Windows10 gets outdated | David Grajal

Windows10 gets outdated

I’m a linux user, but I also run windows on many secundary machines. For that purpose, I am a very late adopter. I used windows XP till the point where not even firefox wanted to install on it. My preferred flavor in the last years has been windows 7 but modern applications already start to refuse to launch or just crash. This is not a rant, I understand developers don’t even bother to support a dead windows. I would do the same.

The time has arrived for me to jump into Windows 10. This was not totally new to me, I use already Win10 VMs for MS edge / IE11 web development, and had some ISO versions available on the hard disk.

But this was my first Windows 10 installation on real hardware. Oh, boy, what a time sink.

I prepared a USB key with Rufus with a recent 2019.09 Win10 ISO, like always. bootable with MBR. That was the first problem: modern machines ditched completely MBR and can only boot from EFI.

I found a Windows10 EFI USB key I prepared at some point in the past, an LTSC Rindows 2016. I installed it without trouble and updated automatically to the latest version via Windows Update.

However when I tried to install the manufacturer provided drivers (For an Asus Nitro5, in case somebody faces the same trouble) I faced issues. The drivers installed and did nothing (realtek soundcard) or refused to install because it could not find compatible hardware (Nvidia driver) or throw errors (Intel’s nasty “This driver could not be used with this processor type” error)

After hours researching online and not finding a solution I started to wonder if the hardware was to blame.

Nope. Microsoft is to blame. It was only random that I noticed that the declared windows version still said it was the 2016 version. Then I made the connection. Yes, windows 10 has a rolling release, but still their still supported long term supported flavors do get outdated.

My 2016 LTSC version of windows 10, even fully upgraded using windows update to the up-to-date version, doesn’t pack the same base libraries or drivers as the latest versions and therefore is STILL not fully compatible with the latest sofware.

The solution was to download the latest 2019.09 windows ISO from Microsoft, reinstall again. This time, all the hardware started working after installation, and it was only needed to install the NVIDIA driver to wake up the discrete card.

Learnings:

  • When you want to install windows 10, download the latest ISO first and don’t rely on outdated copies thinking “it will automatically update to the current state after installation like a linux distro”. It does not.
  • I’m pleasantly surprised with Windows 10. On a modern machine, It boots instantly. It is buttery smooth. It makes me a little bit sad. It was my intense frustration with Windows 98 that pushed me into the Linux world. Kids these days have something that works just fine and probably have less motivation to try something else.
  • Keep an updated Windows10 USB key with MBR boot for old computers and another with EFI for modern computers.