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  • Parallels removes functionality to run Insider Dev Channel Previews unannounced

    Posted on September 16th, 2020 at 06:38 PKCano Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    I have been in the Insider Program since October 2014, running the Insider Fast Ring/Dev Channel Previews in Parallels Standard Edition VMs on Macs with no problems during that time. Parallels v15 has been hosting the VMs since the end of 2019 flawlessly – until Win10 Pro Insider Build 20175.1000 when the Builds suddenly started failing to install.
    Parallels recently issued version 16, and thinking that would solve the problem, I upgraded on August 14th. Still the Insider Previews failed to install, so I opened a support ticket. After a remote session with a Parallels Engineer, who said to contact Microsoft because it was an MS problem, the followup email response from Parallels:

    We have escalated the issue you reported to the Development Team and they are working to address it in one of the future builds of Parallels Desktop for Mac.

    While we do not have ETA for the fix, it has been prioritized appropriately and you can track the changes in the product at the corresponding knowledge base article page

    Reading through the Parallels Forums, sheds light on the problem. Parallels removed functionality from version 15 between updates without notice.
    Parallels Support agent Ajith says:

    Enabling nested virtualization helps in updating to latest Windows Insider build which is only available with Pro and Business subscription. As you are testing Windows beta versions as a professional using Pro is the right choice and will have more features compared to the standard edition.

    And I have to agree with Parallels Forum poster “SoonToBeFormerParallelsUser” who responds

    It is DISHONEST to not publicly announce you are no longer supporting Previews and then turn around and demand upgrade to Pro to re-enable that functionality.

    And follows with

    You misstated that Parallels has removed the feature & ability to boot recent Windows Insider Preview builds. Preview builds WORKED FINE until build 20175 through NO FAULT of Microsoft. It is Parallels’s FAULT.

    You left out that within the same version (v15) Parallels has mysteriously not been able to install and boot these recent builds. It’s no accident.

    Why didn’t Parallels do the HONEST thing and announce that starting with v16, the new release, that Preview builds would not be supported and you would have to upgrade to Pro. Instead they broke the software ON PURPOSE with NO ANNOUNCEMENT.

    In the past, I have praised Parallels Desktop for functionality and Parallels Support for being among the best. What a shame they have fallen to this kind of deceptive practices.

  • It’s time to be thinking about saving a copy of Win10 v2004

    Posted on September 11th, 2020 at 10:00 PKCano Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    It’s time to think about socking away a copy of the v2004 ISO for a rainy day. Once version 20H2 is released, the ISO for Win10 v2004 will no longer be available on the Microsoft Download Center.

    Win10 Insider Preview Build 19042.508 (20H2) has been released to the Insiders Beta Channel on September 8, 2020. It has also been released to commercial customers in the Beta Channel and Release Preview Channel for pre-release validation.

    This means it won’t be long before it is released for Consumers in general, perhaps in the next couple of months. Once that happens, the install media available in the the Microsoft Download Center will be Win10 20H2. In the event you want to install v2004 instead in the future, you should download the ISO soon and store it in a safe place.

    Step-by-step instructions in Computerworld Woody on Windows.

  • Problem reported with Win10 version 2004 upgrade: Search doesn’t work

    Posted on August 26th, 2020 at 09:13 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Interesting post from @WSmross:

    After updating to version 2004, I found Windows search had stopped working.  Pressing the WIN key and typing did nothing.  In File Explorer search, it was not possible to enter or paste any text.  Same for the search icon or search box in the Taskbar.  I tried all the fixes recommended by Microsoft but none worked.  After a day’s trial and error, I figured out a fix…..

    Try creating a new user account and see if search works. It worked for my admin account but not for my standard user account. But it did work when I created a new, local account.

    So I migrated my original profile to the new account with ForensiT User Profile Wizard Personal Edition (free). Then I deleted the original user account and used Control Panel to rename the new account to the name I had been using before.

    All my apps work and all the documents, desktop and personal files are all as they were. The only thing that wasn’t perfect in the migration was all the default apps reverted to the original so web browser went back to Edge, pictures defaulted to Photos, music to Grove etc. But it was easy to set them back to my personal preferences.

    I haven’t heard of widespread Search problems since the upgrade to 1903 (later remedied in 1909), and this doesn’t sound like the same bug. Anybody out there having similar problems?

  • Will Windows transition to one update a year?

    Posted on August 9th, 2020 at 23:15 Tracey Capen Comment on the AskWoody Lounge


    By Woody Leonhard

    Windows 10 upgrades have had a rocky past, with minimally useful new versions cropping up two — or even three! — times a year.

    I assume that an exceedingly few Windows users want that much churn. The entire process has brought more smoke than light.

    But it now looks like Microsoft will finally fall back to just one new “feature” release each year. Arguably, we’re there already. Raise your hand if you can remember the Windows versions that lasted two, four, six, or even more years.

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 17.31.0 (2020-08-10).

  • Win10 version 2004 gets “optional” fixes for many problems – but OneDrive still suffers

    Posted on August 5th, 2020 at 07:25 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    The “optional, non-security, C/D Week” patch for Win10 version 2004, KB 4568831, claims to cure many of the ills that afflict the latest version of Windows. Mayank Parmar has an overview in Windows Latest:

    Microsoft has finally published an optional update to address at least four major bugs in Windows 10 version 2004, including Storage Spaces file corruption issue where the disk-failure protection feature is broken. (That’s the Parity Space bug I talked about on June 18 -WL.)

    While the problem with Drive Optimize tool remains unpatched and unacknowledged, Microsoft says it has included fixes for problems affecting Storage Spaces… This patch also allows Windows built-in data protection software to work as intended.

    I’m skeptical that the optional update actually fixes all of those problems, but stranger things have happened.

    In addition, Günter Born says he’s found evidence of yet another long-standing Win10 bug:

    After upgrading to the next build, OneDrive fails and delivers ‘OneDrive cannot connect to Windows’. There can also be printer problems.

    He reports on a German blog reader, Martin, who has both a description and a solution of the bug that only occurs when you do an in place upgrade.

  • Have a Surface Pro X? Want to upgrade to Win10 2004? There’s a convoluted way….

    Posted on July 30th, 2020 at 09:03 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    No, I don’t recommend that you install Win10 version 2004.

    But if you have a Surface Pro X (which I don’t recommend, either) and you really really want to move to Win10 version 2004, it can be done, in spite of the notification that says “This PC can’t be upgraded to Windows 10.”

    It involves installing the update, and in the middle – at just the right moment – disconnecting your internet connection.

    Full instructions from ScottGillis on the Microsoft Answers forum.

    Thx @barbbowman

  • How can a Win10 1903 user keep 2004 off their machine?

    Posted on July 29th, 2020 at 12:05 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Interesting question from CN:

    Windows 1903 Home user…  I searched the forum for help with this, and I found a post, but I can’t find all the replies, and I can’t find instructions to help me stop this forced upgrade. The replies I can read seem to reference blocking strategies that I can’t use (perhaps for Windows Pro users?)

    Updates just resumed after a 3 week pause for the month of July. Win 2004 is now installing without my requesting it, accepting it, or clicking Check for Updates. I paused the install until September, but where on the forum can I find a way to allow other updates when we hit DEFCON 3 without installing Win 2004?

    Do you know of a reliable magic incantation to keep MS from pushing 1903 Home to 2004? I wrote about this back in May, but now it seems that MS is going after 1903 users without offering the circuit breaker “Download and install” option.

  • Windows 10 turns five years old

    Posted on July 29th, 2020 at 09:48 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Hard to believe how much has changed in five years.

    For a bit of nostalgia (not necessarily good nostalgia, mind you!) take a look at Terry Myerson’s announcement Hello World: Windows 10 Available on July 29

    Terry (who’s long since gone on to greener pastures) turns the floor over to Cortana “the world’s most personal digital assistant”:

    • We designed Windows 10 to create a new generation of Windows for the 1.5 billion people using Windows today in 190 countries around the world. Don’t know where that number came from, but five years later Microsoft claims that Windows 10 runs on “more than 1 billion devices around the world.”
    • Microsoft Edge, is an all-new browser designed to get things done online in new ways, with built-in commenting on the web – via typing or inking — sharing comments, and a reading view that makes reading web sites much faster and easier. And we all know how well the original Edge has fared.
    • Office on Windows: In addition to the Office 2016 full featured desktop suite, Windows 10 users will be able to experience new universal Windows applications for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, all available separately. Wonder what happened to that?
    • Windows Continuum enables today’s best laptops and 2-in-1 devices to elegantly transform from one form factor to the other, enabling smooth transitions of your tablet into a PC, and back. That didn’t turn out so well, either, eh?
    • Windows Hello, greets you by name and with a smile, letting you log in without a password and providing instant, more secure access to your Windows 10 devices. With Windows Hello, biometric authentication is easy with your face, iris, or finger, providing instant recognition.
    • Windows Store, with easy install and uninstall of trusted applications, supported by the broadest range of global payment methods.

    Kinda funny how well the original vision has fared.