Windows 10 April 2018 Update 1803: What you need to know

The Windows 10 “April 2018 Update” version 1803 was released a few weeks ago… in May, not April.

Go figure.

Initially, there were some serious problems with 1803, but those seem to have been ironed out now.

Chances are, if you don’t have it already, you’ll be getting it soon.

Given my past articles on improving the privacy and security of Windows 10, what do you need to know about this new 1803 version of Windows 10?

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How to update or install “Linux on Windows” in Windows 10

In the olden days, there was only “Bash on Ubuntu on Windows 10”. This little gem gave you something like reverse WINE.

You got an Ubuntu linux install that’s running on top of the Windows kernel – with full file system access, the ability to install and run all kinds of linux command-prompty stuff like git, and even graphical linux apps like gitk.

Fast forward a few years, and things have changed…

What if you’re still running Bash on Ubuntu on Windows (Ubuntu 14.04) and you want to upgrade to the latest Ubuntu 16.04 without reinstalling everything?

Or, what if you want a different flavor of linux?

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Fix a broken Start menu in Windows 10

Back in October 2017, Microsoft released the Fall Creators Update for Windows 10.

For most people, all was well. But for a surprisingly large minority, the Start menu just sort of stopped working.

Clicking the Start button did nothing, and neither did right-clicking it. Sometimes, open apps won’t even show up on the taskbar.

Apparently, it’s still not working right for some people 5 months later!

There have been a variety of fixes for this issue, but there is one that I have found always fixes the problem…

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Time to switch to a HomeGroup on Windows 10

Way back in 2009, I wrote this article:

How to Determine the Master Browser in a Windows Workgroup

I also released a tool called LAN Scanner that lets you see all the puters on your local network, their IP addies, MAC addresses, and which puter is the Master Browser.

That’s great… except that recently, it stopped working!

While digging into this problem, I discovered that the traditional “Network” browsing in Windows has kind of become broken since Microsoft has officially poo-pooed (and disabled) SMB v1.

What that means for you is that if you have a home network with Windows 10 machines, you’re going to want to switch to using a HomeGroup – but there’s a catch!

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Windows 10 Buffet: Fixing a failed upgrade to the latest version

It’s been several months since Windows 10 1709 was released. Even now, not all puters out there have received the update. As with all versions of Win 10, Microsoft rolls them out slowly over time.

Sometimes, you might not get the latest version because of some incompatibility or other issue. Other times, maybe your internet sucks and it just takes a long time to download 3GB in the background!

In any case, you’ll get the update soon enough – but that doesn’t mean it will work.

The following is my collection of fixes that usually work to convince a puter to successfully install the latest flavor of Windows 10…

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Convert your Windows 10 boot drive from MBR to GPT

In the olden days, your puter had a BIOS.

Nowadays, the BIOS is rapidly giving way to UEFI, which provides all kinds of benefits.

At the same time, hard drives have sort of evolved, so now we’re supposed to use GPT instead of MBR.

Well, okay… First of all, what does all that mean?

And second, how on earth do you convert your MBR drive to the new GPT format without having to reinstall Windows?

It turns out Microsoft has made the process really easy!

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What you need to know about Windows 10 Fall Creators Update 1709

The Windows 10 “Fall Creators Update” version 1709 was released not long ago.

Chances are, if you don’t have it already, you’ll be getting it soon.

Naturally, there are some new features and stuff, but nothing that most people will get all excited about. It’s just yet another “incremental update” instead of a major upgrade.

Given my past articles on improving the privacy and security of Windows 10, what do you need to know about this new 1709 version of Windows 10?

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Tablet Mode, or What the heck happened to my Desktop?!

You’re using Windows 10, minding your own business…

Suddenly, after clicking something near the system tray in the lower right corner of your screen, you are met with the weirdest desktop you’ve ever seen.

Your Start Screen tiles are displayed on your desktop, desktop icons are missing, and generally things just “look weird”.

Fear not!

You just accidentally enabled Tablet Mode. It’s pretty easy to both a) turn it off, and b) make it easier to turn off in the future.

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How to disable telemetry and improve your privacy in Windows – again

You may recall a post I made a couple of years ago:

Another privacy fix, this time for Windows 7, 8, and 10

At some point after that a new update was released – and it’s not clear when since the dates on the Windows update web pages don’t seem to correspond to reality.

This new update is the same thing as the Diagnostics Tracking Service you disabled earlier, only that doesn’t matter because they changed the name and enabled it by default. SIGH

Now they call it the “Diagnostics and Telemetry service” on their web site, but it’s listed as Connected User Experiences and Telemetry in Services on your puter.

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