Upgrading to Windows 10 Creator Update? My thoughts

So this past weekend I upgraded Windows 10 from v1607 to v1703.

Everything was straight forward. Within 30 minutes I was at v1703. Nothing looked odd or anything. So far so good. [Yes, just 30 minutes. I have a Core i7 with a SSD but the system itself is 3.5 years old.]

That wouldn’t last.

Unsure why Microsoft does this. Why can’t they leave our settings alone. For example:

  • I like my Caps Lock disabled. It’s back to enabled. [Note that this isn’t surprising. A while ago with Windows 7 installed, I couldn’t install a security update until I enabled the Caps Lock!]
  • I added some settings to enable the command prompt and an elevated command prompt if I right click on a folder. Those disappeared.
  • Setting in File Explorer such as Details Pane was disabled.
  • I had to disable again a bunch of telemetry settings that I enabled.
  • Audio dropped from 5.1 to 2.1.
  • Internet Explorer history is gone.
  • There is a “fix” in v1607 that enabled the “classic” User Access Control you saw in Windows 7. Now the fix does nothing. It’s gone.

There always seems to be stuff like this. Why can’t Microsoft just leave it, if it has been set.

 

Kaspersky versus Microsoft on security

Kaspersky Lab complained recently that Microsoft uses “underhand tactics” to remove third-party antivirus where in June took its complaints over Windows 10’s handling of third-party antivirus to the European Commission and the German Federal Cartel Office.

One of the key complaints is that Windows 10 uninstalls Kaspersky antivirus without the consent of users and enables the built-in Windows Defender, which could happen during major Windows updates if a third-party security product is incompatible with the latest version of Windows.

Microsoft replied that with the Windows 10 Creators Update, the customer will be advised to install a new version of their security application right after the update completed. To do this, the software upgrade first temporarily disabled some parts of the security software when the update began. Microsoft claims they worked with anti-virus partners. Maybe Kaspersky wasn’t included.

Kaspersky founder Eugene Kaspersky has accused Microsoft of using shady methods to “fiercely promote its own inferior” product, Windows Defender, over third-party antivirus already installed on Windows 10 PCs. Microsoft claims its Windows Defender is a strong security product. {Security testers say not really.]

Kaspersky also complained that security vendors have little time to make their product compatible, compared with previous versions of Windows [since Windows 10 gets upgraded every 6 months]. ESET is cited with similar compatibility problems with the Windows 10 Anniversary Update.

But with the number of security vendors, two [the known vendors that have complained] is very small. In addition, there is a few weeks before the “RTM” and the actual release date. How come others security vendors aren’t having compatibility problems? Not McAfee, not Symantec, not Avast, not AVG, …. [As far as I know.]

If an security subscription expires, only then will Windows Defender begin providing protection.

Kaspersky complained that Windows users don’t need to pay for third-party antivirus because of Windows Defender. As well, they claim that Microsoft’s tech support staff have advised users to uninstall Kaspersky.

You can put a big chunk of the blame on Kaspersky themselves. Has any other security vendor complained? So why just them? Maybe Kaspersky has a grudge going on with Microsoft.

Does Kaspersky bother to tell those with Kaspersky software installed that if they have a valid subscription they can upgrade to the latest version? I guess not. This alone makes their clients less secure.

The only alternative is for Microsoft to have a pop-up window with something like:
“Your crappy security software is unsupported. Please upgrade to the latest version. Alternatively, with your approval, Windows 10 will be upgraded and your crappy security software will be removed and replaced by Windows Defender. You can then upgrade your crappy security software following the upgrade.”

In a virtual machine of mine, my Panda Free-AV was upgraded for me automatically yesterday. Shouldn’t be too hard for Kaspersky to do this.

Someone I know has a 3 years subscription to Kaspersky Total Security. Something went wonky and the computer wouldn’t update anymore. Chatted online and was told it would be escalated. Didn’t hear from them and they closed the incident after a week. Contacted them again and was told an email was sent out with a new activation code. Never got it. It was resent. Damn thing expires in 3 months when the old key had 16 months left. Really crappy support.

 

How to restore an uninstalled an app that came with Windows 10

It comes the time where you have uninstalled an app that came with Windows 10 but now you want it back. The following procedure usually works.

Note: Sorry. I am not a PowerShell expert. If you get an error or doesn’t restore, I can’t help you.

Open Notepad or your favorite text editor. You will use this to build your restore line.

Add the following line at the top:

Add-AppxPackage -register "C:\Program Files\WindowsApps\XXX\AppxManifest.xml" –DisableDevelopmentMode

Find “PowerShell” in the Start Menu.

Note: Not the ones with “ISE” or “(x86)” in it unless you are using the 32-bit version of Windows.

Right click on it, and run as Administrator.

You will need to approve the User Account Control.

First thing to do is get a list of apps by issuing the following command which will list all available apps:

Get-Appxpackage –Allusers

Say you uninstalled Windows Store and want it back, you need to scroll and find the group of lines that include WindowsStore in it [no space in it]. Across from PackageFullName in that group of lines will be a semi cryptic text.

You need to copy that line [unless you want to type it!]. To do so, highlight the first character in “Microsoft” and keep on left clicking until you reach the end of the line. Press Ctrl-C to copy what you highlighted. The highlighting disappears.

Go into Notepad [or equivalent]. Replace the XXX in the line that you added in there with text you copied.

With v1607 on a 64-bit system, it should look something like [may not be exactly]:

Add-AppxPackage -register "C:\Program Files\WindowsApps\Microsoft.WindowsStore_11610.1001.23.0_x64__8wekyb3d8bbwe\AppxManifest.xml" –DisableDevelopmentMode

Copy the full line in the text editor. Go back into the PowerShell window and paste what you copied by right clicking on a blank line. It should paste. Hit the Enter key. If you get no red text, it should be restored.

Note: Don’t ask me why but you never see a “Command completed successfully” or equivalent. You have to assume it was successful if no red text.

Note: In the case of Windows Store it is listed in the Start Menu as “Store”.

 

Warning before installing Windows 10 Creators Update

Microsoft have issued a warning for those thinking of manually upgrading Windows 10 to the Creators Update [a.k.a. v1703, a.k.a. Redstone 2, a.k.a. build 15063]: Don’t.

The big update has already run into problems with some types of Broadcom Bluetooth LE radios: the code was killing connections with accessories, apparently. So Microsoft stopped pushing automatic downloads to computers carrying that hardware. There may also be others hardware issues.

When an issue such as this happens, they issue a “block” which will stop the computer from getting the update. It doesn’t stop, however, a person from upgrading manually on their own with an ISO or other ways. Once the issue has been corrected, the block is removed.

That’s why Microsoft started with newer hardware first. It will give them time to correct the problem.

So far maybe 10 per cent of Windows machines are running the Creators Update. Microsoft’s own recent hardware are leading the pack in upgrades.

Unsure how they release CU with this issue – except maybe because they gave themselves a deadline. But this is v1703. At one point, it looked like it would be called v1704. An extra month [or at least a week or so] wouldn’t have caused these problems.

 

How to fix VMware Tools and black screens with Windows 10 Creator Update

At “press time”, Microsoft has announced that Windows 10 Creator Update [i.e. Redstone 2, a.k.a. build 15063, a.k.a. v1703] has been released. Those on the technical side probably know how to get it. For the rest, it will be on or after April 11th.

This article deals with VMware Workstation 11 [and probably older] as well as VMware Player. So most likely the audience are those who are technical.

If you are like me and are using an unsupported VMware Workstation or Player and get a black screen for the video [or at least that] after upgrading Windows 10 or installing VMware Tools in a fresh Windows 10 installation, the following may make Windows 10 Creator Edition [a.k.a. blah, blah, blah] run better with VMware Workstation or Player:

Go here and download either the ISO image or the applicable EXE for the architecture. You probably want the ISO as you may not be able to copy over the executable but you can attach the ISO. Tested with version 10.1.5 build 5055683.

What you are doing is installing the VMware Tools for the latest version of VMware Workstation 12.5. The video issue gets corrected. I am guessing you can install any VMware Tools for your product [and not VMware Tools for ESX].

I tested this on two VMs, one upgraded from v1607 to v1703 and a fresh installation of v1703 and both worked but I recommend removing the current VMware Tools first.

Prior to trying this, I would suggest you take a snapshot [applies to Workstation only] or back up your VM.

[Update 2017/07/19:] Installing Windows Server 2016 also works in the same method. Install and then download and install the ISO file for the VMware Tools associated with VMware Workstation 12.5.

It’s official, Windows 10 v1703 out on April 11th

Microsoft has confirmed that Windows 10 Creator Edition [a.k.a. v1703, a.k.a. build 15063, a.k.a. Redstone 2] has been released and will be available through windows Update on April 11th.

Links to create ISOs or force installation will be available soon.

Microsoft already released a small update – already at build 15063.2.

 

Windows 10 v1703 goes RTM?

According to some reports, Windows 10 [a.k.a. v1703 (not v1704), a.k.a. Redstone 2, a.k.a. Creators Update] may have been RTMed [“release to manufacturing”] this past week with a rumored/leaked release date of April 11th – the same day the dreaded Vista gets its last updates and goes unsupported. Build number is 15063.

There are probably good indications of both as there hasn’t been any builds since 15063 was released over a week ago and Microsoft has started to release builds for “Redstone 3” [due on November].

In addition, “RTM” was mentioned in various XML files as part of the 15063 build.

As for the actual release date, Microsoft tends to prefer Patch Tuesdays. In addition a leaked and later pulled file mentioned April 11th.

Those part of the windows Insiders program [or have connections!] should be able to get the bits. Others will wait until they get notified sometime on or after April 11th.

Note that any systems upgraded to v1607 build within the past 30 days will not get the upgrade notice at least until after the 30 days are up.

Of course domain and enterprise level systems will not get the upgrade until the administrators approve.