Windows 10 is the latest operating system from Microsoft. From time to time new builds of this operating system are being released, which are essentially sets of new features, aimed to create a more enjoyable experience with computers. Nevertheless, those so-called new features manage to cover almost none of the problems of Windows 10. Having this in mind, users are forced to find themselves ways to make Microsoft’s operating system more user-friendly and more reliable. This article aims to illustrate some of the biggest problems in Windows 10 and how to get around them.
The first thing I noticed when I installed Windows 10 was that it caused high hard disk usage and made my computer pretty much useless. So I searched the Internet for a solution and I found that disabling Window Search and resetting virtual memory managed to make my computer usable. I also disabled Telemetry, not just because it caused high hard disk activity, but also because Microsoft’s data collection is a nuisance. Telemetry is an automated process, where data is collected at remote points and transmitted back to the ‘parent’, who uses it for the purpose of measuring, monitoring and improving services.
Imagine the following situation: you have a program that crashes on start. Every time it crashes it sends an error report to Microsoft. You try to start the program multiple times but each time it fails and crashes. In the end you send 20 useless reports to Microsoft, you remember that you were on a metered Internet connection that you forgot to set in Windows and, on top of that, Windows Update started downloading updates, since officially you are not allowed to disable automatic updates. Clearly Microsoft knows better what’s good for you, even if you end up in a lunatic asylum, right? I wouldn’t say that!
So, in order to make it more efficient, we can do the following: disable error reporting as well as Windows Update from services.msc. However, when we want to use the update program we have to re-enable it, by setting it to automatic, until we finish with the updates. There is also a possibility to change update settings from Local Group Policy Editor. As for error reporting, in my opinion, it’s better to leave it off permanently, since it has no limits. It’s better for privacy as well. The years that passed since windows 10 was released proved that the data we send to Microsoft helps very little for a better user experience. The problems we had then, we still have now.
After fixing those structural problems, we bump our heads with the user interface. That much white is really tiring for the eyes and navigating through the start menu and files and folders from my computer (actually from “This PC”) feels very heavy and weird. Too many buttons have to be pressed in order to do something and in the end I feel exhausted. The start menu is useless, because I can’t find anything I need. For example, I wanted to use Paint, so I went to start menu, looked for Accessories and, not surprisingly, there was no Accessories folder so Paint wasn’t there. Then, seeing that everything was alphabetically ordered, I thought to look for it at the P letter. That was the smart thing to do, but surprisingly it wasn’t there either. In the end, I right-clicked a picture, pressed edit and after Paint showed up, I selected File->New and finally managed to use Paint. What a pain! And I can say the same thing about the new task manager and windows explorer.
Fortunately, I found solutions for those as well. Classic Shell brings the good old start menu from Windows 7 along with other designs of start menus. It also adds a bar in windows explorer where we can put our most frequently buttons so we don’t have to mess up with that awful ribbon again. In addition to Classic Shell, there is another useful program called OldNewExplorer that makes the Windows Explorer practical again. OldNewExplorer offers the possibility to remove the ribbon and return the look and functionality of Windows 7’s explorer. It can also get rid of some of the white color on bars in folders. A weird thing I noticed in Windows 10, is that I can’t use certain pictures (not all of them) from a folder as a desktop slideshow. A solution was to paste control /name Microsoft.Personalization /page pageWallpaper in a Run dialog (windows-key + R), but unfortunately it no longer works in the Creators Update build.
The last problem I’m going to talk about is the lack of Direct Draw support. This basically means that some (or many) old games based on DirectX 1 to 7 will not work. Direct Draw is pretty old indeed, but I expect from Windows 10 to run at least the games Windows 7 did. I managed to partially solve this issue with dgVoodoo2, a Direct Draw, DirectX 8 and Glide wrapper. Sadly, this program doesn’t solve all incompatibilities. Apart from dgVoodoo2, I found DDrawCompat, which is the only program I know that makes Hogs of War run properly in Windows 10.
After following the above suggestions, I managed to use Windows 10 without getting a head ache. Of course, there are still a lot of problems, missing features that get in my way from time to time but at least the major ones are gone. I really hate the procedure of coping files with the same file name, without replacing them.
Going to Microsoft’s website, we see that a new Windows 10 build is being prepared. Taking a look at the new features, it seems that the problems mentioned above aren’t going to be fixed soon. But, maybe Microsoft is pleased with the community fixes and doesn’t consider it necessary to do anything more?