I Just Changed The Way I Receive Windows Updates AND Here Is Why…

November 23, 2014

I cannot stress enough, from a computer security standpoint, the importance of the Windows Updates. Microsoft goes to great lengths to keep our PC’s safe; HOWEVER, this past week I had an experience on a brand new PC that I had customized to my liking where I believe a Windows Update caused me a lot of grief. I experienced similar symptoms, as reported at 404 Tech Support, where they made determination that a specific update on machines with the Avast Anti-Virus installed caused the following symptoms to occur:

  • Restarting or shutting down would never complete
  • Uninstalling a program would hang
  • Certain startup programs would never launch
  • Opening computer properties (Right-click on This PC, select Properties) would never open

In my case, I experienced the exact same symptoms; HOWEVER, was not the same cause(s). I did not (initially) install the update as indicated in the 404 Tech Support article and do not have Avast installed. My problem started out when I booted my Windows 81. box and was greeted with a message indicating that Windows was installing new features and telling me to wait. Of course I am scratching my head going, “What new features???  I didn’t install or ask for any new features”. Needless to say, the computer hung on that screen (and message) and did not move forward. I ended up booting into the Windows reset, refresh and restore options. I attempted a restore and that did not work properly, as well. I performed a reboot again, and the PC did start to the desktop; however, that is when I experienced the symptoms as reflected above. After a second start of the computer, the computer started to run properly (for whatever reason). I immediately ran a scan for malware and checked all areas (startup, processes, services, etc…) to make sure I was not hit with something.

The only thing that I could come up with was when I went to do the Windows restore, the restore point was showing that Windows updates KB2920189 and KB3011780 had been installed. Update KB3011780 was showing in the Windows Updates history that it had been cancelled at one point, but also showed on the same date it did install successfully. It is my thinking that this update may have caused the issues I was experiencing.

After getting things back in order and the computer running properly. I manually downloaded the update as reflected in the article 404 Tech Support had problems with (which showed as an optional update on my PC) and the update installed with no issue on my PC. Note: By the way, that optional update (KB8000850) is a large core Windows update.

Needless to say, after reading the article at 404 Tech Support and my own experience with a potential Windows Update that went wild, I now have my computer configured to “Check for updates but let me choose whether to download or install them…”.

Windows Update Configuration

I do not recommend this setting, but from a troubleshooting standpoint, I am going this route for now. There have been too many Windows 8 (8.1) updates that have caused problems and this will put me in control to monitor the updates more closely and to educate myself more about Windows Updates.

If anyone else experienced a Windows Update issue, please feel free to share your experience and comment below…

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An Extraordinary Craigslist App For Windows 8 (and 8.1)

November 3, 2014

You may have noticed here on the blog I do not write too much about Windows 8 Apps. In my opinion the Windows App Store selection is nothing compared to the Google or Apple platforms; however, there is on occasion I will find a Windows App that will impress me as being useful. One of those apps being CPlus for Craigslist.

CPlus for Craigslist

If you are a Craigslist junky I believe you will like this app. It will definitely making searching Craigslist, across multiple locations, easier than visiting the Craigslist site itself. I typically use this app to look for things on Craigslist; not to post anything. Therefore the posting component, that is built into this app I cannot vouch for

Features - CPlus for Craigslist:

  • Search multiple cities
  • Add multiple cities and switch the search results easily with a single click.
  • Save searches and favorite listings
  • Save your search with the filter setting and favorite listings. They will be displayed on the main page.
  • Map view
  • Show all the postings on the map – especially useful when you are looking for apartments or houses.
  • In-app Posting
  • Post your ads inside our app and you may add multiple Craigslist accounts. (This feature is for Windows 8 Pro version only. The free version can post up to 10 times)
  • Account Management
  • Manage your Craigslist account. Edit or repost your existing posts. Show your previous posts.
  • History Tracking
  • Track your recent searches and viewed posts.

A FREE Windows 8 Downloadable Quick Reference Card

August 12, 2014

If you are new to Windows 8, I came across this FREE downloadable (PDF) Windows 8 Quick Reference Card, from Custom Guide Interactive Learning, that may be of great help.  CLICK HERE to get it…

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Have It All With A Solid State Hybrid Drive

July 11, 2014

[FEATURED GEEK SQUEAK] Have It All With A Solid State Hybrid Drive –  If you have an older PC and you are looking for a performance boost, that gives you faster speed with capacity, you may want to take a look one of Seagate’s Solid State Hybrid Drives.

Seagate’s Solid State Hybrid Drive

The good about the hybrid drive is that it is less expensive (see sample pricing) than solid state drives, yet gives you the kick and speed of the solid state drive (see customer reviews).

The hybrid drives by Seagate set aside approximately 6GB’s of ultra-fast NAND flash (same as used for SSD technology) to store the most frequently used data.  What this means is that, as you use the computer, the hybrid drive learns what data you use frequently and stores it on the SSD side of the drive. As this happens over time you will notice that the load times of those frequently used application are greatly reduced.  System boot times and system responsiveness are also noticeably improved using the hybrid form factor.

The Seagate® Desktop SSHD is designed to work in any standard desktop system. Unlike other hybrid solutions, there are no special drivers or software to install and configure. It installs and works just like a hard drive – only faster!

[ COMMENTS ARE WELCOME – CLICK HERE ]

Learn a byte at a time, at What’s On My PC, with Geek Squeaks’ — featuring a round-up of tech products, news, software, apps, wallpapers, articles, you name it… I just plain love tech!


MORE GEEK SQUEAKS

[HOW TO] How to Upgrade a Desktop Hard Drive With Solid State Hybrid Drive Technology – The process of upgrading your desktop drive to a Seagate® Desktop SSHD is simpler than you might expect. There are three essential steps involved with the upgrade process… @Seagate

[FREE EBOOKS] 150 FREE Microsoft eBooks – largest collection ever - Given the amount my readers enjoy these posts and these free resources, I am sharing another post this year with over 130 more FREE eBooks, Step-By-Steps, Resource Guides, etc., for your enjoyment… @TCAT Shelbyville – Technical Blog

[GMAIL] 5 Free Gmail Tracking Services To Get Read Receipt for Gmail – Here’s a listing of five free Gmail tracking services. These email tracking services keep tabs on your sent emails (sent via Gmail) and notify you (via different methods) when the recipient(s) open/read those emails… @I Love Free Software

[HOT TECH NEWS] The Popular WinPatrol System Monitoring Software Changes Hands - I couldn’t be happier to introduce you to the founder of Ruiware, LLC and Scotty’s new best friend,  Bret Lowry. He’s younger with more energy but still has almost 30 years experience developing software… @Bits From Bill

[WEB BROWSER NEWS] Chrome rockets past Firefox in browser arena – Google’s Chrome continues to shoot past Firefox among the desktop browser crowd, according to the latest stats from Web tracker Net Applications… @c|net

[WINDOWS APP] Pushbullet Windows App Gets Right-Click File Push Capability – You know all about Pushbullet by now – it’s that file/text/notification/everything else pushing app that’s so outrageously useful that you have to wonder why it’s free. Today there’s a treat rolling out to Pushbullet users on Windows in particular, and it makes sending files to your devices mega-easy. Just right-click and send.. @Android Police

[SECURITY] Probably the Best Free Security List in the World – This article contains a comprehensive list of free security-related programs or web applications for Windows XP and later Windows PC-based operating systems. The few non-free programs on this list are included because they are of high merit (in our opinion) and lack a comparable free alternative. This list also includes links to webpages that contain security-related information… @gizmo’s

[FREE SOFTWARE] MagicArchiver – Free Solutions for Archive Processing – A free archive processing utility. It provides a free and complete solution for manipulating archives. It is completely free for commercial and personal use… @MagicArchiver

[CLOUD COMPUTING] Here is the online application for cutting music – It allows you to effortlessly cut out a desired musical fragment from an MP3 file or a file in other formats, in order, for example to set it up as a customized ringtone for your mobile phone… @Online Audio Cutter

[CHROME EXTENSION] A powerful local, offline and background music player built entirely of HTML5 and JavaScript – A powerful local music player which runs as a packaged app (100% offline)… @Chrome Web Store

[UTILITIES] A software toolbox for your solid state drive hardware – Many of the top manufacturers of solid state drives have a software “toolbox” to go along with the hardware to configure the best performance. Sometimes a manufacturer only provides firmware updates, which are warned to be done at your own risk… @404 Tech Support

[HOW TO] 3 Ways To Directly Boot To Desktop In Windows 8 – Here are 3 ways to boot directly to Windows 8 desktop, when you login to Windows 8 PC… @I Love Free Software

[SECURITY] Microsoft Account protection: Login and security tips – Here are a few things you can do to help protect your Microsoft Account… @The Windows Club

[HOT TECH NEWS] Microsoft Announces Major Changes to Office 365 for Small and Midsized Businesses – In October, Microsoft will replace its Office 365subscriptions for small and midsized businesses with versions that are more affordable, more flexible, and provide more value. Existing customers will be able to take advantage of the new offerings—and the new pricing—starting October 1 or when they upgrade in the months ahead… @Paul Thurrott’s Supersite For Windows


Be Sure To Visit Bookmarks4Techs.com

Bookmarks4Techs.com


Periodically Change The Background Image On Your Computer (like every hour or every day)

June 30, 2014

[FEATURED GEEK SQUEAK] Periodically Change The Background Image On Your Computer (like every hour or every day) – You may have figured out that in Windows 7 and Windows 8 you have the ability to setup a screensaver that will display your photos and images on your computer as a slideshow (when the computer goes idle for a preset period of time).  The problem with this is that it is limited in what you can do. Actually screensavers are really a thing of the past (that was designed to save your screen from burn in).

If you really want something that I consider an awesome piece of software, that is periodically updated (and improved), I encourage you to take a look at John’s Background Switcher (aka: JBS).

John’s Background Switcher

What does John’s Background Switcher do?  John best describes it as this: “JBS sits in your system tray (down by the clock) and changes your background at the time interval of your choosing. You tell it where to get pictures from and how to show them – maybe you just want to see one photo at a time or maybe you’d like to see a ‘Snapshot Scrapbook‘ of photos thrown across your desktop. It’s up to you and you never know what’s coming next!”

Take a look at John’s Background Switcher; and, that dull boring computer background will be transformed into a beautiful display that makes good use of your images (and photos) with the ability to pull images from various sources on the internet.  Get it here (for FREE)!

[ COMMENTS ARE WELCOME – CLICK HERE ]

Learn a byte at a time, at What’s On My PC, with Geek Squeaks’ — featuring a round-up of tech products, news, software, apps, wallpapers, articles, you name it… I just plain love tech!


MORE GEEK SQUEAKS

[WINDOWS 8] Fast Way to Troubleshoot Problems in Windows 8 and 8.1 – Windows 8.x has a troubleshooting feature for system maintenance and repair that everybody should know about. A previous tip showed one quick way to access this very useful set of utilities. Here is another way that uses a single command… @gizmo’s

[UPCOMING DEAL] Foscam FI9804W 720P Outdoor HD Wireless IP Camera – Fixed 720p HD Video Quality Megapixel Wireless IP camera, H.264 compression. 12 IR LEDs for night vision up to 20 meters. Fitted with a 2.8 mm lens for a 70 degree viewing angle, 1280 x 720 Resolution… Upcoming Deals @ Amazon

Foscam FI9804W 720P Outdoor HD Wireless IP Camera

[GOOGLE CHROME EXTENSION] Find out when your emails were read (in Gmail) – Avoid misunderstandings: check if your e-mails have been received – Friends: coordinate better with them – Family: make sure your loved ones are well – Peace of mind: avoid impatience when waiting for answers – Commercial objectives: verify if there is interest in your products – Job search: find out if a company reviewed your resume… @chrome web store

[CLOUD COMPUTING] 17 Websites That Will Make You Smarter – Tired of wasting your time watching cat videos or scrolling through your Facebook newsfeed? Want to be more productive next time you go online? Here’s a list of websites that will actually make you smarter… @Entrepreneur

[WINDOWS SOFTWARE] PDF24 Creator: Free PDF Creator to create, convert, merge PDF files – If you are looking for any application that can create, convert and merge PDF files, then PDF24 Creator is one you may want to have a look at. PDF remains the most commonly used file format even today. Whether you are working at home or office, you often across PDF files and it is at such times, when  PDF24 Creator comes in handy. It is a freeware tool that can help in scanning the PDF documents and converting any printable document into the PDF format… @The Windows Club

[ANDROID] The top-rated, most-loved keyboard on Android, now available for free – Swiftkey Keyboard is an intelligent app for Android that upgrades your device’s on-screen keyboard, making it faster and easier for you to type. This free, award-winning app delivers smarter autocorrect and next-word prediction in over 60 languages. It’s packed full of customization features, including over 30 colorful themes, layouts for all screen sizes and devices, support for over 800 emoji, emoji prediction and much more… @Google Play

[FILE SHARING] Send Files Up To 1GB Easily - LockDox is a secure file sharing service brought to you by WatchDox, the leader in enterprise file sync and sharing. WatchDox believes everyone should be able to share files with security, tracking and control… @LockDox

[WINDOWS 8] Access Windows 8’s Advanced Startup Utility with a Simple Shortcut – Windows 8 comes with a handy tool for troubleshooting your computer: the Advanced Startup tool. Accessing it can be kind of roundabout, though, so Tech Support Alert shows how to access it quickly and easily… @lifehacker

[MICROSOFT ONEDRIVE] Microsoft ups free OneDrive storage - Office 365 users get 1TB, everyone else 15GB – OneDrive comes with seven gigabytes of free storage, and Office 365 comes with 20 gigabytes of OneDrive storage. As of today, that’s changed: Microsoft will increase the free quota to 15 Gbytes, and OneDrive subscribers will receive a whopping 1 terabyte with their subscription. The changes will roll out over the next month… @PCWorld


Be Sure To Visit Bookmarks4Techs.com

Bookmarks4Techs.com


The Easiest Way To Tell If The Windows 8.1 Update Is Installed On Your Computer

May 22, 2014

[FEATURED GEEK SQUEAK] The Easiest Way To Tell If The Windows 8.1 Update Is Installed On Your Computer – If you are confused about Windows 8.1 and the Windows 8.1 Update, you are not alone. In a nutshell; Windows 8.1 was an update to Windows 8.  Windows 8.1 Update, which is a completely different thing from Windows 8.1, is an update to Windows 8.1 (and Windows 8). Still confused?

The bottom line is that you want to make sure your computer is completely up to date. To determine if you have the Windows 8.1 Update installed go to the Start screen. If you see a Search button near your account name at the top of the Start screen, you already have the update.

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[ COMMENTS ARE WELCOME – CLICK HERE ]

Learn a byte at a time, at What’s On My PC, with Geek Squeaks’ — featuring a round-up of tech products, news, software, apps, wallpapers, articles, you name it… I just plain love tech!


MORE GEEK SQUEAKS

[COMPUTER SECURITY] SOLUTION: “This is Microsoft Support” telephone scam – Computer ransom lockout – A trend of the past couple of years has been for scammers to contact computer owners directly via telephone in the United States in an effort to convince them that there is a problem with their PC and they’ll need to pay to have it fixed.  In general, these people cannot fix anything, and instead they merely charge exorbitant fees for absolutely nothing. In other words, they scam you… @Triple-S Computers

[HARDWARE] A Programmable Computer Mouse – Do more, more easily with your mouse. With soft rubber grips and a contoured shape, this full size mouse provides all-day comfort, while Back/Forward buttons, side-to-side scrolling plus zoom and programmable buttons empower you to click, scroll and zoom with the flick of a finger… @Amazon

Logitech M510 Wireless Mouse

Logitech M510 Wireless Mouse

[ANDROID] magicApp by magicJack – Get unlimited local & long distance calling to the U.S. and Canada with magicApp. For international callers, make FREE unlimited magicApp-to-magicApp calls worldwide… @Google play

[FILE ENCRYPTION] Quick Crypt – A portable solution for encrypting and decrypting files.  Many features… @Valkova

[TECH NEWS] Lenovo Slides Past Apple to Claim #3 PC Sales Spot in U.S., Posts Record Earnings – Lenovo also made significant inroads in the U.S. market, where HP and Dell are still in first and second place. Lenovo’s strengthened PC lineup allowed it to vault past Apple to claim the third place spot for its fiscal fourth quarter (January through March 2014)… @DailyTech

[HOW TO] Averting Disaster – A Guide To Computer Backups (2014) - Backups are simply duplicates of data which are archived, and which can be restored to a previous point in time. The key is the data must be duplicated, and you have to be able to go back to an earlier time. Anything that doesn’t meet both of those requirements is not a backup… @AnandTech

[WALLPAPER] Cracked Windows Computer Screen@The Paper Wall

Cracked Windows Computer Screen


Be Sure To Visit Bookmarks4Techs.com

Bookmarks4Techs.com


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