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Thread: Absent for a bit

  1. #1
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    Absent for a bit

    For those knowing my circumstances, |'m going to be absent for a little while. It's nothing ominous, but could be hours, or days.

    Long story short, my default machine (Surface Pro) seems to have finally died. Video circuitry I think,

    So I'm finally properly configuring th new laptop. And it (or rather Windows) is being a right bitch.

    I want to :-

    - bring Windows (W10) up tp date
    - remove all the bloatware (MS Office, MacAfee garbage, etc installed (thanks Asus ) by default
    - set up and/or update hardware support (Armory Crate, nVidia drives, etc)
    - set up my primary software, etc, how I want it.

    Well, I get part way through this palaver and Firefox throws a bit of a wobbly and refuses to start, with something about a missing file (VB runtime DLL or some such). So .... been here before, and spent a couple of days farting about trying to reinstall those files, the runtime modules, Framework etc and ended up conceding defeat and doing a full system re-install, from factory default.

    I get part way throgh setting stuff up and, beggar me, Firefox won't start. Again.

    So this time I've done what I should have done last time and done some restore point creation at critical junctures and, well, Firefox back working.

    Something that I want rid of is also removing some core dependency that other software, notably Firefox, also rely on.

    So I'm going to belt and braces the hell out of it this time, and do a full restorable system backup at each stage of junk removal, using Macrium Reflect software (excellent, IMHO, by the way). Because I was beginning t get to the point in the restore/try-again merry-go-round that I was contemplating givving this (£2500) laptop a reprogramming it would never forget, with an angle-grinder, then dumping the bits in my local car crusher, on the basis that the nuclear power station woudn't let me drop the bits in their reactor core.

    Not that I was getting the hump with it or anything.

    So ... I'm going to do it bit by bit, stage by stage, taking my own sweet ever-loving time sorting the damn thing out, and will be absent while I do it. It might take hours, days or weeks. Dunno. But it IS going to do things how I want it.... or it's got a date with that angle-grinder.

    Wish me luck. ;
    Last edited by Saracen999; 16-06-2022 at 12:59 PM. Reason: Tpyo's
    A lesson learned from PeterB about dignity in adversity, so Peter, In Memorium, "Onwards and Upwards".

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    AGTDenton (16-06-2022),g8ina (17-06-2022)

  3. #2
    Editable... jimbouk's Avatar
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    Re: Absent for a bit

    Good luck!

    Though re bloatware - could a standard, up-to-date generic windows installer not do the trick?

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    Super Moderator Jonj1611's Avatar
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    Re: Absent for a bit

    Good luck with it

    Out of interest are there no utilities that will track all file and registry changes as you uninstall a programme? Might help to see where the issue is being caused and by what
    Jon

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    Re: Absent for a bit

    Re: standard generic Windows .... yeeeeess, but .... this is a gaming laptop and who knows what hardware/tuning support Asus install, that I would then have to identify, track down and install. It might be trival, but it might not.

    Re: utilities .... probably. But I'll have to find one, trust it, and still risk having the same trouble and ending up going back and doing it the slow way, in the end.

    Sometimes, I find it's just simpler, and maybe quicker, to do it right, first (well, second) time.
    A lesson learned from PeterB about dignity in adversity, so Peter, In Memorium, "Onwards and Upwards".

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    Evil Monkey! MrJim's Avatar
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    Re: Absent for a bit

    Good grief! Quite an odyssey you've embarked upon, by the sound of it! Look forward to having you back here again once you're through your ordeal!!

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    Re: Absent for a bit

    Good luck!
    I'll be doing something similar in the coming months replacing an old server, which disks are failing left right and centre at the moment.

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    Banhammer in peace PeterB kalniel's Avatar
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    Re: Absent for a bit

    Without meaning to lessen the rather more serious occasions in life..

    ..I'm sorry for your loss

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    Re: Absent for a bit

    I'd do a fresh install rather than trying to de-bloat an install

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    Re: Absent for a bit

    Quote Originally Posted by [GSV]Trig View Post
    I'd do a fresh install rather than trying to de-bloat an install
    Indeed. That can be a faff on a laptop, but it's the way I usually go. You should be able to get the necessary drivers from the Asus site. You might want the WiFi drivers on a USB stick before you start, as no networking is a bummer.

    Stuff like Macafee doesn't always cleanly uninstall either.

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    Grumpy and VERY old :( g8ina's Avatar
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    Re: Absent for a bit

    Quote Originally Posted by DanceswithUnix View Post
    Indeed. That can be a faff on a laptop, but it's the way I usually go. You should be able to get the necessary drivers from the Asus site. You might want the WiFi drivers on a USB stick before you start, as no networking is a bummer.

    Stuff like Macafee doesn't always cleanly uninstall either.
    TBF Windows 10 isn't that bad with drivers, I tend to use the Media creation tool on the machine I'm rebuilding, grab the NIC drivers if they're obscure and then see what Windows drivers go on, then if needs be add vendor stuff afterwards if I really have to.

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    root Member DanceswithUnix's Avatar
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    Re: Absent for a bit

    Quote Originally Posted by [GSV]Trig View Post
    TBF Windows 10 isn't that bad with drivers, I tend to use the Media creation tool on the machine I'm rebuilding, grab the NIC drivers if they're obscure and then see what Windows drivers go on, then if needs be add vendor stuff afterwards if I really have to.
    True, thinking about it I've only had trouble with old laptops where I had installed Windows 7 with drivers for win 7 and the machine had later updated itself to 10. That wouldn't apply here.
    Even then, it hasn't ever been more than a bit of a faff to sort out.

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    Re: Absent for a bit

    Well, some progress, of sorts.

    I suspected MacAfee might be the culprit, but no, that at least SEEMS to have gone cleanly and easily, without too much of a fight. Oh, it took three separate uninstalls (WebAdvisor, LiveSafe and Personal Security) and, of course, the ususual scare tactics (big red warnings about leaving me unprotected) (and, for the record, Asis and MacAfee, no it bleeping won't) but then, they seem to hve givem up and gone). Thankfully.

    Also, for the record, yes these MIGHT be full commercial versions that people buy. Or might not. I neither know nor indeed, care. What I do know is that I emphatically don't want them. Which, by the way, also applies to Skype, Spotify, Disney Plus and a host of other garbage some combination of MS and Asus have the effrontery to pre-install.

    What I want installed, is the OS and software necessary for this specific hardware. If I want ANY application software, I'll bleeping install it myself. And yeah, I could do a clean install of Win myself. once I've got used to this machine and what it does, i might yet do that and put Pro on. But for now, there's emough stuff on it, from fingerprint reader signin to the mobile 3080, and a host of AMD and nvidia utilities, colour calibration and drivers that I want it as set up by Asus .... just without the unrelated bloatware.

    So .... then comes the culprpit.

    Microsoft 365. What a shock. It was, have to say, my second guess, after MacAfee.

    Which (365, that is) is also bloatware I absolutely don't want, and won't use.

    Remove THAT, and Firefox refuses to load, saying something about a missing file .... VCRUNTIME140_1.DLL

    Do a "restore point" reload to immediately before that was uninstalled, and Firefox is back working again, and I'm using it right now. What DOESN'T work is going into Add/Remove Programs and trying to uninstall again. That now fails. Arghh.

    So, I'm taking detailed notes, and will now proceed and see what happens taking other bloatware out, 'cos there's more. Oh boy, is there ever.

    And maybe, once done, I'll do another full factory reset, another full W10 update, and then go through taking out the stuff that seems to be safe to remove, having done an image backiup after all the 'safe' stuff and before messing with MS365 which, as far as I'm concerned, has all the characteristics of a virus, and all the charm and desirabilty of a dogpoop loating in my soup.

    /sigh

    /deep breath

    Once more into the breach, dear friends ....


    PS. The good news? Albeit that I haven't yet really even started putting it though its paces, it does seem like a very nice laptop. I guess the acid test is when I actually get to doing what I bought it for .... audio/video stuff, and soe games.
    A lesson learned from PeterB about dignity in adversity, so Peter, In Memorium, "Onwards and Upwards".

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    Re: Absent for a bit

    Just curious. Are you 100% committed to Firefox?

    I would assume Chrome and Edge might have too many 'tie-ins' to be of interest but perhaps something like 'Brave' might work. I've used it for a while on some computers. No issues with it.
    No trees were harmed in the creation of this message. However, many electrons were displaced and terribly inconvenienced.

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    Re: Absent for a bit

    No, Galant, I'm absolutely not committed to Firefox. Indeed, thinking about changing.

    It's purely habit, and inertia. Laziness, really .... with a side dish of ignorance, that's kept me on FF.

    In Firefox's favour (for me) is I've been using it for quite a long time, know it moderately well and can usually get it to do what I want. By that, I mean turning off the crap that irritates the brown stuff outta me, and making it look how I like it BUT .... it's been getting harder, and there's been a slow burn (in my awareness) of things I'm .... let's say, not comfortable with. Like the irritating tendency to display advertising links for the first 2 or 3 results. I know that can be stopped, because I had stopped it, but can I like as hell remember how? I thought it was an option in settings, but now I'm thinking it's in an internal setting through config. But it TWICE sent me off to some commercial site to download stuff, like Libre, not to the official Libre site, and might well have caught me had I not been familiar enough with Libre to know the site didn't look right .... and wasn't festooned with cookie permissions for "partners". Argh.

    I've put of doing anything about it because, well, laziness. I'm rather set in my ways, and averse to change without a good reason. There might now be a good, or good enough, reason. If I'm going to change, then I need to firstly work out "to what" and then be satisfied that the "why" includes :-

    - not raising the same (privacy and advertising) concerns as Firefox has.
    - not having new "issues" (like big-tech tie-ins)
    - trusting it, and
    - then, learning how to kick it into shape.

    Which is why, last night, I downloaded Brave. I've only had a very quick look (at reputation, it isn't installed yet) and see no obvious gotcha's.

    And certainly, if I'm going to switch, this is an obvious moment to do it.

    I'm therefore entirely open to opinions and/or suggestions, as long as it's not something heavily tied into the likes of Google, Faceache or MS. But then, you knew that, didn't you?
    A lesson learned from PeterB about dignity in adversity, so Peter, In Memorium, "Onwards and Upwards".

  17. #16
    Super Moderator Jonj1611's Avatar
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    Re: Absent for a bit

    I think you should follow this chaps lead Saracen

    Jon

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