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  • dg1261

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    Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 398 total)
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    • in reply to: Windows Defender Offline Tries To Update Definitions #2277388
      dg1261
      AskWoody_MVP

      I’ve run into the same problem, @CT47.  Current versions of WDO will simply not run unless you’re connected to the internet.  It kind of makes a mockery of the term “Offline”, IMHO. I consider “offline” to mean the computer is not connected to a network, but I guess Microsoft now uses the term to mean Windows is to be scanned without actively booting into it.

      Like you, there are times when I’d like to be able to scan a system without it being connected to the internet, but no matter how recent the database on the DVD/USB stick, it will always say it’s “out of date” and refuses to go any further.

      It didn’t used to be that way.  I have a WDO iso I saved from Spring 2019 that works properly.  It will tell you the database is out of date (which by now, of course, is true), but it will still scan with the database it has, if you want it to.  In contrast, WDO versions I’ve created more recently will simply refuse to run without a network connection, no matter how recent the database.

      I don’t know of a way around it.  I think your only choice is to give up on WDO, as its purpose has really narrowed to just a few select scenarios.

       

      2 users thanked author for this post.
      in reply to: unneeded partition #2271114
      dg1261
      AskWoody_MVP

      Note Don’s screenshot identifies the Recovery partition as “Disk 0 partition 4“.  I think you’ll find there’s another partition in there that’s been overlooked.

      There is likely a tiny 16MB MSR (“Microsoft System Reserved”) partition between the EFI and OS partitions. Disk Management won’t show it, but third-party tools like Minitool Partition Wizard should reveal it.

      The purpose of the MSR partition is to facilitate certain Microsoft features like, IIRC, Bitlocker and Dynamic Disks.  If you don’t use those features, the partition is superfluous and can be removed.

      Note that if you use Microsoft tools to initialize a new disk, Microsoft will always add a hidden MSR partition — even on a data-only disk. Disks initialized by third-party tools do not create a MSR partition.

      The Recovery partition, as envisioned by Microsoft, boots the Recovery Environment and is usually about 500 MB.  (The winre.wim file itself is typically about 300-400 MB.)  As a separate partition, this is useful for repairing your OS partition when it is damaged or unbootable for some reason.

      In most cases I’ve seen, Microsoft will put the Recovery partition before the OS partition, but when the Recovery partition is at the end of the disk, that’s often a partition that’s been modified by the OEM to include additional tools of their own design — such as, perhaps, a factory restore feature.

      (Note 1GB is not large enough for a factory image, so in this case the partition is just for the tools; any image will be elsewhere.  Some OEMs might just create a larger Recovery partition to include the image, while others — such as Dell — may use two OEM partitions: a bootable one with the tools, and a second, larger one with the image.)

      So, can you remove the MSR and Recovery partitions?  Yes, and Windows will still boot.  But I see no reason to do so.

      Deleting the MSR is utterly fruitless unless you plan to add its space to the OS partition.  But because it is in front of the OS partition, it cannot be incorporated unless you slide the OS partition forward by moving each and every sector of the OS partition. That’s a task fraught with more risk than can be justified, just to reclaim a measly 16MB.

      As for the Recovery partition, there are other ways to boot to a Recovery Environment, so strictly speaking, it isn’t indispensable.  But it’s useful for more than just factory restoring, so it can be handy to have.  I see no reason to get rid of it just to reclaim another 1 GB of space.

      If/when you decide to clone the contents of this disk to a new, larger disk, though, you can skip both the MSR and Recovery partitions if you wish, and clone just the EFI and OS partitions.  Until then, I don’t see a reason to bother with them.

       

      3 users thanked author for this post.
      in reply to: Added memory to my Laptop #2265363
      dg1261
      AskWoody_MVP

      There is almost no speed difference between SATA III HDD vs SSD as both rely on the SATA speed.

      I have to disagree. Of course, real world performance seldom reaches theoretical limits, but nevertheless, IME there is typically a very noticeable difference.

      Here are some tests I did a while ago with different boot disks on one particular computer:
      =======================================================================
      Optiplex 7050 WDC WD7500BPVT 750GB (5400rpm)
      ———————————————————————–
      CrystalDiskMark 5.1.2 x64 (C) 2007-2016 hiyohiyo
      Crystal Dew World : http://crystalmark.info/
      ———————————————————————–
      * MB/s = 1,000,000 bytes/s [SATA/600 = 600,000,000 bytes/s]
      * KB = 1000 bytes, KiB = 1024 bytes
      Sequential Read (Q= 32,T= 1) : 64.145 MB/s
      Sequential Write (Q= 32,T= 1) : 64.539 MB/s
      Random Read 4KiB (Q= 32,T= 1) : 0.851 MB/s [ 207.8 IOPS]
      Random Write 4KiB (Q= 32,T= 1) : 0.808 MB/s [ 197.3 IOPS]
      Sequential Read (T= 1) : 63.974 MB/s
      Sequential Write (T= 1) : 63.970 MB/s
      Random Read 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 1) : 0.330 MB/s [ 80.6 IOPS]
      Random Write 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 1) : 0.851 MB/s [ 207.8 IOPS]
      =======================================================================
      Optiplex 7050 HGST HDN724040ALE640 4TB (7200rpm)
      ———————————————————————–
      CrystalDiskMark 5.1.2 x64 (C) 2007-2016 hiyohiyo
      Crystal Dew World : http://crystalmark.info/
      ———————————————————————–
      * MB/s = 1,000,000 bytes/s [SATA/600 = 600,000,000 bytes/s]
      * KB = 1000 bytes, KiB = 1024 bytes
      Sequential Read (Q= 32,T= 1) : 144.553 MB/s
      Sequential Write (Q= 32,T= 1) : 145.349 MB/s
      Random Read 4KiB (Q= 32,T= 1) : 0.930 MB/s [ 227.1 IOPS]
      Random Write 4KiB (Q= 32,T= 1) : 0.983 MB/s [ 240.0 IOPS]
      Sequential Read (T= 1) : 144.915 MB/s
      Sequential Write (T= 1) : 145.771 MB/s
      Random Read 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 1) : 0.390 MB/s [ 95.2 IOPS]
      Random Write 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 1) : 1.033 MB/s [ 252.2 IOPS]
      =======================================================================
      Optiplex 7050 Samsung 960 Evo 500GB
      ———————————————————————–
      CrystalDiskMark 5.1.2 x64 (C) 2007-2016 hiyohiyo
      Crystal Dew World : http://crystalmark.info/
      ———————————————————————–
      * MB/s = 1,000,000 bytes/s [SATA/600 = 600,000,000 bytes/s]
      * KB = 1000 bytes, KiB = 1024 bytes
      Sequential Read (Q= 32,T= 1) : 562.858 MB/s
      Sequential Write (Q= 32,T= 1) : 531.778 MB/s
      Random Read 4KiB (Q= 32,T= 1) : 247.769 MB/s [ 60490.5 IOPS]
      Random Write 4KiB (Q= 32,T= 1) : 214.363 MB/s [ 52334.7 IOPS]
      Sequential Read (T= 1) : 532.073 MB/s
      Sequential Write (T= 1) : 470.688 MB/s
      Random Read 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 1) : 19.777 MB/s [ 4828.4 IOPS]
      Random Write 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 1) : 66.085 MB/s [ 16134.0 IOPS]
      =======================================================================
      Optiplex 7050 Toshiba M.2 NVMe 256GB
      ———————————————————————–
      CrystalDiskMark 5.1.2 x64 (C) 2007-2016 hiyohiyo
      Crystal Dew World : http://crystalmark.info/
      ———————————————————————–
      * MB/s = 1,000,000 bytes/s [SATA/600 = 600,000,000 bytes/s]
      * KB = 1000 bytes, KiB = 1024 bytes
      Sequential Read (Q= 32,T= 1) : 2806.924 MB/s
      Sequential Write (Q= 32,T= 1) : 344.543 MB/s
      Random Read 4KiB (Q= 32,T= 1) : 578.688 MB/s [141281.3 IOPS]
      Random Write 4KiB (Q= 32,T= 1) : 896.731 MB/s [218928.5 IOPS]
      Sequential Read (T= 1) : 1934.160 MB/s
      Sequential Write (T= 1) : 1056.868 MB/s
      Random Read 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 1) : 50.291 MB/s [ 12278.1 IOPS]
      Random Write 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 1) : 225.954 MB/s [ 55164.6 IOPS]
      =======================================================================
      And for a subjective comparison, here are a couple videos I’d recorded in the past:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MhpuNesBBzA

      https://photos.app.goo.gl/AuxuZEgXuEFBSx6d9

      The first one compares a 5400rpm HDD vs. a NVMe SSD, so is somewhat of a more extreme demonstration than to a SATA SSD.

      The second link shows a side-by-side comparison of a single system with the existing SATA HDD cloned to a SATA SSD, so is a demonstration exactly like what we are discussing.

       

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      dg1261
      AskWoody_MVP

      Do you know if you can put multiple Installs on a flash drive by copying the created contents on the flash drive to a folder and then moving the contents back to the root of the flash drive for the install you want to use? I am trying to figure a way to keep from using a flash drive for each version 1903,1909 & 2004.

      The easy way is to download the installers as iso files, not directly to a USB stick. When you use the MCT to download the Win10 installer, it offers you the choice to save to a USB stick or to a iso file. Choose iso. Rename each iso file to include the version number so you can keep them straight.

      You can store all your isos to an external HDD for safekeeping. When you want install one of them, use Rufus to make a bootable USB stick from the iso file. After you’re done, you can reformat the USB stick and reuse it for something else.

      Another method is to prep a USB stick with a multiboot installer, such as Yumi or Ventoy, described here. Once prepped, you can copy multiple iso files to the USB stick. When you boot from the USB stick, it will give you menu from which you can select which iso to install.

      Disclaimer: Ventoy supposedly can multi-boot in either MBR or UEFI mode, but I haven’t figured out how to get it to boot in UEFI yet, so if you need UEFI the Rufus single-boot method may be more reliable.

      3 users thanked author for this post.
      in reply to: Reclaim Space from a Windows VM on Virtual Box #2260935
      dg1261
      AskWoody_MVP

      Should I try cloning the drive to another dynamic expanding drive now?

      That’s what I would do. But don’t use the vboxmanage.exe utility to clone/copy from outside the VM — I think vboxmanage.exe just duplicates the vdi file (with a new GUID), so you’d end up with another full-size duplicate.

      Go back to the second option Paul and I mentioned in the 2nd and 3rd posts: create/attach a new, dynamically expanding disk, then boot the VM and clone from inside the VM — for instance, by booting the VM from an ISO of a bootable Macrium “Rescue” CD, or similar.

      Depending on your choice of program, it might also work by installing the program in your W2K VM, but just to avoid any potential further conflicts, I’d instead create a bootable ISO (from another VM or a real machine) and clone from that environment instead of from W2K.

       

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      in reply to: Reclaim Space from a Windows VM on Virtual Box #2260853
      dg1261
      AskWoody_MVP

      Sorry! It seems I didn’t pay attention to the SDelete documentation I linked to, and failed to notice it is for Vista and above.

      I guess I also missed that.

      In my experiment, I had disconnected the vdi file from the Win2K VM and connected it as a secondary to a Win7 VM, and ran the sdelete utility from Win7.

      I did that merely because I already had the sdelete utility downloaded to the Win7 VM, so it was quicker for me to move the vdi disk rather than booting the W2K VM and re-downloading the sdelete utility.

      So I guess I accidentally avoided the W2K incompatibility without knowing it.

       

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      in reply to: Crucial SSD going bad? #2259440
      dg1261
      AskWoody_MVP

      It sounds like you’ve done the proper tests to implicate the SSD as the culprit.

      Since you talked to Crucial support, I imagine they had you test it with the Crucial Storage Executive utility. What were the results of the short self-test and the extended self-test?

      I just had a problem with a 500GB Crucial SSD last month. My symptoms were different, and involved the computer randomly hanging or having a lot of trouble opening files or programs.

      I ran the laptop’s onboard diagnostics drive self-test, and it failed. I downloaded Crucial’s Storage Executive utility and ran both the short and extended self-tests to get a second opinion, and to get screenshots of it failing with their own program to send to Crucial tech support. It was a bit disconcerting because the Crucial utility insisted the drive was in “Good Health” and there were no suspicious signs in the SMART data, but it still failed the self-tests.

      The SSD was 2 yrs, 9 months, into a 3-year warranty, and with no further questions Crucial honored their warranty and shipped me a new drive.

       

      2 users thanked author for this post.
      in reply to: Reclaim Space from a Windows VM on Virtual Box #2258720
      dg1261
      AskWoody_MVP

      Within a Windows guest, it is generally suggested to do that with SDelete. I usually run SDelete after clearing app caches and getting rid of other temporary files with the built-in Disk Cleanup utility. Then I shut down the VM and run the “compact” command.

      I did not know about the sdelete utility. I tested it on a copy of a vdi file and it worked great!

       

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      in reply to: Reclaim Space from a Windows VM on Virtual Box #2258555
      dg1261
      AskWoody_MVP

      In the VirtualBox program directory is a command-line utility called vboxmanage.exe that is supposed to do this with the command “vboxmanage  modifyhd –compact”.

      That said, I’ve never had much luck getting it to compact very much, so I usually resort to Paul’s second suggestion: create a new (dynamically expanding) virtual disk, attach it to the VM, boot the VM from a cloning program’s boot disk (example: an ISO of a Macrium Reflect “Rescue CD”), and clone the original disk to the new disk. That does a really good job of shrinking a virtual disk file.

       

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      in reply to: Dual boot Win 10 with Win 7 #2258059
      dg1261
      AskWoody_MVP

      And now that I come to think of it maybe I’ll just stick with what I know. With luck this machine will last about as long as I do, then we’ll both switch off together. Yes, that does sound a lot less stressful than mastering a whole new alphabet soup, and a gratuitously “improved” interface.

      That’s a rational idea.

      Perhaps you’ve seen past references to the “quit-updating” strategy advocated by forum member Canadian-Tech, with whom a lot of people here agree. He supports a lot of Win7 systems that haven’t been updated since May 2017. I, myself, stopped updating in Dec 2017. And our systems continue to work just fine.

      My point in mentioning this is, if we weren’t worrying about updating Win7 before, why would we start worrying now, just because Microsoft has stopped providing updates we wouldn’t have used anyway?

      Perhaps there may come a day when Win7 will no longer be viable, but that’s not today, not tomorrow, and IMHO is still several years off.

      That’s not a reason to rush to Win10 today. If and when you need a new computer, then yeah, you can make the switch then. Until then, don’t go looking for additional stress.

       

      in reply to: Dual boot Win 10 with Win 7 #2257737
      dg1261
      AskWoody_MVP

      I don’t know why this hasn’t garnered any responses, @Rhino. Perhaps it would have been better to post it in the Win10 forum. It’s really a Win10 installation question, so perhaps other Win7 fans, like me, figured, “I’ll let the Win10 fans handle this one,” but by posting in the Win7 forum, maybe the Win10 folks didn’t see it.

      Before rushing off to repost over there, however, I’d advise you to have a clear idea of what you want the end result to look like. Here are a few considerations.

      From your reference to “Disk 0”, it sounds like you’ll be dual-booting both OSes on the same disk. If you’re long-term objective will be to eventually discard Win7, I’d suggest putting the 10 partition before the 7 partition. That way, it will be easier to revert to a single-boot system later on. If 7 is in front of 10, the empty space will be on the wrong side of 10 when 7 is eventually removed.

      This should be easy to do at this early stage. Assuming your 260GB of unallocated space is right behind the existing 7 partition, you can replace the existing 7 partition with 10 and then restore your 7 backup image to a new partition behind the upgraded 10 partition.

      If you choose to do that, you may want to reevaluate your existing 7 partition’s size. Now is the most opportune time in the process to expand it for 10, and then create a new, smaller partition for 7 behind it, in the currently unallocated space.

      Second, keep in mind that your 7 is almost certainly installed in MBR mode, so to dual-boot you’ll need to install 10 also in MBR (“Legacy”) mode. Fortunately, that’s fairly straightforward, but beware that a lot of 10 proponents will automatically assume you’re using EFI/GPT mode in discussions about 10, so always keep that in mind when evaluating their advice.

      Third, remember that you’ll need to activate Win10 once it’s installed. If you do an Upgrade install over the top of Win7, that should be automatic. (Remember, you probably want 10 where 7 is now, anyway.) There are other ways to activate with your Win7 key if you don’t want an over-the-top upgrade, but I’ll leave it to the 10 folks to give you the pros and cons of that.

      Finally, be forewarned that the 10 installer may or may not get the dual-boot menu loader (BCD) configured correctly. The BCD usually isn’t hard to repair, though, so you can wait to cross that bridge if/when you get to it. For now, just note that you may need that final fix to finish your project.

      None of this directly answers the question you asked, but I’ll let the 10 fans cover that. I’m just posting the above to make sure you’ve considered some pre-installation issues.

       

      in reply to: Laugh Time #2255771
      dg1261
      AskWoody_MVP

      When a Scottish sports announcer is stuck at home…

      I gather this guy is a TV sports commentator for rugby and golf, but with no sports being played during the lockdown he’s taken to keeping in shape with his dogs:

       

       

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      in reply to: Ventoy: Create a Bootable USB With Multiple ISO Files #2253533
      dg1261
      AskWoody_MVP

      Nice find, @Alex5723. Thanks for bringing it to our attention!

      I’ve been using YUMI for the same purpose, so I was curious to take a closer look to see how Ventoy compares.

      YUMI is really designed to extract the contents of each ISO image and copy them to individual subdirectories on the USB drive. This has several disadvantages: it requires you to add each ISO through the YUMI app; it limits your choices to ISOs YUMI supports; and it splatters your USB device with lots of extraneous files and subdirectories to facilitate YUMI’s operation. However, YUMI does have a catch-all option to add “unlisted ISOs”, which will copy the ISO intact and won’t try to extract it.

      I see no good reason why an ISO’s contents need be extracted first, so the latter is really the only option I’m interested in. But that results in a two-screen menu system: the first menu is for YUMI’s extracted ISOs (empty, in my case), and an extra click is needed to get to the “unlisted ISOs” menu.

      In contrast, the Ventoy app is needed only to initially prep the USB device. Once that is done, you simply copy your ISOs onto the device. The Ventoy app isn’t needed to do that. When the USB device is booted, Ventoy displays a menu of all ISOs on the device, listed in alphabetical order.

      The downside is there is no menu to customize with user-friendly names for the ISOs. The upside is there is no menu needed at all — or any need to customize anything else, for that matter — and no extraneous files on the USB device to get in the way.

      It’s also a whole lot easier to replace an ISO on the Ventoy device with an updated ISO, when desired. YUMI requires you to manually delete all files associated with the outdated ISO, and use the YUMI app to add the updated ISO.

      I haven’t yet been able to get either app to work in UEFI boot … but that may just be my failure to understand what I need to do to make it work. I note Ventoy does add a EFI partition to the USB device, even though I’m booting it in MBR/Legacy mode, so maybe the Ventoy device can boot in either mode? In contrast, YUMI seems to require a different, UEFI version to prep the device for UEFI boot.

      The following screen shots show the menus of each.

      Overall, I like the Ventoy approach and think I’ll ditch YUMI.

      ventoy

      yumi1
      yumi2

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      1 user thanked author for this post.
      in reply to: What would you put on a Windows 7 “rescue” disk? #2239330
      dg1261
      AskWoody_MVP

      I have family and friends who are prone to only let me get their hands on their computers when there is a problem… and I am anticipating having to work on these machines, and having a disc image just isn’t possible. For that future time, my insurance is having the following:

      Windows 7 service pack 1 32 bit ISO

      Windows 7 service pack 1 64 bit ISO

      However, there are a lot of Window 7 updates. I update based on @CanadianTech’s recommendations, for avoiding telemetry. My question is, the last time I did this, it was through Windows Update, hiding any of those updates recommended by @CanadianTech. Will Windows Update continue to function if I try to do a clean install for an older machine, and rely on WU… or do I need to do a survival disk that includes these updates, in case they aren’t available in the future?

      I strongly recommend downloading all updates for offline updating. You can use the same offline cache to update all Win7 machines you may encounter, so there’s just no reason to keep downloading the same updates over and over again to update multiple machines. A byproduct of this strategy is it also protects you if MS ever decides to pull the plug on the online updates.

      Some people advocate slipstreaming the updates into the installation ISO. I’m not in that camp. I prefer keeping the updates separated because then I can update existing installations. Slipstreaming them into the installation ISO is of no use for updating existing Windows installations.

      A rollup of all updates ala CanadianTech’s strategy, freezing updates as of May 15, 2017, is available from post #3 in this thread in another forum.

      I’m not sure why CT froze his updates at May 2017, but I’m sure he had his reasons. I preferred to freeze my updates at Dec 2017 because Jan 2018 is when the Spectre/Meltdown updates started messing up computers. A rollup of updates frozen as of Dec 2017 is also available in post #8 of that same thread.

      Download either of those and you won’t have to deal with Windows Update again.

       

      • This reply was modified 2 months, 3 weeks ago by dg1261.
      1 user thanked author for this post.
      in reply to: Macrium Unformatted Partition-What is this? #2210642
      dg1261
      AskWoody_MVP

      I was under the impression that the MSR was only on OS disks.

      The Wikipedia link I posted earlier says: “Microsoft expects an MSR to be present on every GPT disk, and recommends it to be created as the disk is initially partitioned.”

      I wonder if using diskpart would make the MSR as well.

      I just tried a test in a VM, and yes it does. If you use diskpart to initialize a new disk as GPT, it will automatically add a MSR partition.

      It’s only the initialization step that adds the MSR. If the disk is already initialized without an MSR by other means, diskpart or Disk Management will create or delete partitions without regard to whether there is any MSR partition.

      I don’t use an MSR, but my understanding is it is for use with Bitlocker or dynamic disks. Thus, in most systems it is superfluous and can be eliminated if desired. I presume it is put there by Microsoft just to make things easier if the user should decide to enable dynamic disks or Bitlocker later on.

       

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