Warning about a silent Windows 10 driver update

Over the last few days there has been a few cases where Windows 10 [I am guessing v1703 at the very least] has silently installed an update.

That update actually butchered [in these 3 cases that I know of] the video card drivers. Instead of 1920*1080, the highest display dropped to 1280*1024 as the video card wasn’t supported in Windows 10 but somehow, it did install some decent drivers originally.

If you have this problem, use the System Restore to go back to a date prior to the installation. Then apply the 6 steps at the bottom.

If System Restore doesn’t work, the follow these steps, rebooting at the end if needed:

  1. Go to Device Manager in the Control Panel.
  2. Select Display Adapter and then choose the display adapter shown.
  3. Right click and select Update drivers.
  4. Then Browse my computer for driver software and then Let me pick from a list of device drivers.
  5. Choose the drivers probably with a date from 2015 [may be just one].

If your computer is using old hardware, you may want to disable the option to let Windows automatically update hardware drivers.

To turn off Windows checking for hardware drivers via Windows Update:

  1. Go to Control Panel.
  2. Click System.
  3. Click Advanced system settings from the left sidebar.
  4. Select the Hardware tab.
  5. Press the Device Installation Settings button.
  6. Choose No, and then press the Save Changes button.

A negative issue turning this option off is that you will have to update drivers on your own and if you add any hardware, there may be some issues adding the hardware.

 

 

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How to reset Microsoft Edge in Windows 10

This blog page will show you how to reset Microsoft Edge to its defaults. Unlike Internet Explorer, Edge does not use Internet options in the Control Panel.

If you can access Edge while open:

  1. Press on the three dots near the upper right corner of Edge [I wish they would use the “hamburger” symbol, but I digress].
  2. Under “Clear browsing data”, select “Choose what to clear” and then select “Show more.” You are better off clearing everything if the issue is major. Click on them all and click “Clear.”
  3. Restart your computer and re-open Edge and everything should be as if you opened it for the first time.

If you can’t access Edge [i.e. got hit with malware and you believe it is just affecting Edge and nothing else], opening it won’t help:

You need to use an administrative tool called PowerShell.

Note: It is recommended that you create a System Restore point before continuing.

First, go to the following location and delete everything inside [replace myloginname with your actual login name]

C:\Users\myloginname\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe

Note: Don’t delete Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe, just the contents inside.

Right-click on the Start menu and choose “Windows PowerShell (Admin)”. If you can’t find it, it should be in the menu `as well.

Copy and paste the following at the prompt [on one line]:

Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register "$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml" -Verbose}

You should see three lines in yellow with the third line saying something like “VERBOSE: Operation completed”.

 

Wiping an iGadget’s contents for disposing

When it’s time to get rid of your iGadget [what I call any of the gadgets from Apple – iPhone, iPad, etc. that use iOS], you must wipe the data off your iGadget before you dispose of it [which will end up in some Chinese landfill but hopefully actually recycled instead] or giving it to someone to use.

The following instructs will wipe your data. Note that as iOS changes, these instructions may not be exactly the same.

HUGE WARNING: This involves wiping out the data on your iGadget. You won’t be able to get the data back [or at least not so easily]. So make sure you have a copy of what you need.

  1. Perform a full backup of your iGadget either to a computer or through the This will allow you to restore your data if you are migrating to a newer iGadget.
  2. On the iGadget, tap Settings | iCloud. Scroll down and tap Sign Out.
  3. You will be required to confirm, so tap Sign Out again. Note that this will remove iCloud access completely and all the data associated with that account on the current iGadget. This includes disabling Turn off my iPhone service, which is also known as Activation Lock.
  4. Go to Settings | General, and tap Reset.
  5. At the Reset screen, tap Erase All Content and Settings.
  6. If a passcode is configured [hopefully it is], you’ll be required to enter your passcode.
    Tap Erase iPhone [or equivalent] when prompted.
  7. The iGadget will reboot and display the Apple logo with a progress bar below it indicating how far the wiping has been completed.
Note: Make sure the iGadget is kept on to make sure the wiping is completed correctly. If needed, plug it in to keep charged.

Computer tip: Resetting the Windows 8.1 Start Screen

If you ever need to reset your Start screen in Windows 8.1 back to the default screen for whatever reason, there are a couple of ways but the simplest is the following:

Navigate to the C:\Users\{yourusername}\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows folder. This folder is hidden. So either show hidden folders or within Windows Explorer bar, type in the rest of the path.

You will see the following files:

  • appsFolderLayout.bin – This is the Start screen layout file.
  • appsFolder.itemdata-ms – This is the Start Screen customization settings file.
  • appsFolder.itemdata-ms.bak – This is backup to the Start Screen customization settings file.

Take the three files and move them out of the folder, placing them anywhere.

If you log out of Windows and then log back in, Windows will rebuild the customization file, and you will notice that the Start Screen appears just like it did the first time that you opened Windows.

When you can’t access the Windows Store in Windows 8.1

In the odd time with Windows 8.1, you may have some issues when trying to access the Windows Store. For example, you may see the screen in an endless loop.

You can fix the issue with the following two commands from en elevated prompt:

powershell -ExecutionPolicy Unrestricted Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register $Env:SystemRoot\WinStore\AppxManifest.xml

start “” “ms-windows-store:”

[The first line is one long line.]

If not try running the following command from en elevated prompt:

c:\windows\system32\wsreset.exe

If that fails, try the running the Windows 8/8.1 troubleshooting diagnostics here.

Execute the .diagcab file and follow the prompts.

Finally if that fails, try syncing your App licenses from the App Store. To do this, open the Windows Store. Then from the Charms menu, select the Settings option. Click on App updates and then click on Sync licenses.

If that fails, ouch. 🙂

Computer tip: Resetting Internet Explorer

Either by malware or some crappy toolbar, something will take over your home page and/or search engine in Internet Explorer. Sometimes you feel that things aren’t quite normal but you don’t suspect malware or anything.

The following procedure will reset Internet explorer by removing certain settings. It will disable just about every add-on and toolbar. So you will need to enable the ones that are required such as Adobe Flash Player [listed as Shockwave Flash Object], maybe Java, etc.

Note: Once the reset begins, you can’t go back!

Note: Try the procedure below. If it doesn’t work, then try what is mentioned in the last paragraph. The reason I say this is that the last paragraph will do a more serious job and may be unnecessary in some cases.

  1. Click on the Tools menu in Internet Explorer.
  2. Scroll down to the bottom of that menu and click on Internet Options.
  3. Select the Advanced tab [last in the window].
  4. Click in the Reset… button at the bottom of the window.
  5. Click on Reset. Don’t check the box next to Delete personal settings in the window.
  6. When done, exit Internet Explorer and then open it up. You will have to change your home page and other settings. When asked, choose the express settings.

If this doesn’t work, follow the same procedure above except at #5, check the box next to Delete personal settings in the window. This does a more complete reset as if you used IE for the first time.

Computer tip: Refresh or Resetting Windows 8

Sometimes, a system becomes so infected or corrupted that it’s easier and safer to just reset the operating system and applications back to a “normal” factory default out-of-box (OOB) experience.  In Windows 8, you have two options to make this process easier than ever:

  • Refresh: Resets the OS and applications without losing your documents and other personal files.
  • Reset: Resets the OS and applications and removes everything else.

You can also create a Recovery Drive on a USB flash drive so that you can perform a Refresh or Reset operation even if your PC isn’t bootable.

You’ll find these new options in the Control Panel -> Recovery applet, along with other familiar tools like System Restore.