Category: Windows 10


Here is a simple problem that confused me for a little bit. I had a customer with a webcam who could not get it to work. I reinstalled the drivers several times without success. Eventually I narrowed it down to a Windows 10 setting. If you using O&O ShutUp 10 (and you very much should!) then you will have to change two settings. Under the Privacy settings page, go the Camera and Microphone settings and turn them both on. Be sure to turn off app access to the camera and microphone except for any one specifically need. This will allow programs to access the camera just fine. (And remember: the purpose of Windows 10 is to make money off you after the first day; making your life easier is not part of that purpose.)

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I had an older but still good computer with two internal hard drives: an old Western Digital Green hard drive and a newer WD Black hard drive. The Green drive had the page file and important backup files. This being Windows 7, it had a full system backup on the WD Green and a Quickbooks backup. The computer kept giving the blue screen error 0x0000007a KERNEL_DATA_INPAGE_ERROR, which according to Microsoft is caused by bad hardware or bad RAM. So my first thought was the WD Green drive was bad because, again from Microsoft, the blue screen “indicates that the requested page of kernel data from the paging file could not be read into memory.” Since the page file was on the old WD Green drive and since Windows had trouble reading the page file, it must be that drive or bad RAM.

Turns out, there were 3 causes of this blue screen. The WD Green drive was, in fact, bad. I put it in my computer and tested it to be sure, and it was bad. So I bought a SSD, shrank and cloned the WD Black drive to it, and repurposed the WD Black drive into what the WD Green drive was being used for. Except I put the page file on the SSD. After doing this, the same blue screen still appeared. So the second guess was bad memory. Which also, in fact, was defective as a memory test discovered. So I fixed that problem as well.

But the same blue screen kept appearing. I finally figured out the hard drive cable was bad. I replaced that cable and the machine hasn’t had a blue screen since. At the end of the day I concluded that while all the bad memory and bad hard drive did not help, it was not the root cause of the blue screen.

I had a customer who had trouble installing Windows 10 Fall Creator’s Update (Feature Update 1709) and who had Trend Micro antivirus. For some reason, Windows said it wouldn’t install because Trend Micro 2009 was installed. Some people have noted that Windows balks about other older versions. This link was a good start. But the problem remained.

What fixed it for me was to go to the registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\AppCompatFlags\UpgradeMigration, delete the file or folder listed, and then delete the registry key data. Most likely the update still won’t install normally. So I took a chance and choose the option to restart and update. That worked. So if you have an old program possibly causing issues, go to that registry key and then reboot and update instead of using the normal update way.

Here is a problem I just encountered. Windows was getting past the initial boot screen and then looked like it would let you log in. But before you could or before you could even enter a password, it immediately began to shut down. Safe mode worked just fine. The problem ultimately was a bad Intel driver. Specifically, the Intel Dynamic Platform and Thermal Framework Generic driver. Once I disabled that, everything worked fine.

If your computer will not let you log in for any reason then most likely it is a driver causing the problem.

Here is what did not work. I first turned off fast boot because it causes more problems than it helps. Everyone should turn off fast boot, no exception. The user account had no password, so putting in a password in safe mode didn’t help either. It would shut down before you even log in. I couldn’t try Last Known Good Configuration because Microsoft in their idiotic selves decided to remove this most helpful feature. Seriously, the people who decided to get rid of that and F8 need to smack hard in the head every day for the rest of their life, and twice on Sunday. I am not joking. Neither did System Restore or system refresh work.

I only figured this out by doing a fresh install. When I installed the Intel drivers, immediately the system began to shut down. So in Safe Mode, I disabled all Intel drivers and then re-enabled them in a normal boot one-by-one until I found the problem driver. There may be more than one problem driver, so make sure you repeat until all possibles have been found.

REMEMBER that Stupid Windows 10, by default, updates drivers. It is my belief that drivers should not be touched except in these rare situations: something is not working well or you are a gamer. Even then, I only update my video card driver. What this means is that when Windows 10 updates your drivers — without your permission — then this problem will re-appear. Microsoft has become like the music and movie studios, that the product is theirs and you are given permission to use it. I am of the opinion that if I paid money for it, then it is mine and if I want to delay updates or not install a driver, then that is my right.

These are the instructions to make a cloned drive bootable again if the original had bad sectors. These instructions are only applicable for any Windows that uses the BCD, which is Vista and beyond, and has a MBR. You will need a Windows 7 or later DVD or equivalent USB stick; a Windows Vista disc will be harder. This assumes that the OS files were cloned successfully.

  • Run chkdsk on all the partitions.
  • Identify which partition has the BCD files. If there is a recovery partition, chances are good the BCD is stored on that drive.
  • Use the following commands in the diskpart program:
    • LIST DISK (use this command to identify the cloned hard drive number)
    • SELECT DISK # (where # is the cloned hard drive number)
    • LIST PARTITION (use this command to identify the partition with the BCD files)
    • SELECT PARTITION # (where # is the partition with the BCD files)
    • ACTIVE
    • EXIT
  • Now run the following commands: (Of course, some are redundant!)
    • bootsect /nt60 sys /force
    • bootrec /fixboot
    • bootrec /fixmbr
    • bcdboot d:\windows /s c: (where d:\ is the drive letter with all your Windows files and c: is the system partition from above)
      • NOTE: Usually but not always the system partition is given the driver letter c:. If it was not given any drive letter, you will have to use the diskpart commands to assign it a drive letter. But it some cases it may not be c:, in some cases it may be on the same drive as your Windows files.
  • Reboot.
  • If problems still persist, run startup repair.

I currently own the Asus RT-AC66U router and I love it. I’ve had it for over a year and it has been steady as a rock. But with this “cloud first, mobile first” (and customer last) philosophy of Microsoft, I was looking for a way to make my router block all that tracking that is in Windows 10 and trying to be in Windows 7 and 8. Block it at the router level and Microsoft can’t do a thing about it. According to Asus, the RT-AC66U router supports DD-WRT. This is a requirement. If your Asus router does not support DD-WRT, then this how-to will not help. Fortunately you don’t need to install DD-WRT. DD-WRT can a pain to install on a router. You do need to install the Merlin firmware, which you can download here.

This is an advanced how-to meant for more technical people.

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Microsoft is making a lot of hullabaloo about Windows 10 even going so far as to offer Win10 at no cost to anybody using Windows 7 or Windows 8. Of course, just because something does not cost more money does not mean it is free. If you are using Windows 7, you should not upgrade. Here are 6 reasons why:

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By default, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 has enabled settings that track you for advertising. Windows 8.1 also try desperately to have you log in to your computer with a Microsoft account. Those settings should be disabled and you should never log in with a Microsoft account because several of my customers have had trouble logging in when they used a Microsoft account to do so. Thankfully, in Windows 10 it is a lot easier not to log in with a Microsoft account. These are the steps to avoid potential problems and to reclaim your privacy. Logging with a non-Microsoft account makes it harder for Microsoft to deliver you targeted advertising. Just because it is very difficult does not mean we should willingly surrender our privacy.

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Windows 10 Overview and Impressions

I am currently testing Windows 10 out. Right now, there is only a beta (technical preview) available. Proper software design goes through several stages of development. Alpha is the first stage and that is internal testing and design. Beta is the second stage and that is when the program is given to other people to test it out and, sometimes, suggest ways to improve. Release candidate is the final testing stage and this is when the program is almost finished but the developer wants to root out bugs; no major design changes will no occur. Finally there is release-to-manufacturing (RTM) when the developer is satisfied there are no more major bugs. Windows 10 is still in beta. When it is finalized, I will update this post. The last edit was 5/31/2015.

The official launch date has been announced: July 29, 2015.

But first, my early impressions.

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