Surface Pro 2, Windows 10 upgrade

July 29th is here and at about 11am my time, I received a notice saying that my Windows 10 copy was ready to install.   Not having my power cable with me but a full charge, I decided to chance it and upgrade.   The system rebooted and I came to a screen where it said, “Upgrading Windows, Your PC will restart several times. Sit back and relax”


It was a little hard to relax because my fan started going crazy and since I didn’t have my power cable, was hoping that I didn’t run out of juice.

3 phases in the upgrade

The upgrade consists of 1. Copying files 2. Installing features and drivers and 3: Configuring settings.  My system has rebooted 3 times so far and I anticipate a couple of more before.

I was wrong…

(11:30 am MST) – After configuring settings, I get a “Hi there, welcome back!” message that looks like it will walk me through some final steps.  The user that it created for me is different than what I had with Windows 8.1.

(11:32 am MST) – I come to a page asking for express settings or customize.  Of course I’m going to choose customize because you can never trust express, right?  Good thing too because the custom settings, I’m able to turn off sending data to MS for typing and inking and advertising.  There is also a location button you might want to turn off.  Probably like the location services on the Mac products.  I’m going to leave it on.

(11:35 am MST) – Another page for browser settings and connectivity.  I turned off the automatic connect to open hotspots, automatically connect to network shares by your contacts and send errors and information to MS.  Call me paranoid but doesn’t that seem like two big security risks, especially connecting to a share that could have something infected on it.

(11:38 am MST) – There is an option for me to choose my default apps, like Edge, photos, etc..   I chose all three to see how they work but will most likely use Edge and that’s it.  Once I chose the apps, it went into finalizing settings mode and then I came to the login for my unit.   Once I login it gives me it’s setting things up and it won’t take long message.   A little bit different than the setting up your profile for the first time message in past operating systems.

(11:42 am MST) – Took 4 minutes to get me to my desktop but I’m in.   Fan is going crazy again.  So my first gripe is that my tiles are not how I had them before.  When I click on the start menu, the tiles show up and are back to the default.   That kind of sucks.

(11:46 am MST) – Microsoft Edge is pretty nice so far.  Went to this website to make sure it rendered correctly and it did.   It has a Chrome like simplicity to it and it is faster.   More to come on Microsoft Edge.

I have to say, I’m pretty impressed on how fast the upgrade was and how little battery it used.  What has been your experiences with the upgrade?  Next week, I’ll be upgrading an older IBM Thinkcentre.  We’ll see if it goes as smooth.

Side note:  What’s funny is that I was just getting used to Windows 8.1 and now I’m finding myself struggling a little to find everything.   The learning curve won’t be too big for this one.


Windows 10 app not in taskbar; computer on the domain

Problem:  I have a an IBM ThinkCentre touch screen workstation that has Windows 7 but it’s on the domain and we use WSUS to update our computers.   My workstation is completely updated but I still don’t see the Windows 10 app in my taskbar.   I’ve tried tried checking online for updates and installed all that were there and I’ve added the Windows 10 update to the WSUS sync schedule but no luck.   According to Microsoft, I have to have KB3035583 and KB2952664 installed so I checked and verified that they are both installed.

Solution:  I tried every idea suggested from this article and nothing seemed to work.  Well, I tried everything except removing it from the domain and adding it to a workgroup.  But I didn’t have anymore options so I decided to remove it from the domain and after the reboot, the Windows 10 app/icon was there in my taskbar.  So how does one upgrade a slew or workstations if they are on the domain?  I can’t seem to find a solution anywhere, yet.


Net User administrator active:yes command not working

Problem: Setting up a new image for a computer for a client, I attempted to reinstate the administrator user by using the “net user administrator active:yes” command.   Instead of the command completing successfully, I got the following error:

“System error 5 has occurred.  Access Denied”


Solution:  Turns out I forgot to enter into the command prompt as administrator.  Once I did that the command completed successfully.


SOPHOS Antivirus will not install

Problem:  Tried to install Sophos onto a laptop and I got the following error:

“Cancelled installation because existing third-party security software could not be uninstalled…”

I also tried installing by unchecking the “uninstall third party software” option but got a similar error.

Solution:  Turns out that AVG 2013 was installed on the system.  Even though I ran AVG’s uninstall program, there were still elements of the program in the registry and the file system.  I did a search on the whole C: drive for AVG and deleted everything I found.  I then went into regedit and deleted every reference to AVG 2013.  Rebooted the computer and the installation of Sophos was successful.

How I was able to find every instance of AVG in the registry was by going into regedit and within the menu, click on “Edit” and “Find” or do a ctrl-F.     Type AVG in the “find what” section and click on the button that says “Find Next.”   Every time it finds an AVG reference, delete it.  Be sure to double check before you delete.  There are some registry entries that will have avg in it but not be part of the program.  I then ran CCleaner just to make sure.

*NOTE: as always, be sure to make a backup of your registry before you delete anything.


Make Firefox’s appearance more like Chrome

Problem:  Now that Chrome has begun it’s discontinuation of NPAPI based plugins, effectively ending Java as we know it within this browser, I had to make the choice of using a different browser.  This is because that I have web apps that use Java and as of now, Oracle looks to be digging their heals in and chrome isn’t going to change course.  I’ve decided to use Firefox again but I’m not a fan of the interface.  So how do I get firefox to look and fell more like chrome?

Solution: After some clicking around,  I was able to get my Firefox browser to at least have the feel of chrome. Below are the steps to get to that point.

I:  Get rid of unnecessary icons and search windows:  On the right side of the browser, Firefox has way more shortcut icons than Chrome.  I just like it simpler.
– Fifirefoxiconsrefox – ChromeChrome
  1. Click on the menu and select “Customize” (lower left hand corner within the menu)
  2. Mouse over the icon you want to remove and drag it off.  In my case I chose all of them.
  3. While you’re there, grab the search window and drag it off as well.

*Note:  You may want to keep the bookmarks star to really make it look like chrome but I chose to remove that as well.

II:  Make Google your default search engine
  1. Click on menu and select “Preferences”
  2. Select the “Search” option and select Google or the search engine of your choice.
III:  Take the extra step and make Google your default home page
  1. Click on menu and select click on “Preferences”
  2. Within the “General” section, make your home page.
  3. Make sure the “When Firefox starts:” says “Show my home page.”
IV: Get rid of the title bar
  1. Click on menu and select “customize”
  2. Click on the “Title Bar” button which will give you just a little more room within your screen

What other ideas do you have to make Firefox more like Chrome?