Jul 20, 2016

Work Life: Windows 10 is a pain in the butt

Windows 10 is a pain in the butt. There, I said it. I feel better, don't you? So, what makes WinX such a pain? How about we start with setting up a laptop. Please note: the following is based on MY personal experience and may or may not reflect what has happened to anyone else on the face of the planet - though, judging by the number of articles I found to help get me through the painful setup, I could easily surmise that, unlike Tigger, I'm NOT the only one.

The device: Brand new Dell Latitude E5570

The laptop was supposed to ship with windows 10 already installed. Nope. This one came with windows 7 and a WinX install DVD. No problem, right? Wrong.

Because the laptop had Windows 7, the BIOS was set to Legacy Mode, meaning Windows 10 wasn't going to play nice. Windows 10, if you haven't heard, requires UEFI/EFI BIOS. If those are geek/greek-speak, don't worry. I am not going into details, other than to explain how I got Windows 10 installed.

In the BIOS, I had to disable Legacy Mode. I wasn't allowed to. Why not? Because Windows 7 had already started the install process and became the defacto BIOS type. Yay. I eventually found my way to a "Factory Reset" option that allowed me to set UEFI! Yay!

Not so fast. Once the UEFI was set (along with Secure Boot), I had to pick a boot rom with which to start the computer. I had no such thing. Yoy. Okay, I hooked up the external DVD drive, slammed the WinX DVD into it and rebooted. Luckily, the computer immediately booted to the DVD! Yay!

Not so fast. I was presented with a WinX interface that asked me what I wanted to do - Factory Reset, Recovery, Reload, Eat Pizza on Tuesday with a Goat... Well, you get the idea. After several false starts, I finally managed to find the selection that seemed to work: Recovery. Yay!

Not so fast. The recovery did just that: It recovered, or tried to anyway, the Windows 7 install that first loaded when I booted the machine. I restarted the laptop and let it boot to the DVD. I am 99.99% sure I chose the exact same "Recovery" option, only this time, the system seemed to be reading the DVD and I could only guess/assume that things were installing Windows 10. Yay!

Welcome to Windows 10!

Wahoo!! Windows 10 installed and all was right with the world. Yay!

Not so fast. You see, the DVD only had Windows 10 on it. It had none of the required drivers for the laptop. A quick search to Dell (from another computer that could actually talk to the web) revealed a 580mb CAB file. Yay!

Not so fast. I burned the CAB file to a CD (from another computer) and loaded it onto the laptop. using the steps found in this VERY handy guide, I was able to expand the CAB and install the drivers via command line. Yay!

Not so fast. Edge would not run because I was logged in as the built-in administrator, even though I was actually using a user I had created. So, I eventually came upon THIS handy article about letting the ADMINISTRATOR actually run crap in Windows 10!

I installed various browsers, office software, printers, etc. Then, I installed Avast A/V that we use here. Yay!

Not so fast. Avast would not start various services it needed. Things kept erroring out. After some not-at-all-helpful searching, I decided to reinstall the program. After that finished, I was asked to restart the computer. Things were looking good! Yay!

Not so fast. When the laptop rebooted, I was greeted with a simple blue screen that only told me that a "device required isn't connected or can't accessed" (or something similar to that). After MUCH searching, the issue seemed to be related to the Secure Boot that was enabled in BIOS. So, reboot to BIOS and disable Secure Boot. Reboot the laptop and everything *seems* to be working. Yay!

I share this not as a simple whine-fest, but to let folks know that Windows 10 is not necessarily a straight-forward installation, even from scratch. But, with some perseverance and trial and error, you can get through it. Or, if anything, you stumble on an article like this that lets you know you aren't alone.

TL;DR - Windows 10 is a pain in the butt.

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