Windows 10 installation notes

Last modified: Sun Apr 19 20:36:29 EDT 2015

These are notes from my installation of Windows 10 Technical Preview in early 2015.  Your requirements may vary.

Theory of operation

While Windows 10 is not the full repudiation of Windows 8 that all sane users hoped for, it is definitely about damage control.  The Metro BS is still there, but instead of replacing the entire desktop it just takes over the left-click menu of the start button which is now a window icon thing with no name.  More familiar stuff is on the right-click menu.

Space requirements

Installing W10 and one game on a 60 GB SSD leaves not enough space to install the multi-GB updates that Microsoft pushes out, so a reasonable minimum would be 120 GB.

The biggest unnecessary space hog is hibernation mode, which automatically grabs an amount of space equal to the amount of system RAM.  To disable hibernation and free up that space, run Command Prompt as Administrator and do powercfg -h off.

Running the install

Beware:  To avoid getting sucked into a Microsoft online account with cloud storage and other unsolicited junk, click the option to create a new account and then scroll all the way to the bottom where there is a buried link that allows you to proceed without creating an account.

As with Windows 7 and 8, the default behavior is to create separate boot and root partitions and to install Microsoft Boot Manager.  To get W10 to install in a single partition that can be imaged and rewritten conveniently from Linux, partition the drive in Linux.  Disable all other drives in BIOS until the installation is finished doing damage.

LILO version 24.0 will not boot W10, but the BIOS boot menu does.

Network configuration

Drivers

Windows now installs manufacturer's drivers for Nvidia GPUs and Realtek audio/LAN automatically, albeit without setting the resolution to the native resolution of the connected monitor.

Nvidia's driver pack now comes with something called GeForce Experience, which Microsoft wisely omitted.  It has nice features like optimizing game settings and updating drivers automatically, but it also has some hidden background function that randomly goes off and hogs massive amounts of CPU and network bandwidth without any warning or explanation.  GeForce Experience is unnecessary and deinstalling it fixes the problem.

Miscellaneous

For some reason the network connection doesn't come up until 2 minutes or so after booting.

By default, SSDs and USB flash drives will be subjected to scheduled automatic "optimization" which you may or may not want.  To disable it, run Disk Defragmenter, click on "Configure schedule...," clear the checkbox next to "Run on a schedule," and hit OK.


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