Windows 10 Anniversary Update Wiped Out My Partition
The Windows 10 Anniversary Update wiped out the partition on a Lenovo E530. I have not seen large numbers of posts about this, but have noted that this is the only machine that has updated. I”ve tried to update one machine to test the IRDA features that are supposed to be in this update, but that machine will not update; perhaps Microsoft has slowed or stopped the rollout. Figure 1 shows Google Trends results for queries about the update, while instructions for avoiding similar updates are contained in the section that follows.
Ultimately, this ended up being a format-reinstall of Windows 10. I first did a Clonezilla backup of the drive, then took the original drive out, put a new one in and restored the Clonezilla backup. The partition was readable in GpartEd, and Ubuntu chkdsk (with appropriate tools) ran fine, but I could not get Windows to do an overwrite reinstall; it has to be bootable for that to work.
Avoiding Windows Updates with New Function
The risk for errors in Windows updates is certainly higher for updates that contain new function and which are announced to have new function, as was the case in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update. In prior versions of Windows Professional, it was easy to turn off updates and to manually select which ones to apply, but in Windows 10, this is no longer the case, unless you are an Enterprise user. Windows Professional users are now crash test dummies for Windows Enterprise users.
You can, however, turn off updates with new function prior to a big update, and then turn new function updates back on once you hear that it is rolling out smoothly. To do this, go to Windows Update Settings and click on the advanced options as shown in Figure 2. On the Advanced Options panel shown in Figure 3, check the box for “Defer upgrades”; this will defer the new function upgrades like the Anniversay Upgrade, but will not defer security updates.
You may also want to look at the options for upgrade delivery under the “Choose how updates are delivered” option shown in Figure 4. Windows 10 can download updates to one PC on your network and then other PCs can upgrade from the first PC. This is probably a good idea for desktops that are on a static network, but is not necessarily what you want to do on a laptop that may be connected to a public network.
- Written by Bruce Moore
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Windows 10 Upgrade Experience for VirtualBox
Upgrading my Windows 7 image running in VirtualBox proved to be one of the more frustrating upgrades, but ultimately quite easy–once I figured out the secret. The article that follows dicusses what I recommend as an approach to the upgrade, though this is not the way I got to the end.
Upgrading to Windows 10 in a virtual machine is relatively easy and risk free if you take a snapshot before you upgrade; you can always restore to the snapshot if there are problems with the upgrade.
Download the Compatibility Testing Tools
When I used the little Windows 10 upgrade icon in the lower right corner to attempt to upgrade, it universally told me that my graphics drivers were not supported. I went through many gyrations and settings changes to no avail. I finally downloaded the windows10upgrade9252.exe upgrade tool from the Microsoft website; you must access it from within the Windows VM, as Microsoft will not show you all of the options if you are surfing from a Linux or Mac. I ran the downloaded tool and it’s compatibility test indicated that my hardware would run Windows 10 and proceeded with the upgrade. The upgrade ran without problems.
Compatibility for Windows 10 Upgrade
The Windows 10 compatibility tester that installed via Windows Update indicated that my graphics adapter was not supported as shown in Figure 1. In attempts to fix the problem, I ended up making several changes that were recommended by various web threads. These may have contributed to getting the
windows10upgrade9252.exe installer to work.
Attempt #1–Enable PAE/NX
The first recommendation that I found was to enable
PAE/NX; it was already enabled as shown in Figure 2.
Adding the PAE/NX instruction didn’t fix the processor compatibility problem listed by the Windows virtual machine.
Attempt #2–Remove VirtualBox 4.1.12 Guest Additions
This machine showed high CPU use for “hardware interrupts and DPC”. One of the problem determination commentaries on this problem suggested removing the VirtualBox Guest Additions. This did not fix anything.
Since I lost my dual-screen setup when I removed the extensions, I reinstalled the extension and tried to enable accellerated 3D--but got a message that I had to boot in safe mode to install the extensions with the accellerations enabled.
Attempt #3–Upgrading VirtualBox from 4.1.12
The version of VirtualBox that is part of my base Ubuntu distribution was 4.1.12–quite old, as the current release of Virtualbox is 5.0.2 as of September 5, 2015. The VirtualBox web site at Download VirtualBox for Linux Hosts has instructions for adding
apt-get repositories to allow installation of the newer versions of VirtualBox.
This step involves a lot of backups prior to attempting it so that there is an easy way to roll back.
sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install virtualbox-4.3
sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install virtualbox-5.0
This had a number of improvements, but did not fix the Windows 10 upgrade problem.
Attempt #4–Change Paravirtualization Settings
Set paravirtualization to default from legacy. This did not fix the problem.
Attempt #5–Disable 3D Acceleration in VirtualBox Settings
One web post suggested disabling 3D video acceleration. This did not fix the problem.
Attempt #6–Install from ISO Disks
The final web post suggested forcing the installation using ISO images. In this process, I found the upgrade tool windows10upgrade9252.exe which did not find the incompatibility that the Windows Update installer found. Although I did not have to download an ISO image, I was able to use this tool to upgrade the machine.
- Written by Bruce Moore
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Solving Windows 10 Problems with Booting from a CD
I recently did a Clonezilla backup of my Lenovo W541 and had problems getting it to recognize the F12 key that you have to press during the boot process to bring up the boot selection menu. It turned out to be a problem caused by the “fast startup” or “hybrid boot” feature in Windows 10. To boot from a CD by pressing F12 during boot (or to enter the BIOS settings by pressing F1) you will first need to disable “fast startup.”
To disable Fast Startup, go to the Power Settings page shown in Figure 1, and select the “Advanced power settings” dialog link at the bottom of the panel under “Related settings,” then select “Choose what the power buttons do” on the left side of the panel as shown in Figure 2. Next, select the “Change additional options that are not shown” link at the top as shown in Figure 3; this will activate the options at the bottom of the page. Un-check the “hybrid boot” option as shown in Figure 4. You should be able to use use F12 to get to the boot selection menu. If you get a message that the operating system was not recognized, you will need to enter the BIOS settings (press F1 during boot) and temporarily disable the Secure Boot setting in the security tab. Make sure to re-enable Secure Boot in the BIOS when you are finished with your Clonezilla backup.
- Written by Bruce Moore
- Hits: 2019
No Sound in Phone Calls for Nexus 5
The sound during phone calls on my Nexus 5 recently stopped working, and after several days and much frustration, I figured out the cause and a possible work around. The problem started when I was trying to connect the Nexus 5 to a Plantronics wireless headset base with a three-pole plug–I now think it needs a four pole plug to connect to the Plantronics. Around this time the audio stopped working, but started working again briefly when I updated to a new Android security level. Because of the software update, it looked like the problem was a software problem, but it now looks like it is a problem with a connection on the headphone jack that tells the phone that a headset is plugged in even when one is not present.
Here are the symptoms:
- Phone calls do not work with normal phone-to-ear operation; neither party gets sound
- Phone calls work with speakerphone setting
- Phone calls work with Bluetooth headset
- Phone calls work with a wired headset.
The sequence that follows is not the sequence that I used for problem determination, but this is probably the easiest and least destructive approach. Although this is written for a Nexus 5 running Android 6.0.1, this approach will probably work for most Android phones.
Check Volume Settings
Make sure that volume is turned up for music, notifications and phone connections and that it is not in silent mode. This sounds insulting, but you should always start with the easiest to fix problem. Make sure to look at all of the volume levels by pulling down all of the volume controls as shown in Figure 1.
Check Permissions–Non-destructive Check
Next, check permissions for phone app and make sure that it can use microphone and the phone, as shown in Figure 2. If you are running an Android level below 6.0, this option will not be available. If you have not customized permissions, it is unlikely that this is a problem, but it is an easy check and a good opportunity to learn about permissions if you are not familiar with them.
Check for Misbehaving Applications–Non-destructive Check
Next, reboot the phone in safe mode by holding the down volume control while the phone is booting. If things work at this point, you probably have a misbehaving application that is grabbing control of audio and not allowing the phone application to get control of audio. This YouTube video demonstrates putting a phone into safe mode, but all you do is press the power button to bring up the shutdown panel, and then do a long press on the power off panel until the safe mode panel comes up. Figure 3 shows the safe mode panel that occurs when you press and hold the power off panel. Figure 4 shows the safe mode indicator in the lower left of the display that shows that you have successfully entered safe mode.
Check for Headphone Jack Problem
To check for a problem in the headphone jack that continuously tells Android that a headset is plugged in when one is not present, install the Soundabout app from the Google Play Store and manually assign the phone audio to the built-in speaker. Configure the phone app to use the earpiece as shown in Figure 5. If this works, you probably have a dirty or broken headphone jack that makes the hardware think that there is a wired headset connected when there is not. Repeated audio jack notifications like the one in Figure 6 are a strong indication that this is the root cause of the problem. At this point you can either live with the inconvenience of reassigning audio in Soundabout whenever you want to use Bluetooth or a wired headset, or you can get your phone repaired.
Some people have reported that repeatedly inserting and removing an audio plug has fixed this problem.
Permanent Software Workaround
If you know that the headphone jack is causing the problem and do not want to spend the money to have the phone repaired, you can disable the headphone jack using Soundabout, as shown in Figure 7. Disabling the jack will allow the phone to auto-select between speakers, earpiece and Bluetooth as it would normally. You can still use the headphone jack, but using this approach you will have to open Soundabout and re-enable the headphone jack before you use it.
Check Permissions–Destructive Check
If the audio jack is not broken, you can next reset all permissions to defaults, to make sure that it is not a permissions problem related to some other application that the Android phone app uses for something. This is probably a long shot, but it is substantially less time consuming to reset your customized permissions than to do restore data from a factor reset.
Check for Misbehaving Applications–Destructive Check
At this point, you can try a factory reset and restore apps after the reset, assuming you selected the backup options in your Android configuration. This will wipe out all of your data and customization. Even with backups, it will take a couple of days to get all of your apps working again. If this works, the problem was probably in some complex software configuration mess. Figure 8 shows the settings panel where you can perform the reset.
Check for Misbehaving Applications–Really Destructive Check
As a final resort, you can try a factory reset without restoring your apps. This wipes out everything and gives you a base phone. If this works, it means that one of your apps was misbehaving. Add them back one by one to figure out the problem.
Potential Hardware Repairs
- Written by Bruce Moore
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Solving Windows 10 Shutdown Problems on HP 4520s
Since upgrading to Windows 10, I've had difficulty getting my HP 4520s to shut down using the normal Start Button tools, but it would shut down using the Cygwin shutdown command. After trying a lot of stuff, I took it to a local Microsoft Store when we were in the vicinity. The technician was able to fix the problem embarrassingly quickly by disabling the “fast startup” option which is sometimes called “hybrid boot.” This is a relatively new (to me at least) option that speeds up booting, but which does not play well with the older drivers on the HP 4520s, requires that you restart rather than shutdown/start when you install updates and which masks keystrokes to enter BIOS or boot menus while starting up or restarting a machine.
To disable Fast Startup/Hybrid Boot, go to the Power Settings page shown in Figure 1, and select the “Advanced power settings” dialog link at the bottom of the panel under “Related settings,” then select “Choose what the power buttons do” on the left side of the panel as shown in Figure 2. Next, select the “Change additional options that are not shown” link at the top as shown in Figure 3; this will activate the options at the bottom of the page. Un-check the “fast startup” option as shown in Figure 4. You should be able to use the normal shutdown procedures on your HP 4520s.
This may be helpful on other older machines as well.
- Written by Bruce Moore
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