Woody Leonhard's no-bull news, tips and help for Windows, Office and more… Please disable your ad blocker – our (polite!) ads help keep AskWoody going!
Home icon Home icon Home icon Email icon RSS icon
  • Win10 upgrades are still free

    Posted on May 29th, 2017 at 18:15 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Ed Bott says so – and he should know.

    If you have a machine with a valid Win7 or 8.1 license, the upgrade to Win10 continues to be free, just as I described a year ago. Nod, nod, wink, wink.

    It’s in Microsoft’s best interests to get you into the Win10 groove.

  • Thinking about switching to Windows 10? Now’s the time to do it.

    Posted on March 31st, 2017 at 06:48 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Any time between now and April 11 is a good time to make the jump. Assuming you want to, of course.

    See InfoWorld Woody on Windows.

  • Windows 10 upgrade problems – and what to do about them

    Posted on February 17th, 2017 at 09:19 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    A dozen top problems, and what you can do besides assuming a fetal position.

    This guide targets two separate but intertwined groups: Those who have recently upgraded from Win7 (or, less likely, Win8.1) and those who have upgraded from an earlier version of Win10 (likely the November Update, Version 1511) to a recent version (as of this writing, probably the Anniversary Update, Version 1607).

    InfoWorld Feature.

    UPDATE: Gunter Born has an interesting revelation about error 0xC0020012 on his Born City web site.

  • How to temporarily block the upgrade from Win10 Fall Update (v 1511) to the Anniversary Update (v 1607)

    Posted on August 9th, 2016 at 12:37 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Using wushowhide it’s easy. Here are the detailed steps.

    InfoWorld Woody on Windows

  • Windows 10 upgrade stuck at 99% – or 70% or 80%?

    Posted on July 28th, 2016 at 10:01 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    You have several options, especially if you’re trying to beat the Friday “free upgrade” deadline.

    InfoWorld Woody on Windows

  • Still undecided about Win10? Here’s what to consider, how to reserve the free upgrade, if you want it

    Posted on July 25th, 2016 at 08:15 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Some no-bull advice about the upgrade, along with a few safe ways to reserve your “free” version.

    InfoWorld Woody on Windows

  • Connection problem with the Win10 upgrade

    Posted on July 25th, 2016 at 06:25 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Here’s an interesting question from SA:

    I know most Win10 upgrade posts are concerned with preventing Win10 from installing but suppose you want to install Win10 – at least to try it out – before the free offer ends? Are any of the “bad” updates actually helpful in getting Win10 to download and install?

    I ask because I tried to upgrade my Win7 Pro machine. It has only security updates installed per Belarc Advisor. Nothing Win10 related, good or bad. Everything seemed to go OK. I was told my computer was compatible with Win10 and the download started. It took about 4-1/2 hours to reach the 100% indication and then the download indicator went back to zero and apparently started all over again.

    Due to a data cap and time limit I could only go up to 3.5GB or 5 hours, whichever came first. Obviously the “second attempt” couldn’t continue and my connection terminated at the 5 hour point and the upgrade window displayed a 0x80072ee7 error.

    Among the files that were placed on my computer was an “upgrader_defaultlog” with a line that said “Can’t find usable ESD from the $Windows.~BT folder” and shortly after that the retry started.

    It seems that something was either missing or corrupted. Since my Internet connectivity isn’t particularly fast or cheap I may get only one more try and I can’t just let the upgrader keep endlessly downloading. I’m surprised that MS doesn’t have a more reliable upgrade method than revert to zero and do the whole thing again and then check for missing bits.

    Anyway, I just thought I’d ask if you or your readers had any advice or suggestions.

    It does sound like a corrupt file, and I would guess that everything would go well on a second try.

    You might try going to https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10 and downloading the installation file onto a USB drive. Not sure if that’ll improve your chances of a good download.

    Any other suggestions?

  • Should we take the free Win10 Home upgrade or pay for Pro?

    Posted on July 24th, 2016 at 16:37 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Excellent question from BA:

    I am on Windows 8.1 & the main (really only) reason I want to upgrade to Windows 10 is for Cortana.

    However, since Automatic Updates can bite (& thanks to you I don’t let Windows do them), I’m concerned about the free upgrade.

    Since this is Win 8.1 Home, the free upgrade would have to be to Win 10 Home & the only way to control automatic updates is through the metered connection workaround. I know that if I upgrade to WIndows 10 Professional for $99 I have more control back. What do you suggest?

    1) Take the free upgrade & use the workaround to (hopefully) escape getting bitten in the butt?

    2) Pay the ‘update tax’ of $99 for Win 10 Pro?

    3) Let the free upgrade expire, stay on Win 8.1 & pay to upgrade at a later date?

    I hoped you would give more definitive advice sooner as we got closer & Microsoft wouldn’t relax the deadline for free upgrades. Hope I hear something before Friday.

    I have an InfoWorld post coming on Monday morning, going over the upgrade options and sane alternatives, but you raise some interesting questions that I don’t cover in the main article.

    First, if you’re looking at upgrading to Win10 for Cortana, make sure you try Cortana before you make the commitment. I found Cortana to be distinctly underpowered, especially compared to Google Now (which I use frequently), but also compared to Apple’s Siri and even Amazon’s Echo. You can compare them for yourself. Try using Google by going into the Chrome browser’s address bar and clicking the mike. Test Echo at the echosim.io site. I don’t know of an easy way to test Siri without finding somebody with an iOS machine, but they aren’t hard to find.

    I wouldn’t pay extra for Pro just for the convenience of blocking updates. There are other methods, besides metered connections. At this point – call me astonished – the Win10 cumulative updates have been relatively benign. If Microsoft proves that it can’t update Win10 any better than it’s been updating Win7 and 8.1, you’ll always be able to pay for the upgrade to Pro.

    I talk about the pro’s and con’s of running a free upgrade now and rolling back, in the article on Monday morning. Basically, for most people, it just isn’t worth the effort. But if there’s a Win10 feature that you really, really like – yeah, you should probably grab your free digital license. If you do, though, be smart about it and don’t just blindly run the upgrade.

    Anyway, more details in the article, but for now, you should really think about whether Cortana is worth the upgrade angst.