Top 15 Things You Need to Know about Windows 10
As you must have heard, the free upgrade to Windows 10 expired on July 29th, 2016 which means the upgrade will now cost $199. Ever since Microsoft’s announcement of a free operating system upgrade last year, we have supported multiple clients through the change from Windows 7/8 PCs to Windows 10 PCs. Several clients were eager to jump onboard and discover all of the new features, while some were a bit more resistant to the change fearing the troubles inherent with transitions. Our Technical Specialist, Sarah, has compiled the top 15 things to know about Windows 10 to share with us today:
Since the Windows 10 free upgrade period ended July 29, enterprises and SMBs alike are considering the pros and cons of switching to the updated OS. To help you form your own decision, I’ve shared some of the most common, uncommon, or weird issues, as well as, positive items that we’ve encountered here at USM while working with our clients. Real client’s feedback was also collected and is available at the end of this blog post.
This has been the most common issue we have seen. Generally, by clicking on the GWX (Get Windows 10) icon in the notification menu, a user is taken to the Windows update screen where they can begin the download of the new OS. In MOST of our upgrades, we found that the download would fail by using this method, and other users have reported similar findings.
To resolve this issue, we use Microsoft’s Media Creation Tool from https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10. Begin the process as if you intend to create an installation CD, but instead, click “Upgrade this PC now” and run the download outside of Windows Updater. This workaround affected one of our larger clients TREMENDOUSLY – This issue occurred on so many computers in our initial phase of the rollout that we stopped trying Windows Update and continued using only the Media Creation Tool.
#2 – Challenges with Domain Connected PCs
A domain connected computer cannot be upgraded to Windows 10.
You can use the ISO from the Media Creation Tool (previous step), but ONLY if there is a local administrator account on the computer with which to run the installation.
#3 – Display Downfalls
It wasn’t uncommon to receive an installation error message such as “The display manufacturer hasn’t made your display compatible with Windows 10. Check with the manufacturer for support.” This error message, like many Microsoft error messages, left essentially no reason for the failure, or direction towards a solution.
For as many different troubleshooting steps I found online, I never found a single fix that worked consistently every time. Sometimes the media creation tool was a workaround, one of my team members was able to get around this by running windows updates several times and then starting the Windows 10 upgrade from a reboot. This error was so finicky that we were not able to find a definitive solution.
#4 – Devices and Printers Freezing When Opened
This issue was a real puzzle. Occasionally, after the upgrade, opening devices and printers from the control panel would not only cause devices and printers to stop responding, we would essentially have to shut down the computer and reboot altogether to regain stability.
The solution to this issues was not apparent in any of the “Windows 10 Issues” articles that I read. Initially, our fix was to roll back the computer to its pre-upgraded state. Eventually, the solution I found involved enabling certain Bluetooth services that were not running. Logically, there does not seem to be any reason why this fix would solve the stated issue; however, in the handful of times this issue was encountered, the ‘Bluetooth’ solution was the only path to resolution.
#5 – Windows Won’t Activate
Occasionally, after an upgrade we would see an “Activate Windows” message on the bottom corner of the screen, but following the directions to activate would sometimes fail.
There was a workaround for this, but it required involving Microsoft support to run specific commands on our behalf. Not very fun. Luckily, this has only happened once or twice.
#6 – Windows 10 Put us all ON EDGE
Edge is Microsoft’s new browser automatically installed with Windows 10. Edge configures itself as your default browser and replaces Internet Explorer on the task bar. Some users like Edge, unfortunately, this led to much confusion for many of our users. We received countless support requests with titles such as “Why have all my favorites disappeared”, caused by users assuming that the Edge icon was just the updated look for IE. Another issue with Edge is that certain websites and web services have not yet made their site or service compatible with Edge. Edge likes to set itself as your default PDF viewer as well, which can cause confusion and frustration if users are accustomed to a specific PDF application.
Restoring defaults on our clients’ computers the day after the upgraded added a lot of man-hours to our support process for this upgrade. After each set of upgrades, we would log in to each profile on each upgraded computer to ‘un-pin’ Edge from the taskbar, restore IE on the taskbar, and change defaults for browser and PDF reader back to IE (or Chrome) and Adobe Reader. Although extra time was required during the upgrade process, these additional steps saved us hours on support calls post-upgrade.
#7 – Printers Have a Mind of Their Own…
I only encountered this problem one time, but I assume that is because most users only print to one printer most of the time. Basically, the problem was that the default printer would automatically change.
When this was reported, it was right after an upgrade, so I began doing research on the issue and found a sneaky little setting called “Let Windows manage my default printer” is always enabled after the upgrade. It allows Windows to automatically change your default printer to the last used printer. This can go unnoticed for users who only use one printer, but for users who constantly use different printers for different purposes, they would be left wondering why they had to keep resetting their default printer.
#8 – The OneDrive Evil Twin
With Windows 10 comes the continued push from Microsoft to connect your user profile to a Microsoft Live ID, causing much confusion for users with Microsoft Business accounts, as these are two entirely separate accounts. Clicking on the wrong option when presented with “Microsoft Account” or “Work or School account” can lead you into an account with none of the information you are looking for, or simply a dead end.
Following the same logic, OneDrive Personal is automatically installed on upgraded computers and cannot be removed by an end user. The application appears as a small GRAY cloud on the notification menu, as opposed to the blue cloud denoting OneDrive for Business. The problem is, both OneDrive personal and OneDrive for Business show up in file explorer, causing confusion as OneDrive personal is sometimes described as a place to store personal files as opposed to shared files on SharePoint.
I have had the HARDEST time trying to explain this to end users. Users who don’t have a Microsoft Live ID will still be prompted to log in, and unknowingly they will log in using their business account credentials. Then, they can’t find any of their files, or it will begin an infinite loop of trying to connect to an account that isn’t there. I tried a variety of different troubleshooting steps to REMOVE OneDrive Personal from the local computer file explorer menu, from closing the program, to turning syncing off, and even editing the registry… none of which worked. What I ended up doing on my own computer was just changing the file path of my OneDrive Personal to point to my OneDrive for Business, so now when I click on OneDrive – Personal, it pops open my OneDrive for Business folder. Pretty clever, huh?!
#9 – Missing Search Bar Leaves Users Scratching Their Heads
If I had a dime for every time I’ve said “No, you can just start typing…” I’d be rich. Well, probably not, but the idea is that the search bar has been replaced with Cortana, which is Microsoft’s version of Apple’s Siri. If you click on the start menu, you don’t see a search bar, you simply see the Cortana symbol (small O) or you see “I’m Cortana. Ask me anything.” depending on which option is selected for Cortana. C
ortana can be hidden or visible depending on what you choose by right clicking on the task bar and looking at options for Cortana.
Cortana is actually a search bar and so much more, but many users are unfamiliar and unaware that they can type program, document, and web searches into this bar. Some people may call this user error rather than a “caveat” and some users have reported that they love this feature. Let’s just call it neutral. To get the full functionality of Cortana, you must have a Microsoft Live ID.
#10 – Windows Movie Maker Not Compatible
The trusted, simple app that is widely used and pre-installed on Windows computers previous to Windows 10 is no longer compatible once upgrading. Microsoft simply states “To find an app that’s designed for creating and editing video in Windows 10, visit the Windows Store” without specifying a comparable replacement (visit this Microsoft Support page to see for yourself). I am not very video-creation savvy, so I liked the simplicity and accessibility of Windows Movie Maker whenever I needed to put together something simple.
You can still download and use Movie Maker on Windows 10 machines, but be aware of the variety of issues you may encounter. DISCLAIMER: I have not used Movie Maker on my Windows 10 computer, so I cannot speak for the severity of any issues encountered, I have only seen them reported in online blogs while researching solutions for a client. There are several FREE alternate options available. Do your homework to pick the best one for you!
#11 – Tiger-Stripe Screen Syndrome
This MAY not be related to Windows 10, but we’ve only seen it since upgrades, and doing research on it seems to point us in the direction of Windows 10. When opening a laptop to turn it on, the user would find their screen covered in orange and white stripes with no notifications of any type. We thought it was possibly a graphics card problem, but it still happened when we connected the laptop to an external monitor, ruling that out.
It ended up having to do with Bitlocker, because the solution we found was to type in the Bitlocker password and then we could get past the screen to log in. This one really had us scratching our heads, though!
On the flip side, there are some noticeably GREAT things about Windows 10 that we have seen on our own during this upgrade process.
#12 – More stability for external USB devices
One of the most common problems we had to troubleshoot pre-Windows 10 upgrades was the dreaded blue screen. About 90% of the time, the “Your PC ran into an error and needs to restart…” message was due to USB device driver issues, and could be corrected by running the startup settings menu and choosing “Disable driver signature enforcement.” Since the upgrades, we still see the occasional blue screen error, but we have only had a small handful needing to be resolved.
#13 – The Syncing Solution!
Tired of seeing little red “X” marks on all of your synced files? It seems that upgrading to Windows 10 has offered a tremendous amount of syncing fixes. This could be in part due to Office 2016 upgrade in conjunction with Windows 10. I have noticed that Office 2016 and Windows 10 work well together with fewer problems between the two in general. We were constantly having to troubleshoot issues with OneDrive sync problems before the upgrades, and now things seem to have quieted down a lot. Can you say HALLELUJAH!
#14 – Medical Programs Feeling the Love
I haven’t seen very many, if any, medical programs that are not compatible with Windows 10 at this point. This is HUGE because going into a major upgrade with any healthcare company’s technology means there will be some unwanted downtime. Minimizing that downtime is key, and ensuring that programs will be compatible beforehand is the way to do it. I know there are a multitude of different medical software programs out there in the healthcare industry, so several may not be compatible that I do not know about. For all of our clients, we have not encountered any problems with their programs not working on Windows 10 machines.
#15 – And Lastly, Cool New Look!
I LOVE the way Windows 10 is designed! From the sleek look on the default desktop to the various photo options that appear on the lock screen, Windows 10 has truly outdone itself on aesthetics. Not only that, but the new start menu offers an array of quick-clicks to get to websites, stores, news, or just to browse what is trending.
I also asked a handful of end users for their feedback on Windows 10…
The only thing I do not like is not being able to find documents as easily as before. Also, on the start button all of the icons are confusing to me. Example: If I want to use Notepad to save something, I can’t find it. – Tualla Bivins, New Sound Hearing – Columbus
I like Windows 10 way better than 8. It seems to run faster (lighter operating system), I dig the Flat UI look. The start menu is better designed and easier to maneuver than the forced 8.1 full screen. I rarely use Cortana, but I like the idea. I wish you could functionally incorporate Cortana into the core of the operating system for more complex functions and command prompts. I really don’t like Microsoft Edge, for some reason it’s super glitchy. Overall, I LOVE windows 10! – Zachary Reed, DNA Stat
Stability is better. Edge sucks. – Bob Page, New Sound Hearing
I like the search windows feature that is directly on the taskbar, and the upgrade seemed to fix some internal problems I kept having on my home computer. – Charlene Singletary, New Sound Hearing
All in all, most end users say they haven’t noticed much difference! Some prefer the new look while others are confused by it. Some encounter problems here and there, and some are enjoying a newfound minimal interruption of work. Most of the feedback doesn’t look very good for Edge!
Hopefully I have provided some beneficial information if you are still wondering about upgrading your operating system now that the free upgrade period has passed. Please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about Win10!
About US Medical IT
US Medical IT is a health technology service provider with primary office located in Dallas, Texas. At US Medical IT, our mission is to thoughtfully integrate medicine and technology, creating the opportunity for broader knowledge distribution, better coordination of care, and ultimately the improved health and well-being of the communities we serve. For more information, visit http://usmedicalit.com