Windows 10

I’ve earned my living in the fascinating world of information technology for many years.  The first Microsoft OS which I remember using was Windows 3.0 and since Windows 3.1 I’ve professional supported just about each version published.

My main shack PC is a 3 years old desktop PC and it’s been running Windows 7 since I built it.  Before that I had been running Windows XP on an even older machine.  While both OS versions supported my enjoyment of the amateur radio hobby, I’ve been very pleased with what Windows 7 had become.  Even at the professional level, I find Windows 7 to be a very stable and easy to support OS in the corporate arena.

Like most everyone else, I had been carefully watching the news regarding Windows 10.  Back to my professional experience, we moved away from Windows XP as a standard about 3 years ago and have been deploying all employee PC’s (mostly laptops) with Windows 7.  We skipped Windows 8 (just as we did with Vista) and our long term plan will be to begin moving to Windows 10 at some point in the future. 

Anyway, as I stated….Windows 7 is what I use for all my home PC’s and it’s worked out very well.  My main shack PC which I use to perform all logging (contest and otherwise) along with digital modes and rig control works great.  This machine logged a QSO for each and every day in 2012 and half of 2014.  It’s just a solid machine.  However, I must admit that I found myself a bit intrigued by what other hams had been posting about their Windows 10 upgrade experience.

However, I must admit that other than testing new software in my professional role….I have tried to get out of the business of living on the bleeding/cutting edge of technology.  Meaning, while I very much consider myself a geek and I truly love to have the latest and greatest gadgets…I’ve generally followed the rule of never upgrading to a new Operating System until the first service pack has been released.  Even then I proceed with caution.

But as Microsoft tends to put out a great OS every other version and a not so great OS the other times (Great OS = Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows 7) (Not so great OS = Windows ME, Vista, Windows 8.x) I knew Windows 10 was going to be in the great category and as I said I had been hearing good things from other hams.  So I decided to take the plunge.

After spending time backing up my important files (HRD logbook, all application source files, documents, pictures etc.) I started the upgrade process.    Now I must admit that I really don’t like the upgrade from one OS to another process.  Additionally, I’ve never had good luck with it.  Generally it is almost always better to do a clean install of an OS on a freshly formatted hard drive.  But I figure I didn’t have anything to lose.  So upgrade we go….

After about 30 minutes my system restarted and I said goodbye to Windows 7 and hello to Windows 10.  Of course my main areas of concern was whether my amateur radio apps would all work.  I wanted to make sure my log was working and that I could upload to LoTW, eQSL and Club Log.  I also checked to make sure rig control worked across all my connected rigs via their USB Serial Cables.  All check and good to go.   I also quickly checked to make sure other contest logging software worked. 

I have nothing negative to report about my Windows 10 upgrade experience.  From what I can see (and this is my non-professional opinion as I’ve not spent enough time testing in the corporate environment) but Windows 10 might very well be the absolute best OS Microsoft has developed and best of all….It’s Free!

Just for the record.  While I said I had nothing to lose by trying the upgrade, this machine has been progressively getting slower and slower over the past few months.  So much so that I had actually planned on performing a rebuild.   The upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10 did slightly improve my sluggish performance, but I think I’ll most likely do a complete rebuild in the coming weeks.

So should you upgrade to Windows 10?  I believe only you can really answer that question.  If you are eligible and you have hardware that will run it…I would say go for it.  If you don’t see the option to do the upgrade in your system tray you can go to this Microsoft page and start the process. 

I’ll be sure to provide additional updates on my Windows 10 experience, but for now I’m pleased (really pleased) with what I see. 

Until next time…

73 de KD0BIK

P.S.  I’m having a blast easing back into the hobby.  I am wrapping my content for the next PARP episode and looking forward to recording it and getting it out to all of you.  Thank you for your continued friendship. 

Jerry Taylor, KD0BIK, is a regular contributor to and writes from Colorado, USA. He is the host of the Practical Amateur Radio Podcast. Contact him at [email protected].

7 Responses to “Windows 10”

  • Sid N8LOQ:

    I pulled the 10 trigger this morning. AClog and the other of my HAM sw are OK. I concur on your performance observations. I still keep a Linux box handy but I think I breathe OK.

    Sid N8LOQ

  • Matt W1MST:

    I’ve upgraded all of mu Windows machines to Windows 10 and concur that it’s a winner.

  • Harry K7ZOV:

    I also did a upgrade yesterday on my secondary computer in my workshop. This is my place where I do my mad scientist experimenting. The computer is a HP and it had Windows 7 and one day the drive crashed. I replaced it and added Windows 8.1 and it worked pretty well the past few years. Now it is Windows 10 and the last free HRD, Log4OM, FlDigi and all my Elecraft utilities worked. I think it is a bit faster then 8.1 and I like the UI.

    Now I have 30 days to really ring it out since that is the window I have to go back to 8.1 or not. I think 10 will be here based on my experiences so far. Assuming it works out I have two other 8.1 computers and three win 7 machines (xyl and mine combined). I have both the 32 and 4 bit programs on a thumb drive so I am all set… Not sure if I have enough room for my ACER W3 Windows 8.1 tablet. Time will tell

    But for now I feel that this is a safe and good upgrade.

    73 Harry

  • Dave W8EIR:

    I loaded Windows 10 Enterprise Edition on Wednesday night. Fresh install, as I never upgrade over an older OS. Install was quick and easy took about 45 minutes total.

    My favorite feature so far is Hyper-V, being able to run different OS’es on their own virtual machines is a money saver for me. I don’t have to spend the extra $$$ for a new laptop or workstation.

    I can now run my SDR-RTL dongle and ham it up upconverter and SDR# in that virtual machine, and have a panadapter without spending any money. Very little overhead on the host machine, its an 3 year old HP z400 Pro workstation lots of memory and quad core Xeon processor.

    I like the Win10 GUI, have shut off everything that to me is useless, wi-fi sensing especially, advertising, tracking etc. All my amateur radio apps work well.

    MS so far has gotten this version Windows right.

    Dave W8EIR

  • Richard K5RHA:

    A word of warning on doing a hardware upgrade following the free upgrade to Windows 10. I’ve heard reliable stories that Windows 10 will stop working if ANY hardware is changed on the system. A purchased copy may be required if there is a hardware change.

    I’ve done the upgrade myself and have had no problems. I have had several cases of my Ethernet losing connection to the Internet but, I’m not certain of the cause as of yet.

  • Ernest, AA1IK:

    I would hope that after 10 tries, MS would finally do something right! I put 10 on two different machines, and both do things slightly different. This is not a big deal, but overall I like it. Yes, its an improvement, as it ‘jolly well should be’; boot up and program launch is smoother, faster and the GUI is much to my liking, easier to use, intuitive.

    Some of the greatly touted features have already been in use via other purchased software so it really amounts to MS playing ‘catch up ball!’ SOP for MS. That said, HRD went to work right off the bat, (big relief). I expect the other radio related programs will do the same as many have testified.

  • Lon Stuart - wm7e:

    I have just upgraded to Windows 10 after being on W-XP for about 6 years or so. I was on W-8.1 for about 6 months and found that it was a “hurried-up” OS and hard to manage. XP was very easy to use and had all of the bugs worked out of it by the time MS scrapped it. I hope W-10 sticks around for a while and gts the bugs worked out of it as well as W-XP was… I do the Davis County Amateur Radio Club monthly newsletter, “The DCARCommunicator” and am anxious to see how W-10 handles it. I hope you keep up this comments section as I like to hear from other hams and see what they are doing in their areas. Cheers: Lon Stuart, wm7e.

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