Install Windows 10 on HP Mini 1000 1030NR

This old HP Mini 1000 1030NR and I have been around the block a few times.  I came across it again recently and knew I needed to test Windows 10 on it, and it is easy to install Windows 10 on HP Mini 1000 1030NR.

For my test I installed Windows 10 Pro 32Bit Update 1511 from a USB thumb drive.  After the install and running Windows Update all drivers were installed which makes the install easy.  Below is the System Properties.

System Properties on HP Mini 1000 1030NR

System Properties on HP Mini 1000 1030NR

Windows 10 performs ok on the HP Mini 1000 1030NR, this laptop is getting up there in age but if you’re just doing email and creating documents then it should be ok.  There is a big reason to do this upgrade if you are using Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 and it has to do with the small screen resolution.  With Windows 10 you can run the apps from the
Windows Store without any issue. Also after the install and updates there is 5.12 GB of free space and that is without compressing the disk or any other tricks. With this Windows 10 is not a bad upgrade on the HP Mini 1000 1030NR.

Install Windows 10 on Lenovo ThinkPad X61

The Lenovo ThinkPad X61 is the small laptop that just keeps going.  I have installed multiple versions of Windows on the Lenovo ThinkPad X61 and Windows 10 does not disappoint.

For this test I did a clean install of Windows 10 Pro X64 update 1511.  I did the install using an external DVD drive but you could probably use USB flash drive as well.  After the install I ran Windows Update (like you always should), and after that there were no more drivers to install.  Making this an easy setup.

Now while Windows 10 is a free upgrade to Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 it is not to Windows Vista which came on this machine.  If you have an open license of Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 you can use that key to install and activate Windows 10 on the Lenovo ThinkPad X61.  Below is the Device Manager and System Properties.

System Properties Windows 10 Lenovo X61

System Properties Windows 10 Lenovo X61

As far as performance, I do not have any numbers to compare it to but Windows 10 feels just as responsive if not more so than Windows 8.1 or Windows 7 did on this machine.

If you have one of these Lenovo ThinkPad X61 Windows 10 is an obvious upgrade whether you are running one of these as a personal computer or as part of an enterprise.


One Year – Update

It was one year ago that I last put an article up on Useful Windows, that is a year too long. I did end up building a new computer which will be a huge help soon.  It has an Intel Core i7 4790K 4GHz processor and 16 GB of ram.  I am having some issues with the SSD in there but I may have that figured out.  The job I started over a year ago has kept me very busy, but I am starting to have some more free time.  I am also looking to move Useful Windows to its fourth new home. Times have changed and I want to write about them, and maybe help a few people out in the process.

Here is to a year where Useful Windows gets some love.

Install Windows 8.1 on Lenovo ThinkPad X61

Lenovo has made some great laptops and the ThinkPad X61 is no exception.  This is a laptop that will last a while so that got me wondering is you could install Windows 8.1 on a Lenovo ThinkPad X61 and the answer is yes.

For my test I installed Windows 8.1 Pro With Update 64 Bit.  You will need to either use an external USB optical drive or a flash drive may work too.  I did a clean install keeping nothing.

This will be an easy install and after running Windows Update all drivers will be installed.

Windows 8.1 on Lenovo ThinkPad X61

Windows 8.1 on Lenovo ThinkPad X61

Windows 8.1 performs very well on the Lenovo ThinkPad X61.  This is perfect for general business use but not suggested for gaming.  Below is the Windows Experience Index.

Windows 8 Experience Index on Lenovo ThinkPad X61

Windows 8 Experience Index on Lenovo ThinkPad X61

Windows 8.1 is great on the Lenovo ThinkPad X61 and if you still have one of these laptops I would highly suggest thinking about upgrading it.

Install Windows 7 on Lenovo ThinkPad X61

The Lenovo ThinkPad X61 is still a great small laptop and was used by many companies.  It still has life left in it and you can Install Windows 7 on the Lenovo ThinkPad X61 very easily.

For my test I installed Windows 7 Home Premium With Service Pack 1 64 Bit.  Since the Lenovo ThinkPad X61 does not have an optical drive I used an external optical drive but you could probably use a flash drive as well.

I did a clean install keeping nothing and after running Windows Update there were no more drivers that I needed to install.

Despite some of these Lenovo ThinkPad X61’s coming with Windows Vista Basic, Aero Glass was enabled and supported in Windows 7.

Windows 7 on Lenovo ThinkPad X61

Windows 7 on Lenovo ThinkPad X61

Windows 7 on the Lenovo ThinkPad X61 performs very well and is up to most tasks.  It should be just fine for business use but I would advise against gaming or anything overly graphical.  Below is the Windows Experience Index.

Windows 7 Experience Index on Lenovo ThinkPad X61

Windows 7 Experience Index on Lenovo ThinkPad X61

If you have one of these around and are thinking of upgrading to a newer version of Windows I feel like you should install Windows 7 on the Lenovo ThinkPad X61 and give it a shot.

Thinking about new hardware, update about the Useful Windows Blog

Hello people of the internet.  I wanted to give and update and let you know what is going on with me and how it will affect Useful Windows.

I accepted a new job recently.  I am now working full-time in the tech field once again.  This is a great thing as it helps me come up with great how to articles that I hope to have done soon.  It also keeps me on the pulse of technology in general.

That being said I am making a little more than I was before so I believe it is time to consider upgrading my desktop that I built five years ago.

To understand why I built this computer the way I did you have to understand where I was at.  Five years ago I was working part-time doing remote tech support from home on my laptop which I had connected to my TV in my bedroom.  I was engaged and getting ready to be married later that year. I was not making a lot of money and was putting as much as I could toward my wedding but I knew I needed a better machine to work efficiently.

I gave myself a budget of $400 to $500 to build the best machine I could.  I knew I could build a machine better than I could just buy one preconfigured.  I reused some parts from a desktop I had built about six years earlier including the hard drive, power supply, case fans and case.  I also knew that the newer Intel Core i series processors had integrated graphic controllers and some of them operated at faster speeds than others.  With this in mind I decided against buying a separate graphic card to cut down costs as this computer was for work and not games.

What resulted was a desktop computer with an Intel DH55HC motherboard, an Intel Core i5 661 3.33 GHz processor and 4GB of Patriot ram.  I also bought an aftermarket CPU cooler and an internal DVD writer and memory card reader.  I later bought an 16″ Asus monitor to add to the little Dell monitor I had connected to the machine.  I was running Windows Vista Ultimate and Windows 7 Ultimate in a dual-boot configuration and continued to do so for some time.

After I got married I moved back out of my parents house (I had moved back in to help with bills after my mom lost her job) and left my dad the small Dell monitor as his had died on him.  I once again used my TV in my bedroom as my second screen as I kept the desktop in our bedroom.  Over time it became clear that my wife did a lot of photo editing on the computer and upgrades would be necessary.  Before that though my power supply died resulting in the first upgrade to an Antec 650 Watt power supply.  A few months later I would buy a graphic card running and AMD ATI Radeon HD 6750.

A year or so later my grandmother would get a new computer and I got the one I built for her back. From this I added a 500GB hard drive, and additional DVD burner and a second monitor (Dell 20″).  While clearing out some old computer junk from a local college I found some very old Altec Lansing Multimedia speakers and sub woofer.

The truth is, this is still a very good computer and would meet most people’s needs but it no longer meets my needs.  I am out of space as the original hard drive is only 160GB and is currently my data drive.  The 500 GB hard drive is used as the operating system drive with Windows XP Pro X64, Windows Vista Ultimate, Windows 7 Ultimate, and Windows 8.1 Pro in a quad boot configuration.  It also contains a lot of data and some virtual machines I use for testing to write articles for this site.  My wife uses this computer for work most days of the week and has gotten used to the multiple monitors but does not like how they are different resolutions.  She also downloads pictures from an SD and XD card to the computer and comments on how slow that process takes.  Unfortunately my motherboard does not have USB 3.0 and while I could add a card that does, why not just look at upgrading the whole computer.

So once again I start by looking at processors and am highly considering an Intel Core i7 4790K 4 GHz processor.  This should be more than enough speed to handle anything I can throw at this machine.  I will once again use an Intel motherboard as they are the best boards I have ever used.  I will go no less than 8 GB of ram but really want to start at 16 GB of ram.  Either a USB 3.0 or Sata memory card reader which will make downloading those pictures a snap.  I figure I will use a traditional hard drive for my testing operating system which will have Windows Vista Ultimate, Windows 7 Ultimate, Windows 8 Pro, and Windows 8.1 Pro.  Then I will also have an SSD with Windows 10 on it, multibooting between five versions of Windows.  I am also considering getting two identical hard dives to have in a mirrored RAID to keep my data safe.  I will put this all in a new case with a new power supply.  I am lost on what kind of graphic card to get but there will be something in there.  I will probably have at least two monitors, maybe three. This time they will all be the same resolution if not size as well.

So I am curious if anyone has any suggestions on hardware, what has been good for them, what has been bad, etc..  I know this may sound like over kill for a lot of people but I really use this computer and when you are trying to run more than one virtual machine this computer reaches its limit.  When my wife is working and has a million things open it also slows down.  Granted this is due to the low ram size but to fix some of the other limitations and annoyances I might as well just upgrade the whole thing.  I do not have the money to buy everything at once but I figure I will buy a part or two a month till I have enough to start the build.

Thanks for reading and please leave any input in the comments.

Microsoft Announces Free Upgrade to Windows 10 for Windows 7 and 8.1 Users

Microsoft Announces Free Upgrade to Windows 10 for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 Users.  This also includes free upgrades for those running Windows Phone 8.1 as well. This was announced today at the Windows 10 The Next Chapter event.  What is not known is if you can upgrade from Windows 8 straight to Windows 10 or if you will have to upgrade to Windows 8.1 first. Also I did not hear about Windows RT in any version. Looks like Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows Phone 8 and older are out of luck.  This free upgrade is available for the first year after Windows 10 is released.


This has never happened before to his extent.  Microsoft did make Windows 8.1 free to Windows 8 users but Windows 8.1 was not a full featured release like Windows 10.  This should come as welcome news to anyone running Windows 8.1 and for most running Windows 7.  I wonder what else will be announced today.

Save Disk Space by using Disk Cleanup Part 2

Many newer computers and devices have only a little bit of hard drive space.  While the cloud helps with this you can also save disk space by using Disk Cleanup.  This is part 2 I highly suggest Compressing your Hard Drive first then using Disk Cleanup.

Just a reminder to back up your data if you have not already or not done it in a long time.  No one wants to lose anything.

Before you begin you will want to update Windows as Disk Cleanup deletes backed up system files from Windows updates and from performing a Windows upgrade (like from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1).

While Disk Cleanup has been part of Windows forever it will be most effective in updated versions of Windows 7 and later including Windows RT.  This will free up space in Windows XP and Windows Vista but is not able to remove the backed up Windows update files.

If you completed the steps in part 1 then bring up the Hard Drive Properties window again and click on Disk Cleanup.  If not then just click on Start and in the search box type in Cleanmgr.exe (Start and then Run in Windows XP or in Windows 8 and 8.1 Start and then just start typing as it will search automatically).  You can also try looking in Start, All Programs, Accessories, and then System Tools in the Start Menu.

If you have multiple hard drives you will want to select the one that Windows is installed on usually C: and then click OK, this will not come up if you open Disk Cleanup from the hard drive properties window.  Once you open Disk Cleanup it will take some time looking for temporary files to delete, just wait a bit till the main window pops up from there we will configure some settings.  Once the Disk Cleanup window has opened click on Clean Up System Files.  It will again scan for temporary files to delete but this time it will also look for other system temporary files and Windows update backups.

Disk Cleanup System Files

Disk Cleanup System Files

Once the Disk Cleanup window comes back up again you will want to click on a new tab called More Options.

Disk Cleanup More Options

Disk Cleanup More Options

Now from here click on Clean Up… under System Restore and Shadow Copies.  This will delete all but the most recent System Restore point.  Wait a second or two and then click on the Disk Cleanup tab again.  If nothing happens the system is still deleting old System Restore information wait a while longer and then try again.

Disk Cleanup System Restore and Shadow Copies Clean Up

Disk Cleanup System Restore and Shadow Copies Clean Up

Once you are back on the Disk Cleanup tab make sure all the check boxes are checked and then click on OK.  A dialogue box will come up and then click Delete Files.  It will take some time but these files will be deleted.  In part 3 we will tame System Restore permanently.

Save Disk Space by Compressing Your Hard Drive Part 1

Many newer computers and tablets that came out this holiday season have limited storage, sometimes as low as 16 GB hard drives.  Thankfully there are some tricks in Windows that will maximize your disk space and over the next few posts I will help show you how to put that disk on a diet.  First lets look at how to save disk space by compressing your hard drive.  This should work for just about all versions of Windows going way back (Windows 95 or 98 I believe) it is an old trick but it works. This also works in Windows RT.

Before you do any of these tricks I suggest you back up your data, I have had great success with these tricks but I would hate to see someone lose something that is important for any reason.

First start by opening up File Explorer (Windows Explorer) and click on This PC (My Computer) and then right-click on your hard drive (you may have more than one, Do this on the one that Windows is installed on).  Then click on Properties.


Hard Drive Properties

Hard Drive Properties

Once the Hard Drive Properties window opens you will want to check the box next to Compress This Drive To Save Disk Space and then click Apply. A Dialogue box will open asking you to confirm, make sure Apply Changes to drive Subfolders and Files is selected and then click OK.  You may have an error pop up just click on Ignore All.  Then sit back and wait as this will take some time to complete.  If your device runs on a battery plug it in as this can drain a battery fast.  It will take a while but it will free up a lot of space.

Compress Drive to Save Disk Space

Compress Drive to Save Disk Space

Once done I always suggest restarting your computer or device.  After that if you bring up the Hard Drive Properties window again you can click on Disk Cleanup for Part 2.

I am Still Betting on Windows Phone in 2015

Laugh if you will, tell me any of your reasons but I am still betting on Windows Phone in 2015! Toward the end of 2012 I upgraded my phone and my wife’s phone to two Nokia Lumia 822 Windows Phones without hesitation.  I previously had used a HTC Trophy Windows Phone 7 device and my wife was using an LG Fathom Windows Mobile device.  Over the course of the past two years there have been some ups and downs for Windows Phone 8 and as we were up for upgrade I questioned whether to stay with Windows Phone going forward.  There were a few things that factored into my decision to stay with Windows Phone.  First was the cost of the iPhone which even on Verizon Edge was going to be more expensive than I am willing to pay.  Second was the fragmentation of Android, finding an Android 5.0 device on Verizon is not the easiest thing and Verizon is not known for being speedy on software updates.  With Windows Phone at least I can upgrade to the newest software through the Preview for Developers. Third, I think Windows Phone will find its best success with Windows 10 as Microsoft merges the two together.

So what did I go with then?  I tracked down a Nokia Lumia Icon for me (The Icon is really the US version of the Lumia 930) Verizon did not have many left and I had to have them call around to find one.  My wife got the HTC One M8 for Windows which seems to be selling well as it was also in short supply.  I am very happy with both devices, my wife uses her phone more than any other device so this time around I wanted a phone that could keep up and it already comes with Windows Phone 8.1 so she is ready to go.  I went with the Icon so I can keep tabs on Nokia/Microsoft Mobile going forward and I was very interested in the camera.

Windows 10 is going to be a game changer for Windows Phone more than Windows Phone 8.1 was.  With Windows 10 Windows Phone and Windows RT will merge together meaning more consistency with small tablets and phones.  Combined with the programing being so similar to create apps that run on Windows and Windows Phone with Windows 10 I think we will see more apps, and better quality apps for both Windows and Phone.  I just have to stay in the game and see what happens going forward.

I know many of you are probably questioning my decision to stay with Verizon.  In the area I live in the US (Southwest) Verizon offers the best coverage in rural areas that I frequent often.  I have to give Verizon some credit that they did not just finally deliver Lumia Cyan but Denim as well putting the Lumia 822 and Lumia 928 ahead of all the other mobile carriers in the us with Windows Phone.  Verizon will be updating the Icon in early 2015 as well and now that I have one I will be waiting for Denim.