Fix “Something happened: Windows 10 installation failed” errors

July 22nd, 2016

Something Happened: Windows 10 installation failed.First, FYI: Exactly one week from today, 29 July 2016, Windows 10 will no longer be a free upgrade. So, if you’ve been thinking about upgrading to 10, now’s the time!

Next, I recently ran into a problem trying to upgrade a puter from Windows 7 to Windows 10.

I’d run the Win 10 installer from within Win 7. It would reach the point where it was about to reboot for the first time to actually start the upgrade, and I’d get the following lovely error message:

Something happened – Windows 10 installation failed.

Gosh, that’s helpful.

There are many “fixes” for this Something Happened Error, but none of them worked for me. After a bit of digging, I found a solution that works!

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Computers , , , ,

PPI, Retina displays, and what makes a screen ‘good’

July 17th, 2016

Retina PPIIf you’ve read any reviews recently about phones, tablets, and other gizmos, you’ve probably come across a lot of talk of PPI (Pixels Per Inch) and “Retina” screens.

In short, the number of pixels crammed into a device’s screen seems to be uber-important to which gizmos get the best reviews.

But hang on a minute… Just what do these numbers mean?

Does it really matter that much?

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Computers, Gizmos, How Does it Work? , , , , ,

Superglue: Everything you need to know, and some things you don’t

July 10th, 2016

Superglue: Be careful with it!Superglue is awesome.

Originally discovered in 1942 by American scientists who were trying to come up with good transparent gun sights during WWII, superglue is the “sticks to everything” goto adhesive for all your gluey quick-fix needs.

And frankly, until you’ve superglued two fingers together, you really haven’t lived…

Anyway, there’s probably a lot about superglue that you’ve never heard before. So, read on, and then you can go impress your friends with your amazing knowledge of cyanoacrylate adhesives!

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Do-It-Yourself, How Does it Work? , ,

Remove the “Choose an operating system” message when starting your computer

July 3rd, 2016

Choose an operating systemMany of you have installed Windows 10 on your puters only to discover that every time you boot up, you get a screen that reads: Choose an operating system

Windows 10 will of course be at the top of the list, usually followed by either Windows 7 or Windows 8.1. If you pick Windows 10, it fires up and everything works normally.

Obviously, there is still something wrong: Why is Windows 10 asking if you want to boot your old version of Windows? After all, you upgraded, right?

Fear not! There’s a very easy trick to remove this boot menu – and it works for all flavors and versions of Windows all the way back to Vista at least…

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Computers, Do-It-Yourself , , , , ,

Is the Adobe Flash Player really dead?

June 25th, 2016

Flash PlayerBy now, you’ve probably heard that Adobe’s Flash Player is going the way of the dinosaur. Except, wait… No, it’s not. It’s still around, and it still works.

No, wait… Yeah, it’s dead. No it’s not. Yes it is.

You could be forgiven if, like most of us, you’re really, really confused about what’s happening with the Flash Player.

Okay, so, seriously: WHAT THE HECK is going on with Flash?

Is it alive? Is it dead? Is it a zombie?!

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Computers , , , , ,

How to improve your online security

June 12th, 2016

Improve your Online SecurityI’ll be honest: I didn’t think I had to explain any of this, because I thought it was obvious.

Given the number of recent online security breaches – including the release of really, really bad passwords – clearly it’s not so obvious.

Well, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. After all, I think about this kind of thing as part of my work. Most people don’t. It’s my job to program things that work, but a big part of it becomes making things that other people will find difficult to exploit.

Otherwise, what’s the point? No one cares if it “just works” if some evil person out there can break it in 5 minutes! The way to go about doing this is to not program a single line of code until you’ve got the whole thing sorted in your head. Then, think about how you would hack it.

You don’t do this by thinking like yourself; you must think like someone who wants to attack you. Unless you’re a Russian chess master, you probably don’t think this way very often.

But, not to worry! The following are a few tips that will greatly increase your online security without making your brain catch on fire. Which is nice…

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Computers, Networking , , , ,

Delete an old Windows folder the easy way

May 30th, 2016

Delete old Windows FolderEvery now and then, you upgrade your puter.

Let’s say you add an SSD. You copy your old hard drive’s contents to your shiny new SSD, and use your old HDD as a data-only drive. You boot from the new SSD, and poof! You’re done.

Well, sort of…

Your new E: drive is now only a data drive, but alas, there is still an E:\Windows folder, and it’s taking up lots of space.

So, you try to delete E:\Windows… Access Denied, you need permissions, and so on…!

There are a million and one articles out there about how to delete an old, unneeded Windows folder, but they usually involve some piece of software or complicated shenanigans.

Well, forget that! This method is a piece of cake…

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Computers , ,

Microsoft gives you Windows 10 whether you like it or not

May 23rd, 2016

Windows 10 Upgrade, either you like it or not!Ooooh, man…

Well, it’s finally happened: Microsoft is basically tricking users into installing Windows 10.

That’s right. You now have to be VERY careful if you don’t want Win 10 to automagically download and install.

By now, we’re all used to M$ making decisions for us, but this one is just a bit over the top.

For the time being, there are still ways around it – but I’m not holding my breath…

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Computers , ,

Fix Language Bar missing after Windows 10 update

May 15th, 2016

Missing Language BarIf you speak more than one language, then you probably also write in more than one language.

In that case, you’re probably using Windows’ Language Bar.

In Windows 10, it appears in the system tray (lower-right corner of the taskbar by the time and date) as a 3-letter abbreviation, such as: ENG

There is a common problem that’s been around for awhile, and it’s back with a vengeance in Windows 10: Windows automatically applies some updates, and after your puter reboots, POOF!

No more Language Bar!

How do you get your Language Bar back? Read on!

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Computers , ,

Scroll inactive windows: The best reason to upgrade to Windows 10

May 8th, 2016

Windows 10: Scroll inactive windowsFor those of you who have been avoiding the free upgrade to Windows 10, there is one very good reason why you might want to rethink your plans.

The most obvious reason is that apparently, Windows 10 will no longer be a free upgrade after July of this year. And one way or another, eventually you will get a new puter, and the only supported OS will be Windows 10, anyway…

But if that doesn’t convince you, how about this: Windows 10 let’s you scroll inactive windows just by hovering the mouse pointer over the window.

What on Earth am I talking about?

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Computers , ,