First Look At Windows 10 — Part 1

So after some trial and error along with one hang-up during the upgrade, I managed to get Windows 10 on the Dell Optiplex GX620 or as I call it The Guinea Pig. Now, unlike my two main systems: an HP Laptop running Windows 7 which I use for school and a Gateway Desktop running Windows 8.1, The Guinea Pig did not have the upgrade offer on the taskbar. I had not done much with this system as I had originally picked it up so I could have an end device on my Cisco Network Lab. Once I finished my CCNA certifications back in May everything went into storage, until I am ready to start working towards my CCNP certifications. After my original test system started acting up last Thursday I swapped it out with the Dell. During the last couple days I’ve been doing multiple rounds of Windows Updates. I had checked this morning and was told there were no new important updates available, but I still didn’t have the Windows 10 Update on the taskbar.

After a little searching I came to this article on The Verge which explained how to update to Windows 10 without having to wait in line (or in my case, the update not being offered). There was a link to Microsoft’s Windows 10 download page which allows you to download a 32-bit or 64-bit download tool. I studied the directions on the page and even had a blank DVD-R ready to go. I downloaded and ran the tool, which presented me with two options: Upgrade the PC now or Create Installation Media for another PC. I opted for the Upgrade PC now. This started the download and creation of about 7 GB of various files and folders within these two hidden system folders:

  • C:\$Windows.~BT — 2.71 GB | 1,267 Files and 245 Folders
  • C:\$Windows.~WS — 4.47 | 1,012 Files and 103 Folders

During the download process, you are able to keep using your computer and it will show the progress of the download and verification of the completed download. After the download is complete you still have the option to burn it to a media or install the update. This where I had issues the first time. I choose to install and it went to continue but just froze. I did a hard shutdown, rebooted and reran the upgrade tool. I was prompted to restart and try running the update tool again. After another reboot I was able to continue running the update tool and move forward with the install.

You are warned to save your work before continuing with the install and you can not use your computer during the install. Once you commit to the install it informs you, your computer may restart several times and to sit back and relax. I do not know how long the whole process took as once I got to the installation point, I just left it do its thing. When I came back later on I was near the final steps. This is where it asked if I wanted to use Express Settings (in large print) or  I could Customize Settings (in very small print). I selected the Customize Settings and was first presented with several privacy settings which had to do with Cortana (Microsoft’s version of Siri), location, sharing your network information with your contacts and several other things, all of which I turned off. The next screen, did ask about keeping your current default apps (I think it actually specifically asked which default apps I wanted to keep). A few minutes later I was at a redesigned login screen.

After logging in I saw the new Windows 10 taskbar:

win10task-searchenabled

Windows 10 Taskbar with Search fully enabled

You noticed that the Search Box which is part of Cortana takes up a large amount of real estate. If you right-click on the taskbar and go into the Search menu, you can remove the search box.

win10task-searchdsiabled

Windows 10 Taskbar with Search fully disabled

There is however a happy medium, you can choose to have a search button (icon) which I ended up doing as I needed to find Paint so I could paste and save the screenshots I did via CTRL+Print Screen. Normally I use 7 Capture, which still works with Windows 10, but it was not capturing the entire width of the ‘Start Menu’.

Windows 10 Search

Windows 10 Search with Search Icon on the Taskbar

By the way, the ‘e’ on taskbar is NOT Internet Explorer, it is the new Edge browser. You can see below the difference, I wonder how much money Microsoft paid to have the Edge logo designed:

This the end of Part 1. Part 2 is mostly going to be various screenshots of the Windows 10 interface including setting Firefox as the default web browser and will be published on Sunday (August 2nd) morning.