Category Archives: Windows 11

Windows 10 COM Surrogate Errors Continue

Hmmmm. About 18 months ago, I blogged about a source of regular crashes on my Windows 10 production PC. Entitled “Chronic COM Surrogate Windows 10 Failures” it goes into possible causes of and fixes for APPCRASH errors relates to the Windows COM Surrogate. As you can see in the Reliability Monitor output at the head of this story, my Windows 10 COM Surrogate errors continue, sometimes multiple times in a day. Sigh.

If Windows 10 COM Surrogate Errors Continue, Then…?

I’ve already tried all of the fixes described in the earlier item and the errors continue. My current error history goes back to May 6, and the COM Surrogate error is mentioned in over half the total error reports involved (5 of 7 items). As I look around online, I see I’m not alone in this situation. It also shows up on most, but not all, of my Windows 11 PCs (of which I currently have 11 at my fingertips).

This feels more like a “feature” even if it is manifestly an “APPCRASH” event. Thankfully, it doesn’t seem to impact system stability, reliability or performance. Sometimes, things like this just pop up in Windows. This one is interesting and mildly vexing, but overall doesn’t seem to impair the user experience.

Feedback Hub Search Results

As I search Feedback Hub on some combination of COM Surrogate, APPCRASH, MoAppHang, and so forth, I see that PowerToys sometimes enters the picture, sometimes not. The nature of the error appears to depend on whether it emerges from an app (usually on the PowerToys components) or an executable (usually DllHost.exe).

But it looks like this issue hasn’t gone away since I dug into it a while back. And based on its common presence on Windows 10 and 11 PCs alike (across production, preview, beta, dev and canary channels as well) it looks like something more constant than intermittent. While I hope MS does fix it sometime (sooner would be better than later), I guess I can live with it while they’re searching for the right “round tuit.”


Winget Upgrade May Require Cleanup

OK, then: yesterday dev lead Demetrius Nelson and his Winget team pushed an upgrade to winget. This comes courtesy of the Microsoft Store, and shows up as part of the App Installer and/or Windows Terminal packages. I noticed also that winget would occasionally throw the error “Failed in attempting to update the source: winget” as you can see in the lead-in screencap. What made it interesting was that it happens on some, but not all, of my Windows PCs. Now, let me explain why this post says that the “Winget upgrade may require cleanup.”

Why Say: Winget Upgrade May Require Cleanup?

When I saw this pop up in the wake of the new release, I figured the changes involved in pushing it out the door might have been involved. So I contacted Mr. Nelson and sent him (among other info) the screencap that leads this piece off. He responded this morning and explained how I could fix the issue, using the commands:

winget uninstall Microsoft.Winget.Source_8wekyb3d8bbwe
winget source reset --force

The first string removes the winget package from the PC. The second resets the winget environment, which is why the user must agree to Terms again before winget will run. After that it shows no upgrades are available (“No installed package found matching input criteria” with no accompanying error message (“Failed in attempting to update the source: winget”).

Problem solved; case closed. It’s always good to get the fix right from the source. Had to laugh about the “It won’t break while the engineer is watching” comment he sent me, too. Isn’t that just the way things go in Windows-World (and elsewhere in life)? LOL

See the whole thing here:

The fix is in — and working! Good stuff…


Exploring Windows 11 Dev Home

Last week, MS released Windows 11 Dev Channel Build 25375.1 (May 25). Having finally gotten a little ahead of my workflow, I visited the MS Store to download Dev Home (Preview). This afternoon, I’ve been exploring Windows 11 Dev Home (Preview) to see what’s what. So far, it’s pretty interesting…

When Exploring Windows 11 Dev Home, Try These…

In the Dashboard, the “+Add Widget” button lets one add widgets for things that include Memory, Network, CPU and GPU. Of course, as a long-time 8GadgetPack fan, I had to try them out. Here’s what they look like:

The various hardware subsystem widgets aren’t too bad — but not equal to gadget counterparts, either.
[Click image for full-sized view.]

Other elements of Dev Home — as you should expect from the name — are distinctly developer focused. You can interact with GitHub and other development platforms, and configure devices for development using XAML or YAML configuration files (just like the newly-added winget capabilities, through no coincidence whatsoever).

The Official (Store) Word Sez…

MS describes Dev Home (Preview) as follows:

Dev Home is a control center providing the ability to track all of your workflows and coding tasks in one place. It features a streamlined setup tool that enables you to install apps and packages in a centralized location, extensions that allow you to connect to your developer accounts (such as GitHub), and a customizable dashboard with a variety of developer-focused widgets, to give you the information you need right at your fingertips.

This is an open source project and we welcome community participation. To participate, please visit

This makes for some interesting and potentially useful capability under a single umbrella. So far, I’m having fun looking around and messing with the widgets. Later on, I’ll get more serious about the dev side of things, and bring Visual Studio and other elements into play. Stay tuned!



Windows 11 Beta Shows OneDrive Holdings

OK, then. Here’s a minor –but nice — addition to Windows 11 that shows up in Build 22631.1825. That’s right, Windows 11 Beta shows OneDrive Holdings, as you can see in the lead-in graphic. Start → Settings → Accounts takes you where you need to go. It’s right up top, under a heading named “Microsoft storage” as shown in the image.

If Windows 11 Beta Shows OneDrive Holdings, Then What?

I’ve been wary of using OneDrive as a shared file store across multiple PCs. Why? Mostly because things sometimes show up in OneDrive without my specific knowledge or intent. I’ve learned, for example, to explicitly target screencaps in the Pictures folder under my user account folder hierarchy rather than defaulting to the Pictures folder in OneDrive. I shoot tens to hundreds of MB of screencaps monthly (mostly to write about them). I don’t necessarily want them to follow me around to all of my PCs. Ditto for other common Windows File Explorer library folders (Documents, Downloads, Videos, etc.).

But now, I may have to rethink how and when I use OneDrive. It’s now much easier to see when things grow (or worse, mushroom out of control) in that shared store. It occurs to me, for example, when updating apps across my mini-fleet (about a dozen PCs) it might just be easier to download once, stick it in OneDrive, then use it where needed. Just a thought…

Managing OneDrive … Carefully

Searching Google for “OneDrive Manager,” I see numerous third-party tools — and lots of tutorials — aimed at keeping this unruly beast tamed. Methinks I need to spend some time digging, learning, and thinking. I already use Google Drive, Box, and DropBox to good effect (particularly with legal clients). I believe I can and now, should, learn to do likewise with OneDrive. Stay tuned!


RingCentral Requires In-app Upgrade

In checking over my mini-fleet (1 dozen) of Windows PCs this morning, I came across an interesting winget gotcha. The tool cheerfully informed me RingCentral needed an upgrade. But neither a general upgrade (winget upgrade –all …) nor a targeted upgrade (winget upgrade RingCentral.RingCentral-v …) did the trick. Today, at least, it seems that RingCentral requires an in-app upgrade to bring itself up to snuff.

Why RingCentral Requires In-App Upgrade Is Anybody’s Guess

The whole story plays out in the lead-in screencap. It shows winget upgrade, as it includes RingCentral in its list of item in need of same. Then it shows the general upgrade (winget upgrade –all –include-unknown) updating 2 of those 3 items (excluding RingCentral). Then it shows a general RingCentral command (winget upgrade RingCentral.RingCentral), and a version specific invocation both failing with “No applicable upgrade found.” (If you can’t see it as-is, open the lead-in graphic in its own tab, please.)

So I opened the app and — guess what? — it cheerfully updated itself as part of its startup behavior. I searched the RingCentral knowledge base for insight, but found none.

Installed Apps Tells a More Nuanced Story…

In checking the target PC (one of my road laptops: a Lenovo ThinkPad P16 Mobile Workstation) I found not one — but TWO — instances of RingCentral installed on that machine.

RingCentral Requires In-app Upgrade.2instances

In addition to version — which winget told me I needed — I also found version Interesting!

I uninstalled the older version, and RingCentral no longer needs an upgrade but still launches. But alas, it no longer shows up in winget, either. Even more interesting. So I just went into the app and made sure it is working (it is) and that it’s running the advertised most current version (it is).

But winget still shows “No installed package found matching input criteria.” Looks like this version does not register with winget. It doesn’t show up in SUMo, either. But the version DID show up in “winget list ringcentral” in the earlier screencap. So I think we’re dealing with something new from the developer for which a winget package is not yet defined. Again: interesting! My first time to see something like this.


Windows 11 User Count Tops 1B Worldwide

This news comes from the Microsoft Windows Blogs dated May 26. It’s entitled “Delivering Delightful Performance for More Than One Billion Users Worldwide.” That’s the day after Build 2023 concluded, and the first time that MS has publicly disclosed user count data for Windows 11 in about a year. It’s also the first time they’ve proclaimed that the Windows 11 user count tops 1B worldwide.

These are the four instances in the afore-linked item where the “billion” word occurs:
1. In the title of the blog post, as quoted in the preceding ‘graph
2. In a sentence that reads (in part) as “... with over one billion users and a rich PC ecosystem…
3. Diagnostic data includes “…over 70.4 billion scenario performance data points per year.”
4. Final paragraph, penultimate sentence reads (in part) “…thanks to our Windows Insider community for helping us continue to improve Windows for the over one billion users worldwide.

What Windows 11 User Count Tops 1B Worldwide Means

According to Statista, as of June 2023, the company expects a ratio of 68.6% for Windows 10 vis-a-vis 18.12% for Windows 11. Thus, if there are 1 B Windows 11 users, there must also be  around 3.78 B Windows 10 users. To me this means one of two things:

(a) The ratio of visitors that Statista tracks doesn’t accurately model the Windows population of active users
(b) Microsoft’s claimed 1 B figure does not translate to active users 1-to-1 (makes sense, given that one active user can run multiple instances of the OS, especially VMs)

In January 2023, for example, Jason Wise reported at EarthWeb that MS claimed 1.4 B active devices running Windows 10 and 11 monthly in January 2022. They use this data, plus additional insights, to assert that “Windows, new versions and otherwise, run on more or less 1.6 billion devices around the world” as of January 2023.

Even assuming a monthly growth rate of 3% that puts the global Windows population at 1.85 B in May, 2023. How can there be at or over 1 B Windows 10 users and a similar number of 11 users with a total that’s arithmetically lower? Something here doesn’t make sense…

It should be interesting to see the pundit corps chew this over. Stay tuned, and I’ll keep you posted…

Note Added 1 Hour Later…

It’s got to be devices, counting both physical and virtual machines as individual devices. I use 10 PCs here at my house, and I have at least another dozen VMs across various Windows versions at my disposals. That’s over 20 “devices” but only one user. That leaves room for a tangible “muliplier” between users and devices, IMO.



Old-School Gadgets Still Rule

I read a Windows Latest story yesterday with interest and bemusement. It proclaims that MS is “bringing … Vista-like gadgets to Windows 11…” Of course, these are widgets (not gadgets, per se) and I don’t see them in the same light, either. I’m still happily using Helmut Buhler’s excellent 8GadgetPack, as you can see in the lead-in graphic. For me, these old-school gadgets still rule — as they have done on my desktops since Vista appeared in early 2007 (16 years ago).

Why Old-School Gadgets Still Rule

The range of still-available gadgets is large (61 total on the “Add Gadget” display). It offers elements for time, CPU, GPU, storage, and networking status and activity. Lots of pop-ups for news, weather, games, media and other interesting services. There’s more here, in fact, than I want or need on my desktop.

Here are the four elements I use all the time on nearly all of my Windows 10 and 11 PCs and laptops (they appear in-line at the right-hand side of my left-screen’s desktop; here I stack them 2×2):

Clockwise from top left, these are:
1. Clock gadget: shows machine name and time (with seconds)
2. Control gadget: provides ready access to shutdown and restart, even in RDP sessions (very handy)
3. Network Meter: shows int/ext IP addresses, in- & out-bound network activity (on graph and numerically)
4. CPU Usage: shows overall CPU and memory consumption, along with per-core activity levels.

So far, I haven’t seen Windows 11 widgets that come close to matching this kind of capability with minimal overhead and effort required for installation and use. I’ll keep my eyes on widgets as they develop and evolve. But so far, the old-school gadget still beats the new-school widget three ways from Sunday. Stay tuned: this may change!


Canary Dev Gain Enhanced Webp Support

Here’s an interesting change in the bleeding edge versions for Windows 11. Indeed, Canary Dev gain enhanced Webp support for images of that type. It does require visiting the MS store on one of those platforms to download and install the Webp Image Extensions app shown in the lead-in screencap. After that, a number of interesting options present themselves. Let me explain … and illustrate!

What Canary Dev Gain Enhanced Webp Support Means

Thanks to Sergey Tkachenko at WinAero, I learned about this yesterday. What I didn’t realize was how widespread webp support has already become across the Windows 10 and 11 landscape. As you can see, the following image — prosaically named bunny.webp — shows up just fine inside WordPress (and by extension, most web browsers).Canary Dev Gain Enhanced Webp Support.bunny

Say hello to bunny.webp!

Indeed, it turns out that in addition to Photos and Edge, webp also works in Corel PaintShop, Snagit Editor, Paint, IrfanView (though I did have to download and install a plug-in DLL for Webp) and more. And it worked on Windows 10 as well as 11. It’s just that the Windows Photos app (and possibly Edge for some users) couldn’t handle webp before installing the afore-mentioned Store app “Webp Image Extensions.”

What Is Webp Anyway?

Webp is yet another compact, accurate image format. A Google design, it made its debut in 2010 but didn’t go widely public until April 2018 (when the vendor released a stable “supporting library” for the format — See Wikipedia). Looking at the bunny above, I see that Webp has some characteristics in common with the XML-based SVG graphics format. That said, it also supports captured photos, animation, tiling, advanced meta-data and more.

Visit Google’s WebP page for the official line on this format, which is gaining wider acceptance and use. As Google explains “WebP is a modern image format that provides superior lossless and lossy compression for images on the web. Using WebP, webmasters and web developers can create smaller, richer images that make the web faster.”

This was an interesting exercise for me, and a good learning experience. Worth digging into for IT and web professionals alike, if you haven’t dug in here already…

Note: Webp does NOT work in Photos in Windows 10 or Window 11 (versions with numbers lower than those for Canary or Dev channels, 25357 and 23451, respectively). Outside the OS umbrella, though, Webp seems to work in browsers and image apps and applications of all kinds.


P16 Manifests LSASS Bug

The Windows Local Security Authority Subsystem Service, aka LSASS, handles security policy enforcement for that OS. With KB5023706 (installed on 3/14) on my mainstream Windows 11 PC, some have shown interesting side-effects. My P16 manifests LSASS bug shown in the lead-in graphic.

Basically, it falsely asserts that LSASS protection is turned off (see text in red box). How do I know it’s actually running? As I searched the System log in Event Viewer, I found a message indicating the “LSASS.exe (process) was started…” as part of that system’s last boot-up. According to this discussion of that very issue at, this indicates that LSASS protection is enabled and working as it should be.

P16 Manifests LSASS Bug.evt-viewer

The Event Viewer (System Log) reports a successful start of LSASS.exe as part of the OS boot-up process. It’s working!

What To Do If Your P16 Manifests LSASS Bug

Of course, this applies to all Windows PCs of all kinds. That said, the afore-linked BleepingComputer story explains a couple of Registry hacks that will fix such spurious notifications. MS will probably get around to fixing this sooner or later. Meanwhile, I’m not concerned about false security flags. Indeed, I’m content to wait until it’s corrected in some future update.

It sounds like a serious error. And it would be a major security hole, if the notification were true. But since it’s simply a false positive, and I’ve proved to myself that things are working as they should be, I’ll live with it.

This problem has been in play for some while now (BleepingComputer reports it goes back to January 2023). If I search for “Local security authority protection is off” at, I see hits as far back as March 1, 2023, on this topic. All are unanimous in flagging this as a false positive not worth corrective action.

But that’s the way things sometimes go here in Windows-World. Take it under advisement if you see the “Yellow bang!” in Windows Security on your Windows 11 PC. Cheers!


Winget Just Keeps Chugging Along

I’ve started a new writing and editing gig with I’m contributing 3-4 articles a month on Windows 10 and 11 topics, and providing input and feedback on their overall desktop OS coverage. Just recently, I started a series of stories for them on the Winget package manager for Windows. I’ve been using it daily for about a year now, and  I have to observe that Winget just keeps chugging along — and getting better all the time.

What Winget Just Keeps Chugging Along Means

Take a look at this morning’s results on my Windows 10 production PC (see lead-in graphic above). It just updated VS Enterprise 2022, TeamViewer, and Chrome, in under 2 minutes with only minimal effort from yours truly. I seldom encounter winget issues — and when I do, they’re nearly always easily resolved.

What continually suprises me is that using winget for updates is often faster than the in-app (or in-application) update facility itself. Visual Studio 2022 made an interesting case in point just now, when it updated that hefty environment (nearly 400 MB to start it going, and over 150 packages as the process worked to completion). It finished in well under 2 minutes on this aging desktop PC (i7 SkyLake, 32 GB RAM, 500 GB Gen 2 PCIe SSD).

Where Winget Falls Short Is Not Its Problem

I do still use other tools to keep my apps and applications updated. But that’s not winget’s fault. As I discuss in my March 17 post here, winget relies on developers to provide package manifests for their software so that it can do its install/update/query/uninstall things.

The list of items for which I have to use other tools includes some apps or applications that seldom get packages (Kindle, Zoom, Box, Dropbox, and others) or that have none (AFAICT). I encourage all developers who don’t already update winget manifests as they push updates to get in that habit.  (See this MS Learn item “Create your package manifest” to dig into that semi-automated YAML and PowerShell-based process.) It will make everybody’s lives easier in the Windows admin world — including mine! ‘Nuff said…