Upgrading: Windows 7 to Windows 10

The time had come. Windows 10 had been released; as with previous versions of Windows, Microsoft had conducted its end-user research by experimenting on the computers of millions of end users; the equivalent of a major service pack and other updates had been released; my copy of Windows 7 was activated; the free upgrade window (i.e., one year from initial release) was reportedly going to close on July 29, 2016; and on one of my machines, Windows 7 had just begun behaving strangely, consistent with rumors in earlier years of Microsoft sabotage (via recent updates), so as to move users along in the desired direction.

Was Microsoft really messing with my system? Probably not. (Later, the evidence would suggest the true answer was, probably.) Was it even possible? We will not rehearse, here, the long and twisted history of Microsoft’s rise, nor the saga of the hours and years I had spent dealing with Windows. The point is, my system was acting up, for whatever reason, and I figured this was a good excuse to begin hoping that Windows 10 would prove to be super-stable and capable. (Later — at least as late as early 2018 — the evidence would suggest the true answer was, probably not.)

For me, an upgrade seemed likely to come in two stages. First, there would be a hopefully simple process of upgrading the operating system, so that my machine would be running Windows 10; and second, there would probably be a continuing effort to make Windows 10 look and act as I preferred. This post tackles the first of those two steps: just getting Windows 10 running on my machine.

As I say, this was an upgrade. I did not want to reinstall and reconfigure the many programs and adjustments I had already installed and configured in Windows 7. I hoped the Win10 installation process would adopt and honor them — that they would continue to work in Windows 10 as they had in Win7. I would actually be doing the upgrade on two different machines. One was running Win7 Ultimate; the other had Win7 Professional. Both would reportedly be upgraded into Windows 10 Pro. This post distills my learning from both of those upgrade efforts.


In some of the following steps, it was essential to have a working Internet connection on the computer being upgraded. Before investing a lot of time in a potentially doomed effort, it was also a good idea to see if the manufacturer of one’s computer, or for its separate components, offered a compatibility webpage. One of my computers was a Lenovo ThinkPad E430 laptop, and Lenovo offered a list of supported systems. The other computer was self-built, but I was able to verify that, for example, its ASUS motherboard was Windows 10 compatible.

There was another way of checking compatibility. Microsoft offered a Windows 10 Upgrade FAQs page. One of the FAQs indicated that, if I wanted to know whether a specific device or program would work in Windows 10, I should use the “Get Windows 10 app.” I was not sure what this was. A search led to an explanation of how I could get it, if it wasn’t already on my machine. I thought that maybe this program was already present on my system — that it was the white distorted-rectangle Windows icon in my system tray, at the bottom right of the screen. When I hovered my mouse over it, its tooltip said, “Get Windows 10,” and when I right-clicked on it, I saw several options. But it didn’t seem to have the options described in the FAQ. Another Microsoft page said I could run a Windows troubleshooter to resolve the issue. Clicking on that link opened GW10Appdiagnostic.diagcab. When I ran that, it said,

Unsupported version

The Get Windows 10 App is not available for this version of Windows

But that Microsoft page said the Get Windows 10 App was available for versions of Windows 7 other than the Enterprise version, and I didn’t have the Enterprise version. I had all the updates installed and everything. Not sure what the problem was there. So — oh, well, it seemed I would just have to plow ahead and see how it went.

Before proceeding, a backup seemed like a good idea. Evidently the upgrade would store a backup of the Windows 7 or 8 files in a compressed file, and if desired the user could roll the system back to that previous version of Windows. BGR explained how to revert the system, and also reported that the restored previous version would probably have some problems. This seemed like another argument in favor of the tried and true image backup approach. For those upgrading from Windows 8, BGR also offered suggestions for how to make your Windows 10 system function as if Windows 8 had never existed.

I had an Acronis image backup of the Windows 7 installation, and could restore that if needed. My machines preferred to boot from DVD rather than from USB, for some reason, so I had added my Acronis drive imaging software to a multiboot DVD (i.e., a disc loaded with multiple programs, each of which could be chosen from a menu to boot the system). Needless to say, I had not stored the backup image on drive C, which was about to get massaged by the Windows 10 installer, and it was also not on an encrypted drive that would be unavailable if an encryption program on drive C went incommunicado. (I used VeraCrypt as a portable located in my customized Start Menu on drive X, so no worries there.)

How-To Geek suggested that I try running the Microsoft Upgrade Assistant. I clicked that link and got a file called OSGS14-WindowsUpgradeAssistant-32bitand64bit-ClientSKU-4141411.exe. I ran that file. It said, “Windows 8.” I killed it. Why would I want a Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant? But then I saw that Geek said, “If you’re upgrading from Windows 7, however, be prepared to reinstall applications as significant changes between the Windows 7 architecture and the Windows 8/10 architecture necessitate it.” The idea seemed to be that the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant would also give me a sense of how my Windows 7 programs and settings would fare in an upgrade to Windows 10. So I reran the Assistant. It said this:

  • 56 of your apps and devices are compatible
  • 6 items for you to review
  • You’ll need to reinstall your compatible apps and devices in Windows 8.1

That wasn’t good news. I wondered if it would have made more sense to just do a clean install. Upgrades often seemed to create new problems that clean installations avoided. But for now I decided to continue with the upgrade approach.

How-To Geek provided a pre-upgrade checklist. This list said the Get Windows 10 App would also have told me if my hardware was not ready to handle Windows 10. As an alternative, Microsoft offered a list of system requirements:

  • The latest version of Windows 7 SP1 or Windows 8.1. This could be verified in Control Panel > System, or as otherwise suggested on another Microsoft webpage. Control Panel was available via right-click on the Start button. It was also available through two Windows Key options. (The Windows Key, a/k/a WinKey or just plain Win-, was the key at the bottom left and/or right corner of the keyboard, with the Microsoft Windows logo on it.) One was Win-X; the other was Win-R > control.
  • A 1GHz or faster CPU or SoC.
  • RAM: 1GB for a 32-bit system, 2GB for a 64-bit system.
  • Hard drive space: 16GB for a 32-bit system, 20GB for a 64-bit system.
  • Graphics card: DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver.
  • Display: resolution of at least 800×600.

Much of the information required in that list could be obtained from a system information tool, such as Speccy or HWiNFO.

The Geek checklist also suggested removing old software. I had mixed feelings about their suggestion to run something like CCleaner. I’d found you would be best advised not to just start CCleaner and let it run; it could delete things you’d wish you’d kept. Geek also offered the commonsense advice not to keep your data on drive C, and to back it up separately from (and, I’d say, much more frequently than) drive C.

Geek’s checklist recommended saving and printing a file that would list the product keys for Windows and for any other installed programs that came with keys. The risk here was that the installation programs and/or the keys necessary to use those programs would be wiped out in the upgrade. This was not a problem for me, as I kept my installation programs and key information on another drive. Nonetheless, I took Geek’s advice to run Magical Jelly Bean Keyfinder to double-check. But I found it got keys for only a few programs, and neglected others. The Jelly Bean page did identify a commercial ($30) alternative that would supposedly find much more. If I did wind up needing the key for some program, I would mount my Acronis image (or, if necessary, reinstall it somewhere) to recover missing keys.

But there was a related point. Some program adjustments were saved on drive C, and might be lost with an operating system upgrade. I could think of two examples right away, because I had lost them on many prior occasions when I had restored a previous image to drive C. One was my customized list of Autocorrect words in Microsoft Word; the other was my list of open tabs in Google Chrome. I didn’t have the same problem with my list of open tabs in Firefox because (a) I used the Session Manager extension to store session information on another drive and (b) I ran a portable version of Firefox. Like many portable programs, it kept its current configuration information in the same folder as its executable file. As noted above, I stored my portables in my customized Start Menu on another drive. So changes in operating systems probably wouldn’t make any difference there. Not having to reinstall and reconfigure programs was one of the several advantages of using portable rather than installed programs.

Geek recommended getting drivers together for major components before doing the upgrade. I was not inclined to do that. To me, it was a hassle to try to figure out what might need drivers and where those drivers might be. As Geek admitted, this was rarely a major problem. I had long ago learned to keep two computers on hand, so that I could use one to look up information or download files needed to get the other one working again.

Finally, Geek recommended uninstalling antivirus software before installing Windows 10. They also said there might be no need for third-party antivirus software in my future, as Win10 comes with good antivirus software built in. Others disagreed. AV-Test (cited by multiple others, e.g., Yahoo! Tech, MakeUseOf) placed the built-in Windows Defender at the bottom of a long list of antivirus options for Windows 10. Heading the list: AhnLab, followed by Avast, AVG, Avira, and Bitdefender. A different How-To Geek page agreed. For free antivirus, PC Magazine recommended the 2016 versions of Avast and AVG.


To begin installation, I went to Microsoft’s download page. There was an Upgrade Now button at the top of that page. That was not the approach I wanted to take. But when I did try that approach, it downloaded a file called GetWindows10. I ran that file and chose Start Download, Upgrade Later. That opened the Windows Update window.

(Note: Windows Update was no longer available via Control Panel. A search led to a How-To Geek page indicating that I would have to use Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update. As in Windows 7, the Update & Security dialog in Windows 10 was not reliable. It might indicate that there were no more updates, but clicking on it might remind it that, in fact, there were additional updates.)

Windows Update said, “There are no updates available for your computer.” That was because I had told it to hide the Windows 10 update, so that I would not constantly be at risk of downloading it before I was ready. So now, in that updates window, I clicked Restore Hidden Updates. Then I selected Upgrade to Windows 10 Pro. It started to download the 2609MB Windows 10 file. The rest of this approach is described in more detail at LaptopMag.com.

As I say, that was not the approach I preferred. So I killed the download, went back to Microsoft’s download page, scrolled down, and selected the Download Tool Now button. This gave me a file called MediaCreationTool.exe. I ran that program. It gave me a choice between “Upgrade this PC now” or “Create installation media for another PC.” I chose the latter. Then I had another choice: USB flash drive or ISO file. I chose to download the ISO version. I used ImgBurn to burn the ISO to a DVD. That way, I would not have to download it again, I could use it on multiple machines, and I would have it in the relatively permanent and safe form of a DVD in case I needed to reinstall.

Once I had the DVD, I was ready to begin installing. I decided to try to proceed without uninstalling my AVG antivirus software. I suspected that, by this point, AVG had already adapted its 2016 software, which I was running, to accommodate Windows 10. So I inserted the DVD and rebooted the machine. I needed to have the computer’s BIOS set to try booting from a DVD, if one was present, before booting from the hard drive; otherwise the system would just ignore my DVD. I also had to pay attention: if I just let it go, after a few seconds it would decide I didn’t want to boot from the DVD after all, and again would proceed to boot Windows as usual from the HDD. So when I was all set and paying attention, I rebooted and saw this:

Press any key to boot from CD or DVD . . .

I pressed a key. The installer let me confirm my language and keyboard. It gave me a choice, as in previous versions, of Install Now or Repair Your Computer. I chose Install Now. Next, since this was not the first time I was installing Windows on this PC, it said I should choose “I don’t have a product key” and activation would be done automatically later. For some reason, it gave me a choice of Windows 10 Home or Pro. I chose Pro. Next, there was a choice between Upgrade and Custom. I wanted to keep my installed programs and settings, so I chose Upgrade. Here, again, that option would apparently not have been available if I hadn’t already had Windows 7 installed on this computer.

The installer seemed to need me to go through those steps just to figure out how it was going to migrate my existing programs to the new installation. At this point, it told me to remove the DVD, reboot, let Windows start normally, and then reinsert the DVD and restart the upgrade. I quit that screen in what I thought was the normal way, but I thought I saw the word “crash” in some message that quickly flashed on the screen and then was gone. Now I was back at the Install or Repair screen. I clicked the X in the upper right corner to kill that window, but now I had a message asking me, “Are you sure you want to cancel Windows installation?” Weird. I said yes, since there didn’t seem to be any other way to follow the instructions about rebooting Windows normally.

When I rebooted Windows normally, there was no obvious clue on how to proceed — no new icon in the Start Menu or on the desktop. In Windows Explorer, I navigated to the DVD drive. It showed the contents of the DVD. I double-clicked on setup.exe. The installer ran. It appeared, then, that the DVD was bootable, and that Windows 10 would be installed by booting the DVD, if I was installing a new system; but if I was upgrading an existing system, the idea was not to boot the DVD; it was just to install from the DVD while running the existing Windows installation.

I proceeded through the installation. I allowed it to download and install updates. It responded with an inscrutable “Checking for updates” screen that didn’t change or provide progress information for maybe ten to fifteen minutes. When it finally came back with a response, I clicked a button and again it said it was checking for updates. But this time at least it gave me a progress report: 0%, for the most part. That continued for maybe another ten minutes. Then “Making sure you’re ready to install” — another five or ten minutes.

Eventually I got a “What needs your attention” list of two programs that, according to the installer, were not compatible with Windows 10. These were Acronis True Image Home 2011 and UBCD4Win 3.60. If everything else was going to work, that would be great. I clicked the Uninstall buttons next to these two programs. I had to do them one at a time — it wouldn’t do both uninstalls simultaneously. But then neither of them seemed to succeed: after I clicked the buttons, both said “Manually uninstall.” I went into Control Panel > Programs and Features and, sure enough, both were still there. I selected and uninstalled them there, one at a time. UBCD4Win uninstalled OK, but I got a message saying I would have to reboot to finish uninstalling Acronis. I opted not to reboot now. I clicked View > Refresh in the Programs and Features window. Both Acronis and UBCD4Win were gone now.

Back in the Windows 10 installer, I clicked the Refresh button. It was satisfied with my uninstallation sacrifice: it went on to the Ready to Install screen. It had two listed to-do items: “Install Windows 10 Pro” and “Keep personal files and apps.” I clicked the Install button. It went through the installation process. I went away for a while, so I can only guess that it took roughly an hour to finish.

Post-Installation Setup

When installation was finished, the system presented me with a login screen. I entered the same password as I had been using in Windows 7. But then I stopped, before finishing the password, and clicked on the button at the bottom left corner of the login screen, just to see what it was. This was the “I’m not Ray” button — I guessed it was for letting some other user log in. For a moment I could see that this button would allow the user to set contrast and other aspects of the screen; but then Windows 10 crashed. The Windows 10 Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) said this:

😦 Your PC ran into a problem and needs to restart. We’re just collecting some error info, and then you can restart. (100% complete)

If you’d like to know more, you can search online later for this error: SYSTEM_THREAD_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED.

It rebooted. I tried clicking on that button again. Entering part of my password had not made any difference; it crashed again. The error may have stemmed from the fact that I had set up no other users on that machine. After the second crash, it did not reboot again. It just stayed stuck at the BSOD. I let it sit for a half-hour just to be sure. Then I killed the power and restarted.

On the third reboot, I just entered my password and hit Enter. This led to the Get Going Fast screen. Here, I had a choice between Customize Settings or Use Express Settings. I chose Customize. This led to the first of several screens that gave me various privacy-related choices. A search led to a MalwareTips page that suggested turning OFF all of the offered settings except the one that said, “Use SmartScreen online services to help protect against malicious content.” A University of Wisconsin webpage agreed with that advice. So did MakeUseOf, except that they said I could also turn off the SmartScreen option if I didn’t plan to use Internet Explorer or the new Microsoft Edge browser. How-To Geek agreed with MalwareTips, but said I could leave on the “Send error and diagnostic information to Microsoft” option if I wished. It sounded like a majority of users were going with the default Express Settings, however, so I felt that Microsoft was probably getting sufficient user data without my input. So I turned off everything except SmartScreen.

The next screen was Meet Cortana. Cortana was Microsoft’s answer to Siri, the voice-activated assistant available on Apple hardware. A MakeUseOf article suggested that she, Cortana, was “proably Microsoft’s greatest productivity tool since it released Microsoft Office.” I might have found her useful on a smartphone. But on my computer, I didn’t presently think I needed her. There were apparently privacy concerns here too, as Cortana could remember whatever you asked her. But I was more concerned with not having extra programs running, using system resources and imposing additional potential complexities. I opted to choose “Not now” on the Meet Cortana screen.

Next, “New apps for the new Windows.” Here, the choice was between “Let me choose my default apps” or simply “Next.” I chose the former, and then unselected all four of the check boxes and clicked Next.

With that, the installer indicated that setup was complete. It said, “Hi.” Then, “We’ve updated your PC.” After a pause, “All your files are exactly where you left them.” (It seemed these messages irritated some people.) Then, after a minute or so, “We’ve got some new features to get excited about.” Then it added, “Don’t turn off your PC.” There seemed to be a lot happening under the hood: hard drive activity, but no explanation onscreen. Then “We’ve made some tweaks to make Windows even better.” And finally — BSOD! Same one as before: SYSTEM_THREAD_EXCEPTION. Once again, it didn’t reboot itself, so I had to do it manually. Three BSODs before the new operating system even got underway. I was thinking a clean install really might have been the better way to go.

On reboot, I found myself at the “lock screen” — the one where you have to hit Ctrl-Alt-Del and then enter your password to get into the system, at least if you have it passworded. This was much prettier than the one in Windows 7 — it had a nice photo and the date and time, as in Windows 8. It took longer to let me into the system than Windows 7 had done. But then, at last, I was looking at a basic desktop, and some startup programs that would load in Windows 7 began to load. So it seemed I had completed basic installation and, to my great relief, it looked like most of my programs might run without reinstallation.

But, oops, another BSOD! I hadn’t done anything; this was just Microsoft’s own idea of what needed to happen next. I shut the system down, let it cool off for several minutes, and tried again. Why not? It seemed that each new BSOD advanced the ball a few more yards down the field. But no, the next BSOD caused a crash at about the same spot.

BSOD: System Thread Exception

It seemed I would have to research that SYSTEM_THREAD_EXCEPTION error. A search led to a WindowsClub article suggesting that some such BSODs would specify the file responsible for the crash. In their case, the problem was a display driver. My BSOD didn’t specify the problematic file.

I decided to see if I could boot into Safe Mode. A Microsoft article said the way to do this was to hold down the Shift key while clicking on the Power > Restart button at the bottom right corner of the sign-in screen (where I would enter my password). (I would later discover that it also worked with the Power > Restart option off the Start button.)

Anyway, that rebooted the machine and gave me several options. I chose Troubleshoot > Advanced Options. The advice here, for Safe Mode, was to choose Startup Settings > Restart. But I decided instead to try Startup Repair. The system rebooted and said “Preparing Automatic Repair.” Much prettier than the Windows 7 repair disk. But the outcome was disappointing: “Startup Repair couldn’t repair your CD.” So I went on into Startup Settings after all and hit F4 to choose Safe Mode.

This, by the way, was truly cumbersome. It required the user to remember and go through a lot more steps to get into Safe Mode. It was prettier, but it was also poorer.

In Safe Mode, I decided to start by taking a look at Device Manager. To open Device Manager, I hit Win-R > devmgmt.msc. I saw that I had yellow exception triangles for two devices: Generic PnP Monitor and Unknown Device. So it seemed that I would have to download drivers after all, although now I had at least a somewhat informed sense of which ones I would need.

I was able to right-click > Uninstall on each of those two problematic devices. This computer was a Lenovo laptop, so on another computer I went to the Lenovo webpage, looked into its Support area, and searched among its downloads for software pertaining to display, video, or graphics. Then I used a USB drive to copy them over to the laptop. One of them was supposed to be suited for this machine, but announced that this machine did not meet its hardware requirements. Another said, “The setup files are corrupted,” when I ran it. I downloaded it twice and copied it over three times, via two different USB drives; it seemed the problem might be on the Lenovo server. A video diagnostic test failed to run; it suggested I try to reinstall the video driver. Nice idea, but at this point I was out of video driver ideas.

The Lenovo site had a handful of other, non-video drivers. I tried installing those. One of these ran OK. One said, “The setup program failed to start one or more application processes. Setup will exit.” One, for the Realtek Ethernet Controller, detected that the drivers were already in place; I had it run a repair session, just in case. The others installed without issue. I restarted the system in Normal Mode. It crashed again. Back in Safe Mode, Device Manager was back to having the same two yellow exclamations.

It occurred to me that some problems in Normal Mode might derive from my startup options. In Safe Mode, I used Win-R > msconfig > General tab > Diagnostic startup, and rebooted. This time, in Normal Mode, the system did not crash. I tried Start > Settings > Update & Security, hoping to get the system to look for and download updates, but no joy: the Settings window closed as soon as I chose the Update & Security option.

I went back into Safe Mode to see what I had to enable to make Updates run. In msconfig > General tab, I selected Normal startup. Then, in Services tab, I disabled everything except services from AVG, Intel, Lenovo, Malwarebytes, and Microsoft. This changed General tab back to Selective startup. Then I rebooted into Normal Mode. That was a bridge too far: BSOD. I tried again without the Lenovo items. Not good enough yet: BSOD again. I tried again with no services enabled except those that seemed directly needed for going online. This consisted of those referring to TCP, DNS, DHCP, IPsec, Tunneling, Web, Internet, HTTP, Update, Driver, and Network — but only for basic hardware (e.g., not for Skype).

That worked: the system booted, and did not crash. But I still could not get anywhere with updates. In Normal Mode, Device Manager now had only one problem: the Monitor was good, but there was still a yellow exclamation by Unknown Device. I got a pop-up notification that I needed to turn on Windows Security Center, so I tried to do that, but it said, “The Windows Security Center service can’t be started.”

While this was underway, I looked at more webpages about the Lenovo laptop. The news was not all good. For example, a page titled “Microsoft Windows 10 Hints and Tips on ThinkPad and Lenovo LaVie Computers” listed a number of “Things to confirm before installing Windows 10.” The first item on the list: “Intel(R) PROSet/Wireless Software cannot be installed on Windows 10.” That particular software problem did not apply to my computer. But Lenovo’s response was chilling:


This is a driver limitation caused by the design of the Windows 10 operating system.


No solution.

There were others like that. Nothing on that particular page referred to my E430 laptop. So I turned back to Safe Mode on the laptop. I went through several more iterations of enabling or disabling different services, booting into Normal Mode, and trying to figure out what was crashing the system. When it didn’t crash, I still wasn’t able to go online and download updates. Eventually I realized that this was probably because I was disabling services necessary for an Internet connection.

At some point, I remembered that I should have been reviewing the system logs to see what was happening at the time of the crash. In Safe Mode, I went into Control Panel > System > Advanced System Settings > Advanced tab > Startup and Recovery > Settings. There, I saw where system failure messages were being stored: %SystemRoot%\Minidump. I copied and pasted that address into the Quick Access (formerly Address) bar in File Explorer and hit Enter. Sure enough, a bunch of *.dmp files.

I ran NirSoft’s BlueScreenView. It automatically focused on that list of *.dmp files. I looked at the most recent one. At the right, it said that crash was caused by stdriver64.sys. A search led to one thread suggesting that this was an old driver, and that a clean install might solve the problem. There were indications that stdriver64.sys was a RealTek audio driver. But on my system, it appeared that I might have gotten stdriver64.sys when installing the Debut program from NCH Software. Another thread indicated that NCH’s SoundTap was a culprit in one user’s BSODs. Another suggested Driver Verifier as a possible troubleshooting tool. A search led to indications that this tool was available in Windows 10 via Win-R > verifier. But its purpose was apparently just to identify the problematic driver, in situations where crashes would happen only occasionally, and it seemed I had already crossed that bridge.

I wondered if uninstalling Debut and deleting stdriver64.sys would solve the problem. TPLP10 suggested a more convoluted procedure — basically, installing a new copy of the NCH software (that post applied to NCH’s SoundTap), uninstalling it, rebooting, and then conducting registry edits. Before doing all that, I just uninstalled Debut via Settings > System > Apps & Features. The uninstaller rebooted the system. When it got back to Normal Mode, it did not crash. This was very promising. I went back into Safe Mode. In msconfig’s General tab, I chose Normal Startup and rebooted into Normal Mode.

In Normal Mode, the system did not crash. Settings > Update & Security worked; I was now looking, for the first time, at the option to check for updates. When I clicked on that button, it worked. This problem was solved.

Audio Driver Problem

Repeated runs of Windows update, followed by reboots, seemed to take care of all remaining problems in Device Manager. Instead, I had a new error message, popping up after each reboot:

Dolby Advanced Audio

Unable to start the Dolby audio driver. Please restart the computer or reinstall the driver if the problem persists.

I could reproduce that error by going into Control Panel > Dolby Advanced Audio. A search led to a Lenovo page suggesting that I use Control Panel > Programs and Features > uninstall Realtek High Definition Audio or Conexant SmartAudio or IDT High Definition Audio, and then reboot and download a new driver from Lenovo Support. On my system, Programs and Features did show Conexant HD Audio. I began to uninstall that, but that seemed to cause a system crash. On reboot, I looked at Programs and Features. The Conexant HD Audio item was still there. I rebooted into Safe Mode and was able to uninstall there. I downloaded the update from the Lenovo website and installed it. On reboot, however, the error message recurred.

[The remainder of this post is still under construction.]


Windows Update Problem

While I was having the audio driver problem (above), I was also having a Windows Update problem. It said this:

There were problems installing some updates, but we’ll try again later. If you keep seeing this and want to search the web or contact support for information, this may help.

That message was followed by a list of five failed updates.

[To be continued]


Lenovo Update Problem

The Lenovo laptop came with update icons in its Control Panel. These included (1) Lenovo – System Health and Diagnostics and (2) Lenovo – Update and Drivers. Neither of these seemed to be working properly. Since this was not a general Windows 10 issue, though, I decided to explore these in a separate post.


There was an update waiting in Windows Update, but it wasn’t audio-related. My laptop’s Control Panel had a Lenovo Update & Drivers icon, so I tried that. That led to another problem. The Lenovo update tool didn’t seem to be working: it kept wanting to reinstall an updated tool, after saying that the update had succeeded. Apparently there had been security problems with the tool. Lenovo offered an update to the tool as a separate download, so I downloaded and installed that. But that, too, failed to resolve the issue; again the Lenovo Update & Drivers icon led to an effort to install an update that had supposedly already succeeded. And then, to round things off, Windows Update was repeatedly failing to install current updates. It seemed these problems would require continuing attention and possibly separate blog posts.


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One Response to Upgrading: Windows 7 to Windows 10

  1. Kaarlo von Freymann says:

    Thanks for a hilarious story. It seems the old saying “high market share corrupts and near monopoly makes crook ” is reigning supreme. 10 years ago I still had some confidence in Microsoft. After the Vista debacle and the W 8 debacle and what I read about Windows 10
    I have become convinced like Mr. Putin, Microsoft has lost all credibility.


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