It's often easy to blame Microsoft for every flaw and failing in our Windows update experience. The fault, dear reader, may not be in the updates, but in our own installs.
We glory in our righteous indignation when we think the giant has stumbled or mistreated us by giving us a free upgrade that's not perfect.
Well, I finally did it. I upgraded one of my Windows 7 machines to Windows 10. I know. I know. Back in July I said I wasn't going to do it. But I did.
My four year old, super-honkin' Sager laptop -- which we now use as a media center, conferencing tool, and writing machine -- was starting to act up. This is our most actively used machine, so that was a problem.
My first thought was to do a clean Windows 7 install, but I just didn't want to take the time to reconfigure all the software on this very well used machine. I also didn't want to go through the 300 or so updates a fresh Windows 7 install would require. So I decided to see if an in-place Windows 10 install would smooth out the rough edges.
Despite the laptop's manufacturer warning that Windows 10 is not supported for the four year old machine, and offered no Windows 10 drivers on its support site, I decided to take the plunge and give it a try. If it didn't work, I planned to fall back to a fresh Windows 7 install.
Following Ed Bott's advice, I ran the official compatibility checker
, which contradicted what the laptop's manufacturer said, and informed me my machine was good to go. Actually, Ed helped a lot with this article. I'll tell you more about that in a bit.
The upgrade process itself went relatively smoothly, except for a period where the updater got hung up on checking for updates. I just let it sit for an hour. When I came back, it had started its run. After about two hours, the checking for updates process completed. About a half hour after that, the whole upgrade was done.
The biggest thing I noticed was just how much like Windows 7 the system felt. In fact, I didn't tell my wife I had done the upgrade and she went on using the machine for a few hours without noticing any difference at all.
Can you imagine how much more successful Microsoft would have been with Windows 8 if they'd made it that seamless an upgrade?