Windows 10 Upgrade Experience

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I just completed the dreaded Windows 10 upgrade, which I have been holding off on doing for months due to the massive privacy issues of this version. I have been milking Windows 7 since it came out, but now that Microsoft no longer supports it, I am concerned with the lack of security upgrades.

If you have already upgraded to Windows 10, there are many default settings that should be disabled if you are concerned with your privacy, as the system is hugely invasive with the default settings. If you have not upgraded yet, there are also some settings that you can change prior to the finalization of the upgrade by selecting the “custom install” option, rather than the “express install” option. The upgrade on my computer took about 3 hours to complete. After completion, I immediately noticed that my web pages were very slow loading on both the IE browser and the Mozilla Firefox browser. It was fairly easy (using the info on the link provided below) to locate the issue, Microsoft had turned my computer into a peer to peer zombie node to help distribute Windows 10 updates. After disabling this, things seemed to speed up quite a bit more and all of the unexplained disk activity during idle times pretty much ceased. I also checked for updates the next day and found that there were quite a few that were not installed during the initial upgrade. After installing these, both browsers were back to normal speed.

Microsoft wants to access as much of your personal information as possible for all of their “third party partners” and for their own use. They are also after your location information and the ability to control your computer cameras and microphones. By going thru the large list of privacy settings, you can pretty much take care of these problems. Be double sure that the Cortana voice assistant is disabled, as this function sends speech data to Microsoft’s servers. Also, make sure that your computer microphone is disconnected when not being used even after disabling Cortana, as there is still some question whether voice data is still not being sent, even after turning Cortana off.

If you take the time to read the huge Windows 10 end user agreement and privacy policy, you will find statements such as “Finally, we will access, disclose and preserve personal data, including your content (such as the content of your emails, other private communications or files in private folders), when we have a good faith belief that doing so is necessary.”

And explanations such as:

“Rather than residing as a static software program on your device, key components of Windows are cloud-based. … In order to provide this computing experience, we collect data about you, your device, and the way you use Windows.”

Here is what I think is the best link to get the info you need to know preferably before or even after upgrading to Windows 10

I am still dealing with a couple issues such as both Word and Excel files sometimes hang during saves. If I find a cure, I will pass it on in this article later. I would also appreciate suggestions from others related to Windows 10 privacy issues and operational tweaks. As with every newer version of Windows, the system assumes that the users are dumber than the ones who used the prior version, so versatility in the ability to customize is lost or well hidden. My first experience with an actual operating system was Seattle Computer Products 86-DOS back in 1980, which I ran on my Imsai 8080 using an SCP 8086 board. This was what I believe the first precursor to what eventually became the Windows operating system. Then it was on to the Apple ][+, IIe, Lisa, and PC's. I have been telling myself that my next computer would be a MAC, but I am now hearing from my MAC friends that they are becoming increasing concerned with privacy issues on the Apple side.


Stone-Eater Added Jul 13, 2016 - 1:53pm
I never do upgrades. Too much junk and incompatibilities. I'm rebuilding from scatch. First, save all data of your old Windows 7 or 8 (only in C: drive per default in your users directory) on an external drive
Repartition the NEW installation FIRST in a C: for system and a D: for data.
Then reinstall the system on C: and the data from the external disk on D:, reinstall the apps you NEED only on C:. But never install the system express or default. Choose carefully, leave out Cortana stuff and metro apps. You can find ISO's with strapped images on the net too, with Cortana and other spyware take out.
Then install ccleaner and revo uninstaller from the net (freeware). Check your startup items and disable automatic updates. No one needs them anyway - they only slow down the system gradually.
Use Windows defender, don't install other antivirus that slows it down further. Defender IS good enough in combination with, say, malwarebytes. NEVER let programs execute at startup. Check your services. Disable all updaters like Adobe or Java as the minimum. 
Here's more on services:
Updating does more harm than good :-)
Bill H. Added Jul 13, 2016 - 3:56pm
Good feedback, guys! Yeah, I forgot to mention that many had been tricked into an upgrade that they didn't want.
SEF - I plan to do a clean install as you described next week (very good suggestions), but wanted to do the upgrade as most will and pass on my experience and suggestions. I am thinking the average computer user will just upgrade and not do the clean install, so they hopefully will welcome suggestions to keep Microsoft out of their bedrooms.
If we can keep this thread going with more suggestions from and for everybody, I think it would be a good thing as the upgrade deadline for the free copy is the end of the month. 
Stone-Eater Added Jul 13, 2016 - 4:30pm
keep Microsoft out of their bedrooms.
I have a dual boot with a stripped down Windows 10 and a Linux-based Zorin OS
to work with on my main client (I use an Ubuntu server without GUI for mail, file and webserver).
In my view, Zorin OS which bases on Debian is the best choice for Windows users who want to change to Open Source Linux, and it's quite handy, it's the distro which resembles Windows most (second choice for me would be Linux Mint), both are based on Debian and use the same commands in terminal mode as Ubuntu does, the best-known Linux for private users today, but which is not as comfortable for the end-user to work with.
But Windows 10, when installed properly, is the fastest Windows since XP so far. 
It needs a bit of knowledge to install a Dual Boot (where you have to systems on the same machine, for general information), but for example Linux can read and work with data from the Windows part, but NOT otherwise.
I do recommend Linux anytime - it's free of charge and you don't need any antivirus on your machine, which will make it FAST.
I have a 15-year-old IBM Thinkpad here running on Linux - and I stream videos online, smooth, no breaks. Try that with Windows :-)
EXPAT Added Jul 13, 2016 - 4:56pm
Bill and Stone.
What language are you speaking? I am retarded when it comes to all this tech stuff.
So my question to you is: Is there a software installation package that will allow a dummy like me to install 10, with maximum privacy as you suggest?
I am holding on to my 8 as long as I can, but see the handwriting on the wall.
The Devil Gates will find a way to make me surrender.
If you know of a package available, I will be willing to pay!
If there is none, perhaps this is a Business Opportunity!
Stone-Eater Added Jul 13, 2016 - 5:10pm
BTW: When you're afraid that you can't do with Linux what you can do with Windows: Open Office or Libre Office can do the same as MS Office can (it can even export as PDF and can work with and read your Word/Excel/Power Point-Files)- by using far less memory - therefore faster. MS Outlook can be replaced with Thunderbird Mail easily, and Chrome and/or Firefox are mostly integrated in the basic installation !
The only backlash might be Adobe stuff like Photoshop or when you have special applications which run exclusively on Windows. What to do ?
Well, there is WINE. A Linux add-on part where you can use your Windows programs as before -  "integrated" in your new Linux. You could even "import" your MS Office there, but it will of course run slower.
So it is worth to consider: When you buy a new PC, read about "Dual Boot" before and take time to get into it. It's worth it. You have 2 systems on one machine - when one system crashes (which is mostly Windows), you still have the other one to at least save your data without needing exterior help....and keep on working with the other :-)
Stone-Eater Added Jul 13, 2016 - 5:26pm
Keep your Windows 8.1. No sweat it will not expire ! But you could install a Zorin alongside without problem. It will look for space available and install itself there, and create automatically a menu at startup of the computer where you can choose if you want to start Zorin or Windows.
But for the moment - stick to what you have :-)
Stone-Eater Added Jul 13, 2016 - 5:29pm
BTW: Never throw away an older PC. All Linux stuff i free of charge, and the old PC would run faster as it did before with Windows LOL
Stone-Eater Added Jul 13, 2016 - 5:35pm
There are possibilities to find so-called ISO files on the net which contain "images" of a DVD Windows 10 installation DVD, but they have to be burned onto DVD first, then they can be installed. When you have a Windows key for a purchased Windows 10, you can just install from that DVD you burned and forget about the preinstalled Windows 10 which contains all that crap you don't want.
You can download these images from various torrent sites (google that expression) and go from there. YOu can also google on how to correctly download torrent files.
Stone-Eater Added Jul 13, 2016 - 5:38pm
Look for so-called "thin" or "lite" versions. And also google your PC/Laptop model to find out if you have a so-called "x86" or "x64" machine before downloading the appropriate ISO image.
Bill H. Added Jul 13, 2016 - 6:58pm
Expat - As SEF mentioned, your good to go with Windows 8 for quite a while, so I would avoid upgrading unless you want to. If you do, follow the procedure at the website I listed in the article text if you are not comfortable with doing a clean install.
George N Romey Added Jul 13, 2016 - 7:29pm
It sucks, need I say more.
Bill H. Added Jul 13, 2016 - 10:24pm
Seems that every newer version of Windows get more "sucky" every time.
I believe most home software packages are getting more intrusive as time goes on. This seems to be the priority, as much money is made in the background by selling user's personal information.
If you want to see something really scary as far as personal information siphoning, check out what the new craze that is further zombieizing the 
millennials is up to:
Stone-Eater Added Jul 14, 2016 - 9:12am
Thanks - that just reminded me to check my Google account. Looks ok, at least I have blocked what's possible about a year ago....although there's a lot happening behind we have no influence, but at least it seems not to have changed.
People should do that more frequently. How fast can it happen that you mark something which has far more effect than you think - or you don't mark...
That's the danger when upgrading/updating Windows. It takes all settings from your old system and adds new ones without giving you the possibility to unflag something.
That's why I recommend installation from scratch - or switching to Linux, which is the best you can do anyway.
Stone-Eater Added Jul 14, 2016 - 11:00am
but now that Microsoft no longer supports it, I am concerned with the lack of security upgrades
I NEVER did ANY upgrades and updates - starting from Windows 95 LOL. These "security updates" are nothing but spyware addons to find your latest files on your harddisk ;-) .... and their "stop of support" is only a sales argument. I still have a Laptop here with XP and Service Pack 1, and the darn thing didn't have a virus for the last 10 years without ever having done ANY "security update" :-)
Today, USB sticks have hard-coded open ports which can be sneaked through, as have routers and bridges, firewalls....there simply IS no "privacy". And as I said, Windows defender and Malwarebytes will do the job, and check your registry from time to time.
Bill H. Added Jul 14, 2016 - 2:49pm
Yep, I'm using both Malwarebytes and  Defender. They both work great.
I remember having to switch from XP to Windows 7 because Norton all of a sudden became incompatible with XP about 2 months after I re-upped by subscription.
XP was the best ever.
Stone-Eater Added Jul 14, 2016 - 2:56pm
I had Vista (without SP's) for a long time, it was fast as hell and no flakes. But Microschrott (Microsoft in German = Micro garbage) decided it was to good and put out Service Pack 1 out very soon after and - you know the result. I worked on the release candidate for 2 years :-)
I had clients who had network and other problems and all I did was throw Norton out ;-)
Ric Wells Added Jul 19, 2016 - 6:19am
I was upgraded without my knowledge or permission. But that's life I guess. Now I'm being forced to use Messenger. WTF. I guess choice has gone out the Windows (Pun intended) anymore. 
Bill H. Added Aug 29, 2016 - 12:43pm
A belated thanks for all of your reponses!
We are in an era where Big Data is competing to see who will end up having the most control and knowledge of today's society. Privacy lines are being crossed on a daily basis, as lawyers are getting better at writing user agreements in a way to not only discourage people from reading them, but wording them in ways that the average person would not know that he has given up virtually all of his privacy rights by agreeing to them. Microsoft has simply defaulted all privacy settings to suit their mission and made it difficult for the average user to find them and make changes.

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