Samsung blocks Microsoft’s Windows Updates in Windows 8.1

Recently Samsung decided to block Windows Update from running on some of its Windows 8.1 notebooks. Samsung claims:

“It is not true that we are blocking a Windows 8.1 operating system update on our computers. As part of our commitment to consumer satisfaction, we are providing our users with the option to choose if and when they want to update the Windows software on their products. We take product security very seriously and we encourage any Samsung customer with product questions or concerns to contact us directly.”

From what I gather, the update in question wasn’t optional. The link on the Samsung web site has since been removed. Samsung initially claimed that Windows Updates were causing problems with their laptops, thereby increasing work for their support staff.

According to Microsoft MVP Patrick Barker, a small program called Disable_Windowsupdate.exe was being pushed as part of Samsung’s SW Update tool. This prevented Windows Update from automatically running in the background on the laptops.

Laptop owners would either have to manually update or not. [I’m wondering if the owners evwen knew they were not getting any updates.] But blocking Windows updates also blocked non-OS related updates such as for Microsoft Office. I am guessing an update for Word would cause problems with a Sansung application or drivers.

Microsoft continues to confuse Windows 10 users

Microsoft surely didn’t think about the terms of upgrading to Windows 10 and the Windows Insider Program.

First at one point it came out [or interpreted] that anyone with Windows 7 or later can upgrade to Windows 10 – whether or not the copy is legitimate or not. Microsoft had to clarify that only legitimate [or “genuine”] copies can upgrade for free.

Then it came out that anyone in the Windows Insider Program would get a free copy of Windows 10. They then backtracked this week with further clarification.

Now Microsoft is basically backtracked [or clarified] again by saying you can continue to use Windows 10 after it is released but would be required to continue to get post July 29th builds. Builds after July 29th will continue to be released with new features. This could mean installing Windows 10 from scratch occasionally.

One wonders what kind of exodus will be in the program once Windows 10 is released on July 29th or maybe now especially since there technically won’t be any reward.

Personally I was surprised that Microsoft would offer Windows 10 free of charge to those in WIP.

You can read [and still scratch your head] about the latest news here.

Possibly another well known company splitting or spinning off

So along time ago [bur not in a galaxy far, far away] we had the beginnings of Hewlett-Packard. They were in the computer business primarily at one point. A while back [in our galaxy], HP announced that they will split off the PC business from the rest.

Also a bit far back, Symantec started up as a security and management software company. Then they bought backup software company Veritas [which had its beginnings as part of Seagate]. Symantec announced recently that the backup and related areas would split off to form [drum roll] Veritas.

The latest with some denying is AMD. In 2012, about 90 percent of AMD’s revenue came from PCs. Last year, that number was down to about 60 percent.

At the same time, AMD is competing with other chip makers that use ARM’s low-power systems-on-a-chip (SoC) architecture for small, highly-efficient systems that run in Web-scale and cloud environments. But there is heavy competition and the mark-up isn’t that high.

Meanwhile AMD has cut 7% of the workforce in 2014 and it continues to try to expand its reach into new growth areas and to lessen its reliance on the stagnant global PC market.

According to a report, AMD had gone so far as to bring in a consulting firm to help with reviewing its options and help develop plans for how a spin-off or break up could happen.

But how would they split? Some are suggesting splitting off the GPU portion of the business that originated from the purchase of ATI.

Hmmm. What goes around comes around.

A few more things to know about Windows 10

Microsoft continues to throw at us various snippets regarding features, updating and issues in Windows 10. Here are a few more:

  • If you hard disk crashes, Windows 10 is registered to the device, not your hard disk. Just install a new hard disk and reinstall Windows 10 and it will reactivate. If there is a motherboard issue, then you have a problem.
  • After Windows Updates are applies, you can schedule when updates are installed. It does have that 10 minutes, 1 hour and 4 hour option. There will also be no force restart of your computer.
  • Dual booting is allowed but you can’t add Windows 10 in addition to the current operating system. However, if you have both Windows 7 and Windows 8.1, you can upgrade one of them. As usual, you can’t upgrade from x86 to x64 architecture.
  • Windows 7’s XP Mode will not be available in Windows 10. To work around the issue, try the following [it assumes a new copy of Windows XP and not an existing one:
  1. Download the installation from Microsoft. You’ll need to run the validation tool to prove your copy of Windows is valid.
  2. Use an archive tool to open the EXE file as an archive and find the “sources/xpm” file within it, and extract that folder to your hard drive. Then you will find a file called VirtualXPVHD. Rename it with a VHD extension.
  3. You can then open it in [say] VirtualBox.

What has been improved in Windows 10?

[Improved may not be the perfect word. Some may not like some changes!]

Here’s a list of improvements in Windows 10 over Windows 8.1:

  • Customizable Start experience and yes – the Start menu is back!
  • Windows Hello and Passport for personalized authentication without the use of passwords.
  • A next generation web browser called Edge that support advances in Windows 10 such as Cortana for finding information on the web, Annotation, PDF support, superior reading experience.
  • Integration with Microsoft’s digital assistant – Cortana – can be used for finding and retrieving information on the Internet and your PC, such as files. You can also use it to control applications such as the Music Player and prepare an email message or track a package.
  • Modern apps [first released in Windows 8] can now be windowed and behave just like desktop apps.
  • Music and playlist integration in OneDrive.
  • Support for media formats such as FLAC and MKV.
  • Notification Center for centralized management of notifications and quick access to PC settings.
  • Universal applications that work not only on your Windows 10 PC, but also your mobile phone running Windows 10 and also XBOX One.
  • XBOX App for Streaming of live games to a PC or Tablet.
  • Touch optimized Office applications (Word, Excel, Outlook, OneNote and PowerPoint). Providing the power of Office on devices with touch support. Users can edit, prepare documents, spreadsheets and presentations with full document fidelity regardless of device.
  • Continuum Mode – if you own a 2 in 1 form factor that works both as a laptop and tablet, you can easily let Windows 10 decide the best environment for you. Once detached into Tablet mode for instance, you can work in a more touch optimized user interface. Users will also be able to remotely use Windows 10 Mobile apps on their Windows PCs.
  • Task View for managing applications using multiple desktops.
  • Unified messaging using Skype Integration.
  • Device Guard for protecting devices against malicious applications.

Windows 10 commands

Ok. With Windows 10 coming out in roughly 6 weeks, here are a list of command that you can do a search for – or just ask Cortana ands she will do the rest:

Settings Page Command
Account info ms-settings:privacy-accountinfo
Airplane mode ms-settings:network-airplanemode
Backgrounds ms-settings:personalization-background
Battery Saver ms-settings:batterysaver
Battery Saver Settings ms-settings:batterysaver-settings
Battery use ms-settings:batterysaver-usagedetails
Bluetooth ms-settings:bluetooth
Calendar ms-settings:privacy-calendar
Camera ms-settings:privacy-webcam
Cellular ms-settings:network-cellular
Closed Captioning ms-settings:easeofaccess-closedcaptioning
Colors ms-settings:colors
Colors ms-settings:personalization-colors
Connected devices ms-settings:connecteddevices
Contacts ms-settings:privacy-contacts
Data Usage ms-settings:datausage
Date and Time ms-settings:dateandtime
Dial-up ms-settings:network-dialup
DirectAccess ms-settings:network-directaccess
Display ms-settings:display
Display ms-settings:screenrotation
Ethernet ms-settings:network-ethernet
Family & other users ms-settings:otherusers
Feedback ms-settings:privacy-feedback
For developers ms-settings:developers
High Contrast ms-settings:easeofaccess-highcontrast
Keyboard ms-settings:easeofaccess-keyboard
Location ms-settings:privacy-location
Lockscreen ms-settings:lockscreen
Magnifier ms-settings:easeofaccess-magnifier
Manage Wi-Fi Settings ms-settings:network-wifisettings
Messaging ms-settings:privacy-messaging
Microphone ms-settings:privacy-microphone
Mobile hotspot ms-settings:network-mobilehotspot
Motion ms-settings:privacy-motion
Mouse ms-settings:easeofaccess-mouse
Mouse & touchpad ms-settings:mousetouchpad
Narrator ms-settings:easeofaccess-narrator
Notifications & actions ms-settings:notifications
Offline maps ms-settings:maps
Optional features ms-settings:optionalfeatures
Other Devices ms-settings:privacy-customdevices
Other Options (Ease of Access) ms-settings:easeofaccess-otheroptions
Personalization ms-settings:personalization
Power & sleep ms-settings:powersleep
Privacy ms-settings:privacy
Proximity ms-settings:proximity
Proxy ms-settings:network-proxy
Radios ms-settings:privacy-radios
Region & language ms-settings:regionlanguage
options ms-settings:signinoptions
Speech ms-settings:speech
Speech, inking, & typing ms-settings:privacy-speechtyping
Start ms-settings:personalization-start
Storage Sense ms-settings:storagesense
Tablet mode ms-settings://tabletmode/
Themes ms-settings:themes
Typing ms-settings:typing
VPN ms-settings:network-vpn
Wi-Fi ms-settings:network-wifi
Windows Update ms-settings:windowsupdate
Work access ms-settings:workplace


More notes about Windows 10

Microsoft will continue to release news bout Windows 10. Here are some more news accumulated regarding Windows 10.  There are a number of changes coming to Windows 10, among them:

  • Windows 10 Home edition users may not get the choice of what gets installed or not. Updates will be installed during maintenance window if the computer is on then or shortly after the next boot up. Windows 10 Pro edition users [not on a domain] can pick and choose updates.
  • Windows Media Center is gone. A DVD player app will be available later.
  • Desktop Gadgets are gone. Microsoft actually warned about this a while back because of a security issue. They decided not to fix the problem and advised users [if you knew about it!] that it wouldn’t be fixed. In addition, it would disappear in Windows 8 anyways.
  • Windows 10 will not directly support USB floppy drives. You will need drivers from the manufacturer or Windows Update. Could be an issue on the server side if need special disk or controller drivers.
  • Live Essentials is gone. Applications inside are included in Windows 10 or a free app to download.

“Gone” as in uninstalled/removed during upgrading.

If your system qualifies for the Windows 10 free upgrade and hasn’t seen the Windows upgrade icon in the system tray, it is because:

  • Enterprise edition is used.
  • On a domain.
  • Using a non-activated copy of Windows [or is illegal].
  • Not using Windows 7 with SP1 or Windows 8.1 with the April 2014 update [note: Windows 7 without SP1, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 without the April 2014 update can upgrade with ISO/DVD].
  • There may be issues with the system even though none of the above may apply – usually because a major hardware component isn’t compatible at this time. After July 29th, the icon should appear but will give warnings prior to upgrading.

Customers with Windows 10 Enterprise edition won’t get Edge on any machines that are on the Long Term Servicing Branch (LTSB), according to Microsoft. The LTSB is an option available only to Windows 10 Enterprise customers. Machines on the LTSB will receive only security and hot fixes, and no new features, for ten years. LTSB is an option for customers running mission-critical or otherwise locked-down applications who cannot risk having new features and feature updates pushed to them.

If you are holding back on reserving your copy of Windows 10 or maybe you have reserved your copy but you are tired of seeing the upgrade icon in the system, you can uninstall KB3035583 but that will just show up the next time there are updates [you can hide it though]. The alternative is to keep it installed but disable it from running by doing the following:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00


To bring back the icon, change the 1 to a 0.


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