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The problem is called Windows Rot: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_Microsoft_Windows#Windows_rot

The only way to resolve it effectively is a clean install. I used to re-install Windows from scratch about once a year - makes big difference, but is a major PITA since you have to re-install all your programs.

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After a fresh install of Windows and all of my programs and running updates, I do a back up and name it CLEAN.      I keep this in case windows rot gets too much for me to live with.     I make a backup of current and then recover from CLEAN.   Saves at least a days worth of work.     Still a PITA as you need to make the tweaks you made over the years.    Some programs tell you which files to copy over from the Current backup to CLEAN to recover your tweaks, most you just have to remember.       At this point I make a new CLEAN for the next time I get windows rot.     

Computerguy will tell you to not do windows updates to reduce windows rot.    Perhaps the "everything in moderation" approach is to just do the security updates and ignore the product updates.  

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The problem I have with all Windows updates is that so many of them "break" your Windows installation. Obviously, this doesn't happen to all people all the time. But in my line of offering advice, of course I get to see many more examples of problems, as that is when people call for help. This was proven once again after Windows 10 came out and removed the ability to turn off updates (the Creators Update, being distributed now, finally has an option to change this. Why? Same reason: people, and corporations, getting sick of updates that break their computers). I had quite a number of calls from people with W10 upgrades that killed the operating system, flat out.

I have been turning OFF upgrades since Windows XP, and not once has anybody reported --through XP, Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 and 8.1)-- that they were having problems as a result. And those security updates affect so few of us that they are not necessary either, at least not from Microsoft, and not until you hear about it (which by then is too late anyway, as they are mostly fixes after-the-fact). Flash and Java are a different story: they are extremely susceptible to infiltration, and while a huge PITA, they should be acknowledged.

Windows rot is more comparable to, say, your tire treads wearing out over time. This happens whether you apply updates or not; it is just the way Windows works with its registry. Over three or four years, Windows slows down until it gets to a point where you wonder what's going on.

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I'll provide another "update" example: when you install a printer, you often get an update thing stuck in your Startup files. And the printer software scans for software updates all the time. BUT look: if the printer works, why would you want any updates (unless it offers to print real money)? The same is true of most Windows updates: if everything is working, what is the point of risking that with a potentially troublemaking update? Yes, screen your updates and accept only the ones that seem to offer a "fix" for something that is causing you a problem, or a new feature that you can't live without... but if you don't have the problem, don't "fix" it.

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CG, you would give this advice for even Windows Security Updates? I guess it is not like we really know if it is a real security update, but....  And with Win10, like is being said, we have no way to NOT have the updates installed.

 

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I know it makes people uncomfortable to hear this, but security updates are the least of our worries. They are almost always "after the fact". I'm sure they are all legit, but the chances of any one of us getting into trouble because we didn't install a too-late update are slim to none. The big scares gets lots of airplay, again, typically after the fact. Today, the worry should be focused on "how do we prevent spyware from infecting us through web pages?" There is very little preventive medicine, and hasn't been for years, no matter what the "paid for" versions of all those free antivirus tools tell us.

I did see a story about the upcoming fall W10 update that shows some welcome additions to the antispyware situation, but we shall have to wait and see.

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Computerguy - you certainly offer a fresh view of internet security

      - Applying windows updates – both security and otherwise – DON’T 

      - Security updates for MS – DON’T bother as they are always after the fact

      - Applying Flash and Java updates ALWAYS

      - Paid versions of anti-spy ware  (malwarebytes) – little better than free versions

would you elaborate on these other often overlooked aspects of internet usage - personal usage from home computer, not tablet, notebook, mobile

- adding a password to modem/router  - what if you are rural and are not concerned about someone picking up your WIFI signal from your home computer. 

-changing default password on NET drives

- using preview on POP3 or IMAP mail servers even if you do not open because you are suspicious of the content (unknown sender, no subject or suspicious subject)

 

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I have been using Macs for 34 years and have never had a problem with one.  I have had five in all those years and never have had a service call, etc.  My current iMac was purchased from Hall Microcomputers in Guadalajara, delivered and set up in my Chapala home with all files transferred, etc.  Great service!

Once, I was tempted by price to buy an HP 15“ laptop.  I sold it three days later.

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2 hours ago, vtarasov said:

Alternatively consider switching to a Mac - while not immune, Mac problems are an order of magnitude less. 

...and if you value your privacy, and would rather have your hard earned money than hand it over to tax dodging tech companies, try Linux. In 15 years of use I have never had a virus nor have I had any problems with updates harming a system and I have NEVER paid for tech support. Oh, and it's free!

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13 hours ago, MarkWebles said:

...and if you value your privacy, and would rather have your hard earned money than hand it over to tax dodging tech companies, try Linux. In 15 years of use I have never had a virus nor have I had any problems with updates harming a system and I have NEVER paid for tech support. Oh, and it's free!

And what do you do when you find that the software you use most wasn't written to work on Linux - e.g. Sierra Chart

What about all of the programs developed using the microsoft .NET framework, probably not available in Linux

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12 hours ago, mudgirl said:

If you go into Settings and change to Metered Connection, Windows 10 will not automatically update. Neither will anything else, but you can adjust your settings to tell you when updates of any of your programs are available and either let them do their thing or not.

True, thanks for pointing that out. I tend to forget about it, because after having tried it, there are two major caveats I have to mention whenever it comes up:

1. This fix works only on WiFi connections; if you use ethernet from your modem to your PC or laptop, nothing changes (because Microsoft thinks that if you have a wired connection, you must have unlimited bandwidth. Dumb? Yes).

2. "Priority updates" get downloaded regardless. And I have no idea what Microsoft considers "priority", other than most of them... . (Quote from MS: "...only those updates required to keep Windows running smoothly.")

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On 6/18/2017 at 10:52 AM, BCdoug said:

Computerguy - you certainly offer a fresh view of internet security

      ... would you elaborate on these other often overlooked aspects of internet usage - personal usage from home computer, not tablet, notebook, mobile

- adding a password to modem/router  - what if you are rural and are not concerned about someone picking up your WIFI signal from your home computer. 

-changing default password on NET drives

- using preview on POP3 or IMAP mail servers even if you do not open because you are suspicious of the content (unknown sender, no subject or suspicious subject)

 

Modems require a password to get into the software, and to use WiFi. The WiFi part can be turned off, once you are into the modem's software, for sure. Lots of people who aren't concerned about others latching onto their signal do turn that requirement off. Nothing wrong with that. However, in populated areas, keep the security on to prevent anyone nearby connecting, even if just by accident. (There are always rumours that "kids in the neighbourhood crack my password and use my account", but that is a very, very difficult thing to do.)

I don't see any advantage to changing the default password (not sure what you mean when you refer to NET drives) as a cautionery move... I do myself, but only to something I find easier to remember for me and my houseguests.

I only ever read about two times in 35 years that a "preview" of a mail message caused anyone a problem, and I don't have proof that it happened. I think if that was actually possible, it would happen all the time, and email clients and web pages would prevent previews at all. It is true that nasty links can be embedded in images in your mail, but you still have to click on it.

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10 minutes ago, ComputerGuy said:

 (not sure what you mean when you refer to NET drives)

Net drive - a cheap and easier alternative to Server.    Mine runs on Linux and very easy to set up.   I use mine just to collect backups from home network, but can be used for much more.  

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1 hour ago, BCdoug said:

And what do you do when you find that the software you use most wasn't written to work on Linux - e.g. Sierra Chart

What about all of the programs developed using the microsoft .NET framework, probably not available in Linux

Find an alternative open source application or try implementing WINE which adds a MS compatibility layer to Linux. Not for the faint of heart. Here's some info on Sierra Chart and WINE. Some .net info

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1 hour ago, MarkWebles said:

Find an alternative open source application or try implementing WINE which adds a MS compatibility layer to Linux. Not for the faint of heart. Here's some info on Sierra Chart and WINE. Some .net info

I wouldn't want to depend on open source or WINE when day trading.    Glad you are happy, lots of experienced tech experts consider Linux to still be a toy for geeks, i.e. fun for geeks to play with but challenging if you want to do anymore than what comes with the package.    Very useful for corporate servers.   

 

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Hey BCdoug. No kidding when I saw your name, I thought I read something very different something that was very important to us when we were much much younger. I swear I thought it said BCbud. Sorry about that.

Me, as I get older, I have backed away from anything that takes smarts to learn and/or operate. I simply run Windows 10 and let it automatically update, I try to fix anything I can, but when no,t I know I can call the Computer Guy for help.

Mike remember you did me a favor way back when, and I said I would tip you the next time we meet.

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13 hours ago, ComputerGuy said:

True, thanks for pointing that out. I tend to forget about it, because after having tried it, there are two major caveats I have to mention whenever it comes up:

1. This fix works only on WiFi connections; if you use ethernet from your modem to your PC or laptop, nothing changes (because Microsoft thinks that if you have a wired connection, you must have unlimited bandwidth. Dumb? Yes).

2. "Priority updates" get downloaded regardless. And I have no idea what Microsoft considers "priority", other than most of them... . (Quote from MS: "...only those updates required to keep Windows running smoothly.")

I am definitely no computer whiz and I realize you are, but NO MS updates get downloaded automatically on my computer, as I have the metered connection checked, as well as "defer updates".

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