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Last post Author Topic: Windows 10 Tips  (Read 5560 times)

wraith808

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Windows 10 Tips
« on: September 10, 2015, 07:01:46 PM »
I figured I'd start a general thread about Windows 10 tips that people come across, so we can have them all in one place.

One thing that I've gone through on both of my machines that have it is that I can't seem to figure out how to set the stupid network to private the first time.  It has to be there... but for some reason, I just overlook it!  And it's a pain to change it normally.  But I found out that the type of the network can changed in the registry:

In regedit, under the branch HKLM\Software\Microsoft\WindowsNT\CurrentVersion\NetworkList\Profiles\

Change the key Category.  It's a DWORD value that translates as follows:

0 = Public
1 = Private

Anyone else have any interesting information to share?

Deozaan

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Re: Windows 10 Tips
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2015, 01:16:37 AM »
One thing that I've gone through on both of my machines that have it is that I can't seem to figure out how to set the stupid network to private the first time.  It has to be there... but for some reason, I just overlook it!  And it's a pain to change it normally.

I recently encountered this same issue when what I'm sure was a private network somehow got changed to public (maybe when I messed with my privacy settings...).

Anyway, I found this solution, which is much easier than editing the registry:

win10network.gif

Basically, it seems you need to enable the option to "find PCs and devices on your network" in your homegroup to make it private. If you have that option disabled, it's considered a public network.


(archived here)


wraith808

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Re: Windows 10 Tips
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2015, 01:47:08 AM »
I guess our definitions of easy are different.  That gif annoyed me, especially because I noticed it after it started.  And there were no text instructions on the page.  Editing the registry is much more straightforward and easy to me. :)

My next one is to run the command prompt, powershell, and well... anything as administrator from a shortcut, instead of having to right click the shortcut and select run as administrator.

Right click on the desktop, and select New -> Shortcut.  Browse to the application, and finish creating the shortcut as normal.  Then right-click the shortcut, select properties, and click Advanced on the Shortcut tab (which should be the one that comes up).  Click run as administrator, and you're done!  Every time you run that shortcut, it will be as administrator.

That still doesn't give you the ability to run powershell scripts, however- for that you have to use Set-ExecutionPolicy.

For that one, from an admin powershell prompt, run Set-ExecutionPolicy Unrestricted.  You can also use Set-ExecutionPolicy Bypass.  You can also set these on the current user only by using -CurrentUser.

Stoic Joker

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Re: Windows 10 Tips
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2015, 07:17:35 AM »
My next one is to run the command prompt, powershell, and well... anything as administrator from a shortcut, instead of having to right click the shortcut and select run as administrator.

Either Win+X then A for admin command prompt or go to:
C:\Users\[UserName]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\System Tools

Right click the Command Prompt shortcut and select properties, hit the Advanced button, and check Run as Administrator.

That way it will always launch administrative when run from the start menu or taskbar pinned shortcut.


Shades

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Re: Windows 10 Tips
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2015, 07:40:06 AM »
Are you obligated to use 'HomeGroup' in Windows 10?

I would sure hope not, the 15% drop in network speed is never worth the "ease" Microsoft envisioned when creating a LAN network in your home (or small office)!   

Stoic Joker

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Re: Windows 10 Tips
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2015, 11:13:04 AM »
Are you obligated to use 'HomeGroup' in Windows 10?

No. You can still use Password Protected Sharing (same way same place) in a normal workgroup in 10. I've got several 10 machines in a workgroup with a mixture of other stuff (2k/nt4/7/8/Linux) in my virtual lab network.

wraith808

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Re: Windows 10 Tips
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2015, 12:05:34 PM »
Are you obligated to use 'HomeGroup' in Windows 10?

No. You can still use Password Protected Sharing (same way same place) in a normal workgroup in 10. I've got several 10 machines in a workgroup with a mixture of other stuff (2k/nt4/7/8/Linux) in my virtual lab network.

Does the non-regedit way join you to a group?

Deozaan

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Re: Windows 10 Tips
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2015, 02:42:43 PM »
Here's a tip:

Windows Power User Menu
Press Win+X (get it? Windows 10?) to open the Windows Power User Menu. It gives you quick access to a bunch of features:

WinX.png

You can also right-click the Windows Logo in the corner (you know, the one that opens the Start Menu) to get the Windows Power User Menu.

I think that by default it opens in the corner of the screen as if you right clicked the Windows logo, but I have an option enabled in DisplayFusion which pops up the menu wherever my mouse cursor is when I use the Win+X hotkey. :Thmbsup:

EDIT: Apparently this Power User Menu is also a feature on Windows 8 (or introduced in 8.1?), so I guess my idea of Win+X being a pun for Win 10 isn't accurate.

« Last Edit: September 11, 2015, 02:49:53 PM by Deozaan »

Deozaan

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Re: Windows 10 Tips
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2015, 02:47:08 PM »
Does the non-regedit way join you to a group?

As you can see in the gif ("Homegroup: Available to join"), you are not automatically joined to a homegroup when you enable sharing.


Stoic Joker

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Re: Windows 10 Tips
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2015, 03:53:29 PM »
Are you obligated to use 'HomeGroup' in Windows 10?

No. You can still use Password Protected Sharing (same way same place) in a normal workgroup in 10. I've got several 10 machines in a workgroup with a mixture of other stuff (2k/nt4/7/8/Linux) in my virtual lab network.

Does the non-regedit way join you to a group?

Go to the network browser - It'll be empty. The yellow bar comes up at the top asking about enabling networking/sharing/something/something (I forget) ... Say yes ... and you're in a workgroup. That's all I've ever had to do.

Deozaan

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Re: Windows 10 Tips
« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2015, 02:01:06 PM »
Here's a tip which may or may not be useful:

It's true that Windows 10 doesn't come with the ability to play DVDs by default, and that Microsoft recommends you get their DVD player app from the Windows Store. This is generally seen as a ripoff since it costs $15 and you could just get something like VLC for free to play your DVDs. But if you have (or had) Windows Media Center when you upgraded to Windows 10, you should get the Windows DVD Player app for free.

Here are instructions and more details on how that works:

Getting the Windows DVD Player app


Deozaan

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Re: Windows 10 Tips
« Reply #11 on: November 12, 2015, 11:53:02 PM »
I've had my Start menu randomly refuse to open at all, including the Action Center, and sometimes any/every Metro app (Windows Store, Calcuator, etc.) as well! This has happened to me twice, so for my own future reference and in the hopes it helps others, the instructions found here seem to fix it for me:

  • Right click on the Start Menu button -> Search -> Windows PowerShell -> Run As administrator
  • Paste the following command into PowerShell and execute it:
Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register "$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml"}

If you can't get Search to work, since it's also part of the Start menu, you can just use Ctrl-X to open the power menu, then run Command Prompt as administrator, then from the console type "powershell" to start PowerShell. Then paste in the command above and it should fix everything (but it can take a few minutes).

« Last Edit: April 12, 2016, 05:01:47 PM by Deozaan »

Deozaan

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Re: Windows 10 Tips
« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2015, 07:38:50 PM »
Windows 10 Pro comes with Hyper-V enabled by default, which messes with VirtualBox's ability to run 64-bit VMs. Here's a simple way to work around that:

You can disable Hyper-V without deinstalling it. Start a command prompt with administrator rights and execute the following command:

bcdedit /set hypervisorlaunchtype off

Reboot windows. Hyper-V is disabled now. If you want to enable it, then run this command:

bcdedit /set hypervisorlaunchtype auto

and reboot again.


Deozaan

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Re: Windows 10 Tips
« Reply #13 on: February 25, 2016, 01:36:16 AM »
Windows 10 has a new horizontal volume slider which is great for touch screens, but lacks the power to adjust volumes individually which I enjoyed in Windows 7's Volume Mixer. You can still activate the volume mixer by right clicking the speaker icon in the tray and selecting Open Volume Mixer, but that just feels like extra work to me to get back old functionality I liked before.

A solution I found to this was to add a registry entry, as detailed here.

Add the following "path" in your registry:

Quote
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\MTCUVC

Then add the following key in the above path:

Quote
EnableMtcUvc DWORD

0 = old
1 = new (default)

The link above has .reg files you can download to more easily set/change these values.


f0dder

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Re: Windows 10 Tips
« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2016, 12:51:13 PM »
I would sure hope not, the 15% drop in network speed is never worth the "ease" Microsoft envisioned when creating a LAN network in your home (or small office)!
15% drop in network speed? Huh? :huh:
- carpe noctem

circularsaw

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Re: Windows 10 Tips
« Reply #15 on: February 26, 2016, 01:43:45 PM »
For the first time I'm going to start using windows 10. It's great to find this post. Thank you.

wraith808

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Re: Windows 10 Tips
« Reply #16 on: February 26, 2016, 02:13:25 PM »
I would sure hope not, the 15% drop in network speed is never worth the "ease" Microsoft envisioned when creating a LAN network in your home (or small office)!
15% drop in network speed? Huh? :huh:

I was wondering this too... but didn't know enough to question it.

Shades

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Re: Windows 10 Tips
« Reply #17 on: February 27, 2016, 07:14:09 AM »
I would sure hope not, the 15% drop in network speed is never worth the "ease" Microsoft envisioned when creating a LAN network in your home (or small office)!
15% drop in network speed? Huh? :huh:

I was wondering this too... but didn't know enough to question it.

It is the first thing to do when using any Windows 7/8.x PC on any network:
http://windowssecret...etworking-slowdowns/
http://fredlanga.blo...n-win7-advanced.html
https://social.techn...um=w7itpronetworking

Homegroup:  the "comfort" has not been worth the sacrifice, hence it has no reason to exist.

f0dder

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Re: Windows 10 Tips
« Reply #18 on: February 29, 2016, 01:15:44 PM »
Shades: I would prefer some more technical information from a somewhat more reliable source - the above sounds a lot more like Cargo Cult than science.

I only have a single Windows machine on my home LAN, so I'm not able to test it myself. But it sounds bizarre that homegroup should cause a drop in raw transfer speed - it's not like you get a different network protocol when enabling homegroup, it's still CIFS.
- carpe noctem

Shades

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Re: Windows 10 Tips
« Reply #19 on: February 29, 2016, 09:34:48 PM »
Well, I guessed that if you only heard it from me, you would rightfully put it to anecdotal evidence or hearsay. So I added links to the finding of Fred Langa (a person with much more credibility than I have) and a link to a technet post, assuming those were credible enough.

Now I have several Linux and Windows machines networked. Netbios is enabled on some Windows machines, not on others. I also use a router PC with the pfSense 2.2.4 software including its DNS server. The machines that do not use NetBios are much faster retrieving content from network accessible folders than the other ones.

I prefer to disable NetBios (over TCP/IP), mainly because it is a really old standard that has proven to be vulnerable. Besides, even if it is enabled, that standard has become more and more irrelevant since Windows 2000 and up. A more recent TechNet article states the same.

But yes, NetBios (over TCP/IP) works differently than DNS. And from the articles above you'll see that the standard is hardly, if at all, used for network communication since Windows 2000, even if you do have it enabled.

About the other part:
More often than not, 'Less is more'. Software and services/protocols that are not needed, you best get rid of to prevent Windows taking unnecessary actions. By 'getting rid of' I mean disable, not remove as there might be a future task for which you might need it again.

But you will notice an increase in computing power when reducing in this way.

Differences between Workgroups and Homegroups:
  • Workgroup
    • In workgroup all computers have equal rights.
    • Workgroup cannot be password protected.
    • Workgroup has a limit of twenty computers.
    • In workgroup all computers must be on same local network.
    • Workgroup works on all windows version.
    • Workgroup works on both IP versions: IPv4 and IPv6.
    • In workgroup every computer requires same workgroup name.
    • Workgroup needs technical knowledge to setup.
    • Workgroup requires security and sharing permissions to be set.
    • To use a workgroup computer you need to have a user account on that computer.
    [/li]
  • Homegroup
    • Homegroup does not have a limit of computers.
    • You can join as much computers as you want.
    • Homegroup can be password protected.
    • Homegroup is easy to setup. All sharing options are enabled automatically.
    • Homegroup requires IPv6 to work.
    • Homegroup can be span over the subnet.
    • Homegroup requires window7 or higher version.

When you add layer over layer over layer to make things "easier" on the front-end you will actually accomplish the opposite on the back-end. Or worse, settings are adjusted in your network, because Microsoft deemed their choices to be safer than yours. While you cannot blame Microsoft to err on the side of caution, the net result is that you'll end up with a network that is slower than it is supposed to be. That was what the article from Fred Langa was about. If memory serves me, he also did transfer tests between different versions of Windows with and without Homegroup. Homegroup was the slower option, all the time. Unfortunately, his article disappeared behind a paywall.

Personally, I would not be surprised if the Homegroup requirement of IPv6 could be the cause for slowdowns in an IPv4-only network. The NIC in the computer could wait a millisecond or so, because of the incomplete/wrong IPv6 configuration before reverting back to the working IPv4 configuration, each time a TCP/IP packet needs to be ACKnowledged. This adds up when transferring (big) files. I would also have no problems imagining that the 'spanning over a subnet' introduces extra overhead in some network drivers.

As most people only have access to IPv4-only networks, which I don't see changing any time soon, the unnecessary Homegroup slowdown will remain a problem.

Now I can imagine that you don't want all that headache disabling software this and service that to have the most optimal amount of computing resources for the computing task you are going to execute. Most people don't care enough about this and usually do other things on the computer during the executing of this sub-optimal task. All part of their workflow and there is nothing wrong with this.

Taking a look at the differences between Workgroup and Homegroup anyone should notice that Workgroup is relatively simple in setup when compared to Homegroup. With all the Homegroup related problems reported in the Microsoft Technet forms and Windows 7 & up forums, it's background complexities create a lot of trouble. Much more than the simpler Workgroup system does. So, if you do know about how to handle/work with Workgroup, there is no reason at all to use Homegroup.

 

Stoic Joker

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Re: Windows 10 Tips
« Reply #20 on: March 01, 2016, 08:08:16 AM »
The default NetBIOS note type is H (has been for awhile).

Quote from: MS TechNet
In addition, Windows uses Windows Internet Name Service (WINS), b-node broadcasts and the LMHOSTS file for NetBIOS name resolution. If all of these name resolution methods are used, an h-node host computer implements them in the following order:
1.NetBIOS name cache
2.WINS server
3.B-node broadcast
4.LMHOSTS file
5.HOSTS file
6.DNS server

1-4 time out once, the host file lookup gets cached, and things zip along fine then after.

NetBIOS isn't dead by a long shot. NetBEUI - last seen in XP - is dead because it was a -(9x era)- huge security risk. Workgroups rely on NetBIOS by default. And while NetBIOS can be a tad fragile adding an entry to the Host file will get you over "the hump" more often than not.

I frequently deal with SOHO workgroups, and hate them, because inevitably there will be some 3rd party babysitter security software making normal - and yes by that I mean NetBIOS - name resolution impossible. So to save time we now just go with statically addressing the target device and accessing it by IP automatically if it doesn't behave on the first try. Otherwise it just ends up being a total time vampire ... Not because it will perform slowly, but because it wont work period. Workgroup name resolution can't use DNS, because workgroups don't have DNS servers available to register with.

f0dder

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Re: Windows 10 Tips
« Reply #21 on: March 13, 2016, 05:34:14 PM »
Well, I guessed that if you only heard it from me, you would rightfully put it to anecdotal evidence or hearsay. So I added links to the finding of Fred Langa (a person with much more credibility than I have) and a link to a technet post, assuming those were credible enough.
On the contrary - if a thing like this had been reported by you (or some other DC member), it would be something interesting to look into. When a post with that level of lack of quantifiable comes from some relatively well-known source, I get suspicious ("You won't BELIEVE how much homegroups suck" probably gives ad revenue), and I also hold "well-known folks" to higher standards than normal individuals.

Langa's article is extremely weak in quantifiable data, has imprecise language and terms, and doesn't even try to present a likely explanation. IIRC the TechNet post just referred back to the Langa article, so it's not a reliable data point in and of itself. And even the MVPs there post questionable stuff from time to time, anyway :-)

The machines that do not use NetBios are much faster retrieving content from network accessible folders than the other ones.
Can you quantify "retrieving content"? Not necessarily a full detailed breakdown with graphs and stuff, but a "first connection to remote machine is slow" versus "file listing is slow" versus "transfer speed of one 10gig file is 6MB/s vs 10MB/s on <other tech>" are extremely different scenarios.

About the other part:
More often than not, 'Less is more'. Software and services/protocols that are not needed, you best get rid of to prevent Windows taking unnecessary actions. By 'getting rid of' I mean disable, not remove as there might be a future task for which you might need it again.
I agree with the "less is more" philosophy in general, but I don't really feel it applies to Homegroup. Caking layers upon layers on a protocol is bad, simplifying authentication isn't necessarily bad.

From your "workgroup vs homegroup" list, the only thing that should have any impact on throughput would be IPv4 vs IPv6. But if that's a 10% difference, something is very, very wrong on your LAN - the TCP headers are larger, but not that

Personally, I would not be surprised if the Homegroup requirement of IPv6 could be the cause for slowdowns in an IPv4-only network. The NIC in the computer could wait a millisecond or so, because of the incomplete/wrong IPv6 configuration before reverting back to the working IPv4 configuration, each time a TCP/IP packet needs to be ACKnowledged. This adds up when transferring (big) files. I would also have no problems imagining that the 'spanning over a subnet' introduces extra overhead in some network drivers.
Nope. You might have a delay at a broadcast "is there anybody OUT there?" level at IPv6, but it's not per-packet. Once you start communicating between hosts, you're on one protocol level. And if IPv6 is a requirement for Homegroups, you wouldn't have any connectivity on IPv4 anyway. "Spanning over a subnet" would only be relevant if you're actually doing that.

As most people only have access to IPv4-only networks, which I don't see changing any time soon, the unnecessary Homegroup slowdown will remain a problem.
Most people won't have IPv6 internet connectivity, but we're talking LAN connectivity here. If Homegroup is IPv6-only, you wouldn't see a a slowdown on IPv4 networks.

Now, if there really are slowdowns related to Homegroup, I'd like to know about it - and especially why. The stuff I've heard so far seems about as reliable as homeopathy, though.
- carpe noctem

Deozaan

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Re: Windows 10 Tips
« Reply #22 on: May 27, 2016, 01:48:04 AM »
Here's one I just discovered today:

You can click and drag icons in the tray to rearrange them or move them to/from the little ^ icon to easily make it always show or hide:

Tray Click and Drag.gif


tomos

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Re: Windows 10 Tips
« Reply #23 on: May 27, 2016, 03:36:48 AM »
Here's one I just discovered today:

You can click and drag icons in the tray to rearrange them or move them to/from the little ^ icon to easily make it always show or hide:

oohh, that's nice :up:
Tom

wraith808

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Re: Windows 10 Tips
« Reply #24 on: June 02, 2016, 07:49:38 PM »
I started having a process called System and Compressed Memory spiking in RAM and CPU usage (3GB and 90%+ respectively).  I found out that it's caused by Superfetch.  Superfetch is actually useful- when it works correctly.  But one of the recent windows 10 updates (TH2) that they force down your throat made it not work correctly on many installations.  You can safely disable it- but it does remove the caching mechanism, which, as I said, when it works well, is actually useful.

Ok, with that out the way, to disable Superfetch:

  • Press Windows Key + R to open the Run Dialog box.
  • Type services.msc and press Enter.
  • In the list of services find Superfetch
  • Right click it and open properties.
  • Click on Stop.
  • Also set its startup type to "Disabled".

This is provided for information for others that might be affected, as it corrected my RAM usage problems that I've been having since late last year.  It is up to you to do root cause analysis to see if this is better or worse for your case.  As it's completely reversible, you can try this to see if it corrects your problem, and if not, change it back.  Also note that the link I gave above shows some of what it does, and how it can be a false positive for your case- you have to take note of what kind of memory usage you're seeing (process monitor or the built in resource monitor are good for this purpose).