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Monthly Archives: October 2019

  • Carboni: Jittery mouse when controlling Win10 version 1903 via RDP? There’s a solution.

    Posted on October 29th, 2019 at 09:41 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    From Noel Carboni:

    Have you seen a jittery mouse or black screen when controlling a Windows 10 v1903 or newer system via RDP?  I’ve discovered a workaround.

    When I upgraded my office computer to Windows 10 v1903 it created a new problem.  When I used my company’s VPN and RDP to control it remotely, the mouse would stutter or jitter.  RDPing into my office system is something I had been doing quite effectively and seamlessly when it was running Win 10 v1809, without any hint of such a problem.  The only thing that changed coincident with the introduction of the problem was the office system’s OS version.

    Based on observation, with Win 10 v1903, whenever a new graphic is loaded into the mouse cursor (e.g., the arrow changes to a finger or spinner or whatever) the cursor pointer is moved back to the position it was in where the change was requested by the controlled system.  This may not seem like a big deal, but trust me, while it does not leave the system completely unusable, when you move the mouse anything but excruciatingly slowly it makes it just plain irritating to use.

    A bunch of web searches later, culminating in a visit to the VMware workstation forum, I learned that Microsoft has enabled (and made default) the use of a second driver model on the system being controlled:  The WDDM model.  Up to now RDP has run off the XDDM display driver model, which is apparently better optimized for an interface that takes a noticeable amount of time to update a mouse cursor given mouse position input.  Remote connections take milliseconds, if not tens or hundreds of milliseconds.  Therein lies the problem.

    For some folks trying to make use of this combination of software and OS versions, the problem can be even worse:  They just get a black screen.  Do a search for “Windows 10 WDDM RDP” on Google and you’ll see that a fair number of folks are having RDP problems.

    The good news:  It turns out Microsoft thought ahead (as they often do) and provided a new policy for configuring the controlled system to use the older, tried and proven XDDM model.  If you have Windows 10 Pro, run gpedit.msc and navigate to the following:

    Local Computer Policy
    Computer Configuration
    Administrative Templates
    Windows Components
    Remote Desktop Services
    Remote Desktop Session Host
    Remote Session Environment

    Set the Use WDDM graphics display driver for Remote Desktop Connections policy to Disabled

    This will clear up jittery mouse and black screen problems and make a remote Windows v1903 (or Server 2016) or newer system a pleasure to use via RDP again.

    UPDATE: Interesting. There’s a post on the Microsoft Answers forum from KevinMarchant that complains about the “high CPU after disconnecting” problem on Win10 1903. That post is now marked “*** PROBLEM RESOLVED BY KB4522355 RELEASED OCTOBER 24TH 2019. ***”

    Any chance that the latest optional, non-security update actually fixes the mouse jitters, too?

    The KB article says:

    Addresses an issue with high CPU usage in Desktop Window Manager (dwm.exe) when you disconnect from a Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) session.

  • The next-next version of Windows 10, code named 20H1, known colloquially as 2003, may arrive in December 2019

    Posted on October 29th, 2019 at 07:49 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Just when you thought the pace of unnecessary changes in Windows was receding….

    Now comes word from Zac Bowden at Windows Central that the version of Win10 following 1909 (widely expected next month) will arrive in December. Of this year.

    Microsoft’s upcoming 20H1 release of Windows 10 will be the company’s first version of the OS to be finalized in December, three months earlier than usual, as a result of Windows moving under Azure and adopting the “semester” based development cycle that Azure is already using. Mary-Jo Foley was first to reveal that the Windows dev cycle was being changed up earlier this year, but here’s what this all means for Insiders.

    You should take that pronouncement with a very large heap of salt, but it sounds plausible. Bowden  frequently has scoops that reflect the current thinking at Microsoft. Notably, though, none of the other major players in the Microsoft Tea Leaf game have independently confirmed the rumor. Mary Jo hasn’t published anything on the topic in the past 24 hours. Paul Thurrot hasn’t commented.

    So either Zac broke something that’s being played very close to the chest – or he got tossed a wild herring. Time will tell.

    There’s very little of interest in 20H1, er, 2003, uh 1912, ahem Vibranium, based on my very brief look-around. Chris Hoffman at How-To Geek has a detailed look at the new features in beta versions of 20H1, all of which put me to sleep.

    Bowden’s next prognostication, though, sends chills down my spine:

    This also means that work on the next Windows 10 feature update after 20H1, known as 20H2 or “Manganese” has already started development internally, and Insiders should begin receiving 20H2 builds in the next couple of weeks. On this new development cycle, 20H2 will RTM in June 2020. This is important, as this release will play a vital role in the availability of Windows 10X on new foldable PCs expected to start shipping in fall 2020.

    So it looks like the tic-toc theory of Windows rollouts — big feature changes followed by little feature changes, as exemplified by the Win10 1903-to-1909 sequence — may turn into a tic-toc-toc. Would that it would segue into a tic-hum-hum-hum instead of burp-burp-burp.

    Change for change’s sake. To get us more aligned with Azure. Oh boy.

  • 50 years ago today, the internet was born

    Posted on October 29th, 2019 at 07:23 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Fascinating story from Mark Sullivan at Fast Company:

    When I visited UCLA’s Boelter Hall last Wednesday, I took the stairs to the third floor, looking for Room 3420. And then I walked right by it. From the hallway, it’s a pretty unassuming place.

    But something monumental happened there 50 years ago today. A graduate student named Charley Kline sat at an ITT Teletype terminal and sent the first digital data transmission to Bill Duvall, a scientist who was sitting at another computer at the Stanford Research Institute (now known as SRI International) on the other side of California. It was the beginning of ARPANET, the small network of academic computers that was the precursor to the internet.

    I remember the first time I used ARPANET. I was a grad student at the University of Colorado, Boulder, early ’70s, and we had small PCs (HPs?) that were used to send email. The procedure, as I recall, was quite complex – but it worked, and it was thrilling to communicate with folks at other Universities.

    It took many years – and a trip through Compuserve, various bulletin boards and Microsoft’s fledgling MSN – before I returned to the Internet. We’ve come a long way in a very short time, eh?

    UPDATE: Ann Bednarz at NetworkWorld has a great, nostalgic look.

  • Bowman: How to update the Marvell driver for your Surface — without installing Win10 version 1909

    Posted on October 28th, 2019 at 14:40 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    There’s a detailed, step-by-step explanation in this new video from Barb Bowman.

    There are quite a few folks desperate for fixed Marvell Wi-Fi drivers for Surface devices following bad drivers that were sent down through Windows Update in early August. The greatest impact seems to be on mesh type networks. You can, or course, roll back the bad driver. But if you need to test the “fixme” version, and intend to stay on 1903 until 1909 is “proven safe for mankind” (so to speak), there is an option.

    It seems possible to join the Insiders Preview Ring to get the “fixed” Marvell Wi-Fi drivers for Surface devices without being forced to download and install 1909 if you are already running 1903. 1909 “should” be offered as an optional update and I’ve made a short video explaining the steps, as there are multiple restarts in addition to the specific order of steps that need to be followed. I’ve tested this and it works for me. I can’t guarantee that it will work for you, but the worst that can happen is, if you are running 1903 and 1909 does install, you can open the classic Control Panel, Programs and Features, view Installed Updates, and UNINSTALL the 1909 update.

    Neat trick – and a safe way to get the drivers that’ll fix your WiFi.

  • How to view and protect the privacy of your MS account

    Posted on October 28th, 2019 at 01:15 Tracey Capen Comment on the AskWoody Lounge


    By Lance Whitney

    Microsoft accounts are used to sign in to Windows, access Office 365 and other services, purchase Microsoft products, and manage devices. But those accounts are also used by Microsoft to keep tabs on us.

    Through your MS account, the company can track the websites you visit, the activities you perform online, and even the places you go in the real world via your mobile device. You can, however, limit and remove the data Microsoft collects about you — to some extent. Within your online Microsoft Account page, you can view and clear your browsing history, check your privacy settings for specific apps and services, review and control targeted ads directed at you, and even download an archive of your Microsoft-related activities.

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 16.39.0 (2019-10-28).

  • When and how to restore your local driver backups

    Posted on October 28th, 2019 at 01:10 Tracey Capen Comment on the AskWoody Lounge


    By Fred Langa

    In a recent column, I showed how to make local backup copies of all your system’s installed drivers.

    That article prompted a number of readers to ask for the reciprocal story: how to reinstall those previously saved drivers.

    So, here’s when and how and how not — to put those backup copies to good use!

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 16.39.0 (2019-10-28).

  • Getting ready for Windows 10 1909

    Posted on October 28th, 2019 at 01:05 Tracey Capen Comment on the AskWoody Lounge


    By Susan Bradley

    Many of us are still pondering Win10 1903 — and now Version 1909 is almost upon us. Here’s how not to be the next release’s beta tester.

    If the rumors are true, the next feature release for Windows 10 will begin trickling out on November 12. It looks like Version 1909 won’t be the big deal we thought it might be, which is all the more reason to not be one of the early adopters — unless you really like testing “beta” operating systems.

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 16.39.0 (2019-10-28).

  • Freeware Spotlight — SyMenu

    Posted on October 28th, 2019 at 01:00 Tracey Capen Comment on the AskWoody Lounge


    By Deanna McElveen

    I’ve been in the computer-repair business for 20 years. I used to carry around a folder of floppy disks containing all my diagnostics and repair utilities — then it became a collection of CDs and later DVDs.

    Now I carry everything I need on a few flash drives hanging on lanyards. Those utilities are invaluable, but they also have an annoying side: keeping them all up to date and quickly finding the particular app I need on one of the drives.

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 16.39.0 (2019-10-28).