When I’m cleaning Windows (Part Two)

If you read part 1 (which of course is not called part 1 because I didn’t know there would be a Part Two) you may have felt a frisson of horror and, I hope, decided to opt for safety and not install Windows 10.  If so you will not join the growing chorus of Microsoft slaves.  In the news yesterday (August 4th) you will see there is concern that Windows 10 allows Microsoft to mine your data.  Who cares, I say?  After all, big companies like Google and Amazon do it already.  What you do not see is that while MS may be able to see your data, you may find you aren’t able to see it yourself.

Which is what happened to me – plus, I found I couldn’t open any of my own documents, edit and re-save because permission was denied.  Then it got worse.  Needing to send an email about rubbish collections at our holiday cottage (two weeks’ worth had been left uncollected despite arranging an extra service, and the bin was overflowing, hot and teeming with maggots – don’t worry, sorted) Outlook told me I couldn’t access my folders because I didn’t have permissions to use the .pst file.  Thinking it a usual glitch you can fix by switching on and switching off again, I did this and the computer froze at the desktop.  Anyway it was time for bed.

But could I sleep?  Hot flushes, tachycardia… I got up at 3am and switched on again.  And the thing had unfrozen.  It appears a very large update had been going on in the background, not that it said, but the laptop did.  Thank goodness for forums!  A useful tip – if you get a funny error message copy and paste it into Google’s search box and up will pop a series of solutions.  One of them will work.  And so I was able to change all the permissions on the Outlook file and all the other files.  It seems that if you follow MS’s enthusiastic instructions for signing in to your MS account so you can set up OneDrive and other goodies, and if your computer wasn’t set up with that account in the first place, the original permissions are overridden.

So once more, dear readers, I was up and running.  But I wasn’t.  My malware program wouldn’t play; it kept popping up an “update required” box which refused to cancel, and when I tried to update it said the server was not to be found.

Enough.  During my now three days of misery I had discovered that you could roll back to the previous version of Windows – but only if you did so within the first month.  It never said that anywhere in the setup spiel unless it was in the small print on page 199 or such.  But yes – go to settings, then Recovery and you can get back to where you once belonged.  So I have.  But I backed up first, just in case something else went wrong.  And all seems to be well…

So what are the big issues?  First, MS should not be trumpeting trouble-free switchover.  All sorts of things can go wrong. Second, be very wary of trying a reset to make Windows 10 work, as it will wipe all your software even if you keep the data files.  Third, hardware manufacturers should email any purchaser whose hardware, and drivers, will not take the upgrade (like my laptop, although that still seems to be managing OK now I have fixed the touchpad issue, so I am leaving it in Windows 10 for a while. But probably not for long.

As my friend Anthony Kimber said, after he had read part one, “Beware geeks bearing gifts”.  Indeedy.  Be afraid.  Be very afraid!

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