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Story of a Windows 10 Upgrade


4 key things I learnt about Windows Upgrades, Backups, Broadband and Macs on a busman's holiday in France.

A Story of a Windows 10 Upgrade Disaster

Windows 10 Logo
A few weeks ago, my brother and I were en vacance en France visiting our Uncle who lives there. We had 2 priorities:
  1. Enjoy some lovely Breton hospitality
  2. Upgrade my Uncle's PC to Windows 10
Unfortunately, we managed a lot less of La Vie en Rose thanks the Upgrade being a long and laborious pain, bordering on disaster.
The experience led me to eschew the virtues of cloud technologies, effective backups, better broadband and Macs.

Failed, Nearly There, Failed

Windows 8 Blue Screen of Death

The steps are relatively simple for an upgrade. Click the update version so you're on the latest version of the current software, then click the upgrade to Windows 10 button…surely!
Step 1: Perform simple (ha!) software update of Windows to the latest version ready for the Windows 10 install
Step 2: Watch the blue bar move slowly from left to right
Step 3: Repeat a failed Step 1
Step 4: Repeat Step 3
Step 5: Exist forever in a loop of failed updates

So it didn't work, and kept not working which meant we had to do a fresh install of Windows 8 and then upgrade that to Windows 10. Downloading huge operating systems over a 2MB broadband line is a slow process and doing it multiple times is even slower. Fibre broadband would have meant the download appearing before we'd filled our coffee cups but not so in deepest, coastal Brittany.

Backup, Backup, Backup

A fresh install means a solid backup strategy so we made sure EVERYTHING was backed up, including taking a full image of the VMWare OS with the vital files and (x*) copied it to a memory stick and onto my Mac.
All the photos were put on an external HD along with everything else. So far so good…

*x marks the spot where we made a mistake, a big mistake

Fresh Installs

Upgrading windows 99%
After lengthy downloads and a few more Failed, Nearly There, Failed's we had 8.1 installed and made sure the drivers were all up to date. Which meant we were ready for the big Windows 10 install. With the rugby, big family diners, slow downloads and boozy French lunches we were now on day 4 of 5 and the ferry's horn was whispering the march of time, so this final install would be all that was needed.
And it was. Our Uncle had Windows 10 on his machine and he was happy. Cold beers were opened before we gave the proud Windows 10 owner a brief tour of the new system.

"Where are the accountancy files?""Damn, forgot to install the VMWare backup"

…and then we saw to our horror the VMWare had corrupted whilst being transferred to the memory stick, and with it had gone the vital accountancy files.
The disaster was mitigated a little bit as there were older versions of the file on older XP machine which meant, once the dust had settled, our Uncle could then rebuild the complex spreadsheets on his shiny new Windows 10 OS. And we hadn't lost the photos, which can't be rebuilt and he wan't going to go back to the
Galapagos to take more anytime soon.

4 Things I Learnt

The whole painful few days got me thinking a lot about the systems I use for my business, how other organisations operate and how grateful I am for being a Mactard. In fact, I performed a beta MacOS upgrade whilst this was happening and was able to work on synchronised cloud documents during the Windows installations.
  1. Windows is picky - it doesn't always work how it should
  2. Good broadband makes a massive difference to seamless working
  3. Alway, always have a solid backup plan, always - I use Apple's Time Capsule for home backups and DropBox for vital files and folders
  4. Get a Mac!

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