Updating Win10 - how much actually worthwhile, overall?

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  1.    3 Weeks Ago #1

    Updating Win10 - how much actually worthwhile, overall?

    I know my question may sound... subversive and maybe even insolent, but I mean it from a strictly technical point of view and I have no warlike intent at all.

    When carefully reading through all the "changes" and "new features" of the various Win10 "updates" (1709, 1803, 1809...) I always found many and many things which actually are of no use to a simple... desktop user like I am, that is a person who just needs a bare and robust operating system capable of doing well his core job: delivering the best possible performance from a quite "normal" desktop PC to be used just with old-fashion mouse and keyboard (no touchscreens, pens or whatever).

    The feeling I get from those readings is always the same: no significant gains in the operating system's "core business" and a lot of added useless (to me) things which risk to produce, overall, just a heavier (and maybe even slower) system.

    I'm not a big fan of "automatic" ( = decided by someone else) updates, but I know that many people find them quite exciting. I also know there are many reasons related to security (which, by the way, is heavily affected by the user's habits and knowledge) , but nevertheless I'm wondering.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    3 Weeks Ago #2

    There's no "overall" in this case, just some compromises MS (in their infinite wisdom) has made to satisfy most users while making lesser number of W10 versions, most probably to cut down on (their) cost. What's left for "ordinary/typical users" is Home and Pro versions. In those two versions they had to cram as many features possible to satisfy even highest expectations for features and applets/programs which obviously are not needed all and for everybody. So you may end up with some needed and some needed options which may be different from needs of others. My opinion is that its better have them and not need/use than not have them at all.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  3.    3 Weeks Ago #3

    In addition to CountMike's excellent summary, I'd like to add mine.

    There is no problem with you asking what you bring up: I hear those all the time.
    --- Myself I had to learn computers OTJ back in 1985, no training whatsoever but a big plus was I got use to constant changes.

    I also advise those who I help with essentially a similar approach you have: be a simple user for what's needed to do.
    --- Even though there are numerous feature updates, don't let what you don't need interfere with what you need.
    --- Keep in mind Microsoft has millions of computers (not just yours or mine) out there and they need to be usable for whatever each user needs to be accomplished no matter where they live around the globe.
    --- On the significant gains, usually they are based on what today's technologies are in demand.

    When you mention automatic I suppose you are referring to Windows Updates: unless someone has a specific reason not to allow them to be automatic, they should be allowed to be automatic. That is simple once someone knows how to do that. When I help someone, I sit down with them after fixing their WU's issues and explain to them why.

    Users habits are very important as security, maintenance & performance are so important on ensuring the computer runs according to the users needs.
    --- That's the value of this Windows 10 forum: ask and advice will be provided.

    A big item I run into a lot is someone tells me a friend tells them to do this, that or whatever. So I tell the person I'm helping to ask that friend to help them with what is brought up but when they do, that request falls into some black hole.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  4.    3 Weeks Ago #4

    Thanks for your answers.
    I too met PCs back in the early eighties, starting to fiddle with an 8086 and a black/green screen.
    I know well, also, those "telling friends" and their frequent habit to... disappear when problems arise; that's why I've always tried not to become a... telling friend myself. I know every user+device system has its own features, needs, habits, knowledge level, so that "universal advices" are almost impossible to provide, unless they are of a very general nature.

    I have developed a certain "rule" which is quite important to me: never touch something that is decently working, unless you have a really, really good reason to do it. I think that a PC (or other similar device) which runs reasonably well, doing what it is meant to do in a satisfying and reliable way, is a kind of very happy island where the magic can easily be broken when you change something, maybe just for the sake of changing. Too many times I've seen people (including myself, in the old days) spending lots and lots of time (and patience and maybe money) just in trying to have things go... back to the very same state they were in before some "upgrade" which often was not even expected to provide significant and useful features.
    That's why I'm not a big fan of... easy software upgrades and updates.
    Lately, "thanks" to some growing passion for automatisms, I often see people having time consuming problems not because of some tampering they have done but because the system itself has spontaneously modified its own components and behaviours.
    So I'm not a big fan of automatic updates, either. Especially when they affect the operating system, namely the software on which the whole system depends.

    Maybe I'm too old minded, but I'm used to evaluate an operating system upgrade or update only when I'm reasonably sure it can provide some actual benefits in its core business (performance, stability, reliability, application management, quite better interface, serious bugs fixing and so on). Which I can't see in most Win10 "big" updates.
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  5.    3 Weeks Ago #5

    Thanks for your feedback as it was very interesting. In case you'd like to know, I'm also a fan of creating system image backups along with saving my data myself as an additional step. Fortunately I've haven't had to rely on recalling a system image backup or my data and will continue to do so just the same especially in today's world.
    --- About 95% of those whom I help don't want to bother with system image backups: I record and highlight that and the user gets a copy.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  6.    3 Weeks Ago #6

    My experience to date is that new updates are prone to be bug ridden, introduce few useful features yet deprecate some very useful features e.g. fine control of file associations.

    In your situation I would defer feature upgrades to the earliest one still receiving security updates which is currently v1709 for the Home / Pro version
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    Last edited by Steve C; 3 Weeks Ago at 03:46.
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  7.    3 Weeks Ago #7

    MeAndMyComputer said: View Post
    ... I'm also a fan of creating system image backups along with saving my data myself as an additional step. ...
    Well, as a... data-backupper I've always been a kind of maniac myself, never being able to switch my computer off before making sure to have at least one "external" copy of recent data. I usually keep two full backups of all my stuff, one up to date at home and another, a few months older, elsewhere.

    As to system image backups, on the contrary, I'm quite ignorant; I know how they work, but I never personally used them. I actually don't need them too much nowadays, as I have gradually moved to using "portable" programs and virtual machines (included in my backups), so that the main operating system keeps as "light" and efficient as possible.

    This does not mean I wouldn't like, in case of a system disk failure, to be able to easily restore the whole system, especially after I have moved the OS to a 256GB SSD disk.
    As a matter of fact I've been looking, lately, for a suitable and decent (and possibly free...) image backup tool.

    The "problem" is that also there I have some... odd ideas of mine. My system disk (C:) contains, together with Win10 and a few installed programs (totalling almost 25GB), about 150GB of data and portable programs, which I wouldn't need to include in a system image backup, as I do not consider them as part of the "system".
    I'd like to "image backup" only the Win10 environment, just to be able, in case of an SSD failure, to quickly restore it in another SSD disk, maybe bigger. In other words, I'd need a disk imaging program allowing the user to exclude one or more folders from the image file, while granting that such a "partial" (and quite smaller) image file, once restored, would actually be able to safely and certainly re-create in a new SSD the very same bootable system partition (obviously without the excluded stuff).
    Do you know any software capable of doing something like that?
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  8.    3 Weeks Ago #8

    Macrium Reflect (strongly recommended) allows this:
    How to exclude files from Disk Images and Clones - KnowledgeBase v7 - Macrium Reflect Knowledgebase - KnowledgeBase v7 - Macrium Reflect Knowledgebase
    - but not folders.
    That's not very convenient either.

    I totally agree with you about keeping C: relatively small - however Windows makes that almost impossible.
    Although I keep personal data - including all data to do with my email client- off C: inevitably installing programs means folders and files are created on C: for various purposes.

    I would much prefer an OS which could be maintained independently of installed programs - which would mean splitting Windows architecturally. Splite the registry between OS only and user-related- and have the latter with all installed programs and added drivers on, say, D:

    Now that WOULD simplify maintenance. However Windows was born i the days of small disks, and there's no incentive for such a radical change to improve reliability and maintenance - especially considering the legacy implications.

    The value of disk imaging is to protect against anything from disk failure and replacement to an event that causes your PC to be unbootable or demonstrate some unfixable behaviour.

    In some cases restoring an image can avoid doing a clean install, saving hugely on time and avoiding stress.
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  9.    3 Weeks Ago #9

    dalchina said: View Post
    ... inevitably installing programs means folders and files are created on C: for various purposes.
    I would much prefer an OS which could be maintained independently of installed programs - which would mean splitting Windows architecturally. ...

    That 's exactly the direction which I'm heading to, in some way, by using mostly portable programs and virtual machines (for example: one for e-mail, one for software testing and so on).
    Portable programs do not need installation and do not alter the OS (registry, system folders...) in any way, as they work only inside their own folders; at maybe some expense in terms of performance, they somehow re-create the old fashion DOS situation, when "installing" a program just meant copying all its stuff in a directory, from which the program could then be simply launched.
    Virtual machines are largely independent from the OS as well, each one keeping its own data inside its folder.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  10.    2 Weeks Ago #10

    dalchina said: View Post
    The value of disk imaging is to protect against anything from disk failure and replacement to an event that causes your PC to be unbootable or demonstrate some unfixable behaviour.
    In some cases restoring an image can avoid doing a clean install, saving hugely on time and avoiding stress.

    I have no doubt about that.
    No coincidence I'm looking for a suitable disk imaging tool, capable of making (and restoring) those "partial images" I mentioned above.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

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