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Old 06-17-2016, 07:14 AM
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Default Need help with Windows 10?

Need help with Windows 10?
Get answers to your questions about using Windows 10 on PCs here.

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Old 07-13-2016, 08:27 AM
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Default The final countdown for Windows 10 upgrading

The final countdown for Windows 10 upgrading
FIELD NOTES: Tracey Capen

With the next big Windows 10 update due out in just over three weeks, a new Win10 Preview build suggests that Microsoft is putting the final touches on the Anniversary Upgrade.

On the other hand, based on emails we receive, many Windows users are worried that they won't be able to upgrade to the free Win10 before the July 29 deadline. Here are some sources for help.

Microsoft releases Preview Build 14385
In a July 9 blog post, Microsoft announced the immediate release of the latest preview build to those on the Windows Insider program "Fast ring." A quick review of the post makes it clear that the company is primarily focused on squashing bugs in the Anniversary Update, reportedly due for official release on Aug. 2.

Unfortunately, the installation of Build 14385 failed on my test system; I'm still looking into why perhaps it's a Monday thing, or the fact that the build was released on the weekend. Whatever, that's the nature of beta software. (Look for updates in the online version of this article.)

If you missed our review of the Anniversary Update' key usability and user-interface changes, see the following Field Notes columns: April 21, "Preview build highlights future Win10 changes," April 28, "Build 14328 reveals the next evolution of Win10," and June 9, "Build 14361: Another preview of future Windows."

Preparing for the August Windows 10 update
In the past, we've always suggested holding off on major Windows upgrades, just in case there are significant issues. With Windows 7, that was typically a service-pack release. But as Windows 10 users know, delaying updates is significantly more complicated, due to the operating system's automated patching system.

As we've mentioned before, you can delay some Win10 upgrades by changing settings specifically, enabling Win10's Metered connection option. There are numerous articles on the Web about metered connections, but a Microsoft FAQ provides a good summary.

In short, the option is intended for those who might exceed their ISP's data cap and incur extra service changes after downloading Windows updates. The "Metered connection" setting is designed to reduce the amount of data send to and received from Microsoft.

Typically, "Metered connection" it turned off by default on devices that primarily connect to the Web via Wi-Fi. It's turned on by default on mobile devices that primarily use broadband/cellular connections.

To access the metering option in Windows 10, select Settings/Network & Internet/Wi-Fi/Advanced options. Look for the section labeled "Metered connection." (See the aforementioned FAQ for other ways to reduce online-data use.)

Note: According to the FAQ, devices using an Ethernet connection can't be set to "metered." The option might not even appear in the settings (as is the case with my desktop system). Also, the metered option might be automatically disabled when you change Wi-Fi networks.

Make and keep a current backup: The "Metered connection" option has its drawbacks. For example, Start-screen tiles might stop updating and offline files might not automatically sync with the cloud. (Security updates should continue to download immediately.)

Rather than delaying updates, the most important step to take before the Anniversary Update arrives is to ensure you have a full and current system image or backup. Put it on your calendar for completion by Aug. 1.

Also ensure that you have some spare disk space. The Win10 Version 1511 download file, released this past November, was a modest 25MB. But the upcoming update could be larger, and you need room for the files to be unpacked.

Tips for getting the free Windows 10 upgrade
We've received a steady stream of emails from readers who want to upgrade to Windows 10 but have, for various reasons, been unable to do so. In several articles, we've offered some advice on how to circumvent these upgrading problems; here's a repeat summary:

Ensure your system has the latest Windows updates and drivers. Video drivers seem to be especially problematic. Also check that you have sufficient free disk space typically more than about 20GB.
Check your version of Windows. A reader wrote in to say that a dealer had installed Windows 7 Enterprise on his HP laptop. Unfortunately for him, the only option is to pay for Win10 Enterprise. In other words, corporate versions of Windows are not eligible for the free upgrade.
Don't rely on the Windows Update system. Instead, download and run the MS Media Creation Tool (site) or, for advanced users who want to do a clean install, download the Win10 ISO from Microsoft's Tech Bench Upgrade Program (site).
Note that the Media Creation Tool will let you upgrade to Win10 but leave your data in place. Some applications will have to be reinstalled.

Clean up your current system as much as possible. If you run into issues when using the upgrade media, temporarily disable your anti-malware application.
If an in-place upgrade won't work, backup your data, ensure you have the keys for all applications, and do a from-scratch install of Windows 10. If that fails, you can restore Win7 or 8.1 or use it as a good excuse to purchase a new PC.
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