Tag Archives: Windows 10

Around the Blogsphere: Flash, Firefox, Chrome, UWP oh my!

Final Bow for Flash estimated in 2 years

With recent acceptance from Adobe with Creative Suite 2016 parting ways with Adobe Flash, more and more signs point to the final bow (goodbye) to flash in next 2 years. Per a report from Encoding.com, as referenced in The Verge article (http://www.theverge.com/2016/1/27/10840480/flash-dead-in-two-years-webm), Flash makes up only 6% of multimedia for mobile and Web today, down from 14% in 2014. The article points out some interesting observations of what is actually replacing Flash today, with what appears to be a final battle between the royalty-free codec WebM (http://www.webmproject.org/) commonly found in HTML5 and H.264 with its eventual successor H.265 to support 4K video.

Firefox Introduces Push Notifications for Desktop

A feature that has been around for a while now in Chrome and Safari, Firefox now has jumped on the Push Notification bandwagon.  Push notifications with desktop browsers brings the benefit of content providers push information to the user without requiring them to have their site open in the tabs. If you are an active user of Chrome for instance and use Gmail/Facebook, you might have noticed popup notices in the bottom of your screen, these are push notifications (of course, if you allowed such services).  Why is this important? This opens new possibilities in ecommerce for example. Cart Abandonment results in large potential revenue losses. Instead of sending a traditional email which results in loss of valuable time, we can now push a notice to a customer to complete their order in a timely fashion.

Read More here:

Support in Microsoft Edge browser is still classified as “under consideration”

Chrome for iOS Supercharged

Chrome on iOS has just released a new update (v48). The biggest change is that they trashed their own rendering engine in favor of iOS 9’s extendable engine WKWebView, resulting in significant drop in crash rate and faster JavaScript execution (i.e. it is super fast, putting it on par with Safari).

http://9to5mac.com/2016/01/27/chrome-ios-stability-speed-wkwebview/

Chrome Desktop Enhanced Security

Chrome v48 (for Desktop), released yesterday, has a new security panel in the browser’s DevTools (F12). This will help clarify content origin, certificate validity and other items related to your browsing safety.  Read more here – http://blog.chromium.org/2016/01/introducing-security-panel-in-devtools.html

Visual Studio helps port iOS apps to UWP (Universal Windows Platform, aka Windows 10 App)

Microsoft has a feature in Visual Studio that helps developers port existing iOS app code to the UWP to help close the app gap between Windows 10 mobile platform and well-established iOS. To support this effort, Microsoft has been releasing a series of articles, all of which is introduced here – http://www.winbeta.org/news/ios-developers-get-introduced-to-visual-studios-for-developing-universal-windows-10-apps.

PSA: Windows 10 1511 Update Could Break Features & Apps and Storage screens!

Problem

Accessing Apps & features or Storage in the System screen of Settings app hangs.

Apps and Features Not Load

As you can see, it just completely hangs! Every other option in System works fine… so odd.

Background

Let’s take a step back and discuss what I have… I am running

  • Hardware: Macbook Air (Fall 2013 edition)
  • OS: Windows 10 Pro (running with Apple Boot Camp)
  • OS Version: 1511
  • OS Build: 10586.17

Latest update ran just a couple days ago:

1511updates

(Used for Search Engine) KB3122947 and KB3116908

Solution

I did some searching online, but did not see anyone else with similar issue, so I jumped over to Microsoft Support App, starting a chat session with Microsoft. I spoke with a very helpful and friendly support member, Tony (Hey Tony!). Although MS Support is a paid service (?!?) he was more than kind to help without fee. Couple things he tried:

  1. Create a new local account (as an Administrator) and try to access Apps & Features, still no luck.
  2. He then ran Command Line, running:
    sfc /scannow
    This resulted in an error about corrupted files, though it appears that was a dead end as well (?) as he did not do a lot of reading in the log files.
  3. Lastly he attempted to run DISM /Online /cleanup-image /restorehealth but it failed saying it cannot locate source file.
  4. After little bit of time, he came back and reported (after speaking with an Engineer) appears a known issue with latest update to build 1511!

Sadly they reported the issue could possibly not be fixed (by Windows Update) for an upward of 2 months!!

So to fix this, we discovered that you can still access the OLD Program and Features found in the right click menu on the Start icon.
ProgramFeaturesstartment

Wala!! we are in!

installedappssuccess

Sadly if you are an active Windows 10 Modern Apps user (I am not currently) this will not help you.

Potential solutions if you need to access uninstall Apps is simply right click on app –
App Uninstall

If you need to access Storage, it is more complicated, and you have 3 POTENTIAL solutions (but not verified)

  1. Perform a Reset found in Update & Security -> Recovery. WARNING: this will remove all desktop applications and require reinstall of all applications (but files will remain untouched)
    ResetWindows
  2. Perform a Windows 10 Repair (launch Windows 10 installer and select Repair. This will preserve all files AND applications. (NOTE: Take about 1+ hours to complete)
  3. Go back to an earlier Build. In Update & Security then Recovery and select Go Back to an earlier build. NOTE: This will remove any files/applications or system changes after your last system update.

Have you seen this issue? Any different solution you can provide?

How to Upgrade from Office 2013 to Office 2016 and fix Activation Error

Have you heard the exciting news?  Office 2016 is now passing Google Apps providing real-time co-authoring in their desktop apps!  Read more about it in this great write-up from The Verge. Excited as I was, I immediately began the download process and waited “in just a moment” (more like couple hours) for the download to complete. It finished, installed and kept all my previous settings, awesome! BUT (there is always a “but”, right?) I got stuck with a stupid activation screen request. That is where this article comes in.  In this article, I will walk through the upgrade process and how we (thanks to Microsoft support) fixed the activation error. Let me set the stage first:

  • OS: Windows 10 Pro (current PUBLIC release)
  • Current Office installed: Office 2013, 15.0.4753.1003
  • Type of Licensing: Office 365 Home

To start, we need actually to download and upgrade our office application. You can see the official KB here from Office.com. The upgrade is not automatic which I think disappointing, why not drive Office updates through the Windows Update mechanism? Instead, you need to go to your My Account in Office.com and then select Install to initiate the upgrade process.

Step 1: Select My Account

Myaccount

Step 2: Login if not already (no visual as I am already logged in)

Step 3: Select Install

Install2016

Step 3: Select Install again. NOTE: this will install the 32-bit English version. If you want the 64-bit or different language, make sure you select Language and install options to change up options. I will not go further on this route b in visuals but when you click on it, you can select a language. If you REALLY want 64-bit, then click another link Additional install options to choose 64-bit.

Install2

Step 4: A download will kick off which is the installation shell, about 2MB in size. When finished the download, launch it, and full download and installation will begin.  DO NOT BELIEVE the “in just a moment” message, it took hours for mine to download and install but you can still use Office during this process.

Step 5: When done it will let you know in a dialog (sorry forgot to get a screenshot 😦 )

Woohoo, all installed and ready to go, or so I thought. Excitedly I opened Word and immediately received a prompt: (sorry image below is not from my computer, grabbed from Google Images, but only difference is software is just Office 365, not Office 365 ProPlus)

ActivationOffice

When I say Next, it failed with message

We’re sorry, something went wrong and we can’t do this for you right now. Please try again later. (0x8004FC12)

If I click cancel (many times though) the window goes away, and I can use the application, but it always comes back randomly.

I did some quick searching on Web and could not find other reports, so I turned to Microsoft Chat Support. After trying a couple things, they fixed it! I asked him what was actually issue and he only said “when you upgrade to 2016 there are just some few settings that has changed”, followed by “The settings are on the Windows 10, so we just changed it”.

Weird…. anyway, it is fixed 🙂

So here is what he changed using remote access, maybe someone more technically sound can help clarify what is going on:

In Regedit:

HKEY_Local_Machine -> Software -> Microsoft -> Windows -> CurrentVersion -> Policies -> ActiveDesktop

  • Changed key NoAddingComponents from 1 to 0

HKEY_Local_Machine -> Software -> Microsoft -> Windows -> CurrentVersion -> Policies -> Explorer

  • Changed key NoActiveDesktop from 1 to 0
  • Changed key NoActiveDesktopChanges from 1 to 0

In Command Prompt, run the following commands

  • net localgroup Adminisrators localservice /add
    • should see message “The command completed successfully”
  • fsutil resource setautoreset true C:/
    • should see message “The command completed successfully”
  • Tried to run, but failed netsh int reset resetlog.txt
    • again this failed, with message “The following command was not found: int reset resetlog.txt”
  • netsh int ip reset resetlog.txt
    • Receive series of messages as shown below
Resetting Global, OK!
Resetting Interface, OK!
Resetting Neighbor, OK!
Resetting Path, OK!
Resetting , failed. (yes there was a blank after the word Resetting in this line)
access is denied

Resetting , OK! (yes there was a blank after the word Resetting in this line)

We then restarted the computer.

After Restart, the support technician relaunched the Office application Word 2016 BUT as Run as Administrator. This time, the activation prompt does not appear.

So there you have it. That is how we solved the activation error in my case.  Again, I am not clear what the registry and CMD changes did, or maybe it all was fixed by simply running the application as Administrator for the first time.  I suggest if you see the same issue, try to run one of the Office applications first as an Administrator –

RunasAdmin

Sound off in comments below as to your experience in the Office 2016 upgrade!

PSA: Use Caution with Parallels Desktop 11 and Windows 10 Free Upgrade *UPDATED*

**UPDATE**

Per Parallels Support team, after you convert  your Boot Camp to a Parallels VM, wait up to 1 week and the activation issue will fix itself. I have not personally tried this yet, so I cannot promise truth behind this, plan to try at a later date.

*Original Story*

Before I start, let clarify that I am already in touch with Parallels support on Twitter and they are reviewing the case (thanks Parallels Support team!). In the meantime, I wanted to share my experience so others can use caution if they are in same boat as me.

Problem Statement

Deploying Parallels Desktop v11 in conjunction with existing Windows 10 (Pro in this case) that was free upgrade from Microsoft results in deactivation of Windows with no option to reactivate (dead license key).

Environment

  • Machine: MacBook Air, late 2013 model, with all bells and whistles (i7, 8gb ram, 13″ screen)
  • Mac OS: Current RELEASED version (not Public Beta), sorry, don’t know exact version, to be honest I am a Windows user.
  • Windows OS: Windows 10 Pro (latest RELEASED updates, no beta builds)
    • Licensing: Free Upgrade from MS from Windows 8.1
    • Installation: CLEAN install after activation of Windows 10 associated to my MS account

Windows 10 Upgrade Details

If you are not familiar (or have been living under a rock for past month), MS released Windows 10 Windows 10logowith a bonus offer of anyone with a valid (maybe pirated but that has been going back and forth for sometime) Windows 7, 8 or 8.1 license gets a free upgrade to equal version of Windows 10. When you receive this upgrade, you do not receive a license key per se, instead, they log your machine details into your associated MS account. This means anytime you rebuild your machine, you no longer need to track down your license key because as long as you have an internet connection, you will automatically be activated.

Reproduction steps

Install Parallels Desktop 11 on Mac OS X (current release version). After successful install, you create a new Virtual Machine. We are then presented with the next dialog –

New+VM+Wizard+in+Parallels+Desktop+11

Since I want to continue to have an option to use Windows in Boot Camp only for improved performance when needed, I selected the option Use Windows from Boot Camp. I am then presented with this dialog –

BeforeProceed

This dialog is VERY important, I cannot stress enough.  I read it, but did not think that Windows license would break though… so I blindly selected I want to continue and click continue.

I then finished creating my VM instance and my Boot Camp then launched in Mac OS, woohoo! I then entered my password in Windows. Once logged in, Parallels immediately took over and hid the boot camp instance and began to install their tools. After done (several minutes later) I received login prompt for Windows 10 again and I logged in. After things finished loading, I received a Toast Notification from Windows 10 asking me to verify my MS account again. Go there and I see a message in the account window that windows is no longer activated… oh no!

I now jump over to Activation under Update and Security in the Windows 10 Settings screen. Here it said my license is not longer valid (showing last 4 digits exposed, reset masked) and has only a button “Go to Store”. When you tap on this button, Windows Store opens for about 2 seconds, then you see it immediately closes with an error “File system error -1058340854”.

I then reboot my machine directly into boot camp thinking it was VM itself causing the error, but even direct boot I saw same error with no option to reactivate.

Solutions

Solution 1: Reset Windows 10

First solution which I did and worked successfully was to reset Windows 10. To reset, go to Settings in Windows 10, then Update and Security and finally select Recovery tab. Here you can tap Reset and follow the prompts. I kept all personal files when asked what I wanted to do during Reset. The big drawback is all programs and apps are removed and takes a long time to reinstall all your applications if you have many like me.

Solution 2: Contact MS Support

This option is untested by me, but I remember people saying that there is a possible option to contact Support using the built in Contact Support app

Support

Here you can explain the situation and request your free license to be reset. Again, I am not completely clear on the process and success, but if you want to give it a try, report back here your findings and I will update my Blog for others 🙂

Hope this helps! Let us know your experience below and I will keep everyone updated on results of my case with Parallels.

How to quiet pesky notifications in Windows 10?

I am one of those Microsoft fans, but not a full-fledged member… yet…. still waiting for the pesky Surface Pro 4 announcement, hihi. Anyway, as a show of my dedication to the Microsoft ecosystem, I am a proud Office 365 subscriber, and active user on Windows OS (ok ok, I am sorta cheating running it on bootcamp in Macbook Air, but again, waiting of that Surface Pro 4, so give me a break 🙂 ). I am also a proud Windows Insider, running Windows 10 + Office 2016 preview and I gotta say.. I LOVE IT!!! I’m so in love with it, that I took the leap and use it on my work laptop.

Problem though is I just could not find the silence mode for notifications 😦  In windows 8 and 8.1 it was very easy to find in the charms screen, but in the new Notification center, it was no where to be found. Alas I found it! and here are the steps:

NOTE: these steps assume you are running build 10074

  1. In your System Bar (notification bar), locate the Notification Center icon
    NotificationArea
  2. Right click and locate “hide notifiactions for” in the menu. Here you can select 1 hour, 3 hours, or 8 hours.
    HideNotifiaction
  3. When it is successfully silenced, you will see the icon switch to display
    Notifiaction Silenced
  4. To display notifications again, right click on the same icon and select Show Notifications
    reenabled notifiactions

One problem I am still trying to troubleshoot still is how to silence the sound 😦 That is still being activated. I should note I had same experience in Windows 8.1 as well and will make sure I add it to the feedback in the Insider Hub.

Have you found a solution to the sound issue? Let me know in the comments and I’ll update the blog 🙂