Fall Creators Update

The Fall Creators Update takes your computer to version 1709 of Windows 10.

This upgrade is roughly equivalent to what we used to call a “service pack” in older versions of Windows. It makes changes to your system files, and it takes a long time. It’s good to be ready.

Prepare for your update

Last time we had a major update, I wrote a column on how to prepare for a successful update.

The feedback poured in from people who promised not to upgrade because the things I suggested were time-consuming and a hassle.

To be clear: I know that they are time-consuming and a hassle. They are also suggestions. You are all free to ignore them. Maybe everything will go fine.

If you’d like to have a successful update the first time you try, I recommend:

  • Make a backup of your important information. (You’re doing that anyway, right?)
  • Be sure you have a rescue drive for your current version of Windows, or create one.
  • Update your critical software. Especially make sure you download and install an up-to-date version of your antivirus product.
  • Make a record of your software licence keys for programs you pay for, especially your anti-virus and anti-malware programs, but also any business-critical applications (Sage Simply Accounting, QuickBooks, Adobe products, and so on.)
  • If your computer is part of a Home Group, make a note of the Home Group password.

If you’re already being offered the update through Windows Update, you’re almost ready to go. If it hasn’t been offered yet, you can try to force it by grabbing it from this site.

There you can either click on Update now to start the process, or you can create installation media and then do your update.

Get started

Before you start, you need to know this is going to take a while. If you have a fast, modern, RAM-rich computer, and you have a fast Internet connection, you’re looking at an hour or more.

If you have a slow, RAM-deprived machine and/or a slow internet connection you’re looking at … more. Don’t start this process 10 minutes before you have to leave for the airport.

My suggestions (Yes. More suggestions.):

  • If you have a laptop or a tablet plug it in. You do not want to run out of battery in the middle of this.
  • Turn off or uninstall your third-party anti-virus/anti-malware programs. What these do is prevent system file changes. What this upgrade does is change your system files. Make sure your AV product is out of the way.
  • Enable System Restore and create a restore point.

Once you start installing, you can’t stop. So, grab a cup of coffee or an adult beverage and wait for the process to complete. Your computer will reboot two or three times during the upgrade. That’s nothing to worry about.

Yay! All done!

No problems? Excellent! It’s probably because you were well-prepared! Here’s what to do next:

  • Turn on or reinstall your antivirus/anti-malware products and check the settings
  • Make sure you’re not missing any programs, and if you are reinstall them. The upgrade uninstalled Windows 7 Games for Windows 10 … again. Doggone it. You can get it here.
  • I noticed I had to sign into my Home group again. This doesn’t seem to happen to everyone, but it happened to me.
  • Some printers, especially multifunction devices, need to be reinstalled. Test your printers and scanners. Hope for the best, but reinstall if you must.

Have you applied the Fall Creators Update yet? How did it go? Do you have any suggestions we haven’t covered here?

Send email to [email protected] and I’ll pass along your tips.


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About the Author

The Technology Shaman, Cate Eales, has been helping people make online computing safe, accessible, and fun for over 30 years.

Cate lives in Kelowna with her husband, Eric. She owns and operates Computer Care Kelowna, a mobile computer business providing on-site service for home and small business customers.

Cate is here to help you and your home or business computer get along.

E-mail Cate at [email protected] with comments, suggestions, or questions.

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