Sunday, August 02, 2015

Windows 10 upgrade - Jump the Queue

Windows 10 has been installed on around 14 million devices within 24 hours and if you had reserved upgrade for your desktop/tablet, it may still take few days or weeks to receive automated notification from Microsoft.

I too had signed up in advance for this update however as soon as the final build was released to consumers, I gave in to the craving of manual installation. Please note that steps listed in this post would need a little advanced knowledge on your part to understand what you are going to do in order to push Windows 10 installation and it would be wise to back up windows files/settings etc. and note down your existing OS, MS office or any other application keys already installed just in case the OS transition process goes awry.

My Windows device is a Asus T100 Tablet/PC hybrid which houses Intel atom 1.33 GHz processor and runs on 2GB RAM, 32 Bit OS.

It would be good if you have reserved your Windows 10 copy in advance, if not try downloading this "Get Windows 10" App from this link  I am not sure if this would still work but you can give it a try.

Step 1
The easiest way to manually upgrade to Windows 10 is downloading Media Creation Tool from Microsoft website as per your OS type version (32 Bit or 64 Bit). It was dud attempt for me as this installer never went beyond Preparing -> "Something Happened" error!

Download this installer here

If the first option of "Upgrade this PC Now" works for you then it should be a cake walk process and if it does not then you can also run installation via a USB (ensure free space of 3GB or more on USB device and delete or copy content from that USB device before you configure it for Windows installation)

Some users have reported that this installer does tend to create issue and the problem is solved if you change your system region and keyboard language settings to US.

None of these options work out for me so on to step 2.

Step 2
This process involves a little bit of tinkering here and there on your system as I did not realize that while I was trying the first step with USB installation option, Windows 10 installation files were also downloaded on C drive (around 6GB in size)

1) Under view option on windows toolbar, keep hidden files option checked and select $Windows.~BT folder for deletion. You may get system permission issue prompt which may not allow you to clean up the entire folder so here are two more options to solve this problem.

a) Download "Take Ownership" registry utility which would allow you take ownership of all files and folders in the above directory to delete it completely b) Run disk clean up utility -> click on clean up system files button and ensure you check Previous Windows Installation(s) option.

2) Next step is go to - C: > Windows > Software Distribution > Download folder and delete everything inside this folder.

Both the above steps would remove all files left from previous unsuccessful installation attempt.

3) To prepare your machine for another round of update try this - Run Command Prompt utility in Administrator mode and then search for 'cmd' from Start menu/screen. Right-click on it and select 'Run as Administrator' from the context menu, Type the following command and press enter: wuauclt.exe/updatenow.

4) Wait for sometime to see the download process begin from the Windows Update screen section under control panel, it displays download size of around 2092 MB but it took around close to 2.5 hours on my 8MBPS broadband connection considering the tremendous traffic that must be hitting Microsoft servers during this period it was reasonable.

I encountered error after entire download process got completed which was more frustrating, so last attempt at going after registry tweak on Step 3.

Step 3
I had to follow clean up activities listed under step 2 to begin a new download process and this time I found a registry hack from Windows Central forum (cautious with this one, do not proceed if you don't feel confident)

Go to Run -> Type regedit command and follow steps from screenshot below, restart your PC/laptop/Tablet and once you go to control panel -> Windows Updates, I noticed that Windows 10 download had started again and in another 2 hours time finally my upgrade went through successfully.

Once the set up process started it required minimum intervention on my part and only when it comes to a screen where it prompts you to use express settings to proceed with installation ensure you choose to customize it by reading these options carefully because there are hell lot of privacy related settings which can to be tweaked to you preference.

All my apps, settings, programs, folders were left untouched and no issues with display or sound drivers. This could be the least troublesome Windows installation one may experience. I personally liked the metro interface which I started missing immediately however I know I would get used to the good old start menu option. Boot process is much faster than Windows 8/8.1 and there was no lag or difference in performance on my hybrid laptop/tablet device.

I am now eager to try out the Xbox one streaming experience, drivers for wireless xbox one controller are available to download, I would have to test it with some micro-usb cables to see if it works as publicized.

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