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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.

My next step was to try to get tech support help. I began digging into the HP support website. When I got to the page that represents support for my specific HP Envy model, it offered two conflicting bits of information: 1. I still have four months of warranty support left on this PC. 2. Hewlett-Packard no longer supports this model. How can that be? Apparently HP believes it has the right to discontinue support whenever the heck it pleases. And because it has discontinued support, it didn't offer me a way to contact support.

That only left me one alternative.

I dialed HP's main support number and navigated the voicemail menu until I got to something approximating what I was looking for: Laptop support. The person who answered had such a thick accent that I had to ask her four times to repeat the same phrase before I finally understood it. She wanted to know how old my computer was. The BIOS lists the "born on" date as 12/21/2013. I gave her that date and told her I still had four months on my warranty. She asked if I could hold for a couple minutes. That was the last I heard of her. I wasn't even on hold; I'd been disconnected. I gave up on HP tech support.

The terrible tech support story is one you could hear from customers of just about any PC maker. What I find more aggravating is that HP had many months of access to public betas of Windows 10. Its existing customers should be the top priority if the company wants to have future customers. HP also released a bunch of drivers on Aug. 7, but apparently most of those were not specific to Windows 10. HP's driver versions -- I found out later -- were not even up to date in all cases.

This is the Microsoft ecosystem's biggest problem. What's in it for HP to keep its drivers updated? It's a flawed system.

The last resort

Intel offers drivers for its products on its website. This is always a last resort for me because you never know how much the OEM PC maker may have customized the hardware, software or both in a way that affects the driver's configuration. Intel warns of this on its download page, too. I was able to quickly find an RST 64-bit Windows 10 driver on the Intel site. The version number was in the 14.X range, whereas HP's version number was in the 9.X range. (Could this be why it didn't install? Just saying.) Installation of this direct-from-Intel driver went off without a hitch.

Upon reboot, the RST still wasn't enabled. I knew why that was, though. Using the previous driver, there'd been an error message in the RST's configuration screens. I had noticed a setting that allowed you to disable the error message. When I did that and restarted the Envy, I saw a performance improvement, and the error message did not come back. But while boot performance was better, it still wasn't best. The configuration screen's performance tab put the performance level at "Enhanced," which sounded more like a 6 than Nigel Tufnel's 11. Although it was not obvious how to do it (mostly because the RST's Help document didn't match what I was seeing on screen), it was clear there was a way to raise the bar on performance. Once I figured out what to click, the performance status read "Maximized"-- and the job was done.

Adjust Windows 10's virtual memory

 

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