since the DOS 3.3 days in the 80's. Easy to keep up with and that is the trick keep up with your updates. Don't need any tech.

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Backup, Backup, Backup

I intend to backup all my data one last time before updating. I will unplug the external drive before doing the update. If Windows goes haywire, I will plug the external drive into my laptop, verify that automatic updates is off, and use the laptop until I can restabilize my PC.

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Use a Clean Install

The one thing I found essential was to do a clean install of Win 10. Just updating from 7 to 10 left more problems than it was worth including, in the case of my HP Laptop, slowing it down hopelessly. Clean installed and was OK...or, at least, as OK as it could be. Win 10 is a very poor cousin to Win 7 and the most frustrating OS they have put out.

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You honestly prefer 7 to 10? What exactly is frustrating in Win10?

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Windows 10 is terrible

I agree with the previous member that Windows 10 is terrible compared to Windows 7! It’s like it was made for a tablet or something. All the old familiar things like “my computer” (later changed to just “computer” were gone and everything that was familiar in Windows had changed. Although I agree 10 is a little better than 8 (what a nightmare), it still lacks in comparison to good old stable and familiar Windows 7. In fact, I quit using Windows once it got past version 7 and went totally to Mac. No comparison, MAC OS is so much more user friendly and so many fewer problems. The majority of the PC users I know prefer 7 or 10 by far. Not sure what the benefits of 10 were supposed to be but in general, I feel most people don’t like change and when we were forced to go from 7 to 10 it was a HUGE change.

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Meant to say “prefer 7 over 10 by far”.

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so many changes

Why not do like so many others, move over to a Linux distro instead. You can use VMware or Virtual Box, put W7 in it, keep it off internet, use the Linux Public folder for file sharing, and avoid most W10 problems, while using the Host linux for all internet and email connections.

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The relative merits of Windows versions ...

I recall how a few years back I stumbled upon a classroom full of students with all new laptops all delivered with Win8.0 - Win7 still ruled everywhere and I had to admit I could not help them with anything on those boxes (to me they were as good as "bricked" even though they were supposed to be "functioning as designed.")

Meanwhile, the machines I work on still are on Win7, but a few of the others were installed with Win10 and they pretty muc do what they are supposed to (one is especially stable, but then it is never ever online and thus does not get any automatic updates Wink

About a week ago I inherited a laptop with Win8.1 installed and you know what? I may not need to upgrade that to Win 10 as I first suspected - after having had a learning curve on 10 I can now work with this version of 8. Amazing!

Not sure if Win98SE or Win2000 was my favourite, but of all the versions that have come and gone since then I like the look and feel of Win7 the best - but I have to agree that lots of good progress was made in the underlying technologies (not including the spying and prying Happy

And today, if I think of when you had to run in 640x480 mode at first until you had found the right graphics card driver, to name just one issue *network cards, sound cards, they all wouldn't work without you first finding and installing the correct drivers.) No, there has been some progress.

On the other hand, I have not forgiven MS yet for rendering a huge amount of old software (a good deal of which I wrote myself) useless by not supporting it on current versions of Windows. (Yes, I know of VMs, but hey, that's a schlepp in the end ...)

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Updating Windows 10

There are multiple methods to do a major update to Windows 10 -
Going thru Windows Update and letting it install when ready
Using Windows Upgrade Assistant to upgrade
Downloading & creating a flash drive to update windows
Downloading & creating a DVD to update windows (my personal preference)
The last update (version 1903) stalled on me at (get this) 98% - so I had to cancel the upgrade, and redo it - fortunately there are instructions on how to do this (surprisingly easy), which I did.
BUT - I then created a DVD installation disk to upgrade the rest of my PCs - which is what I should have done in the first place. To me, at least, it's the easiest and most foolproof method to upgrade.

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Just do it

I read all the horror stories but decided to upgrade from W7 to W10 anyway.

I did a full backup, went to the Microsoft website, did the download and update.

Updated settings to use chrome and ran an Adobe update.

No issues, and btw, I had office 2013 installed under W7 and it all works fine after the update.

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Prepare for the worst, but it may be worth it

Went from Win 7 to Win 10 this week. Only took nearly 24 hours over four days spent communicating with my computer's manufacturer and MS to complete a clean install on a brand new drive. Shocked But other than the time and trouble I have had to endure to re-install applications I had running on Win 7, I am acclimating to it and on the whole glad I did it. Happy

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