Miscellaneous computer tips – Volume 7

Privacy Settings

If you are upgrading to Windows 10 Fall Creator Update a.k.a. v1709, Redstone 3], you will need to reapply any privacy settings that you may have previously applied.

My favorite tool is SpyBot’s Anti-Beacon which you can grab here.

There are also other tools that can do the job. But note that you may want to make sure you have the latest version as Microsoft may have modified some areas of Windows between versions [for example, different registry key, different service name, etc.].

Windows Media Player Missing

One of the changes in the Windows 10 Fall Creator Update [a.k.a. v1709, Redstone 3] is that Windows Media Player is not part of the default installation or if Windows 10 is bought with a new computer [note that it is still there for upgrades]. Most people are OK with that as they use replacement software that’s probably a bit more modern.

But if you want to have it, it is easily available. But strangely, unlike some applications that were pulled and sent to the Windows Store [such as the original Paint], this one is still around as part of the installation media.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Go to Apps > Apps & features.
  3. On the right, click on Manage optional features.
  4. Click on Add a feature button at the top of the next page.
  5. Find the optional feature named Windows Media Player in the list under Add a feature. Click on it.
  6. The install button will appear. Click on the Install button, wait a minute or two and you are done.

Now if you have it installed but never use it, you can also remove it by the similar method above.

Alternatively, if you are a bit of a Windows expert, you can install or uninstall using PowerShell.

Open an elevated PowerShell.

To install, use:

Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -FeatureName “WindowsMediaPlayer” -All -Online

To uninstall, use:

Disable-WindowsOptionalFeature -FeatureName “WindowsMediaPlayer” -Online

Downloaded ISO, Install from USB

If you download a Microsoft ISO of Windows 10 [or for that matter even Windows 7 or Windows 8.1], how do you transfer the installation disc to a USB key?

Well, Microsoft has had a tool since 2009 to do so. Called Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool, it was originally it was at the Microsoft Store. Then they transferred it to the CodePlex site [owned by Microsoft and primarily for developers]. In November 2017, the page will be going read-only – unsure if there will be further updates or where it will be.

In the meantime, you can download it here.

You require a USB key of 8GB or greater [4GB may not fit the 64-bit OSs].

Note: The tool will wipe out the contents of the USB key first.

Tip: If you know where to download the latest Cumulative Update for the OS you are installing, create a folder on the USB key called Updates. Dump the Cumulative Update into it. Boot off the USB key with the OS. Don’t attached a network cable or connect to a wireless network. It should install the Cumulative Update from the USB key. One less thing to do later.