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Warning: Be VERY careful if you attempt to get older hardware working with Windows 10 by enabling disabled devices

jkee 4,925 2,048 August 1, 2016 at 06:07 PM
I have an older Dell laptop that isn't W10 certified. I'd been putting off the windows 10 upgrade but eventually decided to give it a go while it was still free (who knows what the future holds) if for no other reason than to allow a future reinstall / upgrade.

For the most part it went reasonably well. Initially I tried to some easier options to create a 'disposable' installation like installing to an old junk hard drive (with SMART problems), sd card, flash drive, etc. But Microsoft wants you to commit and doesn't make it easy to install on these devices.


It actually worked pretty well on the older hardware, but then I realized a few devices weren't working and started trying them to work. Some of the device that weren't working are things I never use like express card. But I wanted my SD card reader, free fall sensor, and smart card reader to work. I read in another forum that enabling a particular disabled intel device would fix the sd card reader (but that you may have to repeat this every time you boot). Sure enough the card reader now works. Then I start transferring a gigabyte or so of photos, seems to be working fine... I walk away. When I come back the photos aren't on my computer, my desktop is now empty and I have a dozen alert boxes for all sorts of programs that where running but now have crashed or are missing critical files. Some keys on my keyboard no longer work and my trackpad is dead. I power off and reboot. Check properties on my hard drive and 100GB of data was wiped from the drive while trying to transfer some photos.

So then I built PE recovery media restored my backup and had Windows 7 working again and all my data in under 2hrs.

So much for Windows 10 being an improvement... After this I might switch back to Linux full time with no windows installs save a few VM's.

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#2
This is why I am still using Windows 7. When I saw labels of some of the hardware being sold marked as Windows 10 compatible.
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#3
If you have older hardware, there is no reason to be using Win 10 outside of an obsession to stay current imo. A Windows 7 license can be had fairly cheaply and the drivers for all peripherals are almost guaranteed to work 100% of the time in Win 7.

Win 10 buys you nothing imo unless of course you like to spend more time making it act like Win 7, locking down the security, stopping the spyware features etc. and then dealing with issues like you experienced with drivers potentially. Not to say that upgrading is impossible or even difficult in the normal case, but as they say, if it isn't broke why try to fix it?

Win 7 will be good to go until 2020 at which time your older hardware may by then be obsolete and you will get the newer OS with a new machine purchase (for better or worse depending on your point of view).

My 2 cents.
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#4
Quote from YanksIn2009 View Post :
If you have older hardware, there is no reason to be using Win 10 outside of an obsession to stay current imo. A Windows 7 license can be had fairly cheaply and the drivers for all peripherals are almost guaranteed to work 100% of the time in Win 7.

Win 10 buys you nothing imo unless of course you like to spend more time making it act like Win 7, locking down the security, stopping the spyware features etc. and then dealing with issues like you experienced with drivers potentially. Not to say that upgrading is impossible or even difficult in the normal case, but as they say, if it isn't broke why try to fix it?

Win 7 will be good to go until 2020 at which time your older hardware may by then be obsolete and you will get the newer OS with a new machine purchase (for better or worse depending on your point of view).

My 2 cents.
I agree. But I just figured I'd roll the dice and acquire a free license while possible. I was busy last week and put it off too long... I had to set my computer to Hawaii time laugh out loud to complete the update.

Mainstream support for 7 has ended, it's currently in extended support and most reviews of 10 have been pretty positive once you disable the privacy invading stuff. Forced updates are a drag though.

The only notable feature I gained for a day and didn't use was Bit Locker, coming from W7 Pro. For everything positive people reviewers have had to say about W10 I had higher expectations of the install process and repair options from the dvd. At least apple gives you enough information in their repair options that you can be confident about what it's going to do. On another computer that I stuck a junk drive (not real SMART issues) that still functioned in, I was greeted by NTLDR IS MISSING mid install.

The device I enabled that I think caused all my 'fun' was:
Intel(R) 5 Series/3400 Series Chipset Family PCI Express Root Port 3 3B46
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Last edited by jkee August 1, 2016 at 07:47 PM
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#5
Quote from jkee View Post :
I agree. But I just figured I'd roll the dice and acquire a free license while possible.

Mainstream support for 7 has ended, it's currently in extended support and most reviews of 10 have been pretty positive once you disable the privacy invading stuff. Forced updates are a drag though.

The only notable feature I gained for a day and didn't use was Bit Locker, coming from W7 Pro. For everything positive people reviewers have had to say about W10 I had higher expectations of the install process and repair options from the dvd. At least apple gives you enough information in their repair options that you can be confident about what it's going to do.

The device I enabled that I think caused all my 'fun' was:
Intel(R) 5 Series/3400 Series Chipset Family PCI Express Root Port 3 3B46
Win 10 reviews are mixed and largely depend on where you are coming from imo. Desktop power users and privacy advocates tend to hate it. Casual users, mobile users and tablet users are more in tune to its XBOX\Metro console interface. Imo many of them are also Win 8/8.1 upgrade users and ANYTHING is an improvement over that POS.

I really do not care about Metro, Cortana (which will soon have no off switch), stupid MS apps, etc. Add in no Media Center which I do use. Yes you can make Win 10 behave satisfactorily, but why would you want to go through the trouble if not required to if there are no real benefits? Eventually MS is going to force everyone onto their OS platform thanks to new procs not supporting Win7, but until I really need to or until I am forced to with a new PC purchase or the coming of Jan 2020, I am staying Win 7. I only have one laptop (I just bought) that is Win 10.
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#6
I just picked up a new 2012 HP Pavilion desktop that came with Windows 7 and immediately let it take the Windows 10 update. Everything seems to be working just fine and I kinda like 10 so far. I don't use Windows machines very often but figured it was a good idea to take the update just so it will be supported longer. Been using Chromebooks for the last 5 years and hoping I can completely eliminate the need to keep a Windows machine around in the near future.
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#7
I see a lot of these issues with W10 as microsoft being envious of Apple and trying to build a similar ecosystem and forcefully 'encouraging' people to use it. (and aiming for an ad based SAAS model.

Online privacy is pretty hard to come by these days. Some would argue it isn't even possible unless you only use a very well designed VM, have multiple pbulic ip addresses, and run a tor exit node.


I mostly wanted to share my experience to reduce the odds somebody without a backup doesn't wind up with their entire user folder and more wiped.
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#8
Win 10 is perfectly fine..have it installed on 50+ machines...
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#9
This is a bunch of FUD.

Windows 10 is compatible with drivers for Windows Vista and later.
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#10
Quote from jkee View Post :
I see a lot of these issues with W10 as microsoft being envious of Apple and trying to build a similar ecosystem and forcefully 'encouraging' people to use it. (and aiming for an ad based SAAS model.

Online privacy is pretty hard to come by these days. Some would argue it isn't even possible unless you only use a very well designed VM, have multiple pbulic ip addresses, and run a tor exit node.


I mostly wanted to share my experience to reduce the odds somebody without a backup doesn't wind up with their entire user folder and more wiped.
Y would someone install win10 on something not designed to run it? ?
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#11
Quote from jkee View Post :
I see a lot of these issues with W10 as microsoft being envious of Apple and trying to build a similar ecosystem and forcefully 'encouraging' people to use it. (and aiming for an ad based SAAS model.

Online privacy is pretty hard to come by these days. Some would argue it isn't even possible unless you only use a very well designed VM, have multiple pbulic ip addresses, and run a tor exit node.


I mostly wanted to share my experience to reduce the odds somebody without a backup doesn't wind up with their entire user folder and more wiped.
A little late to the party? A vast majority of the consumer who were going to upgrade did it during the free period with that now officially over I doubt Microsoft will get a ton of adoption of old machines.

Laptops in particular are bad about this as they have so much extra stuff going on, or specialized hardware. I had a family members machine that upgraded successfully after my second attempt and everything runs except the generic graphics driver for the 8 year old hybrid GPU doesn't exist for 10, so the resolution was low. Thankfully a rollback worked fine.

Personally I am glad the upgrade period is over and we can put this behind us. I have 10 on my personal machines and don't have any trouble personally, but they are all 2016 machines.
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#12
Quote from LiquidRetro View Post :
A little late to the party? A vast majority of the consumer who were going to upgrade did it during the free period with that now officially over I doubt Microsoft will get a ton of adoption of old machines.

Laptops in particular are bad about this as they have so much extra stuff going on, or specialized hardware.
I did it during the free period... just the last few hours. I had some other storage and backup issues I'd gotten behind on and wanted to resolve before I tried W10. Agreed, laptops are the trouble makers.


I've just never seen anything quite like what happened to me and wanted to document it. Clearly something went very wrong during the DMA transfer.
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#13
Quote from jkee View Post :
I did it during the free period... just the last few hours. I had some other storage and backup issues I'd gotten behind on and wanted to resolve before I tried W10. Agreed, laptops are the trouble makers.


I've just never seen anything quite like what happened to me and wanted to document it. Clearly something went very wrong during the DMA transfer.
If you wanted to be dangerous it would be interesting to see if a clean install made any difference. Its been odd what they tend to fix.
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#14
I could say this about every laptop that I have owned up to this last year on any OS since XP. Lot of laptops have really strange specialized hardware.

Had an old Toshiba that after a clean XP install didn't have any networking drivers at all. Had to USB load everything.

I moved all my machines from 7 or 8.1 to 10 (some around 4 years old) with no issue surprisingly. All drivers were found and supported by several laptops, a windows tablet and a desktop that I have swapped most of the components on twice.

Only thing I lost was the unofficial overclock I had on a processor I ended up replacing.

It is very possible to kill the auto-update on 10 as well if you prefer. I now have it downloading updates and asking me to install them when I get around to it.

7 will be supported for several more years, which will likely be longer than many people will hold onto the older machines anyway.
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#15
Quote from LiquidRetro View Post :
If you wanted to be dangerous it would be interesting to see if a clean install made any difference. Its been odd what they tend to fix.
I might do that if I ever get around to putting an SSD in this machine.
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