Thursday, March 24, 2016

How I overcame Windows 7 infinitely reverting updates

I tried everything. I spent a week trying to figure it out. Here's the background.

I have a Lenovo Thinkpad X230 (which has no CD drive) running Windows 7 Professional, that was now retired from company use. I couldn't entirely remove some of the workplace proprietary security software, as it had deep tentacles, so before upgrading to Windows 10, I decided to return the OS to factory settings, knowing it would take days to get all the Windows 7 updates back on, but I had the gift of time.

Returning the device back to factory settings worked fine, but every time it spent 3 or 4 hours installing updates, it would then reboot, say it was configuring, then would revert all the updates, also consuming many more hours.

I googled and googled. Tried it all.

After a few days of trying everything, I resorted to going back to factory settings again with my fingers crossed, but this was now disallowed. I don't know why. I could no longer return the device to factory settings.

Eventually I decided to act as if it was an instrumentation problem. So I proceeded with downloading Windows 10, even though Windows 7 update seemed to be shouting problems.

It worked. No problems. Computer fixed.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Extend free use of Windows 7

I do a lot of hardware mucking, and as a result, sometimes appreciate temporarily free use of Windows.

Extend Windows Trial Period Using Skiprearm Command

The way to use skiprearm for the first three times:
  1. Open the Start menu and type cmdin the Start Search box.
  2. Press CTRL+SHIFT+ENTER and when the User Account Control option pops up, confirm and then clickContinue. You have now opened command prompt in administrator mode.
  3. Type slmgr –rearmpress Enter and restart your system when asked.
  4. Check your system status by using the slmgr/xprAdditional 30 days must have been added.
  5. Repeat the steps 1-4 thrice for initial 90 day period.
For the additional 240 days Registry operation is done as:
  1. Find Windows Registry Editor using Search or type regedit in the command prompt.
  2. Backup the whole Windows Registry.
  3. Go to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\SoftwareProtectionPlatform
  4. The right section of the window will have SkipRearm Right click and edit its value from ‘0’ to ‘1’.
  5. Press Ok.
Now you have successfully tweaked the registry to allow the usage of steps 1-4 eight more times. It grants you the additional 240 days of trial usage.
Use the command on only the last day of each 30 day period to avail the maximum days possible.
The command must be used before the trial expires or the command would not work.
Command prompt must be opened in administrator mode.

If the reserve Windows 10 icon doesn't show up in taskbar

If, after everything else you've tried, the reserve Windows 10 icon doesn't show up in taskbar, then do this:

  1. Open the Control Panel, choose Administrative Tools, and then fire up the Task Scheduler.
  2. Expand Task Scheduler Library, then Microsoft, then Windows, and finally scroll down to expand Setup.
  3. Click the folder GWXTriggers and on the far right hit Run.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Can't turn Windows Defender on

I had Avast running in Windows 10 but it's not necessary. Defender is now enough. One problem, though. I couldn't make Defender turn on.

Here's what to do:

Delete conflicting Registry Entry
Some malwares adds malicious entries in registry that blocks real antiviruses from running. To remove these entries, follow these steps:
  1. Press Windows key + R. This will open Run. Alternatively, you can go to Start and search for 'Run'.
  2. In Run dialog box, type 'regedit' and hit enter. This will open Registry Editor.
  3. In Registry Editor, navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options.
  4. In this key, if you find any entry for MSASCui.exeMpCmdRun.exe or MsMpEng.exe then right click on it and click on Delete. If you do not find any of these entry then it is normal and you don't need to do anything.