Go to ...

RSS Feed

Hyper-V Virtual Machine – Use Host VPN Connection

When your Hyper-V host computer is connected to a VPN, virtual machines are still using the host’s default connection. They are not connected to VPN. This is often practical; while VPN allows my host to use another geolocation, I can use virtual machine for services requiring my real location. In screenshot, my host computer is

Insider

PowerShell ISE – PS on steroids

Always when talking with PowerShell users, I am surprised to learn how only few of them are using the PowerShell ISE version. For me, it belongs to my favorite native Windows tools, because it’s a flexible and versatile front-end for PowerShell. The following quotation comes from the official Microsoft PowerShell ISE documentation: The Windows PowerShell

Desktop tools

USB Condoms Are No Joke

When you plug into a third-party USB port for power, all the data pins remain active, ready to be sniffed, attacked, or even exploited. By routing only power leads through, a USB condom stops such attacks cold.

Admin Tools

Good coding – Make your code readable

In my opinion one of the characteristics of good code, be it a batch file or script or an application, is clear and precise on-screen instructions to its intended user. I recommend adding enough remarks for those reading the source code, and really doing your best to make output clear, understandable and readable. I will

19H2

The PC Is NOT Dead (10 Years Later)

In January 2010, the iPad made its debut. At the same time, at least one pundit announced “The PC is dead.” Wrong! Still can’t live without one today, nor for the foreseeable future.

19H2

1809 Users: Get Ready for 1909 Updates!

OK, then: it’s official. MS announced yesterday — December 5, 2019 — that it will now automatically initiate updates to 1909 for users still running 1809. We’ve known this was coming, because EOL for was originally scheduled for May 11, 2020. Here’s the text verbatim from the Windows 10 1909 Status Page (see text outlined

Deployment

Upgrading Older PCs to Windows 10

With the End-of-Life (EOL) date (January 14, 2020) for Windows 7 in the offing, lots of businesses and organizations have to be thinking about moving on up from 7 to 10. Dire warnings and admonitions notwithstanding — see this Minneapolis StarTribune  article as a good example — I’m a little more optimistic about making that

Editorial

Future of Windows 10 – A few predictions

Nothing important, posting just for posterity. I want to write down what I see in the future of Windows 10, a few things that I am quite sure will happen. I know that many advanced users and experts share my thoughts, but also that quite many disagree.

19H2

New 1909 Disk Layout

On newer hardware, you may find the new Win10 disk layout (puts the Windows Recovery partition in last place, after the Windows OS partition) showing up after installing CU KB4524570.

Insider

Toolkit Item: Microsoft Support and Recovery Assistant

The Microsoft Support and Recovery Assistant (SaRA) is an excellent tool to resolve Outlook and other Office 365 issues. Quoting from its official download page, here’s a description: The Microsoft Support and Recovery Assistant works by running tests to figure out what’s wrong and offers the best solution for the identified problem. It can currently

Cortana

O Cortana, Where Art Thou?

Since the release of Windows Insider Fast Ring build 19008 — that is, for a month now — Cortana has been hiding from non-US users. She’s simply not there, not present, not working. What’s weird is this issue has never been mentioned once in Microsoft’s release notes as a known issue. On this topic, there’s

20H1

New Mystery Win10 Folder $WinREAgent

Checking over my Insider Preview Fast Ring system/boot drive (C:\) this morning, I found something new and interesting. It’s a hidden, read-only folder named $WinREAgent. Folders that start with a dollar sign are usually hidden, created during installation for temporary use. I’ve seen plenty of such things come and go over the years, but this

19H2

MS Denies Support for MS Store Removal

MS says that uninstalling and reinstalling Windows Store in Window 10 is not supported. They recommend reset or reinstall for serious repairs. I suggest two other (faster, easier) things to try first.

Next Posts››
Kari's Blog

Very strange firmware update on HP laptop

Late last night, just after upgrading to Insider Fast Ring build 19025, Windows Update on my HP ProBook 470 G5 laptop (see title image) told me an HP Firmware update was ready, awaiting a restart to install it. I clicked Restart, not worried at all because all previous firmware updates had worked without any issues

19H2

The Case for Laptops over Desktops

You can’t do what I do for a living and not like to tinker. One of many reasons I’m a Windows Insider MVP is because I’ve never been able to stop myself from messing around with Windows. That really means “messing around on PCs running Windows.” Right now, at my house I’ve got nine PCs,

1903

20H1 Runs Solid and Steady

Could the happy stars have finally lined up over Redmond? Windows 10 Insider releases are steady, stable and trouble-free right now. Same goes for the 1903 production version. What gives?

Deployment

Windows 10 – MAK Activation using Answer File

A week and a half ago I saw an interesting post on Ten Forums: it concerned image customization and deployment of that custom image. The case started with CopyProfile issues, during which phase custom settings were not being applied on target devices. Finally, when that was resolved, another issue appeared: target devices were not activated

Admin Tools

Digging into POWERCFG

Everybody knows the POWERCFG command can handle hibernation or sleep/wake states. It can also do a whole lot more, including controlling Power Options settings.

Insider

Windows Upgrade process really has changed!

For the first two years of the Windows Insider program, feature upgrades were delivered as ESD updates. From my point of view, that was a good system. In it, Insider build upgrades were delivered relatively quickly and they were reliable. Generally speaking, Insiders had far fewer upgrade issues and failed upgrades than they do today

20H1

So Long Skipahead Ring

With the announcement of Insider Fast ring build 19018.1 on November 5, the Insider Team reports no more Skipahead builds going forward. Insiders who elected “Skip” will automatically switch to “Fast.”

1903

Check Out MS Ignite 2019

The Windows Ignite 2019 conference is underway in Orlando Florida through November 8. Remote viewing of streamed sessions is free, so it’s worth checking things out to see what’s happening. Enjoy!

Insider

Windows 10 Defaultuser0 account

I have seen a few posts lately in which users ask “What is the Defaultuser0 account?”,”Can it be deleted?” , “What’s its password?, and so on. Officially, Microsoft offers no information about this account and its intended purpose. Or at the very least, any such information is extremely hard to find. First, let me assure

Hyper-V

Microsoft PowerPoint – A Power Video Maker!

Preparing a video for Ten Forums about how to use Macrium viBoot to upgrade Windows 10, I thought I would document that process to show how good Microsoft PowerPoint is at making videos. The best thing is that it is so extremely easy to use PowerPoint to build nice, simple instructional videos. In addition, when

20H1

War Stories: dwm.exe APPCRASH Insider Feedback

Because I have two nearly identical laptops running Windows 10 Insider Preview builds it’s easy for me to tell that one build is subject to Windows Desktop Manager crashes when I leave Remote Desktop open. Reported to Feedback Hub.

19H2

Win10 Release Makeover Matches Azure Schedule

MS must provide core OS capability for Azure by December at the same time it’s finishing 19H2. This explains 19H2 is just a minor add-on to 19H1. Hopefully, getting onto an Azure schedule also means adopting their mindset.

1903

Toolkit item: FileZilla

Once upon a time, it was nearly impossible to work on websites without using FTP. This is no longer true, but when you need Internet file transfer capability, the free, Open Source program FileZilla is the way to go.

Desktop tools

Toolkit Item: WinDirStat

WinDirStat is free Open Source software that illustrates Windows file and folder hierarchies, with an emphasis on file size. It’s a useful tool for grooming and managing Windows drives or volumes.

19H2

A Peek Inside UUP dump

A lone developer in Poland is behind the excellent and capable UUP dump website, which makes it possible for Windows Insiders to grab and build their own ISOs for Insider Preview versions of their choosing on demand. Great work!

View More ››
1903

Clean Out Stale RDP Connections

Poking around on the Remote Desktop Connection app on my production PC, I notice some stale entries. I show how to clean them up with some careful registry edits.

Hyper-V

Remote Desktop Connection to Linux

I am a big Hyper-V fan, but even I must admit that running Linux virtual machines within that hypervisor can be problematic. First, enhanced session mode does not work, so changing guest resolution is quite difficult. In addition, Copy & Paste between the Windows host and the Linux guest does not work.  One option is

19H2

Insiders Warned to Prep for November 2019 Update Release

Yesterday, Brandon Leblanc, Senior Program Manager for the Windows Insider Program posted on Insider blog. Entitled “Getting the November 2019 Update Ready for Release,” it sets the state for the next and coming Feature Update. Among other things worth reading, LeBlanc says “We believe that Build 18363.418 is the final build and we will continue

1903

Toolkit Item: 8GadgetPack

Supposedly, Windows Gadgets came in with Vista and went with Windows 7. Even before Windows 8 came along, MS decided to retire Windows Gadgets in 2011 (see this Spiceworks Community post that quotes the MS info from the time). This post states that the decision lets the company “focus support on the much richer set

19H1

Windows 10 and UUP – What’s wrong?

Up through December 2016 and Build 11082, Windows 10 feature upgrades including new Insider builds were delivered in the form of so-called ESD (Electronic Software Distribution) updates. Upgrades were generally speaking quite fast, and worked as expected. In November 2016, Microsoft introduced a new feature upgrade system called UUP (Universal Update Platform). The idea was,

1903

Ruminating on New PC Setup

Last Thursday, I received a welcome interruption to my working day. Late the previous week, I’d uncovered what I believed to be a “killer deal” on a Lenovo Thinkpad X380 Yoga laptop. Because it was an eBay thing, I was mildly apprehensive about what would get delivered. But when I unpacked the unit I ordered

Admin Tools

Windows 10 Decrapifier

What it is? Windows 10 Decrapifier is a PowerShell script by csand, a fellow member at TenForums.com. It is used to clean a Windows image prior to its deployment by removing unwanted or unnecessary apps and tasks, and modifying privacy settings. Because it runs in script forms, users can modify it according to their own

1903

USB-C HDD Disappoints Vis-a-vis USB3

When I compare benchmarks and Macrium Reflect backup times for the same 2.5″ HDD in USB-C and USB 3.0 enclosures, I’m stunned to observe the USB 3.0 results are better than those for USB-C. Must be the hardware!

1903

Windows 10 Reaches Desktop Majority

As of August 2019 NetMarketShare reports that some version of Windows 10 runs on just over one of every two PCs that firm sees on the Internet. Windows 7 share is down around 30 percent now, and dropping fast. Where will this all lead?

1903

Recent Updates May Block RDP Access to Hyper-V VMs

A certain few users have discovered that RDP connections to Hyper-V VMs work only once. If the connection is broken, one of the machines sleeps, or something similar, they are unable to use RDP to get back into the VM. Shutdown/restart of the VM is required to regain access.

1903

20H1 Gets May 2020 Update Moniker

Through a PowerShell command that shows available VMs inside the Fast Ring Preview, we learn that 20H1 is officially named “Windows 10 May 2020…” Very interesting!

19H1

War story – Insider woes

For over a week now, I have been trying to get Fast Ring Insider builds to work on my laptop. Failed upgrades, clean installs almost working until I notice a game-stopper like unable to install tools I need, despite whatever repair measures I take. Windows Admin Center, which I use for computer management and especially

View More ››