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alt3rn1ty
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CCleaner & SpinRite help keep my old HDD's in decent shape. At least as long as Avast doesn't let CCleaner get hacked... Oh wait.. :P

Yeah, I do a clean up after every update. It's pretty amazing the crap that gets stored. I once even compressed Windows.old and sent it off as a just-in-case backup. After a while I saw the foolishness in that & just delete it. I'm getting more than a little annoyed that they keep reinstalling "system applications" I've very intentionally uninstalled, and reverted various settings to how THEY want them. How on Earth can 3D Objects & Paint3D be considered a necessary "system application"?

LOL, I've learned not to mess with Old Man Murphy!

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Those bad penny apps I just keep them installed :

Reason .. Most of them will auto appear in Settings / Privacy / Location | Camera | Microphone | Contacts etc etc, when they auto re-install.

Leave them installed and your preferences in Privacy settings of having them not gathering data about you, and uploading it to MS via the OneDrive, remains in force.

Uninstall them and they will again appear in those settings with default On (At least they have done once in the past for me, never uninstalled them since and keep them set to off for data gathering)

You're right they have nothing to do with the system, but this is why Win 10 was initially free :

As they say "you have become the product", imagine the behaviour science applied in analyzing all your data that MS has access to now, assuming most people will never touch privacy settings and use all the default programs including Edge and Cortana, People / Photos / Contacts etc, the amount of meta data scraping too from just the information held in a photo these days. Thats also why OneDrive is not made easy to turn off / get rid of, its crucial to all the data gathering stored in MS Cloud. Who else has access to all that ?.

Anyway, this is a bit of a leap from discussing Paint3D, but I do believe Win 10 is all about marketing and advertising, and being a data hoover. Just switch off what you can without uninstalling because if its important to the data gathering machine it will get re-installed.

Notice how you cant get the old Windows Picture and Fax Viewer back easily?, its still part of a .dll, but Win 10 has buried its registry settings, and gets rid of them again after any major update because they want you using Photo instead. https://www.howtogeek.com/225844/how-to-make-windows-photo-viewer-your-default-image-viewer-on-windows-10/

The old registry tweak to add "Copy to .." and "Move to .." back into the right click context menu also gets removed by major updates to windows 10, not entirely sure why but its a PITA. It still works fine on Win 10 https://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows/add-copy-to-move-to-to-the-windows-explorer-right-click-menu/

On the subject of Clouds - I prefer my external USB HD, doesnt cost bandwidth and so long as I use it once every couple of month to do backups of documents / bookmarks / emails .. Having a trashed HD is not something I worry about.

Thunderbird and all my email accounts get backed up with MozBackup (it still works for the latest version of Thunderbird), probably the most important backup file out of all of them.

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That's good to know, thanks! I will just let them install. It's too much trouble to keep adjusting the settings, as you said, and I don't want to forget. I wonder if they take into consideration that all the data they hoover are from the lazy and/or non-tech savvy, and that those who are concerned about privacy aren't getting their data gathered. Basically they're not getting the whole picture. It probably doesn't matter as they're still able to sell that info or use it to target those same people as consumers.

This is what I've done with Cortana: https://www.askvg.com/windows-10-tip-remove-cortana-microsoft-edge-contact-support-and-feedback-apps/

Plus I've completely disabled OneDrive. Lots of great info on that site, if you haven't run across it before. HowToGeek's site annoys me but I'll take a look at those links, thanks for providing them. :)

I too use an external HDD for dedicated backup, but also use a cloud service with a private encryption key. Just switched to IDrive after CrashPlan effed their home users. Haven't had a chance to assess them very well yet, but so far I've been pleased. Managed to finagle a deal for 5TB, unlimited computers @ $10/year. :D

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  • 4 months later...

Oh godz, this is what was previously known as the Windows 10 Spring Creators update, now rebadged as Windows 10 April 2018 .. Bit of a mixed bag from what I have seen about it so far, some of it is going to be confusing for the average user, especially the new folder admin restrictions.

I'm kind of looking forward to it sometime this week, but also kind of wishing it wasn't going to happen :). Too many complicated layers of issues in the last several months about to be overwritten and hopefully preserve all previous jumping through hoops on different machines in our family to enable Meltdown and Spectre mitigations.

No doubt the OS will have something to say about my graphics drivers and sound drivers and kicking CCleaner into touch again demanding the most recent updates (which have already been installed prior to the OS upgrade .. but who am I).

The update frequency on Win 10 is starting to feel like its a bit too much and unecessary, like using Fedora beta bleeding edge Linux instead of Mint stable Linux

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I get a WMI error often in Windows 7. Its never seemed to cause issues for me. It might be one of those things that pop up after customizing stuff in Services. Next time I am on my Windows 10 hardrive which has the new Spring update, I'll take a look in my Event Viewer to see if any wierd BITs/WMI errors are there.

I did notice that the new Spring Update rebuilds the search index from scratch and also comes with a new .NET Framework version 4.7.2. If theres alot of activity after the install, its coming from rebuilding the index and compiling .NET. I let it sit for like an hour and it was all done by the time I got back to it.

 

Edit: No WMI errors for me in my Event Viewer on 1803.

Edited by Sladen2019
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  • 2 weeks later...
On 5/15/2018 at 12:39 PM, drizzan said:

Just a heads up, if you have disabled the "Touch Keyboard and Handwriting Panel Service" in services.msc it is enabled by default again after you update to build 1803. This service can cause crashes for some people in SSE, and unless you actually have a touchpad there is no reason for it to be enabled.

.. So that could be my problem recently and maybe not the issue with Aers SSE Engine fixes :facepalm:

I will never have a need for it so its getting disabled and stopped running. Thanks.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ha, Paint.Net is better anyway, I suppose there are probably enough people out there use MSPaint to warrant turning Windows apps into attractors for the Microsoft store. If they do the same for Windows Media Player, just grab VLC Media Player instead. And Microsoft office = LibreOffice, winzip = 7zip, notepad = notepad++, windows picture and fax viewer (which has been buried on Win 10 to make way for Photo which wants to upload all your pictures (and the juicy metadata they hold about your location etc) via Onedrive to Microsofts Cloud so they can get even more information about you for market research) = IrfanView .. ehm, what else can they try and suck you into?.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 2 weeks later...
3 hours ago, Rasikko said:

Those patches are really killing my drive space..

If you have Win 10 v1803 and subsequent updates - Go into Settings - System - Storage : And try the new "Free Up Space Now", let it populate for a while all the potential things it can clean out, then check out how many gigabytes you will be able to free up .. If you have cleaned out any of the OS updates before you probably have a couple of whole OS replacement files just taking up space unnecessarily, first time I tried that new feature it cleaned out 110 gig off my system partition.

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Thank you for the information. The last one was 10gigs and zapped my main drive dry and I had to delete a lot of files to get it to around 35gigs. Since it's a laptop, I can't just swap the drive out and get a bigger SSD, and reinstalling windows is never an easy task..

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  • 3 months later...
  • 2 weeks later...

The XBox app and additional XBox windows plugins I thought were completely unecessary in my case

.. Seems the Windows Game Bar depends on them being installed.

The Windows 10 game bar has the ability to do a few nice things, screenshots is one (and works on dedicated screens where sometimes PrtScr will not work), recording mp4 videos without the need for any third party apps is another which is really good, and the best is using its settings icon, you can get Game Bar to recognise a game so that Windows 10 shuts down as many background processes as possible to make the game run smoother without interruptions.

If you start uninstalling the XBox apps or trying to disable them, and you like any of the Game Bar functions, be warned getting Game Bar to work correctly again after can be really awkward and you may not succeed. I managed it, but it was not as straight forward as just re-installing the apps.

--------------------------------------------------------

 

In other news : Windows Defender (A.K.A what used to be called Microsoft Security Essentials, and has been renamed Windows Defender replacing the old Windows Defender) .. is getting even better.

https://cloudblogs.microsoft.com/microsoftsecure/2018/10/26/windows-defender-antivirus-can-now-run-in-a-sandbox/

Here's what Steve Gibson had to say about it in Security Now! #688 podcast ..

Quote

This is a big deal, and it was very difficult to pull off. Although Microsoft isn’t saying anything for
antitrust / anti-competitive reasons… doing this required deep and careful plumbing into
Windows which no other Windows add-on A/V will be able to truly duplicate. This is no fault of
Microsoft’s, it’s just the reality of the nature of the problem that any contemporary A/V must
face. The era of the 3rd-party A/V is likely coming to an end.
What’s the big deal?
As we’ve discussed here a number of times in the past, threat modelling is all about
understanding the “attack surface.” A web browser presents a large and rich attack surface for
our modern PCs. But another “attack surface” is untrained employees who freely click on
anything that looks enticing. People are a widely exploited attack surface too.
But perhaps the largest attack surface there is, is today’s anti-virus subsystem whose job it is to
proactively examine everything coming into the machine it has been tasked to protect. So
that’s things users click on in eMail and in their web browser and that they receive in mail and
download from their browser.
A/V presents one of the richest attack surfaces because:
● It's an interpreter which examines and attempts to understand what it's seeing.
● As we know, interpreters are among the most difficult technologies to secure.
● An A/V process must run with full system privileges since it needs to have total visibility
into every nook and cranny of the system's permanent storage, RAM, and the network.
This means that A/V is a huge target of opportunity, because it is both inherently prone to
exploitation because it must be so careful when it looks at potential malware, and because to
do its job it must execute with full access to the entire system.
Microsoft’s blog posting further details the very many challenges the Defender engineers faced.
But suffice to say that it was a truly difficult job, over a long period of re-engineering… and
reading it I realized that not only was it extremely difficult, but that it inherently required inside
access to Windows which no external player could ever have.
And it’s a big deal. Tavis Ormandy, the prolific and frequently showering researcher with Google
Project Zero who has previously discovered and disclosed several of these types of flaws in the
past year, lauded the Microsoft's effort on Twitter, saying it was "game-changing."
All that said, Microsoft is proceeding with caution, so Sandboxing is not yet enabled by default.
Microsoft wrote: “We’re in the process of gradually enabling this capability for Windows insiders
and continuously analyzing feedback to refine the implementation.” But anyone with Windows
10 version 1703 or later -- last year’s Fall Creator’s Update -- can enable Defender’s sandboxing
for themselves:
To enable Windows Defender’s Sandboxing:
● Open Start and Search for "CMD" or "Command Prompt"
● Right Click on it and select "Run as administrator."
● Type: "setx /M MP_FORCE_USE_SANDBOX 1" and then press ENTER.
● Then restart your computer.
However! -- Restart and do not Shutdown Windows. There's a bug which Microsoft has
acknowledged and will eventually fix such that sandboxing changes will ONLY be saved if the
system is restarted and not shutdown and restarted.
Once the sandboxing is enabled, and the system has been restarted without shutdown, its
presence can be verified by using the free SysInternals “Process Explorer” utility.
The traditional antimalware service is “MsMpEng.exe” and a new child process named
“MsMpEngCP.exe” will be attached to it, running underneath and indented. If you see
“MsMpEngCP.exe” your Windows Defender has been safely sandboxed. “CP” stands for Content
Process, which is Microsoft’s formal name for sandboxed processes.
I tried and verified all that. It all works great! :)

 

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On 11/7/2018 at 4:06 AM, alt3rn1ty said:

The XBox app and additional XBox windows plugins I thought were completely unecessary in my case

.. Seems the Windows Game Bar depends on them being installed.

The Windows 10 game bar has the ability to do a few nice things, screenshots is one (and works on dedicated screens where sometimes PrtScr will not work), recording mp4 videos without the need for any third party apps is another which is really good, and the best is using its settings icon, you can get Game Bar to recognise a game so that Windows 10 shuts down as many background processes as possible to make the game run smoother without interruptions.

If you start uninstalling the XBox apps or trying to disable them, and you like any of the Game Bar functions, be warned getting Game Bar to work correctly again after can be really awkward and you may not succeed. I managed it, but it was not as straight forward as just re-installing the apps.

I previously thought them to be unnecessary as well and removed them using Powershell. I also had Game Bar disabled via Group Policy and Reg Edit as it was causing weird overlay issues for me in Oblivion and Skyrim, despite having them disabled in its own preferred way of doing it within its own app. When the October 1809 got released, I did the big update on day one and all of it was restored to as it was. It now seems to be problem free and harmless. I may even use it to record a video someday. 

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