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  1. Windows 10 Version 1903 (19H1; May 2019 Update) FINAL Build 18362 Discussion 【 General information 】 - Official announcement - How to get the Windows 10 May 2019 Update - New features - New features for IT pros - Windows 10, Version 1903 Known issues - Microsoft makes Windows 10 1903 available on MSDN - Windows 10 May 2019 Update includes .NET Framework 4.8 - Microsoft updates the Windows 10 CPU requirements for the May 2019 Update - How to install, reinstall, upgrade and activate Windows 10 - Frequently asked questions (FAQs) ---> Include: additional info, error reporting, error solving, ...and similar staff =========================================================================================================== 【 Downloads 】 - RTM Build 18362.30 ---> 10.0.18362.30.19h1_release_svc_prod2.190401-1528 UUP (All Languages): mkuba50 project -- adguard project ESD (All Languages): HERE SVF (All Languages): SVF2ISOConverter (Credits to @s1ave77) -- GezoeSloog Repository -- WZT Repository ISO: Enterprise Evaluation ISOs (Credits to @DiamondMon and WZT) TechBench (All Languages) MSDN (English only) VLSC (English only): The same as MSDN Media Feature Pack for N versions of Windows 10: HERE =========================================================================================================== 【 Checksums 】 - RTM Build 18362.30 =========================================================================================================== 【 Updates 】 - May 21, 2019—KB4505057 (OS Build 18362.116) =========================================================================================================== 【 Activation 】 - Windows 10 Activation Keys ---> Credits to @vyzzer - Windows 10 Digital License (HWID) & KMS38 Generation ---> Credits to @s1ave77 - Microsoft Activation Scripts ---> Credits to @WindowsAddict =========================================================================================================== 【 Tools 】 - svfx v2.1.11 - Windows and Office Genuine ISO Verifier v8.8.9.9 - SVF2ISOConverter v0.51.01 (SVF.ISO.CONVERTER-master) - decrypt-multi-release_v190521 ⇝ update revision: "Fix names for 19H1 (18362.30)" =========================================================================================================== 【 Tutorials 】 - How to use SVF patches - How to download with @s1ave77's tool "SVF.ISO.CONVERTER-master" - How to convert ESD to ISO =========================================================================================================== Here will be the discussion related ONLY to the final Windows 10 version released to the production; If you want to discuss pre-release versions released to insiders in the fast ring, slow ring or release preview ring, I suggest you to open a new thread where you can freely discuss such pre-release versions. Here will be shared ONLY official releases; please don't share here homebrew ISOs.
  2. Why Future Windows 10 Versions Will Block Some Wi-Fi Networks The debut of Windows 10 May 2019 Update also brings new information regarding the features that Microsoft plans to remove or abandon the development of in the coming months. Among them there’s a change that could cause a lot of frustration in the Windows user community. Microsoft says it’s pulling support for Wi-Fi networks secured with WEP or TKIP, essentially trying to force the use of more secure networks that rely on more advanced protection levels like WPA2 or WPA3.WHY?The answer to this question is as simple as it could be: both WPA2 and WPA3 are more secure than the old WEP security level, with the latter announced in January 2018. For comparison, WEP officially became a Wi-Fi security standard in 1999, so this year it turns 20. From the official website of Wi-Fi Alliance: “Since Wi-Fi networks differ in usage purpose and security needs, WPA3 includes additional capabilities specifically for personal and enterprise networks. Users of WPA3-Personal receive increased protections from password guessing attempts, while WPA3-Enterprise users can now take advantage of higher grade security protocols for sensitive data networks.” So the bottom line here is that Microsoft wants to encourage the transition to more secure Wi-Fi protections, and giving up on older tech is pretty much the only way to do it.WHEN?This is a question that’s yet to be answered, but Microsoft only says support for WEP would be pulled “in a future release.” Most likely, the next Windows 10 feature update would make the change, albeit once again, this is just a guess and not something confirmed by Microsoft. The next Windows 10 update is due in the fall – as per Microsoft’s schedule, it should be finalized in September and then released to production devices in October or November. Most likely, such changes would first be tested with help from users enrolled in the Windows Insider program. A warning, however, will become available in Windows 10 May 2019 Update.HOW?This is actually the tricky part because Microsoft absolutely needs to make the transition as smooth as possible. The first thing you should know is that once Windows 10 pulls support for WEP, you will no longer be able to connect to Wi-Fi networks using this security level. “In a future release, any connection to a Wi-Fi network using these old ciphers will be disallowed,” Microsoft says. Because it needs to make sure everyone is aware of the change, Microsoft will begin displaying a warning to users that WEP is going away starting with the Windows 10 May 2019 Update (which is currently rolling out to devices worldwide). “In this release a warning message will appear when connecting to Wi-Fi networks secured with WEP or TKIP, which are not as secure as those using WPA2 or WPA3,” the company notes. So what should you do, not only to be able to connect to wireless networks, but also to keep your network up and running for your devices? The only way to go is to switch to WPA2 or WPA3, which Windows 10 will continue to support going forward. “Wi-Fi routers should be updated to use AES ciphers, available with WPA2 or WPA3,” Microsoft briefly explains. WEP has long been considered an insecure standard, so it’s definitely a good thing that Microsoft is forcing the transition to WPA2 and WPA3. However, what the software giant needs to make sure of is that this change happens as smoothly as possible, because otherwise, failing to connect to an unsupported Wi-Fi network can eventually backfire, with frustrated users blaming Windows, and not the updated security policies. Source
  3. How Microsoft Will Handle Windows 10 End of Service Deadlines Pushing all devices to the latest version of Windows is something that proved to be impossible on several occasions, even for a company the size of Microsoft. Back in 2014 when the software giant discontinued Windows XP, the 2001 operating system was still running on some 25 percent of the PCs worldwide. And now, more than five years since it went dark, it has a market share of more than 2 percent. History is set to repeat with the end-of-support of Windows 7 in January 2020, but also when older Windows 10 versions reach their retirement date. Because this happens every six months, as per Microsoft’s own schedule, the company needs to make sure that users update to the latest Windows 10 version to continue to receive updates. With the approaching Windows 10 April 2018 Update (version 1803) set for November 12, 2019, Microsoft is embracing a completely different approach. The May 2019 Update, which is the latest stable version of Windows 10, will be pushed to devices running Windows 10 April 2018 Update and older automatically via Windows Update. This means Windows Update will download all the necessary files all by itself in the background and then prompt for a restart when it’s ready to initiate the update to Windows 10 version 1903. New Windows 10 feature updates will be pushed automatically to older Windows versions While many believe this is an aggressive approach that reminds of forced updates, Microsoft says it’s turning to this system because it’s pretty much the only way to keep devices updated. “We will begin updating devices running the April 2018 Update, and earlier versions of Windows 10, to ensure we can continue to service these devices and provide the latest updates, security updates and improvements,” John Cable, Director of Program Management, Windows Servicing and Delivery, says. To make sure the forced update scandal isn’t coming back, Microsoft is giving users more time to decide when to update. While the April 2018 Update is set to be retired for Home and Pro computers in November, the automatic rollout on Windows Update will kick off next month. This means users will have some six months to decide when to update. “AUTOMATIC UPDATES STARTING IN JUNE.” “We are starting this machine learning (ML)-based rollout process several months in advance of the end of service date to provide adequate time for a smooth update process,” Cable said. Moving forward, the same system will be used for future Windows 10 updates too. When the second update of the year, currently codenamed 19H2, goes live, Microsoft should then prepare the retirement of the October 2018 Update, and thus offer the new update automatically via Windows Update to devices running version 1809. “For Windows 10 devices that are at, or within several months of reaching, end of service, Windows Update will automatically initiate a feature update; keeping those devices supported and receiving the monthly updates that are critical to device security and ecosystem health,” Cable notes. Setting a network as metered connection is one easy way to block unwanted updates This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have no other choice than to update. Disabling Windows Update, which is something I never recommend, obviously blocks a new OS feature update from being installed on your device. Additionally, you can turn to dedicated policies (if available on your Windows 10 version) or pause updates to further delay the deployment of a new Windows 10 version. At first glance, Microsoft’s new approach seems to make sense, but there’s no doubt there’ll be users frustrated their devices got updated automatically. This is why I think Microsoft should insist harder on making everyone aware of this new system and, more important, why it’s using it, because otherwise, it’s forced updates all over again. Source
  4. NOTE: When attempting to switch from default KMS to KMS38™ (LongLife) activation, run the KMS38 process by selecting from the drop-down-menu, then; if no Office is installed repeat process in 'Clean' mode (same menu), if Office is installed use 'Rearm'. Make sure the Office KMS activation is excluding Windows KMS38™. INFO: For adapted KMS_VL_ALL (Manual only) see download section beneath. In Windows 10 all systems no matter how they were activated (be it via Upgrade from Windows 7/8.1 or by using a bought Retail or an embedded BIOS aka MSDM license) will be converted to a Digital License which is based on the Hard Ware ID (HWID) of the respective machine. This License is stored at MS Servers and will activate this machine every time it's freshly installed. Only hardware changes will cause the License being invalidated. By binding it to a Microsoft Account (MSA) you will be able to transfer it in latter case. The process only needs to be performed once per machine. In later installs just skip any key prompts (choose 'I have no product key' during setup) and at first online contact the MS Server will regocnize the HWID and grant activation automatically. NOTE: When a Volume License version is installed from VLSC or MVS Business ISO, the default Retail/OEM key needs to be inserted to regain acticvation. It's actually quite simple and doesn't mess with any system files and leaked (*errrm stolen) keys. The ticket creation has been appropriately refined for each MS SKU edition so that the Manual Method below is fully applicable to all of them. The Automated Method has been included as well for an easiest activation and works with all MS SKU editions and was specifically devised for the following ones: Supported Windows 10 editions (SKUs): Core (Home) (N) <HWID/ KMS38™> CoreSingleLanguage (N) <HWID/ KMS38™> Professional (N) <HWID/ KMS38™> ProfessionalEducation (N) <HWID/ KMS38™> ProfessionalWorkstation (N)<HWID/ KMS38™> Education (N)<HWID/ KMS38™> Enterprise (N)<HWID/ KMS38™> EnterpriseS (N) 2015 <HWID> EnterpriseS (N) 2016 <HWID/ KMS38™> EnterpriseS (N) <KMS38™> ServerStandard(Core) (N) <KMS38™> ServerDatacenterCore) (N) <KMS38™> ServerSolution(Core) (N) <KMS38™> REWORKED MANUAL PROCESS FOR HWID AND KMS38: Prerequisites: # the files: Site: https://www.upload.ee Sharecode: /files/9771168/manual.7z.html # key and SKU-ID see the respective info TXT in files pack. The Process: #1. Copy files to a work folder, create exclusion in AV or disable temporarily. I will use d:\work as example. #2. Install default generic key. Volume key (gVLK) for KMS38 or OEMRET for HWID (see included info TXT files). cscript.exe %windir%\system32\slmgr.vbs /ipk XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX #2.a KMS38 only: Create dummy KMS adress entry using the demo IP range. cscript.exe %windir%\system32\slmgr.vbs -skms 192.0.2.69:1833 #3 LTSB 2015 only: rename gatherosstateLTSB15.exe to gatherosstate.exe (rename or overwrite the other). #4. Depending on process rename respective TargetSKU_XXXX.txt to TargetSKU.txt. #4.a TargetSKU.txt content syntax: #5. Run gatherosstate.exe by (double-)clicking. #6. To apply ticket: clipup -v -o -altto d:\work\ (note the trailing \) #6.a HWID only: force activation with: cscript.exe %windir%\system32\slmgr.vbs /ato #7. DONE. Congrats. AUTOMATED METHOD: In case any VPN is used, deactivate it for the process duration. Same applies for Antivirus. NOTE: The tool performs several system checks and may need a moment to appear (depending on your system specs), no need to panic, just wait a moment. Thanks. CHANGELOG: Silent Mode: For SetupComplete.cmd see the Spoiler or download $OEM$ folder: USE 'EXTRACT HERE' TO CREATE CORRECT FOLDER STRUCTURE! Site: https://www.upload.ee Sharecode: /files/9804937/_oem_.7z.html hwid.kms38.gen.mk6 hwid hwid.kms38.gen.mk6 kms38 HWID.KMS38™GEN DOWNLOAD: MIRROR1: Site: https://www.upload.ee Sharecode: /files/9818591/th7_mk6.7z.html MIRROR2 (thanks to @[email protected]): Site: https://www.mirrored.to Sharecode: /files/UMFID05F Exe hashes: BLAKE2sp: 45527c3aeeda2c0bb34d73d3d5719b7888499ca705452b834dad252adf58c2ac SHA-1: 40779e9f591f0ae04e6967095b4974d04a5f2984 SHA-256: af333dbeab9268398d985eb80c74adfaa84210a7e6222ab3fc1684a73f052ff1 SHA-384: a235cc6557252c76232890fe38098b205448039eddd29c37808c560c9b771a25d8fa4fc0f058cd9bed4e2990ec94e07f SHA3-224: a4ae4cb97db166222370c3585df4db3c01d553f14cf3d0c18a461fb8 SHA3-256: d984607f3e72ce63e98d0c00a6637b1af2d8332e3a6561e13c6091a70714bf7c
  5. NOTE: The preview image may belong to older versions. This tool includes 4 different activation methods. KMS Inject activation, Digital activation, KMS 2038 activation and Online KMS activation There is also a script for convert VOLUME verions from RETAIL version for Office 2016 and 2019 products. While this script is being created, abbodi1406’s (MDL) script is referenced. Thank him so much for being a source of inspiration and help. Some security programs will report infected files, that is false-positive due KMS emulating. Digital and Online KMS activations methods are requires internet connection. If use this tool remove any other KMS solutions and temporary turn off AV security protection. $OEM$ Activation About: 3 methods are (Inject, Digital and KMS38) also $OEM$ activation support. To preactivate the system during installation, copy $OEM$ folder to "sources" folder in the installation media (iso/usb). $OEM$ activation method also enable the KMS task scheduling system during installation. (digital and KMS2038 activation method except) Thanks @ShiningDog for the kms server addresses. It is the only KMS application that hosts all methods and receives the least warning by security programs... 😎 KNOWN BUGS: In all scripts, the activation query indicates the activation status only if it is run from the desktop or the C:\ root directory. For example, you cannot see the activation status if you run the activation query from the D:\ root directory or from any folder on the D:\ disk. Download Links: (English interface) Site: https://mega.nz Sharecode: /#!tcxRkSqI!6Np0u2z8XUczMqiMtwOusxvOJwPLPKjxXGDQKZpouW0 File : KMS-Digital-Online_Activation_Suite_v7.4_ENG.rar CRC-32 : cb12e52e MD4 : ee61f92282a08c090f5be8b5bd5f0c17 MD5 : 1185f13d1e41df184aa0a8c51e90d439 SHA-1 : 8fc6da4818c6010c63013dfdb0fb5e2625ac367d --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- (Turkish interface) Site: https://mega.nz Sharecode: /#!IFwH1YhT!6ndv5LDTu_HROFJJmC22tbmCeTKTxGfePZyr48f4xqg File : KMS-Dijital-Online_Aktivasyon_Suite_v7.4_TUR.rar CRC-32 : 97597fef MD4 : 99bcc4d9244054e6f563623bfeffec18 MD5 : 8150eb354c3221a3c5602eb5cf3228d4 SHA-1 : ab24ddc1f38ffc22610d693828f8eff49d8a2245 RAR Pass: 2019 Note: Use WinRar v5x for extract # Special Thanks TNCTR Family Nsane Family abbodi1406 CODYQX4 Hotbird64 qewlpal s1ave77 cynecx qad Mouri_Naruto WindowsAddict angelkyo Virustotal results of the application exe and dll files Virustotal results of dll files of KMSInject method x64 KMS.dll (April 27, 2019): https://www.virustotal.com/gui/file/1902f84a3dae23a598ddda1447957b421511d5df77480aa590f6463830685d7e/detection x86 KMS.dll (April 27, 2019): https://www.virustotal.com/gui/file/6a35996e6fc50af1a1a19d39233cc43055da92adf76cb567c39265ad007459e8/detection Virustotal results of exe and dll files of the Digital & KMS38 Activation method: digi-ltsbc-kms38.exe (March 31, 2019) https://www.virustotal.com/gui/file/528f35bba16c1f0113fa0825dd49fb47c03a7ee0e904a770ef3ad6e99fe8ac73/detection slc.dll (12 May, 2019) https://www.virustotal.com/gui/file/a9863f89076c0e7d891cf622d770d1686ca0e1ee7e8e78efa473e6baf41dba33/detection Changelog:
  6. With the May 2019 feature update to Windows 10 (version 1903) almost ready to hit the fan, here are the best ways to ensure you install it when you’re ready — even in the face of recent forced updates from Microsoft. Microsoft / Thinkstock Surely you remember how the first release of Windows 10 version 1809 turned out — deleted files, panicked users, yanked upgrades that were unyanked and yanked again. Heaven knows that the release of Windows 10 version 1903 couldn’t be any worse, but there’s every reason to wait and see. For almost everyone, the new features in version 1903, known to some as the May 2019 Update — Cortana banished, a few anemic phone extensions, newly spry response to a failed update — just aren’t worth the bother of installing and setting up an entirely new copy of Windows. (Unless you really want Candy Crush Soda Saga installed for the umpteenth time.) If you’re convinced that Cortana should sit in a corner by itself, your opinion may vary, of course. And there are undeniable benefits under the covers. But for 90% of us, I would guess, 1903 isn’t high on the priority list. It certainly isn’t worth thrusting yourself into the unpaid beta-tester pool at the earliest opportunity, while waiting for Microsoft to iron out its problems. Thus, for most Windows 10 users, it makes a whole lot of sense to wait and update to 1903 when you’re good and ready for it — not when Microsoft decides to push it on you. (Whatever you do, don't manually check for updates.) Microsoft is about to unleash a new “Download and install” link in Windows 10 versions 1803 and 1809. At least in theory, if you avoid clicking “Download and install now” when the “Feature Update to Windows 10, version 1903” release appears in Windows Update, you shouldn’t have it pushed on your machine. As we went to press, the details were hazy — the only example we’ve seen doesn’t match what’s been promised — so, for now at least, you’d be well advised to take the old approach and avoid clicking “Download and install now.” If the “Download and install now” option rolls out the way it’s been billed, and we’re able to verify that it works out in the real world, we’ll update this article. The textbook approach (for Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise and Education) For those of you running Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise or Education, there’s always the Microsoft Party Line. Here’s the official way to turn off Windows 10 “feature updates” (that’s the official name for a version upgrade): Step 1. Click Start > Settings > Update & Security. Click the link marked Advanced options. You see the Advanced Options pane. If you’re running the Windows 10 April 2018 Update, version 1803 (the most popular version) or the ill-fated version 1809, what you see is shown in the screenshot. Woody Leonhard/IDG If you have Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise or Education, you can delay the installation of the current Windows 10 release. (Click image to enlarge.) Step 2. Set the branch readiness (under “Choose when updates are installed”) to Semi-Annual Channel. Microsoft has changed the Windows 10 update terminology so many times it’s hard to keep track of the settings, what they used to mean, and what they mean now. In this case, “Semi-Annual Channel” really means “wait an initial 60 days after the new version is released before applying the deferral” (explained in Step 3) — nothing more, nothing less. Microsoft has a hand-waving explanation of how waiting for “Semi-Annual Channel” is, in effect, equivalent to waiting 60 days after release. That’s simply not true, historically — CBB and SAC time lapses have ranged from 45 to 150 days — but Microsoft doesn’t seem to be unduly influenced by the facts. Step 3. Set the Feature Update deferral to 365 days. In theory, this setting tells Microsoft that you want to wait for the next version of Windows, version 1903 in this case, to age for 60 days (“Semi-Annual Channel”) and after that you want to wait for an additional 365 days. The setting’s the same for both Windows 10 1803 and 1809. While you’re here, you should also tell Windows 10 to wait 30 days before installing cumulative updates (“quality updates”). You can “X” out of the pane. There’s no Save button. If you use Windows 10 Home For those of you running Windows 10 Home, the situation isn’t nearly as straightforward. Many people recommend that you turn off the Windows Update service, wuauserv, but I’ve never been a fan of that approach — too many possible problems and undocumented side effects. (If you feel so inclined, though, just google “disable wuauserv.”) You can also use a third-party product, such as Windows Update MiniTool or O&O Shutup10, if you don’t mind putting your updates in another company’s hands. My recommendation is to mark your internet connection as “metered” — telling Microsoft, in effect, that you’re paying for internet by the bit, and you don’t want to overload your connection. There’s no guarantee this approach (dare I call it a “trick”?) will always work, but, unlike the official settings mentioned in the preceding section, it doesn’t look like Microsoft has ignored them specifically to force upgrades on blocked machines. Metered connections have some odd side effects, with selective downloading that’s occasionally hard to predict, but if you don’t have Pro, Enterprise or Education, it’s an easy way to dodge the forced upgrade bullet. To set your internet connection to metered, click Start > Settings > Network & Internet. If you have a wired (Ethernet) connection, on the left, click Ethernet, click on the network icon, and slide “Set as metered connection” to On. If you connect to the internet via Wi-Fi, the instructions are the same (see the screenshot) except, on the left, click Wi-Fi. Woody Leonhard/IDG Setting your internet connection as metered can stop Windows 10 updates. (Click image to enlarge.) Windows 7 and 8.1 If you haven’t yet made the leap to Windows 10, there’s nothing to worry about. The days of pushed Windows 10 updates are long behind us, and it’s unlikely they’ll come again. In theory, Windows 7 and 8.1 users have to pay for the Windows 10 upgrade. I’ve seen no indication that Microsoft will ever bring back the “Get Windows 10” debacle, in spite of the less-intrusive KB 4493132 nagware. Microsoft’s propensity to forget its own settings On three separate occasions in the past couple of years — in November 2017, January 2018, and March 2018 — Microsoft forcibly upgraded Windows 10 Pro machines that have Advanced Options set to defer upgrades. Microsoft has, in effect, ignored its own settings. You can think of these incidents as accidents, or the result of overworked or overly zealous individuals. I, for one, am not so magnanimous. These aren’t fly-by-night reports, or wails of pain from users who forgot to turn something on or off. All three have been documented by Microsoft as being Microsoft mistakes, in nooks and crannies of its various posts. Oddly, it seems that the metered connection trick kept working in the face of all of those “oopsies.” You may well want to set your internet connection to metered, even if you use Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise or Education. Belt and suspenders and all that. Microsoft’s official back door: The last, and most nefarious of the three “oops” events involves a, uh, feature called Update Assistant and its executioner program, updateassistant.exe. The poorly documented Update Assistant has been around for a long time, but its intrusive nature came to light when it started (erroneously, according to Microsoft) ignoring the Windows Update settings that were supposed to block installation of the next version of Windows 10. Update Assistant has evolved. You may have seen KB 4023057, the “Update to Windows 10 Versions 1507, 1511, 1607, 1703, 1709 and 1803 for update reliability,” which has been released and re-re-re-released dozens of times (see Rick Corbett’s description). This “Remediation Shell” (formerly “WaaSMedic”) patch is intended to (in the words of abbodi86😞 Fix and reset Windows Update-related parts to their “supported” configuration, i.e. restore registry settings, services status, schedule tasks, clear disk space, and launch UpdateAssistant.exe if installed. Mainly it’s meant to pave the way to receive the latest updates, whether quality updates, or feature update to latest Windows 10 version… it evolved from just fixing the Registry to restoring tasks and fixing the drivers DB, and compatibility for UAC management.. the main purpose or function did not change: re-allow blocked or disabled Windows Update. Microsoft’s so gung-ho on blasting away your Windows Update blocks that it’s set up a regimen worthy of the finest malware. Of course, from Microsoft’s point of view they’re simply correcting any bugs that may have been introduced in the upgrade process. Defeating those who actively block the upgrade is just a bit of fortuitous collateral damage. Wushowhide When all else fails — or if you want to hold the Windows 10 1903 upgrade at bay while you install other updates — Microsoft’s wushowhide utility works great. You want to hide the “Feature update to Windows 10, version 1903.” The trick is that you can’t hide the “Feature update to Windows 10, version 1903” update until it actually appears on your machine — and it may not get pushed to you for days, weeks, or even months. To prevent any nasty surprises, you should run wushowhide before you switch off any of the 1903-blocking techniques mentioned in this feature, or before you click “Check for updates.” If 1903 is being offered on your machine, wushowhide lets you “hide” the patch while you use Windows Update to get your other patches brought up to date. Here’s how to run wushowhide: Step 1. Go to KB 3073930 and download Microsoft's Wushowhide tool. (Click the link marked "Download the 'Show or hide updates' troubleshooter package now.") Drag the downloaded file, Wushowhide.diagcab, to any convenient location. Step 2. Double-click on Wushowhide.diagcab to run it. Step 3. This part’s important. Click the link marked Advanced. Uncheck the box marked "Apply repairs automatically." Click Next. Step 4. Wushowhide will run for a long, long time. When it comes back up for air, click the link to Hide Updates. If you see a checkbox marked "Feature update to Windows 10, version 1903," as in the screenshot, check the box next to the item and click Next. (If you don't see "Feature update to Windows 10, version 1903," the upgrade isn't being sent to your box yet. “X” out of wushowhide and check again tomorrow.) Woody Leonhard/IDG Microsoft’s wushowhide utility works great to hide selected Windows updates and keep them from being installed. (Click image to enlarge.) Wushowhide is an odd bird. If it successfully hid the upgrade/update/patch, you’ll see a "Troubleshooting has completed" dialog with your 1903 patch marked as a “Problems found.” You did everything right. Step 5. Click Close. You're done. If you don't trust Microsoft's wushowhide tool, you can verify for yourself that it hid the version 1903 upgrade. Go back to Windows Update (Start > Settings > Update & security, then Check for Updates) your machine should show "Your device is up to date." The 1903 upgrade didn't get installed. When you're ready to install version 1903 — you probably will, at some point — the reverse procedure's just as easy. Here’s how to unhide the update: Step 1. Double-click on Wushowhide.diagcab to run it. This part’s important. Click the link marked Advanced. Uncheck the box marked "Apply repairs automatically." Click Next. Step 2. Wushowhide will run for a long time. When it comes back up, click the link to Show hidden updates. Step 3. Check the box next to "Feature update to Windows 10, version 1903," click Next, and click Next again. Wushowhide will dutifully tell you it is "Resolving problems." When it's done, you see a "Troubleshooting has completed" dialog. Step 4. Click Close. Version 1903 will then get queued up again, and the next time Windows Update runs (you can check for updates manually, or let it run by itself, likely overnight), your machine will reboot into Windows 10 version 1903. Your options Nobody knows what kinds of dirty tricks (er, remediation techniques) Microsoft will employ to push Windows 10 users onto 1903 — whether we’ll have even more “oops” experiences. So it’s impossible to say definitively how you can block the upgrade to 1903, both now and in the future. The “Download and install now” option coming to 1803 and 1809 sounds promising, but I’m not ready to sing the “Hallelujah” chorus until I see it in action. At this point, if you’re serious about staying on your current version of Windows 10, here’s what I would recommend: If you’re running Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise or Education, follow the official instructions and set Windows Update’s advanced options to Semi-Annual Channel and 365-day deferral of “feature updates,” as shown in the screenshot. That should buy you 60 + 365 = 425 days of deferral. No matter which edition of Windows 10 you’re using, set your internet connection to “metered.” Work is under way to figure out how best to keep updateassistant.exe and Windows10Upgrade.exe at bay. We’ll be following closely on AskWoody.com. Thx to MrBrian, abbodi86, and the other intrepid interlocutors on AskWoody. Follow the update struggle on the AskWoody Lounge. Source: How to block the Windows 10 May 2019 Update, version 1903, from installing (Computerworld - Woody Leonhard)
  7. Windows 10 1809 – the ill-fated version initially launched last fall – powered just 29% of surveyed Windows 10 systems as of late April. It's a clear sign that Microsoft has largely stopped pushing 1809 to users. Microsoft New data has again hammered home the point that Microsoft has given up forcing Windows 10 1809 on users. The Redmond, Wash. developer essentially stopped pushing the October 2018 Update, aka 1809, to customers last month, according to numbers published by AdDuplex, a Lithuanian company whose metrics technology is embedded in thousands of Windows Store apps. Unlike previous Windows 10 feature upgrades, which all non-enterprise users had been required to install every six months, 1809 has been allowed to dawdle in distribution. Windows 10 1809 powered only 29% of surveyed Windows 10 systems as of April 26, AdDuplex said. The increase from March to April was just 3 percentage points, barely half the increase from February to March and but a third that from January to February. Rather than increasing, as one would have expected from past feature upgrade roll-outs, 1809's adoption has slowed over time, a first for Windows 10. IDG/Gregg Keizer Figure 1: Microsoft showed virtually no interest in forcing last fall's feature upgrade 1809 on Windows 10 Home users. (Data: AdDuplex.) "It's only natural, that Windows 10 ]1809] has grown only modestly in anticipation of the next release," AdDuplex wrote on its website, referring to the impending 1903 feature upgrade. Until recently, Microsoft was the sole determiner of how quickly a feature upgrade was adopted by unmanaged PCs - primarily but not exclusively Windows 10 Home-powered machines - as it decided what systems received the automatically downloaded upgrade and when those upgrades were installed. Microsoft was thus responsible for the slow uptake portrayed by AdDuplex, whose metrics largely originated from consumer devices. Managed PCs are typically blocked from installing Windows Store apps willy-nilly. (AdDuplex's data is best understood as leaning heavily toward consumer Windows 10 PCs; any insights into enterprise adoption should be considered suspect.) The new normal? Upgrades prior to 1809 were almost universally adopted by Windows 10 customers, or at least those visible to AdDuplex, leaving little fragmentation by the end of a cycle. Both 1803 and 1709, April 2018's and October 2017's versions, respectively, reached a 90% or higher share of the systems tallied by AdDuplex by the end of their fifth month of availability. In other words, five months after a feature upgrade's debut, just one in 10 Windows 10 PCs ran a predecessor or a preview of its successor. The uniformity was, of course, due to Microsoft's heavy-handed distribution model, which brooked no hesitation by Windows 10 Home users and penned Windows 10 Pro in the 18-month support stockade, requiring it to hustle from upgrade to upgrade. When Microsoft relaxed 1809's force-feeding, that version's share stalled at just three out of every 10 PCs, with the previous upgrade, April's 1803, retaining the lead. (Last month, 1803 accounted for 63% of all Windows 10, AdDuplex reported.) It's likely that splits like that will become commonplace. Later this month - and there's little time left in May - Microsoft is to offer the new "Download and install now" update option to users of Windows 10 Home and Pro who rely on Windows Update. The option will let them decide when to download and install a feature upgrade; Microsoft is to intervene and initiate an auto-install only when the version on the machine "is nearing end of support." "Download and install now" will be included with Windows 10 1903 - slated to show up by month's end - but will also be added to 1803 and 1809. It's unclear how the change will affect adoption of each feature upgrade; the result may not be immediately apparent. But one possibility is that even as some users continue to request an upgrade early in its availability, a majority will decline to use the "Download and install now" option's opt-in approach and simply wait for Microsoft to trigger the refresh when the current version comes close to the end of support. (Microsoft has not said what "near" means in this case.) If that's the case, a feature upgrade's adoption would be back-loaded, with half or more of the installs due to the approaching end of support. That would be a 180-degree change from the current front-loaded adoption of Windows 10 Home, where 90% of systems moved to the newest version inside five months of its launch. In a back-loaded scenario, a core group of enthusiasts - perhaps 25% to 30% of the total - would opt for a feature upgrade in the first six months by using "Download and install." A second six-month span would be composed of small monthly increases as Microsoft's nag messages convinced some users to upgrade. But the adoption line would not really jump until the third six-month period, when Microsoft used the end of support exemption to force upgrades. IDG/ Gregg Keizer Figure 2: The new 'Download and install now' option could reset the adoption 'curve' of Windows 10 Home so that nearly half of all PCs wait until the last six months of an upgrade's support to install it. Hello, 1903! By curtailing its prior policy and slowing adoption of Windows 10 1809, Microsoft has signaled that the bulk of unmanaged Windows 10 PCs will skip that upgrade and instead move directly from the 1803 of April 2018 to this month's 1903. As Figure 3 shows, the 60% or so still running Windows 10 1803 will have more than five months - June through mid-November - to leapfrog 1809 and install 1903. IDG/Gregg Keizer Users of Windows 10 1803 should have slightly more than five months to make the move to 1903. With Windows 1803 slated to exit support for non-Enterprise customers on Nov. 12, Microsoft will probably declare the end of support exemption at, or soon after, 1903's debut so that it can push that build to Windows 10 Home. Computerworld would expect that Microsoft will deploy 1809 to those PCs only as a fallback option. Source: Microsoft orphans Windows 10 1809, prepares to jump 1803 users straight to 1903 (Computerworld - Gregg Keizer)
  8. Microsoft Confirms New Windows 10 BSOD After Installing Updates Microsoft has recently confirmed a new issue in Windows 10, explaining that some devices could just hit a fatal crash when attempting to run system restore after installing updates. Specifically, the company says that users who clean-install Windows 10, create a system restore, install updates, and then attempt to restore the device could hit error 0xc000021a. Eventually, the device no longer boots to the desktop, Microsoft says. The software giant goes on to confirm this is a known issue in Windows 10. “During the system restore process, Windows temporarily stages the restoration of files that are in use. It then saves the information in the registry. When the computer restarts, it completes the staged operation,” it says in a recent advisory. “In this situation, Windows restores the catalog files and stages the driver .sys files to be restored when the computer restarts. However, when the computer restarts, Windows loads the existing drivers before it restores the later versions of the drivers. Because the driver versions do not match the versions of the restored catalog files, the restart process stops.”You can avoid this issue from the very beginningWhile the troubleshooting steps to resolve this problem are available on the page linked above, Microsoft says users can also prevent this issue by simply running System Restore from the Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE) and not from the Settings app. To do this, users should go to Start > Settings > Update & Security > Recovery > Advanced options > Restart now and then follow this path to reach system restore: Troubleshoot > Advanced options > System restore Microsoft hasn’t said whether it’s working on a fix or not, but given it’s a “known issue,” expect the company to be looking into ways to resolve the bug with a future update for Windows 10. Source
  9. How to Fix Windows 10 Bug Causing a System Restore BSOD After Installing Updates Microsoft has recently acknowledged another issue in Windows 10, as the company discovered that if a series of conditions are met, the operating system could end up unable to boot to the desktop. Bugs in Windows 10 are nothing new, but on the other hand, the ones breaking down the operating system in a way that makes it impossible to reach the desktop are the most critical, especially as troubleshooting them isn’t something that can be done by the average Joe. In the official advisory, Microsoft explains what triggers the bug. First and foremost, Windows 10 must be clean-installed on a device, which means that the operating system should be recently deployed from scratch (not upgraded from a previous version). Users, Microsoft explains, must then enable system protection and create a restore point, something that many of us do in order to make sure that no data is lost in case a critical issue is encountered. System restore is a feature that comes built into Windows by default. Next, the machine must be updated with at least one patch, Microsoft continues. When you’re ready, if you attempt to restore the device for some reason to the restore point you created earlier, the process might fall with error 0xc000021a. The BSOD forces a system reboot, only for the computer to then fail to boot back to the desktop. Microsoft explains what causes the bug in the technical advisory linked above: “During the system restore process, Windows temporarily stages the restoration of files that are in use. It then saves the information in the registry. When the computer restarts, it completes the staged operation. In this situation, Windows restores the catalog files and stages the driver .sys files to be restored when the computer restarts. However, when the computer restarts, Windows loads the existing drivers before it restores the later versions of the drivers. Because the driver versions do not match the versions of the restored catalog files, the restart process stops.” Because you are no longer able to boot to the desktop, you need to rely on the WinRE, or Windows Recovery Environment, to restore the device. In WinRE, you must follow this path: Troubleshoot > Advanced options > More recovery options > Startup settings > Restart now Once the device reboots, in the startup settings screen, choose the option called: Disable driver signature enforcement Microsoft says that, at this point, the device should reboot and complete the system restore task that you started earlier. However, keep in mind that the process could take a while to complete, so just make sure you do not interrupt it. Additionally, the software giant says that Windows users can also prevent the issue from happening on their devices using a rather simple workaround. All they need to do is to launch the system restore from WinRE, and not from the settings screen. To do this, follow this path in Windows 10: Start > Settings > Update & Security > Recovery > Advanced options > Restart now When WinRE loads, click these options and then follow the instructions on the screen: Troubleshoot > Advanced options > System restore The bug seemingly exists in all Windows 10 versions, and despite Microsoft not saying it specifically, a fix is presumably in the works already. The next Windows 10 feature update is the May 2019 Update due later this month, but it remains to be seen if a resolution is included or not. Until a fix lands, you should try to avoid this issue using the method above. Source
  10. Microsoft Admits Updates Are Freezing Windows 10 Computers -- Again GETTY Last month I reported how the April Windows 10 “Patch Tuesday” updates were freezing some computers during the update process itself and preventing others from rebooting afterwards. Now it appears that the latest operating system updates are once again preventing Windows 10 computers from rebooting properly. Although Windows 10 users are not troubled by the “wormable” remote code execution vulnerabilityfixed in the latest update, these patches also fix numerous other security issues each month and so their importance is not to be underestimated. Which makes the ongoing problems of the patching process even harder to swallow for long-suffering Windows 10 users. What’s happening? The previous issue only involved users running certain antivirus solutions, but this time it’s anyone. Or at least anyone who wants to restore their computer back to a point before the latest Windows 10 update was installed. Which is, let’s face it, a pretty common scenario considering the problematical nature of the update process. Bleeping Computer was first to spot that Microsoft had updated a support document regarding system restore reboot problems. As long as you have system protection turned on in Windows 10 and have created a system restore point before applying the latest update, then you are at risk of being frozen out of your computer. Simple as. Microsoft confirms that under those circumstances the computer may experience “a Stop error (0xc000021a)” and when you restart the device “the system cannot return to the Windows desktop.” In other words, your computer is borked in a failed reboot scenario caused by the Windows 10 update that is meant to protect your system from potential harm. What’s gone wrong? Microsoft readily admits that this is “a known issue” in Windows 10. Which really doesn’t make me feel any better, what about you? The support document I mentioned earlier states that the problem is down to the system restore process staging the restoration of those files that are in use. This information is stored in the system registry and upon reboot the staged operation is completed. Or at least that’s what should happen. In the scenario of restoring to a pre-update restore point, Windows stages the driver .sys files but then loads the existing drivers first and the later versions are loaded later. “Because the driver versions do not match the versions of the restored catalog files,” Microsoft explains, “the restart process stops.” How do you fix it? Restart the computer and enter the Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE) which should happen automatically after two consecutive failed attempts to start Windows 10. From the WinRE screen, select “Troubleshoot|Advanced options|More recovery options|Startup settings” and then the “Restart now” option. A number of startup settings will be available and you need to ensure you have selected “Disable driver signature enforcement.” Microsoft advises that the F7 key may need to be employed in order to select this setting. The startup process will now proceed and system restore should resume and complete as intended. How can you avoid the system restore failure? The glib answer is switch to Linux and this has, indeed, been a familiar comment from readers of my articles about Windows 10 update problems. However, that really isn’t an option for most people and for so many reasons. So let’s stick to Windows 10 measures shall we? Instead of using the settings dialog to start the system restore wizard, use WinRE instead. You can do this from your Windows desktop by selecting “Start|Settings|Update & Security|Recovery” and then selecting the “Restart now” option from “Advanced options.” Once within the Windows Recovery Environment, select “Troubleshoot|Advanced options|System restore” and follow the instructions in the wizard Source
  11. Windows 10 administrators who install Windows 10 on a computer may receive a stop error when they attempt to restore the system after installing updates. Updates may be installed automatically or manually after Windows 10 is installed on a device. These updates bring the operating system to the newest version and they may patch security issues and introduce other improvements. Windows 10 users who run into issues after update installation may use System Restore to restore the system to an earlier version. Microsoft notes that it may happen that Windows 10 cannot be restored to an earlier version and that users receive the Stop error (0xc000021a) instead. Consider the following scenario: You install Windows 10 on a clean computer. You turn on system protection, and then create a system restore point that is named "R1." You install one or more Windows 10 updates. After the updates have finished installing, you restore the system to the "R1" restore point. In this scenario, the system is not restored to the "R1" restore point. Instead, the computer experiences a Stop error (0xc000021a). You restart the computer, but the system cannot return to the Windows desktop. The cause Windows stages the restoration of files that are in use during a system restore process. The information is saved to the Windows Registry and the restoration completes on the next start of the PC. In this particular situation, Windows 10 loads the current drivers before restoration and that leads to a driver mismatch and the stop error. The restoration process is stopped because of that. The fix Microsoft proposes two fixes for the issue: the first explains how systems may be recovered that failed to start while the second suggests an option to avoid the issue completely. If Windows 10 fails to start during recovery Administrators need to enter the Windows Recovery Environment to fix the issue. The environment should be loaded automatically after several failed restarts. Select Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > More Recovery Options > Startup Settings > Restart Now. The list of startup options is displayed. Select Disable Driver signature enforcement (F7). Follow the instructions. Windows should be able to resume the system restore process and finalize it this time. To avoid the issue altogether Microsoft suggests that system restore is run using the Windows Recovery Environment and not through the Settings application. Use Windows-I to open the Settings application. Go to Update & Security > Recovery. Select Restart Now under Advanced Settings. When Windows restarts, select Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > System Restore. Follow the instructions to select a system restore point and restore the system. Source: Fix Windows 10 can't be restored after you install an update (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
  12. How to Create an Ubuntu Virtual Machine on Windows 10 Using Hyper-V The “new” Microsoft no longer considers Linux a fierce rival that it should ignore, but a partner that could help its Windows 10 push move forward. And as part of this approach of turning Linux from foe to friend, Microsoft allows users to run Linux on top of Windows 10 using the already-famous Windows Subsystem for Linux. While the WSL itself has evolved substantially in the last year, so did other Windows 10 features, including the Hyper-V Manager. So beginning this week, it’s actually possible to create an Ubuntu virtual machine using Hyper-V, and it all takes just a few minutes. First of all, an Ubuntu virtual machine allows you to run Linux on Windows 10 without having to leave the operating system. And as per German site WU, the way you can create an Ubuntu VM is so straightforward that it doesn’t even make sense to turn to third-party software. Before anything, what you should know is that in order to create a virtual machine on Windows 10 with Hyper-V, you need to have this component installed on the operating system. Hyper-V Manager comes as part of the Hyper-V package. Needless to say, you’re going to need Windows 10 Pro with an administrator account, and the first step is enabling Hyper-V in the operating system. To do this, click the Start menu and then type: Turn Windows features on or off Click enter and then in the new screen, look for Hyper-V. By default, it should come disabled, so check this option and click OK. The device will require a reboot to complete the installation, so make sure you save your work before installing Hyper-V. Once you log back to the desktop, you can jump straight to the creation of the virtual machine. Launch the Hyper-V Manager by clicking the Start menu and typing its name. There are several ways to create an Ubuntu virtual machine in Hyper-V Manager, but we’re going to use the most straightforward, which uses a series of pre-defined settings to complete the process. Right-click your computer in the left sidebar and select Quick Create. Windows 10 should then prompt you to choose from several choices. Right now, on my Windows 10 testing device, there are four options, as it follows: MSIX Packaging Tool Environment Ubuntu 18.04.2. LTS Ubuntu 19.04 Windows 10 dev environment Choose the Ubuntu version that you want to use and then click the option that reads Create virtual machine. Hyper-V Manager should then begin a lengthy process that involves downloading a system image for Ubuntu and deploying it on your device. This step could take anywhere from a few minutes to one hour, but it all depends on your network performance and hardware. The Ubuntu 19.04 image that Windows 10 downloads, for instance, has 1.60 GB in size, so it could take a while to get it if you’re on a slow Internet connection. The Hyper-V Manager automates the process as much as possible, so you won’t be prompted to make any settings. On the other hand, if you want to configure more options in your virtual machine, you should use the manual process that is available by clicking the New menu item in Hyper-V Manager. However, this is a method that’s mostly recommended for power users and not for beginners who just want a quick virtual machine for testing purposes. If you want to delete the created virtual machine at a later time, you can do this from the Hyper-V Manager UI. Source
  13. Microsoft has added a much-requested feature to their popular Your Phone remote phone access app on Windows 10. Up till now, you had to have your phone connected to the same WIFI network to access your photos and text messages. With version 3.4.8 you can now sync messages, photos and notifications over mobile data, which is perfect for those with large data allowances and would allow users, for example, to sync at work or at a hotel where their phone may not have access to the WIFI network. The feature is enabled via a toggle in the Settings on the mobile app on your phone. Especially with access to your text messages and notifications, this feature may be very useful if you want to keep your phone in your bag at work (or even in your car) and still stay in touch. Source
  14. Google Gives Up on the Dream of Running Windows 10 on Chromebooks Google working on bringing dual-boot support to Chromebooks is a project that first made the rounds back in 2018 when the company was said to be exploring other operating systems like Linux and Windows for its own devices. As the development work advanced, more details reached the web, so we eventually found out that Google was trying to bring Windows 10 to Chromebooks as part of an effort called Project Campfire. While this was an ambitious idea that would have turned Chromebooks into devices fully focused on productivity, something particularly important for the education market where Google is investing aggressively, it looks like the plan has since been abandoned. Reddit use crosfrog discovered comments and code removals indicating that Project Campfire is dead for good, as Google has apparently given up on the idea of bringing Windows 10 to Chromebooks. AboutChromebooks writes that the project has likely been abandoned in late 2018, as no progress has been made on Project Campfire since then.The storage footprintAs for the reasons Google no longer wants to bring Windows 10 to Chromebooks, it’s believed they are more or less related to the storage footprint Microsoft’s operating system has on a device. Windows 10 would require at least 40GB of storage on any Chromebook to run smoothly, and this makes it impossible for Google to bring the operating system to the majority of devices currently running Chrome OS. Given they run a web-based platform, Chromebooks typically come with very low storage, like 32GB or even 16GB for the cheapest models. Needless to say, we shouldn’t expect Google to confirm that Project Campfire is dead, mostly because this was a secret project anyway, so the company never acknowledged its existence. But even if the Windows 10 dream is dead, Google is very likely to look into other ways of improving Chrome OS and make it a better rival to Windows 10. Source
  15. Microsoft wants to close the UWP, Win32 divide with 'Windows Apps' Is Microsoft's UWP going away? Is the Microsoft Store on its way out? Microsoft Corporate VP Kevin Gallo explains the latest twists in Microsoft's long and winding Windows developer platform strategy. Credit: Microsoft For months, many pundits, partners and customers have wondered aloud whether Microsoft's Universal Windows Platform (UWP) has a future. Officially, the story is UWP is alive and well. But the Win32 platform lives on and seems to be back on Microsoft's radar screen. So what's the real story? I had a chance this week in Seattle to ask Kevin Gallo, Corporate Vice President of the Windows Developer Platform, for his take on what's going on with the Windows developer platform. When Microsoft launched UWP in 2015, officials promised that the platform would provide apps with better performance and security because they'd be distributable and updatable from the Microsoft Store. Developers would be able to use a common set of programming interfaces across Windows 10, Windows Phone, HoloLens and more, officials said, when selling the UWP vision. The downside: UWP apps would work on Windows 10-based devices only. Developers would have to do work to get their apps to be UWP/Store-ready. And Win32 apps wouldn't get UWP features like touch and inking. Arguably, Gallo told me, "we shouldn't have gone that way," meaning creating this schism. But Microsoft execs -- including Gallo -- continue to maintain that UWP is not dead. Over the past year or so, Microsoft has been trying to undo some of the effects of what Gallo called the "massive divide" between Win32 and UWP by adding "modern desktop" elements to Win32 apps. "By the time we are done, everything will just be called 'Windows apps,'" Gallo told me. "We're not quite there yet." But the ultimate idea is to make "every platform feature available to every developer." Last year, Microsoft introduced "XAML Islands,"which is technology aimed at helping Windows developers to use UI elements from UWP in their existing Win32 applications, including Windows Forms and Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) technologies. This month, the team took additional steps. In a May 6, 2019, blog post, Gallo explained to developers: "You've told us that you would like us to continue to decouple many parts of the Universal Windows Platform so that you can adopt them incrementally such as WinUI, MSIX, and Windows Terminal." The plan is to provide these components to Win32 developers, not just UWP ones. A week before, in a further move toward undoing the Win32/UWP divide, Microsoft announced that "non-packaged Windows desktop apps are going to be able to use Widnows Runtime (WinRT) components. This will be turned on simultaneous with Windows 10 1903 (the May 2019 Update). "Registration-free WinRT enables you to access more features in the UWP ecosystem by allowing you to use Windows Runtime Components without the requirement to package your application. This makes it easier for you to keep your existing Win32 code investments and enhance your applications by additively taking advantage of modern Windows 10 features." In short, Microsoft's new goal is to try to make all features available to all of the Windows frameworks. Saying that Microsoft is dropping or deprecating any of the Windows frameworks seems to have been declared from on-high as a big no-no. Instead, Win32, UWP, Windows Presentation Foundation are all "elevated to full status," as Gallo told me. The Windows team has been facing additional confusion and a lack of clarity around what's happening with the Microsoft app store. In recent weeks, a number of people have noticed that Microsoft is no longer putting its Office apps in the Microsoft Store. I asked Gallo if the Store is dead. And unsurprisingly, his answer was no. In Gallo's view, "the Store is about commerce. It's another channel for distribution." But it's not the only way Windows users will be able to get apps. "You can trust apps differently. They don't need to be in the Store. People really just want to know if Microsoft considers an app good," he said. And that means there needs to be a trust model on Windows. From my discussion with Gallo, it sounds like Microsoft may be moving toward a model of getting apps Microsoft-certified and trusted and then allowing Windows developers to decide how best to distribute them -- via the Microsoft Store, the Web or other methods of their choosing. And Microsoft will help users find those trusted apps, wherever they may reside. My main take-away from chatting with Gallo: The days of trying to push Windows developers to build and/or repackage their apps to be UWP/Store apps seemingly are over. It's now Windows apps or bust. Source
  16. As the company transitions its Edge browser in Windows 10 to one that's Chromium based, it also plans to maintain support for IE11. For IT admins, the variety of browser iterations could get confusing. Microsoft Microsoft will continue to include Internet Explorer 11 (IE11) and the original Edge with Windows 10, according to a company program manager. In a video recorded for this week's Microsoft Build conference, Fred Pullen, a principal program manager on the Edge team, filled in some of the blanks about the "IE mode" to be inserted inside the under-construction Edge based on Chromium. (Chromium is the open-source project whose technologies already power Google Chrome and other browsers.) Details of how enterprises will manage "full-Chromium" Edge and its IE mode have been scant thus far. When Microsoft announced IE mode earlier this week, it said only that it would share "more details on deploying and managing Microsoft Edge later this year." How Edge and IE11 work together now Pullen spent the first quarter of his time walking viewers through the convoluted history of IE and how Microsoft supported backwards compatibility with older versions using various "modes" that emulated, for instance, IE6 within IE8 or IE9 and IE10 within IE11. He then explained how the current Edge worked with IE11 and its multiple modes to produce what he called a "two-browser experience." "Our guidance for years has been as you upgrade your web applications to modern standards, you can ((alleviate)) yourself of the dependency on Internet Explorer," said Pullen. "When we introduced Windows 10, our suggestion to customers was to standardize on Microsoft Edge using EdgeHTML as your modern browser and fall back to IE11 as needed just for backward compatibility." That "fall back to IE11" would be automated by IT. They would create an Enterprise Mode Site List of URLs to apps and sites that required some of those IE compatibility modes, or IE-associated technologies, such as ActiveX, which Edge didn't support. IT could also instruct every intranet site to open in IE11. When a worker tried to access a site on the list in Edge, IE11 opened instead, loading the whitelisted site; thus the two browser experience Pullen described. But there were problems with what Microsoft did, Pullen acknowledged. "This is a jarring experience. It's two different browsers," he said. "Even if you're using the Enterprise Mode Site Lists to automatically pop up the appropriate browser at the appropriate time, it's still two different browsers and it's a confusing user experience." More than one IE11 in Windows 10? According to Pullen, Windows 10 - and presumably Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 as well, since those older OSes are slated to get full-Chromium Edge, too - will still include the stand-alone IE11 browser when Edge and its IE mode reach the Stable channel. "What we're adding in Internet Explorer mode is just a couple of policies," Pulled said. "We have one policy in Microsoft Edge that decides what the default IE integration level is. So you can decide to keep the two-browser experience. You can decide to run IE11 as an application just as you can today with Microsoft Edge." Elsewhere in his presentation, Pullen seemed to preemptively knock down any talk that IE11 - as a separate application - would vanish. "I also want to reassure you that Internet Explorer is not going away," Pullen said near the end of his video. "Internet Explorer is considered a component of the Operating System and follows the life-cycle of the Operating System on which it's installed. So in Windows Server 2019 for example, Internet Explorer 11 is supported until 2029 (emphasis added)." His phrasing was almost word-for-word from Microsoft's documentation on IE's support lifecycle, which states: "Internet Explorer is a component of the Windows operating system and follows the Lifecycle Policy for the product on which it is installed." Even so, Pullen's pledge was far from ironclad. His "support," for example, could easily - and legitimately - hinge on the inside-Edge IE mode, not the stand-alone application. It's all about what he meant by that word. Pullen hinted that IE11 (the application) would remain as part of Windows for some time to come even, though Microsoft's long-term goal is to purge it from the OS. "We want to make sure that we start to restrict when and where and how Internet Explorer 11 is instantiated," he said. Computerworld has assumed that Microsoft would want to get rid of IE11 (the application) as soon as possible. Pullen made that stance difficult to defend. More than one Edge in Windows 10? Windows 10, at least, will also sport more than one Edge browser, Pullen contended. "We do have to add a policy deciding which version of Microsoft Edge you would prefer Internet Explorer to bounce back to," Pullen said, referring to the back-and-forth between the two browsers. "In other words, if I've chosen to launch Internet Explorer 11, and [I'm] using that switch to IE11 app mode, I need to know which version of Microsoft Edge to switch back to. "It could be that in your environment, you're happy with Microsoft Edge on EdgeHTML, and you want to be able to fully test Microsoft Edge on Chromium before deploying, that's fine," Pullen continued. Participants in Microsoft's Edge Insider program - the preview program for the full-Chromium Edge - may run multiple versions of the browser on a device, whether two or more of the previews or one or more preview and the original Edge. (The latter is what Pullen talked about when he mentioned "EdgeHTML," the name of that version's Microsoft-made rendering engine.) It was unclear whether multiple Edges would be available and supported once the full-Chromium version is finalized. Pullen implied that at some point users would no longer see two when he referred to returning to EdgeHTML-based Edge while still testing the full-Chromium Edge. A bit later in the video Pullen doubled down, again limiting Chromium Edge to a preview phase. "You need to decide, 'Is it okay if we choose the Beta version of Microsoft Edge on Chromium, or do I fall back to Microsoft Edge using EdgeHTML if the Beta version is not available?'" Pullen posed. But what's the end game? Two IE11s, two Edges. Is Microsoft really going to let its browsers multiply like rabbits? In the short term, yes. But the long game is to wean users off IE entirely. "We want to give you the tools that you need to be able to limit how and when and where your users get to Internet Explorer, and Internet Explorer Mode is an important step in that journey," Pullen said. "Obviously, as you upgrade your web applications to modern standards, you can continue to limit more and more and more where Internet Explorer is running," he added. The trouble with that message is it's one Microsoft has been transmitting since Windows 10's mid-2015 launch and the early 2016 reduction in browser support that triggered massive desertions from IE's user base. Pullen acknowledged as much. "There's still a need for Internet Explorer even though our guidance for years has been ... ((to alleviate)) yourself of the dependency on Internet Explorer," he said. Source: Coming to Windows 10: More browsers, not fewer (Computerworld - Gregg Keizer)
  17. Microsoft Releases Chromium Microsoft Edge Dev 76 for Windows 10 Microsoft has released a new version of its Chromium-based Microsoft Edge browser for the Dev channel. This time, it’s a major update for Microsoft Edge Dev, as Microsoft pushes the browser to Chromium 76. The new Dev version is 76.0.152.0. According to the official changelog, which you can read in full in the box after the jump, Microsoft Edge Dev now comes with spellchecking enabled by default for all users. Previously, this feature was only released for some testers as Microsoft was still working on improving it. This update also introduces refreshed colors and layouts for the Downloads, Extensions, Favorites, History, and Settings pages. Microsoft says it has paid particular attention to the logic for the quick links displayed on the New Tab Page, so “any site you add manually or edit will remain in the list unless you delete it, while other sites will continue to update based on your browsing history.”Lots of fixesWhen it comes to favorites, Microsoft says you can now sort them by name from the manage favorites page, all by simply right-clicking the background and choosing “Sort by name.” Also, you can reorder favorites in the favorites bar by pressing Alt + Shift + Left/Right. There are also several fixes, including for the dark theme, which caused disabled toolbar buttons to be difficult to see. Also, Microsoft says it has fixed a bug causing Netflix to sometimes stop temporarily after seeking in a video. Without a doubt, this is a massive release for Microsoft Edge and it shows Microsoft is very committed to shipping timely updates for its browser. For the time being, only Windows 10 devices are getting these improvements officially, with older Windows and macOS to get preview builds shortly as well. You can download the Chromium Microsoft Edge Dev and Canaryfrom Softpedia using this link. Source
  18. Microsoft Open-Sources PowerToys, Windows 10 Version Planned Long-time Windows users certainly remember PowerToys, as it was one of the most popular suites of tools supposed to enhance the operating system beyond the default feature lineup offered by Microsoft. And while PowerToys was retired many years ago, the ambition that Microsoft is putting into making the open-source world a priority is close to bringing it back with a more modern approach. The PowerToys project is thus being rebooted with the source code published on GitHub, and now Microsoft is calling for devs to contribute to the development of new features that would be included in a Windows 10 version of the app. “PowerToys is a set of utilities for power users to tune and streamline their Windows experience for greater productivity,” Microsoft says. “Inspired by the Windows 95 era PowerToys project, this reboot provides power users with ways to squeeze more efficiency out of the Windows 10 shell and customize it for individual workflows.”Two features already in the worksMicrosoft says it’s currently working on two different features that would be included in the modern version of PowerToys for Windows 10, and one of them is a Windows key shortcut guide. This would show up when users press and hold the Windows key, thus helping them discover the available shortcuts and thus make the most of the hotkey support in Windows 10. The other one is a maximize to new desktop widget that comes down to a pop-up button displayed when a user hovers the maximize button. When clicked, it maximizes the window on another desktop in Windows 10. There are several other improvements that Microsoft is looking into, like a Win + R replacement, a keyboard shortcut manager, a full window manager, better Alt + Tab, a battery tracker, quick resolution swaps in the taskbar, and mouse events without focus. You can see the full list and vote for the features you want to see in PowerToys on the GitHub page mentioned above. Source
  19. I IN NO WAY TAKE ANY CREDIT FOR THIS IT WAS TAKEN FROM MDL FORUM AND SOME POSTS MY MEMBERS ON THIS FORUM! Manual: Tools: Microsoft Telemetry Tools Bundle v1.2 Windows 10 Lite v9 Private WinTen v0.1h Blackbird v6 v1.0.52 [Works with Win 7/8/8/1/10] O&O ShutUp10 v1.6.1402 WPD - Windows Privacy Dashboard v1.2.940 WindowsSpyBlocker v4.21.0 Spybot Anti-Beacon v3.1 [Works with Win 7/8/8/1/10] W10Privacy v3.3.0.1 Destroy Windows Spying v1.0.1.0 [Works with Win 7/8/8/1/10] [NOT RECOMMENDED AS NOT UPDATED ANYMORE] Disable Windows 10 Tracking v3.2.1
  20. Microsoft removes ability to install Office directly from the Microsoft Store on Windows 10 Users are no longer able to install Office directly from the Microsoft Store, and are instead being redirected to the old classic installer. Over the last few weeks, users attempting to download Office applications from the Microsoft Store on Windows 10 have been unable to do so, and instead, are being redirected to the Office website which would then automatically download the classic installer. Naturally, many have been frustrated with this, as downloading from the Microsoft Store directly comes with benefits such as automatic updates through the Store, the ability to choose which Office apps you want installed, and more. But with the classic installer, known as "click-to-run," users have to install all Office products by default and have updates handled through Office's own updater. I much prefer being able to install Office from the Microsoft Store because of these reasons, so not being able to do so over the last couple of weeks has been incredibly frustrating. Unfortunately, it appears this change is deliberate, according to a Microsoft spokesperson: People will continue to be able to find Office in the Store. If the Office image isn't already preinstalled, they will be directed to https://account.microsoft.com/ to install it. The Office apps are still listed in the Store, and they still have "install" buttons on their app pages. But the install button no longer installs the app directly unless your PC came with Office, and instead takes you to the Office website to download the classic Office installer. This experience isn't great and ultimately undermines the whole point of the Microsoft Store. I want the Store to handle all my apps, and now I can't do that with Office. For Windows 10 S users, the classic installer now runs fine with S mode enabled, just as the Microsoft Edge Insider Preview installer does. So this change applies with S mode enabled too. I've asked Microsoft about why it's made Office no longer installable from the Store and will update this article once I hear back. In the meantime, what was your preferred way of installing Office? Source
  21. Microsoft tests three new features for Windows 10’s Your Phone app When Microsoft introduced Windows 10’s Your Phone app in October 2018, the app only allowed users to access all of the phone photos and send/receive text messages directly from your connected desktop. In the past few months, Microsoft has updated the application with multiple improvements. Microsoft recently announced three useful features for Windows 10’s Your Phone app that would allow it to work better with Android devices. The latest update for Insiders introduces a feature that will allow you to view the contact photo if those contacts with the profile photo are already synced to your device. “You asked for it Windows Insiders. We have now started rolling out contact pictures in Your Phone. So if you have photos assigned to your contacts on your Android phone you’ll see those same photos for them in the app,” a Microsoft engineer announced the latest development on Twitter. There’s another useful feature for Insiders that basically let users reply to text messages without opening the Your Phone app. This means when you receive notification of the text messages on your desktop, you should be able to reply to the SMS by directly typing the text on the interactive notification. “Windows Insiders one more feature for you that we have added to messages in Your Phone: Inline reply! You can now reply to your text messages from the notification without having to open the app,” Microsoft employee confirmed the feature on Twitter. The third feature is available for non-Insiders that lets you quickly save the phone photos. You can now right-click any photos and save it directly into your PC. Previously, the right-click menu only allowed users to copy & share photos. Source
  22. Windows 10 Will Keep the Text You Type Private in Google Chrome Incognito Microsoft has come up with a plan to improve user privacy when running Chromium browsers, like Google Chrome, in private mode, thus resolving one of the biggest issues currently on the OS. On Windows 10, whenever you launch Google Chrome in the Incognito mode, your data is supposed to be protected by not leaving any browsing traces behind. But on the other hand, the keyboard input is still monitored by the operating system in order to provide additional functionality, like text predictions, as you type. This means your data isn’t necessarily private, so Microsoft is working to resolve it. In the future, Windows 10 will treat private browsing sessions just like SwiftKey does on Android, for example. In other words, if you launch an Incognito window and begin typing, the keyboard detects it shouldn’t track the keyboard input, thus guaranteeing full privacy.A work in progress9to5google came across a recent commit published by a Microsoft engineer, who proposes a way to resolve this setback. In just a few words, a future update will connect two different functions called “shouldDoLearning” in Google Chrome and “IS_PRIVATE” in Windows 10 to make it possible to detect whenever a private window is launched and prevent typing from being tracked for predictions. Needless to say, it’ll take some time to see this go live, but expect an early implementation to make it to Canary versions of Chrome and the new Edge at some point in the near future. On the other hand, what’s worth knowing is that this particular method would only be limited to Windows 10, as other Windows versions, like Windows 7, lack the aforementioned feature to detect private browsing sessions. It remains to be seen how and when Microsoft manages to resolve this, but for the time being, its commitment to the Chromium engine appears to be a good thing for everyone. Source
  23. How to reset the Screenshots counter on Windows 10 Microsoft improved the screenshot taking functionality of Windows in Windows 10 significantly. The operating system comes with plenty of options to take screenshots, and one of the easiest options is to use the keys Windows+Print for that. A new screenshot is saved to the default Screenshots directory on the system whenever you use the keyboard shortcut. You can open File Explorer manually and select Pictures in the sidebar to open it, or load %userprofile%\Pictures\Screenshotsdirectly instead anywhere provided that an address bar is available. Windows assigns file names to screenshots automatically. Each file name begins with Screenshot but since file names need to be unique, a counter is added to the file name. Windows increases the counter by 1 each time you take a new screenshot on the system. The index is incremented by 1 automatically so that you end up with names like Screenshot (1).png, Screenshot (2).png and so on. The counter is not reset, even if you delete files in the Screenshot directory or move all files to another location. Windows remembers the last used number and will increment it by 1 automatically. Option 1: Resetting the Screenshot Index in the Windows Registry Windows keeps track of the index in the Registry. You may reset it easily provided that you have elevated privileges on the system to edit the Registry. Here is how that is done: Step 1: Opening the Registry Editor Use the keyboard shortcut Windows-R to open the run box. Type regedit.exe and hit the Enter-key. This should load the Registry Editor. Step 2: Navigate to the right key Paste the following Registry path into the address bar in the editor: Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer You may use the hierarchy on the left to go there manually as well if you prefer that. Step 3: Backup the Registry key (Optional) It is recommended that you back up the relevant Registry keys before you make changes to the Registry. The step is optional but recommended. Right-click on Explorer in the left sidebar and select Export from the context menu. Select a filename for the backup of the Registry key and a location on the device. Step 4: Edit the ScreenshotIndex Registry value Windows stores the current index in the Dword value ScreenshotIndex under Explorer. All that needs to be done to reset it is to change the data value of ScreenshotIndex. Double-click on ScreenshotIndex in the right pane in the Registry Editor. Replace the value in value data by setting it to 1. Click ok. The next screenshot that you take using Windows-Print will be Screenshot (1).png. A restart of the system is not necessary, changes apply right away. Option 2: Reset using a Registry file You can speed up the resetting of the screenshot index on Windows 10 by using a Registry file instead. All that is required in this case is to double-click the file to reset the counter. Download the Registry file with a click on the following link: Reset Screenshot Counter Windows Verify the Registry file by opening it in a text editor. Double-click on the downloaded file. Windows displays a verification prompt. Select yes to apply the change to the Registry, or no to cancel. Notes: Windows picks the next possible number automatically even if you reset the index to 1. If Screenshot (1).png exists in the Screenshots folder, Screenshot (2).png is automatically selected by Windows. Summary Source
  24. Microsoft's latest OS is a lot better than its predecessor, but it still has some annoying quirks. We help you solve them. Thinkstock / Microsoft Microsoft Windows 10 has gone a long way towards fixing the problems that were endemic with earlier versions of Windows — notably Windows 8. But it's still far from a perfect operating system and has its share of headaches. Looking through various user discussions (and tapping our own experiences) we've identified six problems that a lot of people are complaining about: forced Windows 10 updates; the Cortana digital assistant (which some users want to get rid of and can't); lost disk space; sluggish boot times; annoying notifications; and problems with the Start menu. But don't worry, help is on the way. We've researched ways to take care of these issues (or at least make them a little less irritating). Here are some solutions that will make Windows 10 more pleasant to use. Note that we have updated this story for the Windows 10 October 2018 Update, version 1809. If you haven’t made the move to that version of Windows 10, things might look or work a bit differently for you. 1. Get around forced Windows 10 updates We're going to start with a biggie: Forced updates. For many people, this is the biggest Windows 10 headache of all. Unlike earlier Windows versions, Windows 10 doesn't let you pick and choose which updates to install. Now when Microsoft issues an update, your machine installs it. Case closed. Well, almost. Windows Update does give you some control over when updates will be installled, so they won't interrupt your work. And Windows 10 Professional, Enterprise and Education users can defer updates. Those techniques are covered in our story "How to handle Windows 10 updates." Starting with Windows 10 version 1903, which is due to be released in May, Windows Update will let Windows 10 Home and Pro users delay installing twice-yearly feature updates until their current Windows 10 version is no longer supported with security updates — generally about 18 months after it was released. In addition to that, Windows Home users will be able delay all updates by up to 35 days. (You’ll find instructions here.) But you won’t get that functionality until version 1903 is released and your computer is upgraded to it. In the meantime, there are a few workarounds that let anyone stop the updating process. One note, though: As a general rule, it's a good idea to keep Windows 10 current, because many updates don't just fix bugs or add new features, but also contain security patches. However, it's your machine, your operating system, and your life. So if you want to halt forced Windows 10 updates, here are two ways to do it. I'll also show you how you can uninstall an already installed update, and keep it uninstalled. Use the metered connection feature Windows 10’s metered connection feature is designed to save you money if you pay for bandwidth use over a certain amount, but you can use it as a clever workaround to stop automatic updates. By default, this feature is turned off for Wi-Fi and Ethernet connections, but turned on for cellular data connections. Here’s how to turn it on for Wi-Fi and Ethernet connections. For Wi-Fi connections: Go to Settings > Network & Internet > Wi-Fi. Click “Manage known networks.” Click each Wi-Fi network to which you connect, and click Properties. On the screen that appears, scroll to the “Metered connection” section and move the slider to On. For Ethernet connections: Go to Settings > Network & Internet > Status. Click “Change connection properties.” On the screen that appears, scroll to the “Metered connection” section and move the slider to On. From now on, Windows 10 won't automatically download and install updates, although at least one person has reported on my colleague Woody Leonhard’s AskWoody forums that some updates are still installed. You’ll have to follow the above instructions for every Wi-Fi and Ethernet network that you connect to in order to stop the updates. IDG / Preston Gralla Telling your PC you have a metered connection will block automatic Windows 10 updates. (Click the image to enlarge it Turn off the Windows Update service Windows Update runs like any other Windows service — which means that you can turn it off: Go to Control Panel > System and Security > Administrative Tools. You're then sent to a folder in Windows Explorer with a list of administrative tools, one of which is Services. Double-click on Services. On the right side of the screen that appears, scroll down to Windows Update and double-click it. In the Startup Type box that appears, select Disabled, then click OK. Restart your PC. IDG / Preston Gralla You can turn off the Windows Update service. (Click the image to enlarge it.) The Windows Update service won't run any more, and you won't download and install updates automatically. If you ask Windows 10 to check for updates after you’ve turned off Windows Update, you’ll receive an error message. IDG / Preston Gralla Here’s the error message you’ll get if you turn off the Windows Update service and then tell Windows 10 to check for updates. We reached out to Microsoft multiple times and asked the company to confirm whether this technique for turning off Windows Update works. Microsoft refused to confirm or deny it. However, we used the technique on multiple PCs running the latest version of Windows 10, and it worked in every instance. Other sources have reported the technique works as well. Keep in mind that if you use either of these solutions, you'll block all Windows updates. You can't pick and choose which to install, and which not. The exception is security updates. If you're worried about security, the metered connection technique is a little safer, because it lets through important security updates, which you're not likely to get when you turn off Windows Update. If you opt for turning off Windows Update, at some point you should turn it back on to get the security patches you’ve missed. And if you opt for the metered connection technique, you’ll likely want to turn it off eventually to get the feature or bug-fix updates. When that happens, you'll download and install all the updates, not just ones you want. Note, though, that there's still a good reason to use these techniques to turn off automatic updates, because if you stop them from immediately installing, you can then check for reports about problematic updates. If nobody complains, you can then let them install; if there are issues, you can wait until the fix is available. Uninstall and hide problematic updates If you're stuck with an update that is harming (or could harm) your computer, there's another workaround for you: Uninstall the bad update, then hide it from Windows 10 so that it doesn't automatically reinstall. That way, when the fix for the update shows up, you can install all the updates, including the fix. Note that you won’t be able to uninstall every update, and you won’t be able to hide all updates that you’ve uninstalled. Still, it’s well worth trying, if you’ve got a bad update. You can see all the updates that you’ve installed by going to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update > View update history. A list appears, divided into five sections: Feature Updates, Quality Updates, Driver Updates, Definition Updates and Other Updates. The Feature Updates section shows the major semiannual updates — for example, the Windows 10 April 2018 Update. But you won’t see that written in plain English. Instead, you’ll see the version number Microsoft uses to refer to the upgrade, such as version 1809 for the October 2018 Update. The Quality Updates section lists the more mundane updates to Windows that fix bugs, improve security and add minor features. Driver Updates shows the drivers that have been updated. Definition Updates lists all the anti-virus and anti-malware updates for Windows’ built-in anti-malware tool. Other Updates lists miscellaneous other updates, such as to the Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool. Click the update to get information about your updates. That way, you might be able to track down an update that has been causing you problems. When you click to get details about a feature update, you’ll be sent to a page full of tips, videos and other content about the update. For quality, driver, and other updates, you’ll be sent to a web page with a detailed written description of the update. If you want to uninstall a feature updates (such as Windows 10, version 1803), you’ll have to do it within 10 days of the upgrade being installed. After that, there’s nothing you can do to uninstall it. If you want to uninstall it in that 10-day time period, go to Settings > Update & Security > Recovery. In the “Go back to the previous version of Windows 10” section, click the “Get started” button, then follow the prompts. Even if you want to uninstall the upgrade within the 10-day period, the “Go back to the previous version of Windows 10” selection might not appear. If that happens, you won’t be able to uninstall the update. The likely cause of the issue is that your Windows.old folder has been deleted. That folder holds the previous version of Windows, so if it’s not there, you can’t revert to the previous version. To uninstall other updates, back on the View Update History page, click Uninstall Updates. You'll see a list of your Windows updates — although you won’t see all of them. Not every update listed in the “View installed update history” will appear on the screen that lets you uninstall updates, and you can’t uninstall any that don’t appear there. And when you click some updates that do appear on the uninstall updates screen, the uninstall button vanishes. Double-click the update that you want to get rid of. A screen will appear asking if you want to uninstall it. Click Yes. In some instances, you may be able to make sure that Windows 10 won’t reinstall the update you’ve uninstalled, using a free Microsoft tool to essentially hide it from Windows Update. To do it, go to this Microsoft support page, scroll toward the bottom and click the “Download the ‘Show or hide updates’ troubleshooter package now” link. Install the download, click Next, and follow the instructions for hiding the update you don’t want reinstalled. 2. Kill Cortana Not everyone is a fan of Cortana, Microsoft's sometimes pushy digital assistant. Before the Windows 10 Anniversary Update was released in August 2016, that wasn't necessarily a problem, because it was easy to turn Cortana off. All you had to do was to open Cortana, select Settings, look for the setting "Cortana can give you suggestions, ideas, reminders, alerts and more," and move the slider to Off. But the Anniversary Update removed that option. You can still turn Cortana off, though. If you use any version of Windows 10 other than the Home version, you can use the Group Policy Editor to do it. Launch the Group Policy Editor by typing gpedit.msc into the search box. Then navigate to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Search > Allow Cortana. Set it to “disabled.” If you use Windows 10 Home, you’ll have to get down and dirty with the Windows Registry. As always, when you're dealing with the Registry, be careful when editing it — you can do major damage to your OS if you change the wrong setting. It's also a good idea to create a System Restore Point before editing the Registry so you can bring your system back to the state it was in before you did your editing. IDG / Preston Gralla If you're not shy about tweaking the Registry, you can still kill Cortana. (Click the image to enlarge it.) With those caveats, here's how to kill Cortana via the Registry: Type regedit into the Search box and press Enter to run the Registry Editor. Go to the key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Windows Search. If you don't have that key on your system, you'll have to create it. To do it, right-click the Windows folder and select New > Key. A key will automatically be created with a default name, such as New Key #1. Name it Windows Search by simply typing in the new key name. If for some reason the key name isn't highlighted with a cursor inside it, right-click it, select Rename, and type in the Key name you want. Right-click the Windows Search key and select New > DWORD (32-bit) Value. Name the value AllowCortana. Double-click AllowCortana and set its value to 0. Close the Registry Editor. Sign out and sign back in, or else restart your PC to make the change take effect. To turn Cortana back on, delete the AllowCortana value, or else set it to 1. Keep in mind that if you turned off Cortana to protect your privacy by preventing Cortana from collecting data about you, you've still got work to do. That's because the information Cortana has already gathered about you remains in the cloud. If you want to delete part or all of it, here's what to do: Head to the Cortana’s Notebook section of Microsoft's Privacy Dashboard. You’ll see a variety of personal content, ranging from finance to flights, news, sports, and much more. Click any type of content, then follow the instructions for deleting it. If you want to delete all the data Cortana has gathered about you, click “Clear Cortana data” on the right side of the screen. 3. Fix Start menu woes When it was first announced that Windows 10 would reinstate the Start menu, many users welcomed it. But after Windows 10 was released, some people began complaining about problems with the Start menu — it didn't run when they clicked the Start button, or it froze, or random entries appeared or disappeared. If you've got Start menu problems, fear not; there are several ways to try and fix them. Note: Before trying any of these techniques, first restart your computer. Sometimes a mere reboot will fix things. Check for updates There's a chance that a Windows update will solve the problem — Microsoft continually squashes bugs in its updates. To make sure you've got all the latest Windows updates, go to Settings > Updates & security > Windows Update and select “Check for updates.” If it finds any, install them. You may need to restart your PC for the update to go into effect. IDG / Preston Gralla Updating Windows 10 will sometimes fix Start menu woes. (Click the image to enlarge it.) Use PowerShell to fix corrupted files If the Start menu still has problems, the issue may be corrupted files. You can use a command-line tool called PowerShell that is built into Windows to find and fix them: Type powershell into the Windows search box, right-click Windows PowerShell in the search results, and select "Run as administrator." That will launch PowerShell. If for some reason the search box isn't working, press the Windows key + R on your keyboard, type PowerShell and press Enter. That runs PowerShell, but not the administrator account, which you need to be using. That takes a few more steps: Right-click the PowerShell icon on the taskbar and select “Pin to taskbar.” Then close PowerShell. Now right-click the PowerShell icon on the taskbar and select “Run as administrator.” Once you're running PowerShell as an administrator, type sfc /scannow and press Enter. PowerShell will scan your system for corrupt files. This can take some time. When PowerShell finishes scanning your system, it will tell you that it found and fixed corrupt files, found corrupt files but couldn't fix them, or found no corrupt files. If it found corrupt files but couldn't fix them, type the command dism /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth and press Enter. That should fix the problem. Create a new local administrator account or reset your PC If none of this works, Microsoft has some last-ditch advice: Create a local administrator account and, if the Start menu works in that account, move all your files and settings to it; or reset your PC with Windows 10 recovery options. 4. Recover lost storage space Windows 10 can be a hard-drive hog, especially if you've upgraded to it from a previous version of Windows, or after a major Windows 10 update. That's because when you upgrade or install a major update, Windows 10 keeps the earlier version of the operating system, just in case you want to revert to it. But that old operating system version is taking up several gigabytes of storage space. If you've got a PC with plenty of storage, no worries. But if you're stretched for storage, it can be a serious problem. For example, I have an HP Stream laptop with 32GB of storage, and when I tried to upgrade to the newest version of Windows 10 I couldn't do it — my old Windows version took up so much space, the new version of Windows couldn't install. If you're sure you're not going to want to revert to your old version of Windows, you can easily delete it. It's stored in a folder called Windows.old that you'll find in the /Windows folder. Rather than deleting it manually, though, use the Disk Cleanup tool: Run the tool by typing Disk Cleanup in the search bar and clicking the Disk Cleanup search result that appears. The tool will take a few minutes to look through your system. When Disk Cleanup has finished, scroll down the list of files you can clean up and check the box next to “Previous Windows installation(s).” This entry will only appear if you've got a previous Windows installation on your hard disk. Click OK. The old version of Windows will be deleted, and you'll get your hard disk space back. 5. Speed up Windows bootup From the moment that Windows 10 was released, people started complaining that their bootup times were more sluggish than with previous versions of Windows. If you're being annoyed by a lethargic Windows 10 startup, here are two ways to speed it up: Enable Fast Startup Windows 10 has a feature called Fast Startup, which combines a normal shutdown with the Windows hibernate feature. With Fast Startup, when you shut down your PC, it closes your applications and logs off all users, but loads the Windows kernel and drivers to a hibernation file on your hard disk. Then, when you restart your PC, Windows loads the kernel and drivers from the hibernation file, speeding up startup. Fast Startup may already be enabled on your PC. Here’s how to check whether it is and what to do about it if it’s not: Right-click the Start button and select Power Options from the menu that appears. Click “Additional power settings.” Click "Choose what the Power buttons do." Look in the “Shutdown settings” section of the screen that appears. If there’s a check next to “Turn on fast startup (recommended),” you don’t need to do anything else. If there’s not a check next to it, click “Change Settings that are currently unavailable.” Check the box next to “Turn on fast startup (recommended)” and click Save changes. That's all it takes. Note that on some machines fast startup isn't enabled. If that's the case with yours, you won't see the "Turn on fast startup (recommended)" entry. IDG / Preston Gralla It's easy to turn on Fast Startup in order to speed up your bootup time. (Click the image to enlarge it.) Use the Task Manager to speed up startup The Windows 10 Task Manager is a great tool for managing your PC's startup. With it, you can to disable programs that run on startup: Right-click the taskbar and select Task Manager. If the Task Manager runs as a small window and only shows the applications that are currently running on your system, click the "More details" link at the bottom of the screen. This opens up an expanded view, with multiple tabs across the top of the screen. Click the Startup tab. It lists all the applications that run on startup. Right-click each application you don't want to run on startup and select Disable. You'll still be able to run the program by launching it in the usual way — it just won't run on startup. IDG / Preston Gralla You can use the Task Manager to disable applications in the startup listing. (Click the image to enlarge it.) Some additional tips: To help decide which programs to disable, look at the "Startup impact" column. That shows whether the program has no impact on startup time, a low impact, a medium impact or a high impact. Many of the programs on the list may be unfamiliar, and you won't be sure whether to disable them or not. Right-click any you don't recognize and select "Search online." That will launch an online search of the filename. Go through the results; they'll usually tell you exactly what the program does, and help you decide whether to have it run on startup. You can also right-click any program on the list and select "Open file location." That will open Windows Explorer to the folder where the program's .exe file is found. That's another clue to a program's purpose, and whether to disable a program to run on startup. 6. Turn off annoying notifications The Windows 10 Action Center sends you notifications about your email, social media, software updates, system messages and much more. That can be useful or intensely annoying, depending on your personality and how many notifications you get. There’s an easy way, though, to turn off the notifications on an app-by-app basis, or to stop them all in one fell swoop: Go to Settings > System > Notifications & actions. You’ll see five types of notifications you can turn off: notifications that appear on the lock screen, reminders and incoming VoIP calls that appear on the lock screen, “Windows welcome experience” tips that appear after updates and occasionally when you sign in, tips and tricks that appear as you use Windows, and notifications from apps and other senders. Turn off any types of notifications by sliding the button next to them to Off. The two most persistent types are those from apps and other senders and the Windows tips and tricks, so consider turning them off. If you want to keep some notifications from apps and other senders but not others, don’t turn that slider to Off. Instead, go to the “Get Notifications from these senders” section below and move the slider to Off for any apps and services from which you don’t want to get notifications. IDG / Preston Gralla Here’s where to turn off notifications on an app-by-app basis. (Click the image to enlarge it.) This story was originally published in March 2017 and most recently updated in April 2019. Source: How to fix six Windows 10 headaches (Computerworld - Preston Gralla) [Requires free registration]
  25. How to convert MBR to GPT drive to switch BIOS to UEFI on Windows 10 UEFI makes your device more secure and faster than the legacy BIOS, and in this guide, we show you the steps to switch. On Windows 10, you can use the MBR2GPT command line tool to convert a drive using a Master Boot Record (MBR) to a GUID Partition Table (GPT) partition style, which allows you to properly switch from Basic Input/Output System (BIOS) to Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) without modifying the current installation or deleting the data stored on the drive. BIOS is an essential piece of code that resides on a special chip on the motherboard that enables the connection between hardware and software. This code has been around for a long time, and while it worked pretty well, it was never designed for modern hardware, and it had many limitations, including limitations to partitions smaller than 2TB. UEFI is the new firmware that replaces the old BIOS, and it introduces several additional features, including support for partitions larger than 2TB, and faster startup, sleep, resume, shutdowns times. Also, it unlocks many of the new security features available on Windows 10. For instance, "Secure Boot" can protect a device's startup process from malicious programs. "Device Guard" gives you more advanced controls for app access, and "Credential Guard" can help prevent pass-the-hash attacks. In this Windows 10 guide, we walk you through the steps and information you need to know to use the Microsoft MBR2GPT command line tool to convert a drive from MBR to GPT partition style, to switch from BIOS to UEFI mode on your device. How to convert a drive from MBR to GPT on Windows 10 How to change the firmware mode from BIOS to UEFI How to convert a drive from MBR to GPT on Windows 10 Unlike previous methods that required to you to back up your data and perform a reinstallation of Windows, the MBR2GPT command line streamlines the process to change partition styles in minutes. The conversion is done by adding the GPT components to the MBR partition without modifying the existing partition and keeping the data untouched. Usually, you want to start in UEFI mode from the moment you first install Windows 10. However, if you're upgrading a device running Windows 8.1 or Windows 7, or you already deployed Windows 10 using BIOS on computers that support UEFI, you can convert the drive to properly change the system firmware settings from BIOS to UEFI. Checking MBR or GPT partition style Before modifying your system configuration, we recommend checking your current settings to see if the system is set to MBR or GPT using these steps: Open Start. Search for Disk Management and click the top result to open the experience. Right-click the drive (where Windows 10 is installed) and select the Propertiesoption. Click on the Volumes tab. Under the "Partition style" field, if the field reads GUID Partition Table (GPT), the drive doesn't need conversion, but if you see the Master Boot Record (MBR)label, you can use the conversion tool to switch. Click the Cancel button. Once you complete these steps, you'll know if it's necessary to change the partition style on your device. Also, if you need to change the partition, make sure to check your device manufacturer's support website to find out if the hardware includes support for UEFI before using these instructions. Converting MBR to GPT partition style (recommended) To convert a drive using MBR to GPT on Windows 10, use these steps: Open Settings. Click on Update & Security. Click on Recovery. Under the "Advanced startup" section, click the Restart now button. Click the Troubleshoot option. Click on Advanced options. Click the Command Prompt option. Select your administrator account and sign in with your credentials (if applicable). Type the following command to validate that the drive meets the requirements and press Enter: mbr2gpt /validate Quick tip: The mbr2gpt.exe is located in the "System32" folder inside the "Windows" folder. If you want to see all the available options, you can use the mbr2gpt /? command. Type the following command to convert the drive from MBR to GPT and press Enter: mbr2gpt /convert Click the Close button in the top-right corner of the console. Click the Turn off your PC option. After you complete the steps, several actions will take place, including validation of the drive and creation of an EFI system partition (ESP). The UEFI boot files and GPT components will be added to the partition. Then the MBR2GPT tool will update the Boot Configuration Data (BCD), and the previous letter will be added to the drive. Converting MBR to GPT from Windows 10 desktop The MBR2GPT tool was designed to work offline in the recovery environment, but you can also use it when Windows 10 is fully loaded. However, we do not recommend using this method if you want to avoid possible problems. To convert a drive from MBR to GPT on Windows 10, use these steps: Open Start. Search for Command Prompt, right-click the top result, and select the Run as administrator option. Type the following command to validate the drive and press Enter: mbr2gpt /validate /allowFullOS Type the following command to convert the drive to GPT and press Enter: mbr2gpt /convert /allowFullOS Once you complete the steps, the tool will try to shrink the main partition and then it'll switch the drive from MBR to GPT. MBR2GPT return codes When running the command, you should see "0" as the return code if everything worked as expected, but if the process fails you may see one of the eleven error codes. Here's a list with the codes and their descriptions: Return Code Description 1 User canceled the conversion. 2 Internal error. 3 Initialization error. 4 Invalid command-line parameters. 5 Error on the geometry and layout of the selected disk. 6 One or more volumes on the disk is encrypted. 7 Geometry and layout of the disk don't meet requirements. 8 Error while creating the EFI system partition. 9 Error installing boot files. 10 Error while applying GPT layout. 100 Successful conversion, but some boot configuration data didn't restore. MBR2GPT important details The MBR2GPT command line tool works to convert a traditional hard drive (HDD) as well as a Solid-State Drive (SSD) and even a M.2 drive with any version of Windows 10, but you must run the tool from a computer running Windows 10 version 1793 or later (version 1809 is recommended). Using this tool, you can't convert drives running an old version, such as Windows 8.1 or Windows 7, but you can upgrade the installation to the latest version of Windows 10, and then you can use the tool to convert from MBR to GPT. However, in this case, it would be a better option to start with a clean installation of Windows 10. When dealing with a drive using file encryption with BitLocker, you must first suspend the encryption before proceeding with the instructions outlined above. Finally, while drives using the MBR style can have up to four primary partitions, the drive that you want to convert can't have more than three partitions, because one additional allocation is required to create the UEFI system partition. How to change the firmware mode from BIOS to UEFI Once you have converted the drive using a GPT partition style, your device will no longer boot correctly, until you access the motherboard's firmware to switch from BIOS to UEFI. Usually, this process requires hitting one of the function keys (F1, F2, F3, F10, or F12), the ESC, or Delete key as soon as you start the computer. The only caveat is that these settings will be different per manufacturer, and even by computer model. So make sure to check your device manufacturer's support website for more specific instructions. While in the firmware interface, find the "Boot" menu, make sure to enable the UEFI option, save the changes, and then your device should start correctly. Checking GPT partition style To verify that the computer is using a GPT partition style, use these steps: Open Start. Search for Disk Management and click the top result to open the experience. Right-click the drive (where Windows 10 is installed) and select the Propertiesoption. Click on the Volumes tab. Under the "Partition style" field, if the information should now read GUID Partition Table (GPT). After completing the steps, if the partition is running using the correct partition style, the last thing left to do is to check if the device is using the UEFI firmware mode. Checking UEFI firmware To verify that your computer is using the UEFI firmware mode, use these steps: Open Start. Search for msinfo32 and click the top result to open the System Information experience.Source In the System Summary tab, the "BIOS Mode" should now read UEFI. Once you complete the steps, if the System Information shows UEFI, then you have successfully switched the firmware modes.
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