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By Abhay V
Microsoft posts a workaround for the 'Reset this PC' bug plaguing some Windows 10 PCs
by Abhay Venkatesh
Microsoft offers an in-built solution to reset a Windows 10 PC through the Settings app if users choose to do so due to a corrupt build or issues with the operating system. The tool also gives users the choice to keep their files and only reset the OS settings to factory default. However, the feature might not be working as expected for some users running Windows 10 version 2004.
The company today posted a support article acknowledging the issue with the ‘Reset this PC’ feature that causes the tool to fail and prompt an error that reads “There was a problem when resetting your PC. No changes were made". The company also posted a workaround for users who are unable to use the feature and are experiencing the said error.
Here is the workaround as shared by Microsoft:
The workaround involves using the Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) tool to attempt to fix the issue. However, Microsoft does not mention any timelines on when a permanent fix for the problem is expected.
Interestingly, this is not the first time that the problem with the ‘Reset this PC’ feature has been acknowledged. A security update back in February introduced a similar issue and affected Windows 10 versions all the way back to version 1809. The update was then pulled by the company. While today’s documentation only mentions the May 2020 Update, it is not clear if the problem has been fixed for the earlier versions.
Source: Microsoft Support via BleepingComputer
By Abhay V
Here's how you can install the Windows 10 October 2020 Update right now
by Abhay Venkatesh
Microsoft began rolling out the Windows 10 October 2020 Update this week, bringing a few new features such as a refreshed Start Menu design that is now theme-aware, improvements to the notifications interface, Alt+Tab multitasking enhancements for the Edge browser, and more. You can read through the complete list of features here.
The update is not a major one since the features are already baked into the May 2020 Update (version 2004). The 20H2 release, just like version 1909, is an enablement package that lights up the hidden features in the OS – which installs just like a monthly cumulative update – unless you are upgrading from a release older than version 2004. However, as is the case with recent releases, Microsoft is performing a staggered rollout of the update, so not all users will receive the update immediately.
If you want to check if the update is being offered to you, or install it regardless if it isn’t, here are some ways you can go about downloading and installing the October 2020 Update.
Through Windows Update
The way most users update their PCs is through Windows Update. Unlike older versions, feature updates are no longer force installed until the currently installed version reaches the end of support. To check if the October 2020 Update is ready to be installed through Windows Update, perform the following steps:
Head to Settings (via the Start Menu or the Win + I shortcut) Click on Update & Security Click on Windows Update Click on Check for Updates If the feature update is available to install, a card with a Download and install now prompt will be available (example screenshot below) For users running version 2004, the update package will be a quick download. However, those on older versions of the OS will go through the full-fledged download and install process that will take much longer. Since Microsoft is gradually rolling out version 20H2, not many people will see the update show up right away, including those running the May 2020 Update – even though the two versions are technically the same.
Users upgrading from older versions could be blocked from being served the update owing to incompatibilities such as driver version conflicts or more. The known issues and update blockers are documented here. These users will be prompted for an upgrade when their devices are “ready”.
For those that do not see a prompt in Windows Update, there are a couple of other options to install version 20H2. However, it must be noted that forcing an update through these methods could cause problems due to incompatible drivers, so it is advised that you go ahead with these methods only if you are aware of the risks and are familiar with rolling back feature updates, in case something goes wrong. It is always a good idea to perform a backup of your data as well.
Using the Update Assistant
The Update Assistant allows users to perform an in-place feature update through a wizard. It must be noted, however, that the tool downloads the entire OS package regardless of what version you are on. So even if you are upgrading from the May 2020 Update, the tool will perform the complete installation process instead of applying the enablement package.
The tool also checks for major compatibility issues and can block the user from updating to the latest version of Windows 10 if there are any major issues. You can head to the download page here and click on the Update Now button to download the Update Assistant. Then, perform the following steps to initiate the update:
Download and open the Update Assistant and hit Update Now Though the company updated the naming convention for the version number starting with this release, the tool specifies a certain "version 2009", which is nothing but the October 2020 Update (20H2) Hit Next if the tool certifies your PC as compatible Let the tool complete the download and initialization process for the update The tool will then prompt for a restart Unlike Windows Update, it is possible that dismissing the restart prompt could immediately trigger a restart and the wizard might not obey your pre-set active hours. It is best for you to keep an eye on the progress and save all your work beforehand. The system will then restart multiple times and then boot into version 20H2.
Using the Media Creation tool
Users that are upgrading from older versions of Windows 10 or those who want to perform a clean installation can also use the media creation tool. You can head to the download page here and click the Download tool now button under the Create Windows 10 installation media section. The tool lets users perform an in-place update for their own system or create bootable media for use on other PCs or virtual machines. The installation media can also be used as a means to install Windows 10 on new, custom-built machines or bricked devices.
For this guide, we will cover the steps needed to be performed to initiate an in-place upgrade for users’ own machines. Here are the steps to be performed:
Download and open the Media Creation tool Accept the license terms If you want to upgrade your PC, choose the Upgrade this PC now option Let the tool download and run the update process Follow further instructions to restart the system Just like with the Update Assistant, the system should go through a series of restarts for the update to be installed. If you want to create an installation media for backup purposes or creating a bootable disc for another PC, here is how you do it:
Under the What do you want to do? step, choose the Create installation media… option Either use the recommended option or select the desired language, edition, and architecture Choose the kind of media you want to create Do note that a USB flash drive must be 8GB in capacity or larger. You can save the ISO file locally if you wish to use it to set up Windows 10 on a virtual machine.
If you are not offered the update via Windows Update and are facing hiccups with getting through the compatibility checks in either of the tools, it is best to give it some time. The Redmond company constantly serves cumulative updates to fix bugs and remove update blocks and will offer the update to compatible devices when it deems the configuration ready.
By Rich Woods
Parallels Desktop lets you run Windows on Chrome OS starting today
by Rich Woods
After announcing its partnership with Google back in June, Parallels is now available for Chromebook Enterprise users. That's right; you can now run Windows on Chrome OS, no internet connection required. Everything is running locally in a virtual machine.
The issue of running Windows on Chrome OS solves a big problem for businesses. If nothing else, it allows you to run those last few apps that your business needs. If the Office web apps aren't enough, you can easily run full Office in Parallels. Or, you can run your business's proprietary apps.
"Chrome OS is increasingly being chosen by modern enterprises, either for remote work, hybrid, or in the office," said John Solomon, Vice President of Chrome OS at Google. "We are thrilled to partner with Parallels to bring legacy and full-featured Windows applications support, through Parallels Desktop for Chromebook Enterprise, to help businesses easily transition to cloud-first devices and workflows."
Parallels worked on a lot of integrations with Chrome OS, and it did this by using its own software. The team used Parallels on Chromebook Enterprise, and continued to make feature requests. After all, no one will want the Windows and Chrome OS to be completely isolated from each other.
You can easily share files between Chrome OS and Windows. In Chrome OS, you can easily find your Windows files, and then you'll find the common folders like Downloads, Documents, Pictures, and so on. To open Chrome OS files in Windows, you have to opt to share a file or folder with Windows with Google Drive. Windows apps are also integrated into 'Open with', so for example, you can choose to open a Word document from Chrome OS into Windows via Parallels.
"Parallels Desktop for Chromebook Enterprise incorporates more than 22 years of Parallels’ experience innovating software that makes it simple for people to seamlessly run multiple operating systems and applications on any device, to be more productive," said Nick Dobrovolskiy, Senior Vice President of Engineering and Support for Parallels. "In addition to simultaneously running Windows and its full-featured apps alongside Chrome OS apps directly on a Chromebook, Parallels Desktop integrates a variety of useful features: Copy and paste text and graphics between Windows 10 and Chrome OS; frustration-free printing from Windows apps via shared Chrome OS printers or from printers that are only available for Windows 10; and the option to save Windows files locally on a Chromebook, in the cloud, or both."
Being that it's a virtual machine that you're running, it can save its state. That means that you can quickly pick up where you left off.
Parallels Desktop for Chromebook Enterprise is available now, and it costs $69.99 per year per user. You do need a Windows license, of course, and you'll need a Chromebook that has an Intel Core i5 or i7, 16GB RAM, and 128GB of storage. Initially supported devices include the HP Elite c1030 Chromebook Enterprise, HP Pro c640 Chromebook Enterprise, Google Pixelbook, Google Pixelbook Go, Acer Chromebook Spin 713, Acer Chromebook Spin 13, Dell Latitude 5300 2-in-1 Chromebook Enterprise, Dell Latitude 5400 Chromebook Enterprise, Lenovo Yoga C630 Chromebook, and ASUS Chromebook Flip C436FA.
5 iPhone 12 features that Android smartphones should copy
by Rajesh Pandey
Love it, hate it, or even if you are completely ignorant of its existence, there's no denying the fact that a new iPhone release affects the entire smartphone industry. The features adopted or discarded by iPhones have shaped future smartphones from Android OEMs as well. For example, it was Apple that led the charge of the demise of the headphone jack and it was due to AirPods that truly wireless earbuds have become so popular.
With the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro series, Apple has again introduced a bunch of new features that Android OEMs are bound to adopt in the coming years. Below are some such iPhone 12 features that I hope Android OEMs end up copying for their future smartphones.
With MagSafe, Apple is going to revolutionize smartphone accessories forever. By using magnets at the rear of the iPhone and engineering magic, Apple is allowing compatible cases and chargers to automatically snap on at the back of the device. This opens the door to a lot of other accessories in the future as well that can attach themselves to the rear of the iPhone using magnets.
What's even more impressive is that MagSafe allows for stacking of accessories. So, you can have a MagSafe case on your iPhone and then snap on a MagSafe wallet on top of it as well.
MagSafe also solves one of the biggest issues with wireless charging: placement and alignment. Right now, it is important that one places their phone carefully on a wireless charger to ensure the charging coils align perfectly as the charging process won't start otherwise. Android OEMs have debuted faster wireless charging speeds on their devices but none of them have solved this alignment problem which leads to frustrating user experience in many ways. Apple is solving that with MagSafe as compatible wireless chargers will be able to automatically snap on the rear of the device and align themselves.
Android smartphones come in varying shapes and sizes, but it is Apple that offers the right mix of display sizes with the iPhone 12 lineup. As the company rightly said during the launch event, the iPhone 12 mini is the world's smallest and lightest 5G smartphone.
There's no other 5G smartphone in the market that's as small as the iPhone 12 mini which packs a 5.4-inch display. Forget 5G, there's no flagship 4G Android smartphone with a display size of less than 6-inches. Whatever devices are there, they all come with small batteries, use a slightly slower chipset than their 'Plus' or 'Pro' variant, and have an inferior camera setup.
Heck, forget the iPhone 12 mini, there's no Android flagship as feature-packed as even the 6.1-inch iPhone 12 or iPhone 12 Pro. For 2021, I can only hope that Android OEMs cater to the market for a compact flagship that has a display size of 6-inches and less because there's clearly consumer interest in them.
Dolby Vision HDR recording
A lot of Android flagships released this year boasted about being able to record videos in 8K, though the quality and implementation left a lot to be desired. The iPhone 12 lineup despite coming with the powerful A14 Bionic chip cannot record videos in 8K, but it can do something that's even better. It is the first smartphone in the world that can record videos in Dolby Vision HDR and that too in 4K resolution at 60fps. What's even better is that one can also edit the recorded video right on the phone. As if this was not enough, one can also record videos in Dolby Vision HDR from the front camera.
iPhones were already far ahead of every other Android smartphone in the market in the video recording department and with this new addition, the gap has only increased. Surprisingly, Qualcomm's flagship Snapdragon 865 chipset does support Dolby Vision HDR recording, but no Android OEM has implemented it yet. Perhaps, Samsung and other flagship Android OEMs will up their game in 2021.
This is a feature that's exclusive to the iPhone 12 Pro Max but one that's still worth noting. Android smartphones have shipped with bigger and higher-resolution camera sensor this year that's accompanied with OIS. With the iPhone 12 Pro Max though, Apple is using sensor-shift image stabilization for the primary 12MP camera sensor to deliver a higher level of stabilization.
This technology is usually found in mirrorless cameras and in this, the camera sensor is moved around to counteract any movement. So how good is this sensor-shift stabilization? Well, as per Apple, this allows for up to 2 seconds of handheld exposure shots which allows the camera to take in a full stop worth of light.
Smart Data mode
The iPhone 12 is not the first to the market with 5G. The problem with 5G is that while it promises gigabit+ download speeds and lower latency, that's going to be possible only in the future. Right now, coverage of 5G networks is spotty and their modem inefficient. They greatly increase a phone's power usage requirements thereby having an impact on its battery life. To bypass this problem, the iPhone 12 series features Smart Data mode that allows the device to switch between 4G and 5G networks depending on the application being used. This means when not required, the device falls back to 4G networks to save on battery power.
There are many 5G Android smartphones available in the market but none of them have a similar feature to save on battery life. No wonder then that all 5G Android devices are notorious for poor battery life.
What are some other iPhone 12 features that you would like to see on future Android devices? Drop a comment and let us know!
By Usama Jawad96
Sony is reportedly removing PS3, PSP, PS Vita games from mobile and web storefronts
by Usama Jawad
With the next-generation of gaming consoles just around the corner, it appears that Sony is slowly phasing out support for its previous generations of games. A new report suggests that the company will be removing PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, and PlayStation Vita games from its mobile and web storefronts this month.
French website Planète Vita has obtained an email that Sony reportedly sent out to its partners recently. The email states that Sony will be launching an overhauled PlayStation storefront on mobile and web on October 19. While the UI and features of this revamp haven't been revealed yet, Sony states that from October 19 and October 28 on web and mobile respectively, the following content can not be purchased from storefronts:
PlayStation 3 games and add-ons PlayStation Portable games and add-ons PlayStation Vita games and add-ons Apps Themes Avatars However, Sony has noted that all of this content can still be purchased and accessed directly from the PlayStation Store on supported consoles, and none of it is being removed, per se.
While the plan to remove older games from select storefronts makes sense from Sony's perspective - the company isn't big on backward compatibility, the removal of apps, themes, avatars, and wishlists which are all actively supported on the current generations of consoles is certainly interesting. It is possible that the company is taking this decision because it has noticed low usage of these features on its mobile and web storefronts as compared to the console counterpart. That said, it is important to note that Sony has not officially announced these changes as of yet, and we'll keep you in the loop if something emerges on this front.
Source: Planète Vita