Win 10 or win 7?

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New to the Flex system. Have recently ordered the 6600 and shipping is in the April timeframe. I'm getting ready by reading the forum to learn as much as I can. I see that on the windows side, there are win 7 and win 10 users.  Because of update problems with win 10, I'm leaning towards win 7 on a dedicated laptop I will use for the radio.

Is there a consensus on which operating system is preferred for the new flex user?

Appreciate your help.

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Jim Osterling

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Posted 2 years ago

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Joe N9VX

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Jim I am running Windows 7 and it works fine. I was using Windows 10 and dumped it, can't understand why people put up with Windows 10.
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Bill -VA3WTB

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It looks like there are more people having troubles after updates with Win 10, but there is likely more of them than Win 7. Windows has a habit of breaking the Flex.
I use a Win 7 platform, it is not connected to the internet, so I don't get updates. I have never had any problems over the years, none.
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Clay N9IO

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My sentiment as well.
I run Win 7 Pro on a quad-core I built several years ago and have had ZERO issues. Not worth the hassle, should be many more years before 7 gets to end of life.
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Al / NN4ZZ

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Hi Jim,
There won't be a consensus, and there are folks that are happy with both Win7 and Win10.   And some that will not like  or prefer one or the other.  I've been using Win10 PRO since the beta days and haven't had any trouble with SSDR.  

To further complicate it, if you decide on Win10 there is some further discussion about whether to use the HOME or PRO version.   You can check out the discussion about it here:

Al / NN4ZZ  
al (at) nn4zz (dot) com
6700 & SSDR-W  V 2.1.30
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Ernest - W4EG

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NN4ZZ is 100 percent correct.
I also use Win10 Pro since the early release. I dumped Win 7 after it was announced that Microsoft was not going to continue to support it. 
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Support till 2020
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Mark K1LSB

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Only "extended" support is still available, and that's only until Jan 14, 2020.
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I'm afraid you will get a ton of different opinions on the win 10 win 7 subject.
Though Win7 seems more stable it does have it's issues mainly because of its maturity. But I guess it all depends on what the end of life is on Win7 and it security updates and how long your laptop stays running.

If your not going to be connecting the laptop to the internet then I would suggest WIN10 with the current updates before you install smartSdr and other software you want to use initially on the laptop.

Just one of several thousand opinions you may receive I am sure.

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Jim, Windows 10 update had a problem last month. Before they corrected it I lost w10 operating system on one computer and  it messed up all my  Flex drivers on the other. I was able to do a system restore to before the update on one machine and the other that lost the w10 operating system is now  running Windows7. gl paul, wa3qpx
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Kevin - KS0CW

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I have run both for the past year and actually only turning on win7 so it can fetch updates any more... So in my case, I find it more of a hinderence... And I have had no issues with my win10 client's...
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Rob Salsgiver

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I'm doing a reset of the shack (4 operating stations and 2 utility PCs) and just dumped Win 10 and went back to 7 on everything.  Windows 10 can work OK in static environments by itself, but true to tradition when you start networking everything and need to move between systems for any reason, then it goes sideways one way or another.  2 rounds of Microsoft forced buggered/broken updates on Win 10 and the inability to keep MS from downloading more "as a service" finally shoved me back to 7.  I simply can't keep taking the time to troubleshoot and fix OS issues every time MS wants to make an update.  Windows 10 may be free, but it was worth spending $800 just on copies of 7 so I could get (and keep) everything running well.  Yes I know it will be unsupported in 2 years.  I only hope some sense of reason will have prevailed by then.  Spent the last 25+ years in IT.  Only thing that came close to being this screwed up was Vista.
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Bill -VA3WTB

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I wonder why Microsoft with endless resources could have updates that breaks the OS, but if Flex has an update with a few little bugs, people think it's such an awful thing?
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John - AF3K

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Hi Jim, 

Have used the Flex 6500 + Maestro - and for past two weeks the Flex 6600M.   In both cases, am happy using Win 10 + 2 year old ThinkPad T440S, 2.70 gigahertz Intel Core i7-4600U, 8 GB RAM, SSD drive +  docking station supporting two additional 24" LCD monitors (even with all 3 screens, there is never enough real estate!).

BTW - I decided not to have a dedicated machine as maintaining one copy of Windows, the logging and contest apps, SmartCAT port configs, cw skimmer, DDUtil, etc. is enough punishment for me. And when traveling it's all with me and up to date. 

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Matt NQ6N

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I have had very good results with Windows 10, however I do not recommend subscribing to the "beta channel builds".  

Windows 10 is "perpetual" meaning it will always receive incremental updates and there will not be a major "whole hog" update to a new version. This is a much better model that helps avoid the adverse consequences of running an OS version that is several years behind.  

There may be a few growing pains as Microsoft gets used to the perpetual updates model.  Windows 10 offers a free trial for at least 30 days (maybe even up to 90 days) so you can test it out and see if it appears to work well with your setup before spending the money. 

After seeing how badly MS screwed up Vista and spending a few years using only Linux and OSX I was very skeptical about Windows 10.  The only annoyance has been that there are different versions (Home, Pro, etc.) and a few useful features are disabled on the Home edition, which is a bit annoying. 
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Paul Lourd

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What sort of usage will your flex have? Just single op normal ham station? Or some complicated remote contesting?  Don't get confused by the people who have Win 10 problems. You will find just as many (like me) that have been running it just fine on every computer in the house for years.  Many of them are running very unique apps.  Stay away from any pre-release stuff, unless you find that fun. No betas, no previews. Run the off the shelf stuff. Let it update. Its all fine and good. 73
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Bill W2PKY

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For me it depends on the computer, my two Surface Pros [3&4] run fine on Win10 Pro both for updates and DAX. However, my ASUS Z91A motherboard will not run DAX reliably on Win10. Seems Win7 is the safest choice. 
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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I have 60 years in IT. Built my first computer in 1958.

Life is too short to be spending time debugging every Windows 10 update. I have 9 computers in the house running various tasks 24/7/365. Benchmarked W10 on a few but the constant screwy updates were just too much work to keep on fixing all the time Even the PRO version which allows you to delay/Control updates still caused issues when I let it update.

I ended up reinstalling W7 on everything and also on several computers for friend. Many of my commercial IT friends still keep their shops on W7 because they do not want to deal with the issues.

The caveat is that W7 Support goes away January 15, 2020 BUT Like WXP I suspect that the pressure from commercial users will force MS to extend that date as a significant % of commercial shops are stll W7
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Bill Turner

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I have had endless problems with Windows 7 regarding Virtual Serial Ports becoming unusable.  I switched to Windows 10 and the problems all went away. YMMV.
73, Bill W6WRT
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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I think this picture says it all as of April 7, 2017 majority of computers are still windows 7

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Al / NN4ZZ

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So that is a swing of 24 points for Win7 & Win10 in a year.  

+17 for Win10
- 7 for Win7

Looked at some more data at the link above the and data for  North America shows an ever larger increase / migration to Win10.

About what you might expect, lots of big customers take a few years to migrate to a new version of Windows.  Where I worked, we stayed on WinNT for a long time before moving to Win7 after it was released. 

So that breakdown and rate of change will likely increase as time goes by and companies make their transition to Win10.   

Al / NN4ZZ  
al (at) nn4zz (dot) com
6700 & SSDR-W  V 2.1.30
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NX6D Dave

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Windows 7 has two years to go:

I run on Win 10.  I'm an alpha tester and an early adopter of Win 10 systems.  Apart from a well known easily corrected minor problem, I have zero problems with Windows updates.  I install/uninstall/reinstall SmartSDR about once a week.

The well known problem is that when Windows renumerates sound devices during an upgrade, if the DAX channels are installed, it will usually pick some of them to be the default devices.  This is a trivial correction.
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Delbert McCord

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Why does every think that when Microsoft quits supporting something the world comes to a end? That is when its finally stable. I run a virus software (made in America) and I do not have any problems with Windoz 7. I think its a scam to make people constantly replace equipment. Its funny Microsoft is the only company I know that has to FORCE people to buy their next product. I remember when the stopped supporting XP I was forced to replace over 10 good working computers because our credit card service provider did not want anything on our networks that were not supported. Just a bunch of money spent for no reason and there is always software that will no longer work that you really rely on. A computer is a tool, I do not throw my Craftsman tools because they are over 5 years old if they still work I count myself lucky and keep using them. 
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Michael Coslo

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We've been programmed over the years to update as soon as there is an update. So most of us do that. The other group never updates. So Microsoft decided to force updates on everyone in order to force the never updaters into line. 

The rough part is that Windows updates have broken systems ever since there were Windows updates. Back in the day, I could wait a few weeks or a month to update, and they would probably have fixed the problems they caused. 

But now for most, there is no choice. Coupled with W10 deciding that it knows better than we do, it actively kills tp drivers and installs what it thinks works. 

I will note that my DogPark has functioned well since install, with many MacOS updates and DogPark updates under the bridge. 
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I suppose, in most cases, Windows 10 works fine.  Of course Windows 7 has always worked fine.   I have heard of some contesters who had a good run going only to have Windows 10 do an "enforced" update to them.  Also, there are instances of drivers no longer functioning after an update.  I still run 7.  The cynical side of me says that new versions of the Windows operating system are necessary when Microsoft needs another $20,000,000,000.
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Michael Coslo

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I have a Windows 10 laptop, HP Envy
I have Windows 7 running on Bootcamp on an iMac.

Windows 10 breaks things with many of the updates, and you have very little control of the update process.

Windows 7 has run flawlessly for me with one exception. I had a font issue. 

Windows 10? I've just given up and every time an update happens, I just uninstall  and reinstall the whole SSDR program. It's just less hassle than finding out somethings broken. after you bring the radio up. 

I heavily reccomend Windows 7 if you can get a copy to install. Life is much better. 
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The upgrade from windows 7 to windows 10 was a big step.
A lot of computers only like one version of windows upgrades as far as software goes.

Drivers and such can be a problem.

This we have no answers for and can not calculate on this forum.

I have a couple computers that went from windows 7 to 10 and some windows 8.1 to windows 10.

A couple of the windows 7 upgraded to windows 10 had no newer drivers so could be an issue.

Also windows 10 New installs are locked in to certain Intel chips and some it wont work.  (Skylake version and newer is ok i think?) I could be wrong.

Glad my radio is new tech and my computers but it would be fun to drive an old Model-T i would think!.
Glad we have this>>>>>>>>

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Jay / NO5J

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A bit of sarcasm, Sorry!!!

When I buy milk or eggs at the grocery store, I do tend to look at the expiration dates, And dig till I find the freshest.

73, Jay / NO5J

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Jerry - W2TXB

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While not sure about a "consensus", I tend to believe it is more a matter of personal preference. It is much like the perpetual "Ford vs Chevy" argument (I prefer Ram ;) ).

When Windows 10 first came out, I was rebuilding my desktop PC and another one that my wife uses. I built some "horsepower" into both PC's, most likely more than what is needed to run the Flex 6700. Windows 10/64 Pro was in its infancy, but I bought it for both PC's and it ran at least as well as Windows 7/32 Pro... no problems noted once I installed the Flex SSDR and FLDigi. There have been a bunch of small security updates, many of them for Windows Defender (which works just fine) and a few that improved the actual operation of the PC. Bear in mind that Windows 10 may not recognize some of the older technology. For example, while it feeds my trusty old Epson Artisan 810 printer, it would not allow use with IDE devices of any type... the same goes for floppy drives ;).

That having been said (typed), I am generally happy with Windows 10, despite what some refer to as excessive updates. None of the updates have adversely affected operation of the Flex... no problems, and not even any issues to report.

I am currently back on Windows 7/32 Pro because the motherboard in my "normal" PC crapped out last weekend, and I await one more part to get the new CPU/RAM/MB combination up and running. Being back on Win 7 reminds me of being back at work, where they always seem to be one or two OS behind. Does Win 7 work? Certainly. Will it continue to work? Yes, at least until Microsoft ends support in a couple of years. Then, all bets are off because we do not know if there will be any kind of support (i.e., security patches) for Windows 7.

The bottom line is that they both work, but keep in mind that my experience is with "home built" PC's, and there is no "bloatware" or other junk which may adversely affect other programs on my PC's. I am a firm believer that, in the realm of computers, most anything can affect most anything, and unnecessary programs/applications often prove that point.

My recommendation is to go with Windows 10 Pro for the best level of control over it; 64-bit is probably not a necessity, but what the heck... why not?
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Gary - WB5ULK

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I spent the last 25 years of my professional career as an IT professional, and I've run my Flex 6300 on both Windows 7 and Windows 10. The Win 7 hardware died, so I'm currently on Windows 10 with a new box. BUT I AM running an app that I do not recommend to those who are careless since it disables updates. I keep all my other Windows protection programs up-to-date, but simply do not allow Windows to update itself, except when I upgrade my Flex program. Then I will "disable my Disabler", do all of the zillion windows updates, and then install my updated version of SSDR, and then "re-enable the Disabler". 

As I said I do not recommend this program for the careless or cavalier - Windows is, and always will be, buggy, and constantly under attack.

The program I use is "Win Updates Disabler".

Caveat Emptor.

*IF* I could stand the aggravation and cost, I'd wipe. reinstall, and be running Windows 7 on this machine. I will add my voice to chorus above - since you have the choice, use Win 7.


Gary, WB5ULK