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cov3rt

moving from windows 7 to windows 10 experience, and tweaks, etc

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i was wondering for those who have moved from windows 7 to windows 10, what has been experience so far, what specific problems have you had / still have, what do you like, and do you mainly use windows 10, have you recently moved on over temporarily, or very specific reasons? for me, i installed windows 10 on my main system just recently, and did some tinkering / tweaks and adjustments, such as installing open shell and so with all i have done so far, it seems to be working fairly well on version 2004.

i did use install it / try it on other systems before in the last years, however, i didn't do nearly the same amount of modifications / tweaks as i did with my main system i am currently using, it was usually someone elses system i briefly used / casually used but usually not for my own. throughout this time, i have had a bit of a harsh view towards windows 10 overall, however, i think it might actually be smoother in operation and a tad faster than windows 7 from my recent testing, but again, do note, i have done many modifications and using 2004 version where which is supposed to be "better" in one sense, i can possibly include reference to a specific tweak or modification, perhaps if someone can mention what tweaks they already have done and / or if their having any issues with layout / performance, then there is a chance that i might have a solution for that i can give. 

i have not done enough thorough testing though to see if it really holds well or doesn't have any particular compatibilities or annoyances, as i have disabled / turned off a lot of features and things, so i'm hoping i didn't accidentally break something or cause any incompatibilities, time will tell with certain experimenting if that ends up being the case. i seem to have mainly made this thread to see if there is anything i'm missing or could do to optimize or get the best out of my system on windows 10, because although i have done many mods as mentioned, i feel like there may be a considerable amount of things yet done that i could do to help for stability / performance, etc. 

one thing i try to follow is to not do anything to which i think would be more problematic than helpful, such as disabling for services in services.msc. i have set to disable for example, the telemetry one or whatever it's called, the one that controls the maps ( downloaded maps manager ), geolocation service ( although for this one and last one, i didn't include it in my guide, because i think it may or may not come in handy, and less of a problem, because usually, it rarely would case any resource issues ), and that's pretty much it for services, and windows 10 doesn't mention superfetch here, so only it can be disabled by adding the relevant information in regedit, alongside the prefetch modification. 

i leave windows search enabled but i disable indexing on any storage device that is an SSD. this way, ssd writes less and windows search, and particularly in my case, open shell's windows 7 search menu still allows searching for all files, but simply will take a little longer. 

Edited by cov3rt

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This are the FREE tools I usually use:

To remove unwanted Apps and some caracteristics of Win10, or also install some redistributables as DirectX, .Net framework, etc, and also add some tricks on your install.wim Index(s), before install, see: MSMG ToolKit.

To install and also add some tricks, see: WinNTSetup

To add usefull links to PC context menu, see: http://reboot.pro/topic/22323-compact-mode-installs/page-2#entry215558

To have more control on Telemetry and Updates, see: O&O ShutUp10.

And finally to control incoming and outgoing connections, see: Firewall App Blocker (Fab)

alacran

Edited by alacran
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On 9/18/2020 at 12:31 AM, cov3rt said:

i was wondering for those who have moved from windows 7 to windows 10, what has been experience so far, what specific problems have you had / still have, what do you like, and do you mainly use windows 10, have you recently moved on over temporarily, or very specific reasons? for me, i installed windows 10 on my main system just recently, and did some tinkering / tweaks and adjustments, such as installing open shell and so with all i have done so far, it seems to be working fairly well on version 2004.

i did use install it / try it on other systems before in the last years, however, i didn't do nearly the same amount of modifications / tweaks as i did with my main system i am currently using, it was usually someone elses system i briefly used / casually used but usually not for my own. throughout this time, i have had a bit of a harsh view towards windows 10 overall, however, i think it might actually be smoother in operation and a tad faster than windows 7 from my recent testing, but again, do note, i have done many modifications and using 2004 version where which is supposed to be "better" in one sense, i can possibly include reference to a specific tweak or modification, perhaps if someone can mention what tweaks they already have done and / or if their having any issues with layout / performance, then there is a chance that i might have a solution for that i can give. 

i have not done enough thorough testing though to see if it really holds well or doesn't have any particular compatibilities or annoyances, as i have disabled / turned off a lot of features and things, so i'm hoping i didn't accidentally break something or cause any incompatibilities, time will tell with certain experimenting if that ends up being the case. i seem to have mainly made this thread to see if there is anything i'm missing or could do to optimize or get the best out of my system on windows 10, because although i have done many mods as mentioned, i feel like there may be a considerable amount of things yet done that i could do to help for stability / performance, etc. 

one thing i try to follow is to not do anything to which i think would be more problematic than helpful, such as disabling for services in services.msc. i have set to disable for example, the telemetry one or whatever it's called, the one that controls the maps ( downloaded maps manager ), geolocation service ( although for this one and last one, i didn't include it in my guide, because i think it may or may not come in handy, and less of a problem, because usually, it rarely would case any resource issues ), and that's pretty much it for services, and windows 10 doesn't mention superfetch here, so only it can be disabled by adding the relevant information in regedit, alongside the prefetch modification. 

i leave windows search enabled but i disable indexing on any storage device that is an SSD. this way, ssd writes less and windows search, and particularly in my case, open shell's windows 7 search menu still allows searching for all files, but simply will take a little longer. 

Personally, I'm part of the "hate Win10" group and would recommend against it at all costs. Windows 7 is very much a more stable and superior OS. Plus, it's still technically supported through 2024... didn't hear that from me, though...

Much of the customization and flexibility of Windows was removed following Windows 7. I myself use probably 5 dozen group policy and registry tweaks just to try to make the OS more sane to use, and it still sucks. Trust me, updates and privacy are just the tip of the iceberg. The OS itself is complete junk IMNSHO.

This is a great overview online of just why Windows 10 is a POS (and I don't mean point of sale)... https://blog.interlinked.us/44/an-open-letter-to-microsoft-why-windows-10-sucks

Of course, YMMV. If you don't mind Windows 10, technically, it's "more secure" according to Microsoft, and if it doesn't bother you, more power to you. I can't stand it, and I hate it, even though I use it. The more time I spend using Windows 7, the saner I stay.

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16 hours ago, Dylan Cruz said:

Personally, I'm part of the "hate Win10" group and would recommend against it at all costs. Windows 7 is very much a more stable and superior OS. Plus, it's still technically supported through 2024... didn't hear that from me, though...

Much of the customization and flexibility of Windows was removed following Windows 7. I myself use probably 5 dozen group policy and registry tweaks just to try to make the OS more sane to use, and it still sucks. Trust me, updates and privacy are just the tip of the iceberg. The OS itself is complete junk IMNSHO.

This is a great overview online of just why Windows 10 is a POS (and I don't mean point of sale)... https://blog.interlinked.us/44/an-open-letter-to-microsoft-why-windows-10-sucks

Of course, YMMV. If you don't mind Windows 10, technically, it's "more secure" according to Microsoft, and if it doesn't bother you, more power to you. I can't stand it, and I hate it, even though I use it. The more time I spend using Windows 7, the saner I stay.

i skimmed quickly through the article you linked, and i'll say this, i do agree with some of the points you made, and as much i love windows 7, i've however made the decision to use windows 10 as my primary os from now on, primarily because i don't want to have to worry about certain applications not being supported anymore / not being able to use newer hardware, such as tiger lake, etc. yes, windows 7 will still receive some support till 2023/2024, however, this is primarily security updates, not major updates that in other words would allow increased functionality in newer games / applications. 

i actually had a certain desktop build in mind which would use a 9th generation intel processor with a supported motherboard, however, because of newer hardware being a lot faster, these systems are quickly obsolete and inferior to them. there is always a small chance i could go back and do some kind of windows 7 system, however, the windows 10 system i'm currently using has been working fairly ok, or at least partly because i've became more accustomed to it / used to it. custom modifications are always possible, however, it's a question of whether it's worth it and seeing what you would miss out by using a windows 7 system vs windows 10. in my case, an experiment could be using intel tiger lake built desktop system on windows 7, which i doubt would be possible. you could use a supported dedicated gpu, however, the chipset may not work properly and / or certain things such as ACPI, etc, not to mention certain newer applications or things may not work, so even if you could create a custom ISO / nlite package or what have you, you'll end up being disappointed because it doesn't support all the necessary things you need, even if it's just one app, and then your forced to ( in this case ) to migrate to windows 10. 

case and point, technology and things are rapidly moving and i've had to make a more select choice on how to go about it, and that is to use windows 10 from now on primarily. i think the only annoyance in particular that i can think of so far would be microsoft coming out with another version update, which then would require re-tweaking and / or recreating another updated ISO so that i use the newest version on my builds always. for one, they'd done things such as changing the names of services, in services.msc, and i had to research why i couldn't find superfetch in services.msc, because it basically was renamed to sysmain, which also controls other things like prefetch. after i disabled that, the system no longer did superfetching and prefetching. other problems have been relatively minor, but i haven't done enough testing to see how it really holds, such as gaming. i've only used youtube to watch videos mainly and general web browsing, and it's been fine and snappy for that. one certain rare occasions, the system may not respond when i click something, there is no freezing, it simply doesn't execute what i clicked, such as the clicking the start button or menus.

btw, do you mind me asking you what your general specs of the pc you use? i was wondering how much ram for example your system uses at "idle", or with no opened applications. mine with a i5-4200m with 8 GB of ram, using windows 10 professional 64 bit version 2004, uses minimum of about 1.6 GB, to anywhere around 2 GB at idle. 

Edited by cov3rt

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21 hours ago, cov3rt said:

i skimmed quickly through the article you linked, and i'll say this, i do agree with some of the points you made, and as much i love windows 7, i've however made the decision to use windows 10 as my primary os from now on, primarily because i don't want to have to worry about certain applications not being supported anymore / not being able to use newer hardware, such as tiger lake, etc. yes, windows 7 will still receive some support till 2023/2024, however, this is primarily security updates, not major updates that in other words would allow increased functionality in newer games / applications. 

 

Well, it's completely your choice to make. I'm not a gamer, so this part doesn't bother me. At the end of the day it comes down to productivity, since that's what I use computers for. I'm just less productive on Windows 10.

I really wanted to like Windows 10 and think Microsoft had changed, but I was massively disappointed.

You could continue to use Windows 7 in a VM or on a secondary machine if you wanted, though.

21 hours ago, cov3rt said:

i actually had a certain desktop build in mind which would use a 9th generation intel processor with a supported motherboard, however, because of newer hardware being a lot faster, these systems are quickly obsolete and inferior to them. there is always a small chance i could go back and do some kind of windows 7 system, however, the windows 10 system i'm currently using has been working fairly ok, or at least partly because i've became more accustomed to it / used to it. custom modifications are always possible, however, it's a question of whether it's worth it and seeing what you would miss out by using a windows 7 system vs windows 10. in my case, an experiment could be using intel tiger lake built desktop system on windows 7, which i doubt would be possible. you could use a supported dedicated gpu, however, the chipset may not work properly and / or certain things such as ACPI, etc, not to mention certain newer applications or things may not work, so even if you could create a custom ISO / nlite package or what have you, you'll end up being disappointed because it doesn't support all the necessary things you need, even if it's just one app, and then your forced to ( in this case ) to migrate to windows 10. 

case and point, technology and things are rapidly moving and i've had to make a more select choice on how to go about it, and that is to use windows 10 from now on primarily. i think the only annoyance in particular that i can think of so far would be microsoft coming out with another version update, which then would require re-tweaking and / or recreating another updated ISO so that i use the newest version on my builds always. for one, they'd done things such as changing the names of services, in services.msc, and i had to research why i couldn't find superfetch in services.msc, because it basically was renamed to sysmain, which also controls other things like prefetch. after i disabled that, the system no longer did superfetching and prefetching. other problems have been relatively minor, but i haven't done enough testing to see how it really holds, such as gaming. i've only used youtube to watch videos mainly and general web browsing, and it's been fine and snappy for that. one certain rare occasions, the system may not respond when i click something, there is no freezing, it simply doesn't execute what i clicked, such as the clicking the start button or menus.

btw, do you mind me asking you what your general specs of the pc you use? i was wondering how much ram for example your system uses at "idle", or with no opened applications. mine with a i5-4200m with 8 GB of ram, using windows 10 professional 64 bit version 2004, uses minimum of about 1.6 GB, to anywhere around 2 GB at idle. 

Yeah, in general, newer versions of Windows use more RAM. Windows 10 is at least 1 GB, I find that Windows 7 is around 800 MB, ditto for Vista, and then maybe 500 for XP. and considerably less for W2K.

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On 9/24/2020 at 9:33 PM, Dylan Cruz said:

 

Well, it's completely your choice to make. I'm not a gamer, so this part doesn't bother me. At the end of the day it comes down to productivity, since that's what I use computers for. I'm just less productive on Windows 10.

I really wanted to like Windows 10 and think Microsoft had changed, but I was massively disappointed.

You could continue to use Windows 7 in a VM or on a secondary machine if you wanted, though.

Yeah, in general, newer versions of Windows use more RAM. Windows 10 is at least 1 GB, I find that Windows 7 is around 800 MB, ditto for Vista, and then maybe 500 for XP. and considerably less for W2K.

I loved NT5 / 6. Even Win 2000 Workstation was so SOLID - I remember not having booted it for months.  

I got pushed to XP due to lack of WiFi drivers. 

Then got pushed to Win 7 due to (I forgot what it was.. I think x64) and etc. 

I went to Win 8.1 for native / metal VHD boot. 

Now I am avoiding Win 10 as long as I can.  

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10 hours ago, crashnburn4u said:

I loved NT5 / 6. Even Win 2000 Workstation was so SOLID - I remember not having booted it for months.  

Yup

 

When I say NT6, though, I always forget about 6.2 and 6.3... don't mean those. But 5.0-6.1 were great.

10 hours ago, crashnburn4u said:

I got pushed to XP due to lack of WiFi drivers. 

? Just use an Ethernet cable! I never use Wi-Fi anyways. Slower, less reliable, flaky, higher latency, etc. There's probably enough Cat5 behind my desk to wire a small town...

10 hours ago, crashnburn4u said:

Then got pushed to Win 7 due to (I forgot what it was.. I think x64) and etc. 

I went to Win 8.1 for native / metal VHD boot. 

Now I am avoiding Win 10 as long as I can.  

You can do it!

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On 10/3/2020 at 2:39 AM, Dylan Cruz said:

? Just use an Ethernet cable! I never use Wi-Fi anyways. Slower, less reliable, flaky, higher latency, etc. There's probably enough Cat5 behind my desk to wire a small town...

When at home yes. But I had travel a lot at the time and WiFi was crucial. :D

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For me, much better concerning internals than XP, 7, and 8.1. It also won't matter debating on the move as updates have ended or will end soon for older versions.

Some more points to consider:

It's the last version of the OS, so there's no point in looking for a finished product.

I haven't experienced GUI glitches, but any might be due to drivers that aren't updated.

There are small third-party programs that can remove bloatware, lessen telemetry, disable Cortana, etc.

The task manager is quite detailed, and I think there are more via Sys Internals.

I installed Open-Shell and turned the start menu into that of Win 7.

Edge now appears to be one of the fastest browsers, and can use addons from both Chrome and its own store. I still use Firefox, though.

There's now dark mode, night mode, and other features with Explorer and more.

Power Toys has returned.

 

 

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I went through Task Scheduler and disabled stuff that's firing on regular basis and their description didn't strike me as something that would be needed for things I expect to work to work and installed some useful software for tweaking/extending usability:

  • Open-Shell  (good old start menu, more configurable than any MS implementation and the package comes with certain tweaks for Explorer/Internet Explorer)
  • SecureUxTheme (to be able to load unofficial themes)
  • Aero Glass (adds transparency with blur to window frames, also more configurable than Windows 7 implementation, currently doesn't work with latest Win10 iterations)
  • QTTabBar (tabs for Explorer with some extras)
  • OldNewExplorer (shell extension with certain tweaks for Explorer)
  • Link Shell Extension (displays NTFS hard links, symbolic links, directory junctions... in Explorer with overlaid icons and adds commands to work with them to context menus)
  • 7+ Taskbar Tweaker (tweak application for taskbar)
  • T-Clock Redux (customizable taskbar clock with extras)

Regarding services, I only disabled Connected User Experiences and Telemetry and AppX Deployment Service (AppXSVC) services. I initially left the latter enabled, but it crapped out after some time when the system wasn't rebooted for weeks (endless grinding on the disk, more specifically the page file).

I modified policies regarding auto-updates, turned off lock screen, re-enabled showing of crash dialog if application crashes, disabled blurring of logon screen background, OneDrive and Windows Defender.

There were also some tweaks in registry there and there, I remember enabling the LastActiveClick and messing with keys at HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\ShellIconOverlayIdentifiers. Even though the limit of shell icon overlays is supposed to be 15 (relevant blog post by Raymond Chen) and I have 13 of those, the ones put there by Link Shell Extension just didn't work until I renamed them in a way that they appear first alphabetically, so they have the priority. MS actually put seven entries for OneDrive there and renamed them by adding space in the name, so they had the priority.

I was unable to get Open-Shell's Classic Explorer component to display the share icon for shared files, I corrected %windir%\system32\images.dll,164 to %windir%\systemresources\imageres.dll.mun,164 in Classic Explorer settings on File pane tab (most icons were relocated since version Win10 1903), appropriately renamed ShareOverlay registry key in the previously mentioned ShellIconOverlayIdentifiers key, but it just won't budge.

Additional note (later edit): So this issue is connected to too much overlays or maybe even glitches in existing registered overlays. If I get rid of OneDrive entries (or just take away permissions to read those keys), the problem disappears. If OneDrive integration matters, then I don't know what one could do to have all functionality, plus there's also other software out there that adds icon overlays. When I messed with Win10 1803 initially, I resorted to deleting OneDrive entries because Link Shell Extension's overlays didn't work. Some time later, it seemed renaming was enough, though I didn't pay attention to share overlays specifically until recently.

On my laptop, I also added Windows 7's Manage Wireless Networks to Control Panel.

I also add the following DLLs (these deal with older games):

  • Modified (picture guide - OllyDbg needed) d3d8.dll from Win10 1803 (Build 17134) - they removed classic fullscreen mode from D3D8 in newer versions and the optimized fullscreen mode was only ever implemented in D3D9+ - the modified DLL is reportedly still functional on Win10 2004 - so you get back the performance, but without additional perks of optimized fullscreen mode.

Some DLLs from WinXP SP3:

  • d3drm.dll - Direct3D Retained Mode DLL - some games and demos use it, not included since Vista.
  • dmscript.dll - because DirectMusic scripting functionality is apparently bugged since Vista.
     
  • dx7vb.dll - DirectX 7 runtime for Visual Basic applications (should be registered with regsvr32)
  • dx8vb.dll - DirectX 8 runtime for Visual Basic applications (should be registered with regsvr32)
     
  • dxmasf.dll - Windows Media Source Filter, should be registered with regsvr32, original file is a stub, has dependencies:
  • drmclien.dll - DRM Client DLL
  • strmdll.dll - Windows Media Services Streamer Dll - this DLL won't run out-of-the-box since Windows 10 1809 because they removed support for IOCTL_TCP_QUERY_INFORMATION_EX and the DLL doesn't handle it gracefully. There's a patched version available on VOGONS, there could be issues if some application out there that uses the DLL in certain way makes said feature a requirement. However, older DLL from older DirectX package, (probably best to take the other 2 as well) doesn't have this dependency. I don't remember which DirectX package has the newest version that doesn't have said dependency.

So that more or less sums it up. I ended up on Win10 mostly because there's always something that doesn't work right regardless of what OS I use. The biggest improvement for me was memory management. I found older versions to be very aggressive when it came to paging out to disk. I would run something that consumes a bit more of memory, say 800 MB or more, then things would get swapped out and when I finished, disk would start grinding because lots of data has to be loaded back in memory, the running application would take a while to close and the whole computer to "snap out of it".

Audio playing in the background is easily interrupted on Win7 by something going exclusive fullscreen, switching away from that fullscreen application, resolution switches are slower, more screen flashing in general with such transitions. Win10 is snappier in these scenarios, though it looks like Win10 specific GPU drivers are needed for the biggest effect in reducing screen flashes. So it is possible for second screen to not flash when something changes on the first.

I also noticed an oddity on Win7 that happens with enabled HRTF in Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi MB3 software (Surround checkbox) that would result in Windows' navigation start sound (it's disabled by default) to be inaudible for some reason. Not an issue on Win10.

Console windows also behave better, finally they can be normally resized. In Win7, a bizarre bug appeared that causes 8x12 raster font to just disappear from available options if user isn't in session #1 (it increases each time you logon since boot) and system locale is set to Slovenian (possibly other languages as well). That's also fixed.

My experiences above with Win7 apply to Win8.x as well.

Clipboard history and scrolling inactive windows options, which technically just sends mouse wheel events to window under mouse cursor, not window with keyboard focus, are also good additions. At least something for which 3rd party application isn't a must anymore.

It took some tinkering, lots of things could still be improved, it definitely makes least sense UI wise out-of-the-box of all Windows releases, but so far, it works well enough that I don't have the itch to switch the OS. Currently on version 1909.

Edited by UCyborg
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I used Open Shell, SecureUxTheme, XYplorer, O&O Shutp, Windows Privacy Dashboard, TweakUAC, HWInfo, and a free version of Windows Firewall Control. I don't play a lot of old games, but I remember using the troubleshoot compatibility feature, DOS Box, and older versions of Windows in Virtualbox.

 

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