Microsoft Admits Windows 10 Has A Serious Problem

There’s the thing about Windows 10; you give up control. Control over updates and control over privacy, but Microsoft has finally admitted the latter is a serious problem and is taking action…

In a blog post Terry Myerson, Microsoft’s Executive Vice President of the Windows and Devices Group, said the words millions have been waiting to hear:

“Many of you have asked for more control over your data, a greater understanding of how data is collected, and the benefits this brings for a more personalized experience. Based on your feedback, we are launching two new experiences to help ensure you are in control of your privacy.”

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Arguably even more important, however, are two changes being made to the Windows 10 Creators Update when it is released in the next few months (and yes, it’s still a stupid name – ‘Windows 10.2’ would be fine!).

1. Overhauled Privacy Settings On Install/Update
Say goodbye to the rubbish ‘Express Settings’ screen on first install, with the Windows 10 Creators Update you’ll get clear but simply worded explanations and toggle switches. Users upgrading to the Creators Update will also be prompted to use after updating.

2. Simplified Diagnostic Data
More detail is needed here before judging the benefits but three collections levels are being cut down to just two: ‘Basic’ and ‘Full’. Basic will have only “data that is vital to the operation of Windows” which Microsoft defines are central to “keep Windows and apps secure, up-to-date, and running properly”.

Again you’ll be prompted to review your choice after installing the Creators Update.

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New Windows 10 ‘Basic’ privacy settings deliver more user control
Image credit: Microsoft

Why So Long? And New Questions On The Horizon

It is said the first step towards admitting you have a problem is admitting you have a problem. But Microsoft has skipped this by both (finally) admitting its problem and coming up with some solutions in a single step. That’s commendable, though we’d prefer to have had an admission much earlier and a “We’re working on it!” message.

On top of this, the Creators Update looks set to raise as many questions as it answers due to something it will add called ‘Dynamic Lock’. This uses your PC’s web camera to monitor when you are sat in front of it so it can be automatically locked when you step away. Users will be able to disable Dynamic Lock, which solves my concerns, but it is likely to start a whole new wave of conspiracy theories.

Furthermore, Microsoft must still address the issue of control over Windows 10 updates. The Creators Update introduces the option to delay the installation of non-security updates for up to 35 days, but only Windows 10 Professional, Education and Enterprise versions qualify.

This means Microsoft recognizes users’ need for control but the company continues to treat mainstream Windows 10 Home users as guinea pigs for the stability of new updates before they are provided to big business. That needs to stop and users of all versions deserve the right to have control over their PCs, should they want it.

Despite all this, it is clear Microsoft is making significant steps in the right direction with Windows 10. It just shouldn’t have taken so many obviously wrong ones in the first place.

YOUR TURN

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5 Common Computer Problems & How to Fix Them

You’re working away at your computer when suddenly, up comes an error message   or worse, your computer comes to a screeching halt. Deciphering what computer problems you have and how to fix them can be difficult, especially if you don’t know as much as you’d like about your PC.

common-computer-problems
Blue Screen of Death (BSoD)
Many people think of blue as a calming color; however, when it comes up on your computer screen with a bunch of white text, it probably has the opposite effect. The blue screen of death (BSoD or STOP Error) may appear to be one of the scariest computer problems you’ll come across. However, all your computer may need is for you to reboot it.

As you likely have no ability to power down the way you would normally; hold down the power button on your computer for about 10 seconds until the computer turns off.  There will be no mistaking this; the screen will go off and you will hear a little sound.  Wait a little while and power back up.  If you’re someone who likes to cross every “t” and dot every “i” unplug your computer and connected devices (like printers) once the computer is off.  Wait about 5 minutes and power back up.

If you get the Blue Screen of Death again, repeat but wait longer before powering back up.  If it happens a third time, it may be time to visit www.unionbuiltpc.com.

Applications That Won’t Install
If you’re having trouble with an application not installing, it may be because your computer doesn’t have enough hard drive space. If this is the case, you need to free up some space. This is one of the computer problems that’s, well, least problematic. You can free up some hard drive space by getting rid of files and folders you don’t need. These may be temporary files, duplicate files or data for software you’ve uninstalled.

You can also purchase an external hard drive and move the majority of your files and folders there.

Another option is to make a small investment in a secure cloud storage solution for storage of files and folders.

RELATED: Learn More About the Benefits of Secure Cloud Storage

Applications Run Slowly
There are several reasons software might be running at turtle speed. You may have computer problems that involve your operating system or an application, your operating system might be missing updates or your computer doesn’t have enough hard drive space. If you don’t have enough hard drive space, you can scan, clean and optimize your hard drive.

FREE DOWNLOAD: How to Optimize Your Slow Windows Computer

Abnormal Applications Behavior
Computer problems that involve applications acting strangely oftentimes leave you wondering what has happened. Your application has been working just fine, but now, seemingly without reason, it is doing something strange.

For instance, your Word document will no longer show the top margin of your document. It still says it’s there, and when you print it, there’s not a problem. You just can’t see it on your monitor. If this is happening, you may want to restart your computer. Conducting an internet search for the type of problem you’re experiencing or consulting Union Built PC may help you as well.

FOR THE ADVANCED USER: Missing DLL File
Dynamic-Link Library (DLL) files house information for your operating system on how to perform certain functions. Occasionally, your computer loses DLL files or something damages them. When your PC can’t read the particular DLL file, it doesn’t know how to respond in certain situations. You may have a missing or corrupt DLL file if you receive an error message every time you perform a certain function, such as saving. If your computer problems are stemming from missing and damaged DLL files, you can restore them by downloading them back onto your PC.

We hope these tips will help you solve some of your computing nightmares.  Remember, Union Built PC is always here to help.  Like us on Facebook, Follow us on Twitter and subscribe to the Union Built PC monthly eNewsletter for Union News and articles like this delivered straight to your inbox.

15 Things to Look Forward to in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update

Once the Windows 10 Anniversary Update hits, Microsoft Edge may actually be able to play in the same sandbox as other modern web browsers…

On August 2, Windows 10 will receive its first major update: the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, so-called because it drops right around the operating system’s one-year anniversary.

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The Anniversary Update will be free for all Windows 10 users (Windows 7 and 8/8.1 users have until July 29 to upgrade to Windows 10 for free) and will include everything from visual tweaks and security improvements to brand-new features such as Windows Ink. Here are some of the changes — big and small — that you can look forward to…

Read More from on the Windows 10 Anniversary Update from CNET >

 

 
Source: CNET

Microsoft Warns Windows 7 Has A Serious Problem

Earlier this year Microsoft  warned users that Windows 7 has serious problems.  In addition, now Microsoft has warned of a new serious Windows 7 problem that is very real – even though it makes no sense whatsoever…

In short: Microsoft has made a seemingly small yet completely bizarre tweak to Windows Update on Windows 7 and confirmed it is crippling many users’ PCs.

The tweak? It switched the status of Windows 7 update KB3133977 from ‘Optional’ to ‘Recommended’.

The bizarre part? Despite acknowledging the problems, Microsoft knew they would occur in advance and it has no plans to do anything about it.

PCs That Suddenly Won’t Start

It all centers around Asus motherboards.

Now 27 years old, Asus is one of the largest PC component makers and supplies motherboards to many of the world’s biggest PC makers. Recently it enabled Secure Boot in UEFI on all its motherboards. This wasn’t a problem for older PCs because Windows 7 didn’t support Secure Boot, that is until KB3133977 came along in March and enabled it.

Initially the fallout was small. Asus confirmed the problem, Microsoft confirmed the problem.  But the best news was KB3133977 was an optional Windows 7 update so it had to be manually installed to take effect. The solution was simple: just steer clear of KB3133977 (aka do nothing) and you’d be fine.

So there’s a lot of tech speak here but it all really comes down to this…

Last month – for some bizarre reason – Microsoft made KB3133977 a ‘Recommended’ update. The result was every user running Windows 7 and default Windows Update settings (the vast majority) would find the update now installed automatically.

And then everyone with an Asus motherboard was hit.

A Global Problem

There are now reports from Windows 7 users coming in from all over the world regarding machines that suddenly won’t boot.

Affected machines simply show a red box which says:

Affected machines simply show a red box which says

All of which does nothing to pinpoint the problem or solve it for those without a second secured boot device. In short: you’d be screwed.

The Good News And Staying Safe

The good news is Asus has now issued a workaround to get PCs booting up again.

Furthermore Asus must take some of the blame for not reacting faster when KB3133977 presented a potential landmine and issuing new updates to its motherboards.

VIEW THE ASUS SECURE BOOT VIOLATION SUPPORT PAGE

How do you know if you have an Asus motherboard in your Windows 7 PC?

Go to: All Programs > Accessories > System Tools and select System Information

This will list your PC’s components, including the motherboard.

One downside: some major PC makers like Dell and HP rebrand the motherboard as the computer’s model number. In which case you should do a web search on your model or call the manufacturer directly.

The Bad News And What Comes Next

As for the bad news? It’s Microsoft’s reaction.

On the plus side, Microsoft did update the support document for KB3133977 with a warning which states:

“After you install update 3133977 on a Windows 7 x64-based system that includes an Asus-based main board, the system does not start”.

But Microsoft also uses the document an opportunity to promote upgrades to Windows 10:

Microsoft has also done nothing to modify KB3133977 or release a new patch so users with Asus motherboards don’t run into this problem in the first place. Furthermore, at the time of publishing, KB3133977 remains a ‘Recommended’ in Windows Update for Windows 7.

Needless to say, conspiracy theorists will have a ball seeing it as yet another new way Microsoft can push users to Windows 10. Especially with upgrade rates slowing in April. This in itself is remarkable given the increasing number of heavy handed and devious ways Microsoft has been pushing Windows 10 onto Windows 7 and Windows 8 users.

Regardless, the message is clear: life is going to become increasingly uncomfortable for Windows 7 users from now on.

Keep in mind that Union Built PC is just a phone call or an email away if you encounter any problems.

Call us at (877) 728-6466
Email us at pete.marchese@unionbuiltpc.com

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