Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

GWX.EXE (Or, How To Remove the Windows 10 Upgrade Nag)

Savvy Users may have noticed a new process in their Task Manager, namely GWX.EXE. Which stands for “Get Windows X” (“X” meaning 10), and is responsible for that new “Windows Logo” icon in your Notification Tray (the right part of your Taskbar, with the clock). Which was pushed onto us by Microsoft’s Update process via the KB3035583 update

gwx_notifgwx_tm_snip

Now I know that some of you are eagerly awaiting June 29th to get the latest Windows version, but for those of you who, like me, never install version 1.0 of anything, or like me, rely on Windows Media Center (not included in Windows 10), and would prefer that the Microsoft nag and downloader package NOT be on their systems, simply Uninstall Windows Update KB3035583.

For those who don’t know how to do that, I have been busily preparing the How To tutorial.

But Scott Thurow beat me to it. So instead of me reinventing the wheel, I’ll just point you here: How to stop the Windows 10 Upgrade from downloading on your system

NOTE: You can always go back and get KB3035583 at a later date. (And I expect, since Microsoft is hellbent on getting the entire world using Windows 10, that they’ll push this same thing in future updates (and any other trick they can think of)).

Today’s quote:If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.” ~ Yogi Berra

Copyright 2007-2015 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.


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June 8, 2015 Posted by | advice, computers, how to, Microsoft, PC, removing Updates, software, tech, tweaks, Windows, Windows 10 | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Do Not Want That Update? How To Stop A Nag

IE 8 is an “Important” Update, Yes, But I Don’t Want It

Sometimes we need to tell Windows Update to stop prompting us to install a particular Update.
Ups_avail

When Microsoft has released important and/or critical Updates (aka “patches”) for us, Windows has various ways of letting us know, including a System Tray icon. [note: The normal route for accessing Update choices is Start >Windows Update, or Start >Programs >Windows Update. Click “View available updates”.]

I am a big fan of Updates. I (almost) always install them the moment I become aware of them. I use Secunia’s Personal Software Inspector to keep an eye on all my installed programs’ update state.. and I recommend you do too. Updates are ‘good’ and you want them.

Tip of the day: Manage Windows Updates prompts.
Currently, Microsoft Update is annoying me by continuously nagging me that there are Updates available. And when I click on the icon to see just what these updates are…
Hide_Update

.. and I see that there is just one Update Microsoft wants me to install (the others only rate “optional”) — Internet Explorer 8.
Now, I understand why Microsoft wants us to be using a more secure browser (and I understand why it’s considered “important”) and I will upgrade from IE7 on most of my machines — but not all. Not yet.

So I right-click on the Update I don’t want to be nagged about and then click on “Hide update”.

That’s it. I’m done. Windows Update will no longer prompt me to install this (now) ‘hidden’ update. At a later date, to see Updates that I’ve hidden, I just click on “Show hidden updates”. I can undo my change.

Note: This technique can be used on troublesome Updates that cause incompatibility issues such as BSOD. If a Windows Update install causes you trouble, and you need to uninstall it, the “Hide” tip won’t help you (it’s too late). Please refer to the 3rd answer in this article, IE’s Menu bar, Taskbar icons, and bad Updates*, to see how to remove Updates.
After you get that Update uninstalled, (then) use the Hide feature to prevent Windows Update from re-Installing it on you again.

Today’s free link(s): Panda Cloud Antivirus – Free Cloud Protection
Panda Security has launched a brand new type of antivirus, and Security blogger Bill Mullins has this excellent write up. “FREE, antivirus thin-client service for consumers which is able to process and block malware more efficiently than locally installed signature-based products.” Click the link for more..
[update: For more, also see Panda Cloud Antivirus – Is it netbook ready?]

Today’s free download: Adeona is the first Open Source system for tracking the location of your lost or stolen laptop that does not rely on a proprietary, central service. This means that you can install Adeona on your laptop and go.

Copyright 2007-9 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved. post to jaanix

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April 30, 2009 Posted by | advice, computers, how to, tech, Windows | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Opening old Word files after Office SP3

I look forward to the release of “Service Packs”. (Here is how Microsoft describes a Service Pack: “Service packs are the means by which product updates are distributed. Service packs may contain updates for system reliability, program compatibility, security, and more. All of these updates are conveniently bundled for easy downloading.“) I look forward to SP’s not only because they roll several Updates into one download, but Service Packs also (sometimes) include new products/features — such as, XP SP2 added the Security Center and a firewall.

And besides… I’m a “security guy.” I am all for getting patches (aka “Updates”) and have written many advice articles urging folks to thwart hacker vulnerability exploits and to keep their software updated; most recently, https://techpaul.wordpress.com/2007/11/23/learn-to-love-the-pop-up/. If there’s a patch, I say “get it!”

Recently Microsoft released the third Service Pack for Office 2003 (SP3), and SP3 makes some rather significant changes to how Office 2003 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.) behave: namely, it shuts off backwards compatibilty and you can no longer open (or Save) files saved in older versions of Office. Whoa!

What this means to you is, if you are tootling along with an older Version of Word (let’s just say, Word XP as a ‘for instance’) and you send a document to someone using a more current version (which most people are), they may not be able to open your file. Or, if you need to open a file you created some time ago with an old version of Excel (say, an old tax-expense spreadsheet), maybe from an old backup, but you have since upgraded to Office 2003, you will not be able to read your own file.
You will get, instead, an error message.

In short, Office will no longer do what it used to do, and you (may) have lost access to your own files.

My initial reaction to this was incredulity. A hallmark of Microsoft IS backwards compatibility (In fact, BC is a big reason why Vista failed to deliver all that was promised; they just couldn’t deliver the new features AND be backwards compatible.), and here they are –for the first time that I know of– turning off existing compatibility! And, they aren’t (really) asking our permission to do so, either.. but that’s a whole ‘nother topic.

The reason MS did this is for security, (Hey! I heard that.) and says this only affects really old file types, like pre-Word 97, (though I have read differently in various geek forums) and older Corel Draw, Lotus, Quattro, and dBase II files. And Microsoft points out that this change is the same as what was written as the defaults for Office 2007. So this probably will not affect you until you have some cause to dig out something you created a very long time ago.. but if it does:

Tip of the day: restore Office 2003’s ability to access old files only if it becomes necessary, and only restore the abilities you need. And then turn them off again.
Microsoft provides .reg file downloads to restore the functionality of certain areas of Office: use just the one you need. A .reg file modifies the Windows Registry (which is a serious issue) and so I highly recommend creating a System Restore point before making these types of changes. Close any open Office applications and…

1) Download the file to your desktop by choosing “Save” (do not “Open” or “Run”) when prompted, and selecting Desktop as the “Save file to…” location.
* To re-enable Word formats only, click here.
* To re-enable Excel formats only, click here.
* To re-enable PowerPoint formats only, click here.
* To re-enable CorelDraw formats only, click here.

2) Double-click on the new (download) .reg icon on your Desktop, and click on “Yes” to proceed.

3) Re-launch Word (or, Excel, or PowerPoint, as the case may be) and Open the old file(s) you need access to, and then “Save As” them to 2003 files (using the “Save As Type” drop-down arrow.)

4) Repeat the download/double-click procedure with the links below to re-enable the security shutdown.
* To re-block old Word formats only, click here.
* To re-block old Excel formats only, click here.
* To re-block old PowerPoint formats only, click here.
* To re-block old CorelDraw formats only, click here.

I feel compelled to mention to you (again) that another alternative is to use the Open Source suite of applications to access the old (and new) Microsoft Office files, and re-post it as..

Today’s free link: Open Office. From website: “OpenOffice.org is a multiplatform and multilingual office suite and an open-source project. Compatible with all other major office suites, the product is free to download, use, and distribute.”
*It is available in a “portable” version too.

Copyright 2007-8 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.

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January 7, 2008 Posted by | advice, computers, file system, how to, MS Word, PC, removing Updates, security, tech, Windows, word processors | , , , , , , , | 11 Comments