Category Archives: Windows 10

Improving MIDI Playback in Windows 10 and Firefox

Well, I finally got Firefox to play MIDI files using a Soundfont of my choice. Previously, I showed How to Make MIDI Files Sound Better in Windows 7. Well, this doesn’t work in Windows 10 mainly because Microsoft removed the MIDI Mapper functionality and the MIDI playing plugins that used to work in Firefox no longer do. Anyway, here’s what I did for Windows 10.

First thing in Firefox is to install the MIDI Player extension by Jazz-Soft. Then, install the Jazz-MIDI extension in Firefox. This is all you do with Firefox itself. The next two items are separate programs that run in Windows. You’ll need to restart Firefox after installing the other programs.

The two items are from CoolSoft. The first in their VirtualMIDISynth program which allows you to choose which Soundfont(s) to use and which MIDI device to play through (more on this later). For now, go ahead and install their MIDIMapper plugin. This is the replacement for the removed Windows MIDI Mapper.

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Updated PC from Windows 7 Pro to Windows 10 Pro

Well, with Microsoft ending support for Windows 7 in January 2020, I decided to see if I could upgrade my PC from Windows 7 Pro 64bit to Windows 10 Pro 64bit. After Googling to see if I could still do this for free somehow, I watched How to Upgrade for Free to Windows 10 Home or Pro – YouTube and decided to try it out. I first tried on a HP Envy TouchSmart 15 laptop I have with Windows 8.1 Home that I didn’t really care if something bad happened to it. The update went fine and Windows was still activated on it; so, I decided to update my main PC.

Like he mentions in the video, I did make sure that my current Windows 7 Pro was activated. ( Right-clicked on My Computer then Properties and looked at the bottom. ) Since I had heard of some Windows 10 update removing files, I decided to backup the important stuff first. For this, I decided to try out Backblaze with their free trial. Its default configuration found like 300 Gigs worth of files to backup. In the settings, I excluded various folders that didn’t need to be backed up like game folders with huge amounts of assets. I also removed the EXE extension from the exclusion list so that it would backup various installers I’ve downloaded over time. I let Backblaze run for a few days while it transferred the 220 Gigs with my 10 Mbps upload speed.

At this point I took the plunge and downloaded the media creation tool from Download Windows 10 which saved as MediaCreationTool1903.exe. I then closed any program I didn’t want running like Discord and Roboform and disabled the real-time protection in Microsoft Security Essentials so it wouldn’t muck anything up. I double-clicked the executable and crossed my fingers. LOL 🙂

During the setup screens, I chose the option to Keep personal files and apps. On the same screen I did see that it was going to install Windows 10 Pro instead of Home like the laptop. At some point I came to the “Choose privacy settings for your device” dialog. I unchecked everything here. It then just did its thing for awhile getting updates for the PC. After about three hours or so, I finally saw the Windows 10 desktop! 🙂

I then got several notices about programs being removed for not being compatible. One was Microsoft Security Essentials which made sense. The others were some hardware detection tools like PC Wizard. No big deal since a newer version did work in Windows 10. After this I went into Settings -> Update & Security and checked for any new updates to install. When these were done I verified if this version of Windows was still activated. Right-clicked on This PC and chose Properties.

Windows 10 System Properties

Woohoo! Windows 10 Pro is activated and my files are intact! 🙂 At this point I updated my NVIDIA 550ti graphics card driver to version 391.35 (last one made for it). I then installed the correct Windows 10 software for my Epson XP-520 printer from here, after I removed everything related to it that was already installed.

I decided to do the upgrade now in case my copy of Windows 7 Pro became deactivated for some reason after January 2020. Now that I look at Can I Use Windows 7 After January 14, 2020? I probably didn’t need to worry about it. In any event, the deed is now done. 🙂 I’ll make some additional posts of things I’ve done since the install.