I was on a much-needed staycation last week, a chance to recharge my batteries. What I didn’t anticipate was spending half a day trying to figure out how Windows 10 got installed on my PC and why it broke everything.
I’ve been putzing around on Windows 7 for years now, dodging the Windows 8 bullet after everyone told me it was nothing but trouble. Windows 7 was comfortable. It worked. I knew where things were.
And yet, I realize upgrades are important and necessary, especially for security. I’m usually the person who upgrades as soon as possible, wanting to embrace change. But my PC is a huge part of my life—it’s where I stream and edit videos and play most of my games. PC problems are already tough to diagnose; a new operating system is another can of worms.
I had plans to stop being an old dinosaur and upgrade to Windows 10 last week. What I didn’t expect was to wake up on Thursday morning and find out Windows had taken care of that for me. Maybe I forgot to push back the upgrade schedule, maybe I accidentally scheduled it by clicking the wrong button. Whatever the case, I definitely did not intend to install Windows 10.
That’s not how this should work.
But in a way, I was relieved. Maybe I was just being lazy, you know?
“All your files are where you left them,” the screen creepily declared.
It was not seamless. Disaster struck almost immediately, as I logged into my account and was promptly told I couldn’t access any of my files. I’d only spent a few minutes with Windows 10, and already I’d been lied to.
“You’ve been signed in with a temporary profile,” read an error message.
What? I rebooted the computer, thinking it was an errant glitch. No dice. I logged out of my account, thinking it was a simple hiccup. Again, no dice.
For all I knew, Windows 10 had deleted everything on my hard drive.
A few Google searches later, however, I discovered this was a common problem for people who’d upgraded to Windows 10, willingly or not. Some of the solutions involved editing your registry, which terrified me. As I started bookmarking various options on my phone, I settled on the easiest one first: force Windows Update to download the latest set of patches for Windows 10. I couldn’t fathom what that had to do with my profile, but OK?
Fortunately, it worked, and my profile was unlocked. But still, Windows didn’t point me in that direction—a random message board thread did.
Again, that’s not how this should work.
Thinking I was now in the clear, I started poking around at the new features in Windows 10. One of them is the ability to sync across devices through your Microsoft Account. Even though I don’t own a Windows tablet or phone, I do own an Xbox One, so it made sense to get on board with this.
Thing is, Windows 10 won’t accept my password. It keeps telling me my password is wrong. It’s definitely not wrong, Windows! (My password is secured in a 1Password database.) I even reset the password once or twice, hoping it would flip a switch. This appears to be a common problem with Windows 10, and one solution I came across recommended that I re-install Windows 7, then upgrade to Windows 10 again, and see if that fixes it.
See if that fixes it? For fuck’s sake, man.
I can get over the lack of profile syncing, but Windows 10 also won’t accept my password for the Windows Store, which means I’m shit out of luck when it comes to playing Gears of War: Ultimate Edition or Quantum Break, as Microsoft currently has no plans to release either game on Steam. (I didn’t used to blame them for that, but now that I can’t play either, maybe I do!)
Lots of people have probably upgraded to Windows 10 and had no problems. Maybe mine will get worked out after a few more Google searches and a few more patches. What irritates me the most, though, is how I didn’t have a choice in the matter. Apparently, I’m not alone, either.
The kicker? My Ethernet port stopped working this morning. Hooray!
You can reach the author of this post at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @patrickklepek.