Windows 10 upgrade – but to a new hard disk

Microsoft is allowing users of Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 to upgrade to Windows 10 for free.  Upgrades to me never feel as good as a clean install. My 8.1 “upgrade” never did work properly and with Windows 10 you get some additional disk system partitions so I feel a clean install is worth the extra steps.

It must be an upgrade though to qualify as free, you cannot do a clean install as you need a valid Windows 10 key.  Keys for previous versions of Windows don’t work even though they are allowed as part of the upgrade program.

In order to get a clean install from a previous version of Windows to Windows 10 on a new hard disk or SSD these are the steps I used.

  1. Backup your machine (Macrium Reflect Free Edition works well)
  2. Perform the upgrade to Windows 10
    (Either by the reservation method or the Windows 10 download )
  3. Reboot and ensure that your “upgraded” Windows 10 has successfully activated
    (Check in the system section of the control panel WinKey + Pause / Break)
  4. Once successfully activated use the Windows 10 downloader to produce a USB installer
    (See above for link)
  5. Swap the old, upgraded, hard disk for your new SSD, boot from the Windows 10 USB and install
  6. Skip the step where the Windows 10 installer asks for a Product key
    Possibly use one of these (untested)
    Home: YTMG3-N6DKC-DKB77-7M9GH-8HVX7
    Pro: VK7JG-NPHTM-C97JM-9MPGT-3V66T
  7. Once installed, log in and check your activation status in the System section of the control panel again.  It should be activated already as long as you had an Internet connection before, during and after installation.

If not, I found on one machine that running Windows Update and a reboot activated the machine after a little while.

The reason it just works?  It seems that the upgrade is logged with Microsoft and as they already know about your valid Windows 7, 8 or 8.1 license.  So once upgraded to Windows 10 any subsequent installs will work once connected to the Internet.

Finally, although you can use the excellent recovery mode in Windows 10 to either reset or reinstall windows if your SSD dies (and they do, without warning!) then you will be back to a full reinstall so use Macrium Reflect again to produce a full backup of your activated Windows 10.

Posted in Backups, Hardware, Microsoft, Windows | Leave a comment

SQL 2012 ORDER BY list of RANGE window frame cannot contain expressions of LOB type

I ran into this error when preparing some data for a report in SQL Server Reporting Services 2012. I was trying to partition data showing construction progress for work areas by week number using the updated ORDER BY clause for Windowing functions with SQL Server 2012.

This is the query:
SELECT Area, SubArea,
(PARTITION BY MAX(DATEPART(wk, PlannedComplete))

And this is the error I was getting:

“ORDER BY list of RANGE window frame cannot contain expressions of LOB type.”

Let’s break down the error message.

Something is wrong with the ORDER BY
RANGE window frame
Identifies the section after the Partition command
cannot contain expressions of LOB type
LOB or Large Object are Column definitions inc. Text, varchar(MAX), Image etc

In this case it turned out that the application developers had specified that the SubArea column specification type was varchar(MAX)

Changing the SubArea column type to a more appropriate varchar(30) (Max length submission from the application is 30) resolves the issue.

Searching online for the exact error failed to bring up anything immediately useful to me so I’m putting this here for my reference, I hope it helps.

Posted in Microsoft, SQL Server | 3 Comments