Category Archives: Updates

Winget Suffers Blanche DuBois Effect

There’s a famous line in Tennessee Williams well-known play, A Streetcar Named Desire. It comes from trashy, tragic Blanche DuBois. It reads “I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.” I hope I’m not over-reaching in finding a connection between Blanche and Microsoft’s built-in package manager Winget. Why do I say that Winget suffers Blanche DuBois effect? Because third-party developers must provide package definitions so Winget can handle their updates. Some do, some don’t is my experience on this front.

Overcoming Winget Suffers Blanche DuBois Effect

I turn to other tools to help me catch what happens when the “Blanche DuBois Effect” fails — namely, when a developer or owner does not supply Winget with the necessary package definitions. You can see what I mean by this in the figure below. (Click on it to expand to full-sized view to read what it says for yourself.)

Note that Winget sees 4 items in need of update; SUMo sees 7 or 8.

For the record, Winget sees about half of what KC Software’s Software Update Monitor (aka SUMo) does, to wit:

Tool Count List of items
Winget 4 VSEnt22, SUMo, TeamViewer, Jabra Direct
SUMo 8 Firefox, CPU-Z, Jabra Direct, Edge, Snagit, TeamViewer, WizTree (2)


For accuracy, Winget sees one thing that SUMo does not — namely, Visual Studio Enterprise 2022 (abbreviated as VSEnt22 above). OTOH, SUMo sees 5 (or 6) things that Winget does not — specifically, Firefox, CPU-Z (a false positive, in fact), MS Edge, Snagit, and WizTree (in both 64- and 32-bit versions). That’s why I use other application update tools to help me keep up on the ten-plus PCs in residence here at Chez Tittel.

Winget Supplements of Choice Are…

My tools of choice to cover what Winget misses are:

1. Software Update Monitor (aka SUMo) from KC Softwares
2. PatchMyPC from

Why two? Because PatchMyPC sees fewer things than SUMo does. But what the freeware version of PatchMyPC sees, it also updates automatically and easily. The free version of SUMo sees more, but only the paid version tries to update those things for you (and its track record is far enough from stellar on performing updates that I’m not sure it’s worth the US$25-30 you’ll be asked to pay for it).

I’ve learned to use SUMo solely for detection, then I let PatchMyPC handle for me what it can. I do the rest myself manually.

Frankly, though, I think MS should put some of its much-vaunted AI capability to work so that Winget can generate packages for third-party applications on its own with no need to, as Blanch DuBois once did, rely on the kindness of strangers.


Installer Borks PowerPanel Program

Here’s an interesting one from the trenches. In working my way though today’s round of software updates, I found myself unable to get info from the CyberPower CP1500D uninterruptible power supply. It protects my primary production PC, so that’s a concern. I did some online research into the far-from-transparent error message “PowerPanel Personal Service is not ready.” I learned I was dealing with a documented bug. Turns out a rogue installer borks PowerPanel program . That said, it’s easily fixed. Let me explain…

When Installer Borks PowerPanel Program, Then What?

A search on the error string “PowerPanel Personal Service is not ready” took me to Woody Leonhard’s (in)famous AskWoody website. I learned that it wasn’t the installer that broke the service connection to the UPS, but the immediate reboot that it advised upon completion. Go figure!

But the recommended fix worked like a charm. Basically, it’s a remove-and-replace operation. That is, uninstall the CyberPower utility, remove all traces, then reinstall. Upon completion, don’t reboot immediately. Everything works!

Revo Uninstaller Recommended

The advice from AskWoody MVP “bbearren” recommends using Revo Uninstaller (the free version is fine: it’s what I used). It offers clean-up after it runs the program’s own installer and gets rid of leftover files and registry entries. (I used the middle “Moderate” clean-up setting.)

Then, I reinstalled the latest version of the CyberPower PowerPanel Personal software (2.4.8) from the download I’d already made for the update. It chunked through to a happy completion, after which I did NOT reboot my PC despite the installer’s recommendation. You can see the working results in the lead-in graphic for this story.

Problem solved! It’s nice when they go down easy and quick. That actually happens sometimes, some days here in Windows-World.


2023 Gets Underway For Real

OK, then. The family is back from our later-than-usual winter vacation. On Saturday we returned from San Diego. This morning, son Gregory hopped another silver bird to return to school in Boston. So now, I’m catching up my modest PC fleet as 2023 gets underway for real here at Chez Tittel. As usual, there are numerous interesting items to report.

Once 2023 Gets Underway for Real, Then What?

First things first: I’m checking and updating all the Windows PCs around here. Here’s what things are looking like by some numbers — namely Winget updates and SUMo items:

PC Name         Winget     SUMo Items
i7Skylake          4           6
Surface (Pro 3)    1           3
X380Test           6           3
X380              12           9
P16 (Mobile WS)    1           4
X12 Hybrid Tablet  3           3
X1 Extreme         2           9
Yoga 7i            5           9
D7080 (wife PC)    1           4
AMD5800X           6           8

Of course, the time these various systems spent untended before the break affects the number of updates they need. It’s no exaggeration to observe that those with more updates in both columns (Winget and SUMo) had been idle longer than those with fewer (especially X380 and the AMD box).

Total time required to get everything caught up (except for the Lenovo P360 Ultra, which is still in the closet upstairs) was just under 3 hours. I learned a few interesting things along the way, too.

Update Lessons Learned

Zoom won’t auto-upgrade to the latest version in one jump. I had to upgrade several systems twice, to work through the sequence of updates since they were last accessed. Sigh.

I did finally find the new versions of Asrock App Shop, RGB Sync, and Restart to UEFI. I haven’t tried them on my Z170 mobo yet, but am curious to see if old and new are still close enough to work. And indeed, the new B550 targeted software still works on the old Z170 motherboard. Go figure…

For some odd reason, SUMo wants users to upgrade to beta versions of Firefox and SpaceDesk. I’m NOT going there, because I want my production PCs to run production software. If you make use of this otherwise excellent tool, be sure to check the provenance of recommended updates (like those two) before blindly following along.

2023, here I come. Stay tuned…


Winget Upgrade Include Unknown Gets Ilustrated

Here’s an interesting tidbit. I checked for upgrades this morning on my production PC. Winget informed me “1 package has a version number that cannot be determined.” It recommends using the “–include-unknown” parameter. And presto! Winget Upgrade include unknown gets illustrated nicely in forthcoming results. See the lead-in graphic…

When Winget Upgrade Include Unknown Gets Ilustrated…

An abstract explanation that Winget may not recognize an update’s version is one thing. But the example in the preceding graphic is clear and unmistakable. First, Winget finds no installable packages. It recommends using –include-known. Once used, an upgrade is found — and installed — without difficulty. How clear is that?

I’ve been using Winget daily on most of my PCs for more than six months now. Along the way, I’ve learned a lot about how (and when) it works best. Winget is now essential for my maintenance regimen. The foregoing illustration explains nicely why using –include-unknown is customary. It’s a peach!

Winget Upgrade Include Unknown Gets Ilustrated.SUMo

SUMo sees things that need updates (applications mostly, but also some apps) that Winget does not.

Where Winget Comes Up Short

Please examine the preceding screencap. It shows 4 updates and upgrades that Winget misses. That same shot also shows why I still use KC Softwares’ Software Update Monitor (SUMo, depicted).

Indeed I also use PatchMyPC updater as well. That’s mostly because while it doesn’t catch everything that SUMo does, what it does catch it also updates automatically. SUMo only does that if you use the for-a-fee version (and even then, it doesn’t always do it automatically, either). Sigh.

In addition to the items shown, other things occasionally pop up that Winget misses. Other browsers (e.g. Chrome) may appear, as do some apps/applications, including Kindle, Nitro Pro, and more. I’ve learned how to handle all of them by now — or not, as is sometimes a good idea. For example: I’ve never been able to find the version of ASRock APP Shop ( that SUMo claims is current. There are a few other such “false positives” but nothing too major. Please read my December 28 item “Windows 10 OCD Update Stymied” for further ruminations on this topic.

‘Nuff said, for now!


Windows 10 OCD Update Stymied

OK then: this morning I decided to check updates on my Windows 10 production desktop. Despite my December 19 contrary prediction, I found over 10 items that needed updates. But I saw my tendency to Windows 10 OCD update stymied by prior experience. Let me explain, first and foremost, that this means I updated what was either necessary or easy. I left the other stuff alone. Deets follow.

How Was Windows 10 OCD Update Stymied?

The list of items in need of update fell into two broad categories:

1. Items with automatic, built-in or easy update capabilities. These included: SUMO, Notepad++ and VS BuildTools (winget handled these automatically). Others included: Audacity, CPU-Z, GPU-Z, Intel ProSet and Zoom (these either include built-in updates, offer direct update links, or are easy to find online — e.g. ProSet).

2. Items I’ve learned not to mess with unnecessarily. These appear in the lead-in graphic above. SUMo likes to point me at versions of ASRock utilities (e.g. APP Shop) that don’t work with my 2016 vintage motherboard. Nitro Pro gets updated all the time, but the maker sends update notifications only when relevant security fixes are added. That’s not the case for going from version to 12.709.2.40.

This gives me a nice delineation between what I can or must update, and what I can safely skip. Should some security issue pop up for Asrock App Shop, I’ll simply uninstall it: I don’t use it much anyway. And if a security fix comes along for Nitro Pro, the maker will notify me to upgrade and send a link.

Case Closed? OCD No More…

I wish I could claim that will never happen to me again. I have fallen prey to “It must be perfect” in the past. It could happen again in the future. I am hopeful that I can now tell the difference between what’s good enough and the perfect. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.


Observing EoY Windows Updates

I remember the old Morton salt motto: “When it rains, it pours.” Aside from providing an apt description for today’s weather in Central Texas, it also describes my reaction when running winget this morning. I find myself observing EoY Windows Updates (that’s short for “End of Year”). I’m thinking: lots of software makers are pushing updates now so they can take a holiday break, too.

Mucho Activity While Observing EoY Windows Updates

As you can see in the lead-in graphic — PowerShell snapshot — winget found 10 items in need of upgrade this morning. KC Software’s Software Update Monitor (SUMo) found an additional 10 over and above that number. Items included Zoom, CPU-Z, Ring Central, GeForce Experience, FileZilla, SnagIt, MTPW and more. Wow! Last week was dead quiet by comparison.

Then, I decide to check on other PCs here in the office, beyond my production desktop (i7 Skylake running Windows 10 current version). I don’t see as much activity there, but do find some:

Device                     OS     #Updates
----------------------   ------   --------
P16 Mobile Workstation   Win11P       0
ThinkPad X380 Yoga       Win11D       2
Surface Pro 3            Win10RP      3
ThinkPad X12 Hybrid      Win11D       0
ThinkPad X1 Extreme      Win11P
----------------------   -------   -------
P=Production; D=DevChannel, RP=Release Preview

Upon considering this data, I have to change my initial supposition. While it’s probably true that software makers are pushing a last round of updates out to Windows users, looks like it’s not coming in a total rush this morning. Because I updated all of those other machines Wed-Fri last week, I can say it’s been coming for a while now. Looks like I didn’t get around to my production PC until later, rather than sooner.

More Data Delivers More Insight

This just goes to show that a larger sample size is helpful in making observations about updates more informed and cogent. It’s probably a good idea to schedule one more update cycle before the holidays (if you haven’t done so already). After that, it should be safe to wait until January 3 — or later — to make a next check.

My gut feel is not much will be happening, update-wise, for the rest of the next couple of weeks. I guess that means the EoY break is at hand. Enjoy!

Note: I will be blogging through Wednesday, December 21. I’m off then, but I’ll resume on December 26. Happy Holidays to one and all.


OCD Need Not Drive Software Updates

I’m something of a nut when it comes to keeping my fleet updated — now numbering 11 Windows desktops and laptops. But I’m learning that some updates are worth installing, while others are questionable. My OCD desires aside, a line between “must-have” and “nice-to-have” is coming clear. Hence the claim: OCD need not drive software updates. Let me explain, using the “free Kindle app” (Windows version), as an example.

Changes Occur, But OCD Need Not Drive Software Updates

Kindle illustrates my case in point. Check the lead-in graphic. It shows the General Options page for the Kindle App (Windows variety). Note the checkbox for “Automatically install updates …”  It’s checked! Note further: the Software Update Monitor tool (SUMo) reports ALL such updates.

Here’s the rub: Amazon/Kindle itself does not push updates unless they offer new functionality or security fixes. If SUMo catches one that the auto-update function does not push, catching up means extra work. First, one must uninstall the “outdated” version. Then, one must download and install the “current” version in its place. Winget does this easily, as I describe in my November 3 item. But Amazon/Kindle find it unnecessary (or they’d push it automatically).

Other Cases, Other Deferrals…

I’ve observed this pattern with other 3rd-party tools. One is ioBit Driver Booster Free (I run it as a test app on one Beta Channel PC). I emailed the company to ask about “skipped updates.” They responded with a helpful explanation. Paraphrased it reads “Some updates aren’t needed for existing installations.” They also offer updates explicitly whenever adding new stuff or security elements.

Thus, I’m learning to be choosy in updating applications. Perfect coverage takes time. I now understand that putting time saved elsewhere has benefits. That’s why I stress that OCD, however compelling, shouldn’t guide one’s update approach — especially mine!


Windows 10 WU Offers 22H2 Upgrade

Upon reading reports to that effect, I just confirmed that Windows 10 WU offers 22H2 Upgrade on the Boss’s Dell OptiPlex 7080 Micro PC. You can see the offer in the preceding graphic. At the same time, you can also see the offer to upgrade to Windows 11 in the right-hand column of the same Window. I reproduce this below. It’s got a 10th Gen Intel i7 CPU, so no problem meeting the Windows 11 hardware requirements.

With its 10th-Gen Intel CPU, TPM support, and so forth, this PC is more than ready for Windows 11.

Sold: Windows 10 WU Offers 22H2 Upgrade

The Boss has decided to stick with Windows 10. She’s not interested in an OS upgrade, and will wait until she MUST switch. Or perhaps something new will come along in the interim. On a 3-year cadence for major Windows versions with an EOL date for Windows 10 on October 14, 2024, that could get interesting.

It raises the question of whether Windows 10 will retire before the next version comes along, or if that version will precede its planned demise. According to the date calculator, that’s still 2 years, 10 months, 1 week and 2 days away (973 days) in the offing. Plenty of time for her to figure out which way she wants to go.

Refresh and Upgrade, or Just Upgrade?

Lots of other users will be pondering the timing of their next upgrade transitions between now and October 14, 2025. Many will decide to refresh their hardware as they transition to a new OS. I can see a kind of “lost generation” for Windows 11 as a result.

It will be quite interesting to see how PC sales look over the next 2-plus years for the same reasons. The trade-off looks very much like: wait for the next Windows version and budget for new PCs versus refresh earlier and upgrade to Windows 11. Could get interesting…



Windows 22H2 Upgrade Recalls Windows Past

Holy Ebeneezer! I had a major shot of deja vu yesterday. In preparing for son Gregory’s lightning home visit for Turkeyday, I found myself updating the B550 Ryzen 7 5800X PC I built to mirror the one he took to school with him in late August. Try as I might, I couldn’t get Windows 11 updated to 22H2 on that system using only Windows Update. My subsequent contortions in completing that Windows 22H2 upgrade recalls Windows past. I’ll explain…

How Windows 22H2 Upgrade Recalls Windows Past

Going back to the days of Windows 3.X, I can remember countless upgrade installs to transition from an older to a newer Windows version. That drill goes something like this for as far back as I can recall:

1. Run setup.exe from install media (first diskettes, then CDs, then DVDs, then streaming downloads)
2. Perform all the steps of the upgrade process: GUI-based install, reboot, then post-GUI install with 2 or 3 reboots along the way
3. Download and apply updates from Windows Update
4. Repeat Step 3, ad nauseam ad infinitum, until no more updates are available

I can remember when the time required to complete steps 3 & 4 took waaaaaaaaaay longer than the time required for the first 2 steps. And, especially in the days of reading physical media, that initial time frame was nothing to sneeze at.

Since Windows Vista/7 Everything Is Changed…

That was roughly the era during which physical media gave way pretty much entirely to online downloads and access. Since those versions emerged, the time to install or upgrade Windows has also dropped from a typical 45 minutes to an hour, to something more like 18 – 25 minutes. And MS is doing a much, much, much better job of slipstreaming updates into official image downloads these days, so the seemingly endless sequence of updates that followed a clean install or an upgrade even for Windows Vista and 7, is now much less intense and onerous.

But yesterday, I got a chance to taste what I hadn’t experienced in quite a while. I went through three rounds of updates on 21H2 before I realized WU wasn’t going to upgrade it to 22H2. Then, I visited the Download Windows 11 page and ran the Installation Assistant (depicted in the lead-in graphic above). That got my PC to 22H2. Then I ran another two rounds of updates (the first brought half-a-dozen items to that PC, the second only one).

That got the B550 Ryzen PC current with Windows 11 22H2. It wasn’t exactly like the “good old days,” really. But it was close enough to jog my memory about the way things used to work when dinosaurs roamed the earth and 16 MB was a HUGE amount of RAM.


P16 Posts Mysterious Memory Training Message

OK: here’s a new one on me. This weekend, I updated the UEFI on the Lenovo P16 Mobile Workstation. Along that update path, the P16 posts mysterious memory training message. Something along the lines of “the screen will go dark for 2 minutes while the system performs memory training.” I’d not enountered this terminology before so I was taken aback. Turns out it’s a well-known thing, tho…

Learning Ensues When P16 Posts Mysterious Memory Training Message

Apparently memory training — or as Lenovo calls it in the P16 Maintenance manual: “memory retraining” — can happen after hardware changes or following UEFI updates. Online research eventually led me to a document that explained what’s going on. It’s called DDR4 SRAM: Initialization, Training and Calibration, and it’s darned informative. In fact, it’s worth a read-through for those interested in going beyond the basics I’ll present here.

For my purposes, it was enough to know the following:

1. Device or firmware changes can affect memory timing and performance
2. Training uses an iterative approach to altering timing values
3. It converges on settings that provide a workable trade-off between speed (faster performance) and stability (fault-free memory access)
4. If your motherboard uses JEDEC timings, training/retraining is not usually required (or performed)

In fact, it’s a lot like what I used to read at Tom’s Hardware about over-clocking PC memory back in the late 1990s. Start from a safe setting, increment and try. If it works, increment again. Repeat until a failure occurs. Back off to the preceding increment. Done!

Changes Sometime Cause (Re)Training

The bottom line is that what I was entirely normal. I’d either never seen or never noticed such warnings before, but they’re typical following hardware (usually RAM module swap-outs) or firmware (including UEFI) changes. Now I know. And it gave me a good excuse to download and read around the maintenance manual for the P16. That’s always fun, too.