Experience a black screen in Windows 10 v1703?

If you are experience a black screen after every reboot for anywhere from 5 minutes to 10 minutes after installing an application from the Windows Store and you are using a computer that came with Windows 10 v1703 [i.e. a computer made by Dell, HP, Acer, ASUS, etc.], there is an update to correct this here.

It seems that there are some registry keys in Windows 10 v1703 “…that conflict with the app readiness service”.

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You can still upgrade to Windows 10 for free

So we are roughly 28 months away from the end of support for Windows 7. If you didn’t upgrade to Windows 10, you still can.

As you probably remember [maybe unfortunately], Microsoft tried to shove Windows 10 down our throats initially with the “GWX” tool. Plenty of backlash there. But after the year was up, that tool disappeared and those with Windows 7 [or Windows 8.1] weren’t asked anymore.

Some refused Windows 10 for various reasons [I wonder how many actually used/tested it for decent amount of time or just took everyone’s negative opinions and that was it]. Some didn’t want to switch or had applications that wouldn’t work with Windows 10 [that I can understand].

So now, it has been a couple of years and time is ticking.

You can still “upgrade” [note the quotes] if you have a valid Windows 7 [or Windows 8.1] license.

To do this you will need to wipe your current Windows installation complete.

Verify you have access to your system’s serial number.

Download the Windows 10 installation ISO and transfer to a DVD or USB key and the media matches the version of your serial number. For example, if Windows 7 is a “Home Premium”, you need a copy of the “Home” media. If Windows 7 is “Pro” or “Ultimate” you will need the “Pro” media.

All license applications will need to be uninstalled [so you can use the same license in Windows 10].

You must back up all of your data.

Ideally if you had a second hard disk, you could install Windows 10 there and then transfer the data from the old hard disk to the new/spare hard disk [keeping the old hard disk as a backup for a while].

Once data is backed up and nothing else is needed on the old hard disk, boot off the USB key or DVD. When asked, do not keep anything. Wipe out the partitions [optionally wipe the OEM partition].

It will ask you if you want it to check for updates, that is questionable. See my notes below.

If asked for the version, match the Windows 7 version with the Windows 10 equivalent [see above]. When asked for a serial number, enter your Windows 7 license number.
Let the installation go through.

When done, clean up what you don’t need and modify whatever settings.

Restore your applications and data.

If not already done, check for updates.

Notes:

  • Unsure if this free upgrade option will continue on indefinitely.
  • Once you upgrade, the Windows 7 license is marked as invalid.
  • If you previously upgraded to Windows 10 and then downgraded to Windows 7, when asked to enter a license, don’t enter anything. Once you finish the installation, it should pull the Windows 10 license from a Microsoft server [assumed you didn’t make too many hardware changes]. But it is still good to jot down that serial number.
  • I always pause when it asks to check for updates before the installation. I find that it sometimes takes forever to find any updates. On the other hand, the latest update may correct any issues since Windows 10 release that could cause the installation to fail if the update isn’t installed.
  • I have done this once and it worked like a charm. Others on the internet have also done it. There is always that weird chance it won’t work. Don’t know what to tell you. Everything has a risk level. Every situation is different. I can’t be responsible for a failed upgrade.

 

First RTM of Windows 10 Fall Creator Update released

The RTM [“Release to Manufacturing”] of the first Fall Creator Update is out. Build 16288.

But make no mistake. There will be other builds coming after. This build is the first in a series of final builds. Each build will go through some more testing and eventually one of them with no [hopefully] issues will be picked as the actual final release.

The final release should be available before the end of the month as Microsoft has its Ignite conference at the end of the month and will showcase the release.

As previously mentioned, October 17th seems like the actual release date for the Fall Creator Update and most likely the Server 2016 equivalent.

In the mean time, work has been going on fir a bit of time for the following release due in March 2018.

Windows 10 Fall Creator will be out on…..

…. October 17th.

As usual, the most compatible Windows 10 systems will be the first to get it. Those with possible issues will get it [by default] later.

 

 

Large amount of free eBooks from Microsoft available now!

With one long and huge URL. Aren’t you glad you don’t have to type it!

https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/mssmallbiz/2017/07/11/largest-free-microsoft-ebook-giveaway-im-giving-away-millions-of-free-microsoft-ebooks-again-including-windows-10-office-365-office-2016-power-bi-azure-windows-8-1-office-2013-sharepo/

 

Adobe Flash is on its death bed…. circling the drain…

[You get it…]

Adobe will stop supporting Flash by the end of 2020.

Until mid/late 2018, Microsoft Edge will continue to ask users for permission to run Flash on most sites the first time the site is visited, and will remember the user’s preference on subsequent visits but Internet Explorer will continue to allow Flash with no special permissions required during this time.

By mid/late 2018, for Edge, it will require permission for Flash to be run each session. Internet Explorer will continue to allow Flash for all sites in 2018.

By mid/late 2019, Flash will be disabled by default in both Edge and Internet Explorer but can be re-enabled in both browsers. But when re-enabled, Edge will continue to require approval for Flash on a site-by-site basis.

By the end of 2020, Flash won’t be able to run in Edge and Internet Explorer across all supported versions of Microsoft Windows.

Mozilla said Flash will be disabled in 2019 and users will choose what sites can run Flash in 2018.

Note that Silverlight will die at the end of October 2021 [although few care!].

 

Miscellaneous computer tips – Volume 6

Disabling the opening screen in Windows 10

One of the announces that some have regarding Windows 10 is that you have to flick a screen in order to get to the actual login screen. The following will allow you to go directly to the login screen:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Personalization]
“NoLockScreen”=dword:00000001

As usual, when modifying the registry, be careful and back up the registry first. Use at your own risk.

Managing small SSD drives

Some computers these days are shipping with a combination of SSD and large capacity mechanical data drives. A great idea, but it does require a bit more management, particularly when it comes to where to install new applications. In most cases, you will want new applications installed on the larger data drive, not the smaller capacity solid-state boot drive which may be too small.

To change the default drive for applications in Windows 10, click the Start Button and navigate to PC Settings -> System -> Storage. From this screen you can change the default locations for apps, documents, music, pictures, and video.

An alternative to this is to place your data [Office documents, pictures, music, etc.] on a mechanical data drive. For the primary data folders [such as My Documents, My Music, My Pictures, etc.] you can change the default location by doing the following:

  1. Go to c:\users\<yourname>. This is your profile folder.
  2. Right click on one of the primary data folders mention and select Properties.
  3. Click on the Location tab.
  4. In the field, if [for example] changing the My Music folder replace c:\users\<yourname>\My Music with [for example] d:\music.
  5. Click on the Apply and agree to the verification window.

Depending on how much data you have in that folder, it could take seconds to quite a long time [particularly if copying to another drive].

Tip: If setting up a new computer, change the default folders first.

Tip: I like to embed My Pictures, My Videos, My Music, and My Favorites inside My Documents [example: D:\My Documents\My Pictures]. So you just need to [hopefully] back up just that folder.

Warning: Some folders inside your profile should not be move. Restrict to just the major data ones.

I am used a 240GB SSD in my main system along with two larger mechanical data drives. As long as you do not use the SSD for any data storage, you are fine. I’ve had this setup for 5+ years. Excluding swap and hibernation files [latter because of my UPS], I am at 45% free. My Documents and related are on a mechanical data drive.

Extending Sent To Menu

When you are working in File Explorer and you right-click a file and navigate to the Send To Menu item, you’ll see a small list of suggested places where you can send the file. If you Shift + right-click that file instead and then navigate to the Send To Menu item, you will be shown a much more extensive list of places where you can send that file.