• Check the health of your systems

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    #2475005

    ISSUE 19.36 • 2022-09-05 ON SECURITY By Susan Bradley It’s time to ensure your computer is sound, the operating system is healthy, and your system is
    [See the full post at: Check the health of your systems]

    Susan Bradley Patch Lady

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    • #2475034

      Good piece from Susan Bradley.  I have one thing to add which has helped me – if you are sure that the drivers you have installed are good, you can export them all to a safe place, network, spare drive or USB, say….  This is a very handy for older hardware, say, especially where the maker has closed or decided they no longer want to provide older drivers.  I’ve found this a few times which unfortunately prompts you to start looking on those potentially dodgy drivers’ websites.

      Then, following your Win10 re-install, when you want to install non-generic drivers you just point to the exported location and Windows will pick them up.

      It uses the powershell, full details here – https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/powershell/module/dism/export-windowsdriver?view=windowsserver2022-ps
      An easier to understand run-through is here, for instance, if you don’t want to wade through all the switches – https://www.prajwal.org/powershell-export-drivers-from-windows/

      It can save on internet bandwidth if you store locally and is much faster as well.  That’s negated, of course, if you decide to store them on OneDrive.

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    • #2475055

      The use of 3rd party driver installer is essential. Very often the needed driver is not listed in DM under the same name as it is in the mfgr driver site. Sometimes it is not listed at all. Snappy is very trustworthy and saves hours on doing upgrades and updates.

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #2475098

      I went through my installed apps. The only unwanted ones I found were installed without my express consent by Microsoft. Microsoft People? Microsoft Phone?? No thanks. Shockingly the Uninstall button for the unwanted Microsoft apps was grayed out. Musta slipped their minds to enable it. I’m sure they’ll get right on fixing that in the next update.

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    • #2475107

      I’ve never found that DISM or any other tool worked to thin down the WinSxS folder. When the system has a boot drive smaller than 125GB or so, the only thing that works is reinstalling from scratch.

      In my experience, I’ve never found any benefit in a clean install, and a whole lot of work in having to re-install all of my programs and apps.  My boot drive/partition is 100GB.  As for thinning down the WinSxS folder, I use dism /online /cleanup-image /startcomponentcleanup /resetbase.  I ran it from an elevated Command Prompt just before this reply and checked the folder contents before and after.  Before the command, WinSxS contained 14,522 items; after, 14,142 items.  A small reduction, 2.6%, but then I run that command about once a month or so.

      I have found that a regimen of regular, routine maintenance and drive imaging will handle anything and everything that might slow my system over time.  Keep it clean and lean and there’s nothing getting in the way.  About once a month or so, I open an elevated Command Prompt and do this:

      Routine-Maintenance

      The corruption that System File Checker found and corrected was only errors in the CSI Metadata; everything else was fine.  I don’t wait for signs of trouble, I run these commands preemptively to prevent trouble.  I don’t want to wait until my tires are looking flat before I check the air pressure.

      I have also found that Revo Uninstaller does a much better and more thorough job of uninstalling programs than Windows or the program’s own uninstaller by itself.  Revo Uninstaller runs the available uninstaller, combs the system and registry for leftovers and offers the option to delete them; here’s an example.

      It’s time to ensure your computer is sound, the operating system is healthy, and your system is backed up.

      My data is backed up at least daily, Disk Cleanup and drive images run weekly; routine maintenance scheduled and run by Task Scheduler.

      Create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates, in case you need to start over!
      We all have our own reasons for doing the things that we do. We don't all have to do the same things.

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      • #2475115

        As for thinning down the WinSxS folder, I use dism /online /cleanup-image /startcomponentcleanup /resetbase.

        Are there any dangers in running this command? meaning in a worse shape afterwards than before? some things cleaned up that should not have been?

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        • #2475125

          I regularly use it before applying the new month’s updates and have never had any issues.

          One very important tidbit you should know before using it.

          Once it cleans things up, you will not be able to “uninstall” previously installed updates because the files needed to do so will be missing!

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          • #2475131

            One very important tidbit you should know before using it.

            Once it cleans things up, you will not be able to “uninstall” previously installed updates because the files needed to do so will be missing!

            Drive imaging is the single-most important piece of guidance I can offer. Any issue, hardware or software, can be resolved with recent drive images at the ready.

            I keep about three months worth of weekly drive images stored offline (in duplicate).  I can “uninstall” Windows updates without WinSxS.

             

            Create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates, in case you need to start over!
            We all have our own reasons for doing the things that we do. We don't all have to do the same things.

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            • #2475138

              Same here, although I keep 8 months worth (because I’m just a “tad” paranoid )

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        • #2475339

          Not dangers per se, however:

          dism

          You can find this information yourself by running dism /online /cleanup-image /?
          in an elevated Command Prompt.

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    • #2475126

      make that “Doctor Patch Lady”

      REALLY GOOD STUFF, Susan!

    • #2475128

      Open the Settings panel and click on Apps. Use the Sort By dropdown and choose Install date. Review what has been installed recently.

      I have the Xbox Game Bar in Apps & Features, and I inadvertently updated it about 4 months ago via MS Store. I also have the Xbar Live app that came with my laptop. I know that I will never use these. The Uninstall button is active for the Xbar Live app and so I see that I can uninstall it. However, the Uninstall button for Xbox Game Bar is dead. So, does this mean that I am not able to uninstall it? Or will unintalling Xbar Live uninstall Xbox Game Bar, too?

    • #2475130

      Apple operating systems are closed, so third-party antivirus solutions can’t protect the system at the kernel level, making them irrelevant.

      Just because kernel access is restricted, that doesn’t prevent blocking malware at an earlier stage. Long gone are the days where antiviruses could be ignored on MacOS. A good one will not only block the vast majority of MacOS viruses but will also detect Windows viruses to prevent them spreading to other machines.

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    • #2475140

      bbearren introduced us to the Revo uninstaller in the Topic CYBERPOWER – Powerpanel Personal Service is not ready.

      https://www.askwoody.com/forums/topic/cyberpower-powerpanel-personal-service-is-not-ready/#post-2474171

      Revo works. We had spent hours trying to get the Powerpanel Personal app to communicate with one of our uninterruptible power supplies.

      We uninstalled then reinstalled the app using several different approaches – no luck.

      Then we downloaded, installed, and ran Revo.

      Revo not only “uninstalled the program” it allowed us to clean up the detritus that other uninstallers were leaving behind.  After running Revo and reinstalling Powerpanel all was well.

      Then we used it to do the unexpected. We used it to uninstall Xbox and Cortana from our workstations. Something we had been trying to do for years.

      Thanks bbearren and thank you Susan for posting this topic.

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