Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Did you upgrade to Win10 1809 and lose all of your documents and pictures? There’s a fix for that.

laptop displaying binary code with bandages on its screen 
Like all of its predecessors, the first version of this new version of Windows 10 is fraught with problems. Win10 version 1809, released yesterday, has triggered tales of locusts, frogs, lice, hail, boils and the death of every firstborn son. We’re keeping a buglog on AskWoody, but one problem stands head and shoulders above the rest.
Many people report that the upgrade from Win10 version 1803 to version 1809 removes all of the files in their \Documents, \Pictures, \Music, and \Videos folders. The folders are still there, but nothing’s in them. 

I have no idea why that’s happening — I’m still looking at all the reports, trying to discern a pattern — but according to an intrepid reporter on Spiceworks, there is a solution.
If you run the free version of Recuva — downloadable from the Avast/Piriform/CCleaner web site — you’ll find that all of the files were deleted, not moved, not erased. Since they were simply deleted, you can recover them.

I have details for running Recuva in the Top 35 free apps for Windows 10 list.
Most important: DON’T DO ANYTHING until you download and run Recuva. Anything you do to your machine may disrupt the deleted files, and make parts of some of them unrecoverable.
Why didn’t Microsoft catch this bug in beta testing? I don’t know. It doesn’t happen to everybody. But it does happen. My guess is that there’s something specific in the logic for upgrading from 1803 to 1809 — a situation that isn’t frequently tested in beta cycles, where the emphasis is moving from one beta build to the next.

How long until Microsoft officially acknowledges the bug? Hard to say.
For those who sacrificed their machines and their sanity in pursuit of a fast upgrade to a marginally better version of Windows — I salute you. Salt of the earth. You’re the ones providing the screams that alert the rest of us, who are waiting on the sidelines.

For everybody else, particularly those who have learned from history and know how bad Win10 version changes can be, remember to lock down your machine to prevent 1809 from installing and fer heaven’s sake, don’t click “Check for updates.”

Apple's New Proprietary Software Locks Will Kill Independent Repair on New MacBook Pros

Failure to run Apple's proprietary diagnostic software after a repair "will result in an inoperative system and an incomplete repair."

Image: Shutterstock
Update: iFixit testing has found that Apple’s software locks are not yet operative. “This service document certainly paints a grim picture, but ever the optimists, we headed down to our friendly local Apple Store and bought a brand new 2018 13” MacBook Pro Touch Bar unit. Then we disassembled it and traded displays with our teardown unit from this summer. To our surprise, the displays and MacBooks functioned normally in every combination we tried. We also updated to Mojave and swapped logic boards with the same results.
That’s a promising sign, and it means the sky isn’t quite falling—yet.”
iFixit concludes that Apple has a “kill switch” in the new MacBook Pros. The service bulletin Apple sent to AASPs is genuine, but is not yet operational.
The original story follows below:
Apple has introduced software locks that will effectively prevent independent and third-party repair on 2018 MacBook Pro computers, according to internal Apple documents obtained by Motherboard. The new system will render the computer “inoperative” unless a proprietary Apple “system configuration” software is run after parts of the system are replaced.
According to the document, which was distributed to Apple’s Authorized Service Providers late last month, this policy will apply to all Apple computers with the “T2” security chip, which is present in 2018 MacBook Pros as well as the iMac Pro.
The software lock will kick in for any repair which involves replacing a MacBook Pro’s display assembly, logic board, top case (the keyboard, touchpad, and internal housing), and Touch ID board. On iMac Pros, it will kick in if the Logic Board or flash storage are replaced. The computer will only begin functioning again after Apple or a member of one of Apple’s Authorized Service Provider repair program runs diagnostic software called Apple Service Toolkit 2.
“For Macs with the Apple T2 chip, the repair process is not complete for certain parts replacements until the AST 2 System Configuration suite has been run. Failure to perform this step will result in an inoperative system and an incomplete repair,” the document reads. MacRumors reported the new policy earlier today.
Image: Apple
A separate internal training presentation obtained by Motherboard about how to use the diagnostics states that the “Apple Service Toolkit and Apple Service Toolkit 2 are available only to persons working at Apple-authorized service facilities.” This means that it will become impossible for you to repair your new MacBook Pro at home, or for an independent repair provider to repair it for you.
[Do you know more about Apple's new repair policy? Are you an Apple Authorized Service Provider or an independent repair professional who will be affected? You can reach the reporter via email at or securely on Signal: 347-513-3688.]
The AST 2 System Configuration suite is a diagnostic software that Apple uses to ensure that the computer is functioning properly. It includes the Mac Resource Inspector, which does a “quick health check of hardware and software,” as well as tools that check the system’s memory, display, power adapters, cooling system, and other aspects of the computer. It functions only if connected to Apple’s Global Service Exchange (GSX), a Cloud-based server that Apple uses to handle repairs and service. It requires a login from Apple to access.
Image: Apple
This is a repair model that is similar to that used by John Deere and auto manufacturers, who often prevent owners from repairing their own tractors or cars without specific diagnostic codes or software that allow a replacement part to connect with the rest of the device. Apple took a similar tact with Touch ID on recent iPhones—the Touch ID feature would not work with replacement home buttons until it went through a so-called “Horizon Machine,” which Apple uses to re-map a new Touch ID button with the old device.
But this move goes further than that, effectively preventing most independent repairs on new MacBook Pros.
Image: Apple
“There’s two possible explanations: This is a continued campaign of obsolescence and they want to control the ecosystem and bring all repair into the network they control,” Kyle Wiens, the CEO of iFixit, told me on the phone. “Another is security, but I don’t see a security model that doesn’t trust the owner of the device making much sense.”
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Currently, 19 states are considering so-called “Right to Repair” legislation that would require device manufacturers to make repair parts, tools, repair guides, and diagnostic software available to the public. Apple is fighting this legislation; public records show that Apple is lobbying against the bill in New York, where lobbying records must be disclosed to the public.
Wiens said that, currently, there is a thriving independent market for MacBook repair, and that this move fundamentally threatens many small businesses and, down the line, may impact school districts, which often have to repair computers used in classrooms at scale. Not everyone lives near an Apple Store or authorized service provider, so it may also make repair much less accessible for people living in underserved areas.
“This is a portion of the ecosystem that has been very healthy. Independent repair companies have been fixing MacBooks undaunted by the user-hostile activities Apple has taken,” Wiens said. “It could be really detrimental to schools, to people who live in rural areas. If they stick with this, it seems like a huge argument in favor of right to repair.”

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

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Sunday, May 26, 2013

Find the very best computer repair in Orlando, Florida.

Because of the dramatic importance our computers and digital devices have in our modern lives, it’s almost impossible to think of what life would be like without them. Sadly, this is not just a nightmare scenario that most people conjure up in your imagination for millions and millions of people around the planet every single day. The truth of the matter is that there are an incredible amount of attacks, problems, and undercover issues that are working to destroy your computer, laptop, or tablet almost every second that it is powered on and connected to the Internet. Of course, a bit of preventative maintenance is your best bet to protect yourself from all of these malicious attacks – but what happens when something passes through your software force fields and starts to cripple your machine from the inside out, or even worse you start to have issues with hardware failing? Well, when that happens, your only choice is to take advantage of the very best computer repair in Orlando, Florida – and here are three distinct tips to help you find those kind of services. The most important detail when trying to seek out laptop repair Orlando services – or any computer repair services, for that matter – is to investigate their reputation in the community Things to the power of the web, more and more people are able to really get a feel for the businesses and services in their local area without having to risk their money up front. Just by doing a quick Google search of the company in question should return a flood of reviews from real customers and clients that have already worked with these people, letting you know if their service is a world-class solution or one that should be avoided at all costs. You should always be looking for computer repair in Orlando, FL services that have already established themselves as a top-of-the-line service, a company that has proven time and time again that they have the necessary skills, knowledge, and experience to help you out. Ensure that you are moving forward with a laptop repair Orland o service that can give you quick fixes that actually last – allowing you to get back up and running in no time whatsoever This is another major issue that you’re going to find is critical when choosing a computer repair in Orlando, FL service. The truth is that almost all of the companies that you see in the area promise to deliver ridiculously fast service and have you back on your computer in no time whatsoever – but many of them dropped the ball significantly. Try to find the right computer repair shop that has a considerable amount of parts in-house and all of the necessary software and solutions to implement any and all repairs without delay. There is no reason that you should have to wait weeks for your computer to be repaired properly, especially with the relatively simplified technologies that we are using in our modern world. Check to verify that they have the necessary skills to fix your computer – and that everyone in the shop is at the same speed or has a baseline level of skill that can be relied on While definitely not the easiest thing to do – especially if you are not 100% computer and technology savvy on your own – most people can get a gut feeling as to the skill and experience level of the people they are relying on to fix their machines. You’ll want to ensure that you have this feeling, and don’t be shy about asking for credentials, educational background, or any other details that will you’ve you a heads up as to if they know what they’re doing or if they’re just a fly-by-night computer repair in Orlando, FL shop that may or may not be able to give you results.