Geeks in Phoenix

Geek Blog


How to manually install the Windows 10 Creators Update

By now you must have heard about the Windows 10 Creators Update. There is plenty of information on the Internet about all of the new features, but nothing on actually manually installing it. So, let's walk through a manual Windows 10 Creators Update installation.

How to manually install the Windows 10 Creators Update

So, Microsoft has released the latest major update for Windows 10, the Creators Update. With all of the hype about the new features, it was time to check them out.

Now with major updates like this one, I used to install them the day they were released. I hate to admit it, but I actual went out a purchased Windows 95 the day it was released. Not one copy, but two (floppy disks and CD).

But after having issues with being an early adapter, I started taking the 'wait and let all of the bugs get worked out' approach. There is nothing like having to spend a couple of hours restoring your primary production computer after a failed update or upgrade.

And just to make sure that nothing would happened to my production computer, I decided to use a Virtual Machine (VM). For this exercise, I wanted to work with a vanilla installation of Windows 10. No additional software was installed, this includes an anti-virus program.

Now the first thing I did was set up a VM with the most recent version (1607) of Windows 10. I then made sure that it was completely up to date with patches. I then shut down the VM and backed it up.

Now if I was upgrading a regular computer, I would definitely use Windows Backup inside of Windows 10. And of course, you don't want forget to make the accompanying System Repair Disk. See the link below for more information on Windows Backup.

Backup your files with File History and Windows Backup in Windows 10

Now that I have a known good backup, it was time to start the manual update. I opened up the
The Setting icon on the Start Menu inside of Windows 10
Settings in Windows 10 and left-clicked on Update and security.
Windows Update is the first tab on the left-hand column and is also the default page for Update and security.

In the right-hand column, there is a link below the blurb about the Windows 10 Creators Update being available.
Windows 10 Creators Update notification inside of Windows Update
Left-click on Yes, show me how and it takes you to a page about the Creators Update.

On that page, there is a link labeled Update Assistant.
The Windows 10 Creators Update download link
Left-click on the link and it will start the download of the Windows 10 Upgrade program. Save it on your computer, open the folder you saved it to, right-click on the Windows 10 Upgrade program and select Run as Administrator from the context menu that appears.

The first screen that appears just tells me what version of Windows 10 I am currently running and what version I am upgrading to.
The first screen in the Windows 10 Update Assistant
I then left-click on the Update Now button in the lower right-hand corner.

The next screen gives a the compatibly report and everything is good to go.
The second screen in the Windows 10 Update Assistant
Before I have a chance to click on the Next button in the lower right-hand corner, the download automatically begins.

The next screen that appears shows me the progress of the download.
The third screen in the Windows 10 Update Assistant
Before I know it, the download is complete and the installation begins. Time to grab another cup of coffee.

The next screen shows the progress of the update installation.
The forth screen in the Windows 10 Update Assistant
I love the warning about not turning your computer off, like someone would get this far and then say 'forget it' and turn their computer off. But the note on the update taking a while to install is correct.

Finally, after a couple of restarts, the VM comes back to life with the intro screens. You know the ones that say Hi, We didn't do anything with your files.

Finally, the desktop appears with a thank you for updating page and Microsoft Edge displaying a welcome to the Windows 10 Creators Update info page.
The final screen in the Windows 10 Update Assistant
The update is now complete.

So how long did the update take? Almost two (2) hours. And remember that this was a vanilla install of Windows 10 that I updated. I would imagine updating a system that has been in use for a while may take longer.

Now you will notice that there is a new program that has been installed, the Windows 10 Upgrade Assistant. There are shortcuts to it on the Desktop and the Start Menu. If you would like to uninstall the Windows 10 Upgrade assistant, here's how.

  1. Left-click on the Start Menu and left-click the Settings icon (it looks like a gear).
  2. Then left-click on Apps.
  3. Scroll down the list of apps in the right-hand column until you find the Windows 10 Upgrade Assistant.
  4. Left-click on it and then left-click on Uninstall.

Another Android smartphone upgrade

Upgrading my smartphone has never been an easy task for me. Probably because I get so familiar with the way it operates. But there are times when you just have to bite-the-bullet and go for it. So, here's my recent experience upgrading my Android smartphone.

Another Android smartphone upgrade

So, I had purchased my Droid 4 about three and a half years ago, and it worked just fine for the first couple of years. Then it started having battery run time issues and had to be charged every night.

I had thought about just getting a replacement battery and that would fix the problem. But this was one of those devices that the manufacturer had glued the battery in-place.

Replacing the battery meant I would have to carefully pry out the old battery, making sure not to puncture the battery casing. Have you ever seen what happens when you puncture a lithium-ion battery? It's right up there with the exploding battery issue.

So, when my Droid 4 could not hold a charge for more than a couple of hours, I knew it was time for a change. But when I tried to get the back cover off of the Droid 4, I found that the battery had swollen to 150% its original size, it was now time to get a new smartphone.

I took a look at what my carrier offered for smart phones. I had three (3) requirements; a removable / replaceable battery, a micro SD card slot and it had to be inexpensive (damage from accidentally dropping it is a major concern).

So, I ordered a new Samsung Galaxy J3 and prepared for the move. Even though the battery in my Droid 4 was malfunctioning, the device itself was still functioning properly. As soon as I got the new Samsung J3, I started the process of upgrading my smartphone.

  1. First thing I did was backup everything I wanted to keep from both internal storage and the micro SD card. I had to turn on USB debugging to do this. Even though I am going to move the existing micro SD card to my new phone, I still want to back up the data (photos, music, etc.) I have on it.
    View of my Droid 4 inside of Windows 10 File Explorer
    Since this will be the third phone I am using this micro SD card with, I may just reformat it just to get rid of any junk I don't need.
  2. I powered off my existing Droid 4 and removed the micro SD card. Since the battery had started to bulge out, getting the back cover on or off was extremely hard. But with a little finesse, I was able to do it.
  3. I tried to connect the new phone to my existing phone carrier's network. What was supposed to be simple turned out to be a little more complicated, but not much. For a day, in my spare time, I tried powering off my old phone and then powering on the new phone. All I keep getting was an error about not being able to connect to a server and to please try again later. I was in no hurry but I finally called the support number listed on the error screen. After confirming the order number, my new phone finally was able to make connection and started to function properly.

After setting up all of my different accounts (Gmail, email, etc.), all that was left was to install all of my apps using Google Play. This one took a little time to figure out, as I wanted to install the same apps on my new phone that were on my old phone, but there did not appear to be a clear way for me to do it. I did finally come across how to do it.

How to install apps from one Android device to another using Google Play

  1. Bring up Google Play in a browser on your computer (sign-in if you are not already).
  2. On the menu on the left-side of the page, left-click on Apps.
  3. On the Apps menu click on My apps.
    View of installed Android apps listed by device on Google Play
  4. Pull-down the All Apps menu and select your old device.
  5. Left-click on the app you want to install on your new device.
    Google Play app information dialog box
  6. In the lower right corner of the app information you will see a button that says Installed. Left-click on it and bring up the app installation dialog box.
    Google Play app installation dialog box
  7. On the app installation dialog box, you need to choose a device to install it to. When you pull-down the device menu, you will see that there is only one device that you can install it on. Left-click on your new device and then left-click on Install.

Should you repair or upgrade your computer or just get a new one

Doing computer repair for a living, I get allot of questions. One my favorites has to be "Should I repair or upgrade my computer or just get a new one". So, let's take a look at whether to repair or upgrade an existing computer or just buy a new one.

Should you repair or upgrade your computer or just get a new one

First off, let's start with the three (3) theories I follow when it comes to computers and their components.

  1. Infant Mortality is the belief that if it will run for a day (24 hours), it will run for its lifetime. It is also the start of what is called the Bathtub Curve.
  2. The Bathtub Curve refers to the expected failure rate of electronics over time, as it resembles an end-to-end section of a bathtub. The failure rate starts out high at the beginning of life (Infant Mortality) and then drops to almost nothing until rising again at the end of life.
  3. The definition of the Lifetime of computer components, from my experience, is three years from start of service. At three years or older, it's not if it will break down, but when will it break down. But there are exceptions to this rule, mainly how well the electronics have been taken care of.

To repair or just replace

With that said, let's start with the repair or replace scenario. Most of the time, if the computer (desktop or laptop) is within the expected lifetime, repairing is the best the way to go. Now the exception is with the price and availability of replacement parts.

Now with computers over three (3) years old, you have to take a look at the cost of replacement parts and labor versus the cost of a new system. If the parts and labor total more than $200, I will usually ask a client at least twice if they are sure they want to replace the part(s).

You also have to look at whether the replacement parts are new or refurbished (fancy way of saying used). For laptop bases, lids and bezels, refurbished will work quite well. For motherboards and IO / daughter boards, a refurbished unit may or may not work out.

Keep in mind that if a particular component has a flaw that caused it to fail, a refurbished (used) part may also have the same flaw and could fail just like the component you are replacing. I've had about 50 / 50 success rate with refurbished parts, with some parts lasting only months and some lasting years.

Hard drives, memory modules, desktop DVD drives, power supplies, laptop displays, laptop keyboards and laptop fans are some of the more common parts that usually need to be replaced. These parts are normally easy to find and purchase. Laptop parts like hinges, display bezels, display lids (tops) and bases can be tricky to find. A quick Google search for computer model + part name should yield some results.

The availability of replacement parts

In my experience finding replacement parts, I have found that the age of the computer has allot to do with being able to find parts.

  • If the computer in question is under 1 year old, the only way to get replacement parts is through the manufacturer. And you can be sure that you will pay full retail price for them.
  • If the computer is 1 - 3 years old, the cost of replacement parts should go down, as the supply of parts should get better. At this point in time, people are starting to 'part-out' failed systems and posting the parts on eBay.
  • If the computer is 3 - 5 years old, the cost of replacement parts will be at their lowest. The supply will be high and you will be able to find multiple vendors carrying the same parts. It's a buyer's paradise.
  • If the computer is 5 years or older, the supply of parts starts to dwindle and prices go up. I had a client one time that wanted to replace a motherboard with bad capacitors that was fifteen (15) years old. I found one (1) refurbished motherboard at almost $500. We had the board recapped for a whole lot less.

To upgrade or just replace

Now when it comes to upgrading a computer, there are quite few things that can be done to desktop and laptop computers. The one thing with the most bang-for-the-buck is memory. Allot of systems come with a nominal amount of memory and can easily be upgraded.

The problem with upgrading memory is that many manufacturers will purchase smaller memory modules and then fill up all of the memory slots with them. For example, let's say you bought a computer with eight (8) gigabytes of memory installed. The motherboard has four (4) memory slots and each one can handle a 4 gigabyte memory module (max.), for a total of sixteen (16) gigabytes (max.).

But when you open up the computer, you find that instead of using two (2) 4 gigabytes memory modules, the manufacturer used four (4) 2 gigabyte modules. So, to upgrade the memory to sixteen (16) gigabytes, you have to replace all of the 2 gigabyte memory modules with 4 gigabytes modules. Why do they do it? They can get the smaller memory modules cheaper.

How to upgrade or add more memory to your computer

Another way to breathe new life into a computer is to upgrade the hard drive. You can go with a Hard Disk Drive (HDD) that spins faster or a Solid State Drive (SSD) that has a faster transfer rate. Either of these should give you better performance. Combine it with a clean installation of Windows and you will feel like you got a brand new computer.

How to upgrade the hard drive in your computer

How to upgrade your computers hard disk drive to a solid state drive

Now if you have a desktop computer and like playing games, upgrading the graphics card may be an option. Just make sure you know what the motherboard specification is for the PCIe slot(s) (version 1, version 2, etc.) and use a graphics card that is compatible. Also, make sure you have enough power connector(s) (6-pin or 8-pin PCIe).

The bottom line

You are the only one who has to decide whether to repair or upgrade an existing computer or replace with a new one. If it has sentimental value or runs a program you cannot reinstall, then maybe you should repair or upgrade it. But if the cost of fixing it is more than the total value of your existing computer, then maybe you consider just replacing it with a new computer.

How to setup Family Safety for Windows 10 using Microsoft accounts

I don't know about you, but keeping my family safe on their Windows 10 computers is priority number one. Sure, you can install anti-virus software and browser extensions, but what about the kids under 18? Here's how to set up Family Safety using Microsoft accounts.

How to setup Family Safety for Windows 10 using Microsoft accounts

Years ago, the only way I found to really lock down my kid's computers was to add it to a domain and restrict the user permissions. And it did work. But not everyone has a server / domain controller. So, what is a parent to do?

Well, back in Windows 7 and Windows 8.1, Microsoft had a product called Family Safety. It was part of Windows Essentials, which was a separate download. It worked quite well but Microsoft dropped support Windows Essentials and it is no longer available for download.

So, if you think that Family Safety just faded away, you would be wrong. Microsoft has taken all of the features from the original program and added them to its Microsoft account interface.

All of the same great features are there. You can still filter what websites your kids can visit and restrict access to certain apps and games. You can also set what time(s) your kids can use their Windows 10 computer. You can even set the appropriate age for the apps and games that can be accessed.

Now there are some requirements for using Family Safety in Windows 10 that may be a bit disturbing. Everyone, you and your child, needs to have a Microsoft account. This in itself is no biggie. But your child will need an e-mail address to create a Microsoft Account.

I don't know many five year old's that have an e-mail address, but if you create and monitor it yourself, you should be alright. You don't have to let them have access to it. They will only need the Microsoft account e-mail address and password to log into Windows 10.

So, if you are looking at ways to protect your family when they are online, using Microsoft accounts is one way to go.

How to set up Family Safety in Windows 10 using Microsoft accounts

  1. Log into your personal Microsoft account. If you don't have one, then you will need to create one.
  2. Once you are logged in, look along the top menu bar and click on the tab named Family.
  3. Under Your Family click on Add a child.
  4. Enter your child's e-mail address and click on Send invite. If they don't have one, you can create one by clicking Create a new email address for your child. If you do that, then you'll be creating a Microsoft account at the same time. When you have your child's account all set up, you will still need to send them an invite. Now to protect your child's privacy, Microsoft does charge a small one-time fee ($.50) to verify your identity.
  5. Once they (or you) accept the email invite, then you can start configuring their online settings.

What your child sees and can do when they log into their Microsoft account

What your child sees and can do when they log into their Microsoft account

  • Mange sign in preferences just like a standard Microsoft account.
  • Edit personal information like gender, State, ZIP Code and time zone.
  • Edit payment information. This only applies to their personal account, not yours. You can add funds to their Microsoft account through your account. They can also redeem codes and gift cards too.
  • Edit their Xbox profile, if they have Xbox account. If not, they can create one.
  • Edit their Skype profile, if they have Skype account. If not, they can create one.

What you see and can do when you log into your Microsoft account

What you see and can do when you log into your Microsoft account

  • Recent activity. This is where you can view your child's activities in week by week format. You can also turn on or off weekly activity e-mail reports.
  • Web browsing. You can turn on or off the blocking of inappropriate websites. You can create a (white) list of allowed websites and a (black) list of blocked websites. You can also only allow websites on the allowed list, but your kid's computer will need the Windows 10 November update (11/16) or newer version installed for this option to work. And Safe Search is turned on and InPrivate browsing is turned off. Now all of these web filters require that your kid only uses Microsoft Edge or Internet Explorer. You can disable the use of Firefox and Chrome under Apps, games and media.
  • Apps, games and media. Here you can block inappropriate apps and games. This applies not only to Windows 10, but also to Windows Phones and Xbox One. There is a pull-down menu that allows you to select the appropriate age for your child. This will dictate some pre-configured settings which will enable or disable certain features. You can also view the list of the block apps and games. If you want, you can also remove any program you feel should not be on the list.
  • Screen time. This is where you set up the times your kid is allowed on the PC. There is a grid broken down by the days of the week along the side and hours of day going across the top. When you activate the time limits, the default time spans are put into place (7:00 AM to 10:00 PM). You can manually add, remove or modify any of the time spans and you can have multiple time spans per day.
  • Purchase and spending. This is where you can add funds to their Microsoft account for use at the Microsoft and Xbox stores. There is also a pull-down menu that you can choose what types of apps and games you child get; all games and apps, only free games and apps or none. You can also turn on or off the ability to receive e-mail when you child gets an app or game.
  • Find your child. With this feature, you can locate your child using the GPS inside of their Windows 10 Phone. If they don't have a Windows 10 device, you cannot use this feature.
  • Xbox privacy settings. This section I found only to apply to the adult account that is logged in currently, not your kids account. It is probably best to do the editing of your child's Xbox profile under their login.

Manage Mac disks inside of Windows with MacDrive

Even though we primarily work on Windows based computers, there are times when we need to access Mac formatted disks. And being able to do that from inside of Windows is essential. That's where MacDrive comes into play.

Manage Mac disks inside of Windows with MacDrive

Now in repairing computers, we are often asked to recover files from old drives and transfer them to external drives. Sometimes they are two (2) different formats; NTFS (Windows) & HFS+ (Mac). And since Mac and Windows computers don't natively read and write to each other's disk format, having MacDrive is kind of a necessity.

With MacDrive you can actually read and write to Mac formatted drives inside of Windows. And since MacDrive works so seamlessly with Windows, you might not even notice you are using a Mac formatted drive. The little Apple drive icon kind of gives it away (but it can be turned off).

The Mac drive icon inside of Windows File Explorer
The Mac drive icon inside of Windows File Explorer

It can also perform various disk management tasks, including formatting and repairing Mac disks. It can also burn Mac formatted CD's and DVD's.

View of a Mac formatted disk inside of Windows 10 Disk Management without MacDrive installed
View of a Mac formatted disk inside of Windows 10 Disk Management without MacDrive installed

View of a Mac formatted disk inside of Windows 7 Disk Management with MacDrive installed
View of a Mac formatted disk inside of Windows 7 Disk Management with MacDrive installed

MacDrive supports USB, FireWire, Thunderbolt, eSata, SATA, IDE, SCSI and Fibre channel drives. It also supports legacy drives like Jaz, MO and ZIP.

You can also mount Mac OS partitions on Boot Camp systems. It even works with Mac files without an extension. And you also go through Time Machine backups too.

Now you can access all of the MacDrive tools from either the built-in Disk Management Window or from inside Windows Explorer. And you can directly access working files straight from your favorite programs.

MacDrive comes in two (2) versions; Standard and Pro. The Standard version is more geared to the everyday user. The Pro version has more advanced features like mounting RAID sets creating Mac ISO files.

MacDrive is compatible with Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 (32-bit & 64-bit). For more information on MacDrive, just follow the link below.

MacDrive from Mediafour

Customer service is #1

Here at Geeks in Phoenix, we take pride in providing excellent customer service. From computer repair, virus removal and data recovery, we aim to give the highest quality of service.

Bring your computer to us and save

Our in-shop computer repair service  is based on the time we work on your computer, not the time it takes your computer to work!

Contact us

Geeks in Phoenix
4722 East Monte Vista Road
Phoenix, Arizona 85008
(602) 795-1111

Like Geeks in Phoenix on Facebook

Follow Geeks in Phoenix on Twitter

Watch Geeks in Phoenix on YouTube

Geeks in Phoenix is an IT consulting company specializing in all aspects of Computer Repair / PC Repair / Laptop Repair. Since 2008, our expert computer repair technicians have been providing outstanding Computer Repair, Virus Removal, Data Recovery, Photo Manipulation and Website Support.

Geeks in Phoenix have the best computer repair technicians providing computer repair and service in Phoenix, Scottsdale and Tempe Arizona. We offer In-Shop, On-Site and Remote (with stable Internet connection) computer repair service.

Copyright © 2017 Geeks in Phoenix LLC