Upgrading to Windows 10

Windows 10 Upgrade is Still Free.

I recently upgraded one of my computers to Windows 10. I know, I’m a late adopter. But Windows 7 was working fine for me and I didn’t feel inclined to update it without good reason.

I had to update it to test the new DXO PhotoLab 3, which won’t run in Windows 7.

So I Googled it and ended up at the Windows download page. From there I downloaded the Media Creation Tool and, when I ran it, I selected the Update Windows option. This option ensures my existing programs and files are still available after the update.

I made a full backup of my system beforehand. Just in case…

The Upgrade to Windows 10

The upgrade itself was painless and uninteresting. It took quite a long time, but required minimal interaction from me.

The Aftermath

The first thing I noticed was how slow Windows 10 booted on my system. My system drive is an SSD with plenty of free space. Windows 7 booted so quickly that I never felt frustrated waiting for it. The first few boots into Windows 10 were painful. They took over five minutes. At first I thought it was because of Windows updates being triggered, and that was partially true. But even Windows had updated itself, boot time remained too slow.

Speeding up Windows 10 Boot time

I tried a few things. Updated some drivers. All had no effect. I found that Windows had many unneeded tools automatically starting up during the boot. I turned off everything that I could. It improved things a bit.

Then I looked at the security features Windows ran – and turned everything off apart from the firewall. ‘What??‘ I hear you say! I use a different security setup to the traditional antivirus and anti-malware programs. Years ago I did a lot of research on Wilders Security Forums and I use:

These combine to prevent my PC from ever being infected. EXE Radar Pro won’t let anything run on my PC unless I’ve granted it permission. AppGuard won’t let any app do anything suspicious. So if something gets past EXE Radar Pro AppGuard just won’t let it do any damage. AdGuard blocks malicious Internet ads. Spyshelter Firewall adds a tighter layer of security on top. Again, nothing can run without having its permission. Nothing can access the Internet without its permission. It scrambles my keystrokes to foil keyloggers. It protects my screen from screen captures and so forth.

The only problem I have with this setup is that it can be too good. When installing software I have to tell these programs to grant permissions. This setup is not for the fainthearted but it has so little impact on my system’s performance. Far less than traditional antivirus programs.

Just to be sure, I run a MalwareBytes scan occasionally. In all the years I used this setup my PC has had NO infections of any kind.

Switching Windows Defender real-time protection off sped up the PC and reduced the boot time to an acceptable two minutes. Not as fast as Windows 7 but fast enough.

Canon EOS Utility and Windows 10

After the upgrade this useful program from Canon didn’t work properly. It should detect when I connect one of cameras to the PC via USB and then offer to control the camera or download pictures. The computer registered that I had connected the camera but the EOS Utility couldn’t see it.

The fix for me was to update the USB driver. To do that, I ran the Device Manager, connected my camera, right clicked on the camera and selected Update Driver. It listed the camera as ‘Unknown Device’.

Window 10 Device Manager
Window 10 Device Manager

However, updating the driver didn’t go smoothly. Windows refused saying ‘Access Denied’. When Windows updated to Windows 10, it didn’t give my user account permission to update USB drivers. They describe the fix for that on this page. It’s not too hard to do but involved using the Registry Editor and then granting my account permission to make the change.

As soon as I did that I could update the driver and Windows recognized the camera. The EOS Utility sprang to life and worked as expected.

Conclusion

Looking back, I would still rather be on Windows 7 as it did everything I needed. But needs must and the upgrade process was painless and inexpensive. I reckon it took me about 1/2 a day to do the upgrade and get Windows into a state where I thought it was usable. Not too bad. And then I tested DXO PhotoLab 3!

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