Blocking Chromium Edge

Microsoft is slowly rolling out the Edge replacement called Chromium Edge. “ChrEdge”, as some call it, will install on top of the Edge that came with Windows 10 [Microsoft calls it Legacy Edge].

Chromium Edge is based on the open source Chromium browser which was originally developed by Google. So Chromium Edge is using a variation of the Google Chrome browser engine but with its own unique differences.

For the few who have used the Legacy Edge, the interface hasn’t changed too much except where it applies Chromium changes. Chromium Edge will replace the Legacy Edge. So settings will be migrated. Unsure if you can roll back. Never tried.

Chromium Edge will also be available for Windows 8.1 and surprisingly Windows 7 – which has no support from Microsoft. Server versions of the client versions of Windows can also install Chromium Edge.

Note that it doesn’t directly replace Internet Explorer – Internet Explorer will not be removed or disabled.

If you wish to block Chromium Edge from getting installed, apply the following registry fix:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\EdgeUpdate]
“DoNotUpdateToEdgeWithChromium”=dword:00000001

Note: Unsure if the blocker will work on Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 or server equivalents. Haven’t tested.

Note: You must be at Windows 10 v1803 or newer to use this blocker.

To unblock, set DoNotUpdateToEdgeWithChromium to 0. Or kill the value all together.

 

Changed to Feature Updates in Windows 10 v2004

Feature Updates are those huge twice a year updates that are part of Windows 10. In most cases, these updates can take at least 45 minutes.

Professional, Education and Enterprise editions – up until v1909 – were allowed to modify when Windows can check for these Feature Updates. You were able to defer the update by a year. [Especially good since some recent Feature Updates have had issues.]

As of v2004 [“May 2020 Update”], this has changed. You can only change the way Feature Updates are checked by using the Group Policy Editor or the registry.

To modify, open the Group Policy Editor and follow the path Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update > Windows Update for Business > Feature Updates are received.

By registry to disable:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate]
“TargetReleaseVersion”=dword:00000000

By registry to enable:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate]
“TargetReleaseVersion”=dword:00000001
“TargetReleaseVersionInfo”=”2004”

Replace 2004 by the appropriate version that you want to scan for [obviously greater than the version you currently are using].

If you have the Home version, this information can’t be used.

As usual, use this information at your own risk.

 

Growing issues with Windows 10 May 2020 Update

It seems the list of problems keep on growing and growing for Windows 10 May 2020 Update [a.k.a. v2004]. The strangest part of this mess is that this feature updates was actually available for months. In addition, at least one issue [the Optane memory] was discovered 2+ months ago but ignored.

Here’s a list [some may not have been reported]:

  • DISM reports incorrect status.
  • Variable refresh rate may not work on PCs with Intel GPU.
  • Performance issues.
  • Intel Optane memory issue.
  • Bluetooth connectivity issues with Realtek drivers.
  • External displays might go black if you try to draw in apps such as Office Word or Whiteboard.
  • Conexant ISST audio drivers are causing BSOD.
  • Plugging or unplugging a Thunderbolt dock causes BSOD.
  • Other random BSOD including when you resume the system from sleep or hibernate state on a Lenovo laptop.
  • Synaptics ThinkPad UltraNav driver issue.
  • Random reboots on systems with Always On, Always Connected features.
  • Yellow warning mark on the disk drive.
  • Mouse input may not work in apps and games using GameInput Redistributable.
  • Boot issues when aksfridge.sys or aksdf.sys is present.
  • Nvidia GPU driver version 358.00 or older causes BSOD.
  • Fresh start allows Windows 10 users to clean up Windows installation without removing personal files.

You can see the status here. Not a good sign when the site shows no resolved issues…

 

 

 

What’s new in Windows 10 v2004

So what is new in Windows 10 v2004 [a.k.a. 20H1, a.k.a. May 2020 Update, a.k.a. …]?

Developers got their hands on build 19041.208 today with Microsoft expected to roll it out to users starting May 28th. The most compatible systems [such as newer systems] will see the update first, followed by everyone else… Eventually.

Here is a partial list of updated features:

  • GPU temperature monitoring comes to Task Manager
  • Disk type [i.e. SSD, PATA] now visible in Task Manager Performance tab
  • Quick Event Create from the Taskbar
  • File explorer search is now powered by Windows Search
  • Go passwordless with Microsoft accounts
  • Adding Mouse Cursor speed to Settings
  • Improving the Optional Features page in Settings
  • Introducing a new Reset this PC option–Cloud Download – you can use the local installation or download Windows 10 from a Microsoft server
  • Updated notifications options
  • New Bluetooth pairing experience
  • Automatic restart for Desktop & UWP apps to reduce sign-in time
  • Search indexer tweaks to handle excessive disk usage – indexing will stop or throttle under any of 9 options are reached [i.e. game mode is on, high CPU usage, high disk usage, etc.]
  • New throttling options for Windows update downloads
  • New Cortana features & experiences – does anyone care?
  • Redesigned Network Status page

Note: Unsure if fixed yet, early testers experienced some issues with Bluetooth devices.

At this time, the next major update will be released probably in October or most likely in November. It is expected to be similar to last fall’s 2019 Fall Update – where you didn’t need to have this huge installation.

Issues with Windows 10 v1903 & v1909 update

Those who have installed the cumulative update for Windows 10 v1903 and v1909 [kb4549951] are reporting a variety of issues. Included in them are:

WiFi, Bluetooth, crashes, system performance [memory and CPU], external monitor to be used, headphone issues, and Chromium Edge and Google Chrome resolving site issues.

Some have complained even about losing data.

And this is assuming the update can be installed as some can’t even get it to install

I noticed the slowness in resolving in Chromium Edge.

Microsoft is looking into the issue.

 

Have you upgraded to Windows 10 v1903 or v1909

Have you noticed any major [feature] update in the last little while? It is the one that can take 45+ minutes to do.

If not, you need to check to make sure you have either 1903 or 1909 installed on your Windows 10 computer. To do this:

  1. Open “Settings” or “PC Settings” [this will depends on what menu you see].
  2. Click on “System” [it’s always in the upper left corner of the 10+ icons in the window].
  3. On the left side scroll down and click on “About”.
  4. On the right side scroll down until you see “Windows specifications”.
  5. Ignoring the other details, you must see version 1903 or 1909.

If you are at 1809 or prior, it may be because your Anti-virus version may be too old/out-dated. Microsoft is stopping any Windows 10 computer from getting the latest version until the Anti-virus is updated correctly.

In addition, if you are at 1803 and before, you will not get any further updates to Windows [including the monthly ones] until you upgrade to 1903 or 1909.

You can run the Upgrade Assistant to check if you computer is compatible or to upgrade. There are some older processors which may have been compatible with older versions of Windows 10 but not the latest.

PS – 1903 and 1909 are almost identical. Either version is OK to be on.

Success! Upgraded to Windows 10 v1903

So a month or so ago I tried to upgrade to Windows 10 v1903 [19H1] from v1809.

If you remember [or not!] the history of my prime computer, I had tried to upgrade from v1709 to v1803 but it failed. Too many weird things such as certain options I could not change and I had issues with my audio card.

As I have Windows 10 Pro, I can delay these feature upgrades for up to a year – which I did. I skipped v1803 and upgraded from v1709 to v1809.

Over time, I also noticed that I was getting some issues with my sound card.

So after upgrading from v1809 to v1903 failed earlier this summer, I decided to “modernize” my sound card. It wasn’t the latest sound card but still newer than my old one – which was around 10 years old.

Yesterday, I upgraded to v1903 successfully. Seemed to take a bit longer than previously but I don’t see any issues. And for once, after upgrading, I didn’t have to spend time fixing the settings.

I tend to upgrade with the media, instead of waiting for Windows [or Microsoft] to notify me. So I go through the process of checking for updates and what to keep [among other stuff].

What I found interesting is that after it checked for updates, all it installed was the latest cumulative update for Windows 10 v1903.

What it didn’t include was a servicing stack update [KB4515530], a microcode update [KB4497165], and a .net Framework update [KB451155]. So why weren’t those included while checking for updates?

One reason why getting v1903 onto my system is that when v1909 [1`9H2] comes out at the end of this month or early next month [assuming no major issues again!]. v1909 will be not a feature update but a huge update [can you call it a service pack?] that will installed like a typical monthly update. But v1903 will be required for the v1909 update.

Note that Microsoft is expected to have a regular full installation for any system that isn’t at v1903 but want to go to v1909 directly.

Microsoft to push Spring 2019 Windows 10 update

Because of the more than expected amount of Windows 10 users are still using the v1803 release [which will have support ending this fall], Microsoft has decided to push out the v1903 [the latest Windows 10 release] earlier than usual.

You will have the option to delay the v1903 upgrade release for up to 35 days so you can do the upgrade at your convenience. Depending on your computer, this upgrade could last from about an hour [for faster computers] to over 2 hours [for slower computers].

This needs to be done soon – otherwise you will not receive any further security updates and enhancements.

Microsoft change feature updates frequency for “home” Windows 10 users

Microsoft has announced changes to how Windows 10 get feature updates [that is/was the big one roughly every 6 months – assuming no issues]. For OEM and retail Windows 10 editions [think the “Home” version], feature update installations are no longer mandatory. Instead, the feature update is offered as an optional update. The PC’s owner has to approve of the installation manually. You’re free to ignore that prompt for as long as the current version is supported, or a maximum of 18 months.

For Pro, Education, and Enterprise editions, it is the status quo.

Windows 10 warns about updating to the May 2019 update

I guess depending on the version you use [I’m using Pro with a feature update delay] you may or may not see the message below when you should update to the Windows 10 May 2019 Update.

Obviously you probably shouldn’t install the May update through other means [MediaTool, ISO] if it’s giving you this warning.

BTW, I wish Microsoft would get their version format settled. Is it v1903 or 19H1? Is it v1909 [seen in the Windows Insiders] or 19H2?