Tag Archives: Windows 10

The Crash!

It was one of those moments that every computer nerd dreads – the computer locked up, and the only possible thing to do was to switch it off and restart.

The moment of truth was actually when it was restarted, for it went straight into diagnostic mode – and there was no alternative available. I had no experience of how Windows 10 would handle such problems, and fully expected to have to visit my technician friend for a complete new software installation. However, I decided to give it a chance first, and see what I could do on my own.

It took a while to sort itself out from there, but eventually decided that the C: drive had a problem, and needed to be repaired. It automatically switched into repair mode, and took about an hour to finish the job. At the end of this, a restart was required, but it was immediately apparent that we were not back to normal yet.

The next part of the cure was to restore the system to an earlier point. There were 2 repair points available, and I chose the most recent one. This would involve the least amount of work getting the computer back to normal, as fewer programs would have been disconnected.

Unfortunately, after the process terminated, I was given the message “Unable to complete System Restore. Choose another restore point?”

After another restart, I went back to System Restore, and this time checked the box for “Show more restore points”. The files that were used at the last installation then became available, and I opted to use them. Again, after the process completed I was given the same message:- “Unable to complete”.

In resignation, I shut down and restarted, and – lo and behold – it had worked after all! I was back to “bare bones” as far as software installation was required, but at least the computer was functioning normally.

Windows 10 handles things differently as far as System Restore and Safe Mode are concerned. Useful information can be gained from the following web pages:-
“How to Enable System Restore (and Repair System Problems) on Windows 10”
https://www.howtogeek.com/237230/how-to-enable-system-restore-and-repair-system-problems-on-windows-10/
and
“Start your PC in safe mode in Windows 10”
https://support.microsoft.com/en-ph/help/12376/windows-10-start-your-pc-in-safe-mode

Among other things, my Bitnami installation was not working, as the MySQL function had failed, and I had lost my WordPress installation completely. However, with Bitnami newly installed again, we are now up and running.

It has been a busy couple of days, but I can now relax – until the next crisis!

Aren’t computers fun !!!??!!!

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Dead, but it won’t lay down!

Microsoft 10 rears its ugly head periodically and still causes problems. Although I thought I had successfully killed the updates, I sometimes find that unexpectedly large volumes of data are being downloaded, and there is no indication of where this data is going at all.

All I see is that my prepaid load is disappearing much faster than I think it should, and unless I have picked up some unwanted virus, there is one most likely suspect – Windows Update has been switched on again.

It is easy enough to find out!

Go first to the Control Panel, and select Administrative Tools.
Control

From the available tools, select Services.
Admin

And in Services, scroll down until you can see Windows Update.
Services

If you don’t want updates, this service must be set to “Disabled”. If it is set to anything else, right-click on Windows Update, and select “Properties”. This will take you to a further panel where you can set the service to the state you wish.
Properties

Even though you set this service to “Disabled”, you may switch on your computer in a weeks time and find that something has set it back to “Manual”, and that it is running again after all.

Note 1. Microsoft does not like this service to be switched off, and may ignore your attempts to change its status. If you insist, however, it will eventually give in.

Note 2. Microsoft doesn’t want everything to be easily available if it means that their program is not going to be used as they intended. For example, the program I use to provide Screen Captures is Paint Shop Pro. Capturing the pictures above produced some strange results. The first two were completely normal, and no problem. The second two, however, could not be captured as a Window, or as an area – I had to use Full Screen, and then cut the pictures to size.

Just another example of Microsoft being difficult!

Your computer should now be behaving itself, and no longer have this voracious thirst for data as before.

Be aware, however, that this could change back at any time, as there are hidden mechanisms within Windows 10 to restore the status quo. You could just wait for the next incident to happen, or you could take a pro-active approach, in that you may a check on the state of the Windows Update service every couple of days.

Taming the beast that is Windows 10

My experience with Windows 10 has been very negative, in common with many other sufferers from what I can gather. Updates were downloading but crashing out before completion. The best I could manage was 68%, then I had to throw it all away.

I did manage to update the Internet Download Manager, but was rewarded with failure for my trouble. It complained about an incorrect password, and refused to run.

I deleted it completely and installed Eagleget, a completely free alternative!

I did install “Win Update Stop”, but this was not effective, and kept being reset to the off state.

Then I went for the jackpot – a big update that would require about 6 gigabytes of bandwidth – some going for a wifi hotspot, but it managed somehow. The problem was that the result was again failure. About an hour later, I was informed that I should contact Microsoft, and reference failure number “xxxx”.
This was just too much. Windows 10 was costing me too much time and money. It had to stop!

Step 1. Remove Windows Update Assistant – permanently!

You can uninstall this program as normal, but Windows will only reinstall it, so you have wasted your time. The trick is to stop Windows from reinstalling it!
a) Open the file manager, (ThisPC on the Desktop)
b) Browse to the Windows folder on your hard drive
c) Inside that find the “UpdateAssistant” folder, and click on it once.
d) Click on the “UpdateAssistant” folder a second time. The name of the folder can now be edited.
e) Insert an underscore before the folder name and press “Enter”.
f) A pop-up menu will appear saying that you need permission to make this change. Click on “Continue” and it will be accepted.
g) Your new folder name is now “_UpdateAssistant”, and all the programs in this folder can no longer be accessed by Windows – it can’t find them!

Step 2. Although Update Assistant has now been dealt with, Windows has other mechanisms by which it can perform its nefarious work. If you go to Internet Options on the Control Panel, you will see that the default webpage to go to is http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkId=255141

It is not possible to permanently change from here, as the “Use Current” tab has been greyed out. We will have to dig into the Registry to make the changes, so you are well advised to create a Restore Point at this juncture.

a) Open the Registry Editor and search for “go.microsoft”
b) There are many such entries, and for each one we need to right-click on the highlighted entry. This brings up a menu with the terms “Modify”, “Modify Binary Data”, “Delete”, and “Rename”.
c) Select “Modify”, and the Value Data containing the link to Microsoft will be highlighted. Press “Delete”, and then “OK”.
d) Continue searching through the Registry until all links back to Microsoft have been removed.
(Use F3 to repeat the same search).
e) Some items refuse to allow alterations:-
MSDE, Support, Microsoft, PrivacyLink.
Live, Roaming
Ignore them, and hope for the best.

Now, when I switch on my Opera browser, I just close any spurious tabs that come up before switching on the wifi. I have retaken control of my own machine!