Windows 10

Windows 10 WiFi Issues with Surface Pro 3 and Surface 3

 

There are a large number of Surface Pro 3 and Surface 3 owners reporting severely slow wireless speeds, limited connectivity and other problems with the new Windows 10 Operating System. These issues are being widely reported on Microsoft’s Community forums, Reddit, and on third party sites. Examples:

 

http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/surface/forum/surfpro3-surfusingwin10/surface-pro-3-slow-5-ghz-wifi/a86d1d08-fe47-45f6-841d-93c6efa2a752 

http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/surface/forum/surf3-surfnetwork/wifi-slow-surface-3/9d537832-877e-4690-83c6-4239a00af15a

http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/surface/forum/surf3-surfnetwork/surface-pro-3-with-netgear-nighthawk-dog-slow/a28b43e3-5990-4573-a81b-566736cc46bf

https://www.reddit.com/r/Surface/comments/3gbf3o/5ghz_packet_loss/

http://forums.windowscentral.com/microsoft-surface-pro-3/369901-updated-windows-10-driver-issues.html 

 

So far, there’s been no real comment from Microsoft on whether or not they understand the issues or any information on timing of a fix. For some reason, Microsoft will not post the older Marvell wireless driver Marvell AVASTAR Wireless-AC Network Controller: 15.68.3073.151 which some folks report resolves the issue. The driver is available elsewhere on the web, and although it is not legal to redistribute Microsoft software, it’s out there on the web. Some (but not all) customers are reporting relief using the .151 driver. (They need to force install the old driver from device manager using the browse, have disk, let me pick option, and also disable driver updates..). I’ve personally asked that the old driver be posted on the official drivers page at https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=38826 and have had only silence as a reply. Quite frankly don’t understand why Microsoft won’t post a driver that is known to help some customers with these issues. Most likely reason is that posting an older driver is admitting the existence of a problem. And it seems to be a marketing mantra to not acknowledge problems until a fix is available.

Given that it took Microsoft 9+ months to fix Wi-Fi driver problems on Windows 8.1, I’m not very optimistic. If you are severely impacted by slow/bad connectivity, you can throw a small amount of money at the problem and buy an external USB Wi-Fi adapter that should improve performance on at least the 5GHz band. I currently carry around one from Edimax which is less than $17 on Amazon. It works extremely well on Windows 10.

edimax

Should you need to spend money to fix something Microsoft broke? Absolutely not. But given the lack of engagement from Microsoft on this issue, it’s probably the only reliable option.

Setup a Fingerprint Reader on Windows 10 Hello

 

If you have a recent model laptop with a fingerprint reader, you can setup Windows Hello to log in to Windows using your fingerprint.

To do this, you’ll first need to set up a PIN to logon.

Here are the steps:

1. Go to Settings, Accounts, Sign-in options. If you have a supported device, you’ll see the Windows Hello option. As you can see, you will need to first setup a PIN before the Setup button is activated.

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2. To setup a PIN, you will need to login to Windows 10 with a Microsoft Account and add your PIN to your MSA profile. Enter your password in the field provided and then select Sign In.

 

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3. Next, you need to set up a PIN and confirm it. Then select OK

 

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4. Next, select Set up under Windows Hello

 

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5. Select Get started.

 

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6. Run your finger over the fingerprint scanner until the setup app reports completed. You can now optional add more/different fingers.

 

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7. When you restart, you will be able to select Sign in Options and then sign in using your fingerprint.

 

 

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Windows 10 Home Entertainment (Should you Upgrade?)

 

Windows 10 is officially launching in just two days. There are lots of great improvements, but if you are a Home Entertainment enthusiast, there are things to consider before making the decision to upgrade. I’m very happy with Miracast for screen mirroring, but not so happy about the lack of great support for streaming to DLNA DMR devices which was present in 8.1 but has gone missing in 10.

Everyone needs to make their own decision on whether or not to upgrade, and if you are a Home Entertainment user and doing a lot of streaming, my observations may help you decide.

It’s been announced everywhere that Windows Media Center is kaput/gone/dead. You CAN run your Windows 7/8.1 Media Center computers and you do not have to upgrade them. So if you want to keep WMC, just stay where you are. If you have the Get Windows 10 icon and were able to run the compatibility checker, you would have been informed of this (and you should get another warning if/when you run the Windows 10 upgrade):

pcready

If you are currently using DLNA “Play To”, your choices in Modern/Universal Apps will be limited. In Windows 8.1, from the File System (classic Windows Explorer Interface) you could right click a file, then Play To – and any DLNA DMR devices would be available. In Windows 10, this is still present, but it’s called Cast To Device. This isn’t as nice an interface as the one provided by Modern Apps (in my opinion).

play to

In Windows 8.1, Modern Apps could implement something called a “Play To” contract, which enabled you to stream to DLNA DMR devices. I use this constantly with my Surface Pro 3 and Music to send music streams to my Sonos Living Room Speaker. I can also send to me WDTV Live Hub which is connected to my receiver, etc.

music 8

The new Groove Music in Windows 10 doesn’t have the ability to stream to DLNA devices. Yes, it can stream to my Bluetooth headphones or any other Bluetooth device like Bluetooth speakers, but I’ve been using DLNA, and now it’s gone missing.

groove music w10

The Connect Tab in Windows 10 supports Miracast and Bluetooth audio. But if I want to stream to my Sonos or WDTV Live Hub, I’m out of luck.

Similarly, Windows Photos in Windows 8.1 allowed me to play slide shows to my TV or through my WDTV Live Hub:

 

photos 8

Windows 10 has no such functionality in the Photos App. Only Miracast is supported through the Connect tab. There’s no Cast To DLNA functionality.

 

pictures w10

The ONLY Microsoft App that I’ve found that currently has DLNA Cast To functionality is Movies and TV (and it is not that obvious that it is there)

movies and tv W10

 

In Windows 8.1, there were multiple store apps that supported the Play To feature. MediaMonkey, VLC, etc. This functionality isn’t present for these apps in Windows 10 and these apps have other issues under Windows 10. So as of now, I really don’t have a way to stream Music to my DLNA devices OTHER than through Windows File Explorer. And that disturbs me.

Miracast – is it better in Windows 10? Microsoft has made some changes and more of this functionality is handled by the operating system. But many folks in the Windows Insider Forums are actually reporting that systems that worked properly with Miracast under 8.1 aren’t doing so well with Windows 10. On some systems, this may be due to drivers. But it’s worth noting that there are plenty of reports of “not working”.

 

Intel WiDi – Older systems from the Vista era may have included Intel’s proprietary Wireless Display technology. The upgrade disables this apparently and while Microsoft has said that customers can just reinstall the Intel WiDi app, reports from customers say otherwise, that it won’t install.

Bottom line, take a good look at your multimedia streaming needs, watch the Microsoft Forums, and don’t rush out to upgrade on day one.

Fix for Start Menu Not Working on Windows 10 Bld 10130

 

I keep trying to get the Start menu on Windows 10 to show what I want and not what Microsoft wants. I turned off the first two entries in Personalization, Start. I especially do NOT want app or content suggestions in my Start menu. I suppose this is yet another bug. But it is most annoying that I can’t get the Start menu to look anything like the Start menu in Windows 8.1 on my tablet. And I LIKE the Start menu on tablets in 8.1. The Windows 10 Start menu was built for Phones and for folks that use Portrait View.

 

If you find that you can no longer get the Start menu to display in 10130, you’ll have to not opt out of what Microsoft wants. At least for now.

 

Screenshot (3)

Windows 10 blew itself up and is aggravating Me

 

I hadn’t planned to spend all night Friday and most of Saturday morning dealing with annoying Insider Preview Windows 10 issues. But that happened on my Surface Pro original.

It all started yesterday afternoon when I dug into why some June updates were sitting in the “Downloading” status and were stuck. Reboots didn’t help, just stuck at 53% for hours and hours. So I tried to reinstall 10130 from ISO over the top of 10130 to see if I could do an in place upgrade to repair whatever was wrong. After a couple of hours, I thought I was going to be ok, had two reboots, and got to a prompt that required me to select NEXT. I’d hit NEXT either by touch or type keyboard and the tablet would reboot. Rinse and repeat. Held down the power button to insure totally off. Powered on, got to select NEXT. Boom. Rinse and repeat.

So last night it was time to nuke and pave. I decided to see what a real upgrade over 8.1 Pro might be like for a typical end user.

I created a USB recovery drive for my original Surface Pro using the downloadable bits online. I did the volume down/power thing and booted off the USB and ran the setup. It took forever. And that was Windows 8.0. I couldn’t install 8.1 from the Store without installing Windows Updates. 142 of them. I have a fast connection, but that took hours. Went to bed. Got up early and updates were installed, rebooted a couple of times, found more updates, more reboots. Went to the Store and started the 8.1 updates. Went out and did some grocery shopping. Couple of hours later 8.1 was installed. Went to the Store, My Apps, got the ones I needed. Note that they did NOT appear on the Start Screen with the indicator to download so I had no familiar Start Screen layout. My sync settings WERE correct. Maybe because this tablet once had W10 on it this sync piece no longer applies when you first power up a “new” computer. Anyway, I downloaded the apps and they landed in their designated layout on Start.

Went to insider.microsoft.com as again, I wanted to see what the end user experience would be upgrading from 8.1. 10074 was offered, not 10130, I guess because of all the issues people have been reporting with 10130. So two hours later, 10074 is installed. And my Start menu is replaced by what I guess is the “default” arrangement for Start. My carefully arranged app tiles from 8.1 totally ignored.

start

Now from within 10074, Windows Update, I have to install the offered 10130.

reinstall10

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