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Sunday, November 12, 2017

Windows 10 Creators Update Fall 2017 really screwed me over



Windows has screwed me over many times, but this one warranted a post.

So I allowed my Windows 10 laptop to take the Fall Creators update. And once it was done, all my pages were getting blocked. I couldn't connect any more.

Moreover, this issue was flaky and intermittent. WTF?

I spent hours googling and trying stuff. I learned from Microsoft that it was probably a conflict with an app. But which one? And why suddenly after the Creators Update? Surely Microsoft can be more specific than that. But all they suggested was to do a "clean boot" in order to isolate what was wrong. This advice led to my demise. Note: a clean boot is not the same as safe boot.

I went into msconfig, and followed Microsoft's suggestion to the letter. Once rebooted into clean boot, I still got no joy. Then I followed Microsoft's suggestion to restore msconfig, and did another boot. And then I cried. Msconfig was not restored. Furthermore, when I googled this new problem, I discovered this can happen, and there's no easy fix for msconfig. I was now stuck with selective startup, and the original problem, which is I had no internet. And still didn't know why. My time consumption was now in the mode of throwing good time after bad. But reimaging also takes time -- about two days.

These never-ending problems with Windows, and their oft-subsuequent reimaging solutions, are so disruptive to productivity that I had been toying with the idea of keeping two working computers around, so that I could switch while reimaging. And now...I decided to go for it.

My Windows computers cost a lot. They cost around $700 because I'm still maintaining pictures on my hard drive. (That issue is for another post for another day.) And I always buy an I7 processor.

So I bought another Windows 10 2TB I7 laptop to set up while resetting the first one. It's no longer called reimaging, by the way, and it's no longer called factory settings, either. It's called "reset your PC."

So as for the new computer, I did everything I always do, and added all the apps I always do. Also I did allow Creators update because I think that avoiding any updates from Windows is a mistake, at least for an amateur generalist like me. You never know when they're going to sneak in some critical security patch!

Then I tested msconfig, and that looked good. It had normal startup. Yay! HOWEVER, my pages started getting blocked just like the old computer.

I did yet more googling, and discovered discussions about:

  1. Conflicts between Windows Creators update and antivirus apps, antimalware apps. and so forth.
  2. A suggesetion to turn off Windows Firewall (which is part of Defender now.)

So first I tried for ha-ha's sake to turn off the firewall, and the blocking problem went away Joy? No because I have to have a firewall. Then I spent another few hours trying to find out if it's going to work to find another firewall. That was a quagmire. I'm a generalist and master or none.

So then I tried turning the firewall back on and uninstalling Superantispyware, and guess what...joy. It was all fixed.

Yes, I had been in the habit since Vista of adding Superantispyware. That's because Windows Defender used to be a "light" antivirus. Knowing that Defender is better than it was, and not knowing what tentaticles both Defender and Creators update now have into my OS, I decided to just go with Defender.

Also I've learned that Microsoft offers a scan you can download in the event that you do suspectd a virus. It expires after a few weeks. This makes sense because what MS is doing is maintaing a scan in the cloud, periodically updating it. And it's free. It's nice to know it's there.

And as for my antivirus, I'm now relying entirely on Windows Defender.


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