Category Archives: WED Glog

WinGet Updates Quiescent Browsers Best

Here’s one to ponder. Just this morning, in going through a gaggle of WinGet updates, I noticed something interesting. WinGet will happily install browser updates on Windows PCs, whether or not the target browser is running. But if that target is not running, it will invariably succeed and leave the program ready to run it’s newest, best self the next time it’s called. When run against running browsers, though, WinGet will often be unable to finish the job completely, despite reporting installation success. Hence, this epigram: WinGet Updates Quiescent Browsers Best.

What WinGet Updates Quiescent Browsers Best Means

Over the past 3 years or so, I’ve gotten pretty darn familiar with WinGet, Windows’ built-in package manager. It’s bundled into Windows 11 and easily available through GitHub (microsoft/winget-cli). I use this tool pretty much every day to check for updates on my fleet of 10-12 Windows PCs here at Chez Tittel. And as I use it, I get the chance to observe and report all kinds of issues and oddities, both large and small.

This is a pretty small one, as it turn out, but worth noting even so. What happens if you don’t exit a browser before using WinGet to upgrade same? It varies. Chrome will sometimes stick stubbornly to its pre-upgrade state, and require an in-app update to catch up. Firefox may require you to “Relaunch” the browser to finish things up completely. Edge does a good job of self-updating but also works well with WinGet (as you’d expect, as they’re both MS software).

Is This Just “Same-old, Same-old”?

Yesterday, I wrote a post entitled When WinGet Balks, Try In-App Updates. In a small way, this post is a further musing on some of the same themes. But because I leave browsers open on the desktop all the time — as do many other users — this one is a more focused and directed play on the same general topic.

And isn’t that just the way things sometimes (or even often) go, here in Windows-World? At least for me, anyway…


IPRI Spawns Desktop Oddities

OK, then.  I had to try it again after Windows 11 Insider Preview, Beta Channel, went to Build 22635.3566. DISM … /analyzecomponentstore was showing what’s become a “typical” 13 reclaimable packages that really weren’t there. (Note: I blogged about this back on April 4 for an earlier such build.) Last time, an in-place repair install (IPRI) fixed the issue. So I tried again, but observed that IPRI spawns desktop oddities even as it fixes the bogus reclaimables issue. That required some cleanup. Sigh: let me explain…

What IPRI Spawns Desktop Oddities Means

After the initial reboot following the IPRI, the taskbar and its icons failed to appear at the bottom of the display. That meant I had to open Task Manager (Ctrl+Alt+Esc did the trick), click on Run task, then type explorer.exe into the input box. That set my desktop mostly back to rights, with icons on taskbar in their usual places and positions.

But there was one more thing: icon spacing on my desktop was totally bizarre. I only allow 7 items on my desktop as a matter of routine, mostly repair stuff and default stuff — e.g. Recycle Bin and the two desktop.ini items that show up because of my folder settings choices. But icons were spaced about 2″ apart horizontally and vertically. Ultimately, I resorted to WinAero Tweaker to establish minimum horizontal and vertical spacing between icons (32 pixels’ worth, as it happens). And BTW, I had to reboot to get those settings to “take.”

All’s Well That Ends Well

I can’t remember even niggling issues at the desktop in the wake of an IPRI before this matter of the bogus reclaimables started showing up in the Beta Channel releases about two months ago. But since then, I’ve sometimes had to choose between cleaning those bogus items out and a working desktop. Because the former doesn’t really seem to cause any problems, while the latter is definitely a productivity buster, it’s not a hard choice to make.

But gosh, I’m still glad when I can clean up a mess AND get to a working desktop. I’d love to know what’s causing this to occur, and why the number of bogus reclaimables has so far been “Lucky 13.” But such minor mysteries are part of the allure when one lives in Windows-World. Cheers!

IPRI Spawns Desktop Oddities.nobogus

Number of reclaimable packages: 0! And a working desktop, too… [Double-click image to display in own window.]


Office Update Hiccup Is Easily Fixed

Last Friday, WingetUI informed me that Microsoft Office needed an update on my production PC. When I tried to update it, however, it failed inside the tool and running winget inside PowerShell. Then, it did nothing inside Outlook when I clicked Files > Account > Update Options > Update Now. Obviously, something was hinky about Office itself, or perhaps the update package. I got an error message that read “Installer failed with exit code: 4294967295.” Fortunately, this Office update hiccup is easily fixed.

How Office Update Hiccup Is Easily Fixed

As it happens, I wrote a story for ComputerWorld back in April 2021. It’s entitled “4 steps to repair Microsoft Office.” I only had to go to Step 1 “Run the Office Quick Repair tool.” You can see the steps to get there, and the Repair button to run it, in the following screencap:

Here’s how to get to the embedded repair info: Settings > Apps > Apps & features > click on Microsoft 365 Apps (for enterprise in my case, YMMV by version). If you click Quick Repair it uses local windows files from your PC. If that doesn’t work, you can try Online Repair and use files from the MS Office download page instead.

I didn’t have to, because the first try did the trick. After the repair completed the update ran without further difficulties. Darn! It’s nice when an easy repair succeeds. Read the rest of the CW story to see what other steps might be required if the Repair tools shown above don’t work. Things can get interesting in a hurry, so I’m just as glad they did not. As Sinatra famously sang “…nice and easy does it every time!”




Windows Terminology: Enablement Package KB (eKB)

In Microsoft’s Windows Client roadmap Update: July 2023 (published yesterday, July 13) I came across a new (to me, anyway) buzzword with associated acronym. As I add to my Windows terminology, enablement package KB (eKB) is now on the list.

Here’s the quote that got me looking around to learn more (I bolded those key words):

The upcoming Windows 11, version 23H2 shares the same servicing branch and code base as Windows 11, version 22H2. What does it mean for you? If you’re running Windows 11, version 22H2, it will be a simple update to version 23H2 via a small enablement package (eKB). Do you remember updating from Windows 10, version 1903 to 1909? Or how you’ve managed recent updates beginning with Windows 10, version 20H2 through 22H2? It will be that simple. Moreover, since both versions share the same source code, you don’t need to worry about application or device compatibility between the versions.

There’s also a Note of some interest as well. It reads:

Note: The eKB is not available on Volume Licensing Service Center. Media packages contain the complete Windows 11 operating system.

In fact, that last item is what really caught my attention and got me looking around, because eKB is an abbreviation/acronym I’d not seen before. My take: if MS thinks eKB is a thing, I’d like to know what kind of thing it is. Here goes…

Chasing Down Windows Terminology: Enablement Package KB (eKB)

A search on the acronym took me back to March 2022, to an post. Entitled “What is Enablement Package KB (EKB)…?” it took me to an early instance of that terminology. It also references the KB5003791 announcement, which talks about enablement packages in general (though it doesn’t use the eKB term itself).

In the simplest of terms, it means that we’ll transition from 22H2 versions of Windows 11 to 23H2 versions through a small and simple Cumulative Update (CU), rather than a lengthy Windows install-based upgrade. A long story, for a short conclusion.

And if you look at the big quote above, the part that starts “Do you remember updating…?” provides some recent, notable examples of an eKB even if it doesn’t tie it directly to that term.

Now I know what an eKB is. And, if you’ve read this through, so do you. Cheers!