20Oct15 – Win 10, VPNs and BBC iPlayer– Good and Bad News

Win 10, VPNs and BBC iPlayer– Good and Bad News

First the bad.

If you haven’t already updated your computer to Windows 10 and it is eligible for a free upgrade, then prepare yourself for more aggressive update notifications that no longer give you the ability to opt-out.

Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users are reporting popups that inform them their Windows 10 upgrade will be installed in one hour. Users have the option to start the process immediately or reschedule it, but there is no longer an option to opt-out of upgrading altogether, ZDNet reports.

Read more here: http://www.technobuffalo.com/2015/10/15/microsoft-no-longer-lets-you-opt-out-of-a-windows-10-upgrade/

Many people are still having problems trying to upgrade from Win 7/8 to Win 10. First backup your system, data and drivers to an external memory device in case things go wrong. Then run your Manufacturer’s built in System Updater if you have one. Repeat this until you get a message that no more updates are available. Now run Windows Update, and do all available updates, even the optional ones except the language packs. Repeat this until you get a message that no more updates are available. Yes, it seems like a lot of work, but it will maximize your chance of success.

A different way of protecting yourself from a failed Win 10 Upgrade is to create a separate partition on your hard disk to install Win 10 onto, creating a dual boot setup, where you choose which system to boot to when you power up the computer. Check Youtube for tutorial vids before attempting this.

Beware, some companies like HP and Toshiba are deceptively showing Win 7 drivers for new computers on their support sites. This would lead you to believe that if you have one of their computers with Win 8, that down-grading to Win 7 is possible. Some Support sites put a disclaimer on their Win 7 drivers download page saying that some users doing a downgrade will need to get additional drivers from their OEM (original equipment mfg.). What they don’t tell you is that some of the “bundled drivers”, ex. Chipset, that actually contain many functions in one package, may be missing key components necessary for your computer’s hardware to work. Worse yet, some of these missing drivers are simply unavailable for Win 7. Thus I did a full Win 8 to 7 downgrade on a brand new laptop only to discover that the Device Manager did not even list the webcam or USB devices at all! I couldn’t get the laptop to discover the devices and could not manually Legacy install them as there were no drivers available anywhere. So be aware, some new computers are not down-gradable to Win 7 any longer.

The BBC is taking measures against the unauthorized use of its iPlayer service by actively blocking UK VPN services. The measures aim to prevent foreigners from accessing iPlayer without permission, but they’re also blocking many legitimate UK citizens from surfing the Internet securely. Read more here: https://torrentfreak.com/bbc-iplayer-blocks-uk-vpn-servers-over-piracy-concerns-151016/

Now the good news. I just received my free copy of Win 10 Enterprise Business x64 from MS as a reward for having been the first to report a bad Win 8 update that was breaking display drivers. I used the DISKPART tool and using the “Clean” command totally wiped the hard disk on a brand new HP Pavillion without touchscreen that came with Win 8.1. Then I did a clean install from the Win 10 dvd onto the now unpartitioned hard disk (Important: don’t create a formatted partition with DISKPART or the Windows Installer, let Windows do it automatically as part of the install onto “unpartitioned space”) . The install was quick and painless, restarting several times in the process. All but 4 minor drivers (Bluetooth related) were already installed, and with proper drivers too, not MS generic drivers, nice. Got the missing ones from the HP site and the install was complete. The driver for my USB Hi-Gain external wifi was even auto installed when I plugged it in. The system is fast and more Win 7 in appearance and feel than was Win 8.1. No Metro screen, Windows opens to the familiar Desktop. Next came the setup. In this Enterprise Business version there are more settings available than the Consumer version. This allowed me to turn off most of the auto updating and data sharing features that are on by default. Some of these are security risks, others just use up your bandwidth constantly sending data back and forth. I suggest that unless you have a blazing fast 4G internet connection you opt to do Windows Updates manually. Once a week before going to bed run Windows Updates. Let it check for new updates, select all, and then let them download and install. The next morning when you get up they will be done. One of the nicest results of doing the Clean Install is there are no “bloatware” programs that they pack into all new computers. I choose to set this one up as a desktop, using programs, just as in Win 7. However, if you are smartphone/tablet friendly you can load apps from the App Store and use them instead.

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07Oct15 – Windows 10 Info and News

The 7 Versions of Windows 10

I am only including the info on the Enterprise version here, as it may be the source of the rumored “secure” Win 10 for businesses. The latest insider rumors say the secure version is the Win 10 Enterprise version  plus some special updates. Of course Win 10 Enterprise as well as these updates will be for corporate customers only. There are 6 other versions of Win 10. Read more: http://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/windows-10-will-have-seven-editions-heres-how-to-tell-which-is-for-you/#ixzz3npSGKl4U

Windows 10 Enterprise

Expanding upon features addressed in Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise is being constructed with medium to large sized corporations in mind. Demonstrating its ideas of quintessential protection from security breaches, Microsoft assures that Windows 10 Enterprise “[will provide] advanced capabilities to help protect against the ever-growing range of modern security threats targeted at devices, identities, applications and sensitive information.”

Like with Windows 10 Pro, Windows 10 Enterprise will be packaged with Windows Update for Business while also adding Long Term Servicing Branches, allowing businesses to refuse functionality-centric software updates while accepting only security-related amendments.

This version of the operating system will be only distributed through the Volume Licensing program, meaning Windows 10 Enterprise will be intended for purchase in bulk. Consumers typically aren’t allowed to order the operating system through this program.

Why can’t these guys speak English?

Microsoft says “Adapt or Die!” (and they expect you to have a fast, high quality internet connection)

Windows 10’s accelerated update and upgrade tempo requires users to discard habits that accreted over decades, a painful change but one that can be managed, a Gartner analyst said today.

“There’s a new velocity of the rate of change when you move to Windows 10,” Steven Kleynhans, a Gartner analyst who tracks the Redmond, Wash. firm, said in an interview. “It’s not optional. You have to get on board.”

In an interview, Kleynhans, who this week will host a Windows 10 session for CIOs at Gartner’s annual Orlando-based symposium, focused on what enterprises must do to deal with Windows 10, Microsoft’s newest OS — in particular, its rapid update and upgrade schedule. With Windows 10, Microsoft will deliver not only the usual security patches and the occasional non-security bug fix — historically what the company shipped between each major version — but also new features and functionality, user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) improvements, and enhanced services and apps.

Windows 10 will be updated about every four months — central to Microsoft’s pivot toward its “Windows as a service” strategy — and although businesses will be on a delayed deployment schedule compared to consumers, they will, with some exceptions, be required to adopt those updates in order to continue receiving all-important security fixes.

Read the full article here: http://www.computerworld.com/article/2989001/microsoft-windows/windows-10-adapt-or-die.html