It happens to all of us. We mind our own business (don’t we always) and we are just going to meet that deadline and realize that some malware pop-up is warning us that it needs our attention. We have to drop everything to find out what it is all about (and, fortunately, it has been handled by our malware tool). Well, at least we hope it has been covered.
The point is that interruptions happen to all of us. Whether it is a case of the dog having an accident on the floor or a baby that wakes up early from his or her nap, there are challenges that face every freelancer, in the normal course of the day, no matter what “normal” is for each of us.
Solving Pesky Computer Issues
I admit it. I titled this article for “bloggers” and “social media marketers” intentionally. First of all, I can relate. Second of all, this article is for those of you who understand computers at a basic level but do not necessarily spend all day thinking up ways to enhance the computer.
After all, you are spending your time writing or coming up with your next social media marketing strategy, right? That is where “computer issues” can become an interruption for you and possibly affect your deadlines (or worse yet, your computer).
Since I am already a geek (by experience and college degree), I am happy to share some of those basics with you, in hopes that this will save you time so that you can reach those deadlines.
Relevant (Current) Issues with Windows 10
Recently, a friend mentioned an article that showed up in Yahoo News. In fact, the friend is Gail! The article is “How to stop Windows 10 from automatically downloading itself onto your computer.” It is an interesting and helpful article on how to uninstall the Windows 10 update, in case you didn’t want Windows 10 on your computer. According to the article, Microsoft was automatically downloading the Windows 10 upgrade.
Ok, a couple of clarifications on terminology. First of all, technically the Windows 10 “update” is actually an upgrade. An upgrade is anytime the version is an increase in number. So, upgrading from Windows 8 to Windows 10 is just that. It is an upgrade. If the version increase is a dot something, then it is an update.
So, an update from Windows 10.0 to Windows 10.1 is just that. It is an update. That said, the Windows 10 “upgrade” is coming by way of the Microsoft Update System. Maybe it is just so that we can be confused, eh?
Secondly, the article terminology is just a wee bit misleading. The title made me think that this is all about stopping Windows 10. It is really more of a case of stopping a particular update, or the automatic updating altogether. Remember we said that Windows 10 upgrade is handled by an update? Well, then stopping an update process isn’t about Windows 10, it is about stopping an update, of which Windows 10 happens to belong. Make sense?
Now, for the article… Again, just a little misleading… In reality, what the article covers is how to “remove” the Windows 10 update once it has already been downloaded automatically onto your computer. It isn’t about “stopping” the automatic download, but about removing it after it has already been automatically downloaded.
If you find yourself in that situation (the update has already automatically downloaded), then the instructions are fine and go ahead and follow what the article suggests, step-by-step.
If the update has not automatically downloaded then 1) you have your Microsoft system set up correctly or 2) it just has happened to you yet. It is likely a case of #1 that you have already set your settings (or somebody has) in the correct way.
If you are in category 2 and need to set your settings NOT to download the update (or any updates), then I have the steps for you, below. I recommend this setup so that you can manage your updates when you want them. The recommendation that I suggest isn’t what Microsoft recommends, but considering I have fixed Exchange Servers when Microsoft (the company) has deemed them lost, I’d say I know a couple of things about Microsoft software. Here you go, instructions for a Windows 7 system:
- Navigate to Start Menu > Control Panel > System and Security > Windows Update (half-way down on the right) > Turn Automatic Updating On or Off.
- Choose one of the following: “Check for updates but let me choose whether to download and install them” or “Never check for updates.” I suggest the “Check for updates but let me choose whether…”
The reason that I suggest the check for updates is that that way you don’t have to remember to do the task. However, you want to decide if/when you download and install. If you have that setting, the Windows 10 update is supposed to ask permission BEFORE downloading and you can choose not to download it.
That is the “real” solution to stop the automatic download, versus the article that tells you what to do after it has automatically downloaded.
One last thing about the article… While I’m sure that you will be ok if you follow the instructions (and you have few options short of following the steps in that article after it has automatically downloaded), you can sometimes run into trouble when uninstalling Windows updates. 95% of the time you should be just fine.
However, there are a few cases when opting to uninstall a Windows update that the wrong update is uninstalled out of order, and your system has hiccups. It can usually be fixed by going through the update process again, but sometimes you get the very update that you didn’t want. It is similar to “ripping” something out of a system (think human body system) and then hoping that there are no consequences.
Again, you should be fine, but it is not ideal. This is, again, why I recommend the option of turning “off” the automatic download and install and letting the OS check for it but wait for you to make the decision on moving forward.
Are you a Windows 8 user? The steps would be very similar to the steps I gave you for Windows 7 (above).
Whew.. enough about Windows for now. Now for a tip for you Mac users…
The Set-It-and-Forget-It Mac Backup Solution
Everyone should ensure that they are backing up their computer (specifically their files), right? Ok, that is up there with everyone should visit the dentist, too. This is good advice whether you are a Windows user, Mac user, or Linux user. The dentist advice is good for you, too.
There are many different software packages available to get the job done. Symantec/Norton makes some good software, too. For now, I’m going to reference Mac. BTW – After I titled this section “Set It and Forget It,” I visited Symantec’s site, and they use the same term! Must be the buzz phrase for backups, no matter what OS! Glad I think like Symantec.
Oh, first, make sure you have some storage ready for your backups. This is especially true if you want to store some versions (i.e. grandfathering the backups). You can get some external storage at a good price at NewEgg.com. That is where we always pick up our drives (yes, we like to collect those.. never enough storage).
Now, for the process of backing up your Mac computer. If you follow that link, you can read about the step-by-step using Time Machine. That is the software that comes pre-installed in the Apple OS. It is located under Apple > System Preferences and likely shows up in the lower right area of the preferences pane. The setup process is fairly simple, and as long as you have your external drive hooked up, Apple will automatically back your system up at preset increments.
As far as the grandfathering backup system (which could also be used for any other OS), that is a case where you perform full backups every Friday and incremental backups on other days. Then, at the end of the month, you keep one backup, and you can get rid of the other backups, keeping that monthly backup. At the end of the year, you should have 12 full backups.
Ok, I said this works for any OS. That is true. However, with Apple Time Machine, you don’t have to worry about all of that because the software takes care of it for you. This is the case with other software packages, as well. That said, it is good for you to understand what the “grandfather” backup process entails.
These are just a couple of tips to help you busy bloggers and social media strategists out, with your busy schedules. Those who are not bloggers can also benefit, too. If you have some other question, about any OS for that matter, let us know in the comments, and I’ll share my two cents. After all (and speaking of money), if I was responsible for the safekeeping, technology-wise, of Hollywood celebrities’ money (Director of IT in the Beverly Hills financial industry), I can certainly help you out with a couple of technology tips.
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