Miscellaneous computer tips – Volume 12

The new Windows Update

With Windows 10 comes a different Windows Update. The one thing you may notice is that if the Windows Update settings already lists updates to download and install, you can’t rescan for any newer updates. The old wuauclt /scannow doesn’t work.

Or can you…

There is a new Windows Update tool called usoclient.exe [which can be found in c:\windows\sydstem32]. It has the following options:

  • refreshsettings: Refresh the settings if any changes were made
  • restartdevice: Restart the device to finish installation of updates
  • resumeupdate: Resume the update installation after a reboot
  • startdownload: Start to download the patches
  • startinstall: Start to install the downloaded patches
  • scanInstallwait: Combines scan, download, and install
  • startinteractivescan: Will open dialogues and/or ask for user input as well as to show progress or report any errors
  • startscan: Start a scan

Example:

usoclient startscan

Notes:

  • By itself, you get nothing. There are no command line parameters that you can see [i.e. no /help or /?].
  • There is no hyphen or forward slash for the options.

What is Storage Sense?

In the background, Microsoft has been developing and updating Storage Sense. Storage Sense now has the capabilities of Disk Cleanup plus other features.

Storage Sense is intended to be a silent assistant that just takes care of your storage space on a Windows 10 device. When you configure all of the settings it just works in the background to keep your storage healthy and well maintained.

In Microsoft whacky and infinite wisdom, this feature is turned off. You can go to PC Settings > System > Storage and then select any of your systems storage devices to manually see what the situation is with disk space and perform maintenance right there yourself.

Corrupt system components?

If you are getting a sense that there may be some corruption among your system components, run the following command from the command prompt. Give it a few minutes to run.

DISM /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth

This should help clean corruption among your system components.

A reminder that, as usual, research to see if these tips may help you. And as usual, use at your own risk.

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Miscellaneous computer tips – Volume 5

Tip #1:

If you have a Hotmail.com/.ca, outlook.com/.ca or live.com/.ca account and use the web site [not just an application] this may be of interest for you. Microsoft added a feature called “Focus” I guess it highlights new Emails. If you don’t want it, follow these steps to disable it:

  1. Towards the upper right corner within the web page, click on the wheel and then “Options” down at the bottom.
  2. Scroll down on the left [near the bottom] and choose “Focused inbox”.
  3. On the right, if you don’t want the feature, select “Don’t sort messages”.
  4. Click on the “Save” button above.
  5. To go back to your mail, click on the left arrow next to “Options” near the top left of the web page.

You can return to the focused inbox by reversing things any time you want.

Tip #2:

For those on the run around the world or maybe you have clients in multiple time zones, you can add 2 additional clocks in Windows that can be visible when you click on the date and time in the right corner. But say 3 isn’t enough. You can add as many as you want by modifying the registry. Note that this is a per user setting.

  1.  Open the registry editor, REGEDIT.
  2.  Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\.
  3.  Add the following keys in sequence: TimeDate, AdditionalClocks, 1. So it should look like HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\TimeDate\AdditionalClocks\1
  4. Under the 1 key, create a new 32-bit DWORD value called Enable and set its value data to 1.
  5. The create a new string value named DisplayName and set it to any desired name which will be used when viewing the time. You can call it a specific place or something like “Home”, “Bob”, etc.
  6. The create a new string value named TzRegKeyName. This will be one of the manu actual time zones around the world. Choose one from: Afghanistan Standard Time, Alaskan Standard Time, Arab Standard Time, Arabian Standard Time, Arabic Standard Time, Argentina Standard Time, Atlantic Standard Time, AUS Central Standard Time, AUS Eastern Standard Time, Azerbaijan Standard Time, Azores Standard Time, Bahia Standard Time, Bangladesh Standard Time, Belarus Standard Time, Canada Central Standard Time, Cape Verde Standard Time, Caucasus Standard Time, Central America Standard Time, Cen. Australia Standard Time, Central Asia Standard Time, Central Brazilian Standard Time, Central Europe Standard Time, Central European Standard Time, Central Pacific Standard Time, Central Standard Time, Central Standard Time (Mexico), China Standard Time, Dateline Standard Time, E. Africa Standard Time, E. Australia Standard Time, E. Europe Standard Time, E. South America Standard Time, Eastern Standard Time, Eastern Standard Time (Mexico), Easter Island Standard Time, Egypt Standard Time, Ekaterinburg Standard Time, Fiji Standard Time, FLE Standard Time, Georgian Standard Time, GMT Standard Time, Greenland Standard Time, Greenwich Standard Time, GTB Standard Time, Hawaiian Standard Time, India Standard Time, Iran Standard Time, Israel Standard Time, Jordan Standard Time, Kaliningrad Standard Time, Korea Standard Time, Libya Standard Time, Line Islands Standard Time, Magadan Standard Time, Mauritius Standard Time, Middle East Standard Time, Montevideo Standard Time, Morocco Standard Time, Mountain Standard Time, Mountain Standard Time (Mexico), Myanmar Standard Time, Namibia Standard Time, Nepal Standard Time, New Zealand Standard Time, Newfoundland Standard Time, North Asia East Standard Time, North Asia Standard Time, N. Central Asia Standard Time, Pacific SA Standard Time, Pacific Standard Time, Pacific Standard Time (Mexico), Pakistan Standard Time, Paraguay Standard Time, Romance Standard Time, Russia Time Zone 3, Russia Time Zone 10, Russia Time Zone 11, Russian Standard Time, Samoa Standard Time, South Africa Standard Time, SA Eastern Standard Time, SA Pacific Standard Time, SA Western Standard Time, SE Asia Standard Time, Singapore Standard Time, Sri Lanka Standard Time, Syria Standard Time, Taipei Standard Time, Tasmania Standard Time, Tokyo Standard Time, Tonga Standard Time, Turkey Standard Time, US Eastern Standard Time, US Mountain Standard Time, UTC, UTC-02, UTC-11, UTC+12, Venezuela Standard Time, Vladivostok Standard Time, West Asia Standard Time, W. Australia Standard Time, W. Central Africa Standard Time, W. Europe Standard Time, West Pacific Standard Time, Yakutsk Standard Time

So it could look like something below if you created a registry file:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\TimeDate\AdditionalClocks\1]

“Enable”=dword:00000001

“DisplayName”=”Home”

“TzRegKeyName”=”Hawaiian Standard Time”

Tip #3:

Ever wanted to change the boot-up, login and locked screen in Windows 7? [This feature is in the Settings section in Windows 8.1 and 10.]

Find or create an image. Requirements:

  • must be less than 256 KB in size
  • convert to JPG
  • match resolution of the screen if possible
  • the name should be backgroundDefault.jpg [note the capitol “D” – strange].

Open the registry and go to:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Authentication\LogonUI\Background
  • Create or change value named OEMBackground to 1 [it’s a REG_DWORD].
  • Go to C:\Windows\System32\oobe\info\backgrounds
  • If not there, create the missing folder(s).
  • Copy backgroundDefault.jpg into the backgrounds folder.
  • The change takes effect immediately. There is no need to restart your computer.

Note:

As usual, when modifying the registry, take precautions such as backing the registry up first. Use at your own risk.

Computer tip: Disappearing network connection adapters

Once in a blue moon you may get a weird issue such as this one.

You have an exclamation flag over your network connection – yet you do have Internet connectivity.

Upon investigating, you see that you have no network adapters listed.

Seems the cache of network adapters get corrupt. Somehow.

To fix the problem, open the registry editor. Navigate to:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Network

In right-side pane, look for the binary key Config. Select it and delete it. Do not delete any other key.

When you open Network Connections folder or restart your system, Windows will automatically re-creates the Config key. The configuration cache was cleared by deleting the key.

You should now see your network adapters in Network Connections.