Windows 11 Home – Setup without connecting to a network

You can bypass the “let’s connect you to a network” screen by killing the networkconnectionflow.exe process using the Task Manager.

Since you already have Windows 11 installed at this stage, you can launch the Task Manager on top of your setup wizard using Command Prompt and kill the process.
Here’s how to do it.

Assuming you are in the Let’s connect you to a network screen, press Shift + F10 to launch the Command Prompt.
In the Command Prompt window, type taskmgr and hit enter to launch Task Manager.
open task manager command prompt

Alternatively, use the Ctrl + Shift + Esc shortcut to launch Task Manager without Command Prompt.

Click More Details to open Task Manager in full view.

In the Processes tab, locate Network Connection Flow.

Select Network Connection Flow and then click the End task button. Wait for the process to end and then close the Task Manager.

Type exit in the Command Prompt and hit enter.

Matthew Clark
07966 497090

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HP Pavilion 14-dv1629sa Notebook / Laptop Install – no drive showing to install windows onto…..

So this is a Windows 11 based laptop, purchased from Curry’s, 2022.

The job was to reinstall the whole thing. The login credentials were lost (no is wasn’t stolen) and to get the PC working again we needed to reinstall the whole laptop.

Problem: We need a driver to load, so that we can see the 512Gb SSD.

Problem: The model number and serial number, after using a magnifying glass to see, DOES NOT EXIST on the HP Website. The serial number references for than one product (HP says) and the model number just takes me to a specification document page. Useless.

Put your Windows 11 Boot USB into your working PC.

Download the zip file from here:

https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/download/19512/intel-rapid-storage-technology-driver-installation-software-with-intel-optane-memory-10th-and-11th-gen-platforms.html

Copy the contents to your Boot USB. I created a folder for it.

Boot the PC using the Escape Key, and choosing the Boot menu, select your USB stick. When asked, browse to your driver folder and load the driver. You can now see the SSD, and can install Windows 11.

I suspect it is because the model number is generated specific to Curry’s, but I am still annoyed I could not just use the HP website to get the drivers I needed.

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Shred your empty space, before giving your PC away

So you have an older PC and you want to give it away, or even sell it. Perhaps to a friend, a family member or a charity for example. You have deleted all your data off of the drives, uninstalled all your software and settings you don’t want them to see.

Sorry to say, that is not enough. Any simple file recovery tool, that can be downloaded of the internet for free, could be used to recover almost all your data. You see when you delete something, it doesn’t delete the file, no, it just deletes the “index” to the file. If a program was able to scan the space on the drive, it will find the header and footer of a JPG, GIF, PNG, Docx, plus all kinds of other data files.

So what you want to do is carry out this small task:

1: Delete everything you don’t want them to gain access. Uninstall any programs, perhaps even create them a new User and delete your user off.

2. Open up a CMD windows (Start Run CMD)

3. Run this command “cipher /w:c:” Then sit back and wait (can take a long time).

This command looks at all the space on your C:, and it overwrites that space. Any of these deep recovery programs will fail to come up with anything you had previously deleted.

(Windows 10, running on the C Drive, run about if there is a D Drive etc)

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Multifactor Authentication

Phishing for passwords is a great pass time of any cyber criminal.  The conmen already know your username, as that is now your email address.  It is the password they covet more than anything.  The criminals are getting cleverer, the emails are looking that much more realistic, the phones calls sound far more real.  The days of just detecting “a phish” attempt by the grammar of an email/text a message, or sound of a voice are rapidly disappearing.

They can gain access to your files, email, social media, hosted systems.  Once they get a password, they instantly try to access everything they know of, knowing that as human beings, we have probably used that password more than once.

Two Step Authentication, Multifactor Factor Authentication (MFA), 2FA all amount to a technique to combat this data breach of losing your password to a fraudster.  The solution is fairly simple to explain, but more complicated to setup.  Basically the system you are protecting will only allow you to login if can supply some information that you know, your password, and double check that you are the correct person, by utilising something you have, normally your mobile phone.

The chances of a criminal being in possession of your password, and having your mobile phone (and getting through the security of your mobile phone) is extremely unlikely.

The system most of my business customers use is Office 365, mainly for email, but some for SharePoint.  My advice, if you also use Office 365, is to get your admin to enable MFA for most of your accounts.  It forces that account user to register their mobile phone with their account.  When they connect a new device, or after a period of time on an old device, it will utilise MFA and request something from the phone.  Microsoft use either the “Microsoft Authenticator” or you can use a text message, where Microsoft will text a temporary code to the phone.

Any and every system should be protected this way.  When you speak to company who supports your system, ask about it.  There are so many web based/cloud systems that need this kind of security, and hopefully we can reduce this kind of fraud.

For personal use, where it is an option, switch it on.  If FaceBook, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIN etc have the option to toggle this 2 Step Security, why not just enable it?  Why?  Fraudsters like to read and get into the sort of conversations you are having, as the cleverer conmen can then use this to somehow find an angle to get money from someone sometime.

Hooded criminal with dark background, with glowing blue lines of program code.

Matthew Clark
matthew.clark@bristol-computer-support.co.uk
www.bristol-computer-support.co.uk
07966 497090

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Check your Cloud Storage

Increasingly I am seeing customers that are paying for several types of cloud storage, but really only need purchase one of them. Over a period of time, they just built up (the common reason I am told). Every provider seems to want to sell you their storage system, and they always offer a small amount of storage “for free” before asking you to pay for the full version! It’s so easy to click yes, rather than lose data!

Most people are now buying Office 365 Personal, Family or Business subscriptions (annually or monthly). We love to setup the Business 365 systems here at BCS. These allow you to install and run a local copy of Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Access). Did you know that Office 365 also comes with 1024Gb of OneDrive?

OneDrive can backup your desktop, documents and pictures folders automatically. Anything you save into the OneDrive folders can be uploaded and therefore available on the cloud.

If have Office 365, and you want to save money, install OneDrive, log it in, and use it to store the bulk of your data. You can keep the other systems, but don’t pay for them. Put it on your phone, and with the correct options, it can synch your photos too.

So if you are paying for more than one cloud storage, think about reshuffling and questioning whether you should. Always make sure you export the data out to a computer, and upload to the service you want to pay for, before cancelling the old one! Don’t lose data (contact us for support if you need help).

DropBox – one the most popular, great for sharing family photos. There is a business version too. Can be used to synch photos from your phone to your DropBox.

iCloud – sold to many clients who had an Apple device at some point. It used to be handy at synching photos, calendar and contacts. If you use gmail, outlook.com, hotmail then those systems can keep everything. Maybe to don’t need this anymore.

Google Drive – Google’s version, allows editing to be done in the cloud.

Matthew Clark
matthew.clark@bristol-computer-support.co.uk
07966 497090

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Office 365 Blocking Sending my Newsletters

Microsoft have upped their restrictions on how you can send emails using their Office 365 system. They won’t document them, in case the Spammers use the rules to their advantage.

We used to be able to use the Office mail servers to send out newsletters, either using a simple mail merge, or using a tool like a CRM, or database. We’ve got clients using Encore (Estate Agents) and SFD or Exact (Dental Practices), who are now tripping the security systems and getting their accounts blocked.

All of these clients were also sending out mail notifications, for appointments mainly. No longer – Office 365 is detecting the email account you are using, and blocking it from sending or receiving. Your admin has to go to Security, and run the wizard each time to unblock the account.

The answer – from the Microsoft website – use a different service!

We’ve done just that for our clients. For a very low fee, we’ve set up a separate email service, where Encore/Exact/SFD can send the newsletters and notifications. This service is highly secure, and specialises in allowing this kind of email.

If needed, we can generate reports of success/failure of email delivery, statistics of when the emails were sent and so on.

If you need this assistance, please contact me below:

Matthew Clark
07966 497090
matthew.clark@bristol-computer-support.co.uk

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Don’t Give Information Away

Be careful of all kinds of social media asking for various bits of information!  They seem innocent, but are they really?  Give nothing away.  Call the company direct, using their actual phone number, if you wish to discuss anything.

We’ve all seen these posts, often from your friends and colleagues who have already responded. What is your favourite food?  What was you first car?  What sort of pet did you have growing up?  Who is your football team?  Looks like your answers to the classic “security questions” setup on your accounts don’t you think?

Who do you think might be gathering all this information?  Everyone bad on the internet is looking for this information.

When mixed with what they can already gleam from your systems, and phone calls, they can put it all together and start to build quite extensive picture of your security.

Phone call.  “Good morning Sir, this is your bank calling”….”What Barclays?”……”Yes sir, it’s Barclays” and what ever other scam they do.

Email “Your password will expire, please change it here, or your xxxx will cease to work”

The classic, is the phone call with “Hi we are (name any company you might use), we have a wonderful offer, but before we continue can I ask you some security questions..DATE OF BIRTH, FULL NAME, FULL ADDRESS WITH POSTCODE, MOTHERS MAIDEN NAME.

Surprisingly, we can all give bits of this information away.  We might be expecting a call from our bank, or our phone provider, based on an outstanding issue.  The hacker phishing for information sometimes just gets lucky and emails/rings at the right time.

matthew.clark@bristol-computer-support.co.uk

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Seagate Green Drives and Slow Dell PCs

Are you living with a computer with terrible performance issues? I have had a spate of such problems with fairly new PCs. Various Dell PCs have been sold to clients with the main (and only) boot drive as the Seagate Barracuda Green drive. The advice I have read is:

“Don’t use ‘green’ drives as your OS drive. They’re designed for slow long-term storage, not to act as your primary drive. In particular with the WD Green drives, they have a very short head parking timeout, which will cause stutters and micro-freezes if you use it as the OS drive.”

This is exactly what is happening my the Dell PCs (and others). At Bristol Computer Support, we have quickly duplicated the image of the Green Drive onto a Solid State Drive. The end performance is far increased. We’ve got special tools and software that will change sizes of partitions, and allow us transfer the exact image of your slow drive to a rapid Solid State Drive.

I also have left over a stack of barely used Green 1Tb drives!

Don’t put up with the slowness, get in contact and we can help.

matthew.clark@bristiol-computer-support.co.uk
07966 497090

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Still Using Office 2013 of Office 2016?

Microsoft announced in 2017 that it would no longer support Office 2013. All critical updates for 2013 products ended April 10, 2018. 

Please upgrade to the newer versions of Office. Bristol Computer Support recommend going for Office 365 Standard, where you will consistantly be upgraded to the versions as they are released.

Office 2013 client applications and language packs are no longer available from the Office 365 self-service portal and Admin Centre.

Microsoft no longer release feature updates for Office 2013.

You need to upgrade to Office 365 or 2019 right now.

Microsoft Office 2016 still gets upgrades however doesn’t work with Microsoft Exchange Servers 2007 or earlier.

The support for Office 2016 ends in October 2020.

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Password Manager

Why not use a password manager such as Dashlane. A really good tool, it helps keep your passwords strong, different and protected while allowing you easy access to the systems you need. It will even let you know if your passwords/systems have been compromised and recommend changing them. Bristol Computer Support Limited#cybersecurity #datasecurity #security

Dashlane Password Manager

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