Windows Has Its Place

Did you really think I was a Linux zealot for life? I used Linux a lot during a period of time when it served my calling. I still use it, particularly the bootable DVD version that allows me to fix things on PCs that cannot be easily fixed any other way. However, I no longer run Linux full time on any of my devices.

If you really need an explanation: It was contextual. That is, both the situation in which I was operating, and the technology in the OS itself, were what first drew me to Linux. I never thought it was something holy in itself. I switched back and forth at times when I felt the need for something missing and unavailable with the current OS. The issue was always what seemed to best fit the task in my mission at the time. Now, because Linux has drifted in one direction, and I in another, I won’t be using it so much.

We finally got enough money to buy my new system. It runs Win10. I’ve done a lot of work to tame it, and I’m sure I’ll learn a lot about taming it further. Today I also migrated my XPS to Win10. I got my hands an a legitimate license and installed from a USB stick. It was a nightmare of digging for obscure facts about what it took to make Win10 work on it. Those details are below. But what matters is that the system is now much more usable than it was when running Ubuntu. I can see it better and I’ll be keeping it.

Though I did denigrate Microsoft for making Win10 so unstable and problematic, and I highlighted the problems with the snooping built into the OS, those problems are less significant now. MS has actually made some strides in making Win10 more usable and less combative. And the context of privacy has degraded all around us. You have very few options to retain privacy these days, and most folks have no clue just how much they have surrendered using a cellphone in the first place. I’ve made the effort to track such things; I use a flip phone and I turn off a lot of snooping in Win10. The other issue should be obvious: Most hardware manufacturers don’t take Linux seriously, and Linux has never worked quite as well on the hardware as Windows did. Until recently I had forgotten just how much difference that makes. Everything works a lot better for my uses now.

The dumbest thing you could do is simply follow me around between computer operating systems. If I can help you find something you need that is better than what you have, great. I’ll give you my honest opinion on what works best for different purposes. I’m still recommending Linux for some uses, but not so much for my own uses any more.

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Migrating a Dell XPS 13 (9360) from Linux to Windows 10

It is likely that this applies to other systems that use the M2 SSD hardware.

1. Use the Microsoft tool for creating a bootable USB or DVD for installation. This requires you get use of a Windows machine, because the results do not work the same if you do it with any other utilities.

2. You will need at least some of the drivers, so use the service tag on Dell’s site to find them. Be sure from among them that you get the Intel RST driver for the solid state drive. Unzip the package and find the subfolder with the drivers for the Win10-64-bit use. Move those drivers into a folder on the USB drive you made for installing Win10. I created a folder labeled “intel” and dropped all the files from that package subfolder in there.

3. Upon powering on the laptop, open the BIOS settings — hit F2 after the circular Dell logo splash. Go to the settings for “System Configuration” > “SATA Operation” and change from AHCI (required for Linux) to RAID (required for Win10). Exit the BIOS configuration.

4. When the system reboots again, hit F12 and select from the options booting from the USB drive. Go through the normal setup, but when you come to the section on setting up the hard drive, first select the option to install drivers. Browse through your USB installer drive and find where you dropped the drivers into a folder and open that. The installer should automatically identify the right driver. Then you will have to delete all your Linux partitions and start with a “new” partition. The installer will select the proper layout for Win10 and you can proceed from there.

I went through a lot of trial and error to get all of this nailed down.

About Ed Hurst

Disabled Veteran, prophet of God's Laws, Bible History teacher, wannabe writer, volunteer computer technician, cyclist, Social Science researcher
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