Tag Archives: Windows 10

How to: control Fast Startup setting via registry

If you navigate to Control Panel > All Control Panel Items > Power Options > System Settings you can find GUI option to disable/enable so called Fast Startup option (formerly known as Fast Boot):

This is sort of light-weight/hybrid hibernation mode – with this option enabled on shut down system log offs all users and closes programs yet leaves Windows kernel loaded and system session running, next it notifies drivers (those which have support for this) to prepare for hibernation and saves this system state into hibernation file. This allows for faster boot by means of loading this state into RAM on startup (you can read up more on this here).

Anyhow I just wanted to take a note of corresponding registry key which enables/disables this setting – this is registry key named HiberbootEnabled which can be found under HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Power.

This is especially important as there is no GPO to control this feature, so you can use some scripting to control/verify state of this setting via registry key.

And in case you need to check for supported sleep states on your system (including Fast Startup) you can leverage  powercfg /a command.

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Windows 10 Hyper-V: What is “Upgrade Configuration Version…” option?

Recently I imported some old VM into my Windows 10 Hyper-V and noticed that unlike VMs I created with latest version of Hyper-V it has an extra option named “Upgrade Configuration Versions..”:

Hyper-V Upgrade Configuration Version

To me option name is a bit confusing (which sometimes happens in MSFT products out of best intentions in attempts to simplify their wizards and wording). I was confused by this option name as it makes me think about configurations versioning and management rather about what it really means.  To put it simply it is equivalent of what you can see in VMware Workstation as “Upgrade Virtual Hardware”/”VM hardware compatibility” (isn’t it more appropriate name? but I guess there is also differentiation needs which software vendors may have 🙂 ).

What you should know about this is in the past (prior to Windows 10) your VMs have been upgraded automatically to new configuration version, but now you have more control over this and have upgrade it manually via GUI (see screenshot above) or using Update-VMVersion cmdlet.

“Upgrade Configuration Version…” option presented in VM properties only when your VM is in offline state. Operation is almost instant and unfortunately it doesn’t give you that VMware Workstation wizard which explains available versions and why you may want to upgrade/added features. But essentially Hyper-V no longer upgrades VMs by default to allow you to move them back to older versions in case it will be necessary and upgrade is needed to enable new features for VM (see table below):

Hyper-V Upgrade Configuration Version - Features Table

Features available/added in different VM versions. Source: Ben Armstrong’s Virtualization Blog – Upgrading your Virtual Machine version

Virtual machines created on Windows 10 use version 6.2 configurations, and the highest value for now is 8.0 (Served 2016/Windows 10 Anniversary update). You can use this table to get an idea of configuration versions in different base OS versions:

Hyper-V Upgrade Configuration Version - Versions Table

To check configuration versions of VMs on your Hyper-V host:

Get-VM * | Format-Table Name, Version

To get configuration version supported by your host use (add –Default parameter to see default one):

Get-VMHostSupportedVersion

You can read more in official MSFT documentation: Upgrade virtual machine version in Hyper-V on Windows 10 or Windows Server 2016

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Internet access slowness on host after installing Windows 10 Client Hyper-V

I’ve recently switched from VMware Workstation to Windows 10 Client Hyper-V and I really pleased with capabilities I get so far. But after awhile I noticed extreme sluggishness of web browsing on my host machine which I had not linked initially with Hyper-V. Issue has not crop up immediately after I installed and started using it, but seemingly after I added Internal Virtual Switch. So I spend day and a half blaming slowness on my ISP before trying to investigate and fix the problem.

In case if you not recognize whether you have the same problem or not here is somebody’s YouTube video demonstrating it along with fix valid for Window 8/8.1 (note that adapter names may vary from case to case). Windows 10 fix can be found below.

Essentially when you create External Hyper-V switch it sorts of hijacks your physical NIC unbinds IPv4 from it and passes its IPv4 config onto External vEthernet adapter in some obscure way. But slowness crops up due to the wrong connections priority which was easy to adjust in Win 8 as described in this TechNet blog post – you just navigate to Network Connections (ncpa.cpl) > Press Alt on keyboard to access Advanced Settings as depicted below and from there just reorder your connections making sure that External vEthernet adapter is listed first.

Problem is that in Windows 10 you no longer have this GUI because as one person put it “There are no longer any components that utilize the binding order. The only known component that used the binding order was DNS ordering. By default, Windows uses the Route Metric + Interface Metric to determine which route has the highest priority by choosing the route with the lowest value.” This is explanation which I got here.

Long story short what you likely have to do to bring your browsing speed back to normal is issue Get-NetIPInterface cmdlet to get list of your interfaces along with their Index and Interface Metric values. It should return you something like this:

Get-NetIPInterface

Now you want to make sure that your vEthernet gets highest priority by issuing the following cmdlet:

Set-NetIPInterface -InterfaceIndex "xx" -InterfaceMetric "xxx"

If I use example with interfaces listed above it would be something like this:

Set-NetIPInterface -InterfaceIndex "14" -InterfaceMetric "85"

This should fix your browsing speed.

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Fixing failed Windows 10 Anniversary Update and DISM & ReFS registry hack

This blog post covers some issues I run into while installing Windows 10 Anniversary Update on one of my machines and some other issues I discovered/fixed in the process 🙂

As I twitted earlier that for me Windows 10 Anniversary update failed on one of my home machines:

AnniversaryUpdate Error

Machine was really low on space on C drive and installation of update failed with error code 0x800705b4. Once I realized it I tried to use available option to move download folder to another drive and freed up enough of space on C drive – but in spite of this I kept getting this 0x800705b4 error. Back then there was no MSFT KB on this and after a while Windows Update even stopped to offer Anniversary Update to me. So I give up temporarily.

Yesterday I decided to give it another try and as Anniversary Update was no longer offered via Windows Update I downloaded Windows 10 Upgrade Assistant from support.microsoft.com:

AnniversaryUpdate Download Tool

Once downloaded, this tool provides you with wizard style UI for upgrade:

AnniversaryUpdate Upgrade Assistant

This tool allowed me to re-try installation of Anniversary Update, but I end up with the same 0x800705b4 error. This time Google I some how come across to an official MSFT KB dedicated to this error. I guess I wasn’t able to find this useful KB earlier as I tried to search something specifically applicable to Anniversary Update whereas it was rather generic Windows Update error.

First suggestion from above mentioned KB was “sfc /scannow” executed from elevated command prompt seemingly helped me, but I’ve got credentials prompt at update installation stage. At this point I decided to give a call to MSFT support, or rather I opt out to request call back from them which I received relatively quickly – and it helped me to move on further. I was explained that I have to activate my Windows using my Windows 8.1 key I had by means of issuing the following command:

slui 3

This brings you the following Windows which allows you to activate your Windows system:

AnniversaryUpdate slui 3

Once activation succeeded I was advised to start update process from scratch, and I also get a recommendation to use update from installation media to speed up this process. I opt out to continue with Windows 10 Upgrade Assistant.

But alas once I did activation I run into the same error and “sfc /scannow” was not able to fix it, and I proceed to suggestion #2 from MSFT KB – use DISM to  to fix Windows Update corruption errors. And solution is to run this:

DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth

KB also states that you have to use repair from source here but I decided to try online repair first and run into the following problem:

DISM Error 50

Error message here is rather non descriptive and give little hints what is wrong for real. And I realized that I already struggled with this back when I tried to play with Windows To Go and give up on this. But since then answer to this appeared in the Internet:

http://appuals.com/best-fix-error-50-dism-does-not-support-servicing-windows-pe-with-the-online-option/

Essentially this error caused by misplaced MiniNT key in registry which makes DISM thing that you try to service Windows PE installation. And truth to be told I have nobody to blame for that except me as I did a little unsupported trick to enable ReFS support on Windows 8.1 long time ago and I seen some other issues caused by this unsupported registry hack. So take away here is that it you use this enable ReFS trick either enable it to format drives, then remove registry key or if for some strange reason you may want to keep it be prepared to issue like non-working Windows Restore and this DISM error 50.

Anyhow once I removed MiniNT key DISM cleanup-image worked well for me and I was able to install Anniversary update, albeit not without another minor glitch which cause disproportionate amount of fuss in the Internet (example) – look like people don’t see how Anniversary Update being rolled out smoothly on 80%+ of super-diverse hardware base and moaning about individual issues with random configurations/old hardware saying that MSFT does a poor job here. Just for your reference on two other machines I have this update installed without slightest issues automatically (and one of them was really old Dell desktop with customized configuration). Glitch I’m talking about is that during update installation on a first boot I got an endless spinning circle on a black background and being experienced with this I waited up to 4 hours, then looked and the interned where a lot of folks report that it was necessary to unplug different Bluetooth USB dongles to get around this issue, and some even report that they were guided by MSFT to do 3-times hard power off to go to recovery mode… 🙁 Just in case I removed my Logitech Unifying receiver from USB port and waited a bit more (~15 mins or so), then just powered down my desktop and switched it on again – system started just fine.

So with a bit of help here and there my entire house hold now runs Windows 10 Anniversary update (2 desktops & 1 laptop). I hope this blog post may help those who run into similar issues.

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Installing Windows 8.1/10 on Toshiba Satellite L300

Just a little note which maybe of interest for users of old hardware, in particular Toshiba Satellite L300 laptop. Earlier I wrote about adding SSD drive into it _, and my results were that with Windows Vista SSD doesn’t help that much: it is better with SSD but still extremely sluggish due to the fact that Vista does not support SSD properly. I also linked underwhelming performance to the fact that I put x64 Vista on 2 GB system (and there is commonly accepted opinion/rule of thumb of not installing x64 Windows on anything with less than 3 GB of RAM). Back then I was not able to install Windows 10 TP on this laptop (likely because of some missing driver).

Recently I finally revisited this laptop and successfully installed Windows 8.1 which was immediately upgraded to Windows 10. So this laptop runs Windows 10 x64 with 2 GB RAM and with SSD and this configuration significantly faster and more responsive. Really good example that to unlock your hardware potential you need support from software, and also illustrates quite well superiority and quality of work MSFT done in Windows 8.1 and 10 – it really works better than old versions even on the same hardware.

Slight issue was Canon Pixma 630 printer which was in use with this laptop. Pixma 630 officially not support Windows 10, so drivers available only for Windows 8.1 – but they are work just fine for Windows 10 – I was able to verify this.

Also in case you on the fence about x86 VS x64 problem your extra incentive for selecting x64 may be greater security and quality of drivers. Essentially x64 Windows 8/10 is more secure because it has: mandatory driver signing (x86 missing this), Address Space Layout Randomization aka ASLR (x86 has it but on x64 it is much more efficient due to larger address space), Kernel Patch Protection or KPP aka PatchGuard (prevents software, even drivers running in kernel-mode, from patching the Windows kernel for x86 this is technically possibly but never was implemented to preserve backward-compatibility with old software), Data Execution Protection (more strict and always enabled for x64 programs), WOW64 compatibility layer (enforces some restrictions on these 32-bit programs which runs on top of it) and guess what else? Dropped support for 16-bit applications 🙂

My conclusion is that nowadays I only would care to install x86 OS on hardware which has historical value as vintage piece for collectors or geeks and can’t support x64 OS, other than that I will either put x64 OS or would recommend upgrade hardware.

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