While I wasn’t going to write (free) columns on Wednesday, I just had to give some high praise to Microsoft on the recent update to Win-10 v. 1903 which was released a couple of weeks back.

It’s stable, love the new features, but there are also a couple of install snags that we ran into that may save you some time.

First, we have a lot of computer gear around here.  There’s one in the studio, one in Elaine’s office, one driving the big screen in the living room, one in the guest room, four in my office…so lots of things that can go wrong, among them.

The installations on the desktops was generally OK, but do remember before you do this upgrade to get up through the previous major release – 1803 – working to make things flow smoothly.

On laptops, though, this is where some manufacturers (Samsung for one) are dropping in an unwanted “Disable_WindowsUpdate.exe” as part of their bloatware.  What manufacturers seem to do is add bloatware to make it feel like Windows is theirs.  Bloatware that I’ve had to remove doesn’t add news features – it just shuffles things around and makes it unfindable (if that’s a word).  If you discover (as I did) that your update to 1903 is failing, then look for manufacturer bloatware as your prime suspect.

The best tool for getting rid of the bloatware I’ve found is https://revouninstaller.com.  If you look at the website, the pro version is really inexpensive (and it’s on my “production” machine) because it let’s you look for programs by manufacturer.

I am still working on removing the update blocking bloatware on my Samsung but was able to use RevoUnistaller on it, and then uninstall most of the manufacturer software.  Make sure to set restore points along the way, but I didn’t break anything on either a Samsung or Toshiba l/t.  The Toshiba runs much nicer.

The next hip shot is if you use the onboard “Windows Update Check” (Apps and Features>Windows Update) you may find it says “You’re all up to date” even though 1903 has obviously not installed.

Workaround:  Click over the Microsoft support site and download the Win 10 Update Assistant from here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10.

The last thing to do is be prepared to spend a little time, especially if you have a limited pipeline onto the web.  Not sure if it’s still the case, but usually MSFT limits updates to 45% of your bandwidth so you can minimize the download and effectively keep working.

With those notes aside (no, we don’t offer tech support, you twiddle and you take the risk…not us!) we have found it is a much smoother-performing and generally great update.  The update to the snipping tool is good and if you use “Sticky Notes” as your “poor man’s Kan Ban” board, you can view the notes either all over the screen OR as a neat row across the bottom (until it gets too big!).

I wanted to share our experiences with this because if your life/income/and future depend on solid computing, nice to see that (at least so far) Build 1903 of Win-10 is a great update.  Unless you have a Sumsung i7 laptop…in which case, I’ve got it narrowed down to a couple of suspects now, after doing all the web-discoverable workarounds.

CCleaner or ZookaWare?

Different topic here, but I did a side-by-side of CCleaner and ZookaWare while cleaning the HD’s and getting everything “spiffed-up” prior to the updates.

Turns out the ZookaWare picked off 6 pieces of spyware that CCleaner had missed.  But, don’t fault CCleaner:  The spyware in question was on an selcom-used archival HD on the “big box” and as a result, was likely not being scanned.  Point for ZW.

On the other hand, the deep ZW clean also changed the UHD video settings, so had to dance through that.

Thus, we answer the important question for seniors:  “How will I find enough to do when I retire?”

Answer?  Get three networks, 7 PCs and subscriptions to a half-dozen anti-virus, malware removing, PC tuning, registry refurbishing programs.  You’ll never have time for anything else.

We’ll keep you posted.

Oh, should mention that MSFT also seems to understand the transition to the “Rent Your Life” economy better than most.  We have a 5-user copy of Office 2016 which costs us about $25 per year per computer, but that’s actually an expression of rational economics.

They keep adding value to their core tools – and even though we can’t input any faster than when we were running the old Ashton-Tate MultiMate program (and font modules which my buddy Gaye had some number of, I was an Epson dot kinda guy back in our Halt and Catch Fire days…) and even though VisiCalc did much of what Excel does, the ongoing updates are very-much worth $150 per year per household if the OS updates under it all continue to be this good.

There’s still some prodigious brainpower in Redmond, despite what the Cupertinites would have you believe…

More on the ‘morrow…back to the Peoplenomics article now…

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