Windows 10 Creator version update woes – Media Creation Tool stuck at 33%

April 29, 2017

Another year, another Windows 10 update.

<Humor start>Microsoft : you won ! I drank your Kool-aid, I’m onboard, I want my system to be up-to-date, I need my systems to always be up-to-date. Give me my fix ! 😉 <Humor end>

But, why, oh why must it be always so difficult ?! I’ve been trying to install that Creator Update countless of times since last week and I only just got it right it today. In the process I learned much more that I wanted to in the Windows update debugging process.

Here is what I did after several attemps of launching the upgrade and having the whole process stop and get stuck at 35% several times.

To make a long story short, don’t use the regular path to update (Start / Settings / Update & Security / Windows Update) but go the Media Creation Tool way (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10). This will download the Windows update source files and put them on a USB drive so that you don’t have to redownload them everytime there’s an error or another during the update process. After the 5th update retry you’ll be glad you did : the upgrade files total 3.5 GB and on my (crappy) connexion it took 5 hours to download from their servers.

Before you do that though make sure that the original Windows language is restored to the default option. Windows 10 allows you to install language pack and use pretty much any language for its display and menus. For example if you are in France but you prefer to use an English version of Windows 10 you can do so (Setting / Time&Languages / Region&Language / Add a language / Set as Default / make sure it is set as “Windows display language” – reboot a few times and you’re set).  This is a great option and a welcome plus in comparison to Windows 7 where this was only possible in their PRO version (I have a Home Edition). I really don’t understand why Microsoft blocked this in previous Windows versions. It is simply ridiculous to force people to use a specific language and not include English. Anyway…

What I noticed however, was every time a major Windows 10 upgrade comes along they WILL fail unless the original language Windows was sold in is restored.

Once the USB key is created, restart in minimal config mode (MSConfig – Diagnostic startup), unplug any USB device , launch the Setup from the USB key, choose NOT to download the updates, and if you use a Logitech dongle for their wireless mice and keyboards (Unify system) : REMOVE IT ! and wait…. Process should take 1 hour – 1 hour 15 in total. Process should not stop and not get stuck at any point for 15 mns or longer (for example 35%….).

Here is the detailed step by step procedure. I found that every step was important for my system to be able to get upgraded :

  1. Have an 8GB USB key handy
  2. Remove any optional language pack (Setting / Time&Languages / Region&Language)
  3. Reboot a few times until the original language is used for menus and such
  4. Install the Media Creation Tool (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10).
  5. Launch the program
  6. Wait a couple of hours for the files to download
  7. Once the USB key is ready you will prepare the system to reboot in “minimal config”
  8. Launch MSCONFIG and check “Diagnostic startup”
  9. Choose Apply
  10. Unplug every USB device but keep the Logitech Unify dongle for now as you need the mouse to navigate the menus
  11. Reboot
  12. Launch the Setup file from the USB key
  13. Choose NOT to download updated files
  14. Let the tool run
  15. The machine will reboot several time on its own.
  16. After 1h00 – 1h15 process should be done.
  17. Replug the USB devices (including the Logitech Unify if using it)
  18. Launch Windows Update to make sure the system is clean
  19. Reboot if needed
  20. Reinstall the optional language pack if using

Good luck.

 

 


Opting out of Google Cars drive-by wifi snatch AND Microsoft’s Windows 10 Wifi Sense at the same time

September 10, 2016

To opt out of Google worldwide wifi collection you must add _nomap at the end of your wifi SSID

To do the same for Microsoft Wifi sense your wifi SSID must contain _optout somewhere.

So if your current wifi SSID is mysuperhomewifi it is highly recommended you change it to mysuperhomewifi_optout_nomap

Now, I hope there won’t be another “friendly” provider that will require its optingout string at the end of the SSID…

More info here :

https://support.google.com/nexus/answer/1725632?hl=en&rd=1

https://privacy.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-10-about-wifi-sense


Only show unread mail in the primary inbox from Gmail

August 9, 2016

category:primary is:unread

 


Handbrake settings how-to guide

May 5, 2016

Very detailed, clear and concise guide on the various options available in Handbrake when converting a DVD/BlueRay to MKV file :

https://mattgadient.com/2013/06/12/a-best-settings-guide-for-handbrake-0-9-9/

 

My settings :

Video Codec : H.264
Video : CQ (20)
Variable Framerate
Encore options : Tune (Film), Profile (Main), Level (4.0)
Picture settings Filters : Detelecine (Default) / Decomb (Default) / Denoise (Off) / Deblock (Off)
Picture settings Size : Anamorphic (Strict) / Cropping (Automatic)


GodMode in Windows 10

January 17, 2016

In order to access all the settings and configurations in Windows 10 in one place, create a folder and rename it GodMode.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}

Then, simply double-click it and feel like a Windows God


Sonos configuration options

April 13, 2015

I have a couple of Sonos products that I chose to replace my ageing wireless hifi configuration (see Synology DS Audio and JBL Wireless speakers). The primary driver was the Room feature allowing me to link Sonos speakers together and have them play the same music : when I throw a party, it’s great to have a musical continuity everywhere in the house, from the garden to the kitchen.

The engineers at Sonos have done a superb job of making the setup completely flawless and super easy. However as it is often the case what you get in user experience you sacrifice in flexibility (any resemblance to a real company, living or dead, is purely coincidental. I am not talking about Apple 😉 ).

So it was a real pleasure to see that they created user-accessible hooks to their hardware so that we can control a lot of the settings by simply issuing HTTP requests to the various devices.

Benoit Steiner wrote 2 great posts listing a lot of the options accessible through the Web APIs.

Both are must read for anyone inclined to (re)gain control of their Sonos components :

http://bsteiner.info/articles/hidden-sonos-interface

http://bsteiner.info/articles/disabling-sonos-wifi

 

Have a look at the wealth of info you can obtain here (replace sonos_ip with the IP address of any of your Sonos gear) :

http://<sonos_ip>:1400/support/review

 

I immediately disabled the wifi on those of my speakers that are only connected through wired ethernet : http://<sonos_ip>:1400/wifictrl?wifi=persist-off

Here’s the command to put the wifi back on : http://<sonos_ip>:1400/wifictrl?wifi=on

 

 


Asus RT-AC66U router and Tomato

September 21, 2014

I’ll write a longer post sometime but as a reference I flashed my Asus RT-AC66U router with the Shibby mod of the great Tomato firmware project. This allows me to use lots of very nice features not available from the stock firmware.

I downloaded the firmware from : http://tomato.groov.pl/download/K26RT-AC/

I chose the newest directory (121-en at time of this writing) and in there chose the AIO (All In One) version of the file : tomato-RT-AC66U_RT-AC6x–121-AIO-64K

Update April 2015. I just upgraded to the latest release and it worked like a charm. I simply downloaded the version from the newest directory (128-EN) and chose the upgrade option from the menu : http://router-ip-address/admin-upgrade.asp.

A really well-done implementation !

On top of that Shibby is super reactive on the linksysinfo forum and answers most of the questions users ask : http://www.linksysinfo.org/index.php?threads/tomato-shibbys-releases.33858/

This is such a great example of the superiority of opensource software : we do live in great times, long live the share economy !!

Update September 2016: I once again upgraded following the procedure and it worked great.
This time however I wanted to erase the NVRAM so that I could reclaim some of the memory as only 4% was left available.
I used the following commands to capture the settings I did not want to re-enter by hand (go to Tools / System commands and copy-paste the results in Notepad for example) :

  • QOS Settings : nvram export –set | grep qos
  • Access restrictions : nvram export –set | grep rrule
  • DHCP Rules : nvram export –set | grep dhcpd

Then once the upgrade was finished I restored the settings using the reverse commands :

  • nvram set qos
  • nvram set rrule
  • nvram set dhcpd

I finished with a NVRAM COMMIT

Lots of great info on this on http://www.linksysinfo.org/index.php?threads/using-qos-tutorial-and-discussion.28349/page-3#post-138676
Great, great stuff….