Well its been a while since I posted anything of value. So today, while its slow at work, I decided to post about my experience in upgrading my laptop from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10 which was released on the 29th of July (Yay Free Upgrade). Some of the things I will cover are what to look out for, and more info on what the update allows you to do. I will also cover 2 ways to install free applications the easy way after a wipe and reload (or a bare-metal install). And Finally I will give an update on some of the posts to come.

Upgrading from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10
(And what to watch out for)

Sadly this will not cover upgrading from Windows 7 as I have been running Windows 8.1, since its release, on both my systems. I decided to upgrade to Windows 10 only on my Laptop, as I do not have many applications on there, so if the upgrade went south, at least I wouldn’t lose anything of major importance.

Midday on the 29th of July I got notification my Laptop was ready to be updated, but as I was at work, I decided to postpone it till I got home. I had postponed it till 5.pm, and at the end of my shift at 4pm, it said I had 59 minutes left till it updated. When I got home, around 4:30, after I booted up it said I once again had 50 minutes… I selected to start the upgrade now. The upgrade itself is quite painless, and everything turned out great. However I would HIGHLY recommend not using express settings during the setup. The reason is the default for everything is “ON”. This includes sharing your contacts with Microsoft and Sharing your Wifi Connection with your contacts (Major Security Issue). Read each section carefully. Also not, that I would also recommend using a local account instead of a Microsoft account, unless you really need to, for instance if you do use OneDrive an Outlook.com as your emails, then just make sure you turn off all your sharing settings. Read this article for more information.

I also must note that turning off Updates all together is no longer an option (till someone created a registry hack or a tweak). and has limited options. You are able to defer updates, but again, there are limitations.

Overall though I do like the new interface, and I will be formatting over my vacation to make it a full real install and not just and upgrade. The issue with Upgrades is it keep a lot of the old system files in a folder called “Windows.old” which can take up to 20GB of space or more. The issue though is that you cannot just go from 8.1 to a fresh install on the free upgrade. As Windows is not reissuing keys for the free upgrade, apparently (untested, will be testing it out over my holidays) you need to install the update first, then reinstall it fresh, that way Microsoft will know your system. Now whether or not this is tied to your Microsoft account I am not sure, so I might enable my account just for the install and then disable it again. A good article on this can be found over at LifeHacker.com.

2 ways to install a bunch of base (and free) applications after a reinstall

Back when I was working at the Library and making Windows image for the Computer Center and Class Room, I ran into a program called Ninite which allows you the option of installing any of 88 applications (at the time of this post) including Web Browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Opera Chromium), Utilities (Teamviewer, Imgburn, RealVNC), Media Apps (iTunes, VLC, Winamp), and others like Steam and KeePass 2. You basically visit their website, select the applications you want, and then download the custom created installer that will install all the applications for you without any adware. This tool came in handy as I was able to select all the free apps I wanted to install, set it to run, came back in 25 minutes and everything was installed. I didn’t have to visit several different sites and babysit each install.

More recently, I discovered a new application called Chocolatey which boasts over 2,850 packages (at the time of this post) and acts like a linux install command line. If you are used to Debian/Ubuntu’s apt-get system or Redhat/CentOS’s yum system, then Chocolatey will be a good fit for your needs. After you run the initial install command through an Administrative Command Prompt (run CMD as Administrator, or it will not work) you can simply run CMD commands to install your software. In the Below example, I installed Sublime3 text editor
[code]C:WINDOWSsystem32>choco install sublimetext3 -y
Chocolatey v0.9.9.8
Installing the following packages:
By installing you accept licenses for the packages.

SublimeText3 v3.0.0.3083
Downloading SublimeText3 64 bit
from ‘http://c758482.r82.cf2.rackcdn.com/Sublime%20Text%20Build%203083%20×64%20Setup.exe’
Installing SublimeText3…
SublimeText3 has been installed.
WARNING: Write-ChocolateySuccess is deprecated. If you are the maintainer,
please remove it from your package file.
The install of sublimetext3 was successful.

Chocolatey installed 1/1 package(s). 0 package(s) failed.
See the log for details (C:ProgramDatachocolateylogschocolatey.log).[/code]

You can of course, like in linux, install mutiple applicaitons at one by adding the package names int the line

[code]choco install sublimetext3 vlc opencodecs aimp -y[/code]

The -y is used to auto install, otherwise it will ask you if you want to run the “chocolateyInstall.ps1” script, which is needed in order for it to function. Its an extra step that can be avoided with the two character flag.

I will be using this app once I reformat my windows 10 system next month.

Other Updated and stuff

I am still hoping to post an article next month on how to generate a free SSL certificate like I did for this site. Its great for personal sites and is not a Self Signed Certificate, so Chrome and Firefox won’t hit you with a warning. I wouldn’t use it for much else other than a personal site. For a business site I would actually invest in a good SSL, but to protect your personal info, this is great for your OwnCloud installation on Vultr or DigitalOcean (couldn’t make a post without at least mentioning that article).

I will also be doing a post on File Sizes, I know its a weak post, but many applications in the server world still use the Base 2 settings and not the base 10, and no one uses Gibibyte (GiB) or Mebibyte (MiB), we all say Gigabyte (GB) and Megabyte (MB) even when referring to Base 2 which can be confusing.

And I have some more ideas to come, hopefully punch a few out on my first real vacation in 5 years.