New and updated features to the Spring 2019 Update of Window 10

As mentioned previously, the spring update has been rename May 2019 Update and is using the code “19H1” [2019, first half]. The delay is supposedly to test the final [or escrow] build extensively. It is now expected to be release on May 10th.

The following are among the features and options that have been updated and are expected to be in the 19H1 release:

  • Complete over hall of the Windows Update setup.
  • Less cluttered search box since Cortana has its own icon. Plus you can adjust the indexing of what to not to search.
  • Built in hypervisor [not in the Home version] that will run in a sandbox.
  • Microsoft accounts can be based on a phone number, with no email address required.
  • Security Center [formerly Windows Defender Security Center] adds a tamper protection setting and a unified protection history for suspicious events.
  • Can now install fonts by drag and dropping in a box.
  • After previously adding a dark theme, a light theme has also been added.
  • Use the Task Manager often? You can set the default tab to open up. Plus adds a DPI Awareness column that helps pinpoint offending apps.
  • Copy text, images and files between PCs is easier with the Cloud Clipboard.
  • Snip & Sketch, the heir apparent to Snipping Tool, adds further options such as capturing a window. Snipping Tool is still around for now.
  • Updated printer dialog box.
  • Updated network dialog box [if entering network information manually].
Advertisements

Windows 10 v1903 delayed and renamed

Microsoft has announced that the spring 2019 release [a.k.a. v1903] has been pushed back to May and will be called May 2019 Update or 19H1.

Microsoft said they have decided to delay the release so that they can extend the pre-release phase of testing to catch more last minute bugs.

The “19H1” designation gives them further leeway as they aren’t forced to release a final version by a specific month. For a “H1” name, they could release it any time between January [unlikely] until June [still possible].

This also delays the next release of the server equivalent.

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.

What to expect in the April 2019 Update to Windows 10

The busy beavers at Microsoft are already working out what will be in the officially named April 2019 Update for windows 10 [a.k.a. 19H1 or v1903]. Among the new and updated are:

  • Remember the Spectre mess in early 2018? Some slower systems [particular 2015 made and before] took a slight hit in speed. Microsoft is enabling “retpoline” and “import optimization” options which will give those older systems some speed back.
  • 7 GB of disk space will now be reserved for installing updates, so updates don’t fail because of a lack of disk space. If you have a very small system drive this could be an issue. There should be an option to reduce the size.
  • Unless Microsoft changes its mind, Home users can pause getting updates for up to a week. But you can’t re-enable the pausing right after the pausing ended.
  • There is a new light theme. The Start menu, taskbar, notifications, action center sidebar, print dialog, and other interface elements can now be light instead of dark.
  • Windows Sandbox is available for Pro users. An integrated, isolated desktop environment where you can run software in a container without affecting your host operating system.
  • Microsoft has cleaned up the default Start menu to just a single column and is much simpler. But this only affects a new account. Not an existing account.
  • You can manually uninstall more built-in apps such as 3D Viewer, Groove Music, Mail, Paint 3D.
  • The search bar functions as a normal search box but there’s a separate Cortana icon on the Windows taskbar. You can hide one, both or none. Search allows you to search some areas specifically – for example just Email or just apps.
  • The file search feature in the Start menu can now search for files anywhere on your PC using the Windows search index instead of just Documents, Music, Pictures, Downloads, and Videos, and your Desktop.
  • Optionally you can now create a Microsoft account without a password online. That account is linked to your phone number, and Microsoft will text you a security code whenever you try to sign in.
  • The system tray can optionally display an icon when you need to reboot your computer to finish with the updates.
  • Additional troubleshooters are available. Some may be done automatically for you in the background such as critical troubleshooting which can’t be turned off Notifications can now be hidden for any full screen for any app – not just games in full screen.
  • You can use in File Explorer “friendly dates” by default. So, rather than dates like “1/31/2019”, you’ll see dates like “Yesterday,” “Tuesday,” “January 31,” and “January 31, 2019”. This can be turned off.
  • Storage Settings will help you see where space is being used and if anything can be cleaned up.
  • Unsure why not in Windows before, but you can synchronize your computer with a time server on the Internet.
  • More network settings have been added to a network adapter instead of using it in the Control Panel.
  • For Active hours, you can allow Windows to configure it for you. It will check to see when you don’t use the computer normally.
  • Added is a globe-shaped icon that appears when your PC doesn’t have any Internet connection.
  • If using a microphone, it will show in the system tray. Hover the mouse over the icon and it will tell you which application is using it.
  • When “Tamper Protection” option is enabled, this setting protects important security settings. So an application can’t make changes in the background without your approval.
  • Task manager will allow you to set up a default tab which will open up when task manager is open.
  • Windows now lets you choose a cursor color and size. You can make the cursor larger and change its color, making it easier to see.
  • The Disk Cleanup tool now displays a warning when you click the “Downloads” option, warning that this is your personal downloads folder and all files inside it will be removed.

Did your webcam stop working after upgrading to Windows 10 v1809

OK. Finally upgraded to the latest feature update of Windows 10 on my main system from v1709. Now at v1809 [as they call it]. I previously tried to upgrade to v1803 from v1709 but that turned out to be a mess and rolled back to v1709.

As my year of holding off to a feature upgrade was expiring soon [you can do that with professional or higher editions], I didn’t have much of a choice.

I had just some minor stuff that was easy to put back.

But what was part of the mess from upgrading to v1803 about 6 months ago happened with v1809.

I have a Logitech webcam. I’ve had it for years. It was probably one of the earliest 1080p webcam with a Carl Zeiss lens.

For whatever reason [then], I could not access the webcam’s video. The audio was fine. I poked around Logitech’s web site forums with no definitive answer an d even sent them a support request. No response.

I knew something was odd when my laptop’s webcam [also from Logitech] wasn’t detected on my main system. [Come to think of it, did I check to see if the web cam for the laptop is working?]

Today, instead of going through Logitech, I searched on the Internet and there were others with the same issue for different webcams.

Unsure why the upgrade did this: it turned off the privacy for “cameras” – which include web cams.

Why it was enabled with v1709 but was disabled with v1803 and v1809. Who knows.

So to fix the problem, go to Settings, then Privacy. On the left side, click on Cameras under App Permissions. On the right under Allow apps to access tour camera, set the slider to On. All done.

You may need to exit Skype [for example] and then open it to detect the change.

Optionally, you can also disable some applications from getting access. Just note that disabling any will disable those applications from accessing your camera, webcam, etc.

 

Option to delay updates for Windows 10 home users coming soon

Microsoft has been testing the new Windows Update setting in the next edition of Windows 10 preview builds [due in the spring] in the Windows Insiders program. Until then, Windows “Home” users [i.e. those not using the Professional edition, on a domain or and educational edition] can not delay any quality [i.e. non-security and security] updates on their computer.

While Windows 10 Pro and enterprise editions can defer the upgrade for up to 35 days, Windows 10 “Home” users are forced to accept the next quality updates when Microsoft makes it available on Windows Update, whether they want it or not.

Windows 10 Pro and enterprise editions [when not on a domain or centrally managed] can delay feature [i.e. semi-annual] updates for up to a year.

Microsoft has had a bad track record for both quality and feature updates. This would be a welcome for home users. Most issues are discovered within a week.

Those who wish to “upgrade” from Home to Professional can used a previously unused [in Windows 10] Windows 7 or windows 8.1 Professional license or purchase the “upgrade” from Microsoft [estimated around $100 or so].

 

Windows 10 Fall 2018 Update continues to have issues – now an administrator issue

Even after Windows 10 Fall 2018 Update [a.k.a. Redstone 5, a.k.a. v1809] has been released, it is now known that if you upgrade from v1803 to v1809, the upgrade invalidates the built in Administrator account. The problem seems to occur when the Administrator account is valid and when there are other accounts with Administrator privileges.

At this point, unsure if it will do the same to older version of Windows 10 to v1809. Microsoft says an update at the end of January will correct the problem. Currently the best workaround is to make sure that you have at least one valid account with administrator rights other than the built in Administrator account.

If you have not upgraded to v1809:

  • Right click on This PC in Windows Explorer and select Manage.
  • On the left, click Local Users and Groups and then Groups.
  • Double click on Administrators on the right. Verify there are other accounts in the group other than the Administrator account.

If you have already upgraded to v1809:

  • Right click on This PC in Windows Explorer and select Manage.
  • On the left, click Local Users and Groups and then Users.
  • Double click on the Administrator account and enable it.