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Article titlesort descending Time posted Poster Comment Link
Windows 10’s Fall Update Removes User Installed Applications Without Asking 5 years 5 months ago shnbwmn

Just another reason to use portable apps. Obviously not everything can be portabilised, particularly large commercial programs required for work, but when possible it makes things so much easier, safer and faster.

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Windows 10’s Fall Update Removes User Installed Applications Without Asking 5 years 5 months ago crosseyedlemon

There are certainly advantages to using the portable apps. The following website might be of interest to those looking for apps of this kind.
http://www.portablefreeware.com/all.php

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Windows 10’s Fall Update Removes User Installed Applications Without Asking 5 years 5 months ago crosseyedlemon

I think you could probably form a nation with all the computer users that now have contempt for Microsoft. I too am using Windows 7 and I definitely don't expect Microsoft to keep their promise and support that OS until 2020. I'll be moving on to Linux shortly because I'm convinced upgrading to Windows 10 is no different than booking passage on the Titanic.

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Windows 10’s Fall Update Removes User Installed Applications Without Asking 5 years 5 months ago eikelein

Typically Microsoft!

Overbearing, presumptuous and snotty.

I should be grateful to them for "creating" more work for me but I pity my typical customer who will be helplessly entangled in MS's crummy machinations.

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Windows 10’s Fall Update Removes User Installed Applications Without Asking 5 years 5 months ago pratomorone

Sir Gruff...I had the same problem after I deleted all the updates that the site listed that would enable Mr. Softy to load Win 10 on my machine. After trying everything I could find on how to correct it, all to no use, I now use a program that updates software on my computer. It also looks for updates to Win 7, downloads and installs them. It is called patchmypc. It will be a cold day in hell before I load Win 10 either on my wife's computer or mine.

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Windows 10’s Fall Update Removes User Installed Applications Without Asking 5 years 5 months ago Krunk

I appreciate the difficulties some have had with Windows 10 and the perceived invasion of privacy and loss of control.
But I find it a bit ironic that most of the hate directed toward Microsoft is from folks who are irrevocably attached to their beloved Windows 7.
You know, MICROSOFT's Windows 7..

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Windows 10’s Fall Update Removes User Installed Applications Without Asking 5 years 5 months ago johnvk

True. Except for the poster who said they're moving to Linux.
And I think when we break up with Microsoft, we say, It's you, its not me.
You've changed. You're not the OS I married.
;)

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Windows 10’s Fall Update Removes User Installed Applications Without Asking 5 years 5 months ago Krunk

Well played, John.

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Windows 10’s Fall Update Removes User Installed Applications Without Asking 5 years 5 months ago Fairportfan

Wow. MICROSOFT is "Overbearing presumptuous and snotty"?

I was an Aoole user many years ago - until the IIgs dolchstab, anyway.

I'm remembering the furore over the free album you got whether you wanted it or not, too.

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Windows 10’s Fall Update Removes User Installed Applications Without Asking 5 years 5 months ago Tom38740

This is my 4th time trying to make Win 10 acceptable. It has back stabbed me once to many times, ripping Apps away, freezing up, to many things. Microsoft has ask me to leave them by trying to force it on me. I am junking it and going to another OS. I don't know which one yet, maybe one more people friendly and not so corporate.

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Windows 10’s Fall Update Removes User Installed Applications Without Asking 5 years 5 months ago bootneck02

I was a windows user from XP, Vista, W7, W8 and then W10, UNTIL I realised what Microsoft were up to. A week ago I decided I did not wish to be beholden to Microsoft for my operating system as it appeared to me they were keeping tabs on me on who I was emailing, my internet surfing habits etc etc. So I decided that I would get out of their clutches and remembering that I am a user and not a PC geek I had a look around at all of the other operating systems and soon realised there are free ones out there AND there are and they are Linux Operating Systems. After a lot of investigating I found two that seemed to fit the bill which are designed for beginners they are Ubuntu and Linux Mint. I eventually chose Linux Mint 17.2 Mate 64 bit. Last week I installed Mint and have been running that ever since AND removing Windows so as not being able to fall back to W10 should I get stuck on anything.
The result is that I am so pleased with Linux mint it works out of the box any problems there is support out there although so far I have not needed it (fingers crossed) and am a very happy Linux user and would recommend the change to anyone. If anyone does not know you do not need anti virus, ALL software is free unless you wish to donate to Linux. If you wish to try Linux I would suggest that you back up your Microsoft downloads on to a external drive just in case you wish to at a future date return to dreaded Microsoft. As I have said before I am just a PC user and know nothing about programming and you do not need to when you start with ether Ubuntu or Mint give it a try you might like it.

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Windows 10’s Fall Update Removes User Installed Applications Without Asking 5 years 5 months ago Yankiwi

Agreed. After 30 years of owning PCs, from the days of DOS through to Windows 7, I've finally accepted that Microsoft cannot be trusted and that Windows will no longer be my OS in the future. Like you, I looked into Linux distros and chose Linux Mint 17.2 Cinnamon (Rafaela) 64-bit. In the little time that I've had to play with it so far, it appears very polished, functional, and complete, right out of the box. I have some Windows-specific professional software I'll continue to need, so I can run W7 within VirtualBox or on a separate machine, perhaps isolated from the Internet so that Microsoft cannot mess with it.

I will not be bullied by Microsoft into accepting W10 or letting them control which OS or updates I install, nor will I let any OS "phone home" with data from my computer without my express permission on each occasion. My privacy is not for sale.

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Windows 10’s Fall Update Removes User Installed Applications Without Asking 5 years 5 months ago bootneck02

I am with you Krunk and John they have lost the trust of the domestic user I would think probably the small business user as well

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Windows 10’s Fall Update Removes User Installed Applications Without Asking 5 years 5 months ago rhiannon

My suggestion would be to run a search using the terms "factory restore HP Elitebook" and the model number of your laptop. That should bring up the information. :) I hope that helps. I use duckduckgo.com as a search engine, it aggregates content from Google and bing but protects your privacy. Weird name, awesome search engine.

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Windows 10’s Fall Update Removes User Installed Applications Without Asking 5 years 5 months ago QuarterLessTwain

I don't like anyone, including Microsoft, making decisions for me. I don't feel as strongly as other people who have commented, but it's nice to know that I need to check the Windows.old folder occasionally.

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Windows 10’s Fall Update Removes User Installed Applications Without Asking 5 years 5 months ago UserError

I won't go as far as you want to, but I 100% agree on the problems Windows 10 has brought. I decided to install it on a laptop... My Gosh! What a mistake that was! Several privacy and security settings I disabled previously turned themselves back on after a few hours, the word "privacy" is practically non-existant now. My network monitor was showing the OS was sending data back home on a regular basis every minute, every hour, every day. Have no idea what kind of data was being sent, but I don't trust Windows 10. At least the previous OSs ware more transparent on their intentions.

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Windows 10’s Fall Update Removes User Installed Applications Without Asking 5 years 5 months ago UserError

You made my day with the last sentence. Very, very true. I won't touch W10 ever again.

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Windows 10’s Fall Update Removes User Installed Applications Without Asking 5 years 5 months ago eikelein

Krunk,
Many - or most? - of them are not "attached to their Windows 7". The vast majority of them just don't even know that here are alternatives.
They don't know because there is no marketing power behind the alternatives.

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Windows 10’s Fall Update Removes User Installed Applications Without Asking 5 years 5 months ago CyberWolf64

And, just as a precaution here, I DO have a right to "bash" Microsoft. I used DOS since the 2.1 days, Windows since v1.0 (dear god that REALLY dates me).
I have had on my personal machines, Windows 3.0, 3.1, 95, 98, 98SE, NT4, 2000, XP, and then 7. Never touched Vista (thankfully), and never touced the tablet wanna be's of Win 8/8.1.

So, yes, I can bash them because after all this time they have decided rather arbitrarily to act like they know best. When they DO NOT.

Besides, on my old 32 bit machoine I dual boot Win Xp (yep still live and kickin), and Manjaro 32 bit Linux.
And the same applies to new 64 bit machine: Win 7 Ultimate dual boot with the 64 bit version of Manjaro Linux.

That is why I have a SEVERE hatred of MS's lovechild SecureBoot. It WAS specifically designed to PREVENT using Linux. Because the ABSOLUTELY FEAR anything that will allow the USER to control THEIR OWN MACHINE.

So, again, I do have the rigt to bash. I have been a MS user since WAY back in time. And before MS, I used Apple II, IIe, and IIgs. And when I was working I even dabbled with OS/2 as well, and that is also back then when I got introduced to Unix.

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Windows 10’s Fall Update Removes User Installed Applications Without Asking 5 years 5 months ago Wendra

MS has been trying to force their Win10 files onto my system, however, I've never inferred at all, not even an inkling, that I'd want Windows 10 & I'd been removing files whenever I could. This week, Windows displayed an update dialogue box with no apparent way of closing it. As well. it kept asking me to commit to an update date. I'd even tried 2 different Task Managers & couldn't get it off my screen. GGGRRR!!! After research, I opted to install some free software called GWX Control Panel which could disable the Win10 updates. I really resent that these companies & others, such as browsers, don't give us more choices but arbitrarily decide things such as what level of security & which products should be placed onto our systems. I'm now going to check out Linux Mint so thanks to all the other posters for this recommendation & information. It's very much appreciated by yet another disgruntled long time Microsoft user. Adios Windows! Can't really say I'm going to miss you. LOL

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Windows 10’s Fall Update Removes User Installed Applications Without Asking 5 years 5 months ago repeters57

After I read to above comments regarding MS changing and overwriting drivers I checked my version of installed Windows 10. I am more than miffed at Microsoft. Prior to this last fast ring update I had paid for and had upgraded and running Windows 7, 8, 8.1 PROFFESSIONAL version. Guess what folks? Those asses at MS have automatically UPGRADED my machine to Windows 10 HOME edition! AUTOMATIC UPDATES?! WTF?! Now I have to track down a source to try to get my Win10 Pro version. I have back ups but I am thinking those wizards at MS will only update my back up with a home edition again. I'm glad I switched some machines to Linux.

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Windows 10’s Fall Update Removes User Installed Applications Without Asking 5 years 5 months ago repeters57

Oh, I forgot to mention my IE 11 spell checker quit after the last Win 10 update - BEAUTIFUL!

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Windows 10’s Fall Update Removes User Installed Applications Without Asking 5 years 5 months ago rhiannon

To the best of my knowledge, it doesn't matter what version of a previous OS you're running - Windows 10 free upgrade is for the Home edition only. If you want the Pro or Enterprise edition you'll have to purchase it separately.

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Windows 10’s Fall Update Removes User Installed Applications Without Asking 5 years 5 months ago Anupam

It's not like that. Windows Home Edition will be updated to Windows 10 Home Edition. Windows Pro edition will get update to Windows 10 Pro. It's a wonder why his Windows did not get updated to Pro. It should have.

Look at the table here under, "Using the media creation tool", and then under "Upgrade to Windows 10 using the tool".

https://www.microsoft.com/en-in/software-download/windows10

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Windows 10’s Fall Update Removes User Installed Applications Without Asking 5 years 5 months ago Remah

That's right Anupam. It says the same under Windows 10: FAQ

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Windows 10’s Fall Update Removes User Installed Applications Without Asking 5 years 5 months ago Remah

You should be able go back to the pre-upgrade Windows version relatively easily.

Contact Microsoft and tell them what has happened and they should help you to fix it.

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Windows 10’s Fall Update Removes User Installed Applications Without Asking 5 years 5 months ago mchldpy

Secure Boot is embraced by M$ BUT, it is not theirs. It was not invented by M$ nor is it owned by them. It is owned by the UEFI Forum. UEFI is a firmware interface just like BIOS is a firmware interface. There are dedicated Linux computers running UEFI and Secure Boot. The UEFI Specifications allow for each OS vendor to decide how tough or what specific rulesets are part of Secure Boot. M$ insist on certs signed by them, Linux uses the industry standard x.509 certs in their version of Secure Boot.

Promoters of UEFI include
AMD, Insyde Software, American Megatrends Inc., Intel, Apple Inc., Lenovo, Dell, Microsoft, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Phoenix Technologies, IBM

Contributors include SUSE, Red Hat Inc, The Linux Foundation, Seagate and many others.

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Windows 10’s Fall Update Removes User Installed Applications Without Asking 5 years 5 months ago repeters57

Anupam, thanks for your input. Maybe you didn't fully read my complaint. I had a fully paid copy of Windows 7 Pro, upgraded to win8, Win8.1 AND Win 10 first fast track update was Win 10 PRO. The last fast track update 1511.10586 updated my system to Win10 Home. I am writing this from another system, upgraded from Win 7 Pro, etc. This machine was correctly upgraded & updated to Win10 PRO 1511.10586.11. My intent in writing is to warn others of the potential MS update issue. I know how to correct this but I am frustrated this even occurred. Not only does the update over right drivers but OS as well. Your right "It's not like that" and "It should have" upgraded correctly but it did not.

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Windows 10’s Fall Update Removes User Installed Applications Without Asking 5 years 5 months ago Anupam

Sorry to not understand you fully. You had not shared these details in your previous post though.

Its really weird that one of your system was updated to Home version rather than the Pro. Weird why it would happen. Maybe you can call or contact Microsoft about it? It's really strange.

Good to know that the other system updated just fine. The other one is weird, and shouldn't have happened.

I dont mind the automatic updates much, if it keeps happening without an issue, but yes, the driver update issue bugs me too. I don't want drivers to be installed automatically. This is although helpful when the system is old, and the motherboard site either does not exist, or does not provide drivers anymore.. but its not required when motherboard site already provides the drivers.

This is where MS have messed things up. Oh well.

You can either contact MS, or again reset the system and try the update. Will be frustrating though if same thing happens again.

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Windows 10’s Fall Update Removes User Installed Applications Without Asking 5 years 5 months ago rhiannon

Thanks Anupam, I misunderstood the upgrades. :)

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Windows 10’s Fall Update Removes User Installed Applications Without Asking 5 years 5 months ago Buddythecat

I was running Win 7 happily.. MS kept pushing to upgrade to 10.. I kept saying NO!!! but last Friday they ZAP!! did it any way before I could stop it.. At first I thought what the hell sooner or later ill have to. So Saturday morning when I went to check it>>. WHHHHAAAaaa my puter kept trying to start and couldnt>>> NO help from MS.. or the web.. Tommorrow I have a Cert MS engineer ( ) comming by to try to straighten it out.. $150 an hour.. Im going to go to small claims and sue MS for the bill Who else has this problem???

Dec 8 Had a long session with MS securiety in Phip. and India and after an hour they couldny help the situation.. Called in a pro and He had no choice fut to reformat.. He did pre save all my files but the programs were lost.. So bottom line $200.00 and hours later my older lap top is back to the state HP delivered it with no programs or files...The new dell is running fine with the old info and im not a happy MS camper. Any one want to jpoin a class action suit???

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Windows 10’s Fall Update Removes User Installed Applications Without Asking 5 years 5 months ago rhiannon

That's horrible.........I'm so sorry you're having to go through that. When you get your system back, I would suggest you install GWX Contro Panel, the latest version prevents Microsoft from updating your computer. You can find it here:

http://blog.ultimateoutsider.com/2015/08/using-gwx-stopper-to-permanentl...

It's been mentioned and recommended many times by our readers and editors, I have it installed as well.

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Windows 7 - All Admin Tools in One Place Anonymous (not verified) view
Windows 7 Calculator Anonymous (not verified) view
Windows 7 Calculator Anonymous (not verified) view
Windows 7 Firewall Control Anonymous (not verified) view
Windows 7 Firewall Control Anonymous (not verified) view
Windows 7 Resource Monitor: New & Improved Anonymous (not verified) view
Windows 7 Service Pack 1 Tips Anonymous (not verified) view
Windows 7 Startup 6 years 9 months ago Remah This article will have further detail added including trace details and an overview diagram. Leave a comment and let me know what works or not for you. Remah - Editor view
Windows 7 Startup 6 years 9 months ago George.J Thanks for a great article. Worth 5 stars :) view
Windows 7 Startup 6 years 9 months ago MikeR

Ye Gods: the amount of effort, time, care and thoughtfulness that went into this particular article is. . . astonishing. Very, very VERY well done, Remah. As George J has already said, definitely a 5-star contribution -- and one that sets a whole new standard in this kind of comprehensive and informative reportage. MANY THANKS!!

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Windows 7 Startup 6 years 9 months ago jmjsquared

Thanks for a great, clearly written and nicely illustrated primer. Can't wait to digest it... slowly. :)

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Windows 7 Startup 6 years 9 months ago Remah Thanks. There's more work to come as there's more startup detail to go into the tables, an example of startup timings for a default user, a diagram to make the startup flow easier to visualize, and further optimization of the layout and content. view
Windows 7 Startup 6 years 9 months ago Cuffy

Beautiful piece of work!
I'm looking forward to the charts so I can follow along with my finger and talk to myself while tracing the whole process from start to finish!
Great work!

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Windows 7 Startup 6 years 9 months ago fandango

You have a remarkable facility for explaining things with a clarity and in a manner that even someone like me who is not an advanced user, can understand. That is quite a gift. Thanks for sharing it.

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Windows 7 Startup 6 years 9 months ago Stephen A Meigs

Excellent article, but the text explaining UserInit, which prefixes table 13, is a repeat of the text that explains LSM--an incorrect copy and paste, I guess.

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Windows 7 Startup 6 years 9 months ago Remah Oops! Thanks for picking that up for me. It is now fixed plus I've added Diagram 1 as an overview on the main startup sequence. view
Windows 7 Startup 6 years 9 months ago AndyR An awesome article Remah that filled in the blanks on a few things I was not certain of, nice one mate. view
Windows 7 Startup 6 years 9 months ago George.J Yup, am pretty slow reading stuff. :D I'm gonna read one sub-section every day. view
Windows 7 Startup 6 years 9 months ago walkingdead

I applaud the time, effort and dedication it took to write this article in such detailed depth. If it were possible I would rate it at 10 stars!
Excellent**********
Walkingdead

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Windows 7 Startup 6 years 8 months ago Remah Added two diagrams, 4 & 5, which discuss the components of Windows kernel-mode and user-mode respectively. Remah - category editor view
Windows 7 Startup 6 years 8 months ago Remah I had to remove those diagrams to a separate article because this article has got too big: Windows 7 Components for Startup view
Windows 7 Startup 6 years 8 months ago Yunga

Excellent!

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Windows 7 Startup 6 years 8 months ago johnvk

Wow!
You deserve the rave reviews you're getting.
I have browsed and will return. Probably frequently. More eyeballs for Gizmo Ad revenue ;)

I'm sure you dont mind if i point out some minor typos:

in "Services Autostart" you say 49,9 using a comma as the decimal point; you use . all other places.

In the note 2 for diagram 3, you say "12 shorter longer". I'm guessing that's supposed to be 12 seconds shorter.

Not only am i impressed at your windows knowledge, and communication skills, i'm impressed with your html table diagrams. I browsed the html source--they're an engineering accomplishment in themselves ;)

I even like your &inf; (&inf;) symbol.

One trivial suggestion: i think making a background for the inf char would highlight that. I feel like i'd like that to stand out when i view diagram 1.

I like your html icons, too. That's just cool to me. 90% of the time those would be little .jpgs or .pngs or .gifs.

Speaking of those, i did not see any of these 2 (unless i missed them)
"§ provides information on diagnostic tools and their output."
"![yellow] indicates a known troubleshooting issue."

I was looking forward to those.

Thanks for all the time and detail!

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Windows 7 Startup 6 years 1 week ago Remah

Thanks very much for picking up on my errors which are easy for me to miss. :)

I've started using HTML text diagrams to speed-up page load times by having a smaller overall size and fewer http calls with fewer images. I need to do this because my articles are much longer and more complex than most on this site. This article needs to be reduced in size, or split in two, before I can add more detail. HTML text diagrams do take much longer to plan and create but mean that I can amend them very quickly rather than having to modify a vector-graphic diagram, export it to a PNG file, and upload it to this site.

I would prefer to use vector-graphic diagrams but there is inconsistent support for this in web browsers particularly on mobile platforms.

Two web pages that are useful for HTML text are:

  • The World Wide Web (W3) Consortium HTML character entity reference which shows characters that all web browsers should display correctly.
  • HTML color references such as ComputerHope.Com's color reference list. I am considering changing the background for the infinity character.

It might be useful to indicate which processes run as long as Windows does but most of them are critical processes anyway. ... OK, I'll do it.

The diagnostic and troubleshooting icons are not visible unless you click on the "show more..." buttons to display the more detailed startup steps:

 §  (white on purple) is used fourteen time mainly where I've included many of the boot trace variable names.

 !  (black on yellow) is used seven times.

 Δ  (white on blue) which indicates differences between Windows editions is used once in Table 8 - Local Security Authority SubSystem: LSASS.exe.

P.S. I haven't forgotten about your comment on the Deeper into the Registry article. I've been busy on these startup articles.

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Windows 7 Startup 6 years 8 months ago ironleg1963

I loved the articles. I have a question though. Is there a program you can install or run from CD/DVD/usb to tell you each step and file, dll, everything that is going on from the mbr to the final boot up sequence of logging in to a network after logon. Then run wireshark to test the network connection. Possibly airsnort /nmap/wirecat, etc..
Any information is greatly appreciated.
Thanks!

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Windows 7 Startup 6 years 1 week ago Remah

I'm no expert on boot debugging for Windows but here's what I do know:

Third-party hardware debugging products for x86 and x64 computers install a separate board. These give you the earliest debugging control in the boot process.

See Microsoft's article on Windows debugging tools for an overview of debugging software. You can debug using software running on the same computer or on a different computer.

To start debugging from the boot loader you change the boot parameters as described in Tools for Changing Boot Options for Driver Testing and Debugging particularly changing the boot parameters and BCDEdit options You need to enable kernel-mode debugging if you want to see what is happening in the kernel-mode startup phase. I have been using Windows startup traces which do not provide sufficient kernel-mode detail.

You should have no problems starting wireshark and many other diagnostics while Windows debugging is operating.

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Windows 7 Startup 6 years 1 month ago eddt

Good article - any plans to hash one out for 8.1/10 as well?

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Windows 7 Startup 6 years 1 month ago Remah I want to but I haven't had a large enough block of free time. I haven't even had the time to finish adding detail to this article. With the imminent release of Windows 10 and the free upgrade offer, I might skip Windows 8 anyway. view
Windows 7 Startup 3 years 10 months ago Remah

This was one of the largest articles at Gizmo's Freeware and it has long needed to be divided into two smaller articles. Now that task is complete, I should be able to complete some additions and improvements which couldn't be applied last time I tried.

Remah,
Editor

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Windows 7 Startup 3 years 10 months ago crombierob

Anyone noticed that win 7 (Pro 32bit) is getting painfully slow to start up in the last month or two ?
I wouldn't be surprised if MS updates are slightly crippling/handicapping W7 to encourage us to upgrade to W10
Rob
PS I don't run Reg Cleaners, optimizers, etc, and I avoid having software auto start with windows

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Windows 7 Startup 2 years 9 months ago Remah

That scenario is extremely unlikely particularly when there are many far more likely reasons for slow startup. Bugs during startup are a common cause: a bug in an update particularly if it affects system restore point; a bug in a device driver; a bug in a service; etc. Many problems cause time-outs which mean that your system can be sitting around waiting for a response until a threshold is passed and the system records an error/warning.

The first thing to do is to find out what the actual boot time is, then compare it with earlier boot times and see where the slow down occurs.

The article How to Use Event Viewer to Find Your PC’s Boot Time is for Windows 7 but it works almost exactly the same for Windows 8 and 10. Just note that when you double-click an event to view its properties then you can select the Details tab to see many of the startup times discussed in this article.

P.S. Now that this article has been split, I have space to extend the article with some details about this sort of issue.

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Windows 7 Startup Components 6 years 8 months ago ektorbarajas

Congratulations for such a detailed and very well explained article.
Very useful

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Windows 7 Startup Components 6 years 8 months ago eikelein

@Remah:
Wow!
And THANK YOU!

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Windows 7 Startup Components 5 years 3 months ago FlyingHawk

Thank you for such a detailed (or simplified by your standard) article. Haven't read through everything yet. Bookmarked and will study more.

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Windows 7 Startup Detail Anonymous (not verified) view
Windows Defender Firewall 4 years 4 days ago Paxmilitaris

What about the Windows Firewall with Advanced Security?
How does it work?
How to activate it?
How to activate stealth?
Does Windows 10 Firewall control use the WFAS?

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Windows Defender Firewall 4 years 4 days ago MidnightCowboy

Please see here:MC - Site Manager.
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/access-protection/windows-firew...

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Windows Defender Firewall 4 years 4 days ago Remah

Windows Firewall with Advanced Security (WFAS) is discussed in the article:

Subsequent versions of Windows have seen an improved version of the firewall. Starting with Windows Vista, new features such as the ability to filter outgoing traffic, though in a more advanced view, are now available. The advanced version allows you to create advanced firewall rules, such as blocking certain programs from connecting to the internet. This advanced view can also be access via the control panel; however, it is not the most user friendly interface. As an alternative, you may want to consider using a third party tool such as Windows 10 Firewall control (discussed below) to complement the built in firewall.

Windows Firewall is accessed from the Control Panel and has few options because is is designed for home users with an unmanaged network. WFAS is accessed from the Advanced Settings of Windows Firewall and has many different rules because it is designed for a managed network with administration by technical administrators.

Since Windows Vista, WFAS is enabled by default as is stealth mode. If you don't like the WFAS interface then you can, as the article says, replace it with a third-party front-end.

See the difference in this How-to-Geek article between the first screenshots of Windows Firewall and the remaining screenshots of WFAS.

 

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Windows Defender Firewall Anonymous (not verified) view
Windows Desktop Software - Editors Choice Selection 8 years 2 months ago blaszta

No review on AOMEI Backupper? I found it has very extensive feature for disk imaging software, plus it's free for personal and commercial use.

The product you posted has an overall poor WOT rating (Web Of Trust) and has been spammed here on numerous occasions therefore it will not be featured. MC - Site Manager.

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Windows Desktop Software - Editors Choice Selection 8 years 2 months ago blaszta

My WOT icon still green when I visit the website. That's very unfortunate.. looks like a good program but I can't find any review of AOMEI Backupper from reputable website yet.

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Windows Desktop Software - Editors Choice Selection 8 years 2 months ago MidnightCowboy Two of the ratings are already at orange and the others are marginal. MC - Site Manager. http://www.mywot.com/en/scorecard/aomeitech.com?utm_source=addon&utm_con... view
Windows Desktop Software - Editors Choice Selection 8 years 2 months ago blaszta

Oh I see.. I only see the WOT icon at the end of the link (I'm using WOT extension in Chrome), never actually roll over on it to see the details :)

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Windows Desktop Software - Editors Choice Selection 8 years 2 months ago MidnightCowboy Sometimes the WOT ratings can be manipulated maliciously by say rival vendors or fanboys of other products but this practice is not as widespread as the "knockers" of WOT would have you believe, and anyone so affected can have it rectified via dialogue with Web Of Trust. That said, we were inundated with Aomei spam here at one point which is no doubt where many of the adverse ratings stem from. MC - Site Manager. view
Windows Desktop Software - Editors Choice Selection 7 years 7 months ago RandyDoqa

Can you please update this page and the pages "2 - 8" in a dynamic way, because i find differences in the best choices between those pages and the original page which have the review of the software, and in some reviews as "Best Free Antivirus for Windows" and "Best Free Firewall for Windows" i found that the best choices doesn't have the highest rate by the person who updated the reviews, so please i need a clear view to know what is the best choice in every category.

I rely on your website to get the best freewares for my PCs, and i am completely sure that other millions of users did too, so please keep all the reviews up to date and clear in the best choices.

By the way if you need a help in updating those pages i can do it for you, i noticed that the last update was in 8 of July and we are in 12 of September, it is a long distance, so if i can help i am ready for that.

And thank you so much for your reviews.

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Windows Desktop Software - Editors Choice Selection 7 years 7 months ago joeguru Thank you again for pointing out the issues. As the new editor for this category I reviewed all the pages and Best Of entries finding a total of 6 issues. These will be resolved asap. Also thank you for offering to help. If you would like to be an editor, please see the link titled Become a Reviewer in the left hand sidebar menu. view
Windows Desktop Software - Editors Choice Selection 7 years 6 months ago ejmfoley

S.I.W. isn't free any longer.

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Windows Desktop Software - Editors Choice Selection 7 years 6 months ago joeguru The portable version our link provides is free. view
Windows Desktop Software - Editors Choice Selection 7 years 5 months ago nicholasbbyrd

I was wondering if anyone has used any of the recent versions of Puran Utilities, especially Puran Defrag since they all became free for personal and non-commercial use? Now,it does bundle with an opt-out version of the Babylon Toolbar but then so do many free utilities these days, or at least some toolbar such as Bing or Google. The free version does include boot-time defragmentation of the MFT, Pagefile, and systems files. I'm testing it today, it seems like the site has a lot of useful utilities and I watched it carefully with a file monitoring program during install, didn't seem to bring anything unwanted in.

Edit: I also wanted to thank you and your team for this very useful website, it's allowed me to feel comfortable directing some of my less tech-savy, but curious to learn, friends and clients to a site that I know will give a thorough peer review before giving any piece of software the okay. I've found quite a few here myself, including ones I now own a small business license for, Teamviewer alone allowed me to expand my still small but growing tech service company.

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Windows Desktop Software - Editors Choice Selection 7 years 1 month ago Babelbest

Great, wonderful feedback

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Windows Desktop Software - Editors Choice Selection 7 years 5 days ago NondiPloom

Avast. The latest update requires you to allow Avast to gather any information it wants about you, including but not limited to the websites you visit and the games you play. It seems that if you don't update, you don't get the virus definition updates any more.

I declined and will look for an alternative.

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Windows Desktop Software - Editors Choice Selection 6 years 11 months ago rickybobby

Page 4, 'Best Free File Encryption Utility for Windows' mentions Axcrypt as the pick, but it talks about Sophos Free Encryption. Is that right? or am I missing something?

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Windows Desktop Software - Editors Choice Selection 6 years 11 months ago MidnightCowboy Thank you for pointing this out. The description for AxCrypt has now been corrected. MC - Site Manager. view
Windows Desktop Software - Editors Choice Selection 6 years 11 months ago kjohnny76

What Is The Name Of The Site That Tells You How To CONfig Facebook Tweeter A bunch Of Sites It was On The Site But A Can Not Find it Plus It Has A Download To That will tell you why your on them sites tells you what you need to config please help?

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Windows Desktop Software - Editors Choice Selection 6 years 9 months ago AussieExpat

This is not a comment on any other person's submissions, but a point of information -- even if one takes special care not to install any of the "free software" via the "obvious options" in custom installs, several antimalware programs - Malwarebytes, herdProtect, AdwCleaner, for example, will still identify many of these apps as having adware "in them" --- in particular, some of the "editor's choices" -- like Freemake converter, Pazera free audio extractor, not to mention the "huge" problem with Freecorder -- good program, but it comes with adware in the browser extensions, possibly even in the main program -- NOTHING is ever free, and software makers aren't interested in restricting their advertising revenues -- even if one purchases the Freecorder "ad-free" version, rather than just the free version. Clearly, we've reached the stage where such adware checkers are "compulsory" utilities.

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Windows Desktop Software - Editors Choice Selection 6 years 3 months ago angleco

It would appear that WPS Office has changed from from to a subscription model as of December, 2014. The free version is still available at ksoft.com

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Windows Desktop Software - Editors Choice Selection 6 years 1 week ago slooksterpsv

The malware included product is Free make video conversion. I found the other software but its misleading I will partially take that back. It says Review to see the others what??? It should say other products or something other than making the user think its a review of that software. It makes itsound like you are downloading or reviewing what is listed like WOT or Kasperaky TDS Killer.

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Windows Desktop Software - Editors Choice Selection 6 years 1 week ago MidnightCowboy

Thank you for responding to my contact. There is no malware in Freemake Video Converter. It does however contain non-malicious adware. This is made clear in both the review text and product details. We even provide a link to a dedicated page for this.

http://www.techsupportalert.com/content/controversial-advertising-progra...

We have also published other related material.

http://www.techsupportalert.com/content/what-else-have-you-just-download...

MC - Site Manager.

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Windows Desktop Software - Editors Choice Selection 5 years 11 months ago Injeun

I just wanted to say many thanks for this website and for the invaluable information. I come here all the time for the advice. Again, thank you.

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Windows Desktop Software - Editors Choice Selection 5 years 11 months ago Nibor

This is an amazing web-site. Thank you!
Have you been collecting freeware that facilitates the downloading of data from iPhones or iPads to Windows 7 PCs? There seem to be problems every time iOS is updated!
Comprehensible articles for connecting iOS and Windows would also be helpful: existing articles and instructions elsewhere on the 'net often state, for example, that "all photos will be deleted from all your devices" without making it at all clear whether or not a Windows PC is considered to be a "device" for these purposes. If so, we have a recipe for disaster; if not, what does the statement mean in the real world?
There is also confusion in such articles about iCloud and PhotoStream, with obscure references to the reduced quality of saved photos. Apple also says that in certain circumstances we have only 30 days within which to download and save photos to a Windows PC, without indicating exactly how those photos can be transferred and saved. (The difficulties are reserved mainly for PCs that do not use an Apple OS. Apple-orientated web-sites are generally unhelpful to users of Windows!)
Problems also arise because it is absolutely unclear whether files are going to be synchronised from an Apple device to a Windows PC - or from a Windows PC to the Apple device.
I, for one, want only to be able to manage my photos, music and data within Windows, and I am sure most of your readers will, like me, want to save all their iPhone and iPad data on their Windows PC... so a simple "recipe" for saving photos, music and other data on a Windows PC without having to purchase additional iCloud storage space would be welcome. A "backup" that cannot be accessed directly from within Windows simply doesn't cut the mustard!

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Windows Desktop Software - Editors Choice Selection 5 years 8 months ago Panzer

FontForge is a free and open source font editor:

http://fontforge.github.io/en-US/

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Windows Desktop Software - Editors Choice Selection 5 years 7 months ago Panzer

"... Project Spark is a powerful, yet simple way to build and play your own worlds, stories and games ... (now free):

http://www.projectspark.com

http://forums.projectspark.com/yaf_postsm251041_Project-Spark-Transition...

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Windows Desktop Software - Editors Choice Selection 5 years 3 months ago magnogreato

This is a great site, PERIOD!
It has really helped me out at times and I look forward to investigating new and interesting software.

WITH THAT BEING SAID,
I'm looking for an antivirus program that does not require me to install it....! Windows defender is great BUT it does not allow me to scan a single downloaded file, etc. Malware Bytes is great but it isn't for virus'
or trojan's. ANYONE GOT ANY IDEAS?
THANKS

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Windows Desktop Software - Editors Choice Selection 5 years 1 month ago Panzer "... LANTorrent is not a torrent application. It is actually a wrapper for you existing torrent application that adds a layer of protection to stop you corrupting your torrent setup, and recovering when it does ...": http://www.homedev.com.au/Free/LANTorrent view
Windows Desktop Software - Editors Choice Selection 4 years 11 months ago Panzer "... DaVinci Resolve has a familiar, editor friendly interface with that features virtually every imaginable editing and trimming tool available ...": https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/ca/products/davinciresolve/edit "... Windscribe is a desktop application and browser extension that work together to block ads and trackers, restore access to blocked content and help you safeguard your privacy online ...": https://windscribe.com/ view
Windows Desktop Software - Editors Choice Selection 4 years 9 months ago Panzer

"... Postleaf - first open source publishing platform to feature a true WYSIWYG editor ...":
https://www.postleaf.org/

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Windows Desktop Software - Editors Choice Selection 4 years 4 months ago mhardye

Sadly the link to Lightbox editor takes you somewhere else and the program is not free anymore, it is inexpensive just the same.

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Windows Desktop Software - Editors Choice Selection 4 years 3 months ago Australia

Another year almost gone ! I have learnt a lot from techsupportalert.com
Here are some new Windows freeware that I found useful this year, 2016
They can be found on reputable freeware sites. Many have portable versions
I currently use Windows 7
1. Restore Point Creator - an excellent System restore utility
2. SwiftSearch - extremely fast file search - faster and more reliable than the well known utility "Everything"
(alternative is MasterSeeker - another fast excellent instant file finder)
3. Photo on Desktop-7 - simple utility to have one photo on your screen as you work
4. ScreenHunter free portable - one of many screenshot programs, but lets you copy a screenshot just to the clipboard
5. Hot Corners - simple customizable launcher, which opens a program if you point your mouse of one of the corners of the screen
6. F.lux - modifies the screen colour to minimise eye fatigue
7. Antirun - simple USB drive utility - plug in a USB drive, and this program will block any autorun viruses, and also lets you eject the drive quickly
8. Clavier Plus - excellent hotkey utility, which acts globally, with low system resources. Launch a program, or insert autotext
9. Shutter Lite - customisable utility which can launch programs, or shutdown, depending on low battery status, or other parameters
10. Easy Pro Shutdown - the fastest way I have found to shut down Windows, or timed shutdown. Simple yet effective utility
11. DS Clock - free black and white digital clock for your screen
12. Volumouse - simple utility to quickly control system volume
13. BattStat - simple utility which shows you battery status in numerical format at all times
14. KeyFreeze - excellent portable utility, locks keyboard and mouse for those with children, also great as a screen lock
15. PangoBright ie excellent screen dimmer, portable utility - great for quickly adjusting screen brightness
16. PrivaZer ie portable utility, a file cleaner like CCleaner, but only for experienced users, as can create problems if not used wisely
Prior to cleaning/deleting files, this program lists exactly what information has been left on your system eg browsing history website addresses

Happy New Year 2017 !

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