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  • Windows 8.1’s hidden fangs…

    Home Forums AskWoody blog Windows 8.1’s hidden fangs…

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      • #53837 Reply
        Da Boss

        … and how to avoid them.InfoWorld slide show.While I’m on the topic, Susan Bradley has a spot-on article about avoiding Microsoft Accounts in Window
        [See the full post at: Windows 8.1’s hidden fangs…]

      • #53838 Reply

        This blog entry has a lot to digest/learn. I am not using IE at all on the Surface Pro which I upgraded to 8.1 on first day. Bing news was good but is malfunctioning after one week of 8.1. I liked the good changes before it started freezing.
        So, I just found the menu on NewsBento and go there for so many additional sites on the tile. I’m the one who likes the tiles. I don’t go automatically to desktop.

        The Defcon 3 is a bit confusing. To deal with it early in the morning.

        Question: I’m on my old Win 7 laptop, which is about ready to die…slower and slower. I’m getting popups for AdWare or something like that, which I don’t take and a suspicious “mail failed” on (which I had since before I got the Surface Pro), and I didn’t click on the
        suspeicious “downloads’.
        Question: is there a way to block popups for cleaning software? I never had them before.

        As a wary vetran of malware from last Feb.
        (a misdirect search bar that came with a download of chrome and I had to have machine checked by local shop (won’t mention name, but it’s a big online and brick and mortar computer,etc store – not Microsoft)….


      • #53839 Reply
        Da Boss

        @Sanda –

        Sounds like you could use a good run of Malwarebytes, but if your Win7 machine is gradually slowing down, seriously think about re-formatting the hard drive and starting again from scratch….

      • #53840 Reply

        I did a full scan of Malwarebytes and it was OK. I have it on the old laptop and the surface pro.
        Will consider your suggestion for laptop. I am pleased to report that one of the things I learned was how to back up,burn discs for the computer; it did not come with a disc. Took me a long long while….but I did it. NOTE: Microsoft’s lie is the motto at the end of the store’s email adverts (which I unsubscribed):
        (paraphrase) Technology makes life easier.
        To borrow a phrase from the late NYC Mayor Ed Koch: “Ridiculous”. Maintenance and learning how to use the technology is very time consuming. And why the books, including “….for Dummies” are vital. My 5 year old digital camera came with a full users manual but neither of my new 2013 computers did. Woody’s books should be packed with appropriate machines by the manufacturer….their online support/info is poor.

      • #53841 Reply

        Win7 working better since I did the 26 updates – not installing the “important” but unchecked, as per instructions. I assume it’s Defcon 3 for KB2902892 for 8.1 as well.

        Now is the 6th anniversary of my first computerf: a used/rebuilt IBM Thinkpad R51: it crashed a few years ago and I still miss it. But, if I knew now what I knew then, would I have even asked my brother, the techie to buy it for me? (I called him long distance to ask, “How do I turn it off?”,his reply “Buy ‘XP for Dummies’ by Woody Leonhard”.

        Learning is how I hope to keep my aged brain going as long as possible. (Tech sites keep running articles that computer games keep old folks brains working longer…but I don’t like any game that’s not a real pinballl machine).
        And that myth re tech makes life easier is older
        than me: I remember hearing it during my teen years (1950s, that machines make women’s lives
        easier…wasn’t true, it turned out: all those washing machines, vacuum cleaners, etc. just made women clean more often, spending longer hours at it than before…..)

      • #53842 Reply
        rc primak

        Many antivirus programs will block popup ads. Also, Firefox and Chrome both do their share of blocking, especially the malicious hijacking types of adware. Even using a privacy extension like DoNotTrackMe from Abine will prevent some of those popups. Script blocking (Firefox NoScript) and ad blocking extensions (AdBlock Plus, Ghostery). are also good tools not just for avoiding annoying ads at websites, but also for protecting your browser and OS from the malicious ads and redirects.

        Slow Windows 7 computers often can benefit from a good run of CCleaner or Glary Utilities (I use both). Recently, the OCtober 9th entry here at AskWoody for the Win SxS cleanup tool, along with a general run of the Windows Disk Cleanup Utility, can work wonders for 64-bit Windows 7 systems. Defragmenting such as done with Auslogics Disk Defrag, not only will often help with fragmentation issues, but the optimizing function will bring the most frequently accessed files to a better location in the partition, which can help with slow computer situations.

        Startups are another performance killer, and CCleaner has a module under Tools which allows nonessential Windows and third-party Startups to be managed. It’s a bit safer than MS Config.

        With these maintenance utilities and prevention measures, I can often get folks around 30 percent improvement in their perceived system “speed”, and shave minutes off Windows startup times.

        Two other things to consider are antivirus or firewalls which can slow system performance (all you need is the built-in Windows 7 firewall and Microsoft Security Essentials) and possible driver conflicts at startup (these can be tricky to track down and resolve).

        My three-year-old Toshiba Satellite laptop is still running fast and with few stability issues, and I don’t see the wholesale explosion of used disk space some folks report on their systems. Reasonable and timely maintenance seems to be the main difference between my user experience and the experiences of folks who complain that Windows PCs slow tremendously over time.

      • #53843 Reply

        The more I read here, botched patches, Win8.1 sucks, bad this bad that the more I am convinced my days with microsioft are coming to an end. I know Apple is not perfect but my goodness, everyday another nightmare with Windows!

      • #53844 Reply
        rc primak


        It wasn’t easy, but I went another route away from Windows 8.1. I am now using Ubuntu Linux for most of my computing needs, keeping Windows 7 on during this transition in a dual-boot arrangement on my Toshiba Satellite laptop.

        I still await Ubuntu supporting switchable hybrid Intel-NVidia graphics, and not all entertainment Apps are available for Linux. A few web sites still insist on THE Adobe Reader to download PDF files. But those backwards web masters are fading away.

        My banking site is fully Linux-compatible, and for sites which need an up to date Flash plugin I switch from Firefox to Chromium (open-source Chrome). (Adobe no longer supports Flash Player plugins for Linux, but Google uses Pepper Flash which is Linux-friendly.)

        The days of vendor lock-in are nearing an end. New tablet designs due out within one year from now will support desktop Linux, and with a Ubuntu-Android dual-boot, I believe I can do almost anything which Windows 8 or iPad users can now do. The trick is to buy a tablet with an Intel chipset, at least 2GB RAM, enough onboard storage (although Ubuntunwill happily run from USB or SD Card media) and out of the box Android Root Access. (No hacking required.)

        It is possible, and such tablets are coming soon. Much cheaper and much more open-sourced than the Big Two locked-in vendors.

      • #53845 Reply

        RE: RC Primak comments on 09NOV2013.

        I need to do some it that to this XP computer.
        I have most of the Firefox extensions You mentioned and recently I tried Ghostery but felt like it caused web pages to appear very much slower, so I Disabled it.
        I have to admit I didn’t ‘Train’ Ghostery as what I felt was OK or Not.
        I might try it again and use it as it ought to be used.

        RC, Thanks for the commenting about suggested Firefox Extension to help keep the Baddies Out.
        And Thanks Woody for Your comments too.

      • #53846 Reply
        David A. Hall


        I recently purchased your Windows 8.0 all-in-one book, Andy Rathbone’s Windows 8.1 book, and have now read also your “Windows 8.1′s hidden fangs…” article. AND, I’d like to disassociate my main account from Microsoft. Is it possible to do that? I could create a second non-attached account but that’s a lot of work to transfer all the data and settings to a new account. Is it possible to just disassociate my current account from them?


        Dave Hall

      • #53847 Reply
        rc primak

        And while we’re still thinking of Windows alternatives, one reward of learning to use Linux is that many programs, including OpenOffice and Firefox, run much faster on Linux than on Windows. Linux Firefox (or Chromium) is a totally different user experience from their Windows counterparts. Under Linux with a dual-core processor and 4GB RAM, I find Ghostery does not slow web page loading much. Some other extensions and plugins (like Flash Player) also work faster and with less disk-swapping (that is to say, no swapping at all under most conditions).

        Still, there is a learning curve. I only three days ago finally got a driver installed which actually uses all the modes of my Intel-NVidia hybrid graphics. This is after two months of struggling with this issue (weekends only).

      • #53848 Reply
        Da Boss


        It’s much easier to just create a new, “local” account, set it as Administrator, then go into your Microsoft account and move over everything. From that point on, don’t use your Microsoft Account.

      • #53849 Reply
        chris nubie

        Woody, you’re invaluable. I will probably install Win 10 after your all-in-one book arrives: meanwhile, staying with 8.1 Two questions before the upgrade:

        1. Your 8.1 book alerted me to the downside of having a microsoft account, but I had already done so when I got the laptop last Jan. Single user, rarely leaves my desk, not-networked, and only other devices are an iPhone and old laptop with Win 7 kept for a backup. don’t use any pf the programs/apps so far that I would need windows account for anyway, never had a hotmail account or its progeny, yada yada. (I know, why do the upgrade at all? Beats me.) SOO the question is: can I get rid of the microsoft account and replace it with a local? And, if not:

        2) How do I find out what my microsoft account password is (I’ve forgotten)if I need it after the upgrade?

      • #53850 Reply
        Da Boss


        Try switching to a local account. It should go through, no problem.

        To get your password back, start here

        Good luck. It took me a month to reclaim a password on one of my old accounts….

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