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    3 Star Lounger Backspacer's Avatar
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    Upgrading to Windows 10 remotely

    I've got 5 systems in a store that is currently 1200 miles away from me. I've been biding my time but now I think I'd like to start the process of upgrading them to Windows 10. (Feel free to tell me if you think this is still a bad idea.)

    I administer these systems remotely using Remote Desktop and there is nobody in the store competent to do the upgrade even if they had time to do it. Will I be able to do the upgrades remotely? I've never tried to do an OS upgrade remotely. But then I very rarely upgrade at all, preferring to start the new OS on new hardware.

    Will I be able to login during and after the upgrade process to keep it going? There is someone who could press a key or other minor things to keep it going, but she has a full time job to do, too, and can't spend all day at it. And I would have to be able to guide her through it.

    I use Norton Internet Security for my software firewall. Will it remember its settings (and my whitelisted IP address) after the upgrade? Or will the Windows Firewall become activated by default?

    Obviously, getting logged back in during or after the upgrade is the crucial step. I can do everything else I need to do after that via RDP.

    One of those five computers is currently not very busy. It's the receiving system and we don't receive much merchandise in the winter. If I do try upgrading remotely, I will try it first on this one. Then if we run into problems, they can ship it to me to complete the upgrade and then I'd ship it back. Unfortunately, I can't do that for all of the systems. The others are vital to our day to day operations.

    Any thoughts or advice? If this whole thing is just a really bad idea, feel free to tell me and I'll wait until May when I can do it in person.

    Thanks!

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  3. #2
    Super Moderator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    Personally, I would wait until May when you can do it in person. My reasons:
    1. You'll be onsite and not dependent on anyone else's availability.
    2. Windows 10 will have had a couple more months maturing.

    Hope this helps...

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    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    I agree, especially if you begin the process and start having serious issues, there won't be anyone around
    competent enough to deal and you'll be left with the headaches.
    In person is the best and only way to go, especially for something as complex as an upgrade.
    Now if you had someone on hand that IS competent with the proposed upgrade that would be a different matter entirely.
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    3 Star Lounger Backspacer's Avatar
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    So what about these spontaneous forced upgrades being foisted of onto people? I went through all the recommendations to block a forced upgrade a couple of months ago, but then recently it appeared that Microsoft may have found another way of trying to trick us. I'm worried that they will somehow pull it off and leave me with an emergency that I don't know how to deal with. I was hoping to go through it on a less vital machine when I had time to work through the issues, just in case.

    Here's another question: are these forced upgrades happening just on Home level versions of Windows 7 or on the Pro level, too? All of our systems are Pro level.

    Thanks.

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    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    All I would imagine, but you should be able to prevent them via remote access at least.

    You know, if you really wanted to, you could select one of the 5 systems as a test bed and attempt a remote upgrade.
    You wouldn't necessarily need someone competent, just a body present to follow your instruction, you could have them on the phone
    in case you needed a setting checked or changed.
    DRIVE IMAGING
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    Super Moderator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    Do you mean forced upgrade (i.e. from Windows 7/8.1 to Windows 10) or subsequent forced updates to Windows 10 itself, once installed?

    If it's the former then the consensus of opinion here appears to be to use GWX Control Panel (but also to be vigilant as Microsoft appear to be moving the goalposts, resulting in several reports of unexpected upgrades). Even if an unexpected upgrade should occur, it shouldn't be too hard to talk someone through reverting to the previous OS within the 30-day time limit - I had to do this 2 days ago.

    If it's the latter then it depends on the version of Windows 10 and whether the PC's are in a domain (as opposed to within a 'Workgroup').

    - Windows 10 Home devices are subject to mandatory updates.
    - Windows 10 Pro devices are also subject to mandatory updates but, since Build 1511 in November, these can be delayed temporarily. As a result, you may wish to consider staying at the current OS version
    - However, if Windows 10 Pro devices are joined to a domain then upgrades remain at the discretion of Domain Administrators.

    Hope this helps...

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    3 Star Lounger Backspacer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CLiNT View Post
    You know, if you really wanted to, you could select one of the 5 systems as a test bed and attempt a remote upgrade.
    You wouldn't necessarily need someone competent, just a body present to follow your instruction, you could have them on the phone
    in case you needed a setting checked or changed.
    That's what I was thinking about, using the receiving computer for the test bed. Its actual, most important role was as a plug-replacement, just changing name and IP address, for the main register which also contains the POS and shipping databases. That, plus its currently low usage means it would be a really good one to try out because I should be able to find any issues which would occur on the more important system.

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    3 Star Lounger Backspacer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Corbett View Post
    If it's the former then the consensus of opinion here appears to be to use GWX Control Panel (but also to be vigilant as Microsoft appear to be moving the goalposts, resulting in several reports of unexpected upgrades).
    Exactly. It's the forced upgrades from Windows 7 Pro to Windows 10 Pro that I am worried about. Just when I was starting to think that Microsoft was becoming more mature and trustworthy they start pulling this !@#(*&.

    Even if an unexpected upgrade should occur, it shouldn't be too hard to talk someone through reverting to the previous OS within the 30-day time limit - I had to do this 2 days ago.
    If the employees show up at 10AM on a Saturday (worst case: Valentines weekend) and find that the main register and POS database server has been forced upgraded, I doubt very much that the reversion process could be simple enough and quick enough to start processing the sales which will start happening by 10:15 or so. Cash flow is really horrible between now and May or June and we can't really afford to lose sales, especially not on the rare busy day.

    Am I wrong? What exactly, does it entail to revert from a forced upgrade?

    Thanks.
    Last edited by Backspacer; 2016-01-26 at 16:47.

  10. #9
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Don't forget about the W10 1511 update as well, it's like a service pack in terms of lengthy install and with all the potential complexity.
    DRIVE IMAGING
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    Silver Lounger wavy's Avatar
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    If I were doing this I would wait until I was on site, but I would have practiced on a duplicate of the target machines. A home PC is one thing but business is Business. If your and your employees income depends on these computers working don't mess around. What would be the upside of an early switch to WX ? What would be the downside?



    PS don't know how good the connection is but I would have the latest iso of WX on hand.
    David

    Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.

  12. #11
    Super Moderator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Backspacer
    What exactly, does it entail to revert from a forced upgrade?
    In theory the new OS just rewinds the changes it made to the previous OS. I haven't yet tried it nor have I read any (respected) reports about how well the upgrade process reverts in practice. However, I have read articles that the process hasn't worked 100%... and in a business environment of POS devices I guess you would need 100%. (Personally, if I didn't know in advance what exactly may or may not happen in a business environment, especially POS, then I would not be even thinking about what you are thinking.)

    The reversion to a previous OS version (Windows 7) from an unexpected install of Windows 10 worked without any problems for a friend of mine two days ago. (Unfortunately she didn't let me know how long it took...) Who knows whether this was more luck than judgement? I certainly wouldn't base a decision about upgrading and, potentially, reverting POS business devices based solely on the experience of a user of Windows Home Premium. IMHO you need a test lab of identical devices to experiment with, well before your proposed cutover date.

    Don't forget also that an 'upgrade' has implications for hard disk usage, e.g. the amount of space the contents of the C:\$WINDOWS.~BT and C:\$Windows.~WS folders take up initially then the C:\Windows.old folder that - eventually - you will be left with. Do the current drives have this required free space?

    Hope this helps...
    Last edited by Rick Corbett; 2016-01-27 at 00:30. Reason: typo

  13. #12
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    I would wait until you are there. I hate to break it to you, but you will have to offer some training in how to use the new OS. The jump from Win7 to Win10 is not intuitive as many who rejected Win8 can attest.

    I am not a fan of MS' "forced" upgrade policy--technically it is not a force but a surprise upgrade since you are supposed to grant permission--which I consider insidious, devious and sometimes duplicitous. But I doubt it will occur once you have set it not to. Wish I could say 100% guarantee but MS makes that impossible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Backspacer View Post
    I've got 5 systems in a store that is currently 1200 miles away from me. I've been biding my time but now I think I'd like to start the process of upgrading them to Windows 10. (Feel free to tell me if you think this is still a bad idea.)

    I administer these systems remotely using Remote Desktop and there is nobody in the store competent to do the upgrade even if they had time to do it. Will I be able to do the upgrades remotely? I've never tried to do an OS upgrade remotely. But then I very rarely upgrade at all, preferring to start the new OS on new hardware.

    Will I be able to login during and after the upgrade process to keep it going? There is someone who could press a key or other minor things to keep it going, but she has a full time job to do, too, and can't spend all day at it. And I would have to be able to guide her through it.

    I use Norton Internet Security for my software firewall. Will it remember its settings (and my whitelisted IP address) after the upgrade? Or will the Windows Firewall become activated by default?

    Obviously, getting logged back in during or after the upgrade is the crucial step. I can do everything else I need to do after that via RDP.

    One of those five computers is currently not very busy. It's the receiving system and we don't receive much merchandise in the winter. If I do try upgrading remotely, I will try it first on this one. Then if we run into problems, they can ship it to me to complete the upgrade and then I'd ship it back. Unfortunately, I can't do that for all of the systems. The others are vital to our day to day operations.

    Any thoughts or advice? If this whole thing is just a really bad idea, feel free to tell me and I'll wait until May when I can do it in person.

    Thanks!
    Yes you can do this. I upgraded some of my shop PC remotely. But I am only fifteen miles away. Not so good for you if something gets totally hung and the the PC no longer boots up!

  15. #14
    3 Star Lounger Backspacer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donald Lewis View Post
    Yes you can do this. I upgraded some of my shop PC remotely. But I am only fifteen miles away. Not so good for you if something gets totally hung and the the PC no longer boots up!
    Now there is an important data point. So then it is at least possible to do.

    May I ask what software firewall you are using? If Windows, then I might consider reverting to the Windows Firewall before the upgrade and then switching it back to NIS afterwards. If you use NIS, then that is even better news for me.

    Did you do anything special to prepare for the remote upgrade, or just go for it? Is there anything you would do if you were upgrading from 1200 miles away.

    I think I am going to try it on that Receiving computer. If it proves impossible to get logged back in after the upgrade, I'll have it sent here to me, finish setting it up, and send it back. It is setup to be a temporary replacement for the other computers so I will have then have the confidence to upgrade them remotely. Or I might learn that I just really don't want to do this, roll it back to Win7Pro, and wait.

    Thank you.

  16. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Backspacer View Post
    Now there is an important data point. So then it is at least possible to do.

    May I ask what software firewall you are using? If Windows, then I might consider reverting to the Windows Firewall before the upgrade and then switching it back to NIS afterwards. If you use NIS, then that is even better news for me.

    Did you do anything special to prepare for the remote upgrade, or just go for it? Is there anything you would do if you were upgrading from 1200 miles away.

    I think I am going to try it on that Receiving computer. If it proves impossible to get logged back in after the upgrade, I'll have it sent here to me, finish setting it up, and send it back. It is setup to be a temporary replacement for the other computers so I will have then have the confidence to upgrade them remotely. Or I might learn that I just really don't want to do this, roll it back to Win7Pro, and wait.

    Thank you.
    I upgraded 7 desktops, 5 at my shop, 2 at home and two laptops. All from Windows 7. My wife's desktop had AVG, the others had Norton. Here is my experience: two or three of the computers fought me tooth and nail and just did not want to accept the upgrade. You have to get the error messages, research and persevere. Your Anti-virus should be temporarily disabled. I think I upgraded three shop computers from the house. One I had to try over and over and I don't even remember what I did to get it to finally work. You want a good robust remote control program. I use NetOp and like it. As I recall, I upgraded to the latest version of NetOp host in preparation for the upgrade. NEVER did I get a hung computer that stuck half way through boot or any such thing requiring me to rescue it at the shop. When the upgrade fails I was just back to Windows 7. Of course, there is SOME risk of a PC that is hung half way during boot and needs an expert to rescue it. I still had my internet connectivity and could log on and control the computers whether or not the upgrade "took." I upgraded from home to be free of the pressures of activity during business hours and needing the PCs up and working. Also it was kind of cool that I proved it could be done!

    So guess I would say if you have remote control host software installed, make sure it is up to date and go for it -- one at a time.

    Don in Austin

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