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The first 29 days of Windows 10

Scot Finnie | Aug. 27, 2015
One installation went well; the other one didn't.

Perhaps my biggest criticism of Windows 10, however, is directed at the Edge browser, which I detest. Among other drawbacks, it's the only aspect of Windows 10 that I found to be unreliable. It literally froze up or crashed multiple times. I think it was when I couldn't locate the browser history facility that I finally gave up on it entirely. (You'll find Edge's History under the Hub. Not very intuitive.) Happily, Internet Explorer is still available in Windows 10, although I have adopted Firefox as my default browser.

In the end, most of the user interface changes in Windows 10 don't matter much. It will promptly erase the Windows 8 nightmare from memory. Think of Windows 10 as Windows 7.5, and you'll be happy with it. I expect it to be a winner for Microsoft.

Working through those post-upgrade issues

It won't surprise most experienced users that, with this latest release of Windows, the HP Envy developed a serious case of driver envy. My first thought was to get the Windows 10 driver for Intel's Rapid Storage Technology (RST). This HP model has a hybrid hard drive consisting of a 930GB spinning hard disk and a 22GB SSD, which is primarily used for boot caching. My upgrade from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1 taught me that, without that boot cache, the Envy was pitifully slow at startup, and that the Intel driver was vulnerable to upgrades.

On July 30, I checked the HP support site and found a July 27 update for the RST driver. I installed it, restarted the machine a few times and won back about 70% of the boot performance Windows 8.1 had delivered. But HP didn't have many other newer drivers to offer. I wanted to upgrade the video driver, but the Nvidia Experience program was declining to connect to its website for updates. I eventually updated this driver with a manual download from the Nvidia driver download site; HP didn't have it and Microsoft wasn't offering it via Windows update. Since I couldn't be sure the Intel integrated HD 4600 graphics driver on the HP site was for Windows 10, I decided to leave well enough alone for a few days.

A week or so later, my son was complaining that the Envy was slow again. I discovered that Intel's Rapid Storage Technology was throwing off errors and had partially self-disabled. So it was back up to the HP support site to see whether Win10 drivers had magically appeared. There was an apparently newer driver for the RST, so I downloaded that. And there were other new drivers for the chipset, the Intel integrated graphics, audio, networking and so on -- I downloaded chipset, video and audio drivers, as well. I was able to make the last three work. Unfortunately, the RST download failed to install and offered only a cryptic error message.

 

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