Windows 10 is rolling out to everyone in waves & people are mostly reporting successful, happy upgrade experiences. I was one of those people...well, I was after I surmounted my unhappiness about my Windows 10 upgrade not triggering in a timely manner, but a quick download of the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool cured that.
Windows 10 ran great (other than a few small quirks)when it installed over the top of my Windows 8.1 Pro installation and I was pleased. Well, I was pleased until the next time I fired up Directory Opus. I like to keep a clean C drive. It's where I have my OS and apps installed so I like to keep a clean, organized directory structure. My other drives can get a little chaotic and free-form in their organization, but C is run like a tight ship.
What I witnessed, friends, was pure unadulterated carnage. There were new directories and files (hidden and not) strewn randomly about for as far as the file manager could see. Some of it was probably for Windows 10's new reset/restore feature...maybe. Other pieces were probably left-overs from the upgrade and yet another segment was most assuredly those files from my old OS waiting patiently in case I ever hit that "Oh no! Take me back!" button in the Control Panel in the next 30 days.
In horror I resolved right then to do a clean install so I could reign in the creeping crud. We could mark this moment in the process in many different ways. Tactical error...emotional reaction to a logical problem...and the time-honored, "Well, that was your first mistake".
The ability of Windows 10 to succesfully upgrade the myriad of different machine configurations that exist is a true testament to the Windows Insider Preview program. Microsoft made testers upgrade in place every release in order to bang out any bugs that were in place. Their plan worked.
However, past beta programs had a couple release cycles when there was a mandated clean install of the new beta release in order to make sure the OS would configure itself correctly when it encountered a blank canvas. Unfortunately, to my knowledge, Microsoft didn't have any mandated clean installs during the Windows 10 testing period and it showed.
On to our story...prepping for the reinstall was easy. As I keep only the OS and app installs on C with everything else on other drives I could jump right into the install process. Fortunately, I was smart enough when I used the Media Creation Tool to choose to download an ISO rather than the "Upgrade Me Now" option or I would have had to download Windows 10 again. Rufus did a bang-up job of converting that ISO into a bootable USB drive and I was off to the races.
The beginning of the process was very easy...Windows 10 installed on my freshly formatted SSD drive faster than any other Microsoft OS I have seen in recent memory. Just hitting skip each time in the install process when it asked for a serial key was what I read was advised and that got me through the installation. I was asked to use Microsoft login for my user ID, but I wasn't nagged and easily was able to choose to use a local sign-on. I hit the desktop and immediately checked activation status. Windows 10 was already activated.
This was going to be easy. And this is where we will put a little push-pin into the road map marking my second mistake.
I then immediately set to installing all my drivers for all my hardware. My Realtek on-board sound, my AMD graphics card drivers, and my Logitech keyboard, mouse, and touchpad drivers all installed correctly and I did a reboot as Realtek has this weird install process where it insists on installing any drivers that might be installed (even if they are stock OS drivers), reboot and then finally install the new drivers.
I got the little spinning thing for "Windows is installing updates" and it throws an error. After Realtek does its thing, I check Windows Update and it seems it tried to download its own AMD and Logitech drivers and didn't like that I had beat it to the punch. Bah...but harmless.
I then try to install updated drivers for my Intel NIC. Inte's web site says their drivers are ready for Windows 10, but it nor the "Automatic driver identifer/updater" app will recognize the Intel NIC in my PC. Wonderful. Fortunately, the driver MS provides is full-featured so I'm not missing much there.
On to the printer...Epson's wonderfully archaic software, which they insist is Widnows 10-ready *but* was released in 2013, will not detect my Wi-Fi printer for anything. I tried numerous things, Googling, and no dice. When I went back to Epson's web site not even 15 minutes later, I received a message stating their web site was down for maintenance. Was the Universe trying to tell me something?
Oh, and during troubleshooting my printer issue I discovered that Windows detected and configured my desktop PC with a wired ethernet connection as being on a public network! Oh, bloody hell....and if you think that there is a setting somewhere within Windows where someone could toggle between private and public networks then you can go take a seat on the left side of the room with all the sane people. Unfortunately, all of the Microsoft employees will be sitting on the other side of the room because no such function exists.
Luckily, a quick internet search enlightened me as to a bit in the registry I needed to flip in order to fix that. Not so luckily, I thought that might have been the problem with the printer so I went through all the troubleshooting steps again needlessly because that did not fix the problem.
Remember when I said I like to keep a clean C drive? That means I move all the locations like Desktop, Videos, Downloads, Music, etc. out of the user directory and over to my D drive. It's really easy. Just go into the folder properties of each of those special folders and use the Location tab and you can move the folder's location to anywhere your heart desires.
But...there's a bug regarding the Desktop folder! OMG! Don't do this! If you move the desktop folder then Explorer insists that the folder doesn't exist & cannot be found. It's an easy fix in the registry...but the info is very hard to find on the internet! I should have gotten a clue when, in my upgraded install, though the Desktop showed the contents of my D drive's Desktop folder, any attempts to access the Desktop folder or save something to it would result in Windows accessing the folder on the C drive.
What else....oh, I was optimizing my hard drives with the new PerfectDisk 14 Pro and tried to download something from the internet and got a blue screen "SYSTEM SERVICE EXCEPTION (NETIO.SYS)" error. It's only happened once and I haven't been able to reproduce it, but I'm very wary. Internet searches will tell you it could be anything from your motherboard to your hard drive or even your NIC...there may even be evidence it's because you weren't loved enough as a child. It's a very vague error...
There's probably been more trauma that I'm forgetting as I've most likely blacked it out of my short-term memory, but I thought I would post this as a separate thread outside of the Windows 10 mega-thred so nobody missed it. Clean installing a Microsoft OS is usually accompanied with the feeling of having a fresh, clean, trouble-free slate that has a solid foundation upon which to build. That's not the case here. It's not a bug-ridden mess, but there are enough irksome quirks that you might want to ponder carefully if that's the path you wish to take...at least until MS publishes some updates.