Important Information on Operating Systems
When done, click here to visit or return to KCS Computers.

Windows 11, Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP

Windows 11

Update March 2024
Windows 11 is now the current system, for better or worse. Win 11 comes with even MORE built in advertising, "suggestions", and data collection. Microsoft is limiting our choices more and more. They do whatever they want and make it hard to undo things. First and MOST IMPORTANT: IF you sign in with a Microsoft Account, as they REALLY twist your arm to do, you will automatically have all your data sent to the web in the form of One Drive! And removing One Drive is a real PITA! (but it can be done). Microsoft has also, once again, completely changed to Start Menu. It is far more generic and boring. Icons are smaller and harder to read, and Weather is no longer displayed until you select the icon. I always liked how just opening the Start Menu showed the weather right there. If you move 1 icon, all the others move too. Windows 10 Start Menu was so easy to setup the way WE wanted. And almost every day, Microsoft has some pop up or message about how everything could be so much better, but what they really mean is how everything could be THEIR WAY! One click and suddenly, everything opens in Edge or some other MS program. They don't care about what WE want to use.

I know how to set up a Win 11 computer without a MS Account or One Drive. But It must be done the VERY first time it is turned on. I STRONGLY recommend bringing me your new computer BEFORE doing anything. I will set it up the right way. I also have a whole ton of tweaks and updates to make the computer or laptop much easier to use, and to limit the data collection and annoying pop ups and messages.

As for running Windows 11 on a computer that does not meet "minimum requirements"- It can be done. However, there is still no way to know if everything will work in the future. Some think that not all security updates will be installed. Others claim that Microsoft is INTENTIONALLY writing programs and updates to fail if the CPU is too old. Once again, Microsoft seems to be hell bent on FORCING the world to throw away MILLIONS and MILLIONS of computers that are otherwise running very well. They claim it is for "security reasons". but lets be honest- if I can get around, for example, Secure Boot to fix a computer, a REAL hacker will not be stopped. I plan on testing Win 11 on a computer that does not meet the minimums soon.

We will see how it goes.

Windows 10

Update March 2024
Windows 10 is still supported until Oct. 2025. Windows 8 is NOT supported anymore. Windows 10 has come a LONG way since it first came out. It is now stable and (usually) does not have problems. Windows 10 has stronger security to help protect from hackers , but that makes it harder to get in for repairs or if you forgot your password. Because 10 is a little harder to fix when something goes wrong, I STRONGLY recommend a complete imaging Backup System, like the one I have sold to a lot of my customers. It is NOT an "online" system, so your data is not stored "out there" somewhere where people could hack it. It uses an external drive and works even if you have no Internet. It can protect you EVEN IF your hard drive fails.

I am currently doing a few upgrades from 7 to 10, and they are going MUCH better than they have in the past. And computers are no longer upgrading without the need to purchase a new Windows 10 licence, which can cost you up to $100. As always, I am very careful and every upgrade includes a FULL BACKUP before I start, just in case, and lots of updates and setup. This makes Windows 10 FAR MORE user friendly than most new systems out of the box. Now is the time to upgrade, before security issues arise with Windows 7.
Call me to have your computer upgraded today.

Windows 10 is the New system came out July 29, 2015. Microsoft says that this will be the last windows to be released, and all future development will be as updates to Windows 10. (Yeah right. We'll see about that.)

Should you upgrade to Windows 10?

Short answer- Yes.

A lot depends on what you have and whether Windows 10 will run on your computer.
It should be better than Windows 8, But it is NOT better than Windows 7.

Update December 2017
Well, It finally happened. After Microsoft ended the 1 year of free Windows 10 upgrades, there was still a little known way to still get Windows 10 for free. (Kind of a secret back door.) Yesterday, I found out Microsoft will finally end that upgrade path on December 31, 2017. After that, any upgrade to windows 10 will require the purchase of a Windows 10 license.
Upgrading to Windows 10 should ALWAYS start with a complete hard drive backup, in case the upgrade fails. If it upgrades, but does not run well, you may need to load 10 with a clean install. Or roll back to Windows 7 and worry about 10 later. Because once the upgrade to 10 completes and activates, it should reactivate automatically anytime down the road. Windows 7 has about 2 more years of support left. So you can upgrade to 10 now, roll back to 7, and keep using it until 2020.
Then upgrade again to 10 without having to pay for a license.

Feel free to call me if you have questions or need help with Windows 10 upgrades.

Update October 2017
Windows 10 is still getting better. Windows 7 support ends in about 2 1/2 years. At that time everyone will need to go to Windows 10 to stay secure. I am currently suggesting to all my customers that an upgrade to Windows 10 could be done anytime now. My method starts with a full backup in case the upgrade does not go well. The best upgrades happen with computers that have JUST been fully reloaded. So if I am reloaded a computer for any reason, (or selling a used computer with Windows 7,) that is a great time to upgrade to 10.

Update April 2017
Windows 10 is getting better as time goes by. Here is the current state of Windows: Upgrades from Windows 7 or 8 have a 50/50 chance of working well. Some run fine, some do not. Computers that are RELOADED with a fresh, clean copy of Windows 10 run better. Most computers that come new with Windows 10 run well. Any computer that was ever running Windows 10 can have a clean reload of 10 and it should activate fine, so if you try an upgrade and it is not working well, a clean reload may help.

There are still some things about Windows 10 I do not like. There is no Safe Mode available during boot, Fixing Start Up problems is tricky, and getting a reload of Windows 10 to begin from the original CDs is a real pain. Once started, it loads fine, but it sometimes take MANY tries before it starts to install properly on a new hard drive. So, while I still prefer Windows 7, I am also starting to sell New Computers with Windows 10.

At this time, I can still get Windows 10 for you for free, if you want to try an upgrade . A full backup needs to be done before the upgrade is attempted.

(Information about Windows 10 below is outdated.)
Click here to skip

Update May 2016
Over the past few months, I have been dealing with Windows 10 upgrades. This is what I have found-

Windows 8.1 computers will run OK after the upgrade, IF it goes smoothly. I recommend that you have a FULL backup of your ENTIRE hard drive before doing the upgrade. If you need help with that, you can call me

Windows 7computers do not seem to run well, even after a successful upgrade. Almost every computer that I have worked on that upgraded to 10 just seem to be sluggish. They feel bogged down, slow, and programs take a long time to load. (And that's if the upgrade actually worked.) My recommendation is that if you have Windows 7- keep it. If your computer upgraded itself, failed the upgrade, Upgraded OK, but you want to go back, or if you really WANT to try Windows 10, Call Me. I can help.

And about that free give away .......
Microsoft is pushing this Windows 10 SO HARD, it just makes me wonder what their end game is. I am fine with giving it away to Windows 8 users, but I do NOT understand why they are so intent (New Info Below) on getting everyone off Windows 7. Support for 7 runs until the year 2020, and 7 is the best, most stable thing they have right now. I REALLY wish Microsoft would just leave Win 7 users alone. But now I hear that next year, Microsoft is going to push EVEN HARDER to convert all Windows 7 users to 10. WHY!!! Why won't you leave us alone! What are you trying to pull. That's what worries me the most. Is that after everyone is on Windows 10, that Microsoft will pull out some new money making thing to bleed Windows 10 users of more money. Why else would they be working SO HARD to get everyone on Windows 10.

Just Saying .....

New Info May 2016:
Now we know why Microsoft wants everyone on Windows 10. MS has decided to change the way they make money. MS used to make most of their money selling Windows. Want the new version? Pay for it. On the other hand, Apple and Android give users all updates to new versions for free. Why? They make money selling services after the sale. Things like cloud storage, Backup Programs, Security, and Apps for everything under the sun. When you buy an App, they get a piece. Now MS wants to do the same. So all future updates to Windows 10 will be free, (or so they say), And they will make money with services and Apps. Office Subscriptions anyone? As we know, they already have several subscription services and will also make money from sales of Apps.

BUT ..........
The platform for selling services and Apps only works with Windows 10. So, Microsoft will not be able to make MORE money from anyone who stays on Windows 7. And THAT'S why they are pushing SO hard to get everyone on to Windows 10. Because they can't money from Windows 7 users who can't buy Apps.

And as for the "End Date" to get Windows 10 for free? Well, MS really wants everyone on Win 10. So I'll bet anything that when the "Free Offer" ends in June, MS will "Kindly" offer to extend that free offer for another year.
You watch. It'll happen.

New info as of December, 2015 (edited 12/20/15)
Windows 10 seems to be causing the most problems for users who update from Windows 7. Windows 8 computers have fewer problems moving to 10 because they are so similar. Windows 7 computers have driver issues, software and printer problems, or just fail to update and may or may not boot back to 7. So for now, I recommend Windows 7 computers stay on 7 and Windows 8 computers can do the update. BUT, in every case, the computer should be FULLY backed up before trying the update. A proper full backup will assure that if things go wrong, we can put the computer back to exactly the way it was before the update. The other thing to check is the printer drivers. There may be no drivers for your printer under Windows 10. Or there may be newer drivers that should be downloaded before the upgrade, just to be sure it will work later.

New info as of Sept 1, 2015 (edited 9/25/15)
Windows 10 is starting to cause problems for those who updated from windows 7. And many of my customers are still being bugged by the "Get Windows 10" icon by the clock. I have found a way of removing the icon, so if anyone wants it gone, call me. I can help. I can also remove several updates for Windows 7 and 8 that came from Windows 10 and have severe privacy issues. Windows 10 shares tons of personal data and Microsoft decided that they wanted the same thing in Windows 7 and 8. So they installed updates to share data just like Windows 10. Great, right? I can fix that too.

So, Windows 10 does seem to be a little better than 8, other that the data sharing. It does have a start menu that, while not as nice as the one in Windows 7, is better than Windows 8 and 8.1. Personally, I like to wait and let everyone else work out the bugs in the new system. The free giveaway last until june of next year, so I would wait until at least next spring to claim your free copy, if you decide you want it. Until then, you can either ignore the constant pop ups about Windows 10, or I can stop them for now. You will still be able to get your free copy next year. Not all of the new features are working yet anyway. One that is working is the new browser- "Edge". Hate It! it is more of an app than a program, and I have yet to find out how to change the home page to what I want to see. It only shows Bing stuff. (Classic Microsoft.) That's why I find and create an icon for Internet Explorer and install Google Chrome. Much better, thank-you very much.

If your computer has already installed Windows 10 and you want it back the way it was, there are couple of ways to fix that. There is a roll back feature, (if it works right, AND it is only good for 30 days). Or it can be reloaded if you made your recovery media. (Not sure? Call if you have questions.) If it has not installed yet, you can make a copy of your hard drive now, before 10 installs, and you will be able to put your computer back to the way it was, no matter what, whenever you want. Call me for more information on full hard drive backups if you would like help with this. So 10 IS better than 8, but still not as user friendly as 7.


1.) Windows 10 will ONLY be available for free for 1 year after release. So until July 29, 2016. After that, everyone will have to pay for it. So if you think you will want it, better reserve your copy next year. My question is: If you download it now, but do not install it for 2 years, will it still activate for free? I will let you know when I find an answer to that.

2.) If you reserve a copy of Windows 10, then after July 29th, your computer will download 3 to 6 gigabytes of data. IF YOU ARE NOT ON DSL OR CABLE INTERNET, that download will chew through a lot of your data. Examples would be Satellite based Internet, cell phone or cell phone hot spot, prepaid cell service, or any service with a set amount of data per month.

3.) Once downloaded, it will prompt you to install. It will not install automatically. *edit- There is a warning about the install and it can be delayed for up to 3 days at a time. Before doing the upgrade, you should back up ALL data on your computer, and if possible, make a FULL IMAGE of your hard drive. That will allow you to easily go back to 7 or 8.1 should you decide you do not like Windows 10, or if the upgrade fails. (I can help with both data backup and imaging.)

4.) Microsoft claims that if your computer has all the correct drivers now, that Windows 10 will have drivers for everything. I have a computer that runs Windows 8 with all the right drivers, but Windows 10 does NOT have a full set of correct drivers. My screen settings are not quite right and it is running a BASIC video driver. So you may have driver issues after upgrade. *edit- I am also now seeing the Window 10 upgrade app telling people that their computer is NOT compatible, due to driver issues mostly, but yet it continues to run by the clock and prompt you to reserve. Really? If a computer won't upgrade, why does the reservation program shut down and go away???

Microsoft is still working on Windows 10 even now. They have added back a start menu, a REAL start menu, but it's still is a little confusing. It IS, however, way better than the "start menu" that was added to Windows 8.1. Also, there are proper Start Menu programs that can be added to Windows 10 that will duplicate the Windows 7 style start menu, and make both 8.1 and 10 far more familiar and much easier to use. I add 1 such program to virtually every Windows 8 computer I work on, and my customers are much happier. The program I use does work on Windows 10. That was the first thing I tested on mine.

On the downside, Windows 10 will have the same service issues as Windows 8. From a repair and service standpoint, both 8 and 10 take longer to work on for repair people like me. Harder for me means takes longer, and that means higher cost for you, the customer, when your computer needs work. For example, the hard drive is set up differently, so backing up data takes longer. If the computer does not boot, it becomes even harder to safely back up the data. Not all computers can read the hard drive from a Windows 8 or 10 computer unless you boot into the same windows. That's why I have 3 different hard drives with 3 different Windows to boot my work machine to. Again, takes longer. It does not affect the owner much as far as using the computer, but when you need to have work done, it makes a difference. Not a big difference, but a little extra time.

I have a pre-release copy of Windows 10 that updates with all the changes and tweaks that Microsoft is working on. As I update, my copy becomes more like the final version. So I will keep working with Windows 10, downloading all the updates and changes, and let you know when I have new info or insights.

Windows 8
Windows 8 is the worst thing Microsoft ever tried. (Worse than Vista.)

Confusing, hard to work on, not keyboard or mouse friendly.

Windows 7
Windows 7 was Microsoft's redemption after the Vista problems. While not perfect, it comes very close to XP for stability and ease of use. Windows 7 will be supported until the year 2020. (Thank goodness for that!!!)

It still has a few quirks, but overall it is very good. It has the familiar Start Menu we have all come to know. You can boot to Safe Mode by tapping F8 during start up. (Windows 8 or 10 won't.) Networking works very well, sometimes better than XP. This is the system I install on all new computers now.

Windows Vista
Vista is no longer supported as of April 11, 2017. Because Vista is not supported anymore, you should consider an upgrade to Windows 7 as soon as possible. Most computers that I have worked on that came with Vista installed seem to work just as well on Windows 7. Otherwise, Vista will still work if you follow the same precautions as when using XP now.
Vista was very unstable when it first came out.

The biggest problems with Vista was a lack of drivers. XP had been out for years, and when Microsoft FINALLY pushed out Vista, it took many by surprise. Most manufacturers were not ready with drivers for all the equipment. Motherboards, printers, scanners, Video cards, sound cards, the list goes on and on. Eventually, they all caught up and drivers were available, but the damage was done. Many people had a bad experience and went back to XP. Also, Vista was unstable at first, many crashes and problems. Some were driver issues, some were Vista's internal problems. Over the next 3 years, Vista had 2 service packs that solved most of the stability issues, and in the end, it was not too bad. (Still, people remember.)

Windows XP - End of Support
***UPDATED June 2015***
Microsoft has officially ended support for Windows XP as of April 8, 2014. It has been coming for a while now. Should you be worried?

Yes and No.

Windows XP is still fine if you need XP for older software and do not use the Internet. Some of my customers have games and business software that is no longer available or too expensive to update. If you do not connect to the Internet, there is, of course, no problems with viruses or infections from the web. Using XP on the web is risky, even if you are CAREFUL.

End of support means you should actually be more worried about those who are trying to take advantage of the situation to sell computers and software. There are those who are using scare tactics and gloom and doom scenarios for profit. If you follow a few simple rules, you should be OK for now.

The situation is this: When a security issue is found in Windows, Microsoft writes an update to fix it. Now, when the next security issue is found in XP, and it could be weeks or even months before the next security issue is found, it will NOT be fixed. For the hackers to exploit this new problem, they will try to trick you into visiting their website. If you do not visit that site, they can not infect your computer.

So, here are 4 things you can do to protect yourself and your computer while on the Internet:

1.) Never follow links in emails, from ads that pop up on your screen, or from warnings that appear from nowhere. Most of these links and pop ups are scams anyway.
2.) Use the Google Chrome Browser whenever possible. Not only is it safer that Internet Explorer, it is faster.
3.) ALWAYS have a good anti-virus running to protect you from infections.
4.) Begin planning to upgrade to Windows 7

Some of the more common scams include warnings that your computer is full of errors, that your drivers are out of date, that they can save you money, find you coupons, protect your Internet settings, speed up your Internet or your computer, make your Flash better, get you free trials, save you money with surveys, or in general- make promises that sound to good to be true.

And the BIGGEST scam- they call you on the phone. Never talk to them. Don't believe anything they say. Microsoft will Never call you.They are just out for your money.

And Last but not Least:
Should you update Windows 7?
(Because you do NOT want Windows 8!)
Yes. Now is the time to plan for Windows 7. You should plan on upgrading as soon as you are able to. Plan for it, do it when you are ready.

Some things to consider, will your current computer handle Windows 7? It should be able to run 4 Gig of ram to work right. And a 64 Bit CPU would help. I can check out you current computer to see if it will run Windows 7. You will also want to see if your current software will run on 7 and if your printer and other devices have Windows 7 drivers available. I can help you with all that as well.

If you have any other question, please feel free to call me and we can talk about your situation. There are so many variables, it is hard to cover them all here.

Please check back often as I will be adding more information as soon as I can.

©Copyright KCS Computer and Communication Service and Kenneth Miller XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX Privacy Policy
- 225 Wyoming St, Warsaw, NY 14569. 585-786-3475, Cell 585-943-9786
Centrally located in Wyoming County in Western New York. Shop located in the valley of Warsaw on Wyoming St Provider of computer service, Service, repair, upgrade, and training. Software including Anti virus, security, firewall, and parental control. Communication services including cell phones, Verizon Wireless, Dish Network and DirecTV satellite TV, internet, long distance, and local phone service. Wellness products for relief of stress and discomfort including water filter systems, nutritional vitamin products, clothing, wrist, neck, shoulders, back, and leg comfort products, and sleep systems. Not the same as VCS . Verizon Wireless, Barnes and & Noble, Sears, FTD Flowers Florist, delivery, books, iRobot, automatic vacuum, broadband phone service, VoIP