KPTree - MSWindows Setup

Background

This website content is still under heavy development!

I have been using Microsoft products for quite some time, starting with MSDos then Windows 3.0, 3.1, 95, 98, XP, 7, 8, 8.1 and finally 10. (I managed to skip some of the duds, such as ME, 2000 and Vista, although I did use them on friends, family and work machines. Contrary to all the noise I never had any problems with version 8 & 8.1. I thought ME was bad and Vista too, but as noted basically managed to avoid them in the most part.)

Recently my main home office machine failed. I build this computer myself. Basically originally an Intel i7 with the built-in graphics and a 2TB HD, 32GB RAM (16GB would have been enough) and of course a Seasonic 80plus gold power supply. I then quickly replaced with a 500GB SSD, by this time I had my Linux home server running and used this as a NAS for bulk storage and serving. When I set the machine up it was based upon Windows 7 (64bit of course). When Windows 8 came out I upgraded, then Windows 8.1 and finally Windows 10. Just over a year ago I added a Nvidia 960 graphics card, to help breathe a bit of extra life into the machine (and play games better....) I have tried quite a large amount of software on this machine over the period and it was somewhat cluttered, albeit I did run the likes of CCleaner and SystemMechanic to help keep it usable. In any case I tried to load AutoCADLT 2017 on the machine (yes, a licensed version, my being a professional engineer) it worked on the first evening after loading, then the following day ACADLT stopped working. I tried to get it working to no avail and attempted a reinstall, also to no avail. The following day the machine would not run with the dreaded blue screen of death. Nothing I attempted would revive it. So I investigated a clean Windows 10 install. I downloaded a Windows 10 recovery / installation on to a USB. Turns out product code is no longer required, and my registration for this machine is tied to the hardware and my Microsoft account. After this reinstalling Windows 10 was a breeze. My original install was totally shot. Hopefully I did not have any important information left on the local documents directory. Unknown, unlikely, but possible. Helps to have the Linux NAS and Nextcloud working. It is also a reminder to do my NAS and Nextcloud backups, it has been 6 months since the last one, which is bad! I did it, and need to try to do it every month.

So below is a list of the software I am installing.

MSWindows 10 - Software Install List

  • First up to make easier to load up system
    • Nextcloud Windows client - Cloud server client
    • Keepass - Password and other secret info repository
    • Avira - Anti virus software
    • Xplorer2 - a multi-paned file explorer replacement
    • Notepad++ - a good general text editor
  • Utilities
    • Xplorer2 - a multi-paned file explorer replacement
    • Notepad++ - a good general text editor
    • 7Zip - a good general file compression program
    • AllwaysSync - a PC synchronisation program
    • CCleaner - a Windows system maintenance program, clean junk files and registry and other
    • FileZilla - and sFTP client program
    • Ghostscript - a PDF manipulator
    • iTunes - Apple iOS update control software - See Separate Section below
    • Setup printer / scanner - See separate notes below
    • NAPS2 - a freeware Scanner program (My printer is no longer supported for Windows 10)
  • Multimedia
    • Firefox web browser (Microsoft Edge still seems a bit clunky)
    • Calibre - an electronic book database and reader
    • DjView
    • mPlayer - a video player
    • PolyView - a picture / photo view (sadly would seem no longer supported)
    • Windows Media Player Classic - a video player
    • XnView
    • SystemMechanic - a Windows system maintenance program
    • ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate 10
    • AIMP - Music player (reminds me of the old lost classic Winamp)
  • Remote Control / Cloud
    • Nextcloud Windows client - Cloud server client
    • Putty - a SSH terminal program
    • TightVNC - remove video terminal program
  • Security
    • Keepass - Password and other secret info repository
    • Avira - Anti virus software
    • iSpy - an IP camera viewer program
    • Tor - a more secure web browser
  • Productivity
    • ACadLT2017 - CAD
    • Foxit Pro - a PDF reader and writer
    • LibreOffice - a office software suite

iTunes - setup

iTunes is software I do not particularly like. First of all I do not use the Music feature having long ago rip my CD collection to MP3 and I simply do not like the way iTunes works. So the only real reason to use iTunes is for my iOS devices, updating apps across devices, backing up iOS devices etc. iTunes, in typical Apple fashion I find is not smart end user friendly as it has been designed for not smart users and attempts to hide the lower level file system. Further to this the configuration, backups and apps end up being very large amounts of files (multiple 1000s) and using huge amounts of disk space, in some cases well over 100GB!. So to help alleviate the excessive file system use on my primary Windows10 SSD I would like to move to my Linux NAS. The following are the steps to achieve this.

  1. Download from Apple and install the latest Windows 10 64bit version of iTunes.
  2. Run iTunes and check the location of the "iTunes Media folder location" found in the menu item: Edit, Preferences, Advanced tab. e.g. "C:\Users\doej\Music\iTunes\iTunes Media"
  3. Stop iTunes running
  4. If moving an exiting iTunes data directory first time, copy "C:\Users\doej\Music\iTunes" to "\\NASname\various_path\iTunes
  5. Rename "C:\Users\doej\Music\iTunes" to "C:\Users\doej\Music\iTunes_old", or simply delete.
  6. Open Administrator Command Prompt(right click windows start and select so). Then run following command to create a simlink to NAS stored iTunes library: "mklink /D 'C:\Users\doej\Music\iTunes" "\\NASname\various_path\iTunes"'. The command should state symbolic link created as given in original command.

iTunes - Not Recognising Devices

iTunes is a pretty flakey program and Apple does play the propriety with the Lightning cable, so the problem could be any of the following:

  • Bad cable
  • Bad USB driver
  • Bad USB port
  • iTunes playing up

However one good trick is to simply run the install file "C:\Program Files\Common Files\Apple\Mobile Device Support\Drivers\usbaapl64.inf". The easiest way being to right click the file in exploer and select the install option.

Printer Scanner Setup

Unfortunately I am still using a printer purchased over 5 years ago, a Canon MP990 multifunction, and Canon seem to not be supplying an updated driver after Windows 8.1, that is, no Windows 10 drivers. I suspect there are 2 reasons for this; first, due to the age of the printer the vendor does not wish to spend the money to update the drivers, and second, the vendor hopes that users will simply purchase a new printer! Fortunately the default MSWindows 10 printer driver seems to work adequately with most required options. Unfortunately, the MSWindows scanner driver options are very limited. I attempted to load the OEM Windows 8.1 drivers, however they did not seem to recognise the printer. So I found a suitable free scanner driver that give the basic required scanner functionality, NAPS2 and now use this.

Some points

  • I always felt the original Canon software was quite bloated.
  • Printing photos at home is very expensive. The photo paper and original ink are just too expensive (rip off). It is cheaper to setup the photos and get their files printed at the likes of Kmart. These photo printing services even have on-line services or take a USB drive to the store terminal.
  • I probably should get a new printer/scanner when my next round of ink runs out. Probably an A3 multifunction from Epson WorkForce WF-7620 or Brother Colour Inkjet MFC.

Windows Symlink equivalent command - mklink

For some reason Windows 10 will not show my network drives in the Explorer Network directory. Even when it did work it was slow to show the network drives. I can simply type in the network drive into the path, e.g. "\\User1NetworkDrive", but this is a bit clumsy and is not always an option in some file modal windows. A symlink is the best overall solution.

Open up a Command Prompt (Admin) - right click the windows icon or type "Win + X". In Windows 10 you can also type in Command into the Cortina serch area and right click on the Command Prompt item.

For files the comand syntax is: "mklink Link Target".

I am only really interested in a directory link the syntax is: "mklink /D Link Target", example: "mklink /D C:\Users\User1\User1NetworkDrive \\User1NetworkDrive".

Windows Keyboard Mapping Problems

All too often the keyboard mapping seems to get set to the United Kingdom, which messes up a few of the Keys when using a US keyboard. I suspect this is a problem with selecting Australian as the primary English langage that seems to sometime also select the UK keyboard. In any case in Windows 10 the solution is as follows.

The simple solution is to remove the UK language setting and if necessary add the US one. The Australian can remain. Further to this the keyboard layout can be independantly set. The language can be adjusted in the " region and language setting", use Cortana if necessary to find. Click on the language and add the US QWERTY if necessary. Delete the UK QWERTY keyboard layout.