Maintaining A Web Presence Despite The Big Windows 10 Update Ambush


The blogging schedule, and life as I knew it went haywire last week after Microsoft (welcome to the totalitarian state of cyberworld) inflicted on us the apparently much vaunted (though I actually didn’t know a thing about it until it happened) anniversary update of Windows 10, so sending thousands of worldwide users into a state of serial rebooting frenzy.

While it is true that my newish laptop made it through unscathed, my older PC, on which I do all my writing and blogging, was completely banjaxed web-wise. And not only could I no longer access the internet or my email for more than five minutes together, and then finally not at all, the update transformed my printer into a fax machine. Now that is clever. I do not own, nor have ever owned a fax machine. Needless to say, my virtual fax gadget would not print off Marilyn Armstrong’s corn bread recipe that I had downloaded from her blog. Rats and double rats.

I should have known that things were not going well for the PC when it took hours and hours and hours to complete the update. The temper was thus well frayed before I discovered what Microsoft had done to my settings. I mean, how dare they? HOW DARE THEY!

I was well into a second day of cursing and fretting and attempting all sorts of unnecessary and time-consuming procedures (defragmenting, dis-installing Google Chrome, rebooting, removing all weighty files from the PC to an external hard drive, re-setting the router, disconnecting from internet provider) when I finally went to the laptop and googled ‘Windows 10 update problems’. And low and behold, there revealed was the worldwide extent of the Microsoft mess-up.

In an article in Forbes Magazine  lovely, lovely Gordon Kelly addressed the problem of those inflicted with rebooting-itis, and in so doing revealed that it was possible to go into computer SETTINGS  and find the option to revert to pre-update settings.

Select and press enter.

Well, for goodness sake!

It sounded too simple for words. But, by Lucifer, it worked. Astonishing. One click, and my little corner of the internet universe was restored. The printer stopped masquerading as a fax machine and printed the corn bread recipe. The only problem is, will this work the next time Microsoft inflicts an unwanted all-system update on us? What settings might my machine revert to next time? Should I not risk it? Should I try to go back to Windows 7, which was perfectly adequate for my purposes? Is it even possible to do that now I’m infested with Windows 10, or will everything be screwed up?

Mr. Kelly says Microsoft really needs to unhook security updates from general operations, AND more importantly, give people an option. I should think so too. Mr. Kelly also informs us that Microsoft mean to instigate charges for the use of their wretched system with its overblown advertising and unnecessary apps and gizmos which take ages to clear out of one’s machine.

He says that to start with the $7 per month fee will only be charged to commercial users, but one can see where this is heading. Frankly, I would like a bit of compensation for two days of wasted time and utter fraughtness. Apart from which, what if I had been running a small business that was dependent on internet function; what if the laptop had been afflicted too, and I hadn’t found a solution that avoided calling in a computer expert and cost me money?

Mostly though I would like to be assured that Microsoft is NEVER, EVER going to do this again. No organisation should have this kind of power – to have total control of my machine on my desk  in my own home, and without a by or leave. I mean, what have we let in here? A cyber version of Pandora’s Box?

And now I’ve wound myself up again, I’ll go back to where I started with a soothing image of an untainted kind of a web, as seen yesterday in the corner of the kitchen door. This version even comes with its own rainbow and strangely displaced hydrangea reflections from across the garden. Looking at it now, the Luddite lifestyle option suddenly seems appealing – out with the hi-tech machines, back to the solitary writer’s garret and a quill pen? Hm. Maybe not. But perhaps I’ll log off and go and make Marilyn’s corn bread. Far more wholesome.


copyright 2016 Tish Farrell

45 thoughts on “Maintaining A Web Presence Despite The Big Windows 10 Update Ambush

  1. After hearing the cursing of friends and family alike, I resisted and stayed with 7. I’m sure this won’t be viable in the years to come, but maybe by that time, Microsoft will get enough push back to provide a new standalone, non-invasive OS. Ha. I can’t write that with a straight face.

    1. You were a wise woman indeed, Michelle. Windows 10 only seems to suit particular machines – but of course we didn’t know that when we pressed ‘YES’. It seems Microsoft didn’t know either. Duh! And yes, yes, yes – a standalone, not-invasive service – only in our dreams methinks. We’re all flies in this particular web.

  2. Even on my laptop, I lost precious time when I went to print out curriculum for my creative writing classes. I finally managed to go into my settings and re-set my actual printer to default printer status instead of fax machine. Like you, I thought, “Fax Machine!!!!!! I’ve never faxed from this computer in my life! My computer has an option in the settings to insist that I be notified of all pending updates. I think as long as I click that, they can’t come in until I say okay. But I’m going to double check that situation again.

    My desktop bit the dust a couple months ago, and I am much more comfortable doing most of my writing and editing on a desktop, so I’m saving money to buy a new one. But I already have a really good used one picked out — WITH WINDOWS 7 ON IT. I don’t intend to buy anything else with Windows 10 — ever.

    I switched to Linux for a while on one of my computers (when my old windows system went haywire). It took a little time to get used to, but it worked quite well, and that is one positive option for us if Microsoft refuses to get reasonable about this type of thing. Linux is also totally free and easy to download. I do know a lot of people use Linux and are very happy with it.

    I separated myself from Microsoft Word years ago. I started using Open Office document program — instead of Microsoft Word or Office. Open Office is totally free and does everything Word will do — and does some of those things better. I think everything we can start using outside of Microsoft’s control will be a step in the right direction.

    1. The rigmarole you’ve been through sounds very familiar, Sandra. I tried Linux but didn’t get on with it. Now have Libreoffice which is OK. But my default always seems to be to work in WORD. But you’re right we need to do whatever we can to elude Microsoft’s control.

  3. I have steadfastly refused every prompt to upgrade to Windows 10 but Pam’s machine took it upon itself to upgrade without her being aware (one of those – “machine will upgrade in so many hours” if you don’t stop it prompts). Needless to say it has been flaky ever since with absolutely no benefits to the upgrade. This might add some cheer to your day, Tish:
    If Microsoft were Boeing they would have gone out of business years ago and I would never ever fly 🙂

    1. Well I’m glad someone got some compensation, Robin. I at least admit to computer dunderheadedness, but what about Microsoft – they who have the power to unleash their own form of dunderheadedness on the rest of us. Hmph!

  4. For older PCs, windows 7 is really the best and adaptable. My PC would go haywire if I try windows 10 on it. Though the latter’s really running well in my family’s home laptop, and it just got a “would you restart?” notification about a version 1607 update. The version is really good on one of my friend’s laptop, so gonna give this a try 🙂 If not, there’s always the revert back option you mentioned! Thanks, man!

  5. I have heard it said that Microsoft and other companies ‘deliberately ‘ make updates cause problems to older devices (including mobile phones) and eventually slow them down so much they are no longer usable and that the owner if ‘forced’ to buy a new one. Can’t imagine for one minute there could be some truth in this . . . .!

  6. This is so funny (or not, for you) but i just started working again, a contract at the MS campus that began last week, and I had to put 10 on my laptop because it came with 7, and it went OK, though I haven’t tried to do much with it yet and didn’t have any data on it because it was brand new. I can’t be toting my MacAir around the office there you know, it’s Scottish. 🙂

    1. Older Macs are having issues with the latest updates too. It’s all about money in the end. $$$ and the good old “bottom line”.

      They all need to sell us new computers. Otherwise, they go bust.

      1. I know, I love my old Macs though, they don’t die. Of course, all I do is browse and write and play music off them, so there is that.

  7. I still have 8.1. Ems and the Missus have 10 but they seem to have managed to work around problems. Although the camera on Em’s laptop stopped working after the upgrade/date. She fixed it with a new driver.

    My son just smiles and says nothing. He has an Apple.
    I am thinking the time has come to follow suit …

      1. Yes but Apple also forces you into buying their own software – I have tried a Mac but couldn’t get on with it, afraid I am a Windows girl, but I only installed 10 on my Surface which I only use when travelling. What I don’t like about Windows 10 is all the unnecessary apps that you cannot delete. Hopefully someone will eventually realise that not everyone wants to use a ‘phone’ for serious work and bring back alternative operating systems for computer uses. I remember the day when I had a desktop with 4MB RAM and a 20 MB hard drive which not only ran all the software I required, but also a few decent games! Pre GUI of course. 😀

  8. The new computer I’m getting is WIN10 Pro, but I will have the 7 machine, too. I totally hate the idea of losing control over what Microsoft does to my system, yet reality says “Move on. The world is NOT going to hear your terrified screaming.” I’m hoping by the time I actually GET the new machine, the reign of terror will be over. Meanwhile, let’s all eat cornbread!

  9. my windows is so old I’ve forgotten which version it is and it won’t update automatically anymore – phew! what a palaver but understand how fracking awful you feel trying to extricate from the tangled web that Microsoft weaves – dystopian! Meanwhile I’m in the throes of will it won’t it connect to the internet now that I’ve give talktalk a good talking to and committing virtual suicide with EE. Hey ho, quill pen and cornbread – I feel a poem coming on

  10. Some days I think all of the technology of the blog and social media may drive me mad. The nI go for a walk , take a deep breath, like you eventually find help or figure it out and wonder how life was before all of it.

    1. Sometimes it’s hard to remember life before the internet. It is definitely good to go out in the real world. Nothing like a brisk walk, or in my case – a good furtle around in my compost heap 🙂

  11. I’ve been using 10 on my laptop since day one and I like it, but I’ve always known that the day will come when we have to pay. But as support etc for earlier versions will be phased out they have us whichever way!

    1. It’s good that it’s working for you, Gilly. I was reading a thread written by computer geeks who fix people’s stuff. One said the majority of his fixing call outs were for Windows10.

  12. Our younger daughter had huge problems with W10. I, fortunately, haven’t had many issues. While I have an iPhone and iPad, I don’t have a Mac, partly because of price and partly because I find Apple very annoying for a variety of reasons. My husband’s an IT guy, which can be of help at times, but even he gets frustrated.


    1. Lucky you to have an IT guy to hand. One thing G learned from his IT guy at work was if ever there’s problem, first thing to do is ‘google’ it. It anyway sometimes helps to know that you’re not the only one who’s in a fix 🙂

  13. It hasn’t been that long since I did my own hair tugging over Microsoft products, but no more. I recently followed the advice of a fellow blogger and switched everything to Apple… I couldn’t be happier.

  14. I feel your pain. I was sitting at my computer the other night, got up for a glass of water, walked back, and my computer was self updating to Windows 10. How does it do that without my intervention? Many hours and reboots later I am now working reluctantly on Windows 10.

    1. Apparently the hackers were warning people in advance of the update, and telling them how to avoid it. I also gather from another blogger that there should be an option – probably somewhere in ‘settings’ that you can tick and so stop updates happening without your say-so. Which reminds me – I must look for it myself. The computer did another update yesterday – this time without any obvious damage – or not that I’ve discovered so far.

  15. hi Tish – I loved your spider web image at the start 0 and could not even start reading until i soaked it up – and then after reading – you delivered even more – it is truly a unique photo with the rainbow – flowers and the angle – LOVE it.

    also =- thanks for another new word amiga – “banjaxed” –
    and you know – I think this post is a reminder to back stuff up and to also be warned with all of the stuff we trust to the clouds that are there. Those clouds could fail or get destroyed – and well, you are right – if you had a business running it would have caused problems….
    ahhh – the gift of technology.

  16. A number of years ago — Egad it’s just about 20 years now! — the same sort of thing happened to me and the next day I went out and bought a Mac. I wish I could say that together we lived happily ever …

  17. I am glad I am not alone in the ambush scenario. One of my laptops didn’t like the update. It took me a couple of hours to set it straight again. The other laptop had no objection to the update. My sister’s laptop went into meltdown. We spent most of one evening setting that to rights. So many wasted hours! I held my breath when another update came in the other day, but so far so good.

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