“I'd rather regret the things that I have done than the things that I have not.”
― Lucille Ball

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Windows 10 - Installed irreversibly

As you might know I published a post (see here) more than a month ago about upgrading my PC from Windows 7 to 10. I was asking myself should I continue or revert to Windows 7 after the experiment. I wasn't sure, so reverted back to Windows 7, giving myself the opportunity to rethink and study, before taking the final decision.
Well I have taken the decision meanwhile. Here is my story. The items are listed in random order.

Start menu

The Start menu looks cool and is fast, but unfortunately I am not interested in most of the items that are included by default, like photo-viewer and sound player (Groove) apps, games and many more. I am using it now only for opening OneNote (see later), some old Microsoft office products, the old Microsoft photo-viewer/editor, the News and Money apps and of course the left column items, like Settings, Documents, Downloads and Apps.

What I also like from this Start menu is that you can open it as a Windows 10 menu by left clicking, or as a Windows 7 menu by right clicking. In the latter case you get the old Windows 7 management options like Task manager, Control manager, Device manager, Computer manager, Network manager, etc. Just because I don't know (yet) where to find the same in Windows 10.

Snipping Tool. 

I tried to use the snipping tool to "screen" copy part of the "Start menu", as to document that I removed almost all items, because I am not interested in most of them or you can activate them in an other (classic) way. However, it was not possible to copy the start menu, same goes for the "Task manager", the snipping tool does not allow you to screen copy it.


It didn't work in the beginning, but after some googling for a solution, which was to delete it's "config file", I was a happy man.
I love this. I used already Google Keep, but that's a poor man's solution for collecting and managing your ideas, recording all kind of data you need to have on hand and so on.

Now with OneNote I can mix all kind of sources, like text, screen copy's, pictures, even audio and video if I want. And share it between devices. I also love the high level structuring it offers. What I don't like is that you cannot delete "old" OneNote files, only make them inactive.

I tried already my Android phone and it's working fine. Still have to migrate my data from Keep to OneNote. I noticed that there are already more than 1 million downloads done in the Google play store from OneNote, so I am not alone.


OneDrive is Microsoft's implementation of cloud storage. They give away several Gbytes for free, don't remember the figure (5 or 10), like Google did before. I don't want to mixup two different solutions, but it's an option for the future.

Virus checker

Microsoft claims that its new "Windows Defender" solution is a good and robust alternative for the "old" virus checker programs. I did some research and believe that for simple end-users as I am, it is really a valid solution. The only problem is malware, but you have the same problem with the "old" virus checkers, they also do not protect you very well against malware.

By the way the virus checker that I used in Windows 7 (Roboscan) wasn't working under Windows 10, so I should have re-installed it again or had to find an alternative solution. But decided to stay with Defender and do some malware scanning.


Basically malware has nothing to do with Windows 10, but with this upgrading process, it was a good time to spend some time on malware. I found several well appreciated malware scanners and installed them all.

  1. ADWcleaner (5.023) 03/12/2015 at 14:54:07 -- Removed 20 directories, 49 files, 25 registry keys and 9 Chrome browser items
  2. JRT Malwarebytes (8.01) 03/12/2015 at 15:06:51 -- Removed 11 malware files and 1 registry entry
  3. Zemana ( 03/12/2015 at no-time-stamp -- Cleaned/repaired 6 entries
  4. HitmanPro ( 03/12/2015 at 16:54:59 -- Unwanted programs removed 11, 2 threats detected, 1 removed

These scanners are free for a 1 month trial. As my PC is cleaned up now quite a lot, I decided not to buy any license now.

Driver and BIOS updates

Like malware scanning and removal, this is also a good moment to check for drivers and the BIOS versions. There are many utilities in the market who can do the job and help you to upgrade old versions. I used DriverAgent. The driver scan showed that 8 out of 78 drivers are not up-to-date, most of them Intel chipset drivers. I will consider to take a one-year license to update these drivers automatically or do it myself manually. The same goes for the BIOS.


Windows 10 comes with a new lightweight browser called Edge. I liked it from the beginning and might slowly migrate to it, as Chrome (my default browser) is a bit overloaded with extensions/plugins.
However I noticed that if I use Edge for writing my blog posts, I run in trouble, although it is on the supported list from Google. I guess it will take Microsoft some time to remove the early starting bugs.


Cortana is the agent who should be able to help you with all kind of problems. I tried it several times, but everytime my question/request was passed thru to the Microsoft Bing search machine, using the Edge browser. Not one time there was a direct help available, so I am not using it anymore, waste of time. Probably a marketing tool to promote Bing in stead of Google.

File manager / Task manager

Although it takes some time to get used to the new file manager, especially the options you have at the top of the tool, I like it. What is new and attractive is the display when you copy or move files, showing you in a dynamic graph the performance of the operation.
Also the task manager is improved, a lot more easy to use dynamic performance graphs.

Action center

The new action center (bottom/right) is much better than the old one, has more functions and is fast.


I like the different operations modes of the new calculator and the conversion tool that is included.


Part of the Start menu is the Settings option. This is a very handy, fast and clear tool for getting access and changing all the available settings. In windows 7 this was really a mess.

All Apps view

The all apps views, part of the Start menu, is a handy overview of all your apps, and gives easy access to where the app is stored. Even newly installed apps are indicated. You will be surprised to see how many apps are installed.

OneClick starter

This is an annoying reminder about a program that is running in compatibility mode. You can not relate it easily to a specific program/app running, but It seems that it is issued by TuneUp utilities from AVG Technologies. As Windows 10 does a lot of what TuneUp is doing, I decided to remove TuneUp and go for Windows.

Other programs/utilities problems

  1. Brother printer software, Nuance Paperport and associated programs, re-installed and working.
  2. Old web camera Logitech not working, after re-install working again.
  3. Roboscan virus checker not working, removed (see above).
  4. All my browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Edge) have some problems, working slow, tuning required one by one and plugins to be reloaded, will take some days/weeks before all issues solved.
  5. Although my backup software (Genie timeline) was working well with Windows 10, I decided to install the latest version (2014) as I got an interesting offer of 12 Euro for a one PC licence and installed the same on my laptop, so it is easier to maintain on both PCs.

Clean Install

As I was quite satisfied after the second migration to Windows 10 and working with it for a while, I decided NOT to revert back to Windows 7 again, but instead to do a Clean Install. This is like a new install of Windows 10, without the need to install all programs/apps again, giving you a cleaner and hopefully faster Windows 10 OS.
The major drawback is that if you have done this install there is no way to go back to Windows 7 again, or you must do a new install from your old Windows 7 CD.

Update policy

Windows update policy with this free version of Windows 10 is to do the updates automatically. I can live with this policy, it even saves me some work.

Final remark

I am quite satisfied with Windows 10 as it is now and am sure that Microsoft is working on initial bugs and improvements this and next year, so life with Windows 10 can become only easier in 2016.


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