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Posts Tagged ‘Windows 10’

HowTo: Install Skype desktop on Windows 10 (for older webcams)

On Windows 10, Microsoft (they’ve acquired Skype some years ago) provide a Windows Store app for Skype, however Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps like that one don’t support older webcams (even the ones embedded in not-that-old laptops).

Unfortunately, Microsoft hasn’t bothered to provide some frame grabber driver to bridge with DirectShow-based etc. older webcams that would allow modern UWP apps to work with such older webcams that do function fine with classic (Win32) applications, provided their classic Windows drivers are installed.

What’s worse though is that although Skype provides a Windows desktop application download at their website (https://www.skype.com/en/get-skype/), when that one is launched on Windows 10 (probably that is the can on Windows 8 too), it just shows a message that one should use the respective Store app and takes one to the respective Windows Store webpage. They haven’t bothered to consider all those users that don’t have a supported webcam on UWP and force them to move to the Skype UWP-based Store app. Note that they could have placed the classic (Win32) Skype application on the Windows Store too (which now supports deployment of such applications via a technology called Desktop Bridge), but I don’t think they’ve considered providing that option to the user either.

So a workarround I had to do on my laptop was to trick their desktop application installer into thinking it was running on Windows 7. To achieve this can right click the .exe file of the installer and select “Properties” (should be the last option at the popup menu shown).

Στιγμιότυπο οθόνης (1992)

Then, from the “Compatibility” tab select to run in compatibility mode for “Windows 7”. Press OK to close the dialog and just run the installer again, this time it will proceed fine to install the desktop application for Skype which should work with your older webcam, provided you’ve installed the camera drivers at your system. If it still doesn’t work, checkout the webcam diagnostics tool from http://noeld.com/programs.asp?cat=video (and also try webcam with the classic Win32 AMCap application provided there to see if it does show a video feed or not).

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HowTo: Reinstall a new Windows 10 build after reverting to older build

At http://www.askvg.com/fix-windows-10-insider-preview-build-10240-not-appearing-on-windows-update/ it writes:

NOTE:

If you previously had a new Windows 10 build installed in your computer and then reverted back to an older build, you’ll lose access to the new build and it’ll no longer be offered as an upgrade option. Deleting the number for that build from the list at HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\
  Microsoft\WindowsSelfHost\Applicability\RecoveredFrom key in Registry Editor seems to restore the ability to upgrade. Thanks to our reader "thedicemaster" for this info…

This is useful to know and unfortunately it means that some users may get stuck to an older Windows 10 version. Unless Microsoft has it set like that so that they’ll get automatically the next Windows build (ship the one they were trying to install hoping it fixed the issue they were having). Of course this will work if Microsoft keeps on pushing new builds often, not if they end up updating the OS build once a year or more rare in the future as Windows 10 matures.

To open Registry Editor you can click the Search icon (next to the Windows Start menu icon) at the Windows 10 Taskbar and write RegEdit.exe, then it should offer you a result that says “Run command” that you can click to launch it.

Screenshot 2015-11-23 13.44.22

After that, expand the respective tree nodes (that is HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, then SOFTWARE, then Microsoft, then Windows, then WindowsSelfHost) from the side pane and right click and delete the “RecoveredFrom” node.

Then try Windows Update again from State menu / Settings / Update & Security and tell it again to check for updates. In case it still doesn’t offer the updates, wait for 1-2 days and try again.

HowTo: Free up some disk space by disabling hibernation on Windows 10

I have a small older Tablet PC (Lenovo S10-3t) that I’m running Windows 10 on, having replaced its internal classic SATA hard disk with an SSD one, and since SSD space is scarce (being more expensive I got a smaller in size disk than the original one), I needed to make free space.

Since that machine is always connected to power, connected to a monitor mounted on the wall (and turned into tent mode in front and under the main monitor, to use it as a second touch-enabled screen for app testing), I don’t really need to use hibernation (after all its battery has gone dead, so hibernation won’t get a chance to occur in the case of an electrical network power down anyway).

That could save some extra disk space, since when hibernation is enabled, you end up with a hiberfil.sys file in the root folder of the boot disk that has around the size of the memory on your computer (or at least that was the case before Windows 10, since I was seeing an 850MB file although the computer has 2GB memory).

To cut it short, I looked it up and found this relevant Microsoft article:
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/920730

However, the automated way it suggests (the FixIt app) doesn’t seem to work on Windows 10 (probably neither on Windows 8, it doesn’t list it at the bottom of the page anyway) and one has to use the manual way. On Windows 10 the quickest way (based a bit on the suggestions in that article), is to right click the start menu button at the bottom-left of your screen and select “Command Prompt (Admin)” at the popup menu. Then reply affirmatively at the User Access Control (UAC) prompt shown and at the command prompt (a dark console window) that appears, type powercfg.exe /hibernate off and press the ENTER key. Then just close the console window and check the “This PC” node at the File Explorer to confirm that you saved some extra hard disk space.

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Fix: Cleanup after upgrading from Windows 10 technical preview

I recently replaced the internal hard disk of my old Lenovo S10-3t Tablet PC with an SSD and installed Windows 10 technical preview, but recently realized the hard disk had almost run out of space.

Trying to figure out why, I realized that upgrading from the Windows 10 technical preview version to the final Windows 10 version (this happened automatically via Windows Update), left back a “Windows.old” folder at the hard disk root taking up 3.14GB, as if I had upgraded from Windows 7 or Windows 8 via Microsoft’s free OS upgrade offer (that offer is valid for a year btw, so make sure you don’t miss it).

You’ll notice the Disk Cleanup tool (you can find it by pressing the search icon (magnifying glass) at the Windows taskbar and writing “cleanup”, temporary Windows installation files are also mentioned as taking up an extra 3.22 GB, but there is some double counting there, since I ended up with 5.30GB free after cleanup, from around 200MB I had left on the hard disk before I run Disk Cleanup (note that I already had run CCleaner, but I hadn’t selected the option there to cleanup files from previous Windows installation, since I didn’t expect to have any such).

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Note, that Disk Cleanup will even warn you that you won’t be able to restore the machine back to the previous Windows version (aka the technical preview), but why should you care to do so anyway?

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Update:

To make some extra disk space and since I use a fast SSD, I had set Windows to compress the hard disk contents (one can set this option by right clicking the disk and selecting Properties), so probably there is no double-counting by Disk Cleanup dialog, it just must be showing the uncompressed space those things it cleans take up. So it could indeed be 3.14GB + 3.22GB of useless space taken up by updating Windows technical preview to the official Windows 10 release via the normal automatic Windows Update process, which is quite a lot.

Microsoft should show some warning to the user about all this extra space taken up (right away after updating and offer to remind them in the future again if they opt to keep the files till they’re confident the latest version works OK) and offer them the choice of cleaning this up

Another interesting thing I notice is that although I had selected the option to compress the drive and it had applied respective attribute to all files (showing a progress dialog), it didn’t remember that setting (not sure if I had set it before the upgrade), so probably it wasn’t compressing newer files.

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