Author Archive

Older IE Support ends next week

On January 12th, 2016, Microsoft will drop support for Internet Explorer for versions 10 and under. Like Windows XP, some won’t care. But, with IE being targeted for exploits fairly often, it’s best to upgrade. IE11 is still supported for now.

It means you should take action. After January 12, 2016, Microsoft will no longer provide security updates or technical support for older versions of Internet Explorer. Security updates patch vulnerabilities that may be exploited by malware, helping to keep users and their data safer. Regular security updates help protect computers from malicious attacks, so upgrading and staying current is important.

Windows 10 on over 200 Million Devices

Microsoft’s aggressive upgrade campaign is working, as they now have over 200 million devices running Windows 10. However, that number could be higher. Windows 7 users are clinging to the aging OS. Microsoft is warning users that Windows 10 is much more secure than Windows 10 and staying behind is “at your own risk, at your own peril.”.

    • We are also seeing accelerating and unprecedented demand for Windows 10 among enterprise and education customers. As of today, more than 76% of our enterprise customers are in active pilots of Windows 10, and we now have over 22 million devices running Windows 10 across enterprise and education customers.

Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 10

RSAT for Windows 10 is out for those admins out there. Grab it if you need it.

Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 10 lets IT administrators manage Windows Server Technical Preview from a remote computer running the full release version of Windows 10.

Insiders Windows 10 Build 10525

For those that are still part of the Windows Insiders group, build 10525 is available for download. A few bugs, but a few new little features to try out. Glad to see more builds coming out for us to try. As usual, this is similar to beta testing, so it is one of those things that can come with some risk. Most people have absolutely zero issues and others seem to be plagued by them. Your mileage may vary!

This is our first new build since the release of Windows 10, and I’m very happy to talk about one new thing that you’ll see because it really highlights both how your feedback influences the product development as well as illustrating how some things will get implemented at different times depending on when we’re trying to stabilize and drive quality vs. when we’re open for new feature work.

History of Windows in 3 Minutes

Bloomberg has a 3 minute video going over the history of Microsoft Windows with some good information for those that missed out on some of it. I was never able to get Windows 1.01, but I did start with Windows 2. Been using it every since. Well, other than ME. I’ve worked on it, but I went with Windows 2000 instead.

History of the Start Menu

The Start Menu has been around since Windows 95. We lost it with Windows 8 and got it back with Windows 10. Apparently, the designer of the original Start Menu (originally called the system menu) doesn’t like the new design. Although, I do wonder if the developers at Microsoft were calling the users morons when they didn’t care much for the Start Screen…

Some very interesting information on how the Start Menu came to be and why.

For instance, one study subject took twenty minutes of staring at a Windows 3.1 desktop before being able to open a text editing program.  Finally, a programmer spoke up that this was unacceptable, to Oran’s relief. But that relief would be short lived: "Our customers are morons!" exclaimed the programmer.

Extracting Your Windows 10 Key

winkey.png

Finding your Windows 10 key can be problematic with Windows 10. Here is a VBS script that can get your key with no issues. This script was not written by me, but has been posted in several places with no recognition of the author. If an original source is found, I will update with the author of the script.

1. Open Notepad.

2. Copy and paste the code below into Notepad.

Set WshShell = CreateObject(“WScript.Shell”)
MsgBox ConvertToKey(WshShell.RegRead(“HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\DigitalProductId”))

Function ConvertToKey(Key)
Const KeyOffset = 52
i = 28
Chars = “BCDFGHJKMPQRTVWXY2346789”
Do
Cur = 0
x = 14
Do
Cur = Cur * 256
Cur = Key(x + KeyOffset) + Cur
Key(x + KeyOffset) = (Cur \ 24) And 255
Cur = Cur Mod 24
x = x -1
Loop While x >= 0
i = i -1
KeyOutput = Mid(Chars, Cur + 1, 1) & KeyOutput
If (((29 – i) Mod 6) = 0) And (i <> -1) Then
i = i -1
KeyOutput = “-” & KeyOutput
End If
Loop While i >= 0
ConvertToKey = KeyOutput
End Function

3. Save as windowskey.vbs (Change the file type to “All Files”)

4. Run the file and your key will be displayed.

winkey

Configure Windows 10 To Notify When Updates Are Ready

configureautoupdates.png

Windows 10 will automatically download and update your system in the background without any interaction from the user. To change the way this happens, you can use a Windows 10 Pro feature called gpedit. This is not available on Windows 10 Home edition.

1. Click Start > Run and type gpedit.msc

gpedit

2. Browse to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update. Click the Edit policy setting link in the right pane.

windowsupdate

3. Select the option that fits your needs. I use ‘3 – Auto download and notify for install’ so it’s quick to install, but I can do it on my schedule.

configureautoupdates

Windows 10 Downloads Haven’t Broken the Internet

The Internet is feeling the pressure from the launch of Windows 10, with traffic 35% higher than normal. But, it hasn’t caused any problems at Microsoft or elsewhere as far as people can tell. Microsoft is pushing the update out in waves, which can help keep everyone from downloading it all at once. Plus, they were pushing the bits slowly the past few days to many users. Microsoft has made this launch go pretty smooth so far. At least as far as the Internet is concerned. Still a lot of issues in the forums and Microsoft communities.

Some people had feared that the Internet, or at least Microsoft’s servers, might crack under the strain. After all, the Brazilian 2014 World Cup, Apple’s iOS 8 release, and the first episode of the Game of Thrones all faltered under user demand.

Fix Error 80240020 When Updating to Windows 10

wuauclt

Many people are getting an error 80240020 when updating to Windows 10. This is due to an incomplete download or a corrupted download. Here is a solution.

1. Browse to C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download.

2. Delete everything within that folder.

3. Open a command prompt as Administrator. Type wuauclt.exe /updatenow

wuauclt

4. Go back into Windows Update and you should see Windows 10 re-downloading. When it is complete, you should be able to upgrade to Windows 10 with no issues.