Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Upgrading to Windows 10.....for a short time anyway.

Last week I decided it was time to update my computer OS from Windows 7 pro to Windows 10 pro. Because I have a registered version of Windows 7 the Windows 10 is a free upgrade and with this upgrade, I am able to keep all my programs on the computer that I had on Windows 7. I did the upgrade and it went off without a hitch and all my programs there were in Windows 7 were alive and well in Windows 10.......or, so I thought!
After the update was done I check my virus software, OpenOffice documents, ham radio programs and the virtual com port program. All seemed to be fine so next, I started my radio programs Win4Icom, N3FJP logging and finally JTDX digital program. The radio and software had no issues with communication and in no time I was up and running with FT8 making contacts. Now it's time for the "BUT" I noticed my JTDX waterfall started moving very slow, I was not getting any decodes and finally on the waterfall you normally get a horizontal line containing the band and time. These lines show up once you finish transmitting and go back to receive. I was getting these lines one after the other and very closely spaced. I checked PSK reporter and my signal was being decoded by other stations but I had no decodes.
I shut down the program and restarted it and all was good for about 10 minutes and then it started to happen again. I then tried WSJT-X and it did the same thing within about 10 minutes again. This time
Missing Microphone icon. 
I noticed in the taskbar a strange behaviour happening. In Windows 10 if the taskbar is full there is an arrow and when you click on it the remainder of the icons appear, this area is called the overflow. In this overflow area, there is an icon that looked like a microphone. This microphone appeared and then disappeared. The other icons in this overflow were shacking which the best way to describe it. So much for not having any issues, I did some digging on the internet and some were saying it was an RF issue. This did not surprise me as the Endfed antenna has been full of surprises.

Here is what I did:
After my fresh install of Windows 10, what did I add to the PC?
1. I added a USB 3 cable to an external hard drive for backup purposes.
2. I updated my video driver.

I removed the USB 3 cable and this made no difference. The thought was it had no toroids on it thus a good RF antenna. This did not fix the issue.

I could not see the video driver being the issue but for &%*# and giggles I downgraded the driver and as I suspected it made no difference.

Next, I wanted to check possible sources of RF:
1. Check all my connections on the radio (Icom 7610) and the accessories.
2. I removed the Endfed from the picture and transmitted into a dummy load.
3 I lowered the wattage output to zero.

Here is what I found:

All the connections were good and tight.

When I transmitted into a dummy load I had the same issue with both JTDX and WSJT-X.

With the wattage on the 7610 at zero, I once again found the same issue with both programs.

This led me away from RF from my radio setup being the issue and I looked at other options.
While I was surfing the internet I found numerous posts about Windows 10 has a mind of its own by changing or deleting sound settings. I began to investigate the sound settings specifically the settings that would have anything to with digital modes. The Icom 7610 (when software has been installed) has one I/Q port and 2 USB ports for digital programs.  I went into device manager and all ports were there. I then opened the properties' menu for the  2 Icom USB ports (sound and mic properties) to make a long story short I spent a huge amount of time adjusting, reinstalling, turning off and on again each of these 2 devices.  Toward the end of my fiddling, I did notice the microphone icon in the overflow tray started to act up just like before!
This was my confirmation that it was not an RF issue but in fact, a software issue and it was a software issue I NEVER had with Windows 7 pro.  At this point, I could have done more investigating but I had just about enough of Windows 10! There is an option to downgrade back to Windows 7 but it has to be done within 10 days of the Windows 10 upgrade.......hmmm 10 days for Windows 10.......was it 7 days for Windows 7 to downgrade back to XP..... I digress.
I chose to downgrade back to Windows 7 pro and later I will find the answer as I am still able to upgrade back to Windows 10 pro.
Windows 7 error message
Once the computer restarted I was greeted with an error message, I thought screw it, for now, I clicked "OK" on the error message to see if Windows 7 pro loaded. It loaded and now I wanted to see if I had the sound issue I had with Windows 10 pro. All programs started ok and after extensive testing my digital programs I had no issues at all. It was now time to deal with this error message, it turns out it was from my NVIDIA video card. I reloaded the drivers from the NVIDIA installation CD and all was good. 
Has anyone out there using Windows 10 had this similar issue and if so what did you do to overcome it? As for me now that things are working again I am going to take my time and see if I can sort this issue out.


  1. Yes, I had this with W10 and many others did as well. In W10 you have to allow your microphone to open for some apps/programs. You need to do that at security level. It is well known issue and easy to solve. But from the above I'm not certain this was the problem for you....73, Bas

    1. Good morning Bas and very nice to hear from you, I never had an issue with getting the mic open and operating. I did get a message that a certain program was using my mic. One odd thing was if I opened the sound setting page from a right click on the sound icon on the taskbar and then close it again the issue was solved but only for a short time. It was a very frustrating issue, but I am going to spend some time on the internet and see what I can find out. The other thing I am hoping is that by posting this problem I may hear back from someone who has had the same problem and solved it. I really enjoyed Win10 but that one issue I was having was a show stopper.
      73 and again thanks for stopping by,

  2. Hi Mike, since a few months I upgraded my Windows 7 to W10. I was a little afraid that a lot of my software won't work in W10. But everything works fine without any problem. 73 Paul

    1. Good evening Paul always very nice to hear from you, I was told by someone that if I was to do a complete new installation of Windows 10 on a completely formatted hard drive I would not have an issue. I was informed that because I installed over Windows 7 and this allows me to import all my programs that this can cause some issues. I am really not as yet ready to do a complete installation of all my programs. At this point I am sticking with Windows 7 pro
      for the moment.

  3. Hi Mike, first of all, let me say "What a great blog"!

    I'm on Windows-10 and have suffered an issue (using ELAD FDM DUO) where WSJT-X stops the TX cycle - and it's not the default timeout causing it. I'd have to restart WSJT and it would be fine for ages and then do it again. I never got to the bottom of it and I'm hoping(!) that it won't happen with the 7610 when I get around to using it.

    Again, great blog!!

    73, Tom, M7MCQ.

    1. Good morning Tom and thanks for taking the time to leave a comment, yes I just go frustrated with Windows 10 it was causing me grief with my digital operations. I had the ability to go backwards to Windows 7 from the Windows 10 instillation. I do have a fresh installation on a thumb drive so if and when I want to take the jump again I will give it a go but on a separate hard drive. This way I can keep my own setup of Windows 7 and all my programs in case I want to go back it is not a big deal.
      Tom have a great week and thanks for the comment.