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Found 34 results

  1. Dial-a-fix does not support Windows Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, or Windows 10. Dial-a-fix only supports Legacy Windows - that is Windows 95, 98, ME, 2000, and XP. For more information please check the wiki. If you need support for these operating systems, please post in the corresponding forum.
  2. Microsoft yesterday announced that beginning in October it will offer only cumulative security updates for Windows 7 and 8.1, ending the decades-old practice of letting customers choose which patches they apply. "Historically, we have released individual patches ... which allowed you to be selective with the updates you deployed," wrote Nathan Mercer, a senior product marketing manager, in a post to a company blog. "[But] this resulted in fragmentation where different PCs could have a different set of updates installed leading to multiple potential problems." Instead, only cumulative security and performance updates will be offered. "Individual patches will no longer be available," Mercer said. The new maintenance model for Windows 7 and 8.1 was a direct transplant from Windows 10, which has always relied on cumulative updates that include the contents of all previous releases along with the new fixes. View the full article
  3. With the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, aka Windows 10 version 1607, released earlier this week, it's time to look forward to what's next. Windows 10 has multiple release tracks to address the needs of its various customer types. The mainstream consumer release, the one that received the Anniversary Update on Tuesday, is dubbed the Current Branch (CB). The Current Branch for Business (CBB) trails the CB by several months, giving it greater time to bed in and receive another few rounds of bug fixing. Currently the CBB is using last year's November Update, version 1511. In about four months, Microsoft plans to bump CBB up to version 1607, putting both CB and CBB on the same major version. The Long Term Servicing Branch, an Enterprise-only version that will receive security and critical issue support for 10 years, will also be updated. Currently, Windows 10 LTSB is essentially the Windows 10 RTM release with certain features such as the Edge browser and Windows Store permanently removed. On October 1, a new Windows 10 LTSB build will be released, starting another 10-year support window. View the full article
  4. Microsoft's year-long offer of a free upgrade to Windows 10 has now finished, albeit with a couple of loopholes still to be closed. Since the deal was launched last year there are now more than 350 million devices running the new operating system, mostly thanks to the offer. It's not especially surprising that users have quicker to upgrade to Windows 10 than earlier versions: Microsoft was giving it away for free, after all. Microsoft's offer was, to an extent, bowing to the inevitable: since the rise of the smartphone with regular free mobile OS upgrades, consumers increasingly expect to get new desktop OS upgrades for free (indeed, Mac users have done since 2013). The touch-centric look-and-feel that arrived with Windows 8, which confused and upset many users, was onther reason for the Windows 10 offer. Giving Windows 10 away for free helped Microsoft put that painful negative reception behind it, and in the process got rid of much of the Windows 8 installed base still out there (has any version of Windows appeared and disappeared so quickly?). View the full article
  5. Seeing as another major round of updates to Windows 10 is about to take place next week it only makes sense to see some fear-inducing articles. In fairness, the articles themselves aren't that bad (see PC World) as the content mostly explains away the so-called controversy. Nonetheless in the age of "I only read the headline" things like "You can't turn off Cortana in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update" with the fine print "...but you can lessen her awareness" does a disservice to the community. Normally, I ignore such articles as in June we wrote a detailed guide called "How to turn off Cortana and stop personal data gathering in Windows 10". That guide mostly applies to the current version of Cortana, but a lot of the privacy tips are relevant for the Windows 10 Anniversary Update. View the full article
  6. By default, on Windows, Firefox is a 32-bit application. This means that it is limited to using at most 4 GiB of memory, even on machines that have more than 4 GiB of physical memory (RAM). In fact, depending on the OS configuration, the limit may be as low as 2 GiB. Now, 2–4 GiB might sound like a lot of memory, but it’s not that unusual for power users to use that much. This includes: users with many (dozens or even hundreds) of tabs open; users with many (dozens) of extensions; users of memory-hungry web sites and web apps; and users who do all of the above! Furthermore, in practice it’s not possible to totally fill up this available space because fragmentation inevitably occurs. For example, Firefox might need to make a 10 MiB allocation and there might be more than 10 MiB of unused memory, but if that available memory is divided into many pieces all of which are smaller than 10 MiB, then the allocation will fail. View the full article
  7. We reported earlier on France's demands to Microsoft with regards to bolstering its Windows 10 OS to better protect user data, and ultimately, their privacy. The fact that a watchdog would target Microsoft for collecting too much data probably strikes no one as a surprise, as that very complaint has been one shared by many users since the launch of Microsoft's latest OS. In the complaint, France's Chair of the National Data Protection Commission noted a couple of big issues, from the fact that the PIN code can be entered as many times as an attacker needs it to be and also that certain mechanisms of the operating system collect much more user data than is required for it to function. View the full article
  8. Windows 10 breaches French law by collecting too much personal information from users and failing to secure it adequately, according to the French National Data Protection Commission (CNIL). Some of the privacy failings identified can be remedied by users willing to delve deep into the Windows 10 settings, but one of the commission's gripes is that better privacy should be the default setting, not one users must fight for. CNIL served Microsoft with a formal notice on June 30, giving it three months to comply with the law, but only made it public on Wednesday. The commission conducted seven tests of the data sent back to Microsoft by Windows 10 in April and June of this year. Among Microsoft's faux pas was the collection of data about all the apps downloaded and installed on a system, and the time spent on each one, a process CNIL said was both excessive and unnecessary. View the full article
  9. Microsoft just released yet another Win10 upgrade nag system, disguised as a "Recommended" patch for Windows 7 SP1 and Windows 8.1 systems. According to the KB 3173040 article, if you have Windows set to automatically install updates, and have the Windows Update "Check for updates but let me choose whether to download and install them" box checked, your machine will suddenly sprout a full-screen purple message that says: View the full article
  10. Microsoft has released a new update rollup for Windows 7 users that brings an important pack of improvements to computers still running this OS version - according to third-party stats, Windows 7 continues to be used on some 45 percent of the PCs out there. The June 2016 update rollup for Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 includes fixes and performance improvements, so it doesn’t bring any new security patches. These continue to be part of the Patch Tuesday rollout taking place on the second Tuesday of each month. Microsoft announced in May this year that it would start rolling out update packs for Windows 7 every month, thus making it easier for computers running this version to remain up to date and get the very latest improvements. “These fixes will be available through Windows Update, WSUS, and SCCM as well as the Microsoft Update catalog. We hope this monthly rollup update simplifies your process of keeping Windows 7, and 8.1 up-to-date,” Microsoft said when announcing its new update rollup plan. View the full article
  11. Before Microsoft Windows 10, users could customize all the systems sounds to be anything they wanted. Unfortunately, for reasons unbeknownst to the rest of us, Microsoft decided that certain sounds were off limits for customization in Windows 10. For example, you can't change sounds in the control panel for logon, logoff, and shutdown. But you don't have to let Microsoft get away with that, as long as you don't mind an excursion deep into the Windows 10 Registry file. Standard disclaimer: The Windows Registry file is vital to the operation of the Windows operating system. Incorrectly editing or otherwise corrupting the Windows Registry file could prevent your computer from booting properly. You have been warned. Delve deep To customize sounds in Windows 10, right-click the speaker icon in the system tray and then click the Sounds menu item. As you can see in Figure A, you will be presented with a control panel where you can modify system sounds. However, logon, logoff, and shutdown are notably missing from this list. View the full article
  12. Microsoft will end the free upgrade to Windows 10 offer that’s available for Windows 7 and 8.1 users on July 29, which means that those who can benefit from this promo have less than 50 days to do it. Redmond launched its new operating system last year on July 29 and decided to offer it free of charge to those who were running Windows 7 and 8.1, giving them one full year to upgrade without paying a single cent. For those who are still unsure whether this comes with a catch, here’s the thing. You can upgrade to Windows 10 any time by July 29, 2016, and the operating system will be available for you without any cost for the entire lifetime of your device. This means that you won’t get a trial version or a demo, and Windows 10 won’t turn into adware after July 29, as some people claimed, but to benefit from all of these, you have to upgrade before the offer expires. View the full article
  13. While we’ve spent a lot of time over the past year talking about Windows 10 (including new roadmap details), we know that organizations are still working with Windows 7 too, regularly updating their Windows 7 SP1 images to include the latest updates, app versions, and more. For those that are involved in that process, you’ve probably seen a display like this too many times: New Windows 7 SP1 convenience rollup makes image creation much faster We’re happy to announce today that we’re making available a new convenience rollup for Windows 7 SP1 that will help. This convenience rollup package, available to download from http://catalog.update.microsoft.com/v7/site/Search.aspx?q=3125574, contains all the security and non-security fixes released since the release of Windows 7 SP1 that are suitable for general distribution, up through April 2016. Install this one update, and then you only need new updates released after April 2016. And since this update can be injected into Windows 7 SP1 media, it’s fully supported to mount a Windows 7 SP1 image (WIM file), then inject this update into it. See https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd744559(v=ws.10).aspx for the details of how to do this. This convenience update is completely optional; it doesn’t have to be installed and won’t even be offered via Windows Update – you can choose whether or not you want to use it. View the full article
  14. Microsoft is removing part of its controversial Wi-Fi Sense feature from Windows 10. "We have removed the Wi-Fi Sense feature that allows you to share Wi-Fi networks with your contacts and to be automatically connected to networks shared by your contacts," says Microsoft's Gabe Aul. "The cost of updating the code to keep this feature working combined with low usage and low demand made this not worth further investment." Wi-Fi Sense was originally introduced on Windows Phone and then updated and included with Windows 10. It's a feature that lets you automatically connect to open hotspots, and share your Wi-Fi passwords with contacts. Some security experts had expressed concerns over Windows 10 automatically connecting to open hotspots, but Microsoft is keeping this feature in place. Wi-Fi Sense's password sharing feature generated unnecessary noise from people who didn't understand it wasn't sharing all Wi-Fi passwords by default, but Microsoft has clearly received enough data and feedback to show that it's not widely used. View the full article
  15. It will be interesting to see what comes of this. I'm wondering which Windows will get this implementation. http://blogs.msdn.com/b/powershell/archive/2015/10/19/openssh-for-windows-update.aspx
  16. Hi all. With MSE no longer available for download for XP (and with limited updates in the future), what would be the best antivirus and antimalware set-up? I have a bunch of questions as ever; Currently have Avast, but was wondering if AVG would be better? Or anything else? As stand-alone additional scanners/blockers, I just have SpywareBlaster to help protect, and MalwareBytes available as a standalone scanner. Is it worth adding Superantispyware to the mix, or indeed anything else (I of course have CCleaner)? Is it worth keeping XP? My family is using it on there desktop, and really can't afford to upgrade to Vista or any of the above (and I don't think it would run particularly well). What would be best? Try Lubuntu/Xubuntu or the like? Or leave XP and just be careful? Thanks for the advice as always!
  17. Google is requiring more Windows-based Chrome extensions to be installed from its Web Store and will enforce the same requirement on Mac users in a few months in an attempt to prevent users from inadvertently installing malicious titles. The move comes a year after Google first required Windows users to download extensions from the Chrome Web Store, a mandate that resulted in a 75-percent drop in user support requests seeking help uninstalling unwanted extensions. The policy wasn't enforced on the Windows developer channel, so developers of malicious extensions have increasingly embraced it as a medium for distributing their wares. View the full article
  18. Microsoft stopped actively developing Windows Media Center in 2009, but the company still shipped an unmodified version in an upgrade pack for Windows 8. The software giant is planning to kill off Media Center in Windows 10, meaning any PCs upgraded from Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 will lose the feature. Microsoft confirmed the plan to ZDNet’s Ed Bott in a recent interview. It’s not a surprise move, but Windows Media Center has a passionate and loyal following which will undoubtedly mourn the loss of the feature. Microsoft first introduced Windows Media Center in 2001 as a separate Windows XP version. It was designed to run fullscreen as a media player, and support television channels from TV tuners. A number of PC makers created dedicated Media Center PCs for use in the living room, but it never really made it mainstream enough for Microsoft to continue developing it fully. Windows Media Center was characterized by its use of a green button to access the main interface from a remote control. View the full article
  19. If you don't have your Windows 7 disc handy—but want to create a custom installation, run Windows from a USB drive, or just do a fresh install—you'll need an ISO file of the disc. You used to be able to download them from Digital River's servers, but those links no longer work. Now, Microsoft has a Software Recovery Center where you can download those ISOs for free. This isn't piracy, of course—you still need a valid Windows license to download the ISO and register Windows. If you purchased a retail version of Windows, enter the product key from the package. If you can't find it, use a program like Magical Jelly Bean KeyFinder. Once Microsoft confirms your product key, you can download Windows and use the Windows 7 USB Download Tool to put it on a thumb drive. If your computer came with Windows, however, it's probably an OEM version, which will not work on Microsoft's new site. Instead, if you want to reinstall Windows without the bloatware, you'll probably need to borrow a disc from someone and use your product key when you resinstall. Windows 8.1 users have always been able to download ISOs with Microsoft's tool, which you can now get here. Link: Welcome to the Microsoft Software Recovery Center Source: Lifehacker View the full article
  20. Windows 10 will be a free upgrade for Windows 7 and Windows 8 users this summer, but Microsoft is also extending its offer to software pirates. "We are upgrading all qualified PCs, genuine and non-genuine, to Windows 10," says Terry Myerson, Microsoft’s Windows chief, in an interview with Reuters. The move means that thousands, perhaps millions, of machines will get a free copy of Windows 10 even if a license has not been properly acquired. "Anyone with a qualified device can upgrade to Windows 10, including those with pirated copies of Windows," says a Microsoft spokesperson in a statement to The Verge. "We believe customers over time will realize the value of properly licensing Windows and we will make it easy for them to move to legitimate copies." View the full article
  21. There has been a LOT of confusion around Windows, SSDs (hard drives), and whether or not they are getting automatically defragmented by automatic maintenance tasks in Windows. There's a general rule of thumb or statement that "defragging an SSD is always a bad idea." I think we can agree we've all heard this before. We've all been told that SSDs don't last forever and when they die, they just poof and die. SSDs can only handle a finite number of writes before things start going bad. This is of course true of regular spinning rust hard drives, but the conventional wisdom around SSDs is to avoid writes that are perceived as unnecessary. I've seen statements around the web like this: I just noticed that the defragsvc is hammering the internal disk on my machine. To my understanding defrag provides no value add on an SSD and so is disabled by default when the installer determines the disk is SSD. I was thinking it could be TRIM working, but I thought that was internal to the SSD and so the OS wouldn’t even see the IO. One of the most popular blog posts on the topic of defrag and SSDs under Windows is by Vadim Sterkin. Vadim's analysis has a lot going on. He can see that defrag is doing something, but it's not clear why, how, or for how long. What's the real story? Something is clearly running, but what is it doing and why? I made some inquiries internally, got what I thought was a definitive answer and waded in with a comment. However, my comment, while declarative, was wrong. Windows doesn’t defrag SSDs. Full stop. If it reports as an SSD it doesn’t get defraged, no matter what. This is just a no-op message. There’s no bug here, sorry. - Me in the Past I dug deeper and talked to developers on the Windows storage team and this post is written in conjunction with them to answer the question, once and for all "What's the deal with SSDs, Windows and Defrag, and more importantly, is Windows doing the RIGHT THING?" It turns out that the answer is more nuanced than just yes or no, as is common with technical questions. The short answer is, yes, Windows does sometimes defragment SSDs, yes, it's important to intelligently and appropriately defrag SSDs, and yes, Windows is smart about how it treats your SSD. The long answer is this. Actually Scott and Vadim are both wrong. Storage Optimizer will defrag an SSD once a month if volume snapshots are enabled. This is by design and necessary due to slow volsnap copy on write performance on fragmented SSD volumes. It’s also somewhat of a misconception that fragmentation is not a problem on SSDs. If an SSD gets too fragmented you can hit maximum file fragmentation (when the metadata can’t represent any more file fragments) which will result in errors when you try to write/extend a file. Furthermore, more file fragments means more metadata to process while reading/writing a file, which can lead to slower performance. As far as Retrim is concerned, this command should run on the schedule specified in the dfrgui UI. Retrim is necessary because of the way TRIM is processed in the file systems. Due to the varying performance of hardware responding to TRIM, TRIM is processed asynchronously by the file system. When a file is deleted or space is otherwise freed, the file system queues the trim request to be processed. To limit the peek resource usage this queue may only grow to a maximum number of trim requests. If the queue is of max size, incoming TRIM requests may be dropped. This is okay because we will periodically come through and do a Retrim with Storage Optimizer. The Retrim is done at a granularity that should avoid hitting the maximum TRIM request queue size where TRIMs are dropped. Wow, that's awesome and dense. Let's tease it apart a little. When he says volume snapshots or "volsnap" he means the Volume Shadow Copy system in Windows. This is used and enabled by Windows System Restore when it takes a snapshot of your system and saves it so you can rollback to a previous system state. I used this just yesterday when I install a bad driver. A bit of advanced info here - Defrag will only run on your SSD if volsnap is turned on, and volsnap is turned on by System Restore as one needs the other. You could turn off System Restore if you want, but that turns off a pretty important safety net for Windows. One developer added this comment, which I think is right on. I think the major misconception is that most people have a very outdated model of diskfile layout, and how SSDs work. First, yes, your SSD will get intelligently defragmented once a month. Fragmentation, while less of a performance problem on SSDs vs traditional hard drives is still a problem. SSDS *do* get fragmented. It's also worth pointing out that what we (old-timers) think about as "defrag.exe" as a UI is really "optimize your storage" now. It was defrag in the past and now it's a larger disk health automated system. > Additionally, there is a maximum level of fragmentation that the file system can handle. Fragmentation has long been considered as primarily a performance issue with traditional hard drives. When a disk gets fragmented, a singular file can exist in pieces in different locations on a physical drive. That physical drive then needs to seek around collecting pieces of the file and that takes extra time. This kind of fragmentation still happens on SSDs, even though their performance characteristics are very different. The file systems metadata keeps track of fragments and can only keep track of so many. Defragmentation in cases like this is not only useful, but absolutely needed. SSDs also have the concept of TRIM. While TRIM (retrim) is a separate concept from fragmentation, it is still handled by the Windows Storage Optimizer subsystem and the schedule is managed by the same UI from the User's perspective. TRIM is a way for SSDs to mark data blocks as being not in use. Writing to empty blocks on an SSD is faster that writing to blocks in use as those need to be erased before writing to them again. SSDs internally work very differently from traditional hard drives and don't usually know what sectors are in use and what is free space. Deleting something means marking it as not in use. TRIM lets the operating system notify the SSD that a page is no longer in use and this hint gives the SSD more information which results in fewer writes, and theoretically longer operating life. In the old days, you would sometimes be told by power users to run this at the command line to see if TRIM was enabled for your SSD. A zero result indicates it is. fsutil behavior query DisableDeleteNotify However, this stuff is handled by Windows today in 2014, and you can trust that it's "doing the right thing." Windows 7, along with 8 and 8.1 come with appropriate and intelligent defaults and you don't need to change them for optimal disk performance. This is also true with Server SKUs like Windows Server 2008R2 and later. Conclusion No, Windows is not foolishly or blindly running a defrag on your SSD every night, and no, Windows defrag isn't shortening the life of your SSD unnecessarily. Modern SSDs don't work the same way that we are used to with traditional hard drives. Yes, your SSD's file system sometimes needs a kind of defragmentation and that's handled by Windows, monthly by default, when appropriate. The intent is to maximize performance and a long life. If you disable defragmentation completely, you are taking a risk that your filesystem metadata could reach maximum fragmentation and get you potentially in trouble. Source: Hanselman View the full article
  22. Microsoft first started supporting the MKV file format natively on the company’s Xbox One console earlier this year, and now the company is bringing those changes to Windows. Starting today, Windows 8.1 will now natively support the Matroska Multimedia Container (MKV) file format with the built-in video app. The open standard container format has long been used to provide pirated copies of movies and TV shows through BitTorrent or other file sharing sites, but Microsoft’s move to provide native support lends the file format some much-needed legitimacy. > While it’s likely most content providers will continue to provide streaming video instead of DRM-free download options, native MKV support in Windows adds another option to share video or audio files without having to download third-party players like VLC. Microsoft has also pledged to support MKV in the upcoming release of Windows 10, alongside support for Free Lossless Audio Codec (FLAC) files. Microsoft’s MKV implementation in Windows 8.1 is still limited by the operating system's codec and subtitle support, but the company may choose to improve both of these drawbacks in Windows 10. Source: TheVerge View the full article
  23. Just a quick note (I have the flu, can barely focus) to say Mozilla has finally set a target date for a Win x64 release - the end of March, 2015. Read about it here: http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=2876519
  24. There's lots of talking going around about the free upgrade. I'd like to get myself Windows 8 just to try it and be able to get the free upgrade to Windows 10.   Why is it now Windows 10 instead of 9? Because of third party programmers using the wrong code.   Quote source: http://www.reddit.com/r/technology/comments/2hwlrk/new_windows_version_will_be_called_windows_10/ckwq83x   A huge offender is Java, just take a look at https://searchcode.com/?q=if%28version%2Cstartswith%28%22windows+9%22%29
  25. Multiple Windows 9 reports have suggested that Microsoft is considering releasing the upcoming platform as a free download to certain existing Windows users. Some said that Windows 8 will get Windows 9 free of charge, while others claimed the company is also considering some sort of special offers for existing Windows XP users. A report from Indonesian online publication Detik said earlier this week that President of Microsoft Indonesia Andreas Diantoro has confirmed this particular Windows 9 feature. According to Diantoro, the Windows 9 upgrade will be available free of charge to all existing Windows 8 users once it’s released. Apparently, users will be able to easily install the Windows 9 update after downloading it from Microsoft, which is how Apple’s OS X updates have been rolled out to Macs for a few years now. For what it’s worth, some of the recent Windows 9 leaks did say that Microsoft already has a tool in place that will allow users to easily perform software updates. View the full article
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