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Mihai Barbulescu

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snooze windows 10 updates

Configuration and Settings to Snooze Windows 10 Updates

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In the past, it was not possible to snooze Windows 10 updates. Windows devices used to be automatically restarted to complete the installation of some changes.

This was certainly frustrating not only for domestic consumers but also for businesses.

Starting with the Windows 10 Creators Update, Microsoft has implemented a method that no longer requires forced restarts to install or upgrade certain system components. It is also currently possible to snooze Windows 10 updates.

One of Microsoft’s great promises with Windows 10 is to keep the system always up-to-date and secure. The problem is that these updates do not always emerge at the right time.

In many cases it may seem like Windows updates demand restarts exactly when you are in the middle of important work. As a result, in such cases updates end the normal operation of your computer. You could rarely do something about it.

How to snooze Windows 10 updates

Microsoft introduced a feature called ‘Snooze’ that makes it possible for users to delay a specific update. You can pause updates for a maximum of 3 days at a time. This allows you to find the most appropriate time to install the update.

If you do choose to update and restart, once you turn on the computer, the first thing you see is a message that says “Updating… this could take a few minutes.” This can be frustrating as those minutes soon become an hour.

You may lose a meeting on Skype or cause a delay in a project in which you have just the right time to finish and deliver.

Once the Windows 10 Creators Update has been installed, your computer will no longer display small, easy-to-ignore reminders about an upcoming update. Windows 10 will no longer snatch control of your machine when it’s time to install.

Instead, you will be presented with a complete screen, impossible to ignore, that will present you with three options: “Restart now“, “Select a time” or “Snooze“.

Why does Windows do this? Well, the updates are to improve security, that’s all we know.

What few people know is that there are new settings to manage the Windows update behavior, perhaps one of the most important functions of Windows 10 Creators Update.

This is the Settings menu that allows you to configure when you want the updates.

Starting with Windows 10 Creators Update, you have different options available to manage the installation times of the updates. You can decide when you want the computer to restart so that the new version is installed.

You also have the option, as before, of ‘Active Hours’. Periods of daily time during which you do not want to know anything about updates. If you have not already configured it on your computer, you should do so.

During active hours, Windows will not restart your computer to install updates without asking you first.

In the Windows Update section, click Choose Activity Hours. By factory setting, the activity hours are programmed for 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., but you can adjust them according to your most productive times. Your hours of activity can be up to 18 hours.

Another feature that has been added with Creators Update is the ability to check at a glance whether our computer has the latest updates installed.

This is really useful if you want your computer to be safe and also have all the new functions and bug fixes.

Windows 10 Update and Security  – Reset Options

Under the Choose Active Hours option, are the ‘Restart’ options. These settings allow you to override the hours of activity to install an update.

If there is an update ready to install and you will be away for several hours, you can schedule your PC to restart and install the update while you are away.

This is a function that can be scheduled to only occur once and does not alter the settings of other updates.

You can also install an update immediately available by clicking “Restart Now“.

Advanced options to snooze Windows 10 updates

If you are using Windows 10 Pro, you will find a link for Advanced Options below Restart Options in the Windows Update section. Here you will find three drop-down menus to choose when you want the updates to be installed.

The first menu gives you an option between Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted) and Semi-Annual Channel (for Business).

The Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted) option issues updates once Microsoft makes them available.

The Semi-Annual Channel option adds a four-month delay for large-scale installations (large companies and businesses), which ensures that the upgrade is as stable as possible.

windows 10 store games

The Must Have Windows 10 Store Games Including Free to Play

By | blog

Before we start, there is something that needs to be clarified about these Windows 10 store games. This list is not a historical examination of the most groundbreaking PC games that exist.

It is well-known that Final Fantasy 7 defined an entire generation with its storytelling. Metroid is one of the best action games ever created. Forza Horizon 3 is the ultimate open-world race games.

Everyone knows these facts and agrees on them. This list is simply a collection of excellent games that are being offered by Windows 10 Store.

Creating this list was not easy. Windows 10 Store provides a lot of options, something not a lot of people know. The reason why Windows Store does not get enough attention is due to Steam. Valve’s Steam Store is still one of the biggest online game providers in the world.

Hence, what this list will do is showcase several major games that are available on the Windows 10 Store from each genre. Without any further ado, here is the list of must-have games available now in the Windows 10 Store.

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Windows 10 Store Games: Action Games

Batman: Arkham Knight

The Batman series is Rocksteady Studios’ crown jewel. The only way to describe this game is by saying: You are Batman. The controls are easy to use, the storyline is superbly written and the graphics are what you expect from a big-budget game.

Rocksteady Studios borrowed everything that worked in Arkham Asylum and Arkham City to the third instalment of the series. Packed with enough goon-busting fun to satisfy any action addict, Batman: Arkham Knight will not disappoint anyone.

Rise of the Tomb Raider

Rise of the Tomb Raider sees young Lara Croft face a group of fanatical zealots who are pursuing immortality.  The game features magnificent set pieces with jaw-dropping views. It also contains an excellent combat mechanic and challenging puzzles.

Overall, the game lives to the outstanding reputation that the 2013 Tomb Raider reboot created. Rise of the Tomb Raider provides non-stop action that will leave you exhausted.

Windows 10 Store Games: Adventure Games

Game of Thrones

Telltale’s Game of Thrones follows the exploits and adventures of the characters on the HBO show with the same name. Now, some bookworms might have wanted the game to be focused more on the book narrative instead of the TV show.

Regardless, Telltale’s Game of Thrones is a phenomenal representation of Westeros’ cruel and harsh realm. Get ready to play the Game of Thrones, but remember: ‘Valar Morghulis’!

The Walking Dead

Another amazing gem created by Telltale, The Walking Dead combines the horrors of the zombie apocalypse with a fantastic storytelling. Get ready to play as Lee, an ex-convict who finds himself in charge of Clementine, an orphaned kid.

The game is filled with memorable characters and emotional moments that will make you fear the living more than you fear the dead!

Windows 10 Store Games: Fighting Games

Mortal Kombat XL

There is a soft spot in all of us for this game. Mortal Kombat has kept generations of gamers horrified and addicted to the gore and violence it displays. Unfortunately, when Mortal Kombat X came out for PC, it did not receive the support its console version counterpart got.

In comes Mortal Kombat XL. This update offers PC gamers all the new fighters, stages, costumes, and gore that we have come to love and appreciate from the MK franchise.

Killer Instinct: Definitive Edition

From one classic franchise to another, Rare’s Killer Instinct is back for PC users after being available exclusively for consoles. The Definitive Edition includes all 26 characters and all the content featured in the Supreme Edition bundle.

Additionally, the game contains a story line and an arcade mode that allows you to learn more about the characters or simply challenge your friends and perform a ‘c-c-c-combo breaker’.

Windows 10 Store Games: Horror Games

Alien: Isolation

Alien: Isolation is the game all alien fans deserve. Creative Assembly drew inspiration from Ridley Scott’s original 1979 film instead of James Cameron’s action-filled movie. And this new take on an alien game completely works. Alien: Isolation is all about subterfuge and evasion.

The lack of weapons to defend yourself or a companion to help you, makes you feel vulnerable and isolated. You can beat the game and avoid the alien threat by using your wits, environment, and crafted tools.

Alien: Isolation is the dark, oppressive, and smart world we deserve.

Resident Evil 7: Biohazard

It could be argued the Resident Evil series lost its ways after a while. The game became a 3rd person shooting game instead of terrifying and nightmare-inducing. All that changed with Resident Evil 7: Biohazard.

Capcom chose to go back to its roots by slowing down the action and changing the character’s motivation. The dread and horror this decision generates, rivals the fear gamers felt when the original Resident Evil came out in 1996.

Grab a copy of this game and get ready to explore one of the best horror games that came out in a while.

Windows 10 Store Games: Racing & Sports Games

Forza Horizon 3

The debut of Forza Horizon on PC is also the best time for Playground Games to create a racing masterpiece. Forza Horizon 3 is an incredibly addictive racing game, set in Australia. There are some frame-rate hiccups, but otherwise, fast cars and open-world exploration will make you want to drive forever.

The rugged landscape is the perfect setting to create a game that celebrates car culture as well as the festival energy that surrounds racing. Forza Horizon 3 is a game that racing enthusiast will not regret purchasing, but will regret not having played.

Rocket League

Staying with the racing genre, Rocket League is a game that is straightforward about its premise. The game blends the joy of RC racing with the confrontational nature of soccer or football, for those not living in North America.

Rocket League is a fun game regardless of how many times you play it. Every match is completely different, and that makes its simplicity so brilliant. If you ever want to play a simple game, with over-the-top spectacle, then Rocket League is the choice for you.

Windows 10 Store Games: RPG Games

Mass Effect: Andromeda

Mass Effect is one of those series that changed the way players interact and react with their digital environment. Every decision you make carries over to the next instalment of the franchise, adding gravitas and consequences to your decisions.

It was BioWare’s masterpiece, and it has redefined the RPG genre. Mass Effect: Andromeda builds upon what made Mass Effect so strong.

This time you are not Commander Shepard. Instead, you are part of an initiative to colonize Andromeda. Mass Effect: Andromeda is an exciting game that will keep you immersed in the Mass Effect universe.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

The good news is that The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt lives up to the standard set by the previous The Witcher games. The bad news is that: this is the last game of the series. However, CD Projekt Red’s action-RPG is as fun and engaging as the previous versions.

Do not expect The Witcher 3 to be just like the other two games. CD Projekt Red changed the formula by intruding an open world filled with monsters and quests. The game also improved its alchemy and fighting system. However, it is the story that still drives the game.

Windows 10 Store Games: Shooter Games

Far Cry 4

There are very few shooters that are as fun as Far Cry. The sandbox game allows players to explore freely while finding missions and collectibles.

Far Cry 4 does not add much new to the franchise, but is still an incredibly fun, enjoyable, and beautiful game to play. You will spend dozens of hours running through the jungle and having never-ending fun.

Halo: The Master Chief Collection

There is nothing to say about Halo. It is the game that brought Bungie to the forefront. Halo: The Master Chief Collection combines all the Halo games for you to play again. It also offers all the multiplayer options that made Halo so much fun.

Replay the story of John-117, as he fights the Covenant with the help of Cortana. Find the truth behind those who constructed Halo, and repel the Flood. Halo: The Master Chief Collection is the ultimate Halo collection.

Windows 10 Store Games: Sim & World-Building Games

Minecraft

Microsoft’s biggest game outside of Halo, Minecraft is a blocky sandbox game that lets you explore the limits of your imagination. Minecraft revolves around exploring the world and surviving the monsters that attack you at night.

Players can enjoy creating anything they want, and push the boundaries of what can be possible. The game is also much more than that! The upcoming integration with VR will serve to increase the game’s enjoyment.

Cities: Skyline

SimCity 4 left a lot of players with a sour taste in their mouth. Luckily, Cities: Skyline come out soon after to the delight of city planners across the globe. Skyline is a stunning game with an AI that makes you feel the struggles of sustaining a metropolis as it keeps devouring resources.

With the latest expansion pack, you have now the ability to handle disasters as well as dealing with tourism, pollution, weather, crime, and traffic. It is the city simulation game to buy, and the size of the map allows you to create towns in the same play area.

Windows 10 Store Games: Stealth Games

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Law enforcer Adam Jensen returns to the stealth-based shooting game, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, which is the latest entry in the cyberpunk series. Square Enix’s creation tells the story of a world where augmented people are treated as second-class citizens.

The game contains several side quests, while also providing the same level of stealth, with, cunning, and hacking expected from Deus Ex.

Dishonored

Dishonored is a fantastic FPS that sets you in a universe packed with murder, stealth, and intrigues. Arkane Studio managed to create an extraordinary fantasy world filled with a rich background and supernatural happenings.

It is not quite an open-world game as Deus Ex, but it makes up for it in storytelling and drama. The stealth mechanics also make it extra challenging and adds replayability.

Windows 10 Store Games: Strategy Games

XCOM: Enemy Unknown

You cannot talk about strategy games without mentioning XCOM. 2K Games and Firaxis brought back the classic franchise with XCOM: Enemy Unknown. The turn-based game is a reminiscent of the 1994 X-COM: UFO Defense.

Enemy Unknown feels like the successor X-COM: Enforcer should have been. XCOM: Enemy Unknown contains streamlined gameplay, challenging combat, and an original story. It is a must have.

Security patches for Windows XP – what they mean and what to do

By | blog

Security patches for Windows XP have been released earlier this year in an unusual and unprecedented step in the history of Microsoft.

The US company has decided to publish security patches for Windows XP in an effort to counteract and protect users and businesses from the dangerous ransomware known as Wannacrypt, which has put thousands of computers and hundreds of companies around the world in check.

For this reason alone, the current security patches for Windows XP are amazing!

security patches for Windows XP

There is no doubt that the ransomware attack which occurred earlier this year was one of the biggest in our history. While in passing, it has demonstrated how vulnerable our systems are to this type of robbery.

The truth is that, although technology has progressed in a stellar way in recent times, many money dispensers continue to operate based on tremendously old software. This is one of the many probable reasons why Microsoft decided to launch security patches for Windows XP.

Considering that the final public infection count was 200,000 computers in more than a hundred countries, the metric comes just like a “thumbs-up” to those that thought their bank accounts couldn’t be compromised with this computer attack.

The truth is that only some very specific business organizations were affected by the attack, as the attack did not primarily target consumers (who have already mostly upgraded to newer operating systems).

security patches for Windows 10

It is not surprising that the release of this patch is extremely unusual since the base program has not had security support for quite some time already.

In this case, we could perfectly see the maximum “desperate situations require desperate measures” being applied for the truth is that no one really saw this tremendous attack coming.

Security patches for Windows XP should be maintained

It becomes extremely urgent to modernize our security and computer systems, especially in the case of ATMs, devices that even in 2017 are still operating under unsupported operating systems, thus requiring in many cases security patches for Windows XP.

This vulnerability came to light with the leak of National Security Agency (NSA) spy tools, since Microsoft has already released a malware security patch for newer operating systems, but ignored those who were no longer part of the security update guarantee.

Now after the scope of the Wannacrypt attack, the company most likely decided to publish primarily security patches for Windows XP that protect against this vulnerability in computers using Windows XP, Windows 98 and Windows Server 2013.

The scope of the WannaCrypt ransomware has already caught thousands of computers from more than 100 different countries like UK, Spain, Italy, Russia, Egypt or China, and part of the United States.

This massive hacking affected the computers of hundreds of companies such as Telefonica, Vodafone, Gas Natural or the British public health service.

The attack affected almost half of the world and it has been discovered that the code used contains parts that had already been used in the code of “Contopee”, developed by Lazarus Group in 2015.

This type of malicious software “hijacks” the data on infected PCs, encrypts them and then requests a rescue from the affected party so that they can retrieve them.

As we saw, this ransomware exploited a vulnerability that was already solved in the most current operating systems; however, there are still millions of computers on the planet with old systems and, worse, without any support. Most of them work with Windows XP.

Perhaps what has made this ransomware with network worm features built-in is that although it follows the classic mechanism of infection, once it sneaks into the host computer, it also takes advantage of the network connectivity and vulnerability mentioned, transmitting itself across to networked computers very quickly.

Microsoft highlights that if you are a Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 user and you have automatic updates enabled, you do not have to worry about anything because these patches are automatically applied.

Windows XP has been one of the most popular and beloved operating system versions of all time. However, Microsoft had declared it obsolete a long time ago.

It should be noted that users of XP with versions without extended support should manually download and install the security patches for Windows XP from the official website.

Although Windows XP stopped receiving support in 2014, it seems that in the wake of the serious problems caused by the Wannacry ransomware, something has changed.

In the same way as in May, Windows XP has again received patches in the June release. As Microsoft itself cites, this is due to the imminent risk of cyber-attacks by government organizations that could exploit vulnerabilities corrected in supported operating systems but were left open in others such as Windows XP.

List of security patches for Windows XP

Microsoft has released updates to fix up to 96 vulnerabilities for Windows, Internet Explorer, Edge, Microsoft Office and Skype. The following are especially critical:

CVE-2017-8543 – This vulnerability in the Windows search engine, sends modified messages which allow an elevation of privileges remotely through SMB to take control of the machine

CVE-2017-8464 – A vulnerability in Windows through which a malicious .LNK file would allow an attacker to gain user privileges on the machine. Remember not to work with admin users!

CVE-2017-0176 – Vulnerability in RDP servers with Smart Card functionality enabled. It allows an attacker to execute code remotely.

CVE-2017-0222 – Internet Explorer memory management vulnerability that allows an attacker through a malicious web to execute remote code in the context of the current user of the system; again, do not work with admin users.

CVE-2017-0267 – This time it is the SMB server that through a special package could reveal information about the server to an attacker

CVE-2017-7269 – Another remote code execution due to a vulnerability in Webdav memory object management

CVE-2017-8461 – Vulnerability in RPC servers with remote access and routing enabled that allows a remote code execution attack

CVE-2017-8487 – Vulnerability in the Windows OLE component when validating user input that allows a remote code execution attack

CVE-2017-8552 – Vulnerability in the Windows kernel that allows elevation of privileges

Researchers and security experts have expressed concern about Microsoft’s strategy to patch the discontinued Windows XP.

Experts have many time said that every time there is a new vulnerability in newer versions of Windows, this vulnerability probably exists in Windows XP as well.

This combined with the situation that a significant part of users is using Windows XP does not speak well about the support of this operating system and its security in the future.

Basically, the theory is that if you are going to update a defect, this does not have XP safe against all other defects that have been updated for newer versions of Windows.