Document copyright 2017 Mark Minasi
Because of all of your support, I have been able for 35 years to make a living doing something that I love traveling the world teaching tech classes to great audiences. I think, however, that it’s time to roll up the projector screen, unclip the lavaliere, and power down the laser pointer.
I plan to do that by the end of 2017, but heck, that’s months away, so if you’ve been thinking of hiring me to deliver my two-day Windows 10 Support class or my two-day hands-on PowerShell class to your techies, then please do.
In short, doing bulk emails has become impractical, so from now on I will not email notifications about blogs, podcasts or whatever but will instead tweet at @mminasi. So if you'd be kind enough to want to keep getting what were my email notifications, then expect not emails but tweets (although you do have to follow me to get them, of course). It's actually a more lightweight way of communicating in my experience, and will make those infrequent blogs et al easier for me to do.
"Waitaminute, didn't you say you were retiring?" Yes no more classes, audio sets or the like. But I'll still have tips, occasional short reviews of products that I really like, infrequent podcasts or blogs, and if you'd like to know about them, please follow me at @mminasi. I promised not to spam you on the mailings 19 years ago, and in that time I have sent only 182 emails total, if my records are right. My max "tweet frequency" is about five a week, not including responses to questions. In other words, please let's stay in touch! <g>
So I got a new computer late last year. When setting it up, I thought, "hey, I may as well put the latest Office on it," and got a copy of 2016 "ProPlus," as I use OneNote, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. The setup was incredibly easy, and in fact, I thought, "hmmm... too easy." I let it run and in a trice, it told me that Office was installed. So I looked on my Start Menu, and what do you know, Office installed all of the Office apps. That unfortunately included stuff I don't use and don't want like Publisher, Project and the like. Looking at the Add/Remove apps section of Control Panel offered no options. I uninstalled Office, paid closer attention as I re-installed it, and still... no choices. A few hours later, I discovered how to get Office to install but a few apps rather than gooping up my drive with the other junk. Basically the trick is to copy the install files to a folder, download the "Office 2016 Deployment Tool" from the Microsoft site, build an XML file (it'll be easy), and run setup the step-by-steps follow.
C: CD \OfficeFiles Setup /configure configuration.xmlResult: a much trimmer Office install. Of course, you can add things back by removing their appropriate 'ExcludeApp" line in the XML, and if you use 64-bit Office, replace the "32" with "64."
In the UEFI newsletter I did last year, I extolled the virtues of "UEFI" firmware and its newer "GPT" disk format over the very old and very familiar team of "BIOS" firmware and "MBR" disks. The one problem, I noted, is that converting an already-working BIOS/MBR system to a UEFI/GPT system was possible but really hard. Fortunately, Microsoft apparently disagrees, and included a neat new utility called "mbr2gpt" in the "Creators Edition" (yes, there should be an apostrophe there, but Microsoft doesn't use one so I'm following their lead), the new version of Windows 10 that's also called "1703." It works best if run from the built-in WinRE, the Windows Recovery Environment. You can get there via Settings / Update and Security / Recover / Advanced Startup / Troubleshooting / Advanced Options / Command Prompt and once you're there, you'll see in a minute that the MBR2GPT command syntax is simple. From an elevated command prompt (WinRE command command prompts are elevated automatically), type
That will check to see if mbr2gpt thinks it can safely convert your system. If it's okay with it, just type
Now, that assumes that you're booting from disk 0. If not, add "/disk:disknumber and in any case, it'd be a really good idea to use a image backup tool like Veeam's free "endpoint" backup tool before you tried the conversion.
What's that you say, you're impatient and want to do this without all that diving through menus to get to WinRE? Well, you can try running MBR2GPT from a regular elevated Windows command prompt by adding the option "/AllowFullOS," although it doesn't sound like a great idea to me. So, to repeat:
Once your system drive is a GPT drive, all you need to do then is to visit your firmware settings and change your system from booting in BIOS/MBR mode to UEFI/GPT mode. As I described in the newsletter, exactly how you do that varies with your hardware, as it's the hardware vendor rather than Microsoft who lays out the firmware settings UI. And then you are totally modern!
No time to hire me to come talk at your site? Well, I'm appearing at two upcoming conferences:
Let me take just a line or two to say again how grateful I am to all of you who ever brought me in to teach a class or do a talk, signed up for a public seminar, purchased an audio set, bought a book, attended a webcast, read a column or recommended my services and products to a friend. What you paid me bought me the time I needed to be able to do in-depth, independent research on PC hardware, networking protocols, operating systems, cloud services or whatever, and that enabled me to produce information that so many of you have kindly told me was of a unique quality. It was a a good symbiosis, I think, and I hope you think so also. I wish you all the best of luck and as much happiness as you can stand!
Got a comment or question? Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.