Category Archives: Microsoft Windows 10

Windows 10 wedges itself

One or more of the recent updates for Windows 10 rendered my laptop incapable of communicating with the outside world. The Windows Firewall failed to run due to Base Filtering Engine not being able to run either. It’s the dreaded “Error 5: Access denied” error message all over again. Windows 10 also thought it was not activated, which is plain wrong. And no, I haven’t changed any hardware, save upgrading the wireless NIC in May last year. Running sfc /scannow with elevated privileges found nothing wrong. Restoring the system to the state prior to the latest updates made the network and firewall subsystems running again. All is well. What a mess.

Office 365 and error 30125-28 (404)

The Office 365 instance installed on a student’s laptop showed signs of not being activated and in need of an update. Clicking on any of the small buttons below the ribbon made no difference. Running Office updates manually from “File → Account → Update” gave us an error message: 30125-28 (404).

Running sfc /scannow with elevated rights managed to repair enough of the corruption to allow Office 365 to continue working.

Why are modern “cloud” software so fragile? Why are Dropbox and Google Drive far superior to the equivalent of Microsoft? Why is OneDrive for Business more on the order of OneDrive from Hell?

Revit 2018.1 and GeForce GTX 1050 Ti

Yesterday, a student installed Autodesk Revit 2018 on his Windows 10 x64 laptop. He then upgraded to Revit 2018.1. After entering the licensing details, Revit crashed. Installing the latest drivers from nVidia, currently at version 385.41, and rebooting the laptop saved us from any more grief.

Ad for Windows 10 camouflaged as a security update, how low can one sink?

KB3146449 is another update one should avoid installing.

From its own description:

Updated Internet Explorer 11 capabilities to upgrade Windows 8.1 and Windows 7

And:

This update adds functionality to Internet Explorer 11 on some computers that lets users learn about Windows 10 or start an upgrade to Windows 10.

Continue reading Ad for Windows 10 camouflaged as a security update, how low can one sink?

KB2977759 and KB2952664 now available in WSUS

A couple of KBs, KB2977759 and KB2952664, related to the dreadful Appraiser stuff, appeared in our WSUS instance this week. The former just made it on my list of KBs one should avoid. Both was promptly declined.

The list encompasses:

  • KB2952664, Compatibility update for upgrading Windows 7
  • KB2977759, Compatibility update for Windows 7 RTM
  • KB3022345, Update for customer experience and diagnostic telemetry (superseded by KB3068708, see below)
  • KB3035583, Update installs Get Windows 10 app in Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 SP1
  • KB3068708, Update for customer experience and diagnostic telemetry
  • KB3075249, Update that adds telemetry points to consent.exe in Windows 8.1 and Windows 7
  • KB3080149, Update for customer experience and diagnostic telemetry
  • KB3123862, Updated capabilities to upgrade Windows 8.1 and Windows 7

Another bad KB? KB3123862

Earlier this week Microsoft released another batch of Windows updates. Among them are KB3123862. As usual, the title displayed by Windows Update gives no clue to what this update actually does: “Update for Windows 7 for x64-based Systems (KB3123862)”. Clicking on the More information link reveal the following:

Updated capabilities to upgrade Windows 8.1 and Windows 7

This update adds capabilities to some computers that lets users easily learn about Windows 10 or start an upgrade to Windows 10.

“Easily learn about Windows 10”? “Start an upgrade to Windows 10”? I have an experimental laptop at work where I learn all I can about Windows 10 and the applications we use at work. That’s all I need at the moment.

No, thank you. I don’t want to install Windows 10 until I’m willing. Needless to say, this update was never installed on my Windows 7 computer at home, and the update was promptly hidden.

I feel really sorry for the computer illiterate. How are they supposed to know what’s good or bad for them?

The list of bad KBs when it comes to Windows 10 and its intrusiveness is expanded to cover:

  • KB2952664, Compatibility update for upgrading Windows 7
  • KB3022345, Update for customer experience and diagnostic telemetry (superseded by KB3068708, see below)
  • KB3035583, Update installs Get Windows 10 app in Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 SP1
  • KB3068708, Update for customer experience and diagnostic telemetry
  • KB3075249, Update that adds telemetry points to consent.exe in Windows 8.1 and Windows 7
  • KB3080149, Update for customer experience and diagnostic telemetry
  • KB3123862, Updated capabilities to upgrade Windows 8.1 and Windows 7

KB3035583

Microsoft is pretty sneaky. They camouflage their Windows 10 downloader, KB3035583, as a recommended Windows 7 update with no indication of what good this update does. Only by clicking on the first link is its true intention revealed.

Norwegian description of KB3035583, sadly with no indication of what the update actually does
Norwegian description of KB3035583, sadly with no indication of what the update actually does

As a contrast, the dreaded KB976002 browser choice update was well marked with its intention even in its (long winded) title. Luckily, we don’t see that update anymore.

UEFI, GPT, Windows 10, FreeBSD 10, and rEFInd

Over the last few days have I experimented with UEFI and GPT in VirtualBox 4.3.26. The goal was to multiboot various operating system, in this case Windows 10 Enterprise Technical Preview 9926 x64 and FreeBSD/amd64 stable/10.

First, I thought of persuading the UEFI firmware to always present its boot menu. It sure beats remembering to press F12 each time I want to boot a different operating system. This proved impossible for a number of reasons.

Next, I came across The rEFInd Boot Manager. After a quick glance I saw this is exactly what I want, a UEFI boot manager. Continue reading UEFI, GPT, Windows 10, FreeBSD 10, and rEFInd