Windows 10 has been officially released on July 29th 2015 and since I am currently on vacation at home I took the time to upgrade my existing Windows 8.1 installation.
My Windows 10 upgrade experience in short:
- The upgrade was not automatically available for me on GA.
- If you still want to install Windows 10 before it’s automatically available use the “Windows Download Tool”
- All programs need to be reinstalled afterwards. Only my Windows users have been keept.
- Your old system is keept at
C:\Windows.oldif you want to recover anything
- You should run the disk cleanup afterwards because the upgrade process does not delete files.
- Windows 10 seems nice so far.
Forcing the Update
Even tough the GA was scheduled for the 29th this does not necessarily mean that’ll will get the upgrade right away. As it says in the mail you probably received after reserving the Windows 10 upgrade Microsoft will roll out Windows 10 in an organized way:
We want to give every customer a great upgrade experience, so we’re rolling it out in an organized way to manage high demand and to make sure that the upgrade is right for your device. After July 29, when Windows 10 is ready for your device, it will download in the background. You’ll then get a notification to schedule your upgrade right away or at another time that’s convenient for you.
… which means that the upgrade was not available for me on the 30th of July. And it was still not available when I ran a normal Windows update:
Forced Windows Update
So I tried to force the Windows 10 installation using
wuauclt.exe /updatenow from an admin console:
This seemed to work because Windows Update started downloading Windows 10 right away:
But after the download finished the installation failed. First there was a dialog which said the I should check my PC before the upgrade and that some updates failed:
Check your PC before upgrading
Before installing Windows 10 Insider Preview, something needs your attention.
And after hitting “Check your PC” I got an error indicating that some updates failed to install:
Some updates were not installed.
Failed: 2 updates
I also tried clearing the
C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download folder as it was recommended by some people:
… but still no luck. So I tried a different method.
Windows Download Tool
Since the installation via Windows Update did not work I tried the Windows 10 Download Tool. You can just download it from
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10 and run it:
The tool will guide you through the download process and give you some upgrade “options”. Your “options” for upgrading are
- Keep nothing (clean install)
- or keep almost nothing (keep users).
So you chose “Only keep personal files”:
This is quite a bummer since I though it would be just an upgrade, but apparently Microsoft did not want to make any promises that they couldn’t keep afterwards. So you’ll have to reinstall all your programs after the upgrade to Windows 10.
Once the download was complete the installation process was straight forward without any issues.
These are the steps I took to download Windows 10 using the Windows 10 Download Tool:
And these are the steps of the installation process:
If I think there were three reboots in total.
After you have successfully installed Windows 10 using the “Keep User Settings”-option you should cleanup your disk because the installer will move all files of the old system to
C:\Windows.old. For me it was about 40 GB of data:
You can manually delete the folder or use Windows’ Disk Cleanup utility:
This is how my dual-screen desktop looks like after the upgrade:
- The integration of the metro-style apps in the start menu finally makes sense and I might actually use one or two of them
- The ability to customize the start menu is great.
- Native support for virtual desktops was a long missing feature.
- The search is finally useful: You can search for apps, system settings, documents, the web. Just hit
<win>and start typing. I think I will no longer need Launchy.
- The window snapping feature has been improved. You can now snap to the top and bottom using the up and down arrow keys or the mouse (see: Andy’s Keyboard Shortcut Collection)
If you want to learn more about the new features of Windows 10 you should check out Scott Hanselmann’s series: Getting Started with Windows 10.