Sunday, November 30, 2014

Windows 10 Technical Preview

I decided to install Windows 10 Technical Preview on my Dell Inspiron 3135 because it was overloaded with software and needed a refresher. Instead of doing a hard reset, I wanted to give Windows 10 a chance to prove itself before release. Overall, the experience went fairly smooth, minus a couple driver hiccups.

My strongest suggestion is backing up any drivers (and anything else you'll need) to an external drive. You can even copy them to your installation USB if you like. I was never able to get the internal WiFi functioning on my laptop, so I plugged in a handy Netgear USB WiFi Card I had lying around.

How to Install Windows 10 Technical Preview

  1. Download the Technical Preview.
  2. Burn the *.iso to a DVD or to a bootable USB drive using Rufus. (This would be a good time to copy those drivers you'll need as well.)
  3. You'll want to boot your computer from the flash drive.
  4. If all goes well, you should be able to install Windows Technical Preview.
  5. Install drivers, software, and updates as desired.

Review of the Preview

Overall, installation went well and I was able to get my system back to normal (other than WiFi) in under 24 hrs. If your drivers aren't functioning properly (WiFi, graphics, sound, mouse and keyboard, etc), a bit of Google searching might do the trick, or you may even have to try USB devices like me to get the functionality you desire.

Just remember, this isn't a finished product. Therefore, I agree with Microsoft that until Windows 10 is a finished product, you shouldn't use it as your daily driver unless you're very comfortable taking risks with your data.

Final Thoughts

Despite the hiccups, I haven't seen any major flaws. No blue screens or devastating power cuts to black. Windows 10 is very functional, snappy, intuitive, and ready to go on the road with me. Ubuntu, I'm sorry to say it, but I may not even need you as a backup anymore. It almost feels like the day I upgraded from Windows ME to XP. After a few years of experimentation, Microsoft finally got all the right things are in all the right places again. Hopefully it will remain that way for awhile.

*Note: This post was written on a Dell Inspiron 3135 running Windows 10 Technical Preview and Mozilla Firefox 33.1.1.