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alt3rn1ty

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While I was playing Skyrim on Thursday (Thanksgiving), it downloaded 1809 in the background. I had no idea until shutdown, when the prompt changed to "Update and Shutdown". I'd set the Update Advanced to wait 30 days for new features, so looks like they are pushing this one now (even though it had only been a week after the relaunch). Nothing like wasting an hour on a holiday morning checking for new security settings. Grumble.

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I've been lucky so far I guess. It's not been trying to offer me 1809 at all up to this point, and it's still not pending now. For all I care I'd just as soon never get it :P

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My machine updated yesterday to 1809 and has been okay, no random mass deletion of documents anyway <touch wood> :).

It also resolved the slight issue I had remaining with the Game Bar (having uninstalled previously all XBox apps, realised the Game Bar was part of that, reinstalled Game Bar only (which then gets listed as "XBox Overlay" in the installed apps), then to occasionally have it ask for an app to run for the Game Bar hot key even though the Game bar was installed ... )

I no longer have any XBox apps in my installations list, but a separate Game Bar app is now listed (so it seems 1809 flushes the XBox Overlay app, and replaces that with the Game Bar app), and all works as it should. Strange sequence of events, at one point I had about five apps in the install list called Xbox whatever, none of them have reappeared thankfully.

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That's interesting- the hotkey (def  win-G) invokes the gamebar settings within game for a non XBox app? Sadly not here.

The XBox app here can't be uninstalled gracefully either:

1659356417_XBoxapp.JPG.c73846b94576b1974d924f667043cd9f.JPG

It also has a service- is yours running?

355014863_XBoxservice.JPG.ee49fdcd3b785fc958326dc467db41af.JPG

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If you guys want to uninstall some Apps, you can do it via PowerShell. Here is a link on how to do it.

https://www.askvg.com/guide-how-to-remove-all-built-in-apps-in-windows-10/

1809 is working very well so far for me. I was able to get it on day one when they first released it and it did have its issues, most of which did not affect me. They pulled it due to some nasty bugs with file deletion and CPU usage inaccuracy, but thats all fixed. I still have one issue that I would like them to fix, and its been awhile and I'm starting to think they wont fix it. I'll give them more time though before I try to fix it on my own. In Event Viewer, I get Warning: User Profile Service Event ID 1534 spamming very often. At the time of typing this out, I have 3,169 errors under Administrative, most of which are from this 1534 spam. Did some research on it and apparently its caused by remnants of a feature they removed from 1809 but didnt fully remove. Some have found some registry entries to delete via reg edit and it supposedly clears it up, but I will give MS some more time to fix it themselves.

https://www.tenforums.com/general-support/118976-new-1809-update-now-shows-event-viewer.html

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Gamebar isn't all that perfect either.

Spoiler

Faulting application name: GameBar.exe, version: 2.22.1810.11001, time stamp: 0x5bbfcc75
Faulting module name: ucrtbase.dll, version: 10.0.17763.1, time stamp: 0x309241e0
Exception code: 0xc0000409
Fault offset: 0x000000000006f08e
Faulting process ID: 0xd9bc
Faulting application start time: 0x01d482a7dcc37aed
Faulting application path: C:\Program Files\WindowsApps\Microsoft.XboxGamingOverlay_2.22.11001.0_x64__8wekyb3d8bbwe\GameBar.exe
Faulting module path: C:\WINDOWS\System32\ucrtbase.dll
Report ID: f8d0aee2-ecec-4a5e-8543-9933cfa30060
Faulting package full name: Microsoft.XboxGamingOverlay_2.22.11001.0_x64__8wekyb3d8bbwe
 

The 1534 looks like it's for the Tiles in the start menu. They come through as warnings, and there are not too many here at this stage- but will keep an eye on them, thanks. The fiddly-doo fix in that thread looks like it has promise!

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Windows 10 1903 has come a long way since the first releases of Win 10, pretty much all the issues I had with it at the start of this topic are now easily solved by doing a deep dive into Settings, and thoroughly going through all sub-settings.

Game bar is now something I really like, besides everything talked about previously regarding Screenshots and making MP4 videos for showing game developers exactly what you are talking about regarding issues with any game - It now has the ability (along with Windows 10 new Focus assist) to tell windows to cut down on its background activity when playing a game :

 

Go into Win 10 Settings, Game Bar, Game Mode, then click "Graphics settings"

 

BlMVXWG.png

 

On the next screen use the Browse button to find and add the games .exe to the list of games

Just doing that tells windows to STFU and optimize itself for the game when that game exe is running, but also ..

Once added, click the game name and you can click "Options", and then set the game to ensure use of the High Performance dedicated GPU on Optimus laptops instead of the Integrated GPU

 

Kb8Qt5i.png

 

I dont know if that works the same for laptops with AMD DGPU, buts its certainly a nice feature for us NVidia DGPU users

For anyone using a laptop that has custom DGPU drivers that does not allow the Standard ones, you may find that the NVidia Control Panel is not installed (where traditionally you would set the High Performance DGPU per game) - Now you can do it here in the Game Bar settings instead.

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Windows 10 Game Bar now includes FPS

Sometime recently (I dont know exactly when but pretty sure it was within the last couple of weeks), Windows 1903 had an update, and Game Bar now sports a new FPS counter, you can Pin the readout so it remains on screen when you come out of Game Bar ..

7YhjaUT.png

 

If it does not show anything (Just says "---") - Click FPS, and it will tell you it needs elevated permissions, click the button and restart your computer.

 

Bye bye MSI Afterburner, this is good enough for my purposes, and probably less intrusive than Afterburner which itself can cause degradation to game performance :)

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Windows 10 bug potentially running down your SSDs life expectancy ..

https://www.pcgamer.com/windows-10-bug-wrecking-ssd/?

"Apparently Microsoft is planning to roll out the fix to the general public with an upcoming update. At this point, it's probably best to hang tight. However, you can sidestep the issue by typing 'Defrag and Optimize Drives' in the Windows 10 search box, then highlight your SSD, click 'Change settings', and uncheck 'run on a schedule'."

:facepalm:

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I'm not sure this is such a bad thing, if your machine defrags an ssd one day, you shut down and next day load it up again for windows to think it has not defragged recently .. Surely on an ssd there is hardly going to be anything that needs writing again? .. because its already been done the day before. So it may well try to defrag again, but the actual writes will be practically non-existant so the issue is not such a bad thing.

Anyway whatever the answer, at least its getting a fix.

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An SSD should never need to be defragged at all. The entire reason for doing this is irrelevant when an SSD has no moving parts.

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On 8/31/2020 at 3:30 AM, alt3rn1ty said:

Windows 10 bug potentially running down your SSDs life expectancy ..

https://www.pcgamer.com/windows-10-bug-wrecking-ssd/?

What? :blink:

Am I glad I didn't upgraded to Windows 10.

A couple of years ago a friend of mine who once had Windows 10 installed called me and asked why he couldn't install Windows 7.  After a couple of minutes I told him to get rid of the Windows 10 boot partition, you know the small partition of max 150-200 Mb maybe larger.  After he did that he could install Windows 7.

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Just don't hand that advice out now to people. Recommending anyone stay on Windows 7 is dangerous since that OS is no longer getting any security updates.

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4 hours ago, Arthmoor said:

Recommending anyone stay on Windows 7 is dangerous since that OS is no longer getting any security updates.

Well, is it better to upgrade at the same time face the possibility the upgrade can actually damaged your hardware.

Personally, I prefer using a Windows that doesn't get secruity updates than being force to replace working hardware due to a bug.

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You won't be saying that when you have a Windows 7 system infected with a major worm or other virus for which 10 is immune and you end up losing all of your data to a ransomware attack.

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13 hours ago, Jac said:

You can prevent Windows from automatically defragging a drive, Leo.

I know, but that's not what I meant.

7 hours ago, Arthmoor said:

You won't be saying that when you have a Windows 7 system infected with a major worm or other virus for which 10 is immune and you end up losing all of your data to a ransomware attack.

I'm aware of the ransomware virus, but like I said I prefer using Windows 7 and TBH I think Windows 7 will probably be the last Windows version I use.

I also know that nobody are safe from virus or any suspicious intent.

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Of course nobody is 100% safe, but at least the OS I'm using will get patches to mitigate the problems where Windows 7 won't.

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Leo I would also recommend upgrading to Windows 10 these days. I also thought (past tense) Win 7 was the best OS for gaming, but Win 10 has matured a hell of a lot since it was released, even some problems like microstuttering which typically gamers would puzzle over and blame on the latest game update could be attributed to old windows problems which microsoft has addressed in win 10, plus they have added some features specifically for gamers.

There have been issues over the last couple of years, some really bad exploits of windows, which have been fixed in win 10, which win 7 will never see. This as Arthmoor says is the biggest reason to upgrade.

As usual Microsoft have caused further issues in win 10, but they get resolved pretty quickly these days and currently I would say its better than win 7 ever was.

On a privacy front win 10 is also much more friendly and configurable than it was when I started this topic. I think at the start of launching win 10 they were just doing typically what any big company does in this regard, the tyranny of defaults to get as big a captive audience as they could with the settings microsoft preferred on our machines to benefit the business model, until the worlds privacy advocates started making them behave again.

By November next year, windows will not even be dependant on having Internet Explorer installed. They have already started phasing it out for home versions, server editions will be the last to get rid of it next year.

And Microsoft Edge is no longer Microsofts 'roll your own' code, couple of month back they changed it to be based on Chromium (the source for Google Chrome), with their own idea of settings and Bing as its default search engine which is all easily changed in settings. So now with IE at long last going the way of the dinosaurs, and Edge based on Chrome so its far more secure and very configurable on the privacy front, most people will not need multiple browser installations and just use Chrome based Edge which comes with windows 10. The only snag with Chrome based Edge is .. Googles Chrome (and Chromium which I use) is always quite a few versions ahead of Chrome based Edge. Microsofts Chrome based Edge gets updated with Windows updates, so it will always be lagging behind with the latest Chromium developments, but at least its much better than IE and the old Edge for the average windows user.

If you ever have any reason to do a clean install of win 10, it has a "Reset Windows" option which does everything you would want it to depending on your choices in the dialogue. Image download is part of the process so you dont need to go looking for files at Microsoft etc, the whole thing is automatic and flawless in my experience with three different laptop machines.

You can also do a restoration of the system via USB without third party tools, I have actually used this (needs a 32gb USB Memory stick). My wife had a win 10 machine which needed a new Hard drive, after replacing the HD with a new one (so now we had a dead machine with no OS installed), I enabled the USB as a bootable device in the BIOS, and restarted with the UEFI compliant recovery USB memory stick in .. It completely recovered the Win 10 OS (including the Digital ID for windows, this machine did not come with disks and the original OS was Win 8, so I had my fingers crossed that the Win 10 digital ID carried over during the process from USB which thankfully worked a treat). Then it was just a case of restoring her documents / chrome passwords and setup emails from files I had on a USB HD.

 

TL:DR Win 10 I would now very much recommend, and think anyone still on Win 7 is woefully vulnerable. It might take some getting accustomed to (as with anything new) but I would not go back to win 7.

The issue with SSD defragging as I mentioned earlier is easily fixed by yourself until Microsoft do a patch, and is not really a concern. My initial reaction was due to reading the over-reactive press on the subject.

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You present persuasive arguments of why upgrading to Windows 10 is recommended, but there is one thing I don't like one bit and that's Google.

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Well your only other option in this landscape would be to install and use Firefox, and Mozilla isn't really that much better than Google for the reasons you probably hate Google. It's what I did, but that choice may not remain available for much longer given how stupid Mozilla has been lately.

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I already have Firefox installed, but I refuse to update it, because it's what you just said Firefox (still use version 56.0) has changed too much in recent years.

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On 9/6/2020 at 8:05 AM, Leonardo said:

You present persuasive arguments of why upgrading to Windows 10 is recommended, but there is one thing I don't like one bit and that's Google.

Edge (Chrome based) by default uses Bing as it's search engine, so no problem there apart from it being Bing :)

Chrome based means it uses the open source code from the Chromium project, which is not yet Google'ized (thats why I still use Chromium builds from here).

But every Chrome based browser can be mostly de-googled, even Google's Chrome, you just need to thoroughly go through all the settings for example remove / change the default search engine ..

4r5896b.png

.. and cookie / image / location / camera / microphone / etcetera data settings.

Even Firefox needs to be de-googled since Mozilla jumped into bed with them .. Maybe not the case with Palemoon though, idk.

I also set Startpage.com as my default home page, which drops the referrer headers you link to, and go to everything from there (or bookmarks).

Go to https://www.startpage.com/ and click the "Learn More" at the bottom of the page, it's similar in its goals to DuckDuckGo, but with some very nice advanced features DuckDuckGo doesn't have :)

Chromium is soon to switch on limiting what companies can see about your Browsers User Agent data too. It's already in the latest stable version of Chrome but still experimental so you have to turn it on via chrome://flags if anyone cant wait.

And for the rest of Privacy / Malvertising issues online, just use UBlock Origin (works in all Chromium based browsers, including the new Edge). Its the only browser extension I use these days.

So anyway, I wouldn't let just a Browser stop you from being more secure and upgrading your OS, that train of thought seems a bit upside down to me. You are effectively making yourself far more vulnerable while trying to make yourself less vulnerable by not updating anything.

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If you are concerned about security, it is long past time to upgrade to 10. I don't even run any other version connected to the Internet. Admittedly, I'm a security wonk, and an author of many technical security papers.

The only reason that I use Windows at all (any version ever) is for the gaming machines. Everything else is Linux and MacOS (and other *BSD). In 1994, I'd founded an ISP that internally ran almost exclusively on MacOS and Yellowdog Linux (PPC hardware). Plus, now Windows 10 has support for Linux.

That said, I've found the EFF plugins to be helpful for browser security. HTTP Everywhere, Privacy Badger. Also Facebook containers, and NoScript. Just remember to tell NoScript that afkmods is trusted.

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