Thursday, July 30, 2015

Windows 10: Perhaps I should have done a clean install.

Three hours after I had first set the automatic installer up and running control was finally returned to me and I logged into Windows 10 with excited anticipation.

Everything ran terribly.  There was constant hard disk chugging and my computer refused to recognise more than one of my two monitors and insisted on running that at 800x600. The search tool couldn't find any of programmes so I had  forced to dig through the programs directory to get anything to run. 

I suppose I should have expected this. My rig has been running Windows 7 since 2009 and the system has grown incrementally over the years with new bits of hardware added and thousands of programmes installed. It has three big conventional hard drives and one SSD all packed to the gills with game, utilities and various odds and ends. Despite all this the system was running very sweetly. Over the years I had built up a complex system with symbolic links and caching to ensure that everything ran snappily. 

I guess it was too much to expect all of this to transfer over seamlessly to an upgrade install of Windows 10. To be fair only one programme was actually flagged as completely incompatible (Macrium Reflect). Everything else I have tried seems to run although I had to manually update the drivers for my Nvidia graphics card and my disk caching software threw up a license error. Because I have three hard disks and only one small (64Gb SSD) I use cachining rather than the usual trick of installing Windows on the SSD. I have a complex scheme with different caches for each disk. When it works it works like a dream but when it doesn't work things get very painful. 

A visit to Nvidia's site sorted out my graphics problems and I managed to find the registration code to re enable my caching software. The cache is still struggling though because of the constant disk activity. I hope this is just an initial thing while Windows 10 familiarises itself with everything on my various hard disks. Hopefully when it is finished the search tool will work properly and booting will take less than the 5 minutes it currently demands. 

Frustrated by the sluggishness I set about installing a bunch of programmes and games and I even defragged my main C: drive. To be far I should probably have done this before I left Windows 7.

Better yet I should have done a clean install. 

For those who are interested my current system specifications are:
Intel Xeon 3470 processor (equivalent to I7-870) 
12Gb DDR 3 Ram
Nvidia GTX 970 graphics
2 x 1 TB HDD
1 x 500GB HDD
1 x 64GB SDD

Edit: There is one bizarre glitch that I haven't got a handle on yet. Every time I reboot my second monitor goes haywire and come up with a corrupted screen. The solution is simply to switch the monitor off an on again which would point to a monitor issue  rather than a driver issue if it wasn't for the coincidence of this happening today just after an upgrade to Win 10. I guess it is some kind of handshaking problem on power up.

Edit 2: Second monitor issue seems to have gone away. Don't know why. Also noticed that my previously chosen anti-virus: Avira doesn't seem to work. It may be working in the background but none of the control panels work so I cannot tell what it is doing. Have temporarily uninstalled it and gone back to Windows Defender.

Edit 3: Happy to report that endless disk activity has calmed down considerably and system has become a lot more responsive. This has allowed my SSD cache to start working so all is quite good at he moment. 

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