Vol. 21, #49 - December 12, 2016 - Issue #1110


More hope for Windows 10

Editor's Corner

Last week we tried to focus on some of the positives of Windows 10 with a guest editorial by a reader named Pete from the Midwestern USA who shared his story of a successful large-scale Windows 10 deployment. This week's issue of WServerNews will continue along in this vein with another guest editorial that takes a basically favorable (though qualified) view of Windows 10 deployment for enterprise environments written by James Rankin, a Solutions Architect based in the UK. We also have the usual tips, tools, and other need-to-know stuff for IT pros.

But first a heads-up: next week will be our annual Crystal Ball issue where we offer our predictions on some of the tech trends we expect to see coming in 2017 (see the 2015 and 2014 for past Crystal Ball issues of our newsletter) and the difference this year is that WE WANT YOU our almost 100,000 IT pro readers to help us put together some tech industry predictions for 2017. What trends or changes do you think will happen to our industry in the coming year? Send us your thoughts about anything you think might be ahead for cloud computing, Windows Server, Windows 10, mobile computing, security and privacy, storage technologies, networking technologies, or anything else you feel might significantly impact our jobs or work as IT pros, IT managers, consultants, newbie sysadmins who are just getting their feet wet, or retired old geeks who still like to tinker around. Email your predictions to [email protected] before Wednesday December 14th and we'll consider them for inclusion in our WServerNews Crystal Ball 2016 Edition newsletter! And your predictions can be serious, semi-serious, or just downright ridiculous as you please!

But remember, as this Dilbert comic strip shows, sometimes predictions can become self-fulfilling:


Ask Our Readers - Win10 resetting file associations (more responses)

Back in Issue #1106 Waiting for Godot 2016 a reader named Roy told us he had been experiencing the following annoyance with Windows 10:

I sub-titled the subject line "Beyond Annoyance" because this is "Big Brother" at its worst.  Windows 10 continually resets file associations to its own programs no matter how many times I set them back to my original settings.  For example I have PDF files associated with Adobe Acrobat but Windows 10 keeps resetting the file association to the Edge Browser!  This is but one example.  There are many other file types that Windows 10 keeps forcibly resetting to its own programs.  I need a way to stop this heavy-handed approach that MS has instituted to forcibly point file associations to their software. P.S.  I googled the problem and tried the registry changes mentioned, but MS still changes my file associations.  Does anyone have a real fix for this MS insanity?

We've already published some responses to this issue and here's another one that we received from a reader named Todd:

Regarding the file association problem in Windows 10, it is being reported by many users (including me) that some updates will reset file associations back to the default MS apps. One solution that has been helpful for some users is to remove the MS apps (tutorials are available for this, though they are relatively technical). In any case, the apps will likely be reinstalled with the next build update, so it's not a permanent solution.
Yes, it's annoying, intrusive, and a clear case of MS forcing people into something that they clearly do not want, but it's not a bug. MS wants to take every opportunity to get people using their apps. They are using these apps to collect valuable user data, and the more people that use them, the more valuable the collection becomes. We are lucky that they still let us change the associations at all!
It's possible to work around the issue, by backing up and restoring the associations. There's a tutorial for it on tenforums here:


Another reader named Chad offered the following from his own experience:

Writing in to comment on the new behavior in Win 10 where it resets your default applications to the Windows based apps. We had an issue where the previous administrator had pushed registry keys via GPO to set the default PDF reader. Starting with Windows 10, it seems these registry keys no longer work. However, instead of giving an error message, it simply reset the default app at every login. Removing the keys and changing the GPO to not apply to Win 10 machines solved the problem.

Ask Our Readers - Problem with Network Discovery and File and Printer Sharing in Windows 10 Professional (one response)

A reader named Dayman sent us the following he's been having trouble with:

Hi guys, I have been chasing this problem since I upgraded various Laptops to Windows 10 Pro: It is impossible to get 'network discovery' and 'file and printer sharing' to remain on. I have tried lots of different suggested remedies to this issue, but none seem to work. I can access my 'shares' on different machines only by using their IP address, but if I try and use their network name, it just states that 'Network discovery is turned off'? I have noticed that this problem is not evident on Windows 10 home, it seems 'network discovery' and 'file and printer sharing' are on by default. Does anyone have a definitive fix for this?

Jim from Kentucky, USA offered the following suggestion:

Ensure that the following services are set to "automatic" and are running.
• DNS Client
• Function Discovery Resource Publication
• SSDP Discovery
• UPnP Device Host
Also verify network connection type is "domain" or "private".


Ask Our Readers: File Explorer hangs when creating a new folder (more responses)

Back in Issue #1105 Should IT pros be licensed? we included the following question from a reader named Tom along with several reader responses concerning the problem:

I have an issue when I have an File Explorer window open on drives in Windows 10 when telling it to create a new folder (and sometimes when re-naming) -- Explorer will hang for 1 to 4 minutes while trying to create it -- It says Non-Responding in the title bar -- then eventually it creates it. Sometimes it creates a "New Folder" folder name and not the name I told it to use. Does not matter how many Explorer windows are open -- the one being used to create a new folder just hangs for some reason. I have each Explorer in its own process.

Charley, an IT Program Manager for Cisco Systems, has offered another suggestion for Tom concerning this issue:

I also had this issue when right clicking and trying to create a folder. This resolution worked for me:
Back up Registry Hive at: [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\Background\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers]
Delete all folder except the following:

Another reader (a Microsoft MVP) pointed out to me that Microsoft seems to be aware of this issue and has described a temporary workaround in the following KB article which you can use until they can fix the problem:


Ask Our Readers - Slow network access times on Netapp filer with Windows 10 (another response)

Two weeks ago we included this question sent to us by Steffen from Germany:

We are evaluating W10 in the IT team. We are experiencing slow network access times on our Netapp Filer, while Win7 does good on same hardware. Locally we are using all flash drives for OS Disk. No spindles around anymore.

We included a detailed response for this from one of our readers in last week's newsletter, but since then we've received another even more comprehensive response from a UK reader named Nigel:

Think this will be to do with SMB/CIFS -- Windows 10, I think, uses SMB version 3 so the version of OnTap used needs to support this. A couple of commands (used to be available but this was a couple of years ago) on the NetApp that you may need to experiment with (in conjunction with enabling/disabling SMB options in Windows 10) are:
cifs.smb2.enable is ON meaning this option enables SMB 2.0 support on the Filer. When this option is enabled, the Filer uses SMB 2.0 with a Windows client, if the client supports SMB 2.0. When this option is disabled, the Filer will not accept any new SMB 2.0 sessions; existing sessions are not terminated.
cifs.smb2.client.enable is OFF meaning this option enables SMB 2.0 client capability on the Filer. When this option is enabled, Filer-initiated connections to Windows servers use the SMB 2.0 protocol. If the Windows server does not support the SMB 2.0 protocol, the Filer uses SMB 1.0. If a session was established over SMB 2.0 and then this option is disabled, existing sessions are not terminated. The Filer continues to use SMB 2.0 for the existing sessions; new sessions do not use SMB 2.0.

For example:

• Enabling or disabling SMB 2.x - SMB 2.0 is the minimum SMB version that supports LIF failover. If you disable SMB 2.x, Data ONTAP also automatically disables SMB 3.0. This option is supported only on Vservers with FlexVol volumes. The option is enabled by default on Vservers with FlexVol volumes, and disabled by default on Vservers with Infinite Volume.
• Enabling or disabling SMB 3.0 - SMB 3.0 is the minimum SMB version that supports continuously available shares. Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8 are the minimum Windows versions to support SMB 3.0. This option is supported only on Vservers with FlexVol volumes. The option is enabled by default on Vservers with FlexVol volumes, and disabled by default on Vservers with Infinite Volume.

Ask Our Readers: WServerNews has almost 100,000 subscribers worldwide. That's a lot of expertise to tap into. Do you need help with some issue or need advice on something IT-related? Got a question you'd like us to toss out to our readers to try and answer? Email us at [email protected]

And now on to our guest editorial by James Rankin…


More hope for Windows 10

I read with interest your latest post about Windows 10 and people with positive experiences. I've done about five Windows 10 deployments so far and I have to say the experience has improved -- but it still isn't at the stage of management and usability that Windows 7 was at, IMO.

For me, the biggest hump in the road with Windows 10 is moving to a "rolling update" cadence that could essentially bring two full OS upgrades in an 18-month period. Even on LTSB, there are newer features available in each yearly release and to adopt these means an upgrade on an annual basis. Previously we could dedicate lots of planning and resource to OS upgrades as they happened every 2-6 years -- but now, they're coming along much more regularly.

It only takes one major-league screw-up in an upgrade for admins to go back to treating the "upgrade-in-place" mantra that Microsoft are preaching with utter disdain. So for me, the biggest question to ask for Windows 10 is -- do you wipe-and-reload, or allow the upgrade to proceed in place? Mostly, we've seen people (especially those with VDI) going down the wipe-and-reload route, for a number of reasons. But this means that to prevent end-user disruption you need to nail down a process for detaching your applications, data and user profile settings away from the OS so they can be easily preserved in the regular upgrades. At the minute, Microsoft's vision for this (SCCM, UE-V, Enterprise State Roaming and Desktop Bridge) isn't really doable for a lot of environments, especially those with a lot of legacy applications. So we've used a specific toolset to enable a smooth transition in the face of rapid "wipe and reload".

We use Cloudhouse, FSLogix Profile Containers, AppSense DataNow, a custom monitoring service and UniPrint as the "stack" for most of our customers to maintain a rapid migration even if it means a lot of reimaging. Obviously this isn't intended as any kind of endorsement, there are many technologies available in this area to enable this, but it's just an example of how we are adapting our delivery for Windows 10. What is central to this "stack" was a requirement for simplicity and sustainability. Applications and user settings are abstracted away to the network or even Azure, we use the DataNow agent to provide an invisible synchronization of data (even data that users store in odd places), and monitoring is done constantly to provide proactive visibility of changes to the end-user experience. We've seen a decrease in what are viewed as "upgrade failures" and some of our customers are henceforth viewing Windows 10 with a lot less skepticism than they did previously.
So just thought I'd share what is essentially a "middle of the road" experience with Windows 10. It's introduced more hurdles, but we've adapted our approach to compensate for this and now we have a process nailed-down that can scale to the rolling upgrade model that it brings. Obviously testing, planning and remediation is still required, but all we have to worry about now with feature upgrades is whether the applications work (and, naturally, Microsoft have done anything sneaky or removed a key feature that users depend on!)
[EDITOR'S NOTE: James has also written a helpful collection of blog posts about virtualizing, optimizing and managing Windows 10 and we've devoted our Tech Briefs section in this week's newsletter to highlighting these posts, so be sure to check them out!]

About James Rankin

James Rankin is an EUC consultant from north-east England, specialist in application and user virtualization, current CTA and ACA. I work for a solutions provider called HTG where we are very focused on transformation, cloud and mobility with an emphasis on simplicity and sustainability.

Check out his blog:


Follow James on Twitter:



Send us your feedback

Got feedback about anything in this issue of WServerNews? Email us at [email protected]


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Factoid of the Week

Last week's factoid and question was this:

Franz Kafka liked to exercise naked in front of the window. Do you know any other famous writers, artists, or scientists that had eccentricities comparable to Kafka's embarrassing habit?

We think that the most fascinating response we received concerning this factoid was the following from Simon who is an IT Portfolio Manager in the UK:

Hi Mitch, I think it's not quite correct to describe Kafka's exercise as 'embarrassing', certainly not from a European perspective; have a read here:


Some of the other interesting responses we got included this one from Frank, an IT Consultant in New Jersey, USA:

Tesla liked pigeons and did not like spherical objects like pearls.

Would his dislike be called orbisophobia?
And here's what a reader named Kevin sent us as his suggestions:

I was looking for the story that, when inventing the light bulb, Edison would not answer the door to his lab, so his housekeeper would leave food for him at the door. He would skip meals for entire days. HOWEVER, I found this story from Reader's Digest instead:


So, some of his inventions were "Hello", Portland Cement, (known to us commoners as plaster), the vacuum sealing process, and numbers 5 and 6... err.. really?
Not exactly what you were looking for, but…
For the current topic, how about Albert Einstein never wore socks? Apparently, he thought it a waste to wear both socks and shoes:



Actually the way I've heard this is that Einstein was reported to have said, "What good are socks? They only produce holes?"

Now let's move on to this week's factoid:

Fact: Toilet Duck, cellophane and the division sign (÷) were all invented in Switzerland

Question: What is the most unusual or unexpected invention of your own country?

Email us your answer: [email protected]

Until next week,
Mitch Tulloch

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This Week's Tips

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Prateek Singh has written a script that uses PowerShell to identify unsecure WiFi connections nearby you:


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North America

Microsoft Ignite Australia on February 14-17, 2017 at the Gold Coast Convention & Exhibition Centre, Broadbeach, QLD


Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) on July 9-13. 2017 in Washington, D.C.


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Tech Briefing

Windows 10

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Part 2 - Servicing Branches

Part 3 - Modern Apps

Part 4 - Telemetry

Part 5 - Start Menu

Part 6 - Roaming

Part 7 - Profiles

Part 8 - Optimization


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WServerNews - Editors

Mitch Tulloch is Senior Editor of WServerNews and is a widely recognized expert on Windows administration, deployment and virtualization. Mitch was lead author of the bestselling Windows 7 Resource Kit and has been author or series editor for almost fifty books mostly published by Microsoft Press. Mitch is also a ten-time recipient of Microsoft's Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award for his  outstanding contributions in support of the global IT pro community. Mitch owns and runs an information technology content development business based in Winnipeg, Canada. For more information see www.mtit.com.

Ingrid Tulloch is Associate Editor of WServerNews and was co-author of the Microsoft Encyclopedia of Networking from Microsoft Press. Ingrid is also manages research and marketing for our content development business and has co-developed university-level courses in Information Security Management for a Masters of Business Administration program.