Category Archives: Windows 10

KB50001716 Is Puzzling

OK, then. I was reading Martin Brinkmann’s post to gHacks this morning. It’s entitled “Microsoft’s sneaky KB5001716 Windows 10 update pushes Windows 11.” I don’t think my production PC qualifies, because its Intel SkyLake i7-6700 falls outside the range of supported CPUs. So I went looking for it, and learned some useful things. Let me share them with you…

Why KB50001716 Is Puzzling

First off I went to look at WU Update History to see if KB5001716 was present (or absent). I quickly realized that reading the whole WU history was more than a little taxing on a machine that’s been running Windows 10 since 2016.

So I turned to PowerShell where some operating on the Get-WUHistory command seemed like a good idea. When I figured out my Update History had 528 entries, that idea seemed even better. You can view the update history by creating a variable named $history, like so

$history = Get-WUHistory -last 1000

This grabs up to the last 1000 entries in the history records and assigns them to the variable $history. If you look at that output it’s kind of hard to ingest from Windows Terminal. It makes more visual sense if you look at it this way:

$history | sort date -desc | Format-Table Date,KB,@{l=’Category’;e={[string]$_.Categories[0].Name}},Title

[Note the preceding lines are a single PowerShell command string. If you want to try it, cut’n’paste into a text editor and make sure it’s a “one liner” before pasting into PowerShell. This produces output that looks like this:

KB50001716 Is Puzzling.table-output

Table format is more readable, but still too much to take in.
[Click image for full-size view.]

So I changed up the command string to write it to a file. That required appending the following string:

> i7wuhist.txt

The > symbol redirects the output, and the filename resides in folder context in which PS runs. Working with a file I was able to figure out the following:

1. I had no instances of KB5001716 in there anywhere
2. There were a total of 528 entries in that file.

I also concluded that my PC’s failure to meet Windows 11 hardware requirements probably meant that the upgrade offer (and indeed KB5001716 itself) were not forthcoming. Good to know, and I learned some interesting stuff along the way.


SearchApp.Exe Sets Windows 10 Crash Record

It took me a while to count them up, but my Windows 10 production PC hit some rocks yesterday. As SearchApp.exe sets Windows 10 crash record on that PC — 49 Critical “Stopped working” events in one day — I find myself wondering if it’s time to move onto a new production PC here in the office. As you can see in the lead-in graphic, the reliability index dropped like a stone!

Cringing As SearchApp.Exe Sets Windows 10 Crash Record

Frankly, I’m not sure what to make of this. As I dig into similar reports online — as in this thread — I see my problem is neither unique nor necessarily pathological. But gosh! It sure it disconcerting to see so many crashes in a single day.

I know why it happened, too: my Start menu stopped working properly about mid-day yesterday. Thus, I found myself using the Windows Search box a LOT more than usual. Then I figured out I could scroll through “All apps” and get to what I needed alphabetically. Eventually, I went into Task Manager and clicked the “Restart” option in the right-click menu for File Explorer. That restored Start to normal behavior and stopped the weird search bomb from going off, apparently.

Another Brick in the Wall?

I keep thinking that the time is coming ever closer when I’m going to have to switch my production work over to a new desktop. I built one last year (an AMD 5800x, B550 mobo, 64 GB RAM, etc. etc.). Could this be Windows’ way of telling me “time to go!” Perhaps… Let me procrastinate a bit longer, please?

But as Pink Floyd put it “You can’t have any pudding if you don’t eat your meat…” So I’d best get moving in the next month or two. The beast must be fed!


CNF Conundrum Gets Some Love

OK, then. I’ve been trying to figure out why, on some of my test PCs, I get an error message when PowerShell loads my profile and tries to import the PowerToys WingetCommandNotFound (CNF) module. You can see that error message in the lead-in graphic above (from my ThinkPad P16 Mobile workstation). Thanks to some fiddling around, this CNF conundrum gets some love — finally!

I haven’t figured out how to fix the problem properly just yet. But for the nonce, if I go into PowerToys, visit CNF, uninstall and then resinstall same, it returns to work. This happens every time I open a fresh PowerShell session, so it’s at least mildly bothersome. But I’m starting to make progress on figuring things out.

How CNF Conundrum Gets Some Love

The error message keeps changing on me as I add things to the folder where the profile resides — namely %user%\documents\PowerShell. First, it complains about not being able  to find the module itself. I copy it into that folder. Then it complains about a .DLL. I copy that, too. Finally, it complains about an error handler not being able to field a thrown exception.

It’s not fixed yet, but I now know that this issue comes from my PowerShell modules path set-up. Something is wonky between those search paths (there’s one for the system, and one for my login account) and PowerToys. This happens for one of my Microsoft Accounts (MSAs)  every time I use it to log into Windows, because this information is shared across those instances through OneDrive.

What’s Next?

I’ve got to research how I should be setting things up in the OneDrive environment to get PowerShell and PowerToys to get along with each other properly. I’ll be contacting the WinGet crew (Demitrius Nelon’s team at MS) to request additional info and guidance. That’s because my online searches have only clued me into what’s going on, but not how to fix it properly.

Stay tuned: I’ll keep this one up-to-date. And I’ll probably post again, when a resolution is formulated. This just in: OneDrive is reporting multiple copies of the PS profile in its file store. Could this be related? I have to think so. Again: stay tuned…


Repair Install Fixes Instability

At the beginning of this month, I performed an in-place upgrade repair install on my Windows 10 production PC. It’s now running Build 19045.4046. You can see that this repair install fixes instability on the PC in the lead-in graphic. Over the past 20 days I’ve had only one critical event — mostly self-inflicted when testing winget Chrome update behavior (see last Friday’s post for details). Otherwise, this 2016-vintage system has been rock solid of late.

When in Doubt, Repair Install Fixes Instability

Gosh! I’ve long been a believer that an in-place upgrade repair install (IPURI) is something of a Windows cure-all. Reminder: an IPURI runs setup.exe from a mounted ISO for the same version of Windows that’s currently running on a PC. Thus, it requires the host OS to be running well enough to replace itself. See these terrrific and tutorials for all the details…

Thus, you can’t use this technique if you’re having boot problems, or the OS isn’t running well enough to get through  the GUI phase of a Windows upgrade. But for situations where the OS is running (but most likely, not as well as you might like) this technique works extremely well. My earlier Reliability Monitor trace, before the February 1 IPURI, looked something like a sawtooth wave on an oscilloscope. Ouch!

How to Get the Right ISO

I still use to match build numbers between what’s running and the ISO I have it build for me. Then, I mount that ISO, and run setup.exe from the virtual DVD drive ID Explorer puts out there for me. Lately it’s been showing up as the E: drive; but this morning it comes up as P:. But you’ll most likely see it labeled with the initial characters of the image label like this:Repair Install Fixes Instability.recent-iso

Here’s what Explorer shows me when I mount the ISO I used on February 1 for an IPURI: Virtual DVD Drive P:

For the record, I also use the excellent Ventoy project software to boot into my various ISOs when an IPURI won’t do. Admins and power users will want to keep a USB handy with their fave ISOs for repair and recovery scenarios. I do that on a 1 TB NVMe SSD inside a USB3.2 drive enclosure. Lets me keep dozens of ISOs around, ready to boot into any of them on a moment’s notice. Good stuff!


Winget Browser Updates May Be Curious

As far as I can tell, I’ve been blogging here about the Windows Package Manager — Winget, that is — since May 2022. Indeed it’s received regular mention ever since (nearly a third of all posts). I finally observed the other day that winget won’t update a browser with any of its processes running on the target PC. Also the browsers I use (Chrome, Firefox, Edge) still make you “Relaunch” to complete any update. This includes instances when Winget updates them successfully. Hence my assertion: Winget browser updates may be curious. And I mean both in terms of effect and outcome.

If Winget Browser Updates May Be Curious, Then?

It doesn’t stop me from trying, but the update doesn’t happen at all when any related process is running. Thus, for example, if any chrome.exe items show up in Task Manager>Details view, winget breezes past the update package and does nothing. Ditto for Firefox and Edge. But it’s a good flag for me to jump into each one’s Help>About facililty which is usually more than happy to update from insider the browser itself. And again, to request a “Relaunch” when that process comes to its conclusion.

It’s all part of the learning process in working with winget to keep Windows up-to-date. Sometimes — indeed nearly all the time — winget handles update packages quite nicely on its own. At other times (less often) winget acts as a sentinel to warn me that an update is available, which I then must figure out how to install.

Here’s a short list of such programs above and beyond the browsers already mentioned: Kindle for Windows, Discord, certain EA game executables, Teams Classic, Windows Terminal (now fixed), and even Winget itself from time to time. But gosh, it’s always fun to see what’s out there and what happens when winget wrangles update packages. It’s made my life ever so much more interesting (and updates easier) since it emerged in 2022.


Microsoft PC Manager Makes Store Debut

They used to call it Microsoft PC Manager (Beta). Now, not only is the beta designation gone, Microsoft PC Manager Makes Store debut. And when you install it from the download, the program flashes this screen to confirm that change of status:

What do YOU think? Official it is!

Easy Pickings As Microsoft PC Manager Makes Store Debut

I’ve written a couple of prior stories about the Beta version so I’m fairly familiar with this program:

I can say this much right away: with its release into the MS Store, installing MSPCM (as I like to abbreviate Microsoft PC Manager) has become a LOT easier. If you didn’t realize how the download button worked in the beta version you could easily be fooled into thinking installation didn’t work. Happened to me, anyway. And of course, installing via the Store means you can skip all the steps I depict in the afore-linked TekkiGurus story (as well as the ones I just skip over).

OK, Then: What’s Changed?

Other than dropping the (Beta) from the end of its name and popping up in the Store, I haven’t found that much different about the program just yet. Looks like I need to spend more time noodling around. Good thing that’s one of my favorite ways to spend time with Windows.

On the plus side, MSPCM is losing a lot of its rough edges. It still shows some signs that non-native English speakers put the text together, but it’s getting better, e.g.:

PC Manager will automatically boost your PC when high usage of RAM or there are 1GB of temporary files

Cleanup your system and free up spaces.

Built-in a variety of Windows tools.

The first of these items comes from the UI itself, the latter two from the PC Manager web pages. Still a bit of Chinglish in there, but they’ve come a long way since I started playing with this tool last fall. Check it: search for Microsoft PC Manager at the Microsoft Store, or follow its Store Link. Cheers!

Note: here’s a shout-out to Abishek Misra at WindowsLatest, whose February 6 story clued me into this new step in MSPCM evolution.



NVIDIA Drops New Driver Batch

As I work through the Windows news each morning, I check X (Twitter), LinkedIn, Facebook and Mastodon by way of social media. I also check in on WinAero, WindowsLatest, MSPowerUser, Ghacks, Thurott and Windows Central as well. Today, most of them told me something like NVIDIA drops new driver batch 551.23. And indeed, I found Game-ready and Studio versions for consumer grade GPUs, as well as Quadro (551.23 aka Release 550) among the pro lines. You can see the Studio version from GeForce Experience in the lead-in graphic above.

Fast facts on this latest version:
1. Target Directory: C:\ProgramData\NVIDIA Corporation\
2. Filename: 551.23-desktop-win10-win11-64bit-
3. Download size: 519KB (downloader only)
4. On-disk file size: 1.93 GB (all files downloaded & expanded)
5. Download & install time: ~3:30 (average across 5 PCs)

Why NVIDIA Drops New Driver Batch 551.23

Most often updates follow close on the heels of new games (or game features). Sometimes, they pop up to support new NVIDIA GPU offerings. It’s the latter this time, with the release of the game- and AI-ready RTX 4080 SUPER at CES on January 8, 2024 (also includes 4070 Ti SUPER and 4070 SUPER in that mix).

Heh! I’m not sure I’m ready to fork over the long green needed to buy into the latest NVIDIA generation, but it’s nice to know they’re out there when I build my next desktop. I usually buy either a 4070 or 4070 Ti model because I can’t really justify the price/performance tax that a top-of-the-line model adds to my build costs. But gamers everywhere will probably be fighting off a new case of techno-lust.

Drivers Downloaded and Updated

Amidst my modest fleet of about one dozen PCs (8 laptops and 4 desktops), there are 7 machines with NVIDIA graphics cards of one kind or another. I’ve got the updates running on all of them right now (except for the desktop my son is using away at college, so I’ll mention this to him the next time we talk). By the time you read this, they should all be updated.

If you’ve got an NVIDIA GPU in your neighborhood, now you know there’s a new update out there, too. Three cheers for the 551.23 release!


KB5034441 Partition Work Kills Reflect Backup

There’s a very good reason why I run my Macrium Reflect backups at 9 AM. I’m usually at my desk, so I can see it fire up and –eventually — complete successfully. This morning, I noticed the backup had failed pretty soon after it started up. What I wanted to see shows up above in the lead-in graphic — namely “Image Completed Successfully.” Upon investigation, the reason for failure was a missing partition. Indeed, I’d deleted it to make room to expand my WinRE partition. That’s why I call this post KB5034441 Partition Work Kills Reflect Backup. Now, I’ll explain…

Why KB5034441 Partition Work Kills Reflect Backup

KB5034441 appeared on January 9 for Windows 10. It works some Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE) magic and also rebuilds the WinRE partition on the sys/boot disk. Alas, it wants an additional 250MB of partition space. That’s usually not available in most existing recovery partitions, so it’s necessary to resize that partition to make room for the new additions.

This is where things get interesting for me. I run a daily backup on my sys/boot (and key data) disk(s). Because I made room to grow my existing WinRE partition — using reagentc /info to identify it, and MTPW to give it more space — I first deleted partition 6 on that drive (an older, now ununsed WinRE partition). Because my Reflect Macrium drives image backups from a partition map, killing Partition 6 on the drive made the XML backup schedule diverge from the actual disk layout. When that happens, out of an abundance of caution, Macrium Reflect refuses to image that changed  layout.

Fixing the Backup Backup (Failure)

All I had to do to fix the problem was to define a new backup schedule with the proper partitions ticked off on the boot/sys drive. But before I could do that, I had to notice the old backup definition was no longer working. Of course, I also deleted the no-longer-working definition file as well.

That finally happened this morning and I got a new backup completed shortly thereafter. I’m sure glad nothing blew up in the meantime. As you can see, my last successful backup (before today) occurred on January 12 — one week ago. Dodged a bullet, that time.

KB5034441 Partition Work Kills Reflect Backup.backfiles

Notice the second date in the descending series of files. It’s a week old. Ouch! {Click image for full-sized view.}

Learned an important lesson, too: if the partition map changes, the backup definition file must be changed to match. Otherwise, Macrium Reflect image backup won’t work! Because I rely on daily image backups to haul my fat out of the fire, that’s uncommonly good to know and understand…


Laughable Stardock Version Mixup

I have to chuckle. Winget just told me to upgrade Stardock Start10 on my lone remaining physical Windows 10 PC. Why? It sees a version numbered but wants to take that package to 1.97. Of course, they are one and the same thing, and the update install fails with error code 9, as shown in the lead-in graphic. This laughable Stardock version mixup tells me there may be an issue with how version numbers get parsed and divided up inside winget’s package database.

Laughable Stardock Version Mixup: v 1.97

When I run the about screen from the version that’s actually running what you see next is what I see too. Guess what? The in-app update check confirms that 1.97 is indeed already running and the most current release. So what’s the confusion?

Laughable Stardock Version Mixup.197-already-on

Not only is 1.97 already running, in-app update says it’s current.

This is one of the little mishaps to which winget sometimes succumbs. It’s no big deal, and it’s actually kind of endearing. And it gives me something to report in to the team. Not that they’ll be short of things to do next week when the world gets back to work!

I’m guessing it will take one or two database corrections to fix this, and probably less than 5 minutes’ work. Perhaps I’ll be finding out. If I do, I’ll share here so stay tuned!


Final 2023 Insider Channel Flights

It’s a consistent pattern. I’m looking at the most recent “flight announcements” in the Windows Insider blog. All of them include this sentence: “This will be our last <Name> Channel flight until January 2024” where <Name> is one of: Canary, Dev or Beta. The most recent instance popped on December 14. Its header appears as the lead-in graphic above.

Why Say: Final 2023 Insider Channel Flights Are Out?

Beyond the flat assertions from MS indicating they’re on pause until after New Year’s, I’ll observe this is a typical thing for Windows development. It’s been ongoing as far back as I can remember. Indeed, it usually hits in the 2nd or 3rd week of December, before the major end-of-year holidays get going in earnest.

This makes pretty good sense to me. Productivity usually slumps between December 20 and January 3 or 4 (depending on what day of the week New Year’s hits — next year it’s a Monday). MS is smart to call a hiatus by the middle of the month, to give everybody time to gear up for, and then recover from, the hollidays. Most other businesses (except those in leisure and hospitality) tend to do likewise.

Take a Deep Breath, And …

Indeed, I just wrote my last weekly blog/column for GoCertify yesterday (it will publish Monday). And I’ve noticed the pace of work will be letting up with the websites and publications I write for starting next week.

Does this mean I’ll be taking a break from this blog, too? Yes and no. I probably won’t blog on December 24 and 25 or January 1, but other than that it should be close to normal as it ever gets here at Chez Tittel. I should have more time to fool around with my PCs, so I should find plenty of stuff to share. Do stay tuned if you’re so inclined, but I hope you’ll have time to enjoy the end-of-year break in your own special ways. Cheers!