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Windows 10 will soon predict the best time to restart PC after an update

Discussion in 'Frontpage news' started by Hilbert Hagedoorn, Jul 26, 2018.

  1. 386SX

    386SX Master Guru

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    FYI: AFAIK LTSB is not able to activate through a retail key, it's KMS / MAK (enterprise) only. So from the perspective of a private individual ... please don't go this way. ;)
    (TBH. I thought about tzhis a while ago, but the way to get yourself activated LEGALLY is brutal, because you won't get an enterprise key from MS so easily, and those who may sell one to you either charge ridiculous prices (because of enterprise ... company ... you know?) and to really set this up like it is meant to be you will need an Active Directory with a KMS server, otherwise you put your holy MAK into the LTSB client, that is a no-go (or at least a "heavily not recommended").

    I, too, like to remove as much unnecessary components and stuff as possible, so we seem to have another thing in common. ;)
    The downside of (forcibly) removing components is some updates will fail if they touch components you previously removed, even if only a bit of data should be written. So if you remove for example Hyper-V services and one update in a chain of hundreds touches a file from Hyper-V, the update and ALL updates which come after that will fail and you won't get the hardening of security.
    But when you set those stuff to "disabled" instead of removing it, the files needed to update are still there and get updated, but don't get used. This is a better way than your (and my) approaches.

    Regarding nLite ... there are MANY things you cannot do by nLite (or most other tools or alternatives) which are possible by an image, others are easier than using nLite. For example try to setup a useraccount with all needed programs as links on the desktop. With nLite you have to prepare all the stuff within the OS, then you need to setup some unattended.cmd to install the programs you need and put those after OOBE to run. My programs are NOT installable by silent install (or at least most of them), so that would completely brick the whole procedure. When doing images I can safely install everything I need, drivers, software, etc., then Ic ahn disable all the stuff I DON'T need (telemetry for example or XBOX support) and afterwards reboot to save the image.
    Even if everything breaks, as long as my image is valid, I may do a (manual?) restore and get back to my environment I am used to.

    Regarding other things I am not able to do:
    The default file types are indeed "installable" through a REG, I do that this way. But Windows 10 still doesn't use those, but keeps asking about the program for a given filetype. I add support for VLC (audio and video player) and use the Windows Photo Viewer (the old one like in Win7) for ALL image file types, except GIF (because it doesn't run the animations). If I run a "vanilla" Win10, I do not have the options to open those types from the list where you select which program opens which type at all. Only after adding them by REG, they are "available" (selectable from the list), but still not "used" by default. But they get listed and after one choice they stay as the default ones.
    AD integration is easy to manually do, so no big issue. But a way to automate this would be nice.

    Regarding your statements about multiple Win installs:
    Sure, this makes more sense when you administrate say 1000 computers. But at the same time it is a big project which may save you hours and hours of work later. I typically taske one day to reinstall a machine, until everything is setup, configured and ready to use. When manually doing this you always forget to do some small things, when you write a list of sthings to do before, you will not list one point and therefore need additional work afterwards. And let's be honest: Do you really like to "waste a day" for a reinstall? I bet you need one day to reinstall your machine, too, do you? So at the beginning this seems "completely over the top", a massive overkill. But when you configured everything you need, you do an image from your fresh system, before installing any "temporary" stuff like games or stuff. And from then on you have saved the exact same time you needed to create the image, every time you reinstall your computer. Even if you create an image right after the basics (installing derivers and Windows Updates, nothing more), you basically save 2 - 4 hours of work in future projects. If you feel the urge after some time that your image isn't up2date anymore, don't worry. Reinstall from your image like you did before, install what you need afterwards, and DO ANOTHER IMAGE ... time saved again. Acronis True Image is able to restore on SSDs successfully (some programs have trouble doing so regarding partition size start and stuff like this), even on some hardware RAID.
    So it is not only for those with dozens of computers, even you can save some time with it. And Acronis is very self-explaining, I didn't have to read hundreds of pages to know where to find what.

    I would recommend you to have a look at MDL forums (mydigitallife) if you are interested in tweaking Win10. They have scripts ready2run for different topics, telemetry for example or adding some options and tweaks, stuff like that. That's where I get/got my details about Windows 10.

    Regarding updates:
    Say you have 3 files from the start, A, B and C.
    Update 1 is a sec update and touches file C, so C is v2, others still v1.
    Update 2 is about another sec issue and touches file A, so A+C=v2, B is still V1
    Update 3 is some functional update and touches the files A+B and adding a new one, D. So A = v3, B+C = v2 then and D = v1.

    Every update checks for file versions, because updates typically either a) replace files completely or b) add code at a given breakpoint (if file version is v3 add "hello world" to the second line). So there has to gbe some dependancy checking in place. What should Update 1 do if C is v6 at the time the update is applied? What if isn't there anymore? There may be a reason why it isn't there anymore. A program (the update) now has to decide how to proceed. Apply update or fail? How would you proceed if you were Update 1? What if you were Update 3? You have to make sure everything fits, otherwise you could break a system, and that MAY be the critical SAP server providing connection to half of Europe.
    Therefore if you can eliminate the logical requirements ("should I proceed or fail?") and skip the unnecessary versions by adding the latest versions (A = v3, B+C = v2 and D = v1) right away into the OS base image file (install.wim), you save space and time. Please note in my example C is updated from Update 1 (latest updates only) and A, B and D are updated from Update3, which itself needs Update 2 to be installed. So you take files from "different updates" and put them together like in 1 update, but right into the OS installer, and then remove the old and therefore unnecessary versions so only one is left, the most current one.
    Therefore I recommend adding updates to the install.wim. It has no downsides known to me, except 1 you may probably never encounter anyway:
    I worked at some education center before (back in 2011) where people got educated through some kind of selfbuilt videoconference system (2 monitors on 1 PC w/ headset and cam). They were AMD computers with old dual cores in it (those ooooooold Athlon 6000+!) together with some Realtek LAN chip and some extender to give people USB slots IN their desks they are sitting at. Problem was: As soon as the extender was plugged in, the computer hung at shutdown. It was based on images, too. We found out the issue was the Realtek LAN chip (no joke!). If we install the original Realtek ones (WHQL certified!), our Win7 x64 hang EVERY TIME at shutdown. But as soon as we changed this to the default one with which Windows came (Realtek, too, and WHQL, but somehow different) the system shut down every time completely, even with extender connected. We tried ALL versions we could download at the time, only the MS one had no issue. So if you set this into your install.wim, you probably get a bad experience and a time of headaches to find the issue.

    So I would recommend the creation of an image with the state "Windows installed+Windows Updates installed until today+drivers installed" and save it then. It will really save you (life-)time, energy and mood. I tend to get very aggressive when reinstalling my rig completely: "The frack is this thing, it wasn't there before? What the hell is this crap of an error message? Is this fucking horrible life-juice-quencher finished with its bloody Windows install? NOOOOO, it's UPDATE TIME! frack me, frack all, frack everything, but frack THIS THING IN PARTICULAR!" ... That's more or less how it starts ... it gets "better" after a few minutes .... I left most of the "higher level insults" out of there. Some German swear words add to this, too. :D

    So now it's only "Oh frack, another reinstall? Naaa, whatever ..." *pushing reboot button* *going for a 30 min. walk with my dog* *coming back* "Oh, the Windows background ... finished already? Yeah, like I never left!" ... and that's it.

    Feels much better, you know?

    EDIT:
    Either edit HOSTS file to reroute updates completely to 0.0.0.0 (or at least 127.0.0.1, but that causes "traffic") or you can "hide" specific updates:
    https://www.digitalcitizen.life/how-block-unwanted-windows-driver-updates-installing-windows-10
    A firewall (software or hardware) may be used to control when you access Windows Update. If it's not reachable, nothing can be downloaded, right?

    Or you could upgrade to PRO. :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2018
  2. mbk1969

    mbk1969 Ancient Guru

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    @386SX So we need a prediction modules concerning drivers (we about to install) and images.
     
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  3. 386SX

    386SX Master Guru

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    "User prediction" is alrady possible by looking for the HW strings in device manager. That is how INF files are applied, they seek for the correct HW ID and then install themselfes on the compatible ID found. You know, those

    Code:
    PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_8086..... (only example, VEN 8086 is Intel)
    A real (and 100% working) machine prediction is almost impossible from my point of view. Why? Because of the example I gave above, the Realtek LAN chip which behaves strangely. How should a machine find this issue? It would need to test every machine operation possible and how the impact would be. Assumptions don't help here, about 26 different admins with different knowledge in different parts of IT tested this extender before but didn't think of THIS specific use case. We tested programs, network connectivity and a lot more, ran programs like the Adobe Suite and tested a few operations. We ran everything we could imagine could have a negative effect because of the network driver installation. But yeah, we ALL took the device (extender) off the machine before shutting down. :D
    And an "intelligent cloud service" scanning my computer is the very last thing I want to happen. *lol*
     
  4. mbk1969

    mbk1969 Ancient Guru

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    Definitely I was not talking about OS ranking drivers through INF-files. I was talking about magic needed in your example with USB extender. OS should predict that "with that drivers bundle user will meet that troubles, and with that bundle user will meet another troubles, but with that one we predict no troubles".
     
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  5. 386SX

    386SX Master Guru

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    But you know how it will end, right?

    "Regardless of what you connect to me, you will encounter trouble. If you put THIS into me, I will need a complete reinstall which will fail because of this device, if you put THIS into me, you need drivers which exist for every operating system and architecture except the one YOU are using, and if you put THAT into me, I'm gonna call the police ..." :D
     
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  6. schmidtbag

    schmidtbag Ancient Guru

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    I've heard you can still use it without activating it, as long as you're ok with the occasional reminder that it isn't activated. And at that, I personally don't care. Considering how much MS shoves their other crap down my throat in a regular Windows install, I'm fine with removing all of that for a single notification that Windows isn't activated.
    I've had update problems due to disabling services, too. The only difference is it's less of a headache to just re-enable services.
    I figured it couldn't have been a one-size-fits-all solution. I'm also not too surprised you are more informed about how nLite works than me.
    Have previous versions of Windows had this problem? The way you phrased this implies they didn't. If this is true, I wonder what they did differently.
    Because Windows is such a PITA for reinstallations, I tend to avoid it wherever possible. I'm currently using a Windows 10 install on a Ryzen build that was upgraded from a Windows 8 (and then 8.1) install from a FX-6300 build. Thankfully, Windows has those OOBE CLI tools, which can sometimes make such a transition less ugly.
    I also pretty much strictly use Windows for gaming. I legitimately don't do anything else on it (I don't listen to music, watch videos, browse email, etc), so I have practically nothing to configure and no 3rd party applications I go out of my way to install other than game DRMs and GPU drivers. Possibly the most "complex" part of my setup is the 5.1 surround system, and that only takes a couple minutes to configure.
    When it comes to running all the updates from a fresh new install, I tend to let those run overnight or I'll just use one of my other computers while I wait. Sure, it's annoyingly slow, but it rarely holds me back.
    So all that being said, it legitimately isn't worth my time to invest in ways that speed up the installation process. However, I know I am a bit of an odd exception here.
    See, I find all of that incredibly flawed. All of that could be effortlessly avoided if Windows did a proper job at paying attention to what the user actually has installed before it even downloads the updates, rather than download any potentially relevant updates and figure out later "oh wait a minute, this doesn't really apply". It's also absurd to me that updates made by and made for MS products may conflict with each other. No other OS has such issues; these are uniquely Windows problems and it baffles me how they haven't figured this out yet.
    The only good thing about how Windows update works is the way it temporarily retains all of the old files (and to my knowledge, their configs) in the event you want to revert. But 9 out of 10 times, I want to revert an update because it completely broke my system. And when I can't cleanly boot up to the desktop anymore, being able to revert usually doesn't do me any good. Personally, I think using a restore point is more than sufficient as a means to recover from a faulty or unwanted update.
    To make matters worse, MS does such a poor job at explaining what exactly these updates are supposed to do that in the event an update causes me a problem, I have no idea which one may be responsible for it. These updates take forever to install or uninstall so I don't really feel like guessing via trial and error.

    This isn't to say that Linux, Mac, or other OSes don't have update-related problems of their own, but their problems aren't so consistent or difficult.
    I once had the inverse problem with a Realtek LAN chip, where the MS driver was partially broken but the official latest driver by the manufacturer worked. It was confusing, because it would make a connection and acknowledge the gateway, but I couldn't get internet access. Updating the drivers fixed the problem (but, updating drivers sure is difficult when both your ethernet and wifi don't have working drivers).
    I bet it does. I probably could've used your advice and input back in 2007, when I was pretty much strictly a Windows user.
    I have a hard enough time justifying spending money on even a used Windows license. I'd rather have a mildly less convenient experience than pay MS for something I should've had in the first place.
     
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  7. angelgraves13

    angelgraves13 Maha Guru

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    The best time to restart has always been when I wanted to restart.

    I wish we never had to restart our PCs. Ever.
     
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  8. Fox2232

    Fox2232 Ancient Guru

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    Get linux.

    *end of the story*
     
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  9. Camaxide

    Camaxide Member

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    it would be better if Microsoft show some intelligence, and realized the system should never ever restart without the user first confirming that this is ok...
     
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  10. KissSh0t

    KissSh0t Ancient Guru

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    You assume Microsoft wants to give the owner of the pc the ability to control it.
     
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  11. mbk1969

    mbk1969 Ancient Guru

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    End of story for you, but for noob it will be beginning of the story. Each OS has its share of troubles. I witnessed enough amount of "cyber-sex-while-troubleshooting" with Linux.
     
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  12. anticupidon

    anticupidon Ancient Guru

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    As a Linux user I say this: If only it was that easy, the years running Windows and workflow are not instantly forgot. I say this having many friends willing to try and being burned, very few held their ground and learned a new way of computing, more than 90% went back to what they knew.
     
  13. Fox2232

    Fox2232 Ancient Guru

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    Well, maybe someone told them that it is awesome or something. Linux just works till you break it :)
    That's if you use appropriate distro. I currently run selinux+lightdm+xfce4 and not exactly 'standard'. And would not put anyone through getting it to work.
    But I started with stuff like SLES which I tuned down to workstation. I used all BackTrack and Kali but I did not like them becoming bloated.

    If someone wants to try linux for whatever reason, ask them what kind of tasks they want to do on daily basis and what kind of expectations they have.
    Then you can find them nice, user friendly distro. Likely one which comes natively with yum as it is quite comfortable. Or some with clickery package manager :)

    I personally dislike Gnome3, that's one thing I am pretty sure should not have happen to linux. Following image kind of helps with picking right environment:
    [​IMG]
    With that, XFCE/LXDE are not for beginners as it kind of requires one to have vision of what you want to have on screen and how it should behave + ability to get it working.
    Mate is OK, kind of like what XP was like windows.
    KDE is great, quite user friendly, but it like to crash for many people for 'magical' reasons.
    Pantheon is like 10 is for windows, but without intrusive stuff :)
    Unity is like one which is most intuitive and has pretty nice learning curve.
    Cinnamon is kind of weakest of all mentioned in terms of hitting few walls. You think it should be possible, but it will not do that.
    And that fail of new Gnome(3). Want to ruin somebody's day? Advise him: "Every professional linux user is running Gnome3." That thing is barely usable after pulling all strings and twisting them into cables. Well, maybe if you reshape your brain to fit it instead. But I rather reshape desktop to my liking.
     
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  14. mbk1969

    mbk1969 Ancient Guru

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    Out of curiosity: is there a distro which allows to develop on C# (with WinForms, WPF, WCF) in VisualStudio 2015 solutions using TFS as source version control and build environment, in AD domain without Internet access?
     
  15. Fox2232

    Fox2232 Ancient Guru

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    C# and VS goes around me. Instead of having out of the box experience, you can do "in the box experience" by making it work in virtual machine.
    (That's how I make most of the things work. If I mes up initial setup/installation by installing something unnecessary and bloated, I just wipe it out and start again. Virtuals with one purpose are much easier to keep clean.)
    TFS, mono are there, but I am not sure about "(with WinForms, WPF, WCF)". And if there is appropriate IDE like VS on Windows.

    I used VS only decades ago on high school. And once year ago, but that was only stand alone compilation package (free) without IDE and things around. That I used by MinGW.
     

  16. angelgraves13

    angelgraves13 Maha Guru

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    NEVER!

    There's like 10 games for Linux.
     
  17. Fox2232

    Fox2232 Ancient Guru

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    Learn. How. To. Make. Your. Games. Run. There.
     
  18. sverek

    sverek Ancient Guru

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    Linux users code their own games. :cool:
     
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  19. angelgraves13

    angelgraves13 Maha Guru

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    Yeah....no. I won't be drinking that Wine.
     
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  20. Fox2232

    Fox2232 Ancient Guru

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    I knew this was coming. That's why I made that post.

    You are not willing to move away from abusive relationship. Not willing to kick abuser's butts and put him into place.
    So, why you wish if you have no will?

    If windows gets on your nerves, hack it. If it breaks in process, install new one. Learning things with Windows has only one difference from Linux. And that's fact that next time around MS will hide options from you better.
     

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