Category Archives: Windows 10

Manual OneDrive Update

Late last week, SUMo (Software Update Monitor) informed me that the version of OneDrive on the home-from-school PC was outdated. It didn’t update itself, nor did any of my usual update tools handle this item either. Thus, I found myself asking: “How do I perform a manual OneDrive Update?” The answer, quite fortunately, is: “Easy!”

Working Through Manual OneDrive Update

If you right-click the OneDrive cloud symbol in the taskbar notification area, a menu appears. Click “Settings” from that menu (shown in the lead-in graphic for this story).

Next, click the “About” tab at the upper left of the resulting OneDrive window. If you the click on the version number in the “About Microsoft OneDrive” pane (boxed in red below), it takes you to the OneDrive release notes page.

The Build number clues you into what’s running on the target PC.

From there, you can compare the version number for the installed version (shown in your UI) and the “Last released build” under  the “Production ring” heading on the web page. If the numbers agree, you’re up to date. If the on-web version is higher numbered than the local one, click the link to download the OneDriveSetup.exe file. You need only double-click that file to bring your OneDrive version current. Easy-peasey!

Ordinarily, OneDrive takes care of itself just fine. But if you find a PC with an out-of-date version — even a way out-of-date as on the former school laptop — this technique will catch you up quickly and easily. Cheers!

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School PC Catch-up & Cleanup

Earlier this week, the school year ended. Thus, I regained access to my Lenovo X390 Yoga laptop, which my son used as his in-school PC. As such things go, it wasn’t in terrible shape. But it had missed out on plenty of updates, including the upgrade to Windows 11. With all that effort behind me now — and a couple of interesting war stories to share — here’s the tale of a school PC catch-up & cleanup.

Tales of  a School PC Catch-up & Cleanup

I was pleasantly surprised with the machine’s state upon its return. It wasn’t even that dirty. A quick wipedown with a wet-wipe sufficed to get the fingerprints and etcetera gone. A microfiber cloth did likewise for the screen and keyboard deck.

But boy, did it need a LOT of updates. And then there was the Windows 11 upgrade, which brought me face-to-face with at least one recurrent RDP gotcha, amidst some other interesting stuff.

What Didn’t Need an Update?

I ended up using three tools to cover most of the application updates. Of course,  a visit to the Microsoft Store did likewise for the apps on this PC. Those three tools were KC Softwares Software Update Monitor (SUMo), PatchMyPC, and the built-in PowerShell winget utility. In the end, all 16 applications installed on the PC were updated, along with 54 (!) apps via the MS Store. Wow!

It was on the OS side of things where life got more interesting. After I caught up on the Windows 10 installation on the X390, I noticed that numerous prior upgrade attempts to Windows 11 had failed. Upon essaying same, I quickly realized why: Start10 was installed on that machine.

The MS installer apparently now requires that Start10 be uninstalled before the upgrade can proceed. Interestingly, earlier versions would let it through. (I had a couple of machines where Start10 would happily run on Windows 11, in fact). Uninstalling the application required some Task Manager shenanigans. I had to kill its parent process. That’s because uninstall otherwise requires a reboot and the upgrade install process was ready to fire off if the hurdle could be cleared.

A Few Bumps on the Upgrade Road

Then came the Windows 11 upgrade, which proceeded without issues this time. However, once again I could not use an MSA (Microsoft Account) to RDP into the upgraded PC. I had to set up a local account (with admin privileges). I also had to use the PC’s IP address as the target, because the machine name wouldn’t resolve. That’s interesting, because the names DO resolve in Nirsoft’s NetBScanner, as shown here:

School PC Catch-up & Cleanup.post-11

As you can see both RyzenOfc and DinaX390 resolve inside NetBScanner, but neither name resolves inside RDP. Weird!

I’ll be filing feedback hub reports on those glitches later today. That’s it for now on “The Return of the School PC.” More will follow as I observe and learn more along the way…

Note Added 1 Day Later

I have gotten machine names to resolve on both problem PCs now. The Ryzen PC was affected by the recent lightning strike, and lost its network sharing settings and name resolution upon the next reboot. After running DISM /restorehealth and turning RDP off, then back on, it started working again.

On the X390, after I used RAPR to forcibly delete obsolete and duplicate drivers, then rebooted, the name resolution starting working there again, too. They now show up in positions 2 and 4 in the following set of File Explorer network PC icons:

I still can’t log into either machine using RDP with an MSA (Microsoft Account). Thank goodness the local account workaround (admin level accounts only, please) still does that trick! I’m guessing this is a separate issue and will report it to Feedback Hub accordingly.

 

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Lightning Storm Prompts Network Rework

My son, Gregory, graduated from high school on Tuesday night. After we got home a big line of thunderstorms rolled through, and we experienced a quick half-dozen power interruptions. It wasn’t enough to toast anything, thank goodness. But that lightning storm prompts network rework here at Chez Tittel. Long story short, I’ve added a new GbE switch. I’m also keeping an eagle eye on my Asus AX6000, currently serving purely as a Wi-Fi Access Point (WAP) on my LAN.

Why the sudden vigilance and rework? Because the network starting crashing constantly the day after the T-storms rolled through. I think I’ve got things under control now, but only time will tell. For a while, though, I grew increasingly convinced the AX6000 had been damaged: the network stayed up with it out of the loop, and started crashing when it was added back in. After a factory reset and a recopy of the old configuration, though, it seems to be back in the pink. Perhaps the firmware got discombobulated?

If Lightning Storm Prompts Network Rework, Then What?

As I said before, I’m watching my network more closely than usual right now. My attempted cure — a factory reset on the WAP — seems to be holding up so far. I’m thinking about adding a second UPS to my office, so I can plug my networking gear in. This will not only let it run for a while on battery power, it will also provide added circuit protection.

What with family activities and a fast press at work right now, I’m definitely not down for extended, ongoing network troubleshooting. Hopefully my fix will hold. If not, I will purchase a new WAP. I may also swap out my two 8-port GbE switches for a 16-port model with more professional features. Given that time is money, I’d rather spend a little extra in exchange for improved reliability and availability.

And, that’s the way things go here in Windows-World, especially when the T-storms start rolling through…

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Kindle Update Problem Solved

Huh! In past discussions of update handling tools such as PatchMyPC and SuMO, I’ve complained about the difficulties that keeping Kindle up-to-date posed for me. Ha! Ha! The joke’s on me this time, because there really is NO such problem. There are a few wrinkles, however, even though I now find my Kindle update problem solved. Let me explain…

How I Got My Kindle Update Problem Solved

As it turns out, Kindle will happily update itself for you. But you have to go about it the right way. And you must keep at it until you get to the latest version. This requires understanding how Kindle update works, which is something it took me some experimenting to learn. Let me share:

1. As you can see from the lead-in graphic for this story, Kindle includes an automatic update feature amidst its various options. That said: YOU MUST LAUNCH the Kindle for PC application before the update function will run. Duh!

2. Kindle does not automatically or necessarily update to the latest and greatest version. It seems to update incrementally from the current installed version to the next available version. That just happened on my X12 Hybrid Tablet, where it took me from version 1.34.63103 (Jan 2022) to 1.35.64251 (Apr 2022), even though version 1.36.65107 (May 2022) was also available.

3. If you find yourself trailing behind the latest and greatest version after an auto-update, open and close the Kindle for PC application again. This will repeat the auto-update process. In my case that got me caught up. My guess is that this could take multiple iterations for those running more seriously out-of-date Kindle for PC versions.

This sure beats my previous approach, which had me visiting the Amazon store to “buy” (it’s free) whatever version was current then, and then to install it over the older version on my target PC. This is a whole lot easier…

The Secret: Run the App!

All this said, the secret to keeping Kindle for PC updated is to run the app as part of your update check cycle. Because the default setting is to “Automatically install…” as it shows in the lead-in screencap, the software does the rest. Wish I’d known this sooner, but glad to know it now. Case closed!

Now, if only Nitro Pro worked the same way I’d be free of my last hold-out “must update manually” program. Sigh.

Note Added One Day Later

As the following screencap shows, the PowerShell winget command is “smart” enough to update Kindle without opening the app. Check this out!

Another great reason to use winget for updating Windows PCs: it will update Kindle without opening the app!
[Click image for full-size view.]

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Finding New Windows 11 Shutdown Dialog Box

Here’s an interesting bit of administrivia. Upon reading at OnMSFT that MS had snazzed up its Dev Channel dialog box for Windows 11, I went looking for same. That proved a bit more challenging than I initially expected. But I eventually got past finding new Windows 11 Shutdown dialog box, and made it appear. It serves, in fact, as the lead-in graphic for this very story (see above).

It Was Tricky, Finding New Windows 11 Shutdown Dialog Box

The usual method is to employ the Alt+F4 keyboard shortcut. But on my Lenovo X12 hybrid tablet PC that did precisely nothing. Then I found a source with something like this tell-tale sentence:

On some laptops it may also be necessary to press the Function (Fn) Key as well.

That turned out to be just the trick I needed to get the keyboard shortcut to work. Indeed, it’s what allowed me to produce — and then screen capture — the lead-in image for this story.

What IS New in Dev Channel Shutdown Dialog Box?

It’s kind of hard to tell just from the screenshot what’s new. For comparison, here’s what the Windows 10 version looks like:

Notice it prominently features the Windows 10 logo at the top of the dialog box. Notice also its corners are squared, not rounded. AFAIK that’s about it for what’s new.

That said, in keeping with a sparer and more spacious UI in Windows 11, it’s a bit easier on the eyes. IMO it’s also a bit easier to read and understand. For me, the learning came from producing the dialog box more than its contents. But hey, that’s why I have so much fun messing around with Windows. Cheers!

 

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Easy Start Menu Search Repair

Although I use Stardock’s alternative menu programs on Windows 10 and 11, I also use the built-in Start menu, too. it’s especially good at taking me straight to Windows 10 apps through its search box. That’s true, however, only as long as that search function is working. This weekend, I ran into a situation where it quit doing its thing. Fortunately, I found an easy Start menu search repair technique. Let me share it with you…

What’s the Easy Start Menu Search Repair Technique?

Once again, it’s a matter of jumping into Task Manager to restart Windows Explorer. Note: this also means a restart works equally well (though it takes longer). Why? Because it, too, automatically resets Explorer as part of that overall process.

Here are the steps involved:
1. Open Task Manager (on Windows 10, you can right-click the taskbar and select the Task Manager entry or use CTRL-SHIFT-ESC key combo; on Windows 11, only the latter works).

2. Look for Windows Explorer on the Processes tab. If absent, open an instance from the Taskbar (or your favorite other means). Right-click the entry, then select Restart from the pop-up menu.

That’s it. It won’t work 100% of the time, but it does work most of the time. If it fails, then it’s time to start considering other, more serious windows repairs. These include using DISM and SFC, running the Windows Troubleshooter, an in-place upgrade repair install, and other tried and true repairs.

Fortunately, none of those proved necessary for me this weekend. AND I was able to resume my Solitaire session without having to find the App alphabetically instead. (Note: even when search was munged, that still worked…)

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Yoga 7 BIOS Confusion

Looking over Windows news this morning, I was concerned to read reports regarding BIOS problems on some Lenovo Legion laptops. For many such devices, the Lenovo Vantage app is the tool of choice for BIOS, firmware, driver and other system updates. Even though I own no Legion-labeled Lenovos, I’ve got 5 other Lenovo laptops in my office right now. Indeed, I found my own small issue amidst that pack: let me call it Yoga 7 BIOS confusion, so I can explain what’s up.

If you look at the lead-in image above, you’ll see that Vantage wants to update the BIOS. However, upon closer inspection the version of BIOS it wants to install (box at center right, from Vantage Device details) is the version already in place (Speccy info at bottom right). What gives?

Explaining Yoga 7 BIOS Confusion

If  I click on the details that Lenovo provides with the Vantage update recommendation, I get this pop-up message: Oho! It’s not because the wrong version is installed; it’s because the tool can’t detect the version info. But Speccy cheerfully — and accurately — found that data (see lead-in graphic). Thus, I have to conclude there are unknown but obvious issues with BIOS update functions in Lenovo Vantage. I’m reporting this to Lenovo through their bug reporting channels.

Just for grins, I checked the Store to see if a Vantage update might be available. It was. And upon running the tool again, it also upgraded its underlying services. Another check for updates took some time to complete, but eventually produced the same recommendation shown above.

Knowing Why Helps, But Not Enough…

It’s great to understand why the tool is recommending a spurious update. It saves from spending the same to apply same unnecessarily. On the whole, I’d rather it were fixed by the most recent update to version 10.2204.14.0. But that’s the way things sometimes go here in Windows-World. I hope my little exercise can help to shed a little light on how to check if the updates that Vantage recommends are really needed.

I won’t be updating my BIOS until a version comes along that’s different from the one that’s currently installed. FWIW, I recommend you do likewise. Cheers!

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KB5012643 Safe Mode Bug Gets KIR

What on earth does this article title mean? Glad you asked! KIR stands for Known Issue Rollback. Once a Windows 11 PC gets the cited KB installed, it may not run properly if booted into Safe Mode (no networking). MS suggests in its Known Issues discussion  that users boot into Safe Mode with Networking. This avoids looping Explorer crashes that otherwise cause screen flickering. Hopefully, the title now makes sense. KB5012643 Safe Mode bug gets KIR means MS will automatically apply a rollback of the offending feature to PCs that tag WU servers. A reboot is required for the fix to do its thing.

When KB5012643 Safe Mode Bug Gets KIR, What Happens?

You can learn more about Known Issue Rollback in a Windows IT Pro Blog post from March 2021. It’s entitled “Known Issue Rollback: Helping you keep Windows devices protected and productive.” Here’s what this item states.  KIR “… is an important Windows servicing improvement to support non-security bug fixes, enabling us to quickly revert a single, targeted fix to a previously released behavior if a critical regression is discovered.” In simpler terms, MS can tell WU to back out individual update package components.

Behind the scenes, policy settings either enable or disable code paths for “before” or “after” versions of code. If the “after” version is enabled, the update applies; if the “before” version is enabled, it reverts to the previous version.

Here’s how it works, quoted from the afore-linked post:

When Microsoft decides to rollback a bug fix in an update because of a known issue, we make a configuration change in the cloud. Devices connected to Windows Update or Windows Update for Business are notified of this change and it takes effect with the next reboot.

This is depicted in the lead-in graphic for this story.

Read the Post for More Deets…

There’s lots of great discussion in the Known Issue Rollback blog post. If you remain curious about its workings and capabilities, check it out. There’s also a much more technical exploration of KIRs from annoopcnair.com available for those who really want to get into the weeds. It covers details about managing and filtering group policies, and working with the KIR Policy Definitions Setup Wizard.  I didn’t know you could do that, so that makes this good stuff!

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Overlapping Taskbars Get Easy Fix

Here’s an interesting one. In running RDP sessions on my Windows 10 (Build 19044.1682) desktop, the local taskbar suddenly started covering the remote session taskbar. This happened immediately after I installed the latest Preview CU (KB5011831), and proved mildly bothersome. Once I figured out how to properly describe the problem, such overlapping taskbars get easy fix. This is another case where restarting Explorer in the host session’s Task Manager does the trick.

As often happens, finding a solution requires a proper problem statement. I used the search string “taskbar from windows 10 host session covers RDP session taskbar.” It was close enough for me to find numerous discussions, and to find a fix posted in January 2017.

How-to: Overlapping Taskbars Get Easy Fix

For those not already in the know, here’s  a step-by-step recitation of the “Restart Explorer” drill:

1. Open the Taskbar on the host PC (on Windows 10, right-clicking the taskbar produces a pop-up menu that includes Task manager; on Windows 10 or 11, CTRL-Shift-ESC opens it right up).

2. On the Processes pane find an instance of Windows Explorer. Right-click the item and Restart appears in the resulting pop-up menu. Click Restart to shut down and restart the Explorer process.

3. Wait a while: the taskbar will disappear. Then, its contents will reappear, sometimes rapidly, sometimes more slowly (never takes more than 20 seconds on any of my PCs, though).

When that process is complete, the host taskbar should obligingly disappear when you work in the RDP session window. At least, that’s how it works on my Windows 10 production desktop now. If the problem recurs, repeat the foregoing steps.

Not much to it, really. But good to know, should you ever find yourself in that situation. Cheers!

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Resuscitated Windows Welcomes Require Notification Reset

OK, then. I did some “weekend admin” work around the house yesterday. That included installing recent CUs on a couple of holdout Windows 10 PCs. Soon thereafter, I found myself facing the “Let’s finish up…” item shown in the lead-in graphic above. “Hmmm” I found myself thinking. “I vaguely recall there’s an easy way to turn this off.” And indeed, some CUs means that these resuscitated Windows welcomes require Notification reset. Let me explain…

Why Do Resuscitated Windows Welcomes Require Notification Reset?

Apparently, when certain CUs (or an upgrade) gets installed, it resets related notifications in Start → Settings → System → Notifications & actions: see checkboxes under notifications in the following screencap.

Resuscitated Windows Welcomes Require Notification Reset.settings.system

By default all boxes are checked; I routinely uncheck the lower three as shown here.

How Often Does This Happen?

It can happen after some Cumulative Updates. You won’t know until it pops up (literally). It DOES happen after every upgrade, though you’ll see a different screen instead. This one is labeled “Welcome to Windows” as shown next.

This item is turned off when the first of the three unchecked boxes above is unchecked. It’s another one of those things that repeat experience with Windows teaches. But in my case, it happens infrequently enough that I have to refresh my memory with an online search about half the time when it shows up. Sigh.

What About Windows 11?

As far as I can tell, Windows 11 appears exempt from both kinds of “nag screen” — as certain, disgruntled Windows 10 users sometimes label these displays. I guess that’s a good thing, eh?

[Note: thanks to Mayank Pamar at WindowsLatest. His April 25 story Windows 10’s full screen setup nag returns – here’s how to disable it showed up this morning, just after I’d looked this info up yesterday. He’d obviously run into the same thing I did. That’s how things go sometimes, here in Windows-World. Thanks!]

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