It's that time of year again (plus or minus a few months) for Windows owners to pour out a suitable beverage, switch on the TV (say to a cricket match in Summer) and multiplex those activities with updating Windows on one's devices.
This time round I reverted to an 'in place' upgrade using the Upgrade now button at https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/software-download/windows10, wondering whether my shared folder setup would be destroyed as it had been in previous upgrades … but no, in general all went smoothly for:
HP Microserver N36L
HP Microserver N54L
HP Microserver Gen8 x 2
These are pure file servers running W10 Professional.
The only point to note is the continued absence of the CPU usage trace on the Gen8 Task Manager graph.
Microsoft is changing the update policy for windows 10 per this article on thurrotts website
a couple of years ago, I stopped using a windows 10 homeserver because the update cycles kept breaking things
this new announcement could cause some reconsideration of this.
Don't think I am going to replace my Qnap nas anytime soon -its been rock solid
but if I where building a new server, would consider it.
wouldn't be hard to set up machine with a lot more capability than most NAS's without laying out 400 bucks for a windows server license
and you can use Drivepool, which I miss from my W10 server
the selection and quality of the windows 10 store apps has taken a turn for the better in the last few months
Software publishers have started to load in their win32 apps in the Store
The big one is Itunes of course. I dont use Itunes per se but a program I use ( mediamonkey) requires it to be installed to sync to Ipods and Iphones
The big advantage of loading in Itunes this way is that it leaves behind all the other crud ( apple updater, Bonjour etc) and just does Itunes
But there are several others that I have used and can recommend. In some cases the author asks for a small fee for the program via the store. but you can install on any of devices hooked into your account and updates are handled thru the MS update process
Paint.net a solid paint/photoshop type program. Very good program that I have used for many years. This is the program that should have replaced MS Paint, rather than the POS Paint 3D
Libre Office full featured office suite - fork of the openoffice project solid program more like MS Office than the google office suite. One of my daughters went to school using this and wrote her PHD thesis with it.
Irfranview Lightweight handy image viewer/editor. I have used this program for over 20 years !!!! If I need to just crop or lighten an image to paste into another document, this is what I use.
Inkscape open source Vector drawing program - similar to Adobe Illustrator and visio dont use this program often but since visio isnt part of the standard office 365 package, a good program to have loaded up
Autodesk CAD Mobile Dont confuse this for a full featured CAD program , but for viewing and marking DWG files or creating simple CAD profiles, this free program works fine
Please feel free to pass along other useful items you found in the windows store
After 2 disk failures … and the W10 April update … and the first patch Tuesday …
… I've been spending a lot of time moving data and testing this past 2 weeks.
I prompted the so called '1803 feature update' immediately it was available via Windows Update, having prepared via Insider test builds.
The process went through slowly but steadily on all my machine types … which you will see from my signature are all pretty old and low powered devices.
There was a vestigial File Explorer item which once closed left everything intact bar the usual window rearrangement/prompts $MSFT likes to make to File Explorer and Edge.
Oh and the usual additional forcing tactics e.g. you see a yellow warning flag on the defender security notification icon if you are logged on to a local account rather than a Microsoft email account.
Only 1 bug to speak of - I have not experienced the problems others have been reporting in the press.
The HOMEGROUP feature has been removed from this release with a likely side effect: other network machines and their shared file systems no longer appear under Network Places.
They are accessible but one has to type the machine name in the File Explorer address bar e.g. \\HPMICROSERVER5 to start any action.
Since I have been moving lots of files around I have also noticed that the network is not as stable as before: a remote shared area can be accessible one minute but not the next.
No showstoppers for me (famous last words).
After 2 days and no problems with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update I thought I'd report my conversion experiences.
The upgrade was offered immediately on N36, N54 and Gen8 microservers, which in my case are running Windows 10 Pro.
I accepted the 'in place' upgrade on 3 of my 4 machines ... with some trepidation since the last upgrade destroyed my shared folder configurations.
No problems of any sort thus far: only the splash screens for the new features in Edge makes one aware that things have changed.
'In place' with HDD's for the OS drive is .... very slow ... we're talking hours.
The 2nd of my Gen8 machines stalled mid way through upgrade ...but I don't think that was a server or Windows problem: when I reverted to the old OS version disk errors were reported so I suspect the OS disk is on its way out.
After repairing bad blocks I tried a clean reinstall. This is much faster (40 minutes) but one has to reinstall programs and reconfigure. Not a problem since this is only a file server, so only shared folders to reset. I'm glad this happened in one way ... good I think to remind oneself of how to handle a rebuild ... since I could not find the B120i driver file ... or indeed any other HP drivers for the Gen8, which should have been in my machine installation archive. Corrected.
The usual sites were reporting that the new version of Onedrive requires manual installation. Worked fine.
Time to explore the new features then.
I've had it in the back of my mind to try REFS via Storage Spaces for some time. Unfortunately this is another case of NASDAQ:MSFT going backwards for consumers: that option is now removed and only available in the new Windows Pro for Workstations edition. Which I won't be buying.
To be fair though the upgrade has worked without problems on LINX 1010 tablets and my old DELL PC, SAMSUNG laptop, so my initial reaction is to give MSFT the thumbs up.
Hope everyone else has good experiences too!