• Tom-R



    Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 166 total)
    • in reply to: Can you install Windows 11 home without a MS account? #2513412

      ENShearin, thanks for the report here.  But I’m curious.  When you said you could find no technique to bypass the MS Account requirement, does that include the method of not just unplugging the Internet connection, but also (in addition to that) using Shift+F10 during the setup process, and entering the command “oobe\bypassnro” at the command prompt?

      Please refer to the video link here — specifically starting at about the 2-minute mark — for a more complete description of the method that I’m asking about:

      Supposedly, removing Internet access along with adding “oobe\bypassnro” should force the Windows 11 Setup process to reboot the system and continue without prompting for any Microsoft account.  I’m just wondering if that method no longer works.

    • in reply to: MS-DEFCON 4: A well-behaved September #2484557

      I just happened across this article today on the ReviewGeek website:

      Apparently (according to the article), quite a few people have reported this happening to their Windows systems in the last week or so following this month’s updates.  I haven’t seen this myself; but then again, I’m still on Win 10 — and tightly controlling updates with WuMgr.  But, just out of curiosity, I was wondering if anyone here has experienced this — where Spotify gets installed on your system as the result of this month’s Windows updates.

      The author says that “Neither Microsoft nor Spotify have commented on this story.”  So I’m just wondering if these reports are really accurate.

      • This reply was modified 11 months, 3 weeks ago by Tom-R. Reason: It seems this has been happening on both Win 10 and Win 11
    • in reply to: MS-DEFCON 4: A mixed bag for May #2451080

      Alex, thanks for the suggestion about using InControl.  Up until now, I hadn’t even been using that.  But just for kicks I tried running it on this problem system.  It said that the system had 2 of the 6 registry keys set, which got me to go check which of those keys had been set.  What I found was that TargetReleaseVersion was set to 1 (which was OK); but for some unknown reason the TargetReleaseVersionInfo was set to “1909“.

      What’s strange about that is that (a) I don’t recall ever making that change; and (b) I don’t understand how the system ever got updated previously to 21H1.  In any event, I used InControl to set the TargetReleaseVersionInfo to 21H2; and Windows Update was then more than happy to offer the update.  So the system is now on 21H2; and all’s well.  Thanks again for the advice to check things with InControl.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • in reply to: MS-DEFCON 4: A mixed bag for May #2450933

      Susan is currently recommending folks to be on Win 10 21H2.  But what if you have a Win 10 system that apparently won’t upgrade to it?  One of my systems is a Lenovo Legion Y520 laptop, currently running Win 10 Pro 21H1.  It has all the latest Lenovo driver updates, and is current with all available Windows updates — except for KB4023057 and KB5005463, both of which I deliberately keep hidden.  But this system never gets offered an upgrade to 21H2.  Does anyone have an idea why Windows Update is telling me this system is “up-to-date” with no other updates available for it?  Should I be concerned that maybe (for some strange reason) this system isn’t compatible with 21H2?

    • in reply to: 2000013: How to clear the Windows Update queue in Win10 #2435445

      HE48AEEXX77WEN4Edbtm:  That whole long procedure to try to control updates with wushowhide is just way too complicated.  I gave up on playing that game years ago.

      My go-to solution is WUMgr.  It’s straightforward to use, and it’s never failed me yet in the more than 2 years I’ve been using it with my Win 10 systems.  Here’s the step-by-step procedure that I’ve been following:

      Once each month — when Susan gives the ‘all clear’ (usually DEFCON 4) — I update each system with this procedure.  My systems only get the updates that I specifically allow to be installed.  Everything else gets hidden.  No need to use wushowhide at all.

      4 users thanked author for this post.
    • in reply to: Turbo Tax and Windows 11 issues #2423625

      krism:  This is probably getting a little off-topic from the original Win 11 issue here; but (if you’re still interested) I think there could be a way to transfer your TurboTax data from last year’s online return to the desktop TurboTax product for this year’s return.  A user at the Intuit forum (“VolvoGirl”) had a suggestion how to go about moving data from a 2019 Online return to a 2020 Desktop return.

      Note that there doesn’t seem to be a way on the Intuit forum to provide a direct link to VolvoGirl’s post; but here’s a screenshot of the procedure she provided:


      The Intuit forum page that has her post (among many others) can be found here:
      Differences between TurboTax Online and Desktop

      I have no idea if this method works or not; but I thought I’d let you know about it just in case you still might need it.  Good luck.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • in reply to: The other ransonware scam #2423604

      As is my usual and frequent recommendation, use a very plain (and old) backup strategy based on a series of external hard drives and a rotation through that series.

      Exactly!  If everyone followed this advice, the bad guys would basically be forced to abandon their ransomware attacks almost entirely; since they wouldn’t be finding very many victims willing to pay those ransoms.

      Anyone whose system got hit with a successful ransomware attack would just re-image their system from their most recent offline backup (hopefully no more than a day or two old); and — except for possibly the most recent data from that day or so — the system should be back up and running just fine.

      And, in the case where an attacker has somehow stealthily compromised a system, waiting for a period of time before striking, it might mean going back to an earlier system image.  In that case, it would be a bit more complicated; but still not a show-stopper.  The hardest part would be determining at what point in time the system got compromised; so that you’d know how far back in time you’d need to go to restore the system image.  Then, once the system image is OK, you’d restore the non-executable data files from the most recent offline backup; which, again, should get you back to where you were no more than a day or two ago.

      Recovering from the “stealthy” lie-in-wait attack involves that extra step of determining when the system got infected; so that you know which date to restore the system image from.  But other than that the recovery process is pretty straightforward.  The key, as Susan makes very clear, is making and keeping those offline backups.  That’s your ransomware insurance policy.

    • in reply to: Turbo Tax and Windows 11 issues #2423590

      Windows 11?

      I’m not sure what you’re asking about Win 11; but I’m probably not the right person to ask about that.  I’m not currently running Win 11 on any of my “production” systems yet.  (I don’t plan on doing that for at least a couple more months.)

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    • in reply to: Turbo Tax and Windows 11 issues #2423586

      krism: Once you purchase and install TurboTax, you can buy the state e-file add-on from within the TurboTax program.  Here’s a post about how to do that from the Intuit community forum:

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • in reply to: Turbo Tax and Windows 11 issues #2423581

      TT Premier w State-Fed /e-File (was $130) is now $120;

      For anyone who’s interested, if you go thru Amazon rather than directly from Intuit, you can get TurboTax Premier currently for $54.99 (that’s without the state e-file).  But once you have a copy of TT Premier, the state e-file add-on cost is only $20 more.  So the total TurboTax Premier cost with state e-file comes to $74.99 thru Amazon.  Just FYI.


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    • in reply to: Closing out January #2422296

      Question for those that follow the twitter account and the blog? Would you want me to post a new post when I update the Master Patch Listing?

      Susan, I hardly ever check Twitter (I personally don’t have much use for it).  But still, it would be great if you could add a new blog post whenever you update the Master Patch List.  I’ll get an “alert” in Outlook when you do that; since I’ve added AskWoody to my Outlook RSS feeds.

      To make it even easier for anyone customizing their Outlook alerts, it would be helpful if you could use a consistent title for those blog posts — e.g., “Master Patch List Update:” — followed by whatever additional description or details you might want to add.  The Outlook alert could be triggered and/or filtered by that consistent initial phrase in your blog post title.

    • in reply to: Freeware Spotlight — Free alternatives to Quicken #2409200

      Great review but I worry about “FREE”! What is the business model for these programs? I remember hear that Mint sold your information to CC companies who want you to sign up for their CC.

      : If that’s your main concern, the option I’d recommend is GnuCash.  You don’t have to worry about any company’s business model; since there’s no company involved.  GnuCash is an open source project developed and supported by a community of volunteers.  If you’re so inclined, you can even get involved in the project yourself in any number of ways:

      Also with GnuCash, there’s no need to offer up your financial information or data to any organization — or to “the Cloud”.  You can keep all that data safely air-gapped away from the Internet on your own local storage.  Anyway, GnuCash would be my recommendation.

    • in reply to: Can you install Windows 11 home without a MS account? #2403843

      It’s good news to hear that even Home users can setup Windows 11 without being forced to use a Microsoft Account.  But it’s so sad — and makes me mad as hell — that Microsoft makes it next to impossible for the average user to figure out how to do that.  Why can’t MS get it thru their thick skulls that a lot of folks want to setup their own personal PC with just a plain old standard local account?  (Let me answer that — they just don’t care.)

      It’s one thing to recommend to users that they setup their computer with a Microsoft account.  It’s crossing a line though when they do everything possible to try to coerce users into it.  I would love to see the FTC investigate this tactic as a possible anti-trust act.  Or perhaps the EU could take some action against MS for violating the GDPR data protection regs.  Whatever it takes I just hope some government agency with enough clout steps up and puts a stop to this.

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    • in reply to: Understanding Office 2021 and Office LTSC #2403060

      If Microsoft could, there’d be no “perpetual license” versions at all. Microsoft would prefer that everyone purchase the Microsoft 365 annual payment plans because they assure recurring revenue and are interconnected with Microsoft’s cloud services. Sadly for Microsoft, at any rate, there are customers who won’t go along and who insist on sticking with the decades-old process of paying once for Office and using it indefinitely.

      Count me among those who won’t go along with annual payment plans.  I absolutely refuse to rent my software.  Anytime you rent anything, you’re at the mercy of the “landlord”, who is free to increase the rent at any time for any reason with little to no advance notice.  I may not like the high upfront cost; but at least I know it’s one and done.  I never need to worry that Microsoft is going to up the subscription cost at some point (which you know they will).

      A significant point of resistance is the almost constant feature updates pushed by the subscription plans. Many users prefer the fixed feature set in Office 2019 and now 2021, the way things were before 365 appeared.

      And, sticking with the same analogy of the renter, the landlord is free to make changes to the property (or product) at anytime as well — regardless of whether or not you want any of those changes.  Once I know a product does what I need it to do, I don’t want it changing.  I want a stable product that just keeps working for me the way it did from the start.  I don’t want to have new features popping up or my user interface changing without warning.

      If, at some point, I believe that I absolutely have to have some new feature, then I’ll make a decision as to whether or not it’s financially worth it to upgrade the product in order to get that desired feature.  As long as I have a traditional perpetual license, I’m in control of the decision making process — not Microsoft.  I’ll only upgrade if and when I determine for myself that the new features justify the cost of purchasing a new license.  If they don’t, then I can just continue using the version of the product that I already have — for as long as I want … at no additional cost.

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    • KWGuy:  I don’t know what Susan’s take on this would be; but my “go-to” browser for more than a decade has been Firefox.  I’ve taken a brief look at Brave; but personally I’m not all that impressed by it.  One thing that especially turns me off of Brave is its “Private Ads” rewards, where the browser has some algorithm to monitor my “level of engagement” with the ads.  That’s something that I strongly object to.  And, of course, (as you already mentioned) a big concern is their connection to various crypto currency sites.

      In general, I use Firefox for almost all my daily web surfing, along with these three add-on extensions:  NoScript, Adblock Plus, and DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials.  That combination of Firefox and these add-ons works just about everywhere for me except for a very few websites (less than 5%) that occasionally have some issues.  And in those rare cases, my alternate browser is Chrome — which seems to be the gold standard for web developers.

      For a good comparison of features between Brave and Firefox, here are links to two reviews by TechRadar:

      One last comment I’d have is regarding Microsoft Edge.  Lately, Edge has been getting better in terms of new added features.  However, despite that, I would strongly discourage using it just based on its lack of privacy and user controls.  If you don’t mind sharing everything with Microsoft, it’s probably OK; but personally, I like to limit the amount of data Microsoft collects about me and my systems as much as possible.  So for me, Edge is a “no-go”.

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    Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 166 total)