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  • Keep Win7 running for the long haul

    Posted on January 2nd, 2017 at 07:24 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    A series of steps you can take now, to keep Win7 in top shape.

    Includes details on installing a fresh copy.

    InfoWorld Woody on Windows

    If that helped, take a second to support AskWoody on Patreon

    Home Forums Keep Win7 running for the long haul

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    This topic contains 240 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  ch100 8 months, 3 weeks ago.

    • Author
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    • #14015 Reply

      woody
      Da Boss

      A series of steps you can take now, to keep Win7 in top shape. Includes details on installing a fresh copy. InfoWorld Woody on Windows
      [See the full post at: Keep Win7 running for the long haul]

    • #14016 Reply

      ch100

      Just to add to the article that 2 of the tasks under Application Experience in Task Scheduler are implemented by the well known by now KB2952664.
      So the other way to avoid disabling the tasks is to not install KB2952664.
      The third task is compliant with CEIP setting – by checking the description for each task, it will be clear which one is compliant and which other 2 don’t have anything about CEIP and as such, those are not even expected to be compliant because they are part of a different mechanism.

    • #14017 Reply

      Bobo

      I always use CrystalDiskInfo before installing Windows 7, learned my lesson long ago =) You’d be surprised how many times I’ve had to say to a customer their HDD is showing errors and they need a new one..

    • #14018 Reply

      Noel Carboni

      Just a note, hopefully an obvious concept, but I’ll bring it up anyway…

      Assuming you have taken and maintained full control over what Microsoft installs on your system, your needs and usage of Win 7 may help define which policy of keeping it up to date is right for you…

      For example, if you use Win 7 on a system that just hums in the corner for the most part (e.g., a small server or something that rarely gets any interactive use) that might suggest a strategy of taking few updates from Microsoft. They’re not really actively fixing many big bugs at this point.

      On the other hand, if you’re on it interactively every day and are surfing the net, installing new applications, etc. with it, you may want to go all the way to keeping it up to date with Microsoft’s latest patches when Woody moves the MS-DEFCON level to 3 or more.

      An important concept to remember is that you can, assuming you have an administrative logon, maintain complete control of a Windows system, so there’s really no necessity that you “accept Microsoft’s snooping” if you were to go “whole hog” (Group A) and get all the available updates. Of course, there are things you’ll want to do to block services you don’t want running, and I even go so far as to block quite a number of online sites from ever being visited.

      In short, if you take the time to learn all the ins and outs, you can – with some additional effort – have all the cake and eat it too. But this strategy does involve “getting geeky with it” and not everyone may want to do that.

      So far Microsoft hasn’t seemed to have delivered Windows Updates that actively wreck a Windows 7 system. They’d probably like to do so, but I suspect if they did they’d face serious legal problems.

      For anyone interested, I’ve published a strategy that really works for further securing a Windows system from many online threats here:

      http://www.msfn.org/board/topic/173660-anti-malware-suggestions/

      Not surprisingly, the more Microsoft acts like a malware author the more anti-malware strategies work against their antics.

      -Noel

    • #14019 Reply

      Megan Ryan

      No worries on my part. I keep my WIN 7 laptop in top shape and healthy condition.

    • #14020 Reply

      Canadian Tech

      Woody, there is a problem with your article for a lot of people who have bought laptops in the last couple of years which do not have a built-in DVD drive.

      You can use a USB stick to do some of this, but it is not easy to understand and manage. You can also use an external DVD drive, but you must be able to load the driver for it at the beginning of the install process. Most people who have bought external DVD drives, would not have hung on to that driver, even if it did come with it.

      An excellent article THREE THUMBS UP. I have provided the link to it and added a bunch of explanation in an email that I just sent to all that I know.

    • #14021 Reply

      Pronounce

      “But I’ve heard from many people that the keys they’ve retrieved (typically from ProduKey or Belarc Advisor) don’t work, even keys from a 100% genuine Win7 installation.”

      The reason for this is probably due to disreputable individuals collecting OEM keys and selling them on the grey market; Knowing that a key will work three times before you have to call Microsoft to validate a re-install of your OS.

    • #14022 Reply

      fp

      Woody,

      Happy new year.

      I used the Connor O’Rourke utility to check for and download any missing patches for win7 and it downloaded these three:

      KB3138612
      KB3109094
      KB3177725

      Are they necessary/safe, given they are from end of 2015?

      Thanks.
      FP

    • #14023 Reply

      jnp

      Terrific article. While I long had CEIP disabled, and avoided the telemetric KBs, ch100 and JY’s work in task scheduler had eluded me. Again, thanks.

    • #14024 Reply

      jmwoods

      Shawn Brink has documented several ways to do a repair in place on SevenForums…

      http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/3413-repair-install.html

      In the Step 6 Note, he has included a link to download a Windows 7 Professional or Home Premium ISO.

    • #14025 Reply

      Elly

      Just what I’ve been looking for… and it is reassuring that I’ve been doing these things since learning about them at AskWoody. Good to double check, step by step… and then I saved this for later reference. I plan to hold onto my Win 7 as long as possible.

    • #14026 Reply

      Paul

      I would stay with Group A, but I’m being forced into Group W because my Win 7 PC no longer will download and install Window Updates. This problem has been getting worse over the last few months and now stays in the download mode for hours until I give up and stop the download process. I have tried the Windows Update Troubleshooter, but that too runs for hours with no results. Non Windows downloads work fine. For years I have kept my PCs has clean and updated as possible. I have good anti virus and Malarebytes to boot. If anyone has suggestions on how to fix this, I’d love to hear them. Otherwise, I’m entering the scary world of Group W….which might not be so bad considering the time and effort it is taking to manage Windows Updates. Why, Microsoft, did you have to make this so difficult?

    • #14027 Reply

      Mike

      As far as I know the current suggested start to manually patching is as following:

      1. Start with a Win7 SP1 disk ideally.
      2a. Manually install KB3020369 and 3172605 to speed up patch scans. Reboots required after nearly all of these.
      2b. ONLY install 3112343 ONLY if you do patch management from SCCM, Kaseya, or similar as otherwise it won’t be able to scan for patches correctly.
      3. Manually install IE11 and the .NET 4.6.2 installer and reboot.

      From there you can pick a patching path to follow.

      My base MDT image was prepped like this and it works without issues for over 400 computers prepped in the last 3 months that we manage in Group B.

    • #14028 Reply

      messager7777777

      Personally, as a home-user of Win 7 SP1, I am in Group C/W.
      ……. When I bought my OEM Win 7 SP1 System in 2013, I had to request the store to provide me with a free OEM Win 7 Install/Recovery DVD, which has all the peripheral device drivers included = no need to hunt for missing drivers after a clean reinstall.

      Once I got the System fully set-up n running smoothly, I created a System Image with Macrium Reflect Free on a 32GB USB-stick(= US$7) n also created a Win PE Repair CD. I did not back-up my data bc they r not important or indispensable, eg videos/movies n web pages.
      ……. If I need to do this System Image Recovery, I will only need to reinstall security updates, ie if Windows Update is working.
      .
      Recently, I helped a friend recover his OEM Win 7 SP1 Pro System after a hard-drive failure. The store did not provide him with a free Install DVD in 2012.
      ……. I downloaded the iso file from a non-M$ website n burned it onto a DVD+R(= US$0.50). Did a clean reinstall n got it activated with the Product Key. Reinstalled some programs/apps, eg browsers n antivirus, did a quick set-up for him n updated via Windows Update, which got the Wifi working again.

    • #14029 Reply

      JNP

      Woody,

      The Task Scheduler disables that ch100 and JY recommended also are present in Win8.1, and can be disabled in TS as well. People may also find bthsqm in the Customer Experience Improvement Program folder and, it appears, it can be disables safely as well.

    • #14030 Reply

      messager7777777

      ….testing, testing…

    • #14031 Reply

      woody
      Da Boss
    • #14032 Reply

      Canadian Tech
    • #14033 Reply

      messager7777777

      At canadiantechdotinfo, there is a good write up about creating a System Image for Win 7. But instead of using a few DVD+R for the image, I created my recent Win 7 System Image on a 32GB USB-stick(= costs about US$7) with Macrium Reflect Free. Being a home-user, I did not back-up my data bc they r not that important, eg mostly movies.
      ……. If I need to recover Win 7 with the System Image, I’ll be off n running since I am in Group C/W, ie no need to do any Windows updating.
      .
      I also hv an OEM Win 7 SP1 Install/Recovery DVD that was provided free by the store where I bought the OEM Win 7 cptr in 2013, as another back-up/recovery. I had to request for the DVD bc the OEMs stopped providing it in 2012(= release of Win 8).
      ……. If I need to recover my Win 7 with the DVD, I will need to activate the OS license after the clean reinstall, reset all my settings, reinstall all my programs, eg browsers n antivirus, n forego Windows updates bc of hidden Telemetry updates. Others may choose to reinstall Windows updates.

    • #14034 Reply

      woody
      Da Boss

      The last time I talked with Jan Krohn, it wasn’t clear how much longer he’ll be able to run the site out of Phnom Penh.

      https://www.askwoody.com/2016/the-safest-way-to-get-a-new-copy-of-the-windows-7-bits/

    • #14035 Reply

      woody
      Da Boss

      I don’t think that’s the only reason. Many people have completely legit “genuine” copies of Windows, on OEM machines, and the keys they retrieve from, e.g., Belarc Advisor don’t pass muster on the official download site. I’ve never figured out why, but it’s a common problem.

    • #14036 Reply

      woody
      Da Boss

      Please post it here! I’m running very behind on my mail…

    • #14037 Reply

      Canadian Tech

      Woody, I have a computer on my desk this afternoon that has been operating just fine for some years. All of a sudden it pops a message 30 days to activate. I used Produkey to get the key. The activation process will not accept it. Pops an error message.

      I called MS. They logged in and could not get it to work either. They confirmed the key is legitimate. I am awaiting a 3rd level tech call back to fix what ever is wrong.

    • #14038 Reply

      woody
      Da Boss

      Oy. At least they bumped you up to third level…

    • #14039 Reply

      Mike in Texas

      Thanks for clarifying email backlog… 🙂

      I thought you were ignoring me. 🙂 🙂

      When I went to do the Security only updates for my Win7x64 the .net patch said it was not applicable and I discovered that I’m on 4.6.1.

      Wanted to know if I should update to 4.6.2 (found standalone MS patch).

      Thanks!

    • #14040 Reply

      jmwoods

      Worked today when I tested a download for Windows 7 Pro.

      If you go the repair-in-place route, you would probably want to pre-download all of the updates using WSUS Offline…

      http://download.wsusoffline.net/

      For those that have never used it, this is a good tutorial video…

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXAOvbNJYyE

    • #14041 Reply

      messager7777777

      Fyi, I used a non-M$ website to download the OEM Win 7 SP1 Pro iso file bc M$’s website only allows Retail Win 7 Product Keys to download their iso files. This is also bc since the release of Win 8 in 2012, M$ hv refused to provide such support to OEM Win 7 cptrs, ie the OEMs were supposed to provide the support. M$’s likely reason being that OEM Win 7 licenses were discounted to about US$40 each(= Home edition), compared to about US$120 for the Retail licenses. This reason was flawed bc users cannot transfer OEM Windows licenses to another cptr, whereas Retail licenses can be transferred = more expensive.
      ……. So, OEM Win 7 cptr users might be forced to buy a new OEM Win 7 cptr or an OEM Win 7 Install/Recovery DVD or USB-stick from the OEMs’ websites for about US$30, including shipping, or use my free recovery method.
      .
      Contradictorily or hypocritically(.?), M$ allow both OEM and Retail Win 8/8.1 Product Keys to download the iso files from their website, just bc the PK is embedded in the UEFI firmware of the motherboard, instead of in the hard-drive for Win 7.
      ……. Finally, no need Win 10 PK to download the Win 10 iso files from M$’s websites, just bc the PK is both embedded in the UEFI firmware n stored in M$-servers.

    • #14042 Reply

      ch100

      Do you have KB971033 installed on that PC?

    • #14043 Reply

      ch100

      Telemetry is not as bad as most people believe. But if you want to disable it in Windows 7, see my first reply/post here for clarification and there is another thread where @mrbrian did intensive research and posted the conclusions.

    • #14044 Reply

      ch100

      … and in Windows 10.

    • #14045 Reply

      fp

      Woody,

      Any chance you will answer my question about the 3 patches?

      Thanks.

    • #14046 Reply

      Jaybr

      Woody,

      What is the difference between disabling items in the Task Scheduler and deleting them. Are they gone or do they run somehow in the background.

    • #14047 Reply

      John S

      Windows 7 is a iconic OS that will be that last good OS Microsoft does. Windows 10 is another iteration of a lost cause to mate touchscreens, mobile, desktop, and apps all together in a perfect union and it simply doesn’t work. It’s really just a distraction in which I think Windows 10 would be a good OS without all the added modern desktop UI. This is the attraction that Windows 7 has, because it lacks all that modern UI and universal apps. The real pain of it all is that in 2020 all will end for Windows 7 and your faced with the prospects of Windows 10 still being around.

    • #14048 Reply

      woody
      Da Boss

      They’re gone.

    • #14049 Reply

      Jan K.

      I haven’t seen it mentioned, but if your system allows it, use a double-disc setup… Windows system and programs on disc one and data on disc two.
      Takes away a bit of the fear of data loss in case of system “troubles” or reinstalling system…

    • #14050 Reply

      woody
      Da Boss

      Sorry. I’m on the road and don’t have access to my usual array of machines.

      KB3138612 is the May patch for the Windows Update Client. We’ve discussed it many times on AskWoody. Short answer: No, you don’t need it. There have been several updates to the Update Client since March.

      KB3109094 is an Oct. 2015 security patch that was once implicated in some problems. It’s also been discussed on AskWoody. I’m surprised it’s being offered to you because the Graphics Component has been updated many times in the past 18 months. No, there’s no need to install it.

      vKB3177725 triggers a printing bug, but it was fixed in a later patch. http://www.infoworld.com/article/3112567/microsoft-windows/kb-3187022-fixes-ms16-098kb-3177725-but-not-for-windows-10.html

    • #14051 Reply

      woody
      Da Boss

      I don’t know of any huge reason to go to 4.6.2, but it probably wouldn’t hurt.

    • #14052 Reply

      Jan K.

      I was in that “group” and was indeed helped by the article. Thank you, Woody!
      Got the system smooth and clean again and did an updated system image backup.
      Only to discover the image no longer is the usually nice and small 11-12 Gb, but a 25 Gb lump. grrrr…
      Did run the gwx utility before backup to detect and remove anything w10 related and it came out clear. Haven’t had the time to find the reason yet..
      Thank you Microsoft for the many hours wasted last year. Great job!

    • #14053 Reply

      BB1

      Disk Imaging & Sandbox:

      Disk Imaging
      I have been doing disk image for well over 10 years. I used Acronis, but switched over to Paragon free version. The reason for switch was Acronis had issues in the initial days of Windows 7. I like Paragon because it has the option to create a hidden partition on your hard disk for backups (Acronis has this option). This alleviate the need to backup to external device; however, I do backups to hidden partition and external drive. I always image my disk before doing Windows update.

      For those who have never done disk imaging, you can get you comfortable by:

      1. Install program
      2. Do disk image to external drive
      3. Recover a directory or files from the image to your disk

      This is a safe way of getting comfortable with any disk imaging programs. Paragon, acronis and the “acronis variants .. Seagate disk wizard, Western Digital” will recover files. I know a lot of people like Macrium Reflect. Remember, an application is only good if you are comfortable with it.

      Sandbox (especially for those in Group W)

      I highly recommend using Sandboxie.
      I have been using Sandboxie for a long time. I do all my internet activities in a sandbox. I use Firefox with noscript. It’s just another layer of protection.

    • #14054 Reply

      PKCano

      There is a third task in Task Scheduler that might be worthwhile to disable.
      Under MicrosoftWindowsAutochk there is a Proxy associated with CEIP.

    • #14055 Reply

      AlexEiffel

      Woody,

      Maybe it is because the OEMs used a generic OEM key when they imaged computers. I know that before, I would retrieve keys for different laptops and they would all be the same. Microsoft would sell those generic keys to computer manufacturers to make their job easier, but the customer would only get that generic key if using something like Belarc. I would even get a reinstall CD with a different key so I could reinstall the OS if need be.

      Probably they don’t need that anymore now that the key is embedded directly in the BIOS. Your computer is registered and activated at MS once you first install it and now they really can track your OS and computer combination easier. I think in theory, at least with later OSes, you could just reinstall without providing a key and MS would register that you have the same computer and activate your Windows. Not sure that works under 7, but I think with 8.1 it would and with 10 it definitely is supposed to.

    • #14056 Reply

      Canadian Tech

      John S, you are so right. I doubt very much there will ever be a Windows that I want to use again. Windows 7 is the last. I will use my Windows 7 machine until it does not work any longer and that could well be beyond 2020, or it could be sooner. My next will likely be something like an Android smart phone.

      You are so very correct in your observation about the touch screen and the desire to make an OS that fits the mobile device and the desktop device.

      I have a lot of human interface design experience and I can tell you that the very concept of a touch screen that is vertical is simply stupid. The human body is not built for that kind of stress. I guarantee you a sore shoulder if you try to interact with a vertical screen with your fingers for 20 minutes or more. Much more than that and you are looking at possible permanent damage.

      It bends the imagination to think of working on a spread sheet with your fingers on a vertical screen.

      It is notable that Steve Jobs, obnoxious as he was, was probably the greatest human interface designer ever. He wisely declared that Apple would never build a product that used touch interface on a vertical screen.

      The large icons on a home screen are designed to be swiped around with a finger and they are just not good design when using the mouse. The mouse is probably the greatest invention ever to come out of Xerox Parc, and is a vastly superior pointing device than the human finger.

      Microsoft’s monstrous investments in making what was Windows into a cross platform OS have been a disaster. They have no presence to speak of in the mobile market. Their only market for consumers is the PC and they are treating those people like xxxx. Only a business with a vast treasury and a cadry of incompetent management could allow this madness to continue.

    • #14057 Reply

      Paul

      Canadian Tech….I did this and it seems to have worked! Thank you for reading my post and replying with this fix. I was aware of it via Woody’s instructions, but I understood it to be a fix for slow Check for Updates and not failure to download and install updates. Apparently it does both. These instructions from Microsoft did not have a couple of extra steps Woody has, eg, disc from the internet at some point in his process, and were more straight forward for me to follow. Thank you again.

    • #14058 Reply

      Canadian Tech

      Woody, for eons 4.6.2 has shown up on Windows Update but never check-marked. I have always presumed that means that 4.6.2 is sort of optional but not necessary.

      Is there any good reason to install it???

    • #14059 Reply

      Jaybr

      Woody,

      Thanks for the confirmation. I prefer to use this as it stops the possibilty of MS sending an update that re-enables the CEIP or similar in Win7.

    • #14060 Reply

      Louie

      Three? I’ve heard of being all thumbs but….

    • #14061 Reply

      woody
      Da Boss

      Not really.

    • #14062 Reply

      woody
      Da Boss

      I think you’re right, and that’s why the key won’t unlock the download

    • #14063 Reply

      woody
      Da Boss

      The update may show as 25gb, but the amount of data downloaded to your machine is far less.

    • #14064 Reply

      ch100

      It is redundant if CEIP is disabled as it is compliant with CEIP.
      But if you wish, you can disable anything that you mentioned in previous posts under Application Experience, Autochk, Customer Experience Improvement Program and sometimes Microsoft-Windows-DiskDiagnosticDataCollector under MicrosoftWindowsDiskDiagnostic was mentioned.
      Every other task than those 2 implemented by KB2952664 are CEIP setting compliant.

    • #14065 Reply

      ch100

      Nobody has ever mentioned the Group Policies under Computer Configuration/Administrative Templates/Windows Components/Application Compatibility
      They have been known for a long time.
      Turn off Application Compatibility Engine
      Turn off Program Compatibility Assistant
      Turn off SwitchBack Compatibility Engine

      But it is all a waste of time and certain recipe to create even more problems for those not understanding entirely how Windows works and in particular for those who use Home Edition which should be left alone and used as is.

    • #14066 Reply

      T

      “Fyi, I used a non-M$ website to download the OEM Win 7 SP1 Pro iso file bc M$’s website only allows Retail Win 7 Product Keys to download their iso files.”

      https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows7

      Do you mean from that link? I managed to download an oem copy of win7 with my valid product key. This was a while ago though so maybe they have revoked it.

    • #14067 Reply

      fp

      Thanks

    • #14068 Reply

      Canadian Tech

      I have never seen a Win7 install disk with a product key in it. Win7 install disks from my experience are pretty universal. Meaning that you can use any one of them from any vendor as long as the product edition (home, pro, etc.) and bitness (32 Vs. 64) matches the key you are using. Some vendors have included drivers for their unique components in their install disks, and that can save some time, but you usually can get the drivers you need directly from their support site.

      On Dell PCs if you do a re-install of the same product that came on the PC, it will automatically activate every time. You do not have to enter the key.

    • #14069 Reply

      BobbyB

      If you want to SYSPREP and capture your image for future installs (Win7X64) the current going rate for Updates as at 3/01/17 is 221 Recomemnded & Opt. at about 1414mb or 1.5gb if you install all. So definately Image with /compress:maximum set, knock about a 1/3rd off for X86 figures.

      Oh and where did these Office 2016 updates come from dated 29/12/16? that just showed up nothing out there on the “interweb” just on the Catalogue page. Nothing for Office 2007 or 2010 that I can see yet.

      Hope everyones New year is going good 🙂

    • #14070 Reply

      messager7777777

      @ AlexE, ……. For OEM Win 7 cptrs, they r preinstalled n activated en masse by Volume Licensed OEM-SLP keys at the factory n then shipped to stores or direct to online buyers. Another different COA Product Key sticker is provided by the OEMs for the user to do a clean reinstall n re-activation, eg after a hard-drive failure, ie the OEM-SLP key cannot be used for this re-activation.
      ……. B4 2012, the OEMs also provided free Win 7 Install/Recovery DVDs.
      .
      For Win 8/8.1 PK or OEM-SLP key, pls refer to this link …
      http://dellwindowsreinstallationguide.com/download-windows-8-1-retail-and-oem-iso/#Downloading
      = no need to enter any PK to download the Win 8.1 iso file from M$-website, ie auto-detection of OEM-SLP key by M$.

    • #14071 Reply

      messager7777777

      For the OEM Win 8/8.1 auto-activation system, there may be problems for those who hv downgraded to Win 7 Pro n then re-upgraded back to Win 8/8.1 Pro or had to change their motherboards.

    • #14072 Reply

      messager7777777

      @ T ……. It was in Feb 2015 that M$ pulled out all their available OEM & Retail & Etc Win 7 iso’s from their partner downloading website, digitalriverdotcom = only available at M$-website where those with OEM Win 7 Product Keys were no longer allowed to download the iso’s. B4 Feb 2015, they could.
      ……. Earlier in 2012, when Win 8 was launched, the OEMs stopped providing free Win 7 Install/Recovery DVDs together with their new Win 7 cptrs that were still being sold. Likely, with these “sneak-attack” moves, M$ had hoped that from 2012 onward, those with bricked/failed OEM Win 7 cptrs would be forced to buy new cptrs n upgrade to Win 8/8.1 or Win 10.
      .
      Pls refer to this link …
      https://www.pcsteps.com/45-download-windows-7-iso-legally-free-digital-river/

    • #14073 Reply

      TonyS

      Nobody’s mentioned Easeus yet. I have been using Easeus Partition Manager for many years and switched from Acronis to Easeus Backup about a year ago rather than upgrade Acronis.

    • #14074 Reply

      Jan K.

      Sorry, Woody, but it’s my image backup that has swollen from the normal 11 Gb to 25 Gb….
      Somehow Microsoft must have managed to push win10 files to my system and the gwx removal tool has not detected or removed it.
      Will investigate later tonight…

    • #14075 Reply

      grayslady

      A great and timely article. My two-and-a-half year old Toshiba hard drive (furnished new with my HP laptop) had a mechanical failure and I lost everything but Documents. I am now in the process of restoring, and following Canadian Tech’s excellent primer. Just a couple of thoughts to add to the primer:

      1. Save the .NET framework updates until all security and optional updates have been installed. The .NET updates are notorious for being cumbersome, causing a backup in the installation of other updates–and worse, frequently resulting in a configuration loop.

      2. For those in Group B, don’t forget to go back and pick up the security only updates from October, 2016 forward.

      3. Check services.msc to make sure the default settings don’t interfere with proper operation. For example, a struggling wi-fi connection can sometimes be the result of the services setting.

      My only bone to pick with the discussion regarding hard drives is that there is no manufacturer of HDD drives with a warranty exceeding 2 years. That tells me what the manufacturers think of their own products. After considerable research, I agree that cloning the drive is the way to go, not backing up the data. Each of us has so many individual settings and preferences that just capturing the data is not enough when the drive crashes.

    • #14076 Reply

      ch100

      @bobbyb
      Actually after installing KB3125574 and running Disk Cleanup and again doing the WU for “installing” few more bits which are superseded in fact but offered anyway, the list should be cut down to around 100 patches, plus/minus 10.
      It is everyone’s option to install or not to install KB3125574 as it has known quirks, but if controlled correctly, this is a good patch.

    • #14077 Reply

      bgvweid

      i use a usb stick with all the essentials for a reset (WSUS offline, GWX control panel, directx_Jun2010_redist, some other programs & keys).

      I disable background intelligent transfer service & windows update, but leave on windows modules installer.

      I disable customer experience program & the 5 task scheduler tasks listed online.

      WSUS offline takes care of updates, GWX blocks win10 & set to block all updates(until new WSUS). Opera(“-private” mode) with uBlock origin works as browser.

      Turned off several Nvidia bloatware like geforce experience, network, backend. Nvidia control panel 3d settings/programs to max performance. Nvidia inspector to cap frame rate.

      Set power settings to max performance. Everything runs smooth, make the most of the system.

    • #14078 Reply

      StewartA

      Canadian Tech….

      I think you have summed up the situation, and many users’ attitude to W7 and W10 extremely well.

      Does Microsoft have the ability to recognise its mistakes and make amends with a post W10 OS which is designed and optimised for touchpad/mouse-only use?

    • #14079 Reply

      Canadian Tech

      Ch100, yes I have it installed. What do you suggest?

    • #14080 Reply

      James Bond 007

      Woody, this is the kind of rubbish that activation occasionally causes. It may not be common, but when it happens it is utterly irritating and annoying.

      The “pirates” I am referring to earlier won’t have this problem ever, even after a major hardware change.

    • #14081 Reply

      Canadian Tech

      Stewart, not the current management and not likely the current board of directors. It would take a serious shock in the balance sheet for anything to change.

      MS has lost touch with the concept of customer, gotten rid of most of the real talent, and made it clear to the rest that anything other than flattery is just not going to be acceptable or heard.

      If you spent a few hours reading through the commentary on the Microsoft forum, you may be surprised that such rampant criticism is taking place on their own web site.

      I have said it before. I believe you are witnessing the beginning of the end for Windows and quite possibly Microsoft.

    • #14082 Reply

      Canadian Tech

      grayslady, Western Digital Black drives have 5 year warranties. They are definitely more expensive, but faster. I am not certain if they are better built or just have a longer warranty. I use them a standard practice. It is amazing the difference in performance between a 5400rpm and a 7200rpm drive. The 7200’s are fast enough that with a reasonable system, there is just no perceived delay on any activity.

    • #14083 Reply

      Canadian Tech

      Ch100, I would really like to know why you asked about KB971033. Is it the cause of my problem????

    • #14084 Reply

      BobbyB

      Normaly I do use kb3125574 (with precurser and missing IE11 update (from kb3125574) as well as IE11 .cab file and the various others etc something like 15-19 updates as a rule when offline updating & Dvrs prior to adding the rest, to get round the lack of /recurse (switch Dvrs. only) I divide the updates up in to folders to give some sort of order to the install and to save typing out the horrendous full strings attached to updates and its easier just changinging the syntax to packages1, 2, etc with the arrow keys. from the last working CMD line.(yes on occasion the gods of typing CMD’s tend to desert me) The last folder is normally the “catch all” everything that that needs to be added up to about a month back before updating. Cumm. updates have sort of made it easier.
      This was the first image I have done since Oct and for “fun and giggles” I just added the Dvrs. and the 2 “old standbys” kb947821 & kb3138612 which speed up update “seek time” on a fresh install to an acceptable 10 mins.

      As an option for the average user, yeah its time consuming and req. quite a bit of, dare I say, luck and quite a bit of reading to get it right but on the plus side once it is all done you need not do it again or a good starting point for any future (re)installs, unless you accidently delete that all important .wim or .esd and .iso then its dark days ahead LOL.
      I hope this makes sense my heads swimming after going through folders full of updates (there may well be a clean out comming very soon) 🙂

    • #14085 Reply

      ch100

      “GWX blocks win10”

      Which Windows 10 GWX blocks?!

    • #14086 Reply

      Ascaris

      CT, I’ve said the same about both the stupidity of a touchscreen that isn’t handheld and the superiority of the mouse. It boggles my mind that people think touch is superior– to me, it’s very obvious that touch is a kludge to enable very compact handheld devices that don’t lend themselves to mouse/keyboard use. The touchscreen is the substitute; the mouse is the real thing.

      I can’t imagine having the arm strength to hold it outstretched all day trying to use a monitor in front of me. Even in a handheld device, the repetitive stress of using it locked in one place would soon begin to cause discomfort. We automatically reposition ourselves (including the position in which the device is held) to alleviate that, just as we turn over in bed when we begin to get uncomfortable lying on one side before we drift off to sleep.

      You can’t do that with a 24″ monitor. It’s far too big and heavy to handhold, and that means it is going to be rigidly fixed in one spot, or close to one spot, all the time. Add that to the weight of the arm and the strength it takes to hold it outstretched, and it very quickly becomes evident that it’s a solution in search of a problem.

      When I’ve written this before on other sites, I’ve gotten replies like one from a man who said his grandkids tried to use his PC and instinctively reached up and started trying to interact with screen elements by touch. This, to him, was evidence that it’s the right way to go. To me, that makes about as much sense as saying that because a kid is used to controlling a video game car using a gamepad, it must be a good idea to start using gamepads to control real cars. But that’s what often seems to pass for logic in the “touch is the future” crowd.

      Still, if people want to try to use a touch monitor, it’s of no concern to me– except that as long as touch is in the picture at all, we’re still going to get gimped user interfaces that contain all of the nasty UI shortcuts that are used to make a touchscreen work on a handheld device. While a finger on a laptop’s touchpad can be as precise as a mouse, the same can’t be said for the touchscreen (as implemented now).

      With a mouse or touchpad, pointing and clicking are two separate events, so the user knows which element will receive the click event in advance. With the touchscreen, the pointing and clicking are combined into a single tap event, and you don’t know what element the touch parser will select as the active one until you try. On a 6 inch, 16:9 smartphone/phablet screen at 1080p, a fingertip pressed onto the touchscreen can cover 6,000 pixels! Which one will be the hotspot? You won’t know until you try it.

      That lack of precision necessitates UI design compromises that lead to such things as ridiculously oversized controls, hamburger menus, and disappearing UI elements. UIs designed for touch look very out of place on large PC displays. People have commented that it looks like something malfunctioned and the whole UI didn’t get drawn, with the vast expanses of wasted space. It interrupts workflow and needlessly increases the amount of hunting around and menu drilling that has to be done before the option you want can be found, if it hasn’t been removed to try to reduce the drilling-down.

      That’s where the “app” bits of Windows 10 fail so miserably on traditional PCs. Proponents say that Windows 10 is about responsive design that configures the UI for optimal use on any device, but does it? The “app” stuff I have seen so far in 10 looks like phone apps on a PC screen, with no “optimal” in sight. It looks half baked, probably because it is half baked.

    • #14087 Reply

      ch100

      That patch is very likely the one causing the issue. I don’t know if by uninstalling, the issue resolves by itself now that the damage is done, but it is worth trying anyway and keep it not installed. Being Important, if auto-update is enabled on that computer, the only way to avoid it is to hide it and this goes against my general advice, but the only other good way to avoid it is not to use auto-update or to be careful with download only mode at shutdown. There are practical considerations in relation to the end-user’s understanding of the updating mechanism and this is why I raise it, as some machines would end up by being configured to auto-update.
      I think that patch is considered obsolete (functionally, not as supersedence) and on Enterprise version it is offered as Important, but unticked (has been so for years), which to me it says it is not so important for the user, but for Microsoft to detect serial numbers which are blacklisted.
      If that computer is OEM from one of the big 3 brands, you should be able to use the generic OEM key for activation – not activating on the internet, but it will activate against the BIOS. You have to use slmgr.vbs to remove the current key and insert the OEM key in that case, if this is the case.
      The behaviour which you described seems to be typical for a batch of Lenovo PCs with a leaked key which was replaced later by Microsoft/Lenovo and the detection of the leaked and blacklisted key was done via KB971033.

    • #14088 Reply

      Hugh McFarlane

      +1

    • #14089 Reply

      Canadian Tech

      ch100, thank you. I did remove the patch and was unable to correct it. I await 3rd level MS assistance scheduled for this PM

    • #14090 Reply

      grayslady

      Thanks for the information on Western Digital. Is there a problem using a 7200 rpm drive on a machine designed for a 5400 rpm? My particular laptop only has an Intel i3, so I’ve always assumed that any performance issues were processor related rather than hard drive related.

    • #14091 Reply

      Canadian Tech

      grayslady, No problem at all. In fact, if you upgrade from 5400 to 7200, in my experience, you will see a pretty dramatic difference. Of course, this is a complex topic because performance is affected by so many components. However, in my experience, the overall feel of the system after rebuild on a 7200 is noticeable improvement.

      I will add one more important point. It is very important that you not exceed usage of more than 75% of disk capacity.

    • #14092 Reply

      jmwoods
    • #14093 Reply

      jmwoods

      As long as the 7200 uses the same interface as the 5400, and the dimensions are the same, there should be no issues.

      You might consider an SSD.

      Video at http://www.newegg.com/SSDs/Category/ID-119

    • #14094 Reply

      jmwoods

      I think he means Josh Mayfield’s GWX Control Panel…

    • #14095 Reply

      ch100

      I think I covered this above.
      KB971033 is another older form of “telemetry” if you wish to call it so, in the sense that it transmits information to Microsoft and they take action accordingly.

    • #14096 Reply

      ch100

      The moral of the story is that anyone who is interested in keeping Windows 7 alive for the foreseeable future should download the ISO image corresponding to their own installation and keep it as reference.
      In fact any retail image would do the job, as there is only a descriptor file which offers the version according to the information in that file.
      That file is ei.cfg

    • #14097 Reply

      ch100

      Your i3 has a fantastic performance, leave it alone.
      The hard-disk is certainly a bottleneck and look at the amount of memory in the system too.
      For 32-bit system, you cannot use more than 3 GB, but for 64-bit, I would say minimum 6GB is a must.

    • #14098 Reply

      ch100

      Have a look at this tool too.
      Totally portable and a very good reference
      http://windows-update-checker.com/

    • #14099 Reply

      Ed

      I’ve been using 7200 rpm drives since long before Intel came out with the “i-series” processors.

      Your laptop may have come configured with a 5400 rpm drive simply because they were cheaper for the manufacturer, but it by all means was not “designed” for it. FWIW, Toshiba is very well known in the repair business for using the cheapest possible hardware available in their systems, which is their only edge for competitive pricing.

      I can guarantee you a 7200 rpm drive will work, just make sure you purchase the same type that you have now. “SATA” technology became popular around the same time the I-series processors came out so you could possibly have an older style called “EIDE”.

      If the connection between the drive and the mainboard has a bunch of tiny little pins on the drive that insert into holes in the board it’s an EIDE. If the connection is rather flat with a 90 degree bend at one end and no pins to connect to the board it’s a SATA.

    • #14100 Reply

      Canadian Tech

      You did ch100 and I thank you. I did remove it and it did not help. MS spent 4.5 hours with the system online today and were so far unable to fix the problem.

      I have been reading case after case about this happening to a lot of systems. Systems that have been running just fine for years, suddenly announce they need to be activated and do not accept the product key. I believe it is not a matter of the key being unacceptable but something in the Windows works that fouls up the process.

    • #14101 Reply

      jmwoods

      “I will add one more important point. It is very important that you not exceed usage of more than 75% of disk capacity.”

      Where did you get that number?

      25% of 1 TB (approx. 250 GB) left unused is a lot of wasted free space.

    • #14102 Reply

      PKCano

      The system I use for backup has two parts, imaging and data backup.

      I mange the drive about every three months, unless I install new programs or make major changes. The image allows you to restore the OS and the programs with all their settings without reinstallation. Once I have the drive set up I usually don’t make major changes that often. For this, I use Acronis True Image (paid), but there are other programs like Macrium Reflect that are free.

      But the user data changes daily. So I back this up to an external hard drive or USB drive as often as necessary depending on how much data I change – sometimes once a day, sometimes I may go a week between if I don’t use the computer much. For this I use an old program that works well – Karen’s Replicator (free). The nice thing about it is, you can automate it if you want or run it manually, and you can set it not to back up things like temporary files, internet cache, recycle bin, etc.

      On a failure, I restore the image, replace the user data with the latest backup. Then there is the couple of months of updates – Win Update, Flash player, anti-virus, etc.

    • #14103 Reply

      messager7777777

      @ CT ……. U said, …”I will add one more important point. It is very important that you not exceed usage of more than 75% of disk capacity.”

      …. which I believe is a general statement that should only apply to SSDs, in order to optimize wear-levelling operations in SSDs. Keeping 25% of SSD capacity as free space is like a must.
      .
      For HDDs, if needed, about 95% of disk capacity can be used, eg for storing data n back-ups, even though this will slow down the cptr.
      ……. To partially counter the slowness in such a situation, the HDD should be partitioned into 2 drives during or after the install process, ie Drive:C & Drive:D, … eg 50GB for Drive:C for the Windows OS n the remainder GB for Drive:D for data/backup files = no slowness when using the OS, but will encounter slowness when accessing data/backups.

    • #14104 Reply

      messager7777777

      @ ch100 ……. U said, …”For 32-bit system, you cannot use more than 3 GB,”
      .
      …. Pls elaborate on this statement.

    • #14105 Reply

      ch100

      I know what the OP means, but has there been any Windows 10 offer for the last 6 months?

    • #14106 Reply

      ch100

      That difference is subtle, but I think in common language when it comes to backups, everyone is meant to say imaging.

    • #14107 Reply

      messager7777777

      To be able to keep running Win 7 for the long haul for those in Group B n C/W, affected users hv to also bear in mind about the following link this coming Patch Tuesday for Jan 2017 ……. http://www.infoworld.com/article/3139922/microsoft-windows/microsoft-to-revamp-its-documentation-for-security-patches.html
      .
      For those in Group B, it will be a whole lot of hassle if they need to reinstall Win 7 in July 2019, ie need to manually install 32 monthly Security-Only updates, one-by-one, via M$ Update Catalog = should create regular n latest System Images.

    • #14108 Reply

      woody
      Da Boss

      Just a silent offer of a free upgrade – which was hinted about all over the web, but just publicized widely (and apparently with Microsoft’s tacit agreement) by Ed.

    • #14109 Reply

      messager7777777

      Seems, there are no pre-Sep 2016 security updates available at the new Security Updates Guide and the old M$ Update Catalog.

    • #14110 Reply

      fp

      This is for the experts here:

      1. Based on the advice here I have configured my 1511 Pro to never ever update — all the known loopholes were closed.

      Yet today by chance I caught KB…774 in the download act and managed to stop it. Is this unpreventable or have I missed something?

      I also noticed a program called WindowsUpdateElevated Installer.exe. Is it possibly implicated in this? I tried to rename or delete it as Admin but I wasn’t allowed.
      Is it a culprit and if so how can I get rid of it?

      Thanks.

    • #14111 Reply

      ch100

      You might wish to consider a D: (Data) partition or even better a separate drive on which you would redirect all user folders, under a Users parent folder (mirroring the original structure on C:).
      Contacts
      Desktop
      Downloads
      Favorites
      Links
      Documents
      Music
      Pictures
      Videos
      Saved Games
      Searches

      Some of them are not useful but I listed all available in a user profile.
      User folders redirection is fully supported, but the whole profile is not and I am not recommending it, because there are subtle issues with this approach.
      It is a mistake to redirect any AppData folder and although you will see this recommendation from various sources, some from Microsoft, it is certainly a mistake, but I will not get into details here.

    • #14112 Reply

      jmwoods

      The difference is not subtle, and is important to understand…

      Disk images are stored as individual files, which is ideal for storing multiple copies over time.

      Disk cloning is drive to drive, bootable, and requires multiple drives to retain multiple copies.

      Otherwise, you will be re-cloning to the same drive over and over, which overwrites the previous clone.

      Not a good idea if you cloned a week ago, got infected with malware during the week, re-cloned again today, and then discovered you were infected tomorrow.

      You would have no “clean” backup to restore from.

      The better strategy for backing up is a disk image, retaining multiple copies.

    • #14113 Reply

      ch100

      Woody, this is not a forced upgrade and does not require GWX Control Panel installation on new installations.
      I think the OP also disables system services which at minimum would create issues which the user would not even notice, because few people actually don’t know how Windows should work. Unfortunately Microsoft has never made Windows fast and smooth out of the box and this has been since Windows 3.1 times.

    • #14114 Reply

      jmwoods

      “The system I use for backup has two parts, imaging and data backup.”

      Which is the best way to go…

      RIP Karen Kenworthy (2011)…some of the best tools ever written in Visual Basic.

      I have read that Replicator does not work on Windows 10…

      Anyone willing to confirm that?

      http://www.majorgeeks.com/files/details/karens_replicator.html

    • #14115 Reply

      jmwoods

      “Based on the advice here I have configured my 1511 Pro to never ever update…”

      Not a good idea…leaves you wide open to malware when a vulnerability you haven’t patched has been exploited.

    • #14116 Reply

      jmwoods

      Which really isn’t new…

      I downloaded the W10 Anniversary Edition ISO using the Media Creation Tool in August.

      Installed it to make sure it worked, got the product key, and then restored a disk image back to Windows 7.

    • #14117 Reply

      ch100

      It is related to defragging the disk and other internal Windows operations.
      It will work with less disk space but some (mostly invisible) system operations will be impacted.
      It is true that the recommendation dates from a time when the disks were smaller, but it is still good practice, like it or not.

    • #14118 Reply

      ch100

      I heard about it too, but I am wondering if that key was used too many times and a counter somewhere at Microsoft blacklists that key.
      We can discuss offline and find a legit solution if the system is an OEM from one of the big 3 (Dell, Lenovo, HP) as I said before. There are HP systems sold with Linux which are not covered though, but I think they were sold in other countries than US. For an OEM from those 3 companies, using the key on the sticker is not the optimal solution.
      If it is a regular retail installation or even OEM from a smaller player who uses retail keys, then I am afraid that I cannot help and only Microsoft is able to.

    • #14119 Reply

      BobbyB

      Yeah cheers for that i’ll give it a gander 🙂

    • #14120 Reply

      messager7777777

      @ fp ……. I’m no expert, but likely, M$ hv sneakily reset yr Win 10 configuration settings thru the AllowExperimentation Registry entry.
      ……. IOW, as long as Win 10 cptrs r connected to the Internet, they belong to M$ n M$ know what the users hv been doing, esp those who hv disabled mandatory auto-updating.

    • #14121 Reply

      Kirsty
    • #14122 Reply

      ch100

      @Canadian Tech
      Also have a look at this article which is based on XP, but the principle is very much the same.
      https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb457078.aspx

    • #14123 Reply

      woody
      Da Boss

      I miss Karen, too.

    • #14124 Reply

      woody
      Da Boss

      Yep, you can use that technique to preserve a product key. But Ed’s talking about completely new installs.

    • #14125 Reply

      woody
      Da Boss

      +1

    • #14126 Reply

      fp

      Can I do anything about that registry entry?

    • #14127 Reply

      fp

      The only malware I have ever experienced is Microsoft’s, which is a certainty. Anything else is not.

    • #14128 Reply

      ch100

      Thank you Kirsty 🙂

    • #14129 Reply

      messager7777777

      @ Kirsty ……. According to yr link, for most Win 7 32bit editions, the normal case use limit for RAM memory is 4GB, n not 3GB.
      ……. The 4GT feature which will reduce this 4GB limit, is mainly used by servers.

    • #14130 Reply

      messager7777777

      @ fp ……. Pls refer to this link …
      http://www.ghacks.net/2016/12/14/allow-experimentation-on-windows-10/
      .
      Seems, only companies(= using Win 10 Pro or Ent) who hv subscribed to M$-Intune(= costs minimum US$6 per user/employee per month) can set the AllowExperimentation Registry setting to …
      0 – Disabled.
      1 (default) – Permits Microsoft to configure device settings only.
      2 – Allows Microsoft to conduct full experimentations.
      ……. Win 10 Home users r totally out of luck.

    • #14131 Reply

      PKCano

      I backup everything under C:Users including the AppData folder, the reason being that there may be irreplaceable data there. Examples of this are some browser settings, e-mail & contacts (Thunderbird .mab and email, even Outlook .pst files) and other important files.

      Also, some multi-user programs store data under C:UsersPublic. It is worth looking to see if this is the case on your PC and, if so, you need to back this up as well. Some of this can be checked through the “Library,”

    • #14132 Reply

      PKCano

      +1

    • #14133 Reply

      AlexEiffel

      I would be curious to see if the people who change this setting end up with a different experience than others.

      Maybe MS resets your settings regardless or they do it only when you do a big update like going to AU or Cretin update.

      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftPolicyManagercurrentdeviceSystemAllowExperimentation must be set to 0 to be disabled.

    • #14134 Reply

      Canadian Tech

      Very interesting article. Thank you. I can confirm that when re-installing Win7 on a Dell that came with it, it will self activate every time as long as the re-install is the same edition and bitness.

      In this case, the system originally shipped with Vista and subsequently was upgraded to Win7 with a retail key, although I am unable to be certain of the origin of the key because the owner has passed away. MS has confirmed the key is legitimate.

      I will give them another shot at it this afternoon, but I have a strong feeling they will throw in the towel and suggest a clean install.

      I will update.

    • #14135 Reply

      Canadian Tech

      jmwoods, I thank you for challenging the “75% rule.” I frankly do not recall the origin of it, but somewhere along the line quite a while back, I learned of it.

      I can tell you from experience that I have time and again seen this take place. My observation is that when the 75% utilization of C (the OS drive) is exceeded, performance starts to drop. As the utilization rises, performance gets worse and worse until some functions just don’t work. For example defrag.

      Defrag is the catch22 because as you fill up the disk fragmentation gets worse fast, and defrag is exactly what you need. However, defrag does not have enough space to defrag and will actually stop and tell you so.

      I suspect what I have seen has largely been drives that are 500G or less, and that drives of 1T or more would be different — much larger percentage.

      I have no experience with SSDs. Not a single one of my 150 client computers has one. When I do HD replacements, the cost of SSD is too great for them to consider, considering the age of the PC at the time.

      The old standby technique of partitioning drives for C: and D: for data, is a great idea for a computer geek or someone that is quite knowledgeable, but for the average Joe, it will get him into trouble practically every time. I strongly urge my clients to keep their C: drive, their only drive.

    • #14136 Reply

      AlexEiffel

      I will tell you a story. A long time ago, I think it was second generation of Core processors, there was a little secret I found.

      Core i3 were actually often faster than i7 (Desktop version). The thing is, Core i7 had more threads, but each one of them was slower than a good i3 and most activities were done on single thread anyway. I think PC Mag or PCWorld ran some tests after I found that and it showed the superiority of i3 on lots of tasks. Yes, maybe in theory i7 was supposed to shut off some thread when not in use to turbo boost the single thread, but in real life scenarios, it didn’t seem to work as good as it should have. So in those days, for most casual users, buying an i3 was the best deal they could have. The problem is often the whole package. If you have an i3 with not enough memory and a bad HD, your experience won’t be great but it is not because of the i3.

      Since then, when I buy a computer, I always look at single thread performance in addition to multi-thread because that can tell a lot. However, since then, i7 have become much better at optimizing for single thread when they need it or even few threads vs full multi. Still, I find it useful to look as you will notice some low power processors (the U series) are actually slower on single thread than many other older processors, so you might want to take that in consideration when buying.

      As for the HD, you should have no issue running a 7200rpm. I’m not sure that the 25% recommendation is relevant if you take a huge HD, it might be much less if you have enough space for defrag to do a good job. ch100 seem to know why 25% is still good, but I would like to have some reasons to back this up before betting that 25% is still relevant. I doubt invisible tasks need 500GB on a 2Tb disk. I always use 7200rpm WD Blacks for their 5 years warranty, but using an SSD if you don’t need too much storage would definitely be the best move to improve performance. Your bottleneck is likely not your cpu. Especially on a laptop, since you turn it on and off more than a desktop PC maybe, the SSD is such a relief from 3 minutes boot.

      Memory can be a problem if it is too low, but generally, the hard disk, especially slow HDs on laptops are the culprit for performance issues if everything else is in the ok zone.

      As messager said, it is more important to leave space on an SSD, to prevent wearing out the same zone all the time, as this reduce performance over the long run. However, some companies are already provisioning their HD by reserving a part of the SSD that you can’t access and that is exclusively dedicated to that. That might explain some weird size like 240GB sometimes. It’s been a while I looked at that, but you might want to check if the SSD is already overprovisioned. Some people recommend not filling SSD too much anyway, but it might or might not be true. Personnally, I try to not fill the SSD too much and I keep all the data on a separate set of hard disks in RAID to prevent data loss, but on a laptop, it is not the same game.

      Hope that helps.

    • #14137 Reply

      AlexEiffel

      A few week ago, I had to work on a 2010 computer I set up using a D for data. The guy had suffered an electric problem and answered yes to Windows asking if he wanted to restore his computer, which erased his C without keeping anything to reinstall Windows. Yes, he should have called before, but you know… He lost everything he had done on the C since 2010 because he thought his assistant did backup but she didn’t. Since I initially set up his computer, he installed a software with a database on his C and he lost all customer data in this software.

      But all his documents done on the D drive remained intact. I personally don’t think it is that hard to partition your drive and once it is done, people don’t have to do maintenance or anything. I’ve seen this way of working saving lots of data over the years. Of course, having help from someone knowledgeable is always a better idea, but that is not just related to partitioning.

    • #14138 Reply

      AlexEiffel

      Having to help a guy reinstalling Windows 7 yesterday and it didn’t work that well at first even following Woody’s great advice, may I troll an idea I had after the whole thing?

      Even applying the suggested patches, Windows updating seemed to take forever at first and he had to tinker for a while until it started to work.

      So let’s see the following scenario. Casual User accepted or not Windows 10. User not happy. User wants to reinstall Windows 7. Use the disk. Loose lots of things he didn’t know he had to back up. At least User thinks he will have a fresh system. Suddenly, Windows update don’t work. Takes forever. User can stop here if he doesn’t like Googling for issues. User googles. He finds he needs some patches and he tries a bit, but it doesn’t work right from the start. User is more patient than others, but not that patient. User gives up and reinstall Windows 10.

      Why with such a clear big issue MS wouldn’t simply issue a Fixit tool that manage all that automatically? They could easily do that. Not something that needs patches before. Not a multi-step solution that involves verifying if you have some blutooth adapter. Something like, you google windows update forever, you find the MS page with the fixit, download it, it fixes the issue. I can’t believe there is no agenda here. It is too big an issue to just ignore, especially with so many people that might want to go back to 7.

      One could wonder why MS wants you so bad out of 7. One could think they want to sell their stuff on 10, the spying they does, the ads, the automatically downloaded games and other crap.

      One could also see a bigger problem for MS. Nobody is using the Universal App crap. They can’t sell continuum idea if nobody use it. They can’t enter the phone market if there are no good Mobile Apps. Why would developers use it if most of the people are on a system which doesn’t support them? You need to develop 2 versions, it is more costly than staying on the desktop version, not counting there might not be much advantages to using the Universal apps at all and you loose in term of UI, because nobody is using an MS phoneand they suck on desktop. Maybe mobile users with touch screen on laptops. Maybe. Maybe when they don’t use the mouse. Maybe when they don’t do active work, but more consumption. Maybe when they use their laptop like an Ipad. Just Maybe.

      So, MS has to kill the desktop only OSes so the companies can start considering their Universal Apps. Then, they will be able to sell their other hardware/software combos that represents the continuum idea. Maybe if it is done extremely well. Maybe nobody should use these apps so they stop this nonsense at some point. Or maybe they are right and just so far ahead of us? Wink.

    • #14139 Reply

      Jan K.

      Just in case anyone reading… it was a massive collection of CBS.log files…
      Dates appears to coincide with some updates… all deleted now and clean to go. Again.

    • #14140 Reply

      fp

      I dont understand how this does not trigger a class action suit.

    • #14141 Reply

      jwoods

      Good luck with that…

    • #14142 Reply

      woody
      Da Boss

      +1

    • #14143 Reply

      jmwoods

      Even back in the Windows XP days, Microsoft recommended 15% free space for defrag…

      https://www.microsoft.com/resources/documentation/windows/xp/all/proddocs/en-us/defrag_defrag.mspx?mfr=true

      So I suspect that 25% is an urban legend that still gets passed around, and no longer applies to modern drive defragmentation technology.

    • #14144 Reply

      grayslady

      Thanks for the warning about Toshiba. I used to have a Toshiba Qosmio for work, since it was the only laptop back then that met the requirements of a CAD program I used. It was a great machine–until the hard drive suddenly died! In that case, it wasn’t a mechanical failure, and my tech was able to clone 98% of the drive, so I was fortunate.
      Having read your comment and the other comments above, you are probably correct that the 5400 rpm was installed for manufacturer cost savings at the time. Happily, the drive uses SATA technology so I should be okay for using one of those nice Western Digital Blacks the next time this happens.

    • #14145 Reply

      ch100

      Sure enough, the practice of partitioning and redirecting folders can get a novice user in trouble if not managed by someone knowledgeable. If the risk is too high, then the benefit gained from partitioning would more than likely not outweigh it, because the most benefit is in making backups and/or re-installation of the OS easier, which require a bit of understanding of the OS structure on disk.
      In relation to defrag, what is not so obvious is that Microsoft’s built-in tool has limitations and a third-party defragger would cope better with less free space on disk.
      To put it differently, @jmwoods questions the rule of 25% free based on the idea and the example of 1TB disk where 250GB would be too much too waste. On the other hand think about having 705GB full which should be more than enough in most situations for OS and data. 🙂 For video storage or other big data long term storage there is always the option of using external storage.
      SSDs occasionally benefit from defragmenting because the NTFS file system itself benefits from it. It is generally thought that defragmentation is damaging or not required for SSDs, but a good balance is useful. Once a year it is OK to defrag even SSDs, although the benefit is probably more visible for storage which has frequent data changes like what is seen on busy enterprise file servers. To be clear, it is not the storage which benefits in this case, but the structure of the file system.

    • #14146 Reply

      grayslady

      Thanks. I appreciate the information about the i3 performance. Now that I have the new hard drive, I think my next step will be to increase the memory and see if that helps to improve overall performance. Based on the numbers provided above, the computer’s memory is at the minimum for a 64 bit system. Now that the new 1T hard drive has been installed, the processing is a little slow. This wasn’t the case when I only had a 550G hard drive. We’ll see.

    • #14147 Reply

      ch100

      Very true, however rarely the power supply may not cope with the higher power drawn by the faster mechanical disk. It is something to be aware when upgrading older computers which may have leaky capacitors or anything else related to the age of the machine or even cheap power supply design. The heat generated by faster disks is also a bit higher.
      An SSD does not have this sort of issues and I am not sure if it is worth investing in a mechanical disk right now, unless having one sitting around, ready to be used.

    • #14148 Reply

      Canadian Tech

      Alex, in my experience I have discovered that there can be vast differences in different models within a range of say an i3.

      For an indicator I look up the CPU benchmark of the specific processor.

      You are dead right that some i3s can outperform an i5 or even i7 in some cases.

      The processors in a laptop are always significantly slower than in a desktop. They are purposely designed that way because you have to remember the primary design challenge in a laptop is battery life. Battery life means power drain. Lower processor speeds are one of the trade offs you make to get longer battery life.

      Performance in any computer is a result of a lot of components. Memory size and speed is a factor. Hard drive speed is a factor, CPU speed is a factor.

      I have seen many cases in which the wrong memory is installed or memory is installed that is slower than could be used. Also, cases in which memory components were mismatched and that resulted in single channel performance instead of double.

    • #14149 Reply

      Canadian Tech

      fp, I have long wondered the same thing.

      Americans are seen as a very litigious people and this just screams for a challenge.

      It just bends my imagination that this has not occurred, or has it and it is just not published?

    • #14150 Reply

      ch100

      @messager7777777, take the statement “as is” and probably the best advice is not to use 32-bit for new installations.
      The main limitation is the license for the desktop operating systems which is hard-coded by Microsoft. The server operating systems (last one on 32-bit is Windows Server 2008) have the PAE feature unlocked and can use up to 64GB RAM.
      This is all history and it is not worth wasting time with it unless you do it as hobby.
      Just use 64-bit OS.
      Note: This is not about discussing how good the 32-bit technology is, because it could be extended for other 25 years using PAE (Intel 36 bit memory addressing) if Microsoft and the rest of the industry wanted to do so, but about the practical considerations for you as end-user or maybe systems administrator.

    • #14151 Reply

      woody
      Da Boss

      If it has occurred, I certainly haven’t seen it. And I probably would’ve seen it.

      Keep in mind that Microsoft’s legal team can bury an opponent procedurally – they’re very good, very intimidating, and they have bottomless pockets.

    • #14152 Reply

      ch100

      @alexeiffel
      I use i7 because I have always other applications in mind like virtualisation.
      But for most users, including power users, i5 is probably the best option for the same reasons which you mentioned above, while i3 is probably a good enough option too. I am not sure if i3 outperforms i7 (like i5 does in most scenarios) but for the cost and a lot less heat generated it is worth the choice.

    • #14153 Reply

      ch100

      @grayslady
      What is the amount of RAM which you currently have?
      There should not be slower processing with a larger hard drive, especially if it is supposed to be faster as RPM speed.

    • #14154 Reply

      ch100

      @Canadian Tech
      All that you say is right, however it tends to confuse less technically minded users.
      I think the best advice is to have more than minimum commonly accpeted thresholds of everything and if this can be tuned later it is even better.
      Let’s say, i3 with 4GB RAM (I say 6GB but the general consensus tends to be for 4GB) and 7200 rpm hard-disk are absolute minimum specs for decent performance.

    • #14155 Reply

      ch100

      “Why with such a clear big issue MS wouldn’t simply issue a Fixit tool that manage all that automatically?”

      Short answer: Are the resources allocated to complete this task profitable for Microsoft as a business or does the damage caused to Microsoft’s reputation for not dong so outweigh the cost involved?
      If the answer is yes, we may see what you suggest.
      But I think we all know the answer.

    • #14156 Reply

      Canadian Tech

      I just built a new PC for myself this year. I chose i5 6600. CPU Benchmark score of 7725. Lower heat as you said and more than enough processing power than I think I will ever need.

      6th gen’s greatest advantage is lower power/lower heat over the 5th gen. Principally designed for portable installations, benefits desktop design too because it requires smaller power supply.

    • #14157 Reply

      ch100

      I agree that there are sometimes useful data under AppData folders (e.g. Mozilla profile, Chrome profile or on older installations the Outlook file – this is actually the most important one which should be moved if still under Local) or under Public/Program Data, but the absolute minimum not to be lost should still be user folders.

    • #14158 Reply

      Florian

      Hello Woody,

      I want to share my knowledge about installing Win7 on a DELL XPS 13 which comes with USB 3.0 ports only and a Samsung NVMe SSD, which makes it pretty hard to get Windows 7 up and running from scratch. I have written a howto and hope other people who are into this challenge might find it helpful:

      http://www.solvist.de/notebook/anleitung-windows-7-auf-dell-xps-13-pcie-nvm-ssd-intel-usb-3-0-installieren/

      Its written in German but I think most of it is self explained, there are screenshots for every configuration step.

      Best regards,
      Florian

    • #14159 Reply

      ch100

      @alexeiffel
      I don’t think over-provisioning of SSDs from factory is current practice, but I know it used to be and it may still be true for mission-critical enterprise disks.
      Samsung tools for example recommend using OP from the existing advertised capacity, which indicates that either this capacity was not reserved at manufacturing or what was reserved is so small that it not enough to be useful for performance, but only for the most critical operations of the storage device.
      SSD technology is still new and there are a lot of conflicting points of view. In relation to the available capacity, some specialists and manufacturers recommend leaving the OP as non-partitioned zeroed space, while others claim that it is enough just to have the space available anywhere, including the work partition.
      Even if it is best practice to reserve non-partitioned space, it is not in the manufacturer’s financial interest to do this from factory instead of using the user paid storage capacity.

    • #14160 Reply

      ch100
    • #14161 Reply

      ch100

      +1 🙂

    • #14162 Reply

      ch100

      There are tools like SCOM with default settings which alert for various values around that range. So it may not be 25% or 15% or any other hard-coded value, but a guideline which is useful to be followed while applying common sense too.

    • #14163 Reply

      grayslady

      I only have 4G of RAM right now. Since HP requires paired memory for its 2 slots, I was thinking that 8G would be preferable. Although the manufacturer says the model can handle 16G, users have reported significant slowdown at that level–no idea why. I don’t do spreadsheets or CAD on this computer, so I think 8G should be about right.

    • #14164 Reply

      woody
      Da Boss

      Excellent! Thanks. It’s an excellent machine – and rolling it back to Win7 makes a whole lot of sense.

    • #14165 Reply

      Canadian Tech

      grayslady, if you already have 4, you are not likely to see a substantial difference from increasing this. You could upgrade to 8 for some improvement.

      Possibility is that your system can use faster memory than is installed. That takes some technical checking to determine that. HP may advise you, but then again they sometimes advise incorrectly too.

    • #14166 Reply

      ch100

      @Canadian Tech
      Unfortunately I cannot help in relation to retail keys as I said, because this is managed by Microsoft’s activation servers.
      On Windows 7 this location is important, but I don’t know if you can do much about it now
      %SystemDrive%WindowsServiceProfilesNetWorkServiceAppDataRoamingMicrosoftSoftwarePlatformTokens.dat
      See the discussion here http://superuser.com/questions/616780/where-are-windows-7-activation-file-stored
      Sometimes resetting the files contained there can help.
      Also the MDL forum contains a lot of competent research done in this area. You may need a login to see all posts there.

      Appreciate the feedback, it is an interesting scenario which we may see again with Windows 10.

    • #14167 Reply

      Canadian Tech

      +1000

    • #14168 Reply

      fp

      Somebody w connections should recruit one or two top lawyers who just want to do it for fame and are not intimidated. I don’t see how they can lose such a case.

    • #14169 Reply

      jmwoods

      Looks like we’re making progress…

      You’ve gone from…

      “I will add one more important point. It is very important that you not exceed usage of more than 75% of disk capacity.”

      to…

      “So it may not be 25% or 15% or any other hard-coded value, but a guideline which is useful to be followed while applying common sense too.”

    • #14170 Reply

      Sue

      Although not a class action suit, this is the only “sort of” related case that I’m aware of:

      http://www.computerworld.com/article/3089071/microsoft-windows/customer-wins-10k-judgement-from-microsoft-over-unauthorized-windows-10-upgrade.html.

    • #14171 Reply

      jmwoods

      I have seen defrag fail more often because of uncorrected file system errors on the hard drive.

      A good process is to run CHKDSK first, then your favorite defragmenter.

      Defragmenting a drive with errors can create more errors.

    • #14172 Reply

      fp

      Luckily I have pro and I just applied the new version of shut up.

      I do frequent imaging and as soon as they mess my 1511 up ill restore the last. If and when that does not work I will restore win7 from the mfgr partition.

    • #14173 Reply

      ch100

      Very good outcome and good writing.
      Complicated for most end-users, but the only possible way apparently.
      Thank you for sharing 🙂

    • #14174 Reply

      ch100

      8GB is right!

    • #14175 Reply

      jmwoods

      “Thanks for the warning about Toshiba”

      I have two Toshiba laptops, no issues with hard drives after several years of use with both.

      So it’s not a Toshiba thing…

      A good “disk health” monitoring tool is CrystalDiskInfo (available in a portable version as well as installer version)…

      http://crystalmark.info/?lang=en

    • #14176 Reply

      fp

      Class action suits are collective endeavor at which Americans fail utterly. It is an individualistic society that serves the atomization purposes of those who own it.

    • #14177 Reply

      woody
      Da Boss

      http://www.infoworld.com/article/3101744/microsoft-windows/the-get-windows-10-campaign-will-see-its-day-in-court.html

      It wasn’t much of a judgment – Microsoft decided it wasn’t worth the $10K to fight it. Teri Goldstein is now selling a book about her experiences – Winning against Windows 10 (affiliate link).

    • #14178 Reply

      woody
      Da Boss

      I assure you, many lawyers have considered doing so, but most not for more than a few seconds.

    • #14179 Reply

      Canadian Tech

      Defrag runs by default in win7 once a week. The only alternative setting is once a month. There is no straight-forward way to shut it down.

      Chkdsk is not a normal user program. I run it on my client computers at least once per year and on laptops that are 3 years old or older more often than that. I rarely find errors. Really rare.

      I also routinely run hard drive manufacturer’s drive tester tool once per year. I sometimes get a FAIL result even though the client has not experienced a problem they know about. In those cases I inform them that their hard drive may be about to fail. Could be in a day or a year. I instruct them to do regular backups. Then I suggest a new hard drive and a rebuild, which of course I do for them.

    • #14180 Reply

      Canadian Tech

      ch100, thank you once again. Just got off the phone with MS again. They are now booting this up to “engineering”, what ever the hell that is. Probably in Viet Nam instead of the Philippines.

      I have managed to convince them that a complete re-install is impractical because of the potential loss of very expensive software installed that can not be re-installed.

      I gather from a lot of research, this is far from an unusual occurrence these days.

      In this case, the PC had not been used for 2 years after the death of its owner and I was asked to update it to pass it on to his son who is in a similar profession. I had deleted some Apple software and did Windows Updates, installed Bitdefender and Logmein. That’s it.

      So, my suspicions are that a Windows Update did this.

      I will update you again.

    • #14181 Reply

      BobbyB

      @Florian Awsome article it taught me quite a bit actually as I have never applied an update or hotfix to a boot.wim before only drivers. Of course no reason why it cant be done, it was just I never had. I suppose with SSDs becoming all the rage your duely added to the Favourites links for future reference, even though my german is “rusty” (not since “Die Schule” and thats further back than I care to remember) If you dont want to download the WAIK.iso in the future this link just gives you all the CMD line tools you may need imagex, oscdimg, etc http://www.msfn.org/board/topic/156869-get-waik-tools-wo-downloading-the-huge-isos/ I had it here on my own laptop but it takes up way too much tunes space 🙂

    • #14182 Reply

      ch100

      The main reason why I advise for more memory than the bare minimum is because the Windows Memory Management tends to cache a lot more than usually needed, to emulate Linux for that matter. While this is a very good idea in principle, in practice the memory is not instantly released (in Windows, not in Linux) when needed if there is not enough so called free memory available. This gives a feeling of latency. The cached memory is the one showing as Standby in Resource Monitor.
      With more memory available, the page file can also be reduced from the default which is excessive to my recommended value of 512MB, but in most cases even 256MB should be sufficient if enough physical memory is installed in the system. If reducing page file size, change the debug file size also to None or Small. This saves a lot of GB of hard-disk space. Another way to save a lot of GB is to disable the hibernation feature if not in use. And yet another way is to disable System Restore and with all those three methods combined, the hard disk space available increases like magic by about 25GB for a system with 8GB RAM!!!

    • #14183 Reply

      ch100

      Because even they have better things to do with their time 🙂

    • #14184 Reply

      ch100

      It is about a good IT contractor rate for 10 days or a little bit more or a good IT salary for about 1 month.
      What is more cost effective, to sue (pun intended) Microsoft or learn the technology and sell the knowledge to those who are in need?

    • #14185 Reply

      ch100

      “You’ve gone from…

      “I will add one more important point. It is very important that you not exceed usage of more than 75% of disk capacity.””

      Me?

    • #14186 Reply

      Canadian Tech

      ch100, I have no doubt you know what you are talking about. However, in the real world day to day view of it, it is hard to tell the difference after upgrading a 64bit system from 4 to 8G.

    • #14187 Reply

      jmwoods

      “Defrag runs by default in win7 once a week. The only alternative setting is once a month.”

      The third alternative is uncheck “Run on a schedule” in Control Panel > Performance Information and Tools> Advanced Tools > Disk Defragmenter.

      The fourth is disable Defrag in Task Scheduler > Microosoft > Windows > Defrag.

      …and then use your favorite third-party defrag tool.

      Mine is UltraDefrag (for how much longer it will be maintained)…

      http://ultradefrag.sourceforge.net/en/index.html

    • #14188 Reply

      ch100

      …and you used to see it a lot when you needed it most, i.e when running Windows Update, but this was resolved to a large extent with the latest WU agents, so with KB3172605 installed it should no longer be a big issue.

    • #14189 Reply

      ch100

      You can change the GUI setting not to run defrag, but it is not advisable with mechanical disks. With SSDs, the system should sense them and take care of the settings, which in most cases happen in 1-2 weeks time, depending on usage pattern. With SSDs, Superfetch is also turned off after the same period if the detection is correct.
      What is not clear though, what happens if the Defrag schedule is missed? I think it is not run at the next start-up, but just skipped.

    • #14190 Reply

      ch100

      Thank you.
      The only update which I know that can cause this sort of problem is the one already mentioned which deals specifically with activation checks.
      Changing hardware significantly can cause this, in particular hard-drive changes.
      The only thing that is certain is that it is not very unusual. What appears more unusual to me is that Microsoft has not resolved it yet, either by providing another key or via another telephone method.

    • #14191 Reply

      ch100

      I think a different approach that may work is to install in a virtual machine or any other regular hardware available, install the patch for the native drivers (and all other patches while here), image and restore on the other hardware, i.e. the XPS 13. It should detect the new drive, but this methods has other downsides, beyond being not the officially supported method.

    • #14192 Reply

      jmwoods
    • #14193 Reply

      jmwoods
    • #14194 Reply

      messager7777777

      @ BobbyB & etc ……. U can also use Google Translate to translate the page from German to English by just entering the link.
      .
      Installing Win 7 on the Dell XPS 13 is too complicated for most average users = they should avoid buying very advanced/high-end OEM cptrs if they want Win 7(= 2009 era) instead of the preinstalled Win 10, or they can opt for Win 8.1( = 2012 era) which is still mostly supported by such cptrs.

    • #14195 Reply

      messager7777777

      @ fp ……. I think O&O Shutup only disable the ‘Allow Experimentation” setting, ie it does not stop M$ from being able to reset the configuration settings of nearly all Win 10 devices.

    • #14196 Reply

      messager7777777

      @ fp ……. Recently(2015.?), the US Supreme Court has ruled that consumers cannot file class-action lawsuits against companies who hv put such exemption clauses in their T&C or EULA = can only seek arbitration or sue in small claims court.
      ……. So, unless the US Congress enact a new law, we won’t see M$ n other US companies(eg debt collection companies acting for banks) stopping their abusive business practices. The other temporary solution is for the consumers to vote with their wallets, eg boycott M$ n Win 10.

    • #14197 Reply

      messager7777777

      Also, for those in Group A, come July 2018 n onward, they will likely be downloading huge monthly Patch Rollups of about 2.0GB in size bc cumulative rollups in Win 7/8.1 are not Differential/Delta Updates = updating will take hours to complete n the huge download size will be a problem for those with slower Internet n/or limited Data Caps.
      .
      “Keep Win 7 running for the long haul”.?

    • #14198 Reply

      messager7777777

      @ CT ……. The default setting for Disk Defrag in Win 7 is scheduled auto-defrag once per week, ie at every 3.00am, Wednesday or after.
      ……. This automatic setting is fraught with risk, eg at 8.00am, Wednesday, after starting n idling their cptrs for about half an hour, n then the Dummy users go n operate their cptrs while auto-defrag is going on in the background.
      .
      So, I think it is good practice for Win 7 users to disable scheduled auto-defrag n do it manually, eg once a month, similar to Disk Cleanup(= manual default setting).

    • #14199 Reply

      woody
      Da Boss

      Not so. Windows Update will ask for the data – the delta – that it needs to bring the image up to date. If you skip many months of patches then you’ll get hit once with a big download. Other than that, you’ll probably see less data transferred than you do now.

    • #14200 Reply

      messager7777777

      @ CT ……. likely, M$’s latest new policy is to deactivate all Win 7/8.1/10 cptrs that hv not been active on the Internet for more than 1 year = users will learn to avoid keeping their cptrs offline for any lengthy periods = they can be Telemetried/spied-on by M$ n the NSA.
      ……. Or maybe, M$ wanna push such affected Win 7/8.1 users to take the still-free upgrade to Win 10.

    • #14201 Reply

      Canadian Tech

      There is no obvious way for normal users to do that.

      The vast majority (I mean like at least 95% don’t even know what defragmentation is, let alone how to affect its operation.

    • #14202 Reply

      woody
      Da Boss
    • #14203 Reply

      Canadian Tech

      ch100, you are correct, if defrag does not run on the scheduled time/day, it just does not run. I have seen many PCs that have never been defragged in spite of the default.

    • #14204 Reply

      Canadian Tech

      Of course there are alternatives. Of course you can change the way the system, but that is for people who know and understand Windows. For purposes of this discussion, I am trying to help you to understand that the vast majority of Windows owners know nothing about this and don’t even want to know.

    • #14205 Reply

      ch100

      It should be under AccessoriesSystem ToolsDisk Defragmenter

    • #14206 Reply

      messager7777777

      @ woody ……. “If you have installed previous updates, only the new fixes that are contained in this package will be downloaded and installed to your computer. If you are installing a Windows 10 or Windows Server 2016 update package for the first time, the package for the x86 version is 467 MB and the package for the x64 version is 871 MB.” ….
      .
      excerpt from this link(cumulative update for Win 10 1607 Nov 2016) …
      https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3200970
      .
      .
      .
      “The security fixes that are listed in the “Summary” section are included in this this Security Monthly Quality Rollup 3197868 are are also included in the November 2016 Security Only Quality Update 3197867. Installing either update installs the security fixes that are listed here. This Security Monthly Quality Rollup also includes improvements and fixes from previous monthly rollups.”
      .
      excerpt from this link(Nov 2016 Patch Rollup for Win 7) …
      https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3197868
      _ _ _ _ _ _ _
      .
      M$’s differing statements above, seem to suggest that the cumulative monthly Patch Rollups for Win 7 r not Differential, ie similar to the present non-Differential in-place feature updates/upgrades in Win 10.

    • #14207 Reply

      messager7777777

      @ CT ……. Well, I had a Dummy cptr user-relative who experienced a frozen Win 7 Dell laptop bc of this auto-scheduled-defrag feature = had to reinstall for him.
      ……. Either way(auto or manual), M$ are to be blamed bc MacOS n Linux OS do not need to defrag their hard-disks.

    • #14208 Reply

      BobbyB

      Thx for that @messager7777777 well its a day of firsts, first time I have used Google translate and it works pretty good with all the “Tech” terms. Yeah pretty much the same boat I was in with HP (no SSD here) I am guessing you Dell folks have a USB select switch in the BIOS ie 2 or 3 or AUTO. not so lucky here alas you just drop the Drvrs in /index:2 (x64) in the boot.wim other wise you aint installing Win7x64 in EFI or at all (here) LOL. As ch100 says use a VHD customise and image using SYSPREP and recreate an iso from the resulting capture and former extracted install media. If you do use OSCDIMG the CMD strings are horrendous better to save a copy and paste in a notepad file for future use.

    • #14209 Reply

      messager7777777

      @ BobbyB ……. U said, “So definately Image with /compress:maximum set,…”
      .
      It is not advisable to use maximum compression when creating a System Image = more prone to file errors during the compression n decompression processes(= failure in restoring the image).
      ……. Eg with Macrium Reflect, the default n recommended compression setting for creating an image is Medium(= about 1 n a half time = a 20GB system will be compressed to about 15GB) – should not be set to High unless needed, eg user could only afford a 16GB USB-stick.

      Similarly, when burning an iso file onto a DVD, the maximum burning speed should be 4X = less burning errors. Best to use 2X, even though takes slightly longer to burn = about 30 mins to burn a Win 7 iso at 2X speed with ImgBurn.

    • #14210 Reply

      AlexEiifel

      did you reinstall 64 instead of 32? because i really don’t see why you would have less performance using your bigger hard disk than before. it just makes no sense at all to me. the data density is probably higher so it reads more per second plus it spins faster. i never heard of anybody slowing down with a bigger hard disk.

      RAM might be tight though at 4gb. long time ago again some magazines showed significant improvements going from 4 to 8 but does it really apply in real life like Canadian Tech says? maybe not. he might be right. 16 is overkill on this machine but i would think 8 would be better but maybe not. maybe the RAM you have is not the fastest supported like ct said too. i once setup a server with 20 fold increase in processor thinking it would be wo great only to find a real life improvement of 3 because the RAM was the bottleneck. performance is a complex subject and vary widely by context and the combination of different hardware. Also, power saving cn create lots of problems of performance if the cou is set to passive cooling which reduce the speed to cool the cpu instead of turning the fans on. And laptop processors are also quite different from desktops. The i7 for example, if they don’t end up with a Q in their name or maybe HQ now often are only dual cores with hyperthreading p, just like i5 as on the desktop they are always quad core. This is really deceiptful marketing from Intel and I am not sure at all it is worth it to get an i7 that is not a quad on a laptop instead of an i5. you will just burn more battery life for maybe no perceivsble benefits. One need to be very careful not overspending for fake improvements in laptops. I remember seeing laptops sold with discret video cards as a feature while the discrete card was actually slower than the integrated card of the processor!

      and i fully support all advice below from ch100 regarding hibernation. this is useless and slow generally. i actually had faster boot times on many computers after disabling’fast boot’ and deleting the hibernation file while saving hd space. i also only set a 200mb page file on all computers with enough ram and everything is smooth.

      sorry fot the bad writing, it is very small on the ipad and not easy to type

    • #14211 Reply

      woody
      Da Boss

      They’re differential.

    • #14212 Reply

      ch100

      AlexEiffel

      It is interesting that you say
      “Also, power saving cn create lots of problems of performance if the cpu is set to passive cooling which reduce the speed to cool the cpu instead of turning the fans on.”

      Not long ago, I used to run the power settings for CPU to 99% max and with passive cooling exactly for that reason. For those who don’t know, setting the CPU to 99% max instead of 100% disables the Turbo functionality of the CPU, if it is enabled by Intel for that particular type of CPU. I thought that it would not make much difference until one day when I decided to reset the power schemes and I noticed it!!!
      Turbo and cooling on Active make a huge difference for peak load!

    • #14213 Reply

      ch100

      i5 6600 seems to be the best trade-off for all features, if we don’t take in consideration the AMD CPUs.
      I personally would avoid AMD CPUs if the budget allocated is not so critical because there is a huge difference in the feel of using one CPU against the other if they are placed side by side and compared.

    • #14214 Reply

      ch100

      You don’t even need to sysprep if you use the image created for a single machine. I was suggesting restoring on a different hardware and dealing with the drivers. But your method may be more reliable after all, although more complex. Can you avoid UEFI on your computer and run in BIOS emulation? This is by far more reliable and even more so on Windows 7.

    • #14215 Reply

      ch100

      I post this one here in this older thread as this is where it belongs.
      https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/astoica/2017/01/03/windows-7-refreshed-media-creation/

    • #14216 Reply

      ch100

      Reply from Andrei Stoica:

      “In the future, specifically later this year, we will have a follow-up update to KB3125574, which will also be a fully cumulative update, and we will only need to update our image with one or two KBs to be fully patched. The current prerequisite for Windows 7 updates is only SP1, when this will change the media will also be refreshed officially, as it was done for Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 to include Update 3 KB3000850 November 2014 Update Rollup.”

    • #14217 Reply

      ch100

      I think the procedure presented by Andrei, although functional, misses few updates which should be installed before KB3125574. Hopefully the refresh to this rollup will correct the existing issues with v4.
      See the details here
      http://windows-update-checker.com/FAQ/ConvenienceRollupKB3125574-Issues.htm

    • #14218 Reply

      BobbyB

      Hmm never thought about BIOS emulation. There is a way to SYSPREP without going through the “torture” that is Windows SIM and creating unattend.xml script. Almost an average user solution but as ever long winded.
      SYSPREP provides a neat solution and transferrable to other Machines (as a generic updated image) as well as customising for my own machine. For example setting the registry key to persist all Driver installs (M$ seem to suggest this is a bad thing yet on another web page they suggest doing just that that) and in practice the image works fine on other OEM machines. Its only a once yearly event and can cheerfully be split up over the course of a few days. For example a 3 index install. wim containing Win7Ent,Ult,Pro can be done by SYSPREPing win7Ent and Win7Pro. The copying/exporting the Win7pro (capture) to another folder then mounting and running the change edition CMD to /setedition:Ultimate and recombining all 3 wims with max compression. Then as the resulting (new) .wim file is way over the 4gb mark splitting it to a value of 3990mb (500mb for DVDs) then dropping the SWMs in the sources folder. Yeah I know Rufus can handle greater than 4gb but I have found it fairly unreliable only working with .esd files not .wims. The end result is a working .iso that is good on pretty much every machine that I have encountered and as Sunday afternoon is generally Beer and “can you fix my computer?” time quite lucrative in the ole Beer stakes 🙂

    • #14219 Reply

      Jan K.

      I’ve been a fan and supporter of Microsoft since the early DOS days and have always been thankful for their fine services, but since the past 6 or so months I’ve come to think, they’ve forgotten some of us are trying to make a living using the computers… now it feels more like I have to “fight” them and monitor their smallest moves in fear of breaking my smooth running and finely tuned system.
      Wish I could bill someone for the many, many wasted hours cleaning up their mess…
      Sorry for the rant, but I’m still slightly upset…
      Thanks for the link and a small donation is on the way for support of this fine website!

    • #14220 Reply

      woody
      Da Boss

      +1

    • #14221 Reply

      fp

      Class action suits in America are mostly initiated by attorneys for attorneys when they believe they can dig into somebody’s deep pocket. Suits for the public good initiated by the public are practically inexistent.

    • #14222 Reply

      fp

      Figures. Congress is in corporate pocket. The system is utterly corrupt.

    • #14223 Reply

      Kirsty

      Hear, hear!

    • #14224 Reply

      Clueless

      @Messager7777777;
      ” U can also use Google Translate to translate the page from German to English by just entering the link.”

      Great tip, thanks. Worked like a charm.

      Danke Sehr

    • #14225 Reply

      Canadian Tech

      ch100, the activation problem is now corrected. The problem was in permissions in the registry.

      It took 4 levels of technicians and about 12 hours of time online to get to the solution.

      I believe the root problem should have been more evident to them to begin with. The error code was 8007000D Data is invalid. Which they told me meant something in the registry. Yet the first 3 kept trying and repeating the same steps (not in the registry) that failed again and again. Finally the last guy went into the registry and fixed a number of permissions that had somehow become corrupted.

    • #14226 Reply

      woody
      Da Boss

      !

    • #14227 Reply

      ch100

      This is all great to hear that it was resolved without reinstallation. 🙂
      Do you know which registry keys were affected?
      And maybe as important, what caused it?

    • #14228 Reply

      Canadian Tech

      ch100, not at all certain but I believe it was in here:
      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetEnumRoot

      I suspect this web page should have been the guide to the fix, or at least a hint

      https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/2230957

    • #14229 Reply

      ch100

      Hmmm, driver issues… It makes sense because the activation process relies on hardware information to identify the computer.
      We will probably never know what caused it, supposedly third-party software which installs its own drivers, possible not fully compatible, or… who knows?
      Thank you for the information. I was not aware of this KB and the implications of those registry key permissions.

    • #14230 Reply

      ch100

      I posted on that Technet blog and got a reply essentially confirming the research done by Abbodii, PointZero and Komm in relation to KB3125574 which got mentioned in the reply. 🙂
      Hope we will get a fixed version of KB3125574 later in 2017, as promised.

    • #14231 Reply

      woody
      Da Boss

      Win7 SP3. Has a nice ring to it.

    • #14232 Reply

      Canadian Tech

      ch100, That is very interesting. I watched the tech working and just before the activation took place a popup announced a driver was being installed.

    • #14233 Reply

      ch100

      🙂

    • #14234 Reply

      Chris

      Woody, do you know if any security rollup since October contains the MS16-044: Security update for Windows OLE: April 12, 2016 patch?

      This update I’ve avoided because to say it slows my system is an understatment.

      “Known issues in this security update

      After you install this security update on a Windows 7 SP1-based system, you may experience any of the following problems:
      The system slows down.” (YA BIGTIME!)

      I had to reimage before I installed the rollups cause my system was lagging badley, the only thing I can come up with is that one of the rollups since October contains this OLE disaster.

      thanks

      PS I’m in the B group.

    • #14235 Reply

      woody
      Da Boss

      If you’re in Group B, you shouldn’t be installing Monthly Rollups! Those are only for Group A.

      As best I can tell, the re-release of KB 3065435 solved the slow-down problem. That’s the version that would be included in any Monthly Rollup. The current Monthly Rollups don’t yet go back that far – but we’re promised that, at some point, they will.

      http://www.infoworld.com/article/3065435/microsoft-windows/microsoft-re-releases-windows-ole-patch-kb-3146706-with-little-explanation.html

    • #14236 Reply

      Chris

      http://i.imgur.com/gPdDFhN.jpg

      I see 3146706 is included in the 8.1 rollup, but I could not find it in the W7 rollups….but its in there somewhere or another update is killing my computer.

      I’m pretty pissed that I cant keep my computer secure without slowing it down.
      thats unacceptable

    • #14237 Reply

      Chris

      yes I’m doing security only rollups…I was now I cant do any, I’m at Sept. 2016 for updates and Oct, Nov and Dec cant be installed or I get “the slow down”.

    • #14238 Reply

      Clueless

      Uhhh, Cris;

      “…yes I’m doing security only rollups…”

      Woody says “If you’re in Group B, you shouldn’t be installing Monthly Rollups! Those are only for Group A.”

      Ain’t no such thing as security only ‘rollups’.

    • #14239 Reply

      MrBrian

      “Here are my recommendations based on my test results so far (for Windows 7 x64 computers)” – https://www.askwoody.com/2016/care-to-join-a-win7-snooping-test/comment-page-2/#comment-110622

    • #14240 Reply

      PKCano

      AppData is a User folder

    • #14241 Reply

      PKCano

      YOU ae truly Clueless.

    • #14242 Reply

      messager7777777

      @ PKCano ……. ‘Clueless’ is correct about there being no security only rollups.
      .
      December, 2016 Security Only Quality Update for Windows 7 (KB3205394)
      .
      December 2016 Security Monthly Quality Rollup for Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 (KB3207752)
      https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3207752
      .
      Seems, Chris has installed the wrong/rollup patches for Group B.

    • #14243 Reply

      Chris

      ok whatever you call the “security only” updates, rollups.
      http://i.imgur.com/A40sc0A.jpg
      Thats where I was, now I’m at Sept 2016 for my last updates.

      Now I’m trying to find out why my computer slowed down, I’m wasting many hours digging into M$’s trash here to find if MS16-044 was put into a SECURITY ONLY “rollup”/”UPDATE” and seen they did put it in win8 in Nov 2016 “quality security rollup”, I am only pointing this out as a reference that M$ is inluding older updates.

      I could not find it listed in Win7 updates, but SOMETHING is slowing my system down.(a security update)

      I didnt pay $1000’s of dollars to build my compter to be “slowed down” or SPIED ON!!

    • #14244 Reply

      Chris

      Woody I appreciate your help on this site you made, but could you have a section dedicated to Windows 7?
      Trying to navigate and dig into comments is very confusing given you also cover windows 8 and 10.

      The type of webpage is not ideal for people that are serious about keeping up to date on Win 7 only.

      M$ is a real jerk for doing this c*** to updates.

    • #14245 Reply

      ch100

      It is meant to be an application folder and applications store data there.
      This is why it is AppData (and subfolders) also known under the old names Application Data and Local Settings.
      Users have no business to write their data there, only applications should write data in those folders. you can consider application data also application settings.
      Outlook PST files should certainly not be stored there and Microsoft corrected this in later versions of Office storing the PST files in DocumentsOutlook files (by default).
      Browser profiles are a hybrid, but are application data, not user data mostly.
      Chrome has never followed the rules because it stores its data in the local folder and not in the roaming folder. The local folder is commonly discarded with roaming profiles and this is one of the reasons which delayed Chrome’s adoption in enterprise.
      For anything profiles, Helge Klein is the authority.
      https://helgeklein.com/

    • #14246 Reply

      ch100

      +1 🙂

    • #14247 Reply

      woody
      Da Boss

      In the support part of the Lounge, I’m breaking apart Win10 and Win7/8.1.

      I should probably think about breaking Win7 and Win 8.1, too, eh? Only problem is that some topics overlap the two.

    • #14248 Reply

      woody
      Da Boss

      Monthly Rollups and Security-only patches are two completely different animals. Your screenshot shows two Security-only patches and the preview of a Monthly Rollup (which you should never install).

      If you’re very careful to install Security-only patches (“Group B”) then the answer’s simple: No, none of the Security-only patches contains MS16-044.

      If you’re installing the Monthly Rollups (“Group A”), I’m pretty confident that you won’t get remnants of MS16-044 just yet – but sooner or later Microsoft will roll MS16-044 in.

      So let me step back here for a minute. You say you reimaged your system. How did you reimage it?

      Then you say the slowdown happened at some point in the installation of the Security-only patches. Can you identify which one?

    • #14249 Reply

      woody
      Da Boss

      Possible – but it doesn’t explain the slowdown.

    • #14250 Reply

      Sue

      @woody, as one who has Win7 and is in Group B, I have no problem at all following comments pertaining to Win7/8.1.

      Given Win7/8.1’s overlapping topics (with the usual exception of differently numbered KBs), it seems that it makes more sense (and is a better use of your time) to only break apart Win10 and Win7/8.1 . . . And thank you for doing that!

    • #14251 Reply

      woody
      Da Boss

      Hmmmm… I’m hovering back and forth on this issue.

      There’s no one, real solution, of course. Not sure if it’s better to break out 8.1 separately or not…

    • #14252 Reply

      Clueless

      @PK Cano;

      “YOU ae(sic) truly Clueless.”

      But I ain’t ca(r)eless.

      ??

    • #14253 Reply

      Clueless

      Woody;

      Might be good to separate 7 and 8.1

      Looking down the road, 8.1 may attract more users (3 years longer support).

      With Classic Shell I have no heartburn with it.

    • #14254 Reply

      Canadian Tech

      I vote for separation of 7 & 8. I, like a lot of others am exclusively 7 and throwing 8 in with it is sometimes quite confusing.

      In fact, a lot could be improved if people ensure they are mentioning which they are referring to in their comments.

    • #14255 Reply

      Bezem

      “After you’ve gone through the first round, set up Macrium Reflect or Acronis to generate a second full disk image, followed by incremental backups. ”

      @woody, Macrium Reflect Free Edition does not allow Incremental Backups. Only the paid for version has that.

      See http://imgur.com/a/1J1Of

    • #14256 Reply

      Chris

      Woody I appreciate all your help, sorry I might be blaming you for M$’s super time-wasting BS.
      I know its not your job to fix M$’s mistakes.

      I did install the .net rollup because I read .net was ok (so far).

      I’m not sure which update slowed me down and I use seagates bootable “acronis” software to restore drive C:
      I make a .tib before every update because I have spent 1000’s (I’m not kidding) tweaking and making group policies, disabling garbage service, ripping out and disabling autoruns of the junk that comes with Windows 7 over the past 5 years (and tons before that on the beta’s, Vista and Vista Beta’s).
      I have had a good run of trouble free performance and my computer has been great for a couple years now.
      There have been a few hiccups like the OLE patch in April that I had to go though test and retest to find what update was causing me trouble.
      I learned to backup and avoid a reinstall possibly a long time ago.

      I’m at the point now I am fatigued with the idea of beta testing for M$ for a OS I paid good money for.

      I’m also up to my ears in M$’s spying and tricking everyone into installing telemetry in disguise of a “performance” update.

      I’m really not sure what to do right now, I’m confused and discouraged by M$’s actions.

      To me, Windows 10 is a disaster and a horrible UI that makes me sick.

      I’m not going near Win 8 either.

      Thigs have gotten stagnate in the computer world to me, the excitement is dead.

      I will backup and try again….just not right now *sigh*

    • #14257 Reply

      Clueless

      @PK Cano @Messager7777777

      Found one (clue that is)

      Ask Woody:A new way of displaying monthly security patches.

      Discussion between (among others; ch100, woody) about the absurd and confusing new MS ‘rollups’ and ‘updates’ terminology.

      Starting at:
      https://www.askwoody.com/2016/a-new-way-of-displaying-monthly-security-patches/#comment-106532

      and ending with:
      Woody says:
      https://www.askwoody.com/2016/a-new-way-of-displaying-monthly-security-patches/#comment-106831

      “I like the terminology, but I need to stick with Microsoft’s terminology (at least until it makes me gag with a “Quality” stick).”

    • #14258 Reply

      woody
      Da Boss

      It really is a mess.

      And that doesn’t even take into consideration the “Preview” and “Insider Preview” bafflegab.

    • #14259 Reply

      woody
      Da Boss

      Not to worry. I get frustrated, too.

      My least-frustrating machine? A Chromebook. Works all the time, no hassles. Google now knows everything about me, but they probably did already.

    • #14260 Reply

      ch100

      This is not worry that they know about you.
      Larry Paige and Sergey Brin might even buy your books now to get up to speed with Windows 10 and improve their OS 😀

    • #14261 Reply

      ch100

      Please be aware that all those things change regularly and some of the old discussions have only historical importance, although useful to read even today.
      Also we all learn as we go, so again old threads may be less relevant than the newer discussions which include what we learnt along the way.
      Anyway, I appreciate the mention of what we do and what we did back then. 🙂

    • #14262 Reply

      woody
      Da Boss

      From your mouth to Sergey’s ear…

    Please follow the -Lounge Rules- no personal attacks, no swearing, and politics/religion are relegated to the Rants forum.

    Reply To: Keep Win7 running for the long haul

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