June 28, 2016

The Borg -- You will be assimilated

My second computer is an HP notebook I picked up several years ago for the sole purpose of running uTorrent. And it works fine for that. In fact, it's kind of overpowered.

Anyway, it's running Win 7 Home Premium. I never upgraded it to Win7Pro since it didn't seem to justify that. Starting a couple of weeks ago, however, Windows Update stopped working. When I try to run it, it wedges and goes CPU bound. Task Manager shows it burning CPU in one of the system helper tasks, so there's no telling whats happening. I let it run for several hours one time just to see if it might finally clear and get on with it, but it didn't. Closing Windows Update didn't make that task stop; only rebooting the computer would do it.

So today I decided maybe it was time for me to upgrade to Win 7 Pro, and I ran the "Windows Anytime Upgrade" applet from the control panel. Surprise! You can't upgrade to Win 7 pro any longer.

The Borg have me. The Win 10 upgrade is running as I write this. Pixy did the upgrade recently and said it was pretty painless, so I'm finally willing to take the chance, and we'll see how it goes. More later.

(Please note this this is not a request for advice or suggestions.)

UPDATE: The download is complete and verified and the upgrade just started, and here's hoping we don't get a power blip in the middle.

UPDATE: And the second phase of the upgrade begins...

UPDATE: And complete! That was a lot less painful than I thought it would be. And the good news is that uTorrent works fine. And so does Pingplotter, which I usually keep running just as a check on whether my internet connection is working properly.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Computers at 04:27 PM | Comments (11) | Add Comment
Post contains 310 words, total size 2 kb.

1 FWIW, I've done the upgrade on 4 or 5 computers now, both at home and at work.  The worst problem I've seen is with some of the Insider Preview builds, where Windows will tell me it's got an update for me and wants to reboot, so I choose "restart and update" and it restarts and forgets to update.
If you ran the compatibility advisor and it said you'd be OK, you'll probably be OK.

Posted by: RickC at June 28, 2016 04:44 PM (FvJAK)

2 I still like Start8/Start10 from Stardock, but I've found plain Windows 10 to be quite usable, unlike the first release of Windows 8.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at June 28, 2016 05:11 PM (PiXy!)


The thing that most worried me about this was the fact that in Win 10 you cannot turn off "Automatic Update". This computer runs 24/7 with uTorrent going all the time, and I bet I keep finding that AutoUpdate has rebooted it and it's waiting for me to log in and make uTorrent start running.

I may have to make that one auto-login and put uTorrent in the startup folder.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at June 28, 2016 05:39 PM (+rSRq)


Upgrading to Win7 Pro would not have helped with the throttling of Windows Update.  I have noticed the same problem, though the severity seems to vary based on when you try to update.

I do use Windows 10 on other machines and while it is a definite improvement over Windows 8, the initial issues with Microsoft's release have left a sore taste in my mouth for it.  I still rate the functionality factor of Win10 as less than Win7's.

Posted by: cxt217 at June 28, 2016 05:39 PM (ihsfL)

5 The problem wasn't with throttling. It was some sort of background process which Windows Update started and needed completing before it even began to talk to Microsoft's server. Only it never completed, not even when I let it run for several hours.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at June 28, 2016 05:50 PM (+rSRq)

6 I have two computers running Windows 10, neither one was a clean install, they were both ugpraded from Windows 8, both painlessly.  One of them runs 24/7, and auto-update causes it to reboot maybe once every three months or so on patch Tuesday, but usually the patching happens seamlessly without any reboot required.

Posted by: David at June 28, 2016 06:29 PM (YHSti)

7 Well, I hope that's the case. I'm involved in a Red Queen's race on BakaBT to stay in the Top 10 "bonus points" list. We're all capped at 10 points per hour, and if my machine goes down I start losing ground. Not that it's any tragedy, especially if it's only for a short time, and in any case I am several thousand points ahead of the guy just behind me, but I worked hard for years to get to the point I am and I don't want to lose it.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at June 28, 2016 07:04 PM (+rSRq)

8 Well, I may as well finish borgifying myself. The other Win 7 machine now has exactly the same problem with Windows Update, so into the breach, dear friends...

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at June 28, 2016 08:12 PM (+rSRq)


I think I discovered a few weeks ago that you *can* turn off automatic updates in Win 10, but only if you have Professional edition (which, if you're updating from Win 7 Pro, you will)

If you run gpedit.msc, you can edit the "Configure Automatic Updates" policy under Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update

When I check the Windows Update page in the new control panel, it has updates ready to install, which I've never seen before.  Of course, before I never made a point of checking this page until it was forcing a restart after installing updates, so it's possible that it always had some updates waiting in the wings that I never saw because I never looked.

There is a real downside to this, however.  Windows won't tell you in any way that I've seen that there are updates available; you'll have to check manually.  It's like having a pissy girlfriend.  "Well, if you won't just let me do what I want whenever I want, I guess I won't tell you what I want!"

Posted by: CatCube at June 28, 2016 10:29 PM (fa4fh)


OK, second upgrade complete.

Bad news 1: My sound card no longer works.

Bad news 2: I can't disable the touch pad.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at June 28, 2016 11:04 PM (+rSRq)

11 Sound device fixed, and I'm going to bed now.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at June 28, 2016 11:14 PM (+rSRq)

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