Windows 10 has had a few relatively few minor updates in recent months. You can usually tell by the length of time turning off your computer and booting up, often with no indication of what has been going on other than a dial rotating. Someone else must have realised a blank screen isn’t helpful.
The beginning of December seemed like one of those, too, with one significant difference: It would allow you the opportunity to choose when you wanted it done and explains this is Windows 10 Home v1511, 10586. A major revision.
As I was curious as to why, I let it go ahead after connecting to the Net. That bit is vital to letting it complete the downloads and installation, although I didn’t try without it. Having only changed my main computer to W10, I would only have one go and I wanted that to be as smooth as possible.
The download and install took about 90 minutes with messages on the screen saying it would reboot several times during the process which it did. This is practically the same time as was needed to do the original installation but once started, you just have to wait it out. If you’re doing this in an office, find something else to do with your time while this is going on.
The usual announcement that none of your settings have changed is only right so far as W10 is concerned. I found out later that the Classic Games had gone and the Classic Shell Menu no longer showed any recent file associations next to the software icons. More on that in a while but I was right to give a couple days to check things out than rush into this article.
The most obvious thing from the start is the opening screen picture has changed which didn’t really surprise me. However, you can now use controls to change from a small selection of its own pictures or from your own pictures directory, assuming you have one. We’re geeks here so I presume that is an asset.
Unless it happens a few days later, unlike W7, there is no notification as to what has been changed significantly changed. Indeed, you have to be on-line to see the Help screens still when you would hope that at least some rudiment help was there just in case you’re out of range of a router or phone line. Still not sure why it just comes up with ‘decrypt an encrypted file from an organisation’ though. Hardly helpful.
Ultimately, I had a quick look on the Net to see if it would quickly point me in the right direction. Most of it had to do with personalised settings but seems an odd choice for such a major upload. While I was looking at these Windows Defender kicked in, insisting it looked at everything so chose the quickscan option. It’s mostly a background operation so you can do other things in the meantime but even so, bearing in mind the amount of files on my computer, it took some 30 minutes. Bear that in mind, if you’re doing this late in the night, although presumably it can be done the next day. I think it’s best to do it or you’ll be getting the message to do it every so often.
I did find that the Photo Viewer, Music Player and possibly the Video Player had reverted to their original settings rather than the ones I chose. For the first two, in case you forgot, change to Windows Photo Viewer and Windows Media Player if you prefer the W7 option. There is no change to the preview options and you still have to go through. Oddly, the Preview will open up in Windows Photo Viewer for JPGs but not BMPs. This time, I dug a little deeper.
If you go into Settings, then ‘Default Apps’, then ‘Choose Default Apps By File Type, you can select the option you want. My Sketchbook Pro 6.2.5 seems to have hijacked most of the picture options but at least I know how to over-ride it now. I suspect this was true before this update but it’s also a lesson to look through the options from time to time. Run through the various options in case there’s any others that might not be what you want. Pressing the selected option will give you the alternative choices. This also moves the ‘Preview’ word in the menu choice to the top of the screen so you know it works.
I did check out my Norton Security and 3 updates were needed for the change over which only took a minute. Whether they were associated with this version of W10, I have no idea but mine does get updated regularly. You might need to check this if you belong to any other anti-virus software. When I decided to open the Vault to access places on the Net, instead of the icon appearing in the Menu bar and then having to come up on screen to activate it, this is more like it was in W7 & W8, and the Norton window on-screen. A nice little tweak.
For the Classic Games, do a reinstall: http://winaero.com/download.php?view.1836. After downloading, install and you’ll find all your original settings are there so if you’re keeping score with your games, you haven’t lost anything.
With the Classic Shell Menu, I pondered more. Should I take programs off the menu and put them back and hope that would restore the missing recent file aspect. That seemed too drawn out. I checked for updates and there were none of them, so went for the simplest option and just reinstalled on top of itself. Doing that and all the original recent file associations came back. http://www.classicshell.net/ Don’t forget that it will take a couple minutes after telling it to start before anything happens on the screen. It’s then a reasonably quick process and it will tell you to turn off things like Internet Explorer (not the phone/router access) while it gets done. Then link back in and everything is an it was. Presumably, this will have to be done after every major overhaul.
The biggest security change if you’re using a laptop and sleep mode, you now have to enter your password to regain access. This should have always been the default setting anyway.
We still come back to why such a massive reinstall for such small things although I would hazard a guess at security issues as this has always been a problem with the earlier Window. I do suspect that if you’ve made a back-up to disk or cloud, then you’ll have to make a second copy. It might be cheaper to get a 1tB auxiliary hard drive. Ultimately, let it do the update but I wish Microsoft would send out emails as to what and why it is doing such things, let alone offer more of us the opportunity for suggestions.
03 December 2015