Vol. 21, #43 - October 24, 2016 - Issue #1103

Reader Feedback: Catching up on Windows 10

Editor's Corner

We received tons of feedback in response to our recent Issue #1101 Catching up on Windows 10 in which we covered ten different topics relating to Windows 10. As a result we're devoting this present issue of WServerNews to hearing what you, our almost 100,000 IT pro subscribers around the world, have to say about the good, the bad, and the ugly concerning the new platform.
Many of you have deployed Windows 10 but some of you are planning on holding back from deploying it, perhaps indefinitely. As the Pointy-haired Boss says in the this Dilbert comic, "Don't hold back anything."


Don't worry, we don't react like that when we read the feedback you send us ;-)

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]

Windows 10 annoyance - file recovery features

Several readers have expressed to us what annoys them most about the new platform, some politely and others. One reader named Alan Klietz even decided to take matters into his own hand by writing a tool to make up for functionality he believes is lacking in Windows 10:

Windows 7 had a perfectly good system for recovering deleted files called Previous File Versions.  You right-click on the folder in Windows Explorer and select 'Restore previous versions' and off you go. But now in Windows 10 you have to use something called 'File History' which basically mimics Apple's Time Machine.  Now, lots of people dislike File History (Google it and see).  File History requires a continuous connection to an external backup device (e.g., USB stick) or network, has a clumsy UI, and you have to opt-in.  As a system admin it's useless.
Also, Windows 7 had System Image Backup, which worked great.  A System Image Backup was a snapshot of the C: disk stored in a VHD file that could be restored from bare metal.  In Windows 10 it was deprecated and replaced with 'Restore My PC', which is fine if you want to go all the way back to the beginning, but is otherwise useless.
And Windows 7 created a daily System Restore Point at midnight automatically.  That's also gone in Windows 10.
Out of frustration I ended up writing a utility that to bring back all of these nice file recovery features from Windows 7 that I missed so much.   I added a modern UI to it and announced it yesterday as U-Recover for Windows Previous File Versions ($19.95 - $24.95 USD). U-Recover is a swiss army knife utility for Previous File Versions, System Image Backup, and System Restore Points. It puts all those Windows 7 features back in Windows 10.

Interested readers can obtain Alan's U-Recover tool here:


Windows 10 annoyance - Wake/sleep problems

Getting Windows 10 machines to go to sleep properly and then wake up appropriate seems to also be something that's been bringing frustration to some users--including myself with one of my HP laptops as I reported previously in this newsletter. For example, David the Director/Partner of an engineering services company in the UK says:

Surface Book unable to awaken from sleep -- this has occurred on and off since we purchased it back in April. Have spent many hours hanging on a phone trying to get some sense from Microsoft -- at their request have re-installed the OS twice and many driver re-installs but since the anniversary update it has got much worse -- irrespective of how the power/sleep settings are configured it becomes unresponsive after about 2 hours and has to be hard reset -- this can, and does, happen several times a day -- all it needs is to be left switched on and unattended for a couple of hours. If anyone has any ideas for a cure we'd be very grateful to hear them.

Another reader named Rick expressed his frustration with Windows 10 wake/sleep functionality as follows:

As you asked for what annoys the users of Windows 10, one thing sure is the wake-up functionality of Windows. Or rather the fact that Windows decides when to wake up the computer for some updates. In the middle of the night. It seems to have improved now that I changed some power settings telling never to wake up the computer unless *I* tell it to, but I am not yet sure everything has been resolved. Waking the computer to update it on its own might be only a minor annoyance if it would put the thing to sleep again, instead of keeping it running indefinitely (yes, I can set the computer to go to sleep after x time, but for different reasons I do not want to do that). It feels I am no longer in control over my PC.

Are other readers experiencing similar problems with Windows 10? Let us know by emailing us at [email protected]


Windows 10 annoyance - Lack of control over updating

David the Director/Partner of an engineering services company in the UK whom we heard from earlier also expressed his frustration with the lack of control Windows 10 provides users with regard to keeping their systems updated:

The other irritation is the lack of control over update restarts -- we need to control when a reboot occurs, not someone at Microsoft. As an aside, after the anniversary update installed it took Office365 48 hours to resynchronise Outlook. Again, lots of time wasted calling Microsoft but no help was forthcoming, eventually it reset itself all on its own. For us, W7 is far more productive than W10. So why would we want to change?

Another reader named Phil who does IT for a small business expressed similar concerns over the lack of control Windows 10 provides for managing how updates are applied: 

We're a small business and have a domain setup, we upgraded about 8 windows PCs to windows 10. It has been a mixed experience. We had one program that wouldn't work on windows 10 so we tried to downgrade back to 7, that completely failed so we had to do a clean install of the PC. I'd recommend to anyone in a business keep at least one PC on 7, so you have them as a backup to run any legacy programs on.
But the main issue is Windows Update. We can't control how and when we install updates, so Windows 10 will just start updating and badly affect the internet speed and PC performance,  which affects our productivity and also causes immense frustration to users!  On a laptop, when we connected to a mobile phone wi-fi hotspot the laptop just started updating and chewed up lots of bandwidth. On another PC the update obviously had an issue, and then when windows 10 updated, it failed and then went into a loop installing and then rolling back the updates, we'd disable Windows Update, but after a week or so it would turn itself back on, it was really painful!  Why can't Microsoft allow us to control how and when Windows 10 does updates and to switch it off if we want to?

As I've described previously in this newsletter, on several of our Windows 10 machines we've simply used Services.msc to set Startup to Disabled for Windows Update Service. Then once a month we have an Outlook reminder to google whether the latest set of Windows 10 updates that were released have been causing any widespread problems for users that applied them. If nothing worrysome is found in the discussion boards, then we manually set the Windows Update Service to Enabled on these systems, start Windows Update on them, and go home for the weekend.

Anyways, that's our own smallbusiness method for handling this problem. What do you do in your company or organization? Email us at [email protected]


Windows 10 annoyances - Windows Defender stalling

Howard from Brazil expressed his annoyance concerning the following issue he's been experiencing with Windows Defender:

I have a client with a Windows 10 Dell laptop with the latest updates. Windows defender scans to about 80 percent and stops with an error, something to do with unable to scan history files.  No error numbers.  I have done a thoroughly cleaning (the machine arrived because of a common Brazilian banking trojan issue).  I have looked at the Defender directory structure and saw no permission issues.  I have done DISM steps, CHKDSK and completely restored the machine's performance and everything works as expected except this program.  Microsoft makes many recommendations including System restore - there are no past restore points, the malware took care of that.  I could also do a Reset, but I do not have the client's software - mostly pirate anyway.  I disabled Defender and installed Free Avast (Portuguese, of course)  and the client is happy.  I am dismayed there is no uninstall or repair for Defender.

Have any readers experienced similar problems with Defender stalling? Found a solution? Email us at [email protected]

Windows 10 annoyances - Start menu customizations

Start menu customizations being undone is another issues many readers have complained about. A reader named Susan says:

Sadly, there's plenty to complain about.  I started messing with Windows 10 when it was still in Beta mode and generally liked it.  We started rolling it out here at work last year after the 1511 update rolled out.  Generally with great success.  The users liked the interface and found it much easier to use than the Windows 8 or 8.1 operating system.  With the 1607 update, I've gotten beyond annoyed, to downright angry.  My understanding of Microsoft OS releases is that they generally leave the interface alone unless they do a major upgrade.  Such as Windows 7, Windows 8 and 8.1.  With these yearly updates now, Microsoft seems to think it's ok just to arbitrarily change things, because they think it's a great idea.
First, like you complained, all the Start menu customizations I made were gone.  Also the crap programs, that really have no place in the Enterprise version of the operating system to begin with, have reappeared after I took so much time to remove them.  I'm sorry Microsoft, my users don't need access to Candy Crush and whatever other crap program you deem important enough to place on my machine without my permission.  So now, with every new "anniversary" update, I can possibly look forward to the software reappearing.  As a fix, it took a bit of searching, but I found a registry hack and a group policy that blocks these apps:


Cortana, you used to be able to turn that off without a problem.  Microsoft removed the off switch in 1607.  Now, the only way to get rid of it is through a registry hack that I very quickly found


Notification area or icons on the taskbar.This one was stupid anyway.  It used to be two clicks to change the icons in the notification area and they moved it so it took like five clicks.  Same with changing the desktop wallpaper.  Anyway, this used to be under Action Center > All Settings > System > Notifications and Actions.  They moved it, much to my irritation to Action Center > All Settings > Personalization > Taskbar. I've received a few calls from people wanting to make changes that could no longer find it.
Don't get me wrong.  I still like Windows 10 for the most part.  I just wish Microsoft would think about their users before making changes that affect their computers based on their whim of the day.

Susan then later emailed us the following technews tidbit as a follow-up to her earlier complaint:

But going with your article about things Microsoft has done with Windows 10 that irritate the users:


I saw this bit and was doing the happy dance:
"In another move to give users a bit more control, apps that came pre-installed with Windows 10 but have been uninstalled by users or deprovisioned by an IT admin will now not be reinstalled by future upgrades."

Who says Microsoft doesn't listen? (If enough people complain loudly enough.)
Another reader named Jason commented on the Windows 10 Start menu as follows:

Just wanted to share that after I installed the anniversary update recently and I am unable to click on any of the settings option after searching for it on the Windows Start Menu. It was working prior to all the updates done. For example, when I open the Windows Start Menu at the bottom left of my screen, after I key in check for updates, the search comes up successfully but I am unable to click on it to bring me to the Windows Update page. This applies to all the options related to Settings. I have no issues with Application searches. When I go to the general Settings app page, I am unable to utilize the search bar with the following error message: "Search results aren't quite ready yet, but we're working on getting them together. Try again in a few minutes.
The worst part of it? You can't uninstall the anniversary update and because it's a new installation, I am unable to roll back as I did not set a restore point prior to running all the Windows 10 updates.

Have any other readers been experiencing similar issues with Anniversary Update? Found a workaround or solution? Email us at [email protected]

Breaking News: Just before we filed this issue of WServerNews this same reader Jason emailed us that he has found a solution as follows:

Thanks for the email. Just giving a quick update that I found the solution for it. Apparently Windows somehow installed a 2nd English Language onto the Window 10. After locating it and removal, it works now.

Totally weird, eh? But something to keep in mind...


Windows 10 annoyances - Low on memory error

Issue #1101 Catching up on Windows 10 I also mentioned an error message I was getting from time to time that just didn't make any sense:


It turns out I'm not the only person who has been experiencing this problem. A reader named Logan says:

Same problem here. I am using an i7 processor with 16 GB of memory. Many times that I leave my system in a locked state overnight I get this error the next morning after I unlock the system. I reboot my system and think, what a waste of time.

Any other readers experiencing this issue? Any ideas why or how to fix? Email us at [email protected]

Windows 10 annoyances - Mandatory profiles

We also pointed readers to a resource about mandatory profiles in Issue #1101 Catching up on Windows 10 and in response to this a reader named Mark who works in Endpoint Management Services at a university in the USA says:

I just wanted to give you a quick bit of feedback about your section on Mandatory Profiles in the latest newsletter.  Years ago we found that both Mandatory Profiles and the Guest Group options in Windows were lacking for lab/kiosk scenarios.  Mandatory Profiles are network dependent which can slow login times or fail to work for laptops.  The Guest Group used to reliably delete the user profile on logout, but Microsoft seems to have broken that functionality with Windows 10 and Adobe specifically looks for it during licensing and will fail to active the license for any account in the Guest Group so that was out.  In response, we wrote our own service in C3 that comes in at around 30kb which constantly watches logins and logouts so that it can delete profiles when it sees a person logout.  Every user login is a new user login, except administrator accounts which we placed in the config files as execeptions to the deletion policy. This method still works like a champ on Windows 10.

Fascination solution to a frustrating problem with Windows 10, thanks. If any readers out there would like me to put them in touch with Mark for more info, let me know: [email protected]


Windows 10 - Just hold off for now

Finally, here's what Aaron, the IT Manager for a mid-sized company in the USA, has to say concerning moving to Windows 10:

We have about 50 seats and have currently deployed "Zero" Windows 10 systems.  All 50 seats are doing an excellent job running Windows 7 Pro in a fully configured (and utilized) Active Directory environment.
No plan to move to Windows 10 -- what little testing/experience I have had with it tells me it will be far too big of a time and resource vacuum when our investment in Windows 7 is just now paying off (in the last few years).  I would gladly pay for extended support life for 7 over ever moving to 10.  Nothing I've read (or seen) has convinced me Windows 10 is a good migration step.
Microsoft's OS deployment strategy and changes with Windows 10 have also encouraged us (more than ever) to pursue other OS solutions (Apple, Google, Linux).  Also, the current trend in new IT hardware is a much higher percentage shift towards tablet/phone/handheld device use (which Microsoft is not a front-runner).
Keep up the great newsletters and content Mitch (and team)!

Thanks! --Mitch (and team)

Send us your feedback

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

Recommended for Learning

From the Microsoft Press blog:

New book: Exam Ref 70-339 Managing Microsoft SharePoint Server 2016

Prepare for Microsoft Exam 70-339—and help demonstrate your real-world mastery of planning, configuring, and managing Microsoft SharePoint 2016 core technologies in datacenters, in the cloud, and in hybrid environments. Designed for experienced IT pros ready to advance their status, this Exam Ref focuses on the critical-thinking and decision-making acumen needed for success at the MCSE level.


Microsoft Virtual Academy

Managing Authentication Using Microsoft Passport    

IT Pros, if you’re exploring enterprise security, don’t miss this look at Microsoft Passport, which provides two-factor authentication infrastructure that integrates with Windows Hello and attempts to replace or augment user passwords for devices, organizational systems, and applications.  Watch here.



Quote of the Week

"Home computers are being called upon to perform many new functions, including the consumption of homework formerly eaten by the dog." --Doug Larson

Until next week,
Mitch Tulloch

Note to subscribers: If for some reason you don't receive your weekly issue of this newsletter, please notify us at [email protected] and we'll try to troubleshoot things from our end.

Admin Toolbox

Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without

GOT ADMIN TOOLS or other software/hardware you'd like to recommend? Email us at [email protected]

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Learn more about VMware’s new Multi-Cloud Architecture based on Hyper-Converged Infrastructures with VMware Virtual SAN. Join Veeam Live episode with Rawlinson Rivera, Office of the CTO at VMware


U-Recover brings back your favorite Microsoft Windows 7 file protection and recovery features on Windows 10:


SysTrack is a free migration assessment tool from VMware that simplifies your first step towards a modern and secure Windows 10 environment:


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This Week's Tips

GOT TIPS you'd like to share with other readers? Email us at [email protected]

Microsoft Outlook - Productivity tip

I rely upon email heavily for doing my work, especially this newsletter. But in order to write about technical subjects I also need to avoid being interrupted by non-urgent matters. So for instance, I don't use any chat apps and I leave my cellphone in the closet outside my main office when I'm at work.

Microsoft Outlook however is always open on my work PCs, so how can I avoid being distracted by incoming emails? Simple: I leave the Work Offline feature turned on in Outlook:



What's nice with Outlook is that I can leave it in Working Offline mode all the time but still check for incoming email periodically by clicking Send/Receive All Folders in the ribbon. So when I notice I'm getting tired from sitting at my desk, I click Send/Receive and get up for 2-3 minutes stretching or walking around. Then when I sit back down I scan for any urgent emails that might have appeared in my Inbox, and if there's nothing that needs my attention I get back to uninterrupted work.

Do any of you readers out there have your own Outlook productivity tips they'd like to share with other readers? Email us at [email protected]

Windows 10 - Games

Yes, even IT pros need to have fun with their computers from time to time. Plus they need to keep their users happy so they don't rise up in a kind of zombie apocalypse. Check out the following post by Anthony Kinsey in the Microsoft Answers Community:

Top Feedback on Microsoft’s Casual Games in Windows 10


Windows 10 - Adding a guest account

TenForums has an interesting post about how you can add a guest account in Windows 10 even though "the" Guest account is no longer valid in Windows 10:



Events Calendar

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.


Add Your Event

PLANNING A CONFERENCE OR OTHER EVENT you'd like to tell our 100,000 subscribers about? Contact [email protected]

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Q&A: StorageIO's Greg Schulz on when to implement ultra-dense storage (Dell)


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Windows 10

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WServerNews - Product of the Week


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.