How to: Rollback to a previous version of Windows from Windows 10

Summary

Throughout the history of Windows revisions, Microsoft has included an option to uninstall the operating system when you upgrade to a newer version. My recollection of this capability goes back to Windows ME which included the option to uninstall the operating system and restore to a previous version of Windows (I was running Windows 98 SE at the time). Microsoft has supported this functionality in its NT based versions of Windows too, albeit not in a seamless way. The ability to restore a Windows 8.1 installation to Windows 7 required knowing some command line operations that in some instances didn’t guarantee the process would go according to plan. With Windows 10, it seems Microsoft has listened and has provided a welcome option to its recovery tools to make it easy to uninstall Windows 10 and go back to your previous version of Windows. This option can be handy for diagnostics purposes, trial and error or to simply go back to a previous version of Windows that works better with your PC.

Please keep in mind, this only works with Windows 7 and later. Because prior versions of Windows such as Windows Vista and Windows XP can only migrate to Windows 10 through a custom install, the command line operations remain your best choice if you do decide to go back. Also keep in mind, if you do a custom install over Windows 7 or later, the Rollback option is not available. This only works if you had done an in place upgrade from Windows 7 or later.

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Start by opening Settings – Click Start > All Apps > Settings or type Settings in the search bar and click it

rollback desktop 2Click Update and Recovery

rollback desktop 3Click Recovery then click Get started under Go back to a previous version of Windows

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Here you can make multiple selections why are going back to your previous version of Windows along with additional details or you can choose just one and click Next.

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As noted, any configurations made to Windows 10 since upgrading will be lost, so if you installed new programs or hardware drivers or made personal settings, those will be deleted.

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Click Next

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Make sure you have your password ready to sign into your old version if you had been using one. Click Next

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The process can take a while depending on the amount data, applications and settings. Click Next

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Click Go Back to begin the process.

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Windows 10 will Restart

rollback desktop 10

This will be your screen throughout the recovery process.

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When the process is complete, you will be booted into your previous version of Windows environment.

Related:

How to: upgrade from previous versions of Windows using Windows 10 ISO file

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How to setup a virtual machine using Hyper-V

Introduction:

With the release of Windows Server 2008, Microsoft’s Network Operating System also provided its first accompanying Virtualization utility called Hyper-V. Although Microsoft is not new to virtualization technologies providing solutions such as Virtual PC and Virtual Server in previous years, the company developed a solution more home grown and integrated with the Windows platform. With the release of Windows 8 in 2012, Microsoft made Hyper-V available to the Windows client for the first time, eschewing its previous efforts for a more robust solution. In this article, we take a look at using it.

In this article we take a look at setting up a Virtual Machine using the built in Hyper-V virtualization manager in Windows. The benefits include the ability to run multiple operating systems at the same time as long as you have enough hardware resources to do so (powerful enough CPU, memory). Personally, I decided to do this because I need to do some application compatibility testing. So this also a great way to try and test apps before using them on your main production installation.

Pre-requisites

  • In order to use Hyper-V you need to be running Windows 8/8.1 Pro 64 bit, Windows 8 Enterprise 64 bit, Windows 10 64 bit
  • Your processor (Central Processing Unit) brains of your computer needs to support the SLAT (Secondary Level Address Translation) extension, see instructions below to determine whether your processor supports or not.
  • Virtualization must be enabled in your computers BIOS or Firmware.

Check if your processor supports SLAT

Press Windows key + X

Type: optionalfeatures.exe

See if you can check off Hyper-V and all its sub options

If not, it does not support Hyper-V.

Enable Virtualization

– Restart the computer and enter BIOS setup (usually F2, F10 or F12 key on your keyboard, you need to do this before the computer loads the Windows operating system. This might vary according to brand, so consult your computers manual for instructions how to load the BIOS.

On my Computer, I had to hit the F10 key, select my language, select Security > System Security and enable the following:
* Virtualization Technology (VTx)
* Virtualization Technology Directed I/O (VTd)

– Search virtualization setting in BIOS and enable the setting.
– Save BIOS settings (usually F10).
– Power off the computer, wait for a few seconds and start the computer.

Setting up and configuring Hyper-V

Press Windows key + R

Type: optionalfeatures.exe

Hit Enter

This will open the Turn Windows features on or off item

Once it has loaded all the features, check off all the options for Hyper-V

Click OK

Wait while Windows installs and configures Hyper-V

You will be prompted to restart to confirm changes. Windows will go through a series of restart and configure your system.

Launching Hyper-V Manager and create a virtual machine

After Hyper-V has been setup, launch it from Control Panel > Administrative Tools.

Press Windows key + X

Click Control Panel

Open Administrative Tools

Double click Hyper-V Manager

In the left pane of the Hyper-V Manager, select your machine name. This will enable the actions pane on the right.

Under the Actions pane, click New > Virtual Machine.

This will start the Create New Virtual Machine wizard.

Click Next and follow the on screen instructions. Here I can give my Virtual Machine a name and specify its location where it be stored. So if you have additional partitions or a drive you can browse and save it there.

Choose the type of generation would prefer to use. If you are basing your needs around legacy or older applications, go with Generation 1.

Choose how much memory you would like to give the virtual machine. This will be dependent on how much you have available. The more the better. For my purposes, I will be doing application testing, so this should be enough for the operating system in addition to the applications I will be testing.

Choose the option best available to you. If you are seeing a similar screen, click Next to continue. You can always configure your Network settings after.

Go ahead and configure your Virtual Hard disk where you will install the operating system. You can make quick changes here such as the location where it will be stored along with the amount space you would like to give the Virtual machine. Here you can see, I have given the virtual machine 50 GBs of disk space. You can also choose an existing Virtual hard disk if you already have one.

Here you can choose the option to designate the install media or its location or choose the option to do so later. I will choose to do so later.

Review your options. You can click Previous and make any necessary changes. Once you are satisfied, click Finish.

Installing Operating System

For the purposes of this article, I will be installing Windows 10 Technical Preview. You have a wide choice of operating systems to choose from, which include previous versions of Windows and even some Linux distributions.

Select Install media

For the purposes of this article, I will be using a .ISO file image to install Windows from. Its convenient and easy to do. You can install from a DVD or CD if you wish to do so.

In the right pane under your Virtual Machine name, click Settngs.

Select the DVD Drive menu in the Hardware tree. Choose whether you will be installing from a DVD drive if your system has one that is available or browse to an available .ISO which what I will be using. Click Apply and OK

Click Start

Double click the Virtual Machine itself under Virtual Machines to open the instance.

This will start the Virtual Machine manager. Follow the on screen instructions to install your favourite operating system as you normally would on physical hardware.

When setup is complete, you should have a successful setup you can use for testing.

Resources:

Using Hyper-V with a Wireless Network Adapter

Using Your Windows 8 Wireless Connection Inside Hyper-V

Related:

How to use Virtualization software–Windows Virtual PC

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A Quick Look at using Windows 8.1 Update 1

It has been ages since I made a post on here. Sorry about that, but I will get into the details over the weekend. It seems like just yesterday Windows 8.1 was released, 12 months after the initial release of Windows 8 RTM itself. Yesterday, Microsoft made Windows 8.1 Update 1 available to MSDN Subscriber Downloads for persons testing Microsoft technologies. I decided to bite the bullet early and give it an early spin before it officially reaches the general public on April 8th 2014 through Windows Update.

After seven months of using Windows 8.1 full time at work, I have come to accept and appreciate Microsoft’s ever evolving Windows client, gaining new features and functionality, not to mention stability at a rapid pace. Windows 8 is now a dramatically different experience from what was initially released in October 2012. With 8.1, I immediately took advantage of the desktop enhancements for keyboard and mouse users, utilizing options like boot to desktop for instance and app view for quick access to both desktop and modern apps.

Update 1 continues Microsoft’s refinement of the rough edges, presenting even greater accessibility to functionality such as Power and Search once hidden in hot corners and menus. Other noticeable changes include title bars, minimize and close buttons now available in modern apps. Another great feature includes the ability to pin your favourite modern apps to the Windows Taskbar. Lets take a quick look at getting it up and running on a Windows 8.1 install.

Please note, this is standalone Windows Update installers I am using which requires installation in a specific order. On April 8th, Windows Update will take care of this, but for this article sake, I will describe the experience. Depended on your system, Windows 8.1 Update 1 is provided as 6 updates, in my case, I only needed to apply 5, since KB2919442 was already installed.

update to windows 81

Recommended Install Order
1.  KB2919442 – already installed
2.  KB2919355 – installed
3.  KB2932046 – installed
4.  KB2937592
5.  KB2938439
6.  KB2949621

update 355

The biggest one of them all is KB2919355, which took quite a while to install. In fact, I did this on my work computer around 3:30 PM and I leave work at 4:30, KB2919355 took about 30 minutes be completed and required a reboot.

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The other updates like KB2932046 called Feature Updates, took less time, but each required a reboot. I stopped after the 3rd and finished up the next day. After KB2919355, the unique features started to show up, such as Power and Search options appearing on the Start Screen. I understand that boot to desktop is automatically enabled on mouse and keyboard only systems. I already had this enabled.

last 81 update

The other feature updates completed quickly and I was ready to utilize the improvements in Windows 8.1.

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A lot of the options to change how Windows 8.1 operates with modern apps and the Start Screen can be found from the Taskbar properties. There you will see a new option to ‘Show Windows Store apps on the taskbar’. Right now, the implementation still feels complete, because Modern apps still remain full screen, although you can have the Taskbar displayed on screen in Modern apps when you have the mouse pointer at the bottom of the screen. This provides easy switching and multi-tasking with Desktop and Modern applications. See below.

best of both worlds2

Here you can see I have a modern app and running and still able to access my Taskbar.

best of both worlds2

The ability to work with mouse and keyboard in Modern apps is a nice welcome, you can easily access window controls such as minimize and close by hovering your mouse pointer at the top of the app screen.

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By default, apps are now displayed in alphabetical order for easy finding.  There are other options in Windows 8.1 Update I will need to check out. Overall, Windows 8.1 Update 1 makes Windows 8 feel like this is what should have happened from the beginning. Some things still feel disjointed, but a future update is expected to resolve this, providing a windowed mode for modern apps for true multi-tasking and best of both worlds experience.

Its been a long time, but I believe Windows 8 is starting to gain acceptance, the fact that colleagues are coming to me asking about how they can upgrade from Windows 7 is sign enough the hard work that has gone into refining an otherwise great product is paying off. One thing I would have liked was to always have the Taskbar on screen even in Modern apps, but I will work with what I have gotten so far.

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How to upgrade from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1

Hey folks, its been a long time since I have published a new article, been quite busy since the start of fall, so I have not gotten back into the groove of things just yet. With the release of Windows 8.1 which promises to improve the overall experience of Windows 8, I say why not start off with how to get it.

First things first, I suggest you check Windows Update for the latest updates, make sure your system is fully updated before attempting to install Windows 8.

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Open Windows Update and click Check for Updates

Once your system is fully updated, we are ready to install Windows 8.1. You might want to do things like disable your Antivirus temporarily, disable startup items. Unplug any unnecessary devices.

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On the Start Screen, click the Store icon

Store 1

As soon as you open the Windows Store, you will see the Update Windows tile. Click on it.

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The Windows 8.1 update page will give information about whats new in Windows 8.1.

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Click Download to start downloading Windows 8. You can keep working while the update is downloading.

Store 4

Wait while Windows 8.1 installs.

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When all is done, you should have Windows 8.1 installed.

Resources:

Why can’t I update to Windows 8.1?

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Confirmed: Windows 8.1 RTM coming August 2013

Microsoft today confirmed at the Worldwide Partner Conference, Windows 8.1 the major update to the initial release will be available OEMs this August.

Tami also made a few announcements.

She announced that Windows 8.1 RTM will be available for OEM partners in late August. This means OEMs will be able to get the RTM bits and begin preparing devices with Windows 8.1 just in time for the holidays! We’ll have more details to share in the coming months for consumers and other customers on how to get Windows 8.1. As you have heard, Windows 8.1 is an update that refines the vision of Windows 8. Two weeks ago, we announced the Windows 8.1 Preview for people to try out– if you have not already, check it out and experience the new features and improvements

Source HERE

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Using Compatibility Mode in Windows 8.1

If you are using an older app not designed for Windows 8, one of the solutions designed for handling such problems in Windows 8 is Compatibility Mode. I have looked at this feature in the past, but Windows 8s new user experience makes accessing it a bit different from previous versions of Windows. Lets get started. For the purposes of this article, I will be installing my 3G Modem Dashboard software Mobile Partner software.

Compat opt 1

The first thing you need to do is point where the setup files are located. If you are installing from a thumb drive or CD/DVD. Launch File Explorer (Windows key + E) and open the location where the setup files are stored.

Right click the setup file for the program, this can be designated as setup.exe or something similar. Click Troubleshoot Compatibility

Compat opt 2

This will launch the Program Compatibility Troubleshooter wizard which will check for issues.

Compat opt 3

Select the option “Troubleshoot program”

Compat opt 4

Depending on the problems you are experiencing when attempting to install or use the software, check off the problems. In my case:

  • ‘The program worked in earlier versions of Windows but won’t install or run now’
  • The program requires additional permissions.

Click Next

Compat opt 5

Select a version of Windows the program is known to work in. I notice the program works great in Windows Vista (with Service Pack 2), so I will select that option. Click Next

Compat opt 6

Proceed to run the through the programs setup routine by clicking Test the program….

Compat opt 7

Follow the on screen instructions to install the program as you normally would.

Compat opt 8

If all is successful, click the option at the end of the wizard ‘Yes, save these settings for this program’

Compat opt 9

Wait while your settings for the program are saved.

Compat opt 10

Click Close.

 

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Using Recovery Tools on your Windows 8 PC: HP

We continue our series look at using the recovery tools that come with your Windows 8 PC. Each PC manufacturer includes a unique experience for each utility for recovering your Windows 8 PC if the need arises. Today, we take a look at HP’s Recovery tool:

1. Go to the Start Screen and type: recovery

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This will bring up the recovery link for HP. Click on it to launch HP’s Recovery program:

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HP’s Recovery app

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The HP recovery manager provides a simple interface categorized for your convenience. The most important one in this case is located under the I’d like to take safety measures

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Here you will find the option to create a set of recovery media for your system.

Related:
Using Recovery Tools on your Windows 8 PC: Dell

Using Recovery Tools on your Windows 8 PC: Samsung
Using Recovery Tools on your Windows 8 PC: Acer

 

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