Author Topic: Windows is getting disgusting  (Read 160428 times)

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Online BradC

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Re: Windows is getting disgusting
« Reply #575 on: January 29, 2017, 11:43:00 am »
@nctnico what flavor of Linux are you running?  I am trying to switch to debian but there are a lot of programs I need in windows and getting things to work in linux tends to be fairly finicky.

I've been using Linux on the desktop since about 96, but I've always had at least one Windows vm for software I had no choice to use. Windows runs better under Linux than it does on the bare metal and unless you need native 3D I highly recommend it. Easy to keep firewalled, can snapshot and roll back to make cleaning up easy.. What's not to like?

I have used Debian since 96, but after the systemd fiasco during the Jessie beta leaving a number of my machines unbootable I've gravitated elsewhere. Not getting into that debate.
 

Online nctnico

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Re: Windows is getting disgusting
« Reply #576 on: January 29, 2017, 12:05:31 pm »
@nctnico what flavor of Linux are you running?  I am trying to switch to debian but there are a lot of programs I need in windows and getting things to work in linux tends to be fairly finicky.
I've been using Debian exclusively for about 20 years (but until a couple of years ago mainly as a server OS). I run Windows in virtual machines using Virtualbox which works excellent. It took me a couple of years though to switch over completely and I did buy a new PC which has compatible hardware (IIRC especially an Nvidia graphics card).
« Last Edit: January 29, 2017, 12:42:01 pm by nctnico »
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Offline amspire

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Re: Windows is getting disgusting
« Reply #577 on: January 29, 2017, 12:35:57 pm »
The last time I re-installed Windows 7, I couldn't get the updates to work because they'd changed how it works.
Now you mentioned it I recall needing to install some hotfix before the updates would work. I already purged that from my memory!

Best I remember, you have to turn the automatic updates off, then manually download and install one specific update. After that it will work normally. You have to inspect every update's KB number though, because there's a bunch that add a lot of the same "telemetry" as Windows 10 and need to be blocked.

I haven't installed the original SP0 Windows 7 for years. You should slipstream at least Service Pack 1 into the install disk, but it is possible to add more updates. Just do a search for "Windows 7 Slipstream" and you will find a number of different methods ranging from the built-in slip streaming commands to utilities that make it easier.

Better still, nowadays, I make a Windows 7 VM in Virtualbox (or whatever you use) - make sure you do not install guest extensions (drivers) for Virtualbox, do all the updates and then make a sysprep image set to the OOBE (Out Of Box Experience). Make sure you do not reboot. Get a disk image and copy it to hard drives and boot computers from the image. It takes 10 minutes imaging to a harddrive and you end up with a fully updated Windows 7 running on the new PC/notebook. You will have to install drivers.
 

Offline madires

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Re: Windows is getting disgusting
« Reply #578 on: January 29, 2017, 02:59:46 pm »
 

Offline CraigHB

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Re: Windows is getting disgusting
« Reply #579 on: January 29, 2017, 03:11:01 pm »
MS decides how you will use your computer, MS puts MS first. 

I stayed on winXP as long as I could and finally moved to win7 recently.  I had a hell of a time whipping win7 into shape with third party tools and a good number of registry hacks.  It was pretty time consuming.  In reading this thread win10 sounds pretty ugly.  Don't know if I can stomach going through that again for win10.

I've been an on and off Linux user for quite a long time and I have my gripes with Linux.  If software developers would fully support Linux the decision would be easier.  It's really quite a bit of work to get a Linux system operating that way you want it to.  There are invariably programs that don't have Linux equivalents and there's no assurance of any quality.  Then there's the way in which settings are handled.  On one one hand there's the awful Windows registry and on the other you have configuration files crammed into nooks and crannies all over the system.  Two extremes and neither provides a very good solution.
 

Offline rdl

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Re: Windows is getting disgusting
« Reply #580 on: January 29, 2017, 03:40:35 pm »
I thought the "convenience roll up" was to be avoided because of added telemetry. I don't know, all I wanted to do was get it reasonably updated, in a way that I could pick and choose what I wanted, then make a back up that I'd use for all future re-installs. At this point it's not high on my list of important things to do. I only use it on the one computer because of games. My OEM install disk has SP1 and everything runs fine. I just wish I could give it a separate internet connection to keep it isolated from the rest of the network.
 

Offline Howardlong

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Re: Windows is getting disgusting
« Reply #581 on: January 29, 2017, 04:11:14 pm »
From W7 SP1 up to now there are many, many hundreds of individual underlying updates. If you want to pick and choose you're welcome to, but a convenience update won't let you do that as far as I know. As MS pretty much broke the update process to the extent where it would take days to update without the convenience updates, you're stuck.

Ironically, one of the updates in the convenience rollups includes the Customer Experience Improvement Program which is the main slurper which you can turn off, but it's not anything like the telemetry and key logging that Windows 10 takes.
 

Offline rdl

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Re: Windows is getting disgusting
« Reply #582 on: January 29, 2017, 09:55:07 pm »
If I remember right, there are only about 8 or 10 updates that need to be avoided because they add similar telemetry as Windows 10. I'm pretty sure that several are included with the convenience roll up and can't be separated out, so I would stop short of that. I thought they were fixing their web site so that individual updates could be downloaded manually (it used to only work with IE), but I haven't followed the whole mess in months so I don't know. I thought the old update system was still working, but maybe that's been shut off.

What I want next is a way to isolate the Windows computer from the local network, so I may look into pfSense or something similar. I already shut down my Windows Server media storage and replaced it with a FreeNAS system. If I can do that then I won't care if Windows 7 ever gets updated.
 

Offline NiHaoMike

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Re: Windows is getting disgusting
« Reply #583 on: January 29, 2017, 11:43:06 pm »
Users love Win10: https://www.cnet.com/news/microsoft-windows-10-forced-updates-auto-restarts-are-the-worst/

Broken by design >:D


Encourage users to call Microsoft tech support every time it happens. If nothing else, that will increase their costs.
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Offline Lightages

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Re: Windows is getting disgusting
« Reply #584 on: January 30, 2017, 12:54:58 am »
I am on my last installations of Windows. I am on W7 and it won't go any further than that. If I need to do a complete reinstall in the future, it will be a flavor of Linux. No more MS for me once these machines die.

I have posted utilities earlier in this thread for those wanting to remove and avoid the W10 spying capabilities that are added to W7.
 

Offline CraigHB

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Re: Windows is getting disgusting
« Reply #585 on: January 30, 2017, 05:48:32 pm »
I could stay at win7 indefinitely as well.  Problem is MS forces you to migrate by making their products obsolete.  They seem to have a lifecycle about 6 years or so.  Actually it's the software developers that make you move ahead.  They stop supporting their products for a particular version of Windows when MS says so.  If developers would keep supporting those older versions of Windows there would be no necessity to migrate to a newer version.  The only reason I had to migrate to win7 is because some of my programs required it.  It's the software developers that can force Microsoft's hand but they don't do it.  It's also the reason Linux is an issue for me, software developers don't always support it.  Mac suffers from that to some extent as well.  Though moving to Mac is not a great option either.  They do the same thing MS does, but with an even shorter lifecycle.
 

Offline rrinker

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Re: Windows is getting disgusting
« Reply #586 on: January 30, 2017, 08:33:30 pm »
 The interface in 10, 2012 R2, and 2016, if maybe you used it for more than 5 minutes so you could set up the important stuff and ditch the garbage defaults, is actually quite usable and makes a lot fo sense even when it's used with a mouse and not a touch screen. First thing I do on any server install is to set up the start menu in 2016 or the 'metro' screen on 2012 R2 to have just function-specific items listed at the top - for say a SQL server it will have SQL Management Studio, SQL Configuration, Powershell, SSDS Editor, whatever make sense. Or a domain control - AD Users and COmputers, GPO Editor, etc. All at the top/first screen, so no scrolling through tons of junk to get the program you need. It's quite clean and effective. No Windows Store or any of that crap on top.

 I have my Windows 10 machines set up the same way. Couple of groups in the start menu, one for Electronics programs like KiCad, Arduino IDE, etc, one for Office apps like Word and Excel, one for model railroad apps like the CAD I use there and JMRI. My main multipurpose desktop also has a games section with all my games.  The workbench computer has no discrete graphics card so I don;t bother with games.

 Being suitable for a touchscreen does not make it unsuitable for clicking with a mouse. Touchscreens are fine for small devices like tablets and phones, easy enough to wipe off the fingerprints but a touch screen PC? Not for me, I don't see the point. Other than my laptop, I don't sit close enough to the screen to make reaching out and fingerprinting it all the comfortable, anyway.

 

Offline james_s

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Re: Windows is getting disgusting
« Reply #587 on: January 30, 2017, 08:39:56 pm »
The UI in 10 just looks cheap to me, and I'm forced to use it at work so I've spent quite a bit of time with it. The bright white everywhere and lack of anything separating visual elements gives me a headache. Windows 7 had a beautiful luxurious feeling interface and overall quite good consistency throughout the OS. 10 on the other hand feels like a disjointed mix of mobile-oriented design and vestiges of earlier versions of Windows. The whole UI is very bland and takes minimalism to an extreme, even Windows 3.0 made it easy to differentiate clickable controls and links from static text. It had more customization options in terms of UI colors too, in Win10 I can only pick one color to use as the highlight color.
 

Offline rrinker

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Re: Windows is getting disgusting
« Reply #588 on: January 30, 2017, 08:47:42 pm »
 You realize you can change the color scheme and get rid of the bright white, right? I don't think I used the default scheme in ANY Windows, even the oh so vaunted XP.  And now (as in the recent 6 months or so) bright white screens are really a problem for me, so I use a different scheme which keeps the bright white stuff to a minimum. At the very least - Personalize, Colors, Dark (insteadof the default Light). There is also an option to show the colors in title bars, so you don;t have that blank space and the whole "where to I click to drag this window" thing going on.
 What's funny is this whole 'flat' UI, which I'm not a big fan of, started with Apple and when Apple did it, everyone called it so new and refreshing and awesome. Microsoft does the same thing and "what crap!"


« Last Edit: January 30, 2017, 08:49:44 pm by rrinker »
 

Offline james_s

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Re: Windows is getting disgusting
« Reply #589 on: January 30, 2017, 09:58:34 pm »
Yes I'm aware you can change that one color, to another single color. I've spent plenty of time messing around with the few customization options it has, I'm not a new computer user, I've been using Windows since 3.0 on a 286. I finally found Windowblinds from Stardock which makes it much nicer, still not as nice as Win7 but it's better. The default color scheme for XP was absolutely hideous, almost everybody set it to the windows classic scheme. Windows 2000 had a rather nice out of box experience, and 7 was pretty good too, calc, wordpad and mspaint were crap but the versions from XP or Vista work fine in 7.

I'm still irritated with Apple for screwing up iOS with that flat crap, so not "everyone" called it refreshing. In fact there was quite a substantial amount of backlash but Apple doesn't care. The difference is that Apple has a small but very fanatical group of followers who will put up with almost anything. Microsoft for the most part does not. Very few people are fanatical about Microsoft, we just use it because so much software is written for it. In my case I kept my iphone because the other option, Android also has a flat crappy UI so I have little option there.
 

Offline Cerebus

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Re: Windows is getting disgusting
« Reply #590 on: January 31, 2017, 01:39:07 am »
Though moving to Mac is not a great option either.  They do the same thing MS does, but with an even shorter lifecycle.

Not really true, I'm typing this on a desktop running OS X 10.6.8 (introduced Aug 2009) which got its last update in September 2014 and it's only just now that I'm beginning to run into problems with applications not getting updates that they probably need (Only actually 1 so far, Firefox). That's an introduction about the same time as Windows 7 which left mainstream support in Jan 2015; so the actual practical effects on the ground are pretty much similar.
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Offline rrinker

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Re: Windows is getting disgusting
« Reply #591 on: January 31, 2017, 03:40:48 pm »
 Sometimes I think it would be better if using a computer and the internet was hard, like it was 20 years ago.

 It's really because of the general lack of competence that MS and others have gone to such extremes to make sure people use up to date software - the biggest security hole next to social engineering stuff is unpatched software. I and many others here are quite capable of keeping our systems up to date without any forced stuff, but consider the general population of computer users - the people who are lucky to know even where the power switch is. And the equally incompetent "professionals" who give my profession a bad name who also fail to ever update systems. Most of those have passed lots of certification tests, too. Which is why I refuse to do it, I don't want to be associated with such people.

 Personal case - years ago, when everyone's IIS based web site got taken over and replaced with "Hacked by Chinese" and also there was a SQL Server issue around the same time - maybe the Slammer worm. At that time I still ran all sorts of servers at home, including a web server and database server. The vulnerability that allowed the IIS hack had been patched for nearly a YEAR by the time the attac actually happened - I watched my logs get hot after hit trying to infect my server to no avail because mine was patched. Same with my SQL Server, that vulnerability too was patched long before the outbreak - some simple patching and it would have been a nothing event, instead all these servers all over the world got hit with this crap.

 So, if the end user won't bother to figure out how to keep their systems up to date - who will? Even if my systems don't get compromised, massive attacks still affect me. So, all defaults are now the heck with it, install the patches and consequences be damned.

 Microsoft sucks because there are security problems. Mostly caused by unpatched operating systems. Microsoft more or less forces the OS to be patches, Microsoft still sucks. Make up your minds.

 

Offline james_s

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Re: Windows is getting disgusting
« Reply #592 on: January 31, 2017, 04:29:05 pm »
The forced updates are not really about security, that's just smoke & mirrors. The real goal is to give them control, software doesn't wear out and the more mature these products become, the harder it is for companies to introduce compelling new features that will get people to go out and buy new versions. Microsoft is trying to slowly nudge everyone over to their walled garden and subscription services and the strategy is to get everyone onto an operating system that they have control of, then they can gradually keep adding new ways to monetize the OS and promote their own products and services. Gradually degrade the "legacy" software experience in a futile attempt to push people over to their UWP apps. If they really were concerned about security they would force out security updates only but MS is desperate, they themselves were spreading FUD about their own older but still-supported products. They didn't give Win10 away for free out of the goodness of their hearts, it's a trojan horse to sneak their SAAS wares into your life.
 

Offline Monkeh

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Re: Windows is getting disgusting
« Reply #593 on: January 31, 2017, 04:45:36 pm »
Microsoft sucks because there are security problems. Mostly caused by unpatched operating systems. Microsoft more or less forces the OS to be patches, Microsoft still sucks. Make up your minds.

Security issues aren't the only reason they suck.

I did a nice, fresh install of 7 on a new SSD the other day, went to copy everything off the old one so I could format it. Oh, look, explorer.. locks up copying a file. Not because there's something wrong with the file, or the SSD, or the filesystem, but because there's something wrong with explorer. It's a simple enough task, but it can't handle it.

Clone drive into proper system, mount filesystem, proceed to copy files over the network. Slower, but somehow it doesn't choke on that! ... it does, however, suddenly choke because some of the files, once you add a whole seven characters to the path for my copy destination, exceed the 260 character path limit ::)

Which century are we in again?
 

Offline eugenenine

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Re: Windows is getting disgusting
« Reply #594 on: January 31, 2017, 05:21:25 pm »
Its more about poor design.  The updates should be able to be applied without restarting the system.  We should be able to completely remove un-necessary software therefore negating the need to patch it.  But we can't remove the crap thats forced with the OS and we have to patch it and the os needs restarted completely to patch it.

If the Os were modular so that we could remove the components we don't want or patch and just reload the components we do want then it wouldn't have been an issue in the first place.
 

Offline gnif

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Re: Windows is getting disgusting
« Reply #595 on: February 01, 2017, 03:55:30 am »
"Windows is getting disgusting"??

I think you meant

"Windows is getting more disgusting"
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Offline madires

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Re: Windows is getting disgusting
« Reply #596 on: February 01, 2017, 11:29:49 am »
For me personally Win10 crossed the red line. And it might be illegal for companies to run Win10 in Germany, because the data collection violates two laws protecting employees and customers. There are discussions about that in different organizations at the moment. We take this very seriously, especially in case of privacy sensitive industries like health care.
 

Offline cde

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Re: Windows is getting disgusting
« Reply #597 on: February 01, 2017, 09:08:58 pm »
For me personally Win10 crossed the red line. And it might be illegal for companies to run Win10 in Germany, because the data collection violates two laws protecting employees and customers. There are discussions about that in different organizations at the moment. We take this very seriously, especially in case of privacy sensitive industries like health care.

I feel the same. However I need Windows 10 for various tasks, so let me share what I found to limit to a maximum what is sent to the network:

- install the Enterprise LTSB version. The LTSB removes a lot of cruft: Cortana, the Store, a lot of bundled apps (such as Skype, ...).

This version is available from MSDN. You will need to activate it with your company's KMS server. Note the trial version Microsoft offers can't be activated directely with your company's KMS (you need the VL version instead).

- disable telemetry:

Code: [Select]
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\DataCollection]
"AllowTelemetry"=dword:00000000

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\DiagTrack]
"Start"=dword:00000004

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\dmwappushservice]
"Start"=dword:00000004

- disable Cortana (required on non-LTSB versions):

Code: [Select]
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Windows Search]
"AllowCortana"=dword:00000000

- disable OneDrive: run as admin

Code: [Select]
taskkill /f /im OneDrive.exe
C:\Windows\SysWOW64\OneDriveSetup.exe /uninstall

And to remove it from the Explorer:

Code: [Select]
[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{018D5C66-4533-4307-9B53-224DE2ED1FE6}]
"System.IsPinnedToNameSpaceTree"=dword:00000000

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\WOW6432Node\CLSID\{018D5C66-4533-4307-9B53-224DE2ED1FE6}]
"System.IsPinnedToNameSpaceTree"=dword:00000000

- block login.live.com by adding the following line to C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts:

Code: [Select]
127.0.0.1 login.live.com
This is unfortunately the only way I found to block those connections.

- disable Network Location Awareness (queries to www.msftncsi.com):

Code: [Select]
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\NlaSvc]
"Start"=dword:00000004

Note the Windows 7 "EnableActiveProbing" registry key seems to no longer work...

- disable the Delivery Optimization service (queries to geo-prod.do.dsp.mp.microsoft.com):

Code: [Select]
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\DoSvc]
"Start"=dword:00000004

This service is only required for peer to peer sharing of updates.

- disable the font caching service (queries to fs.microsoft.com):

Code: [Select]
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\FontCache]
"Start"=dword:00000004

- optionally disable Windows Defender (or keep it if you need an anti-virus):

Code: [Select]
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows Defender]
"DisableAntiSpyware"=dword:00000001

- replace time.windows.com with your favourite NTP server:

Code: [Select]
[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\DateTime\Servers]

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\DateTime\Servers]
@="0"
"0"="1.pool.ntp.org"

- optionally disable Windows Update if you prefer to install updates manually and retain control of your computer:

Code: [Select]
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate]
"DisableWindowsUpdateAccess"=dword:00000001
"DoNotConnectToWindowsUpdateInternetLocations"=dword:00000001

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\BITS]
"Start"=dword:00000004

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\wuauserv]
"Start"=dword:00000004

- setup a GPO to block Internet from certain Windows components:

Run gpedit.msc, go to Computer Configuration => Administrative Templates => System => Internet Communication Management => Restrict Internet communication, set it to Enabled.

However under "Internet Communication Settings" you may want to keep "Turn off Automatic Root Certificate Update" Disabled so that Windows can update its root certificates. Similarly if you need Windows Update, make sure to set "Turn off access to all Windows Update features" to Disabled.

Also you may have to manually set "Turn off access to the Store" to Enabled, as this setting seems unaffected by the global "Restrict Internet communication" setting above.

- optionally disable SmartScreen (however like Windows Defender, it can be useful):

Code: [Select]
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer]
"SmartScreenEnabled"="Off"

- disable the useless lock screen (not privacy-related):

Code: [Select]
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Personalization]
"NoLockScreen"=dword:00000001

I should also make a post at how to configure Firefox to have a good level of privacy. There are a surprisingly large number of parameters that must be tweaked.
 

Offline cde

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Re: Windows is getting disgusting
« Reply #598 on: February 01, 2017, 09:28:48 pm »
MS pretty much broke Windows updates on Windows 7, so they now provide monthly (in)convenience rollup packages that you have to know about which do dramatically speed up the process. If you don't know about them, it'll take of the oreder of days to install as you discovered.

I looked into this for a collegue, and it boils down to installing KB3020369 then KB3172605 before hitting Windows Update, then all updates can be installed in less than an hour (faster if you install KB3125574 beforehand). Others have reported success with KB3102810 too. Also for some weird reason, you need at least two logical CPUs (in particular if you use Windows 7 in a VM) otherwise the service will hang.
 

Offline Howardlong

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Re: Windows is getting disgusting
« Reply #599 on: February 02, 2017, 07:04:34 pm »
Well despite the negative tone of this thread, I have some reasonably good news. I switched off the auto update by disabling the service a few days ago, and many annoyances, particularly when coming out of sleep, have disappeared.

These include, but are not limited to, (a) increasingly I'd find that the machine was non-responsive and would not come out of sleep needing a cold reboot; (b) windows were re-sized while in sleep; (c) my incremental backups sometimes stopped working incrementally and went to full backups.
 


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