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Windows 10 - Overall Review and Modding

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#1 TechAngel85

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Posted 04 June 2015 - 11:25 AM

I installed the Insider Preview of Windows 10 today on a virtual machine to take it for a test drive before deciding on a full upgrade or not. First impressions...it's an updated Windows 8.1. They've brought the Start Menu back, but after that most of the OS still feels like Windows 8. I will be updating this OP after I've had time to review different aspects. I will also be installing Steam and FNV Skyrim* to test run most of the modding programs under the new OS. If there is something you'd like me to review, please let me know and I'll at least look into it. For the sake of my sanity, when I refer to Windows 8 I'm referring to Windows 8.1.
 
*Since I decided to do the dual boot instead of the virtual machine, I'm now able to do all this testing with Skyrim.
 
Look & Feel
 
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The look and feel is as I mentioned, Windows 8.1 with a start menu. If you tried out Windows 8 or are still running it, you'll feel right at home with Windows 10. There have been some improvements to how menus and options are presented; however, it's all Windows 8 style. The Start Menu is in a Windows 8 style as well so don't expect to see the old Windows 7 start menu; however, it's overall function remains closely the same. So far I have not found a way to make it look more similar to Windows 7, but that is just a small thing that some will miss and some will not. File navigation is simple once you get used to the new style and feels like it did in Windows 8 so it looks like the Windows 8 style is here to stay and the Windows Vista/7 style is out.
 
 
Project Spartan

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Junk. That about sums up my experience with Project Spartan, Microsoft's new browser. Project Spartan feels like Microsoft's poor attempt to modernize their in-box browser. It copies much of what Chrome and Firefox has already been doing for years, but does so like a new kid on the block. The new browser constantly crashed or froze up while doing everyday tasks. For example, it once froze up as soon as I hit the italic button on the editor in this message box. It froze it again when trying to view a video. It crashed once while opening up my mail account and finally wouldn't properly load some of the web pages. Perhaps Microsoft has fixed most of the issues with Project Spartan since their last release of the Insider Preview version; however, even if they did, I wouldn't suggest using it as your daily driver. Stick with your current favorite browser. You're not missing anything with Project Spartan.
 
 
Hardware Detection / Program Installation
 
When installing Windows 10, I was surprised to see it picked up most of my hardware and installed the most recent drivers. For example, Windows 10 picked up on my video card (GTX 760) and installed, not only the most recent driver, but also the Nvidia Control Panel. No previous Windows version has ever done this for me. Looking in Device Manager, Windows installed the correct driver versions for all my hardware and they're not the crappy Microsoft versions like in previous Windows. There was only two drivers Windows 10 couldn't find and both where Bus controllers. This is a nice improvement for anyone that has dealt with OS installations and knowing that you best have your Ethernet drivers on a thumb drive before installing the OS. It was also nice not having to install the USB 3.0 drivers.
 
Program installation has had some improvements in Windows 10, as well. First, programs feel like they install faster and smoother. As a disclaimer, this could be due to the OS installation being "fresh", though. The one major thing to note about program installation is the detection of missing software which the installed program needs to run. I never noticed this feature in Windows 7/8 so if it was there, please forgive me. However, it's still worth mentioning. For example, when running the Skyrim Launcher for the first time Windows 10 notified me that the program needed the .Net Frameworks. It gave me the choice to install them and when choosing to do so, Windows 10 downloaded and installed the missing software before running the Launcher. This was very convenient as I had forgotten to install these things. The entire process as quick, smooth, and seamless.
 
 
List of programs tested and confirmed to be working*:

  • 7zip (have not run into issues stated elsewhere)
  • Adobe Photoshop CS6
  • Copy
  • Firefox
  • Mod Organizer
  • Notepad++
  • TES5Edit
  • Wrye Bash (Bash Patching works okay. Have not tested other functionality.)

*Programs were not tested 100% for all their functions. Doing so would take far more time than I have.
 



#2 alt3rn1ty

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Posted 04 June 2015 - 11:41 AM

7-zip needs testing. Its a staple of many projects, Wrye Bash not only uses it but includes a copy in its executeables ( I dont know if MO does the same ? ) .. I have seen mention that for someone else it did not work on the beta 10. Probably just early beta teething troubles, but it would be nice to know this is still going to be a dependable tool when 10 installs itself.


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#3 Shadriss

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Posted 04 June 2015 - 11:49 AM

Question: I was under the impression from a friend that a virtual machine install was not capable of accessing the proper instruction sets for full usage of the GPU. Maybe I misunderstood him somehow, but if true, would this not affect you ability to assess WIN10 from a gamer's perspective?

 

On a slightly related note, thanks for taking the time to do something like this... I know *I* am not brave enough to do anything similar.


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#4 TechAngel85

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Posted 04 June 2015 - 11:52 AM

7-zip needs testing. Its a staple of many projects, Wrye Bash not only uses it but includes a copy in its executeables ( I dont know if MO does the same ? ) .. I have seen mention that for someone else it did not work on the beta 10. Probably just early beta teething troubles, but it would be nice to know this is still going to be a dependable tool when 10 installs itself.

I installed it and will give it a test. I'm going to for sure be testing:

MO

7zip

TES5Edit

LOOT

Notepad++

Wrye Bash (limited as I haven't used it in ages)

NMM (limited)

 

I'm mainly going to be working through some of the Fear and Loathing Guide for the modding parts. Since I already have Skyrim installed, I can't test with it in Steam unless I uninstall it. I don't really want to go through all that trouble as this will only be a light review. Not planning to go into depth for very much stuff.


Question: I was under the impression from a friend that a virtual machine install was not capable of accessing the proper instruction sets for full usage of the GPU. Maybe I misunderstood him somehow, but if true, would this not affect you ability to assess WIN10 from a gamer's perspective?

 

On a slightly related note, thanks for taking the time to do something like this... I know *I* am not brave enough to do anything similar.

You are correct, but I'm not going to be gaming on it. Just testing the tools.



#5 hishutup

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Posted 04 June 2015 - 01:05 PM


I stopped using 7z file manager because the the 7z file manager wouldn't open on any associated files. This was about two months this ago. 7z may have fixed the issue. However, 7z file manager would open normally if I started 7zfm.exe or whatever its called. I got annoyed and used a different GUI file manager for 7z archiving which is banizip and I actually like it more than 7zfm. Obviously, 7z archiving works otherwise I wouldn't be able to mod at all. I can shoot you a video if you don't believe me and then archive the video using 7z.

I use wrye bash as a mod manager for oblivion and it does work fine as a mod manager and as a tool.

I never used NMM and don't plan to but the other tools I use constantly. You can even add ck to the list of working tools.

Actually, there should be a list of what doesn't work.
The only thing I encountered was Alice: Madness returns doesn't function because its DRM is terrible.



#6 Kessno

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Posted 04 June 2015 - 01:10 PM

Thanks for taking the time to do a review of most of the Skyrim tools with Windows 10. I finally installed Windows 10 onto an older laptop that I have to more thoroughly test it outside of a virtual machine. It looks like there may be some issues relating to OpenGL as an older game I have refuses to start. Hopefully that is not the case with Skyrim and other more modern games.

 

I'd like to test Skyrim itself, but the laptop isn't powerful enough to handle it. I'm not overly comfortable with shrinking my desktop's hard drive and attempting to dual boot Windows 10 (in the off chance something goes wrong) and I happen to lose the data that I haven't backed up. ::P: 


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#7 hishutup

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Posted 04 June 2015 - 01:16 PM

Oh, one thing is visual studio will break every now and then. 

To fix it just run the redist packages that are usually included in the game folder and click repair. This has been an issue for about 3 builds now. I believe the first build that I was on didnt have the issue.

 

Like I said, I used it for a few months now and I dont plan on switching back to win 7 because win 10 is superior.



#8 Octopuss

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Posted 04 June 2015 - 02:41 PM

Jesus christ, I wonder what kind of colourblind people with absolutely no sense of ANY aesthetics make decisions at Microsoft. It looks HORRIBLE.


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#9 TechAngel85

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Posted 04 June 2015 - 03:13 PM

I might decide to do a dual boot instead after thinking about it. I want to be sure it runs smoothly and I can't really do that 100% using a virtual machine. Virtual machines are excellent for this type of testing because if something messes up it's literally two clicks to undo the install and start over. However, for video game related stuff, they're not so great because you can't really run the game to it's full potential.

#10 z929669

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Posted 04 June 2015 - 03:20 PM

Isn't this OS supposed to be shipping for free on Xbox One? If so, I will have it there and will likely stick with Windows 7 Professional on my box



#11 TechAngel85

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Posted 04 June 2015 - 03:36 PM

No idea, don't keep up with Xbox but I'm sure Microsoft will be pushing it out to it. It's being offered as a free upgrade to Windows 7/8 users.

#12 alt3rn1ty

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Posted 04 June 2015 - 06:13 PM

If anyone does not want this to stomp all over your current OS for a while ( let the cannon fodder go first )

 

 

Apparently there are 2 updates you need to uninstall to kill it, not just one :

 

If you go to Control Panel > Programs and Features > Uninstall an Update, then you look for

 

KB3035583

 

and additionally for win 7 ..

 

KB2952664

 

I have both of them in my Updates list ( The first installed 20th May, The latter installed 17th April )

 

 

Then if you get offered them again in future, just right click and hide them if you still want to deny the updates.

 

I'm still going to let them happen, Cannon fodder-R-Us ( Got Win 7 discs so no problem rewinding after the event for me )

 

 

Source of additional update info Security Now Podcast #510 - Go to 29 minutes and play on.


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#13 Neovalen

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Posted 04 June 2015 - 06:40 PM

I'm just going to let it happen, then download the iso and clean install. I don't mind being a lab rat.
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#14 TechAngel85

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Posted 04 June 2015 - 10:47 PM

Okay, got my dual boot up and running. Now to install everything...yay! haha...not! ::):



#15 TwilightTech

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Posted 04 June 2015 - 11:40 PM

For anyone thinking about doing a clean install, a word of advice: just to be safe, when it allows you to sign in with your Microsoft account or create a local account during installation, pick the local account. You can switch to the Microsoft account after; however, some people (like me...) have had problems where the installation will hang afterwards, and manually restarting will just bring you back to the hang.


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