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.

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Windows 10 v1709 goes RTM

Overnight, Microsoft has signed off with the RTM [“Release to Manufacturing”] of Windows 10 v1709 [a.k.a. Redstone 3, Fall Creator Update].

The build is 16299.15.

The build will official start to be available to current and new users in 2 weeks [October 17th].

Like the previous releases, new systems and current Windows 10 systems that are highly compatible [i.e. almost surely to have a successful upgrade] will get first crack. Over the next while, older systems will be notified.

Of course, once available, you can always upgrade on your own.

For any reason you are at a version older than v1703, I would suggest skipping v1703 and installing v1709. If you never got notified, you may want to check the upgrade advisor when released. You may have hardware that may block you from getting further Windows 10 feature releases.

[Update 2017/10/05:] While it has gone RTMed, Microsoft is testing to verify Windows Update updates. So by October 17th, it should still be build 16299 but the sub-build [if I can call it that] will definitely increase as [for example] there will be an update for “Patch Tuesday” on the October 10th.

What’s removed from Windows 10 v1709

Microsoft [like other companies] like to play around and remove tools and features that they don’t think is used as much while add others.

When Windows 10 v1709 [a.k.a. “Redstone 3”, “Fall Creator Update”] is released very, very, very soon, it will also lose some tools or will  still be included but unlikely to be around by the next release scheduled in March 2018 [v1803].

Among the changes are:

  • 3D Builder app will no  longer be installed by default. Consider using Print 3D in its place. However, 3D Builder is still available for download from the Windows Store [a.k.a. Microsoft Store].
  • Microsoft Paint has been removed but will be available through the Windows Store [a.k.a. Microsoft Store]. Functionality has been integrated into Paint 3D. There was enough of a protest that Microsoft made it available.
  • Would you believe Outlook Express legacy code was removed.
  • PowerShell 2 will be deprecated. Version 5 is already in v1709. If still using 2, 5 has a lot more features and improvements. It should be gone by v1803.
  • There are numerous other changes, mostly “under the hood” – the typical user may not notice or care.

 

 

Some more information on what to expect with Windows 10

[The information below based on Insider Preview build 15042.]

As Microsoft works out the kinks in Windows 10 Creator Update [a.k.a. Redstone 2, a.k.a. v1704] in time for an expected April release [I am guessing somewhere around April 25th], Microsoft continues to test the Unified Update Platform [UUP].

UUP is similar to the windows update technology that is used for the current cumulative updates [where while the size of the update is (say) 1GB, it only download what it needs]. The same will apply for installing the Creator update from an earlier update. Instead of downloading 2.5GB to 3.5GB of binaries [many which haven’t changed since your current release], it will only download the installer portion plus what has changed. Microsoft estimates that it should be about one third of a full installation. So if you are updating a 64-bit Windows 10, it will need to grab maybe 1.2GB instead of 3.5GB.

Those who upgrade to the Creator Update get the technology immediately. Obviously if you buy a new computer with the Creator Update, it will be included for the next update [Redstone 3 or v1711].

Of course you can still download the ISO file to upgrade if you wish.

Microsoft has also made the Windows 10 installing experience a bit less business orientated and more casual. In addition to a voice guiding you through [which you can mute if you get annoyed], the way things are described on the screen are more like everyday usage.

Such as if you want to create a local account instead of a Microsoft account [which seems easier to find now], it asks you to “create a super memorable password” in big letters and a warning that there is no way to retrieve the password if lost [hah!].

Or during updates during the installation it will say “Don’t turn off your device, please! It will mess things up.”

Patch updating as changed. For “home” users, you can install and reboot right away, schedule a time within the next 3 days or snooze the alert for 3 days [you can’t snooze again]. Pro users as well as those on a domain will have other options. The “quiet” time for no updating has also increased from 12 hours to 18 hours.

Ed

PS – At this time, if you are running Windows 10 in VMware Workstation 11, it may crash after installing VMware Tools. So don’t. Windows 10 actually picks up sufficient drivers. The same for older version. No idea about VMware Workstation 12 or later.