How To Upgrade To Windows 10 Manually

I got Windows 8.1, and I need to upgrade to Windows 10 today since it’s just out today.  Nonetheless, I had not reserved Windows 10 through Windows 10 reserved app icon, so how am I going to upgrade to Windows 10?  My situation isn’t unique in relation to upgrade to Windows 10, but there are other situations that also prevent Windows 7 and 8 owners to have Windows 10 upgrade today!  Of course, in due time Microsoft eventually rolls out Windows 10 to most Windows 7 and 8 owners.  Still, if you are impatient and want to upgrade to Windows 10 right away, you can watch my tutorial right after the break in which I show you how to upgrade to Windows 10 manually.  Enjoy!!!

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My Downgrading Of Windows 8.1 To Windows 7 For Reliability And Driver Availability

Sometimes, more whistles and bells don’t mean more if the support foundation isn’t reliable and working just fine.  Windows 8.1 is this very case!  Although Windows 8.1 is bold and exciting, I’ve found it’s too unreliable and not stable.  Perhaps, it’s not Windows 8.1’s fault, but it’s more of that it’s too new and thus not enough drivers that are designed to work with its core services, leading to a very unreliable operating system.  I’ve encountered more computer issues with Windows 8.1 more than any other operating systems that I’ve ever used.  Thus, nowadays, whatever computers in my vicinity that have issues with Windows 8.1, I don’t have any hesitation to downgrade the computer’s Windows 8.1 to Windows 7 operating system.  I’ve to say I’m fond of Windows 7 for its reliability.  Sure, Windows 8.1 is more appealing in term of features and user interface, but reliability is more important in my opinion.  With reliability, Windows users don’t have to waste time in figuring out why their computers suddenly aren’t working the way they should, and such reliability enhances productivity.

As I was downgrading a computer of mine from Windows 8.1 to Windows 7, I’ve found UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) is nice but troublesome.  Nice in a way that UEFI has more whistles and bells and prettier than traditional BIOS user interface, but UEFI is a troublemaker.  How?  When installing other operating system that isn’t Windows 8.1 or newer, computer user might encounter a hairy situation.  For an example, a newbie computer user may not be able to figure out how to enable Boot\CSM(Compatibility Support Module) and set Boot Device Control to UEFI and Legacy OPROM.  Without enabling Boot\CSM support within UEFI Bios settings, a newbie computer user would find that it’s impossible to install Windows 7 and have Windows 7 boot up.  Of course, this would also hold true for installing Linux and other operating systems when a motherboard is using UEFI and not a traditional BIOS settings.

I’ve also found out that when installing Windows 7 under UEFI system, it might be confusing and hard to make sure Windows 7 would install its reserved partition on the intended hard disk/drive.  I’m not sure about you but when I didn’t physically disconnect a second hard drive that is larger than 2 terabyte from the internal arrangement of my PC, Windows 7 got confused and installed reserved partition on the second hard drive, thus nullifying the ability to convert the second hard drive to GPT (GUID Partition Table) filesystem.  Without being able to do a conversion of a second hard drive to GPT partition/filesystem, Windows 7 won’t recognized that my second hard drive is a 3 terabyte drive, thus my PC can only use 2 terabyte out of second hard drive’s 3 terabyte hard disk size/space.  Here is a tip for you, perhaps when installing Windows 7 under UEFI system, you might have to physically disconnect all internal hard drives except for the main hard drive that you are using for installing Windows 7.

Through the trial of downgrading Windows 8.1 to Windows 7 for a PC, now I learn a lot more about UEFI.  According to TechRepublic’s “10 things you should know about UEFI” article, UEFI BIOS user interface supposes to simplify how drivers would be written for most operating systems… which is to write one driver for a specific PC component that would work for all operating systems so a developer won’t have to write different drivers for different operating systems.  Save time and effort!  Nonetheless, in practice UEFI makes life harder for PC users.  Nonetheless, I guess UEFI does have a benefit of making life easier for the developers.  Still, I think more emphases need to be emphasized for PC users, because without PC users (and their happiness) the developers won’t have customers to write software for (thus will not be able to generate incomes).

In conclusion, I think Windows 8.1 is a step in right direction for Microsoft to embolden the effort of improving Windows operating system ecosystem, but Microsoft’s execution is not in synch with the mass.  Drivers for Windows 8.1 should be readied at the inception of the Windows 8.1 official release.  Still, 3 months after the Windows 8.1 official release, I had read many driver compatibility complaints and see many Windows 8.1 driver issues first hand, thus I’m not having an easy time with Windows 8.1.  Instead of relying on Windows 8.1, I’m backpedalling toward the stream of Windows 7.

Source:  http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/10-things/10-things-you-should-know-about-uefi/ (link)

Got Small SSD As A System Drive For Windows 8? Here Are Some Tips To Free Up Some Disk Space For Your SSD!

Samsung SSD 830 Series 128Gb 2,5" SATA

Samsung SSD 830 Series 128Gb 2,5″ SATA (Photo credit: Tolbxela)

If you got a small SSD as the system drive, you know how annoying it’s to see it’s being filled up quickly right?  Nonetheless, there isn’t anything you can do about it to stop Windows from eating up SSD space, especially if you’re using Windows 7 and 8.  Still, there are several things that can keep your SSD system drive sane by doing few things as followed…

Disclaimer:  I’m not going to be responsible for your actions in case your computer caught on fire or data were smashed into the oblivion.  You have been warned, and so only trying these tips out if you’re knowledgable (and able to own up to your mistakes).

  1. Use CCleaner (only download on its official website or reputable websites to avoid fake CCleaner software which could be a malware or virus) — to clean up the cache, temporary files, and other unnecessary cluttered data.  Furthermore, you can also use CCleaner to clear up erroneous registries.  This software alone is able to help you free up a lot of space in your system drive (i.e., C:\)
  2. Use Windows’s built-in Free Up Disk Space utility.  This way if CCleaner missed anything this Windows utility will help clean out the rest.  Nonetheless, I don’t think CCleaner will miss anything unless you had specified specifics data not to be cleaned by CCleaner.  So, this step is rather redundant if you ask me.  To access Windows 8’s built-in Free Up Disk Space utility, you gotta do this:
    1. Accessing the Charm bar on the rightmost side of the monitor as you’re facing it
    2. Click on search icon to access the search box
    3. Type in the search box with Free Up Disk Space
    4. Select Settings link underneath the search box
    5. Click on Free up disk space by deleting unnecessary files link/icon on the left panel
    6. Select C: drive
    7. Follow the self explanatory steps afterward.
  3. You can also save many many Gigabytes of disk space if you turn off hibernation for Windows 7 and 8.  If I’m not wrong, Windows 7 and 8 usually reserve the same amount of hard disk space to RAM size for hiberfil.sys if you had disabled pagefile feature.  Otherwise, Windows 7 and 8 usually assign some disk space to pagefile.sys and a lot of disk space to hiberfil.sys — adding these two files together would equate the RAM size.  So, let say if your system has installed 8 GB of RAM, then it’s agreeable that Windows 7 and 8 have also reserve around 8 GB of disk space to be used for hibernation through the file known as hiberfil.sys (i.e., if pagefile.sys isn’t existed).  The best way to disable hibernation and recover this 8 GB or how many GB worth of disk space that might be, you have to do this:
    1. Accessing the Charm bar on the rightmost side of the monitor as you’re facing it
    2. Click on the search icon to access the search box
    3. Type in the search box with cmd
    4. Right click on the Command Prompt icon/link
    5. Look at the bottom Charm bar and click on Run as administrator icon/link
    6. Type into the command prompt the command:  powercfg -h off
  4. Furthermore, you can also reduce the pagefile size to free up even more disk space (i.e., for SSD which acts as system drive).  It’s not recommending to do this since Windows 7 and 8 can crash if the system runs out of memory (i.e., RAM) and cannot access large enough pagefile.sys file.  Nonetheless, I myself had reduced the pagefile.sys file size to only 1% of the SSD disk space, recovering some disk space in the process.  I figured that my system got amble amount of RAM (16 GB to be exact), therefore I went ahead and reduced the pagefile.sys file size.  I don’t think my system can ever be out of memory unless I crazily run too many RAM hungry programs at one go.  Nonetheless, I did not disable pagefile.sys completely, because to have some paging is better than not having any.  Having some paging might be able to prevent system crash when the system is out of memory.  When a system goes into paging mode, the system will be very slow.  Whatever the case, here is how you reduce your Windows 8’s pagefile size:
    1. Accessing the Charm bar on the rightmost of the monitor as you’re facing it
    2. Click on the search icon/link
    3. Type inside the search box with Advance system settings
    4. Click on View advanced system settings link on the left panel
    5. Select System Protection tab
    6. Highlight C: drive
    7. Click on Configure button
    8. Slide the Max Usage slider in the appropriate manner to reduce the pagefile size
    9. Click OK button to save everything and exit this feature.

With following the tips I just shared, you might be able to recover a lot of disk space from your SSD.  I was able to recover around 40 GB worth of disk space from my SSD (i.e., which acts as system drive).  In the process I was able to shrink my C: drive to allow me to add an additional partition for dual booting Windows 8 and Ubuntu 13.04.  Awesome isn’t it?  Of course, the extra partition on SSD isn’t capable of holding Ubuntu system’s home directory and various other directories (i.e., in long term use), but I got lucky as I also had an extra hard drive to spare.  Nonetheless, you only need 5 GB worth of disk space for installing Ubuntu 13.04.  In my case I have 5.7 GB worth of disk space of doing this, and so I assigned 700 MB for swap drive, the rest was for root directory.  The extra hard drive would be for /home and /var directories for the Ubuntu system.  Why only 5.7 GB worth of disk space to spare on SSD C: drive when I claimed that I recovered around 40 GB worth of disk space?  Well, Windows 8 didn’t allow me to shrink SSD C: drive to the point that I could use all the 40 GB data free disk space, because some of the original data might not be moveable and had sprinkled to certain supposedly data free regions of the SSD, consequently the surrounding data free regions of the SSD were not available for partitioning.  In the end, I could only partition SSD C: drive with an extra 5.7 GB partition.

Can Ubuntu 12.10 Replace Windows 7? (YouTube Video)

Can Ubuntu 12.10 replace Windows 7?  Obviously, we have Windows 8 now.  Nonetheless, some people are still preferring Windows 7 over Windows 8.  Ubuntu 12.10 is a good comparison to Windows 7, and so it might be a good alternative for Windows 7.  I’ve found a great video on YouTube which goes through various popular Windows 7 tasks on Ubuntu 12.10, to see if Ubuntu 12.10 can replace Windows 7 or not.  Enjoy!!!

Using iObit Uninstaller To Uninstall Software That Refuse To Be Removed From Windows 8, 7, Vista, And XP

Happy to Use Computer Software

Happy to Use Computer Software (Photo credit: Old Shoe Woman)

I was trying to uninstall Microsoft Expression Blend 4 and various other Microsoft Expression software on Windows 8, but Windows 8 was unable to remove these software.  I think this had happened for the reason that Microsoft Expression software that I downloaded as free trial software were only compatible with Windows 7, and since I upgraded from Windows 7 to Windows 8 these software were refusing to be uninstalled correctly on Windows 8.  Luckily, I found iObit Uninstaller.  With iObit Uninstaller, I was able to remove these Microsoft Expression software (free trial) without any problem.  iObit Uninstaller is not only the last resort kind of uninstaller for Windows applications, but it’s also powerful enough to dig up all leftover registry entries from the applications that were previously removed and allow you to delete these leftover registry entries.  iObit Uninstaller supports almost all Windows versions (e.g., Windows 8, 7, Vista, XP).  iObit Uninstaller is a freeware, and so it does not cost you a dime to download it and use.  Furthermore, after downloading iObit Uninstaller, you don’t have to install it onto your current computer, because it is meant to be an application which you can just launch from its current location.  This is great as you can totally copy and paste iObit Uninstaller onto a USB flash drive, bring it over to another computer that needs to have applications to be uninstalled and launch iObit from within the flash drive to uninstall such applications.  Anyhow, you can watch the video right after the break to get a glimpse at how iObit Uninstaller works.  Enjoy!!!

Few Things You Should Do After Upgrading To Or Installing Windows 8

I just upgraded my computer from Windows 7 to Windows 8.  The upgrade went smoothly except it had to restart couple times; it also asked me to free up around 20GB of disk space.  I installed all my system files and a game on SSD, and so my SSD had almost always been full.  I moved my game over to my other drive, and once I did that Windows 8 allowed me to move forward with the upgrade.  I had always backup all of my data, and so I was ready to go with the upgrade of Windows 8.  You should backup your data before you do anything major to your computer system.  You never know when your data will get corrupted or something would go so wrong during a major system update/upgrade and so on.  Without doing proper backups for your data, you might lose so much data that you find yourself doing a facepalm and wonder what had you done to yourself.  Anyhow, in my case, the upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 8 went super smooth, and I got to keep most of my files, software, and settings.  If you upgrade not from Windows 7 to Windows 8, I think Windows 8 will not allow you to keep most of the stuffs you got.  During the upgrade to Windows 8 from an older version of Windows, the upgrade process checks to see what you can keep and what you cannot keep.  Eventually, Windows 8 upgrade process lets you know about the stuffs that you can keep and the stuffs that you have to do without if you decide to move on with the upgrade to Windows 8.  At this point, you have to think seriously, because if you have not had any backup for your data and move forward with the upgrade to Windows 8, you might lose some serious data.  Losing them data forever!!!  This is why I insist you to do a backup for all of your data before go ahead with the upgrade to Windows 8.

Windows 8 is a lot different than Windows 7 as it emphasizes on syncing the Internet features and data with your local system and data.  An example of this is how Windows 8 allows you to sign into Windows 8 with Microsoft email address. This way, new emails from the email account that you’re using to login into Windows 8 will show up on the Start screen whenever you login into Windows 8.  Obviously, you can always change the method of how you want to login into Windows 8.  You can do this by getting into Desktop view/mode first > move your mouse pointer to the hot corner at the bottom right > Settings > Change PC Settings (at the very bottom) > Users > Switch to local account or otherwise.

I think the first thing you should take care right away right after you had upgraded to Windows 8 is to make sure your Windows 8 security is up to the task.  Some of the third party security solutions may not work correctly with Windows 8 yet, because the developers for these third party security solutions might be in the process of making their software to be compatible with Windows 8.  I found this out with Norton Internet Security 2013 as this security software would crash on me whenever I try to use it on Windows 8.  I found out that only Norton Internet security 2012 is compatible with Windows 8, because it is listed as compatible on Microsoft Compatibility Center website.  In my opinion, it’s an ironic that newer Norton Internet Security software fails to work on Windows 8, but the older version is doing alright on Windows 8.  Anyhow, in my case I completely uninstalled Norton Internet Security 2013 and replaced it with McAfee 2013.  For you, I suggest you try out your Internet Service Provider security solution first to see if it is compatible with Windows 8, and this way you don’t have to actually pay more money for third party security solution.  If your Internet Service Provider doesn’t provide you a security solution, then you can always use the free security software that came with Windows 8 by default.

The security software that came with Windows 8 by default are Windows 8 firewall and Windows Defender.  Windows 8 firewall is just as good or even better than some third party firewall solutions.  With that being said, I’ve found Windows 8 firewall to be a tad more complicated than third party firewall solutions, but it’s not that difficult if you just switch on block all incoming connections and allow all outgoing connections in the specific firewall profile that you’re using on Windows 8.  How to turn on Windows 8 firewall?  Make sure you are in Desktop view/mode and move your mouse pointer to hot corner at the bottom right corner of the screen > click on Search > highlight Settings > type firewall into the Settings search box at the top > click on the Windows Firewall link which appears on the left hand panel > manage Windows 8 firewall from here.

Windows 8 came with Windows Defender, and if I’m not mistaken Windows Defender is a two in one solution.  It used to be called something else as I don’t entirely recall what it was called, and it was and still is used for malware detection, but now on Windows 8 the operating system combines this malware detection capability with a new antivirus detection capability.  So, in a nutshell, Windows 8 Windows Defender is two solutions in one as it can detect both viruses and malware.  I think this is a good deal for the folks who do not want to install a third party security solution such as Norton or McAfee.  To check to see your Windows 8 has the proper security elements in place, you should go to Desktop view/mode > Settings > Control Panel > System and Security > Action Center > expand the Security portion and make sure firewall is on and other security elements are in place.

I found out that when I told Windows 8 not to turn on networking sharing feature during the upgrade process, Windows 8 got my Internet connection listed as Public or Guest connection.  Perhaps, this doesn’t matter much if you had tightened Windows 8 firewall’s public firewall profile or you use a third party firewall solution.  Nonetheless, I didn’t like how Windows 8 listed my computer under Public connection when my computer actually was and is connected to a private Internet connection.  Don’t get confused when I say private Internet connection, because what I meant is a home connection or an office connection.  So, I had this changed.  How?  Desktop view/mode > right bottom hot corner > Settings > Change PC Settings > Home Group > and turn on the sharing feature.

Once you got all security elements for Windows 8 up and running, now you should make sure all data is intact and the software are working.  In my case, I had to move the game which accounted for 14 GB worth of data from the large secondary drive back to SSD.  Remember how I had to move this game from SSD to the large secondary drive since Windows 8 upgrade process asked me to free up around 20 GB worth of disk space?  Yep, this is the very game I’m talking about.  Anyhow, just make sure your software are working correctly.  If you have a software that would crash on Windows 8, you can go to Microsoft Windows Compatibility Center to see the software you’re running is actually compatible to Windows 8.  If not, you have to either contact the software developers and urge them to release a Windows 8 compatible version of the software or switch to another software which has the same features as the original one.  By the way, let me warn you that whenever you install  anything on Windows 8, you are doing so at your own risks.  After all, Windows 8 has just been released.  This is why you should do research first before installing any software onto a computer which runs Windows 8.  Good luck to you on this front.

Now, you should try to check to see if there is any update for Windows 8.  I know, if you had picked an option of which to allow Windows 8 to automatically update your computer during the upgrade process or installation process, Windows 8 will automatically update  your computer with newer updates whenever newer updates come out.  These updates might be related to newer drivers, newer system files, and so on.  I don’t think Windows 8 will know the software that you install not from Windows Store (or not a core part of what makes Windows 8 come to live) has newer update or not.  I might be wrong though!  Automatic update is fine and all that, but sometimes you just want to do an update on demand.  Like right after you upgrade to or install Windows 8, right?  No sweat, Windows 8 also allows you to do a manual update.  How to do this?  Get into Desktop view/mode > right bottom hot corner > Settings > Change PC settings > Windows Update > click on the button that says Check for updates now.  If you there is something to be updated, click on the link which has the option to allow you to do a manual update, and this link usually locates above the Check for updates now button.

I think this should be it for you guys, and just get familiar with Windows 8 features.  To get familiar with how to use Windows 8 is going to be challenging for people who do not like to learn how to use a brand new operating system, because Windows 8 does feel like it’s a brand new operating system on the surface (i.e., not an iteration of the original operating system).  Underneath though, if you know how to use Windows 7, you should get rather comfy with Windows 8 soon once you get over with the challenge of knowing how to navigate Windows 8 on the surface (i.e., I meant of the Windows 8 Start screen and other newer Windows 8 trivial features and not about Microsoft surface tablet which also uses similar graphical user interface to Windows 8).