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The mother of spring cleans..
Mike's Window

Mike's 'unwanted additions' warning service..

Foxit Reader (good) is currently attaching Search Protect by Conduit (not good). Uncheck the option because it is a pest.

Java (marginal, but a necessary evil for far too many things) is attaching the Ask Toolbar and associated junk. Uncheck it if you value decent Internet searches.. . 

ImgBurn (Good), but you have to be on your toes to stop the unwanted stuff. Basically, uncheck anything that isn't for ImgBurn, and go for the custom install each time that it is offered to you to ensure that you get to uncheck and skip the junk.. 

A commonly held 'view.. '

 "Well, it worked in Windows 95!"

MVP Award years

2005 - 2006 - 2007

2008 - 2009 - 2010

2011 - 2012 - 2013


The original MVP logo

My Favourite Utilities

Speedfan is a great hardware monitor which can automatically control fan speeds, warn when temperatures are rising in the case, and do a SMART scan of your hard drives. A 'must have'.. 

Piriform Speccy tells you what is inside the box and with great accuracy..

Networx shows download/upload bandwidth used..

Piriform Recuva is probably the best file recovery utility around and is free too.. 

Treesize shows you what you have got, where it is, and how much space it is all using..

Windows 8 alternative start menus.. Classic Shell..

Stardock Start8..

Aomei Partition Assistant is the best free utility of its type..


.. and it isn’t even February yet. It started out with a desire to de-dust my machine mid morning yesterday and turned into a nightmare which saw me start a major re-install late evening.

After cleaning out the case, I attached the peripherals cables into the rear USB ports, hit the power button, but soon realized that not all was well when I couldn’t use the spacebar to get beyond the Windows 8 lock screen. Attaching a PS/2 keyboard and cheap USB mouse got me beyond login, but it didn’t get any better.

The MS Comfort 5000 desktop set, LX3000 headset and Realtek card reader were the only USB devices NOT working. The HP printer, Canon scanner, and external hard drives were fine.

A system restore did nothing, and an upgrade over 8.1 didn’t get anywhere either. The MS Mouse and Keyboard Center refused to uninstall, claiming missing files and corruption, and you are not allowed to install a clean version unless the old one is gone.

After hours of messing about and deliberation, there was only one course left to me and that was to re-install from scratch, I don’t customize anything these days, so the thought was not as daunting as it would have been a few years ago.

Twenty four hours has passed since I booted the computer into the Windows 8.1 DVD, and I have a good working machine again. Windows 8.1 was installed along with Start 8 by maybe 11:30 last night, and Office was the first and most important installation for the morning. The rest of the day has been taken up with me being my normal productive self.

Why do I think that Windows 8.1 couldn’t do anything with some of the USB devices? Well, it went deeper than USB, and there were small errors and glitches now and again, but nothing big enough to bring the OS to its knees until the point where it was forced to recognize a device that had been attached to a USB port previously occupied by another device.

Tomorrow, I will run through the Windows.old folder, extract what I want for an archive, and then use Disk Cleanup to take the rest of it out.

Event Viewer is starting to show a system which is settling down, and all is well until the next time.. Smile

Posted Sun, Jan 26 2014 23:41 by Mike Hall
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