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About this blog

Andre lives on the beautiful island of Jamaica (yeah, mon). Andre can best be described as friendly, passionate about technology, a lover of nature and enjoys sharing his views on topics he is highly interested in.

His journey into blogging started in 2004 when Microsoft introduced their online blogging service, MSN Spaces. Like many, Andre was enthralled by the excitement surrounding the development of Windows ‘codename’ Longhorn, which eventually became Windows Vista. From then on his enthusiasm for Windows grew into a passion. Throughout those years he was able to expand his reach through the opportunity of writing reviews and articles for ActiveWin.com.

The opportunity for him to start his own blog and share his opinions with readers about technology allows him to help and learn from so many in return. “It has been one of the great aspects of blogging. That’s one of the key things about technology and the essence of the MVP Program itself, the opportunity to share and learn.”

You can often find Andre publishing his latest articles at http://www.groovypost.com

Entries in this blog

 

How to Download the Latest Windows 10 ISO Files Directly Using Your Web Browser

Update: Microsoft is forcing users to download the ISO file using the Media Creation Tool. If you still want to download the ISO file directly, you can do so by changing the User Agent String in your web browser. This will make the browser pretend its on an operating system such as Linux or macOS, which Microsoft permits direct downloads from.   Before you upgrade, make sure you check if your system is compatible:   12 Things You Should Do Before Installing Windows 10 Creators Update (Version 1703) Once you have your system backed up, you can download the ISOs by heading to the following URL: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10 Scroll down, then click in the Select edition list box. Choose the edition that currently matches your currently installed edition. Windows 10 - contains both Windows 10 Home and Pro Windows 10 N - contains both Windows 10 Home and Pro N - for customers in Europe (lacks Media Player). Windows 10 Single Language - contains install files for Windows 10 Home Single Language The ISO downloaded containing your corresponding edition, will detect and install the correct edition during setup. Click Confirm Choose your language then click Confirm again Choose your architecture - 32 or 64 bit. If you are not sure which edition to download and install, press Windows key + X, then click System; this will tell you which architecture is currently installed. Computers running Windows 8 or Windows 10, can double click the ISO to mount it then begin the installation. If you are running Windows 7, you will need to initialize the ISO. See how you can do that in the following article: Create a Windows 10 USB Bootable Flash Drive (Updated) - groovyPost Review instructions how you can upgrade using the ISO: How You Can Upgrade to Windows 10 Creators Update Right Now There are lot more exciting features in Windows 10 Creators Update such as wider support for mixed reality gear, game mode and improvements to features like the Windows 10 Subsystem for Linux.

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Download Windows 10 Feature Update ISO Files Directly Using Your Web Browser

Update: Microsoft is forcing users to download the ISO file using the Media Creation Tool. If you still want to download the ISO file directly, you can do so by changing the User Agent String in your web browser. This will make the browser pretend its on an operating system such as Linux or macOS, which Microsoft permits direct downloads from. If you need to download Windows 10 on an alternative operating system such as OS X (MacOS) or Linux; the Media Creation Tool or Windows 10 Upgrade Assistant will not work because those applications are executables. Previously, Microsoft provided the Techbench website for such as scenarios. The web page has now been redirected to the Software Download page. So if you are looking for it, that's where you will now find it. Go to: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10ISO/ Scroll down, click in the list box and choose your edition. Make sure you choose the right version. Click Confirm then wait while the page is verified. Windows 10 - contains Windows 10 Pro and Windows 10 Home
Windows 10 N - only for customers in Europe, contains Windows 10 Pro N and Windows 10 Home N
Windows 10 Single Language - for users running Windows 10 Single Language, Windows 8 Core Single Language, Windows 8.1 Core Single Language or Windows 8.1 with Bing.   Choose your language then click Confirm. Wait while the page is verified. Choose the architecture you wish to download. Remember, you only have 24 hours to download the ISO before it expires. When you are done, use your favorite DVD burning utility or mount it in a Virtual Machine.  

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How to Ensure a Smooth Upgrade to Windows 10 Anniversary Update

The Windows 10 Anniversary Update is fast approaching. To ensure users experience a smooth upgrade, here are some things you can do. Disable your Antivirus utility temporarily before attempting the upgrade. Click the respective link for the Antivirus utility you are running. Please remember to re-enable your Antivirus after successfully upgrade. - Norton - right click Norton in the Notification Area then click Disable Antivirus
- McAfee
- ESET NOD32
- Kaspersky
- Avast
- AVG
- Trend Micro
- Bitdefender
- Webroot Secure Anywhere
- F-Secure
- Panda
- Comodo Make sure your machine name is simple no periods or hyphens or dashes. Avoid using names such as "System" or Account or Administrator for your Machine. How to Rename Your Windows 10 Computer - groovyPost Restart a few times then try again. Click Start > Power Options > Restart Disable General USB Devices (example - Smart Card Reader).  Press Windows key + X > click Device Manager > expand Memory technology devices. Right click SD Controllers, then click uninstall. If there is more than one, right click each, then click Uninstall. Perform a clean boot, restart then try again. Learn how to do it in Windows 10: How to Disable Startup Programs in Windows 10 - groovyPost If you are using a SCSI hard disk, make sure you have drivers available for your storage device on a thumb drive and it is connected. During Windows 10 setup, click the Custom Advanced Option and use the Load Driver command to load the appropriate driver for the SCSI drive. If this does not work and setup still fails, consider switching to a IDE based hard disk.   If you are upgrading using the .ISO file, disconnect from the Internet during setup, if you are connected by LAN (Ethernet) or Wi-Fi, disable both then attempt setup again.  There are multiple ways to do this, you can disconnect the Ethernet cable if you are connected to a wireless network. If you are connected to a wireless network, you can manually disable Wi-Fi by turning off the Wireless switch on your laptop. Another way that is even easier, is to open Action Center - press Windows key + A then click Airplane Mode. This will disable all network technologies. Proceed with the upgrade. If you are updating through Windows Update, when the download reaches 100% disconnect from the Internet LAN (Ethernet) or Wi-Fi then proceed with the installation. See previous steps. If that does not work, try using the .ISO file to upgrade if possible. How To Download Windows 10 ISO for a Clean Install ... - groovyPost then mount the ISO and start the upgrade: How to Mount and Burn ISO Images in Windows 10 - groovyPost If you are connected to a domain, switch to a local account. See section of the following article Leave a Domain: How to Join a Windows 10 PC to a Domain - groovyPost If you have any external devices attached to the machine, disconnect them (example, gaming controllers, USB keys, external hard disk, printers, non-essential devices).

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Troubleshoot Windows Update Problems in Windows 10 Using These Five Tips

Windows Update is a key part of maintaining your computer. New operating system versions, application updates, security updates and even firmware updates are released through it. Sometimes, when you are experiencing problems downloading apps from the Windows Store, the Store app might be outdated and needs an update. The only way to get it, is through Windows Update. These five tips can help resolve some of the most common problems associated with Windows Updates in Windows 10. 1. Windows Update Troubleshooter The first troubleshooting option you can try is Microsoft's own Windows 10 Troubleshooter for Windows Update. In the Windows 10 Creators Update, you can find it in Start > Settings > Update & security > Troubleshoot, click Windows Update then click Run the troubleshooter. If you are running Windows 10 Anniversary Update or an earlier version of Windows, click Start, type: troubleshooting, hit Enter then launch the Windows Update troubleshooter. You can run the troubleshooter a couple times to see if it helps. 2. Media Creation Tool or Windows 10 Setup Media If the troubleshooter does not resolve the problem, then, the next option you can try is using the the Media Creation Tool or Windows 10 Setup install media to check for and install updates. Simply download the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool or if you have a Windows 10 ISO, double click it to mount it, then start up. Choose the Download and Install Updates (recommended). If setup successfully completes this step, close the wizard then restart your computer. 3. Deployment Image Servicing and Management The Deployment Image Servicing and Management can be used to resolve issues with the integrity of your Windows 10 installation, this includes: corrupt or damaged system files. Press Windows key + X Click Command Prompt (Admin) Type in at the prompt OR Copy and Paste these one at a time : (Hit enter after each)

Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth

Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth

Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth Exit the command prompt, restart your computer then try running Windows Update again.   4. Delete the Software Distribution Folder If you have reached this far and Windows Update is still not working, then this likely calls for some advanced tinkering. Before carrying out this procedure, disconnect from the Internet. That means turning off Wi-Fi and disconnecting from a wired connection. If you don't, Windows 10 will indicate some files are in use and cannot be modified or the command will be non-responsive. Also, you should restart your computer after disconnecting from the Internet. The easiest way to do it is to enable Aeroplan mode from the Action Center. 1. Press Windows Key + X on the keyboard and then select “Command Prompt (Admin)” from the menu. 2. Stop the BITS, Cryptographic, MSI Installer and the Windows Update Services. To do this, type the following commands at a command prompt. Press the “ENTER” key after you type each command.                            net stop wuauserv                            net stop cryptSvc                            net stop bits                            net stop msiserver 3. Now rename the SoftwareDistribution and Catroot2 folder. You can do this by typing the following commands in the Command Prompt. Press the “ENTER” key after you type each command.                           ren C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution SoftwareDistribution.old                           ren C:\Windows\System32\catroot2 Catroot2.old 4. Now, let’s restart the BITS, Cryptographic, MSI Installer and the Windows Update Services. Typethe following commands in the Command Prompt for this. Press the ENTER key after you type each command.                         net start wuauserv                         net start cryptSvc                         net start bits                         net start msiserver 5. Type Exit in the Command Prompt to close it and then restart the computer. 5. Perform a Repair Upgrade If you have carried all the above but Windows 10 Update remains stubborn, then a repair upgrade is the best option. For this step, you should reconnect to the Internet. During installation, before reaching the desktop, Windows 10 will perform some post installation tasks such as downloading the latest Windows Updates. A repair upgrade can be done by downloading the latest ISO file for Windows 10 using the Media Creation Tool. Mount the ISO file by double clicking it, start the installation then install over your current installation on the drive. Your personal files, applications and settings will be preserved. Bonus. Download Stubborn Cumulative Updates Using Microsoft Update Catalog. Sometimes a stubborn cumulative update can be problem, it sits there for hours and won't budge. If none of the above helps, you can try downloading the update directly using the Microsoft Update Catalog then install it manually. Learn more about how to install Cumulative Updates manually at the following link: Manually Install Standalone and Cumulative Updates ... - groovyPost If this still does not work, I recommend you try performing a repair upgrade. Learn how at the following link: How to Perform a Repair Upgrade in Windows 10 - groovyPost    

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PSA: Create Backup Reinstall Media for Your Current Version of Windows 10 Before Upgrading to Windows 10 Creators Update

With the release of Windows 10 Creators Update, Microsoft will remove access to previous versions of the operating system from regular channels such as the Media Creation Tool and the Software Download page. In case something goes wrong or it turns out your system is not working well with the Windows 10 Creators Update, you need a sure way to go back to your previous version. Yes, Windows 10 does include the Rollback option, which you must perform within 10 days of upgrading, but not a lot users will know this. The best thing you can do right now, is prepare reinstall media for your current version. Users running older releases such as Windows 10 1507 and 1511 will need to use the Recovery Drive option in current versions. Microsoft no longer host install files for those versions. If you are currently running the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, version 1607, you have time. Volume License Customers and active MSDN subscribers need not worry about this; you can still download older versions if needed from those respective services at anytime. Create Recovery Drive - versions 1507, 1511 and 1607 Windows 10 includes a Recovery Drive Creator, which copies install files for your current version to a USB thumb drive. This thumb drive can be used to perform a clean install only. What you will need? USB thumbdrive with 8 GBs of space or more Your computer running Windows 10 Click Start and type: create recovery then Enter on your keyboard You can also find the Recovery drive creator by opening Control Panel (Windows key + X) Open Recovery Click Create Recovery drive Make sure your thumb drive is connected then click Next. Use the Media Creation Tool to Create Reinstall Media for Windows 10 Anniversary Update (1607). Since the Windows 10 Anniversary Update is the current commercial release of Windows 10, users can download and create a backup copy using the Media Creation Tool; or download ISO media from the Software Download page. Remember, on the day Microsoft officially launches the Windows 10 Creators Update (1703), you won't be able to download older versions. Microsoft recently refreshed the install files for Windows 10 Anniversary Update, so, your install media will need to be a dual layer DVD or a USB thumb drive with 8 GBs of space. Download the Media Creation Tool Now Right click the MediaCreationTool.exe file then click Run as administrator. Choose Create installation media for another PC then click Next

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How to Install Windows 10 1803 (Spring Creators Update) Using Windows Update

A new version of Windows 10 is upon us containing exciting new features to make users more productive and secure. The Windows 10 Spring Creators Update version 1803 builds on the Fall Creators Update launched last October. New features include: Time Line for managing apps and activities across devices; redesigned settings app, new user experiences for installing fonts, using Bluetooth, Audio and whole lot more. In this article, we look at how to upgrade from a previous version using Windows Update. Its not that different from previous versions, but users will note how much faster and stable the process is. Anyway, lets dig in. Step 1: Open Start > Settings > Update & security > Windows Update then click 'Check for Updates' Step 2:  Windows Update will scan for a new version then begin downloading the feature update. Step 3:  The download can take some time, so be patient. If you don't see any progress after an hour, try disconnecting from the Internet temporarily, then reconnect to see if it progresses. If not, restart your computer then try again. Step 4: After the update is finished downloading, it will begin installing. Step 5: When the installation is ready, Windows Update will notify you and ask if you would like to install now, choose a time or set a reminder. If you are not ready to install yet, click 'Pick a time'. This will open the Restart options setting in Windows Update. Proceed to choose an appropriate time and day that is suitable for you. Check out the following article to learn more about how to use Active Hours and Restart Options to manage how and when updates are installed:   Step 6: When you are finally ready to install the feature update the update will begin automatically or you can open Start > Settings > Update & security > Windows Update then click Restart now: After the restart, this will be your screen for a while: When complete, you can sign into your account and check Windows Update. Thats it, you don't even see the old installing apps screen anymore. Backup Before Upgrading Please be advised some devices might experience issues upgrading to Windows 10 1803. Here are a list of things you can do to ensure your upgrade is successful or you can return to your previous version. Make sure you backup before attempting to upgrade: https://www.groovypost.com/howto/create-windows-10-system-image-best-free-alternatives/ How to block it if you don't want to upgrade: https://www.groovypost.com/howto/block-windows-10-feature-update-why/ What is the make and model of your computer? Have you checked the manufacturers website to determine compatibility? Check this List to Determine if Your Computer is Compatible with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update 1803
     Perform the following tasks:     12 Things You Should Do Before Installing Windows 10 Creators Update (Version 1803)
     Let us know in the comment how your upgrade goes.  

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Microsoft Update Catalog Now Works with Edge and Other Web Browsers

Until recently, if you wanted to download individual updates, especially if you experienced a problem installing a particular update through Windows Update; you could do it through the Microsoft Update Catalog. One minor issue though, you had to use Internet Explorer in Windows 10. Microsoft's reasoning for requiring Internet Explorer to download updates from the Update Catalog depended on a unique technology called, ActiveX Controls. ActiveX is the descendant of a 90's technology called Object Linking and Embedding, which made it easy to incorporate content from different applications. Today, Microsoft announced you can now download updates from the Update Catalog using popular third party web browsers such as Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. Also, Microsoft Edge users access the site too.    

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List of all Windows 10 Fall Creators Update version 1709 Download Options

Microsoft has begun rolling out the latest version of Windows 10 called the Fall Creators Update, version 1709. The new update includes new features and improvements that make Windows more productive, fun and easier to use. Microsoft Edge includes better support for working PDF's and EPUB files, more Control Panel settings have been modernized, you can command Cortana to shutdown, restart or lock your device and whole lot more.   Below is a list of some of the ways you will be able to get Windows 10 Fall Creators Update today. Some options are still coming online, so periodically keep checking, but the primary channels are Windows Update and the Update Assistant. Please keep in mind, if you don't immediately see it in Windows Update, Microsoft might be phasing in the upgrade for your device. If you are sure your device is compatible, you can manually download the ISO file then upgrade offline.   Upgrade Assistant – this light, 5 MB installer starts the upgrade to Windows 10 right away. It lacks many of the advanced options, such as choosing a partition, creating a bootable copy or selecting a particular edition.   Media Creation Tool – this small app offers a number of options including in place upgrades, building install media on a blank DVD; or USB thumb drive; or downloading the ISO image. Users can also select different editions and architectures or a combination of both.   Refresh Tool – also known as Start Fresh, this is another variant of the Media Creation Tool. The Refresh Tool is suitable for users who want to perform a clean install, while installing the latest version of Windows 10; users can only keep personal files. Applications, OEM bundled drivers and software will also be removed. It’s perfect for users who want to start a clean system either to resolve performance or health issues wth their system.   Windows Update – Windows 10 is part of Microsoft’s strategy to deliver Windows as a service. Since its release in 2015, Microsoft has delivered the bulk of upgrades to new revisisions of Windows 10 through Windows Update.   ISO Media An ISO file is a virtual replica of a DVD or CD. In order to use an ISO file, you must first intialize it by burning to a blank DVD or copy the install files to an empty USB thumb drive (8 Gbs in size). The ISO file is available through several channels for download. Once downloaded, users can mount the ISO file on devices running Windows 8 or later then start the upgrade. Here is how you can download the ISO file.   Software Download Page – for users running alternative operating systems such as macOS or Linux, the software download page lets you download and create a bootable copy.   Microsoft Academic Download – students who need to download a back copy of Windows 10 Education using their issued product key from their institution of higher learning.   MSDN Subscriber Download – if you are a developer or IT professional with an active subscription, you can log in and download Windows 10 ISO images, which you can then create bootable copies from.   Volume License Service Center – for large organizations that deploy Windows 10 in bulk to hundreds or thousands of computers. Specific editions such as Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise are normally available here. The Creators Update won’t officially be available until May 1 (as of this writing).   Windows Insider page – If you are a member of the Windows 10 Insider Preview Program, you can download ISO media for the latest version from within the Windows Insider Advanced page.      

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Windows 10 Free Upgrade Apparently Still Available

There is some confusion right now about the Windows 10 Free Upgrade. Is it still available or is it not available? Yesterday, came a glimmer of hope for many who were still in limbo. Microsoft found out and immediately clarified; the Microsoft Answer Desk Tech who indicated the free upgrade offer would still be available for two more weeks, made a mistake. The issue is, there is wide open information on Microsoft's website that says otherwise. The Windows 10 Accessibility Page, provides a link to an updated Windows 10 Upgrade Assistant, which lets you upgrade for free. It is no different from the regular Windows 10 Upgrade Assistant. Microsoft's official stance remains, the free upgrade offer has ended. The new Upgrade Assistant found here:
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/accessibility/windows10upgrade
It is version 1.4.9200.17343 opposed to 1.4.9200.17332 The website Dell Windows Reinstallation Guide, provides more information regarding Windows 10 availability.
  Phillip Yip goes on further to say: So, it looks like the cat is out of the bag, Windows 10 is still available for free, its now an open secret. Is Microsoft likely to close this loophole? They sure can, but for users who missed the fantasy deadline, they can grab the upgrade for free while they can.  

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What to do if Your Windows 10 OEM Product Key Sticker is Damaged?

A number of users have been reporting issues recently removing the protective seal on Windows 10 OEM System Builder product key stickers. Unlike retail Windows 10 licenses, which come on a business size card in the box; the OEM Windows 10 System Builder product key is located on the certificate of authenticity sticker on the outside or inside of the package. To prevent theft, a protective seal covers the product key. Similar to a pay as you go phone card, users can utilize a sharp instrument such as a knife, scissor or even a coin to remove protective seal. See below: Credit: Microsoft Sometimes, if too much pressure is applied or liquid comes in contact with the sticker, this can damage the product key characters. When this happens, your best course of action is to return it to the reseller for a replacement or refund; since it might be a defective product. Contacting Microsoft might be an option, although the software firm has no responsibility for damaged product keys; since production is handled by a third party source. If vendor is able to provide a replacement, ask them to remove the protective seal for you, so you are not liable for damage if it happens again. If you are unable to get any assistance from the vendor, contact Microsoft support and they might be able to replace it for you. http://support.microsoft.com/contactus/?ws=support#tab0 What if Microsoft can't help either? Your options are limited, you might have to cut your losses, or try salvaging the key yourself. The first option you can try using is a magnifying glass to enlarge the characters. If you don't have a magnifying glass, you can use digital camera or your smart phone to take a picture then blow it up on your computer. Below is a list of characters used and not used in Microsoft product keys: Characters and numbers used:
2346789BCDFGHJKMPQRTVWXY

Characters and numbers not used:
015AEILNOSUZ Sometimes a 6 could be easily mistaken for a G or a B for an 8, so look carefully. If the product key sticker is smudged, you could try using a damp Q-Tip to gently scrub the smudge covering the letters.

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How to Upgrade to Windows 10 Enterprise Anniversary Update

In addition to the Windows 10 Home and Pro editions; Microsoft also provides a volume license client for large organizations such as schools, governments and businesses who deploy Windows 10 in bulk, called Windows 10 Enterprise. With the release of the Anniversary Update, Microsoft has also provided an Anniversary Update for Enterprise licenses. The ability to upgrade Windows 10 Enterprise  will depend on your employer and Network/IT Administrators discretion. This is especially the case if you are connected to a workplace/school/domain. How to upgrade to Windows 10 Enterprise 1607 Volume License clients such as Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise/Education utilizing KMS and MAK licenses should be updated by downloading the installation files for Windows 10 from the volume license servicing center. If you have a MSDN subscription, you can also manually download the ISO from there then perform a offline upgrade. If you are not connected to Domain, you should be able to upgrade to Windows 10 Enterprise using Windows Update. If you are running the Long Term Service Branch version of Windows 10 Enterprise, you will be able to download the latest version October 1st, then perform a repair upgrade. Domain policies might restrict upgrades from occurring. Users can attempt the upgrade by logging into a local account on the machine. if you are unable to do so, its best you wait until your Network Administrator determines when your machine gets the upgrade.

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How to Fix Windows Update Stuck on KB3189866 in Windows 10 at 45 or 90 Percent

Many users are reporting Windows Update becoming non-responsive after attempting to install KB3189866. KB3189866 is an important security update for Windows 10 Anniversary Update and includes additional improvements. The best way to resolve this problem so far is to manually install KB3189866. You can do it one of two ways. Visit the Microsoft Update Catalog website using Internet Explorer: http://catalog.update.microsoft.com/v7/site/Search.aspx?q=KB3189866 Then download the appropriate copy of KB3189866 for your Windows 10 architecture (32 or 64 bit). You can also download the appropriate architecture directly: 32-bit version 64-bit version  

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Missing Icon Labels, Text and Icons in Windows 10 Creators Update Due to Comodo Antivirus and Incompatible Intel Atom Processors

If you recently upgraded to the Windows 10 Creators Update, and you are experiencing graphical glitches such as: missing icon labels, corrupted icons or text; this is likely due to compatibility problems associated with a series of Intel Atom processors and the Comodo Antivirus utility. Prior to launch, Microsoft Support had published an advisory letting users know of a compatibility issue with Intel's Clovertrail series of Atom processors. A couple days ago, Microsoft updated their post on the Microsoft Community; including Comodo Antivirus as another cause for graphical issues some users have been experiencing.
  Comodo recently published an advisory informing users to remove or update their Antivirus utility before upgrading to the Windows 10 Creators Update. Version 1703 has not been smooth sailing for everyone. Microsoft also advised Toshiba users were advised to remove the Display utility software; computers with the Broadcom 440x series LAN adapters should also remove the adapter before upgrading. Some apps have also been affected by the Creators Update, Quark Inc, released an update to fix compatibility problems with version 2015 and 2016. Mac users were also advised to first upgrade to the Anniversary Update (1607), before updating to 1703. Before upgrading, users should take the time to backup and check the manufacturers website to find out about support. Check the following links for resources: Lenovo, Acer and Samsung List Systems Compatible with the Windows 10 Creators Update Dell, HP and Toshiba List Systems Compatible with the Windows 10 Creators Update Check this List to Determine if Your Computer is Compatible with the Windows 10 Creators Update or Anniversary Update or Not  12 Things You Should Do Before Installing Windows 10 Creators Update (Version 1703) 

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Media Feature Pack for Windows 10 Fall Creators Update version 1709 Now Available

Customers running the Windows 10 N variant of the Fall Creators Update will need to install the latest version of the Media Feature Pack. The Media Feature Pack adds media related technologies removed due to European anti-competitive laws established years ago between Microsoft and the European Union. Microsoft has released a Media Feature Pack Update for each release of Windows 10 since it was launched in 2015. Users can download the latest version for Windows 10 1709 now. Version 1709: Media Feature Pack for N versions of Windows 10 Version 1703: Download the x86-based version of Media Feature Pack update package now.
Download the x64-based version of Media Feature Pack update package now. Users can find older versions here

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A List of Systems that Support the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update (1709) So Far

Below are direct links to vendor support pages where you can check the make and model of your computer to find out if it is compatible with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update or earlier versions. If its not, don’t force it, stick with your current version, contact the vendor by telephone or support forum to find out about support.The list will be updated as soon as other OEMs update their support pages.  Windows 10 Fall Creators Update (1709) Toshiba Panasonic Hewlett Packard (HP)/Compaq Dell Inc Lenovo Samsung   If there are no plans to support the a Feature Update, your options includes: sticking with the current version of Windows 10 or backup then attempt a clean install. Some users have reported a clean install works sometimes, even though the manufacturer does not support it; or you can downgrade to the original version you were running such as: Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 Update 1. Both Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 with Update will continue to be supported until January 2020 and January 2023 respectively. Microsoft also noted systems with Intel Clover Trail processors can use and receive updates for Windows 10 1607 until January 2023.

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Intel Rapid Storage Driver Possible Cause of Freezes on Windows 10 Anniversary Update

Reports are coming in from the Microsoft Community forums, regarding possible causes triggering system hangs in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, 1607. A thread has revealed the IRST Driver as the likely culprit. IRST, which stands for Intel Rapid Storage Technology, is a storage driver developed by Intel for use with a variety of storage configurations; such as RAID (redundant array of inexpensive disks) and SATA drives. Modern operating systems such as Windows 10 no longer require IRST driver and can manage such configurations out of the box. AHCI which stands for Advance Host Controller Interface has been supported out of the box since Windows Vista. If you happen to have Intel Rapid Storage Technology driver installed, you can uninstall it to see if it improves stability. If there is a specific reason you need to keep IRST, then you can try updating it using either the Intel Driver Update Utility or download the latest IRST driver manually and install it. You should check the manufacturers website for your computer model for the latest IRST. How to uninstall IRST: Press Windows key + X
Click Programs and Features
Scroll down then select Intel Rapid Storage Technology, right click it then click uninstall.   With Windows 10 providing built in support for AHCI, there is no need to install or keep IRST. So, if you happen to be experiencing freezes on the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, 1607, this is the first place to check.

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Comodo Antivirus Users Advised to Update or Remove Software Before Upgrading to Windows 10 Creators Update

Developers of the Comodo Antivirus utility are advising users to ensure they update before attempting to upgrade to the Windows 10 Creators Update, version 1703. Comodo say's users running the latest version of Windows 10 can experience  severe graphical issues if used with product versions older than those listed above. More details below:     Some users have reported issues with font rendering problems in applications and even the command prompt. Users who didn't apply the update but already installed the Creators Update, should remove the software or install the latest version. One of the important steps we recommend in our 12 step prep guide for the Windows 10 Creators Update is removing the Antivirus utility completely before upgrading.

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Get Windows 10 App Still Prompting Some Users to Upgrade

Programming logic can be a strange thing sometimes. Although its 10 days since the Windows 10 Free Upgrade Offer ended, some users are still getting prompts to upgrade. A participant on the Microsoft Community Forum posted details of an annoying message popping up every time she started her computer.
  Source Microsoft did promise to remove the Get Windows 10 through a future software update, the software firm just did not say when. Regardless of the imposed deadline, users can activate Windows 10 against existing Windows 7 or Windows 8/8.1 product keys. In fact using the Media Creation Tool or Upgrade Assistant to upgrade older versions still works. In fact, someone confirmed upgrades from as far back as build 10130 will work. If you really want to pass up on the upgrade offer, here are some solutions you can try: The best way to defer the Windows 10 upgrade is by using third party tools. They are easy to use and are faster. Option 1: How to Disable the Get Windows 10 Update GWX App Completely Option 2: Stop the Windows 10 Upgrade with Never 10 or the GWX App Itself

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How to Submit a Suggestion or Bug Report in Windows 10 Using Feedback Hub

The Internet and Social Media have changed the development process for many of the products we use. Windows 10 in particular has embraced the benefits of these modern day platforms to help improve and bring new releases to market approximately every six months. When I participated in Microsoft Beta Programs (remember Microsoft Betaplace and Connect) more than a decade ago, it was sort of an exclusive club of maybe few thousand or more. Although both had its benefits, with the significant growth of Windows and Office, there had to be change to make feedback represent the billions of users who use both. Since Windows 10 launched in October of 2014, Microsoft has made submitting suggestions and problem reports about Windows open to the general public and not just a controlled group. Instead of just getting an acknowledgement your bug has been received, there is tremendous opportunity to actually have engineers act on your problem and to engage with them intimately. This results in timely fixes not just in the next release but also the interim.   Submit a Bug Report About a Problem in Windows 10 In this article, we show you the basic steps to submit a bug and get it acknowledged and potentially fixed in a cumulative update. Included with Windows 10 is an app called Feedback Hub. You can launch it by opening Start, type: feedback or scroll down to ‘F’ then click Feedback hub. After launching Feedback hub, click the Feedback tab. Choose the kind of report you want to send to the Windows Engineers. This is important, because there is a difference between tweeking something versus fixing a bug.   A suggestion could be add the option to have different mouse pointer colors. A bug could be, every time you click the Start button, it does not open or the Microsoft Store app presents an error every time you launch it. Error codes and the ability to reproduce the error you are experiencing is important. Some issues you might experience in Windows 10 could be attributed to anomalies or network problems. So, make sure you have exhausted all the troubleshooting options before you submit a report. For instance, if you are unable to connect to the Internet, make sure your drivers updated; you have ran the built in troubleshooters (Start > Setting > Update & security > Troubleshooter) and even Restart the device. When you have decided which one you would like to submit, choose the appropriate radio box. For this article, I am going to submit a ‘Problem’. Below that, enter a descriptive title for your problem. Next, click in the details box and enter some details of the problem. Be clear about the problem, what happens when you click XYZ. Include the error code if there is one. Along with that, include details about the system you are using, such as the make and model. Here is a basic run down of what you can provide to help engineers diagnose the problem:   What is the exact make and model of your computer? Open Start, type: system information Hit Enter Click System summary Look in the right pane   What have you done so far to troubleshoot the problem? How long has this been happening? Have you installed any new software or hardware drivers since you started experiencing this problem? If so, what are they and are they designed for Windows 10? Have you checked the manufacturers website or contact support to find out about compatibility, updates or support for Windows 10? Do you have a system restore point created you could go back to? Does the problem occur in other user accounts on the computer? Which version of Windows did you upgrade from: Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows 10 1507, 1511, 1607, 1703, 1709? Please avoid rants, off topic discussion, profanity and insults – be respectful. Engineers are reading your feedback and instead of telling them about your history in computing and personal problems, they would rather know about the problem concerning Windows 10 at hand. You will also have the opportunity to provide follow up replies. Choose the category the problem relates to. Since my problem affects the desktop, I will choose the ‘Desktop environment’, specifically ‘Windows Spotlight’. If your issue relates to Microsoft Edge, choose that and the area of Edge affected. Next, add evidence of the problem. The Feedback Hub makes it easy to add examples of the problem you are experiencing. This is especially great for reproducible bugs. You can attach a screen capture, file or recording. For my bug, I will go with with Recreate my problem. When you are ready, click Start capture button, then go through the steps to reproduce the problem. When complete, click Stop capture. The information will be attached automatically. You can still remove or review the recorded screenshots used in your recording. You can also keep a copy of the feedback if you want or go ahead and immediately Submit it for review. If you want to review your report, click the ‘Continue using Feedback Hub button’. Click the My feedback tab, then click on the report, which should be at the top of the list. Get Your Bug Report Some Attention Here is how you can make some noise and give your report the attention it deserves. You can share the report with family and friends or even key folks on the Windows Engineering team. Click the Share menu at the top right hand corner of the Feedback hub screen; a Short Link will be generated. Click Copy Link, which you can send in an email or instant message; or click Share for more options. If you have Twitter installed, you can launch that app. You can tweet the problem to key folks on the Windows Engineering team or find folks who work on specific parts or apps bundled with Windows such as Photos. Not everyone is on social media, so this is completely optional on your part.   https://twitter.com/donasarkar https://twitter.com/brandonleblanc https://twitter.com/jenmsft https://twitter.com/northfacehiker https://twitter.com/windowsinsider Enter a short description, a few hash tags and Tweet it out. Get a Windows Insider MVP on Your Side If you know a Windows Insider MVP, you can share your feedback with them and let them vote on it for you too. Windows Insider MVP’s are considered as customer advocates and represents a small group of enthusiastic Windows 10 users who love helping fellow users get the most out of Windows. There you have it, an easy way to get your Windows 10 problems acknowledged and potentially fixed.  

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UPDATE: Windows 10 Free Upgrade Extended for 2 More Weeks

Update: Apparently, the support agent provided incorrect information. Technology journalist, Ed Bott, ZDNET, confirmed with Microsoft, the free upgrade offer has indeed ended. Source Procrastinators can breath a sigh of relief. A reply from a community forum participant, Martmcd, confirmed in a chat session with a Microsoft Answer Desk agent; the Windows 10 Free Upgrade Offer has been extended for 2 more weeks. The free upgrade launched on July 29, 2015, provides a full version Windows 10 upgrade for PC and devices running a qualifying, genuine, activated Windows 7 or Windows 8 license. The free upgrade was scheduled to last for one year. This week many users started scrambling at the last minute to grab the upgrade. Users who started the upgrade began hitting a widespread 99% hang using the Windows 10 Upgrade Assistant. Microsoft Forum Moderators reassured users who started the upgrade before the deadline, could contact chat support to get a reprieve. Todays news gives users a little more breathing room to sort out whatever problems might be preventing successful upgrades. This should also give many users the chance to skip Windows 10 November Update and head straight to the Windows 10 Anniversary Update set for August 2.  

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Toshiba Display Utility is currently not supported on Windows 10 Creators Update

If you have a Toshiba system, make sure you remove the Toshiba Display Utility before attempting to upgrade. A Microsoft Community Forum posts notes the utility is currently not compatible with the Windows 10 Creators Update. How to uninstall the Toshiba Display Utility Press Windows key + X then click Programs and Features Scroll down, then select the Toshiba Display Utility in the app list, then click Change/uninstall on the command bar. Follow the on screen instructions to remove the software. A number of OEM's, Toshiba among them have published lists of systems tested for the Creators Update. Users should periodically check the manufacturers website to find out about Windows 10 support. Dell, HP and Toshiba List Systems Compatible with the Windows 10 Creators Update  

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Microsoft Modifies Windows 10 Media Creation Tool to Prompt for Product Key

It looks like Microsoft is starting to make some attempt at closing the Windows 10 Free Upgrade loopholes. The Media Creation Tool, which provides detailed options for upgrading, now prompts Windows 7 or Windows 8 systems for a product key. The Media Creation Tool takes into consideration, users, who might have downgraded a previously installed and activated Windows 10 installation; by giving them the option to reinstall Windows 10, exempting them from the product key requirements. The new Digital License function attaches a Windows 10 license to the machine, permitting unlimited reinstalls without the need to have a product key or contact support to get the software reactivated. When users download the download the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool, they will see the following screen as usual. If the option to Upgrade this PC now is selected, the user will be prompted the enter a valid Windows 10 product key. Any attempts to enter a Windows 7 or Windows 8 product key will be invalidated: A new option has been added to the setup screen for users reinstalling Windows 10 on a previously installed and activated system. If your system has a Digital License attached to it, Windows 10 will automatically upgraded: Users can still circumvent the prompt for a product key by selecting the option Create installation media for another PC. There is another step users will have to follow in order to avoid being prompted to enter a product key. Even when installing from ISO, users can be prompted for a product key if the option Download and install updates (recommended) is selected. Instead, users should select the option Not at the moment. This will permit the upgrade to continue. I am sure Microsoft is working on a more concrete solution to ultimately end the free upgrade offer. In the mean time, you can still get it while door slowly closes. Thanks to Philip Yip of DellReinstallGuide for the tip!

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Computers with Broadcom 440x LAN Adapters Should Disable Device Before Upgrading to Windows 10 Creators Update

Users attempting to upgrade computers to the Windows 10 Creators Update with a Broadcom 440x 10/100 Integrated Controller LAN adapter device installed, should either block the device or refrain from upgrading. It turns out the adapter can be a major blocker or cause stability problems during or after the upgrade. A forum participant on the Microsoft Community forum is recommending fellow users block the device within their BIOS in order guarantee a successful upgrade. A Microsoft employee, Travis [MSFT], confirms the bug in the Creators Update affecting the Broadcom 440x driver. Here is what he had to say: As with every release since build 1507, Windows 10 has not been smooth sailing for everyone. One way users can ensure their system is ready for the Windows 10 Creators Update is by checking the hardware vendors support pages. Review the following links for popular OEM vendors: Lenovo, Acer and Samsung List Systems Compatible with the Windows 10 Creators Update Dell, HP and Toshiba List Systems Compatible with the Windows 10 Creators Update Microsoft has also published information about unsupported processor models from Intel and Display Adapters from Toshiba. Intel Clover Trail processors are not supported on Windows 10 Creators Update Mac Users who need to run Windows 10 will need to take some extra steps too, in order to get the Creators Update installed: Microsoft Informs Mac Users to install Windows 10 Anniversary Update Before Installing Creators Update Users planning to upgrade, should check out our 12 step guide, which ensures your device is backed up in addition to conflicting software and hardware disabled: 12 Things You Should Do Before Installing Windows 10 Creators Update (Version 1703)

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Error code 0xC18000116 - 0xA0019 When Using the Media Creation Tool

Users attempting to create bootable media using the Media Creation Tool, might encounter error message: 0xC18000116 - 0xA0019. Not much information is given as to why this error is happening, but a Microsoft employee on the Microsoft Community, disclosed, the software firm recently refreshed the Windows 10 ISO media; making it a bit larger than 4.7 Gbs. Users will now have to use either a 8 GB thumb drive or a dual layer DVD to make a bootable copy. If you download a combination of architectures 32 and 64 bit, along Home and Pro editions, you might need a USB media with 16 GBs of storage. Microsoft has made some changes to how it also distributes ISO files for Windows 10. Computers running Windows 7 or later will no longer be able to download a Windows 10 ISO file directly. You can learn more about the changes here.

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Quark Inc Releases Compatibility fix for QuarkXpress Users Upgrading to Windows 10 1703

Last week, Quark Inc, developers of the popular page layout app, QuarkXpress, advised users to delay their upgrade to Windows 10 Creators Update until a fix was released to resolve compatibility issues. The fix is now available and applies primarily to versions 2015 and 2016 of QuarkXpress running on Windows 10; earlier versions are not affected.
  If you use QuarkXpress versions 2015 or 2016, leave a comment and let us know if it works. Also remember to backup your registry before applying these changes.

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