• Windows 10 April 2018 Update problems and issues with fixes

    Windows 10 April 2018 Update problems and issues with fixes


    Every Windows 10 feature update appears to bring problems to some users. Some users who upgraded their Windows 10 PCs to Windows 10 v1803 April 2018 Update have been reporting random problems on Reddit & the Microsoft Answers Forum. The actual number may be very small, but we are listing below some of them below.

    Windows 10 April 2018 Update problems & issues

    Windows 10 Update Assistant stuck downloading Windows 10 v1803

    The Windows 10 Update Assistant from Microsoft is probably the best way to upgrade to latest version of Windows, but if you are not lucky enough, even this can get stuck at 40% or even 75 and worst 99% and sitting idle. This glitch is common and happens mostly because of connectivity issue. So you need to make sure your internet is working, and if now hit that troubleshoot section to fix this.

    • First, disconnect from the internet for few minutes.
    • Restart your PC, and try installing it again using the Update Assistant.
    • Lastly, if nothing works, Media Creation Tool is the only way out.

    Black screen problem during Windows 10 v1803

    If during the upgrade process or after installing Windows 10 v1803, you see the black screen here, and there, or right after the upgrade during the welcome screen,  your current installation has a problem.  It is usually graphics card problem. You should check out a detailed guide to to troubleshoot Black Screen after rebooton Welcome Screen or during Upgrades. In case this doesn’t help, you may have to roll back to the older version of Windows 10 till you hear about the fix.

    Activate your copy of Windows

    Windows 10 should be able to re-activate your Windows 10 post upgrade, but sometimes the process doesn’t work because of internal glitch. You will get an error message saying you need to activate your copy of Windows 10 to keep using it. The common error message comes with a code 0x803F7001 in the settings app.

    Since your license is connected to your Microsoft account, it should be fairly easy to activate it. If your Windows suddenly deactivated you can either use Windows 10 Activation Troubleshooter option in the Settings app or follow this guide here. Check this guide in case your copy is activated, but Windows still asks for activation.

    Timeline feature is not working

    Many users are reporting that the Timeline feature is not working in Windows 10, then this post will show you how to enable Timeline and get it working.

    The microphone is not picking up any Sound after Windows 10 v1803

    In case your Microphone is not able to listen to you, even though it’s getting detected by hardware like webcam, you need to check the privacy settings. Windows 10 offers consumers to change privacy settings right during the installation, and in case you have the access turned off, you will need to re-enable it.

    • Open Settings > Privacy > Microphone
    • Turn on the toggle which says Allow apps to access your microphone.

    Post, this, you may also want to check if the apps have permission to Microphone as well. When you launch your app, it will prompt you for the same.  In case this doesn’t work, you may have to see if your Microphone is completely disabled.

    Apps cannot access Camera access  after installing Windows 10 v1803

    Just like Microphone, you may have to give access to apps again for Camera as well. Its related to Privacy settings. To make sure your apps have access to the camera, go to Settings > Privacy > Camera. Turn on the option to Allow apps to access your cameratoggle switch. In case your app still can’t access the camera, you need to manually assign permission to each of the apps.

    New partition appearing after installing Windows 10 v1803

    A lot of users on Reddit have reported, that drive is missing some space post upgrade, even though they have cleaned everything, and reclaimed the disk space. It seems the Windows 10 v1803 update has created a new extra recovery partition, and one of your partitions might be marked as OEM Partition even if you don’t have an OEM License Key.

    While it’s not suggested to remove the recovery partition, if you really want to, you can recover it using a partition tool or command line options “Diskpart” to get rid of it. Check out our detailed guide on you can fix this, but make sure to backup your PC before doing it.

    Once resolved, the partition will be removed from your File Explorer but will continue to occupy space. Microsoft is working on a cumulative update to automatically address this problem.

    System Restore disabled after installing Windows 10 v1803

    System restore is a great feature to rollback your PC to a previous state in case you have an issue. While many have it disabled, but I am sure there are many who use it on a daily basis. It seems that installing Windows 10 v1803 has disabled this feature silently for many users. We will strongly suggest you enable System Restore right away.

    Slow Alt + Tab while gaming / Apps Stealing Focus

    Some users have reported about slow switching to applications while gaming. What seems to be a focus shift problem. Windows 10 has introduced Focus Assist settings, and one of the rules causes the problem so you can stay focused on gaming. You will need to change the settings such that they do not steal the focus. Read on this in our  Focus assist settings for Focus. Make sure to turn off the automatic rule for “When I’m playing a game” toggle switch.

    Fast Startup disabled after installing Windows 10 v1803

    Fast Startup feature makes sure Windows 10 boots much faster, but if you have disabled it earlier, and see it enabled again, its one of the issues many have reported.  The feature can be disabled from the Power Options.  Check our detailed guide on disabling Fast Startup.

    Hybrid laptop with Discrete GPU Connected to Display issue:

    Windows 10 v1803 has been blocked for Alienware laptops. If you see an error which says “Cannot uninstall App: Hybrid laptop with Discrete GPU Connected to Display. Please uninstall manually and then refresh”, you will not be able to install Windows 10 April update on your PC unless Microsoft clears it.

    Microsoft suggests you wait. However, there is a hack which you can try at your own risk as it involves removal of drivers. The issue has been confirmed for Dell laptops, including Alienware 13 R3, Alienware 15 R3, Alienware 15 R4, Alienware 17 R4, and Alienware 17 R5 laptops. Find out how you can install Windows 10 v1803 Update on Alienware Laptops.

    Nvidia settings issue after installing Windows 10 v1803

    Reported on Reddit forum – If you have a device with a Nvidia graphics card, and you are not able to right click on your screen or no longer find Nvidia settings anywhere, you need to install the latest driver from the Nvidia GeForce Website. It seems Windows 10 has removed the Nvidia GPU completely and fallen back to the default graphics driver on the Windows.

    Apps freezing after Windows 10 v1803

    Some users have reported about this problem in the Microsoft forum. The apps remain frozen, and cannot be used unless they are killed. The list includes apps like Firefox, Office Apps, Chrome and even Cortana. Microsoft is aware of this issue and will roll out the update on May 8, 2018, only.

    Here is an unofficial solution from the problem reporter itself.

    If your device freezes when using an app, try one of the following steps to recover Windows without needing to restart:

    • Try a Windows key sequence to wake the screen.  If you have a keyboard connected, simultaneously press the Windows logo key + Ctrl + Shift + B.
    • If you’re on a tablet, simultaneously press both the volume-up and volume-down buttons, three times within 2 seconds.  If Windows is responsive, a short beep will sound, and the screen will blink or dim while Windows attempts to refresh the screen.
    • If you’re using a laptop, close and open the laptop lid.

    What about you? Have you installed the latest Update? Or do you plan to wait or defer the Windows upgrade? If you faced any problems, do share them with us in the comments section below.


  • New features in Windows 10 v1803 Spring Creators Update

    New features in Windows 10 v1803 Spring Creators Update

    Windows 10 Spring Creator Update version 1803 is all set to hit your machines. Not just new name but there are many other features and fixes coming with this update. After being in the testing stage for quite some time now, the updated version 1803 is now ready to release. It will be launched out in stages like the earlier versions.

    While the update will be rolled out sometime around 10th of April, there is already a huge buzz about the latest features and updates coming with this version. The Spring Creators Update is also bringing in some important functionality improvements and security fixes.

    The update includes some changes in Edge, Privacy Settings, List App, Cortana Notebook, Settings app, Nearby Share and much more.

    Windows 10 Spring Creators Update

    Windows 10 v1803 Spring Creators Update features

    So, let’s take a quick look at what all the new version has in store-

    Fluent Design and new Timeline

    First things first. The latest version of the operating system is bringing a new design termed as Fluent Design. It is more modern and fluid than Metro which replaced the classic Windows 7 design. Focussing more on the motion and light, the new Fluent Design has more highlight effects and layers. New Timeline indeed is one of the most talked about new feature in this update V1803. Though we already have the Task View feature in Windows 10 where we can check all the running apps, now with the new Timeline, you can check the apps you were working previously.

    All your activities will be listed day-wise/ hour-wise, and you can scroll down to check all your earlier activities. If you select a particular day, you can then check the activities hour-wise. You can also clear all your activity logs from a particular day or hour.

    Edge

    Microsoft’s default browser Edge gets many new features with the latest update including the autofill cards, developer toolbar, enhanced reading view, clutter-free printing, improved hub view, etc. Every time you fill a web form in Edge, the browser will prompt to save the information and let you use it as your Autofill Card. To get a clutter-free printout, you have to enable the clutter free option in the print dialog.

    Microsoft Edge full-screen mode will also display the address bar, and the improved Hub View will now display more content. You will also be able to run Edge in InPrivate Mode and Mute audio for individual tabs.

    Cloud Clipboard

    This is one of the most interesting features updated in the latest version of Windows 10. You can now copy and paste things between all your connected devices. As it is cloud clipboard, you can use it on your phone on the Windows PC.

    Cortana

    Cortana, your virtual assistant, will be more personalized now. A new feature named Cortana Collection which lets Cortana learn more things about you and help you accordingly. You can select your favorite restaurants, books, TV shows, etc. and put them into the Organizer. Cortana Notebook also has a new look with this version.

    New Fonts

    The latest version brings many new changes to the Settings menu including Fonts, Telemetry Data, File Access, Language Settings and Password Recovery. The new settings let you experience some new fonts and colors plus it also allows you to download more fonts from the Microsoft Store.

    Diagnostic Data

    The new Privacy Settings in the Spring Creator Version lets you check and delete your data collected by Microsoft and its apps. Furthermore, you can now have more control over the apps you use. You can now select if you want the Microsoft Apps to access your files, like your pictures, documents, etc.

    Focus Assist

    Focus Assist is another interesting feature added in this version. With these settings, you can now focus more on your work without getting distracted by the notifications. Select the time and schedule a few Quiet Hours on your machine when you will not get any notifications. Also, you can select a few apps and important contacts you want the notifications from.

    Language Settings

    There are also changes in the language settings where you can download more languages from the Microsoft Store and some new features added in the speech recognition, text-to-speech, etc.

    Password Recovery

    Your PC will be more secure with the new password recovery tool added in the latest version of Windows. It lets you add the security questions to your account so that you can retrieve your lost password easily.

    Startup Tasks

    There is also a new Startup Tasks option added in the settings menu which lets you control the apps that run with the Startup. You do not need to open the task manager to control the apps anymore.

    Some other miscellaneous changes and features include-

    • Colored Command Prompt
    • Windows Defender Application Guard and Ultimate Performance power scheme for Windows 10 Pro
    • Windows Hello setup improvements
    • App volume and device preferences option in sound settings
    • New keyboard settings page
    • Option to share data between two devices wirelessly without using Bluetooth
    • Drag and drop option in My People
    • Improved gaming experience with HDR functionality
    • The narrator in Safe Mode
    • Easier navigation with eye control improvements.
    • Quick pairing for Bluetooth devices.
    • Emoji type improvements
    • Redesigned Game Bar
    • Redesigned Windows Defender settings
    • Edit option for the Snipping Tool in Paint 3D
    • Data usage on ethernet and Wi-Fi
    • Work folders on demand
    • Native UNIX sockets

    While the upcoming Spring Creators Update is bringing numerous new features and bug fixes, there are also some features that have been deprecated or discontinued. All of the features mentioned above were noticed in various Redstone Builds and are expected to appear in the final release.

    Let’s wait for the official launch of Spring Creators Update and check what all it has for us.

    Anand Khanse is the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.


  • Windows 10 Spring Creators Update: Act fast to delay this big upgrade

    Sometime in April, Microsoft’s update servers will begin delivering the Windows 10 Spring Creators Update, version 1803, to current installations of Windows 10 that have been running for at least 30 days.

    This is the latest feature update in Microsoft’s new twice-a-year release cadence, and you should view it with the skepticism any initial public release of a new Windows version deserves. In a business setting, that typically means delaying the upgrade for a few months while you deploy the new release on a smaller number of test devices.


    This deferral process is available only on PCs running business and education editions, such as Windows 10 Pro, Windows 10 Enterprise, and Windows 10 Education. Windows 10 Home does not offer any deferral options.

    Over the course of several feature updates since the initial release of Windows 10 in 2015, Microsoft has tinkered with the interface for deferring feature updates. The steps I describe here assume that you have already installed the Creators Update, version 1709.

    The good news is that you no longer have to mess with Group Policy settings to defer updates on a standalone PC. Instead, you can take your choice of three options, all available in the Windows 10 Settings app.

    Go to Settings > Update & security > Advanced options to see all three options, which I have labeled in the screenshot on this page.

    Option 1 allows you to choose a servicing channel (previously called a branch). The default setting is Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted), which corresponds to what was previously known as the Current Branch.

    You can change this setting to Semi-Annual Channel (the new name for what was previously known as Current Branch for Business, as shown here. That defers feature updates until Microsoft declares them “ready for business deployment,” a milestone that typically occurs about four months after the initial release.

    Option 2 allows you to specify additional time after the official release to the channel you selected. You can delay the upgrade by up to an additional 365 days from its initial release date; in the example shown here, I’ve chosen a 90-day delay, which means that the 1803 feature update will not be offered to this PC until at least July 2018.

    On any PC where you choose the full 365-day deferral and have opted in to the Semi-Annual Channel, you’ll be spared any feature updates until sometime in mid-2019. (Here, too, this option is available only on PCs running business and education versions of Windows 10.)

    Option 3 works independently of the feature update settings and allows you to defer the monthly cumulative security updates by up to 30 days. In this example I have chosen to delay these updates by 7 days to allow time for testing.

    To make the equivalent changes on a corporate network using Group Policy, follow a slightly different set of steps.

    Using Group Policy Editor, navigate to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update > Windows Update for Business. Open the policy Select when Preview Builds and Feature Updates are received, set it to Enabled, and then use the controls to choose your preferred branch. The options here are identical to those in Settings.

    Just be sure to set a calendar reminder at least a week or two before the expiration date, because you won’t receive any warning when the clock runs out. You’ll simply see the update offered for installation, with no more options to delay or defer.


  • 5 annoying Windows problems and how to fix them

    .

    Microsoft says that Windows 10 is now installed on nearly 500 million gadgets worldwide. It appears the gamble of offering free upgrades to existing Windows 7 and 8.1 users seems to have paid off.

    Windows 10 has been around long enough that many of the early kinks have been worked out. However, there are still some frustrating issues hanging around.

    That’s why you need to know about these five annoying Windows problems and how to fix them.

    1. Stop those annoying notifications

    Is there anything more frustrating than trying to get some important work done on your computer and bam, you’re distracted by an unnecessary notification? That seems to happen a lot with Windows 10.

    Eventually, the pop-up goes away and ends up in the Windows 10 Action Center. You’ll see notices from such things as social media apps, your email, system updates, and even software updates for programs running on your gadget.

    If you want to cut down on what notifications you see, you can. There’s a way to make Action Center only show you information that you want to see. Here’s how:

    Open the Settings menu >> tap System >> tap Notifications & Actions. Here you will see a menu with a collection of toggles that control how notifications are displayed.

    Here you can toggle off tips about Windows, app notifications, alarms, reminders, and incoming VoIP calls on the lock screen, and notifications on the lock screen. There’s even an option to turn off notifications for individual apps. So if you’re getting tons of annoying notifications from a particular app, simply turn them off.

    2. Is Windows having trouble updating properly?

    Windows 10 is set by default to automatically download and install updates. However, the process doesn’t always work the way it’s supposed to. Sometimes updates get stuck in the middle of downloading or fail to install altogether.

    Many times this happens because the downloaded files are damaged. When this happens you will need to refresh the update process and begin downloading new files. Here’s how:

    On your keyboard, press Windows + E, this will open the File Explorer. Then, tap (C:) >> Windows >> SoftwareDistribution. You will see a folder with a handful of files inside:

    Delete all the files inside this folder. Once you’ve finished deleting these files, reboot your PC and then check for updates to download and install.

    3. Tighten your privacy settings

    Continue reading  Post ID 5676


  • The Ultimate Guide to DNS for WordPress

    The Ultimate Guide to DNS for WordPress

    DNS can be a headache. It’s one of those aspects of website management that can either be a breeze or take days to sort out.

    I should know – I recently spent a week trying to transfer a domain name, which eventually involved failed redirects, htaccess editing and the site going down! Luckily it’s fixed now.

    But my experience shows that it helps to understand exactly what DNS is, what aspects of domain management do what, and the correct way to go about managing, moving and redirecting your domains.

    In this post I’m going to cover everything I believe you need to know about DNS to manage your WordPress site. I’ll define the key terms and give an overview of how to go about doing different things. I’ll include nameservers, MX records, parked domains and lots more.

    Domain Registration

    The first thing to do before you can carry out domain management is register a domain with a domain registrar.

    A domain name is a system used by browsers to access a specific IP address. Your website will actually be hosted at an IP address, but by buying a domain name and pointing it at that IP address, anyone typing your domain name into a browser will be taken to that address. This will be done automatically by your provider.

    This could be the same as your hosting company or it might not. The domains I manage are all registered with a different company from my hosting provider. This is because over the years I’ve switched hosting providers as my needs have changed, while my domain registration needs haven’t changed. I’ve always preferred to use UK-based domain registrars as most of the domains I buy are .uk ones, and it’s sometimes not possible (or too expensive) to buy those with registrars in the US. But my hosting providers have been based in Ireland and the US – although I now use SiteGround in the UK.

    Most people will have their domains and hosting with the same provider. This makes sense, especially if your hosting provider gives you a free domain with your hosting package. It also means you’ve got only one provider to deal with. But if you experience problems with one or the other, it can help if they’re separate.

    For example, last year my old hosting provider was taken over and their service went downhill fast. For a month I couldn’t access my hosting account. A whole month! Luckily because my domains were registered elsewhere, I was able to access those and direct them to a new hosting provider. It was a headache, but not as bad as it could have been.

    So whether you keep your domains and hosting together or separate is up to you. If you’re just managing one site, I suggest doing both with the one provider – it’ll be cheaper and easier.

    Managing Domains with Your Registrar

    Once you’ve bought a domain, you’ll have access to DNS via your provider’s website. DNS stands for Domain Name System, and it’s the tools you use to control where your domain points to.

    Before you buy a domain name, check that your registrar gives you full DNS access. Some of the bigger or cheaper providers don’t. I believe every website owner should have full access to all the tools they need to manage their domain, hosting and website – so I strongly recommend you avoid providers like these.

    DNS management screen

    When you access your provider’s DNS management interface, you’ll have a few options. These are the ones you’re most likely to use:

    • Nameservers – use this to point your domain at another provider. This redirects everything: website, email, FTP – everything. I add custom nameservers to my domains because I have my hosting with a different provider. If you don’t change the nameservers, they’ll default to your registrar’s servers. This is what you need if you also have your hosting with them, so you won’t need to change anything.
    • A record – by editing the A record, you can direct your domain at an IP address. Use this if you want to direct your domain to an IP address other than the one provided by your domain registrar. It only affects the website, not any email accounts on that domain.
    • CNAME – the CNAME record works in a similar way to the A record but instead of typing in an IP address, you use a domain name. So you would use this to direct your domain to another domain. An example might be if you’ve registered a .com and a .net address (or a local address such as .co.uk) and want to redirect one to the other.
    • MX record – this specifies the server where you have your email hosted. I always use Gmail for email with my own domain, rather than hosting it at the same place as the website.

    All of these can be edited via your registrar’s system, and some can also be edited via cPanel. I recommend using cPanel where possible as it gives you more flexibility.

    Redirecting, Adding and Parking Domains

    For most website owners, you’ll keep your domain on the servers provided by your registrar and hosting company, and won’t need to make any changes. But if you have multiple domains pointing to the same site, you’re using a different hosting provider and registrar or you’re using WordPress Multisite with Domain Mapping, you’ll need to know how to redirect your domain(s).

    Changing the Nameservers

    If your website isn’t hosted with your domain registrar, you’ll need to set custom nameservers. Each domain registrar will have a different interface for doing this; my registrar has a dedicated page for each domain that I access via my client area.

    Your hosting provider will give you details of the nameservers you should use when you create your account with them: there will be at least two.

    Continue reading  Post ID 5676


  • The Ultimate Guide to DNS for WordPress

    The Ultimate Guide to DNS for WordPress

    DNS can be a headache. It’s one of those aspects of website management that can either be a breeze or take days to sort out.

    I should know – I recently spent a week trying to transfer a domain name, which eventually involved failed redirects, htaccess editing and the site going down! Luckily it’s fixed now.

    But my experience shows that it helps to understand exactly what DNS is, what aspects of domain management do what, and the correct way to go about managing, moving and redirecting your domains.

    In this post I’m going to cover everything I believe you need to know about DNS to manage your WordPress site. I’ll define the key terms and give an overview of how to go about doing different things. I’ll include nameservers, MX records, parked domains and lots more.

    Domain Registration

    The first thing to do before you can carry out domain management is register a domain with a domain registrar.

    A domain name is a system used by browsers to access a specific IP address. Your website will actually be hosted at an IP address, but by buying a domain name and pointing it at that IP address, anyone typing your domain name into a browser will be taken to that address. This will be done automatically by your provider.

    This could be the same as your hosting company or it might not. The domains I manage are all registered with a different company from my hosting provider. This is because over the years I’ve switched hosting providers as my needs have changed, while my domain registration needs haven’t changed. I’ve always preferred to use UK-based domain registrars as most of the domains I buy are .uk ones, and it’s sometimes not possible (or too expensive) to buy those with registrars in the US. But my hosting providers have been based in Ireland and the US – although I now use SiteGround in the UK.

    Most people will have their domains and hosting with the same provider. This makes sense, especially if your hosting provider gives you a free domain with your hosting package. It also means you’ve got only one provider to deal with. But if you experience problems with one or the other, it can help if they’re separate.

    For example, last year my old hosting provider was taken over and their service went downhill fast. For a month I couldn’t access my hosting account. A whole month! Luckily because my domains were registered elsewhere, I was able to access those and direct them to a new hosting provider. It was a headache, but not as bad as it could have been.

    So whether you keep your domains and hosting together or separate is up to you. If you’re just managing one site, I suggest doing both with the one provider – it’ll be cheaper and easier.

    Managing Domains with Your Registrar

    Once you’ve bought a domain, you’ll have access to DNS via your provider’s website. DNS stands for Domain Name System, and it’s the tools you use to control where your domain points to.

    Before you buy a domain name, check that your registrar gives you full DNS access. Some of the bigger or cheaper providers don’t. I believe every website owner should have full access to all the tools they need to manage their domain, hosting and website – so I strongly recommend you avoid providers like these.

    DNS management screen

    When you access your provider’s DNS management interface, you’ll have a few options. These are the ones you’re most likely to use:

    • Nameservers – use this to point your domain at another provider. This redirects everything: website, email, FTP – everything. I add custom nameservers to my domains because I have my hosting with a different provider. If you don’t change the nameservers, they’ll default to your registrar’s servers. This is what you need if you also have your hosting with them, so you won’t need to change anything.
    • A record – by editing the A record, you can direct your domain at an IP address. Use this if you want to direct your domain to an IP address other than the one provided by your domain registrar. It only affects the website, not any email accounts on that domain.
    • CNAME – the CNAME record works in a similar way to the A record but instead of typing in an IP address, you use a domain name. So you would use this to direct your domain to another domain. An example might be if you’ve registered a .com and a .net address (or a local address such as .co.uk) and want to redirect one to the other.
    • MX record – this specifies the server where you have your email hosted. I always use Gmail for email with my own domain, rather than hosting it at the same place as the website.

    All of these can be edited via your registrar’s system, and some can also be edited via cPanel. I recommend using cPanel where possible as it gives you more flexibility.

    Redirecting, Adding and Parking Domains

    For most website owners, you’ll keep your domain on the servers provided by your registrar and hosting company, and won’t need to make any changes. But if you have multiple domains pointing to the same site, you’re using a different hosting provider and registrar or you’re using WordPress Multisite with Domain Mapping, you’ll need to know how to redirect your domain(s).

    Changing the Nameservers

    If your website isn’t hosted with your domain registrar, you’ll need to set custom nameservers. Each domain registrar will have a different interface for doing this; my registrar has a dedicated page for each domain that I access via my client area.

    Your hosting provider will give you details of the nameservers you should use when you create your account with them: there will be at least two.

    Continue reading  Post ID 5676


  • The Ultimate Guide to DNS for WordPress

    The Ultimate Guide to DNS for WordPress

    DNS can be a headache. It’s one of those aspects of website management that can either be a breeze or take days to sort out.

    I should know – I recently spent a week trying to transfer a domain name, which eventually involved failed redirects, htaccess editing and the site going down! Luckily it’s fixed now.

    But my experience shows that it helps to understand exactly what DNS is, what aspects of domain management do what, and the correct way to go about managing, moving and redirecting your domains.

    In this post I’m going to cover everything I believe you need to know about DNS to manage your WordPress site. I’ll define the key terms and give an overview of how to go about doing different things. I’ll include nameservers, MX records, parked domains and lots more.

    Domain Registration

    The first thing to do before you can carry out domain management is register a domain with a domain registrar.

    A domain name is a system used by browsers to access a specific IP address. Your website will actually be hosted at an IP address, but by buying a domain name and pointing it at that IP address, anyone typing your domain name into a browser will be taken to that address. This will be done automatically by your provider.

    This could be the same as your hosting company or it might not. The domains I manage are all registered with a different company from my hosting provider. This is because over the years I’ve switched hosting providers as my needs have changed, while my domain registration needs haven’t changed. I’ve always preferred to use UK-based domain registrars as most of the domains I buy are .uk ones, and it’s sometimes not possible (or too expensive) to buy those with registrars in the US. But my hosting providers have been based in Ireland and the US – although I now use SiteGround in the UK.

    Most people will have their domains and hosting with the same provider. This makes sense, especially if your hosting provider gives you a free domain with your hosting package. It also means you’ve got only one provider to deal with. But if you experience problems with one or the other, it can help if they’re separate.

    For example, last year my old hosting provider was taken over and their service went downhill fast. For a month I couldn’t access my hosting account. A whole month! Luckily because my domains were registered elsewhere, I was able to access those and direct them to a new hosting provider. It was a headache, but not as bad as it could have been.

    So whether you keep your domains and hosting together or separate is up to you. If you’re just managing one site, I suggest doing both with the one provider – it’ll be cheaper and easier.

    Managing Domains with Your Registrar

    Once you’ve bought a domain, you’ll have access to DNS via your provider’s website. DNS stands for Domain Name System, and it’s the tools you use to control where your domain points to.

    Before you buy a domain name, check that your registrar gives you full DNS access. Some of the bigger or cheaper providers don’t. I believe every website owner should have full access to all the tools they need to manage their domain, hosting and website – so I strongly recommend you avoid providers like these.

    DNS management screen

    When you access your provider’s DNS management interface, you’ll have a few options. These are the ones you’re most likely to use:

    • Nameservers – use this to point your domain at another provider. This redirects everything: website, email, FTP – everything. I add custom nameservers to my domains because I have my hosting with a different provider. If you don’t change the nameservers, they’ll default to your registrar’s servers. This is what you need if you also have your hosting with them, so you won’t need to change anything.
    • A record – by editing the A record, you can direct your domain at an IP address. Use this if you want to direct your domain to an IP address other than the one provided by your domain registrar. It only affects the website, not any email accounts on that domain.
    • CNAME – the CNAME record works in a similar way to the A record but instead of typing in an IP address, you use a domain name. So you would use this to direct your domain to another domain. An example might be if you’ve registered a .com and a .net address (or a local address such as .co.uk) and want to redirect one to the other.
    • MX record – this specifies the server where you have your email hosted. I always use Gmail for email with my own domain, rather than hosting it at the same place as the website.

    All of these can be edited via your registrar’s system, and some can also be edited via cPanel. I recommend using cPanel where possible as it gives you more flexibility.

    Redirecting, Adding and Parking Domains

    For most website owners, you’ll keep your domain on the servers provided by your registrar and hosting company, and won’t need to make any changes. But if you have multiple domains pointing to the same site, you’re using a different hosting provider and registrar or you’re using WordPress Multisite with Domain Mapping, you’ll need to know how to redirect your domain(s).

    Changing the Nameservers

    If your website isn’t hosted with your domain registrar, you’ll need to set custom nameservers. Each domain registrar will have a different interface for doing this; my registrar has a dedicated page for each domain that I access via my client area.

    Your hosting provider will give you details of the nameservers you should use when you create your account with them: there will be at least two.

    Continue reading  Post ID 5676


  • How to bypass and ISP Cache issue – Knowledgebase

    How to bypass and ISP Cache issue – Knowledgebase

    Configuring your network settings to use Google Public DNS

    When you use Google Public DNS, you are changing your DNS “switchboard” operator from your ISP to Google Public DNS.

    In most cases, the IP addresses used by your ISP’s domain name servers are automatically set by your ISP via the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP). To use Google Public DNS, you need to explicitly change the DNS settings in your operating system or device to use the Google Public DNS IP addresses. The procedure for changing your DNS settings varies according to operating system and version (Windows, Mac or Linux) or the device (computer, phone, or router). We give general procedures here that might not apply for your OS or device; please consult your vendor documentation for authoritative information.

    Note: We recommend that only users who are proficient with configuring operating system settings make these changes.

    Important: Before you start

    Before you change your DNS settings to use Google Public DNS, be sure to write down the current server addresses or settings on a piece of paper. It is very important that you keep these numbers for backup purposes, in case you need to revert to them at any time.

    We also recommend that you print this page, in the event that you encounter a problem and need to refer to these instructions.

    Google Public DNS IP addresses

    The Google Public DNS IP addresses (IPv4) are as follows:

    • 8.8.8.8
    • 8.8.4.4

    The Google Public DNS IPv6 addresses are as follows:

    • 2001:4860:4860::8888
    • 2001:4860:4860::8844

    You can use either number as your primary or secondary DNS server. You can specify both numbers, but do not specify one number as both primary and secondary.

    You can configure Google Public DNS addresses for either IPv4 or IPv6 connections, or both.

     

    Changing your DNS servers settings

    Because the instructions differ between different versions/releases of each operating system, we only give one version as an example. If you need specific instructions for your operating system/version, please consult your vendor’s documentation. You may also find answers on our user group.

    Many systems allow you to specify multiple DNS servers, to be contacted in a priority order. In the following instructions, we provide steps to specify only the Google Public DNS servers as the primary and secondary servers, to ensure that your setup will correctly use Google Public DNS in all cases.

    Note: Depending on your network setup, you may need administrator/root privileges to change these settings.

    Microsoft Windows

    DNS settings are specified in the TCP/IP Properties window for the selected network connection.

    Example: Changing DNS server settings on Microsoft Windows 7

    1. Go the Control Panel.
    2. Click Network and Internet, then Network and Sharing Center, and click Change adapter settings.
    3. Select the connection for which you want to configure Google Public DNS. For example:
      • To change the settings for an Ethernet connection, right-click Local Area Connection, and click Properties.
      • To change the settings for a wireless connection, right-click Wireless Network Connection, and click Properties.

      If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

    4. Select the Networking tab. Under This connection uses the following items, select Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) or Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6) and then click Properties.
    5. Click Advanced and select the DNS tab. If there are any DNS server IP addresses listed there, write them down for future reference, and remove them from this window.
    6. Click OK.
    7. Select Use the following DNS server addresses. If there are any IP addresses listed in the Preferred DNS server or Alternate DNS server, write them down for future reference.
    8. Replace those addresses with the IP addresses of the Google DNS servers:
      • For IPv4: 8.8.8.8 and/or 8.8.4.4.
      • For IPv6: 2001:4860:4860::8888 and/or 2001:4860:4860::8844
    9. Restart the connection you selected in step 3.
    10. Test that your setup is working correctly; see Testing your new settings below.
    11. Repeat the procedure for additional network connections you want to change

    Mac OS X

    DNS settings are specified in the Network window.

    Example: Changing DNS server settings on Mac OS 10.5

    1. From the Apple menu, click System Preferences, then click Network.
    2. If the lock icon in the lower left-hand corner of the window is locked, click the icon to make changes, and when prompted to authenticate, enter your password.
    3. Select the connection for which you want to configure Google Public DNS. For example:
      • To change the settings for an Ethernet connection, select Built-In Ethernet, and click Advanced.
      • To change the settings for a wireless connection, select Airport, and click Advanced.
    4. Select the DNS tab.
    5. Click + to replace any listed addresses with, or add, the Google IP addresses at the top of the list:
      • For IPv4: 8.8.8.8 and/or 8.8.4.4.
      • For IPv6: 2001:4860:4860::8888 and/or 2001:4860:4860::8844
    6. Click Apply and OK.
    7. Test that your setup is working correctly; see Testing your new settings below.
    8. Repeat the procedure for additional network connections you want to change.

    Linux

    In most modern Linux distributions, DNS settings are configured through Network Manager.

    Example: Changing DNS server settings on Ubuntu

    1. In the System menu, click Preferences, then click Network Connections.
    2. Select the connection for which you want to configure Google Public DNS. For example:
      • To change the settings for an Ethernet connection, select the Wired tab, then select your network interface in the list. It is usually called eth0.
      • To change the settings for a wireless connection, select the Wireless tab, then select the appropriate wireless network.
    3. Click Edit, and in the window that appears, select the IPv4 Settings or IPv6 Settings tab.
    4. If the selected method is Automatic (DHCP), open the dropdown and select Automatic (DHCP) addresses onlyinstead. If the method is set to something else, do not change it.
    5. In the DNS serversfield, enter the Google Public DNS IP addresses, separated by a space:
      • For IPv4: 8.8.8.8 and/or 8.8.4.4.
      • For IPv6: 2001:4860:4860::8888 and/or 2001:4860:4860::8844
    6. Click Apply to save the change. If you are prompted for a password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
    7. Test that your setup is working correctly; see Testing your new settings below.
    8. Repeat the procedure for additional network connections you want to change.

    If your distribution doesn’t use Network Manager, your DNS settings are specified in /etc/resolv.conf.

    Example: Changing DNS server settings on a Debian server

    1. Edit /etc/resolv.conf:
      dig @8.8.8.8www.example.com.
    2. If any nameserver lines appear, write down the IP addresses for future reference.
    3. Replace the nameserverlines with, or add, the following lines:For IPv4:
      nameserver 8.8.8.8
      nameserver 8.8.4.4

      For IPv6:

      nameserver 2001:4860:4860::8888
      nameserver 2001:4860:4860::8844
    4. Save and exit.
    5. Restart any Internet clients you are using.
    6. Test that your setup is working correctly; see Testing your new settings below.

    Additionally, if you are using DHCP client software that overwrites the settings in /etc/resolv.conf, you will need to set up the client accordingly by editing the client’s configuration file.

    Example: Configuring DHCP client sofware on a Debian server

    1. Back up /etc/resolv.conf:
      dig @8.8.8.8www.example.com.
    2. Edit /etc/dhcp3/dhclient.conf:
      dig @8.8.8.8www.example.com.
    3. If there is a line containing domain-name-servers, write down the IP addresses for future reference.
    4. Replace that line with, or add, the following line:For IPv4:
      dig @8.8.8.8www.example.com.

      For IPv6:

      dig @8.8.8.8www.example.com.
    5. Save and exit.
    6. Restart any Internet clients you are using.
    7. Test that your setup is working correctly; see Testing your new settings below.

    Routers

    Every router uses a different user interface for configuring DNS server settings; we provide only a generic procedure below. For more information, please consult your router documentation.

    Note: Some ISPs hard-code their DNS servers into the equipment they provide; if you are using such a device, you will not be able to configure it to use Google Public DNS. Instead, you can configure each of the computers connected to the router, as described above.

    To change your settings on a router:

    1. In your browser, enter the IP address to access the router’s administration console.
    2. When prompted, enter the password to access network settings.
    3. Find the screen in which DNS server settings are specified.
    4. If there are IP addresses specified in the fields for the primary and seconday DNS servers, write them down for future reference.
    5. Replace those addresses with the Google IP addresses:
      • For IPv4: 8.8.8.8 and/or 8.8.4.4.
      • For IPv6: 2001:4860:4860::8888 and/or 2001:4860:4860::8844
    6. Save and exit.
    7. Restart your browser.
    8. Test that your setup is working correctly; see Testing your new settings below.

    Mobile or other devices

    DNS servers are typically specified under advanced wi-fi settings. However, as every mobile device uses a different user interface for configuring DNS server settings, we provide only a generic procedure below. For more information, please consult your mobile provider’s documentation.

    To change your settings on a mobile device:

    1. Go to the screen in which wi-fi settings are specified.
    2. Find the screen in which DNS server settings are specified.
    3. If there are IP addresses specified in the fields for the primary and seconday DNS servers, write them down for future reference.
    4. Replace those addresses with the Google IP addresses:
      • For IPv4: 8.8.8.8 and/or 8.8.4.4.
      • For IPv6: 2001:4860:4860::8888 and/or 2001:4860:4860::8844
    5. Save and exit.
    6. Test that your setup is working correctly; see Testing your new settings below.

    Testing your new settings

    To test that the Google DNS resolver is working:

    1. From your browser, type in a hostname (such as http://www.google.com/). If it resolves correctly, bookmark the page, and try accessing the page from the bookmark. If both of these tests work, everything is working correctly. If not, go to step 2.
    2. From your browser, type in a fixed IP address. You can use http://18.62.0.96/ (which points to the website http://www.eecs.mit.edu/) as the URL.* If this works correctly, bookmark the page, and try accessing the page from the bookmark. If these tests work (but step 1 fails), then there is a problem with your DNS configuration; check the steps above to make sure you have configured everything correctly. If these tests do not work, go to step 3.
    3. Roll back the DNS changes you made and run the tests again. If the tests still do not work, then there is a problem with your network settings; contact your ISP or network administrator for assistance.

    * Google thanks MIT for granting permission to use this URL for the purposes of testing web connectivity.

    Diagnosing resolution problems

    If you are encountering problems when resolving particular names, and want to verify whether the problem is with Google Public DNS, please try running the following diagnostic procedures. If you want to report a problem to the Google Public DNS user group, please copy and paste the results of the commands in your email. This information is vital to help us to identify the cause of the problem.

    Step 1: Check to see if the authoritative nameservers are correct

    If Google Public DNS (or any open resolver) has trouble resolving a site, or returns inconsistent answers, sometimes it is because the authoritative nameservers are having trouble. There are various tools and sites to help you check this.

    Some users (and Google Public DNS engineers) have found intoDNS very helpful. For example, if you have trouble visiting www.example.com, visit intodns.com and enter example.com (the domain for www.example.com), or visit http://intodns.com/example.com directly.

    Additionally, DNSViz is useful for diagnosing DNSSEC related issues. For example, visit dnsviz.net and enter example.com (the domain for www.example.com), or visit http://dnsviz.net/d/example.com/dnssec/ directly.

    If these tools identify a nameserver configuration issue, please contact the owner of the nameserver to fix it.

    If none of these tools finds any issue with the nameserver, continue to step 2.

    Step 2: Verify that your client can communicate with the Google Public DNS servers

    IPv4

    Open a command prompt, and run the following command:

    On Windows
    dig @8.8.8.8www.example.com.
    On Mac OS X
    dig @8.8.8.8www.example.com.
    On Linux
    dig @8.8.8.8www.example.com.

    If the last line of the output does not list 8.8.8.8 as the final hop, or if there are significant timeouts, there may be a network problem preventing you from contacting our servers. Please include the output of the command in any communication with the Google Public DNS team.

    If the last line of the output does list 8.8.8.8 as the final hop, continue to step 3.

    IPv6

    Open a command prompt, and run the following command:

    On Windows
    dig @8.8.8.8www.example.com.
    On Mac OS X
    dig @8.8.8.8www.example.com.
    On Linux
    dig @8.8.8.8www.example.com.

    If the last line of the output does not list 2001:4860:4860::8888 as the final hop, or if there are significant timeouts, there may be a network problem preventing you from contacting our servers. Try configuring Google Public DNS for IPv4 to diagnose whether the problem is due to IPv6 connectivity on your network. If IPv4 works for you, you may want to revert your IPv6 configuration and use Google Public DNS with IPv4 exclusively. Otherwise, please include the output of the command in any communication with the Google Public DNS team.

    If the last line of the output does list 2001:4860:4860::8888 as the final hop, continue to step 3.

    Step 3: Verify that Google Public DNS can resolve the selected hostname

    In the following steps, replace www.example.com. with the name that you had difficulty resolving. (Put a period at the end of the name to avoid problems with domain suffixes and search lists.)

    IPv4

    At the command prompt, run the following command:

    On Windows
    dig @8.8.8.8www.example.com.
    On Mac and Linux
    dig @8.8.8.8www.example.com.

    If the output shows an answer section with an A record for the hostname, then Google Public DNS is able to resolve the name. Check your settings to make sure your system is correctly configured to use Google Public DNS. If you are still unable to solve the problem, please include the output of the command in any communication with the Google

    Continue reading  Post ID 5676


  • ow to take control of Windows 10 updates and upgrades (even if you don’t own a business)

    How to take control of Windows 10 updates and upgrades (even if you don’t own a business)

    Just upgraded to the latest Windows 10? Our to-do list

    This article has been extensively updated to incorporate changes in Windows 10. The most recent update was January 17, 2018.

    Microsoft delivered Windows Update for Business (a layer of configuration options that controls the free Windows Update service) as part of the very first feature update to Windows 10 four months after its initial 2015 release.

    Since then, this much-needed feature has evolved steadily. It allows IT pros to set update policies for an organization. Using settings not available on consumer Windows editions, they can defer and delay updates and upgrades until they’ve been proven safe and reliable.

    With the help of Windows Update for Business, you can delay receiving Patch Tuesday updates for up to 30 days. If you’d rather wait a week or two to ensure that an update won’t cause problems on a mission-critical PC, you can set a deferral period of, say, 14 days, giving yourself two weeks to monitor feedback from other users before the update automatically installs.

    In addition, you can defer so-called feature updates (the twice yearly major version upgrades) by about four months by opting to wait until Microsoft declares that update ready for widespread deployment; you can add up to 365 days of additional deferral time after Microsoft makes a feature update available to your servicing channel in Windows Update.

    Originally, all of these deferral options required the use of Group Policy settings, which are designed for network administrators to manage large groups of machines using Active Directory on a Windows domain.

    You can use those same Group Policy settings on your own unmanaged PC, with no domain required, by using the Local Group Policy Editor (Gpedit.msc).

    As of Windows 10 version 1709 (the Fall Creators Update), the task gets even simpler, with most Windows Update for Business options now available in the Settings app.

    Windows Update for Business requires a PC or device that supports Group Policy, which means you need Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise, or Education. The device also needs to be configured for the Current Branch for Business. Neither option is available for PCs running Windows 10 Home, where all updates are automatic.

    If you meet those requirements, follow these steps to get started.

    Using the Windows 10 Settings app

    On Windows 10 version 1709, you’ll find all of the Windows Update for Business options by going to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update > Advanced Options. Under theChoose when updates are installed heading, you should see these three settings.

    windows-update-for-business-settings.jpg
    Options to defer when updates are installed are only available on Windows 10 Pro, Education, and Enterprise editions.

    Here’s what each of these settings does:

    • From the first drop-down list, choose a “branch readiness level.” By default, this is Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted), previously known as Current Branch. This setting gives you feature updates as soon as Microsoft releases them to Windows Update. Choose Semi-Annual Channel (equivalent to the former Current Branch for Business) if you want to wait until Microsoft declares the feature update ready for widespread deployment. Typically, this is approximately four months after the update is initially released.
    • From the second drop-down list, choose an additional deferral time, up to 365 days, for feature updates. This deferral period applies to the servicing channel you chose in the previous setting. The default is 0.
    • From the last drop-down list, choose a deferral period of up to 30 days for quality updates such as those delivered each month on Patch Tuesday. Here, too, the default is 0.

    It’s worth noting that these settings delay the automatic installation of updates. You can override them at any time by installing updates manually.

    Using Group Policy

    If you are running Windows 10 version 1703 or earlier, or if you are managing a large number of devices on a Windows domain, you can apply Windows Update for Business settings using Group Policy.

    In an enterprise deployment, you’ll do all of the following with the Group Policy Editor or with Mobile Device Management software.

    If you’re working with your personal PC or managing a small number of devices on a network that doesn’t have Active Directory, get started by opening the Local Group Policy Editor, Gpedit.msc. (If that instruction is confusing, you should stop right now. Seriously.)

    Navigate through the Local Computer Policy tree in the left pane: Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update.

    These settings have changed significantly over time. In Windows 10 version 1703, there’s an additional subfolder called Defer Windows Updates. In version 1709 and later, the subfolder is called Windows Update for Business.

    In either version, you have separate options to defer feature updates and quality updates. Although the wording is slightly different depending on the version you’re running, the specific policy settings are the same. Here’s an example of what you’ll see if you choose Select when Preview Builds and Feature Updates are received in version 1709.

    defer-windows-updates-group-policy.jpg
    These settings have moved about as Windows 10 has evolved, but most IT pros should find them without too much hassle.

    Double-click a single setting from this list to open a dialog box where you can define policies for the current PC. The Group Policy options let you do everything I described in the previous section using the Settings app in version 1709. (It also includes options to configure devices for different Windows Insider Preview rings.)

    If you’re not experienced with Group Policy, note that for your update and upgrade schedules to be honored, you have to change this policy setting to Enabled. Set it to Disabled (or back to Not Configured) to restore default Windows 10 update settings.

    Regardless of which method you choose, the end result is the same. If you set the delay for quality updates to one or two weeks, you can then watch carefully after each batch of Patch Tuesdayupdates arrives. If there are no problems, your updates install after the general public has tested them for you. Setting the “Delay updates” value to 30 days effectively puts you a month behind the general population.

    If you discover that a pending update is potentially troublesome and you want to prevent it from installing after your deferred installation date, you can use the Pause button. In Windows 10 version 1709, this setting is below the Windows Update for Business settings, under the Pause Updates heading. Slide that switch to On and the updates will be blocked for another 35 days.

    Using the Local Group Policy Editor, click the Pause Quality Updates starting check box and enter today’s date. This action effectively blocks all updates or upgrades; the machine will remain paused until you specifically clear the Pause check box (or reverse the associated policy). You can’t delay forever, though; after 35 days, updates resume automatically installing.

    Note that definition updates for Microsoft’s security programs cannot be deferred. (If you install a non-Microsoft security program, its update controls take over and Microsoft’s definitions are not downloaded.)

    Ironically, one Group Policy option available only in Enterprise and Education editions causes these settings to be completely ignored. If Allow Telemetry is set to 0 (that is, set to the lowest possible level), then Windows Update for Business settings have no effect.


  • What’s the Difference Between a “Trojan Horse”, a “Worm”, and a “Virus”?

    There’s no shortage of confusing terminology in the computer biz. With the advent of malicious software, more terminology has been created that only make things less clear.

    The good news is that it’s not really that difficult; in fact, you needn’t understand most of the details (besides, not everyone agrees on the exact meaning of each definition).

    Let’s run down a few terms.

    Continue reading  Post ID 5676