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Hello! I was wondering if there was a preferred version of windows for imaging with dedicated cams? Have I read somewhere in SGL that many favor windows 7 over 10?.

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Technically, Windows 7 or Windows 10 are both equally adequate for imaging.

Windows 10 is ok provided you use the ‘PRO’ version as this gives you easy control over when and which updates get installed as well as better overall administration of the OS.

The main problem with the ‘HOME’ version of Windows 10 is that updates seem to disregard any installation time constraints you setup and will install themselves half way through an imaging session requiring a reboot before all the imaging software will connect to the equipment again.

Many people will recommend setting Windows 10 HOME to a ‘metered’ internet connection to prevent automatic download and installation of updates but this only works if no other Windows 10 computers are on your ‘local’ network. If you have another family member using a Windows 10 system that is allowed full internet access then your own system will grab the updates from that local computer, irrespective whether you set ‘metered’ internet access or not. Eventually you may need to connect to the internet to download a software patch for something or other and then Microsoft will ‘push’ updates it considers vital to your HOME version of Windows 10 whether you like it or not.  

Most of the compatibility issues in the original Windows 10 release have been resolved, the only annoying thing with Microsoft at the moment is they will keep releasing updates that are not fully hardware tested, but at least with the PRO version of Windows 10 you can uninstall any problem update and keep it from reinstalling permanently, with the HOME version you can only stop or roll back the update for one month.

If you are using your computer for both astronomy and general day-to-day stuff, on-line banking, email, web-surfing, on-line shopping etc then Windows 10 should be the best choice for threat protection since Windows 7 will soon be no longer supported, some financial institutions will not protect you against fraud losses if using an old and unsupported OS.

If your PC is only running an observatory and accessing the web only for things like plate solving, application software updates etc then Windows 7 is tried, tested and stable. My own observatory is running on a dedicated hardened industrial computer using a version of Windows 7 PRO for ‘embedded’ systems, and this commercial version of Windows 7 PRO is still being supported by Microsoft for at least another three years where the consumer versions of Windows 7 are already effectively unsupported.

Personally, I don’t like the look and feel of Windows 10 but at least you can easily install/configure Windows 10 ‘skins’ to look and navigate the same as the older Windows 7 desktop.

Going forward, it makes no sense investing in an obsolete OS, you will be forced to upgrade eventually when you buy some new piece of kit, or software, that will not run on Windows 7.

If you use the PRO version of Windows 10 then all your imaging software and hardware should work as expected and you will maintain control over Windows updates. Windows 10 Home will run all your imaging software and hardware but be prepared for the occassional interrupted imaging session when Windows decides you are not doing anything important and right now is a good time to begin installing a major software update.

So no, X is better than Y I’m afraid, technically, for imaging, either version is suitable provided you use the PRO version of Windows 10.

The decision of Windows 10 PRO over Windows 7 comes down to what else you will use the computer for and how much personal information you happy to let Microsoft collect about you through the built-in reporting systems of Windows 10.

 

Edited by Oddsocks
Minor edit to third from last paragraph.

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I don't think it matters. Windows 10 has a lot of bells and whistles that look totally irrelevant for controlling a camera. I use Windows 7.

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I use Windows 10 home for imaging and simply switch off internet access while imaging.

Dave

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1 hour ago, Davey-T said:

I use Windows 10 home for imaging and simply switch off internet access while imaging.

 

Well there’s the easiest solution to interrupted sessions, just turn off WiFi and voila! perfect thanks to all!

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2 hours ago, Davey-T said:

I use Windows 10 home for imaging and simply switch off internet access while imaging.

 

33 minutes ago, Sunshine said:

Well there’s the easiest solution to interrupted sessions, just turn off WiFi and voila! perfect thanks to all!

I think for anyone reading this thread in the future that it’s worth mentioning a couple of points, simply switching off internet access during an imaging session does not prevent Windows 10 Home installing updates. Windows 10 Home will download and cache updates when it does have internet or a local network connection but as some grouped updates require individual computer reboots between each update you can find an update(s) being installed sometime after starting up a Windows 10 Home system even though it has no current network connection.

You may want to operate your imaging system remotely via Remote Desktop or Team Viewer etc, or you may begin using new hardware or an imaging application that requires live internet access for blind plate solving or ephemerides data etc. If you become involved with NEO monitoring and orbital calculations or occulation timings you will need to keep the computer clock synchronised to an accurate internet time server (or local time server based on a GPS source) and disabling internet access may not always be an option.

It is worth thinking ahead a little when deciding on a suitable OS version and product level while weighing up all the potential advantages and disadvantages offered by the different options.

 

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1 hour ago, Oddsocks said:

simply switching off internet access during an imaging session does not prevent Windows 10 Home installing updates. Windows 10 Home will download and cache updates when it does have internet or a local network connection but as some grouped updates require individual computer reboots between each update you can find an update(s) being installed sometime after starting up a Windows 10 Home system even though it has no current network connection.

My Win10 imaging laptop only gets connected to the internet about once a month when it's raining it then gathers up all the updates and  can install them before it's disconnected until the next time.

I've never had it try to update when imaging.

I do think it's worth having a separate laptop for imaging though if you don't need internet access, a cheap second hand one is adequate.

Dave

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Cant you just set the active hours to be at night, so that it updates during the day? Think you can set 18 hours aside when updates cannot take place in Win10.

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Seen the current weather forecast this week earlier today and I don't see that being a problem... as Microsoft are planning a release of a 'big' update for Windows 10 from tomorrow (30.04.2018). :hiding:

Edited by Philip R

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3 hours ago, JonC said:

Cant you just set the active hours to be at night, so that it updates during the day? Think you can set 18 hours aside when updates cannot take place in Win10.

I wouldn't trust them further than I could throw BG :grin:

Dave

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