Windows 11

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Fatwah on Western Digital
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It's an email address and a birthday. I always use January 1 1980 for anything I do now.

The main problem I have with this is that I set up PCs for A LOT of people and in most cases I don't think the MS Account adds anything but complexity to their experience; it's easy to make Windows save everything to Onedrive and hard to get it to stop, and many people don't care to deal with the password complexity requirements.

In this case the biggest issue is that if these changes go through, users won't be able to get to the desktop without the sign-in and that is deeply obnoxious.
 

LunarMist

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So that is needed everytime you reboot? One activated is there no way to bypass the log-in each time or have it automated?
 

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Fatwah on Western Digital
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With Windows Home or a PC that has Pro installed but not associated with a Domain, it keeps pestering regularly if you aren't on a Microsoft account. That's what I'm anticipating going forward.
 

sdbardwick

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Goddammitsofuckingmuch.

Also, if you don't know, you can only have a maximum of 10 PCs attached to your Microsoft account at a time, and a SEPARATE 10 PCs with access to the Windows Store.
MS might have clarified a bit - they changed the wording in the changelog to " If you choose to setup device for personal use, MSA will be required for setup as well." [Emphasis added] So maybe choosing business AKA local user/domain doesn't require a Microsoft Account.
 

LunarMist

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So what does this mean for people like me who have no domainers and don't really know what MS is doing? I can use 10 for 3 more years IIRC, then have to use the Apple eventually?
 
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Newtun

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Or you can use Ubuntu or another flavor of Linux.
 

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Fatwah on Western Digital
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The photo-related tools LM uses almost never support Linux. Some can probably be used with emulation, but they're going to be niche applications that probably won't be well tested.

Apple also demands an Apple ID to obtain software updates from its App Store, and there are some other minor irritations about MacOS, like not having good control over font sizes in the GUI. Spotlight is great, but when I'm on a Mac, I'll almost always do file operations in a shell session rather than screw around with Finder.

It's entirely possible that someone will find a fix to this part of the install process, but if I'm setting up a dozen lab PCs, I really don't want them associated with any personal account at all, or to have to set up a domain controller for systems that are meant to represent typical home systems.
 

LunarMist

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Most of the issue is using current software that will not be supported on 10 after a while. Soon 10 won't support new hardware either, just as MS dicated use of 10 after Q1 2017 new hardware. I can use current hardware for legacy programs that don't need high performance.
 

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Fatwah on Western Digital
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I've just had to deal with the updated Windows 11 installer for the first time.
There is no longer an option in the default setup to prevent Windows, even Windows Professional, from redirecting user data to OneDrive, and there's no way to skip signing in with a Microsoft account.

You CAN however give it an invalid Microsoft account. The installer will still give you the option to do a local account at that point.

I'll have to sit down and see if I can customize the Windows Image to pull some of that BS out.
 

LunarMist

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What data goes to the OneDrive, the stuff that used to be under the Documents, Downloads, Music, Pictures, etc? Can't you save files to another drive letter by changing settings later?
 

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Fatwah on Western Digital
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What data goes to the OneDrive, the stuff that used to be under the Documents, Downloads, Music, Pictures, etc? Can't you save files to another drive letter by changing settings later?


If OneDrive is active and not prevented from doing so during the Windows install phase, the default save locations in Windows get set to c:\users\username\onedrive\documents etc. It's highly obnoxious to fix it while leaving Onedrive installed, and many users who DO use Onedrive will find that they are forced to upgrade storage or purchase Microsoft 365 (which comes with 1TB of OneDrive). It also changes the locations of the shortcuts in the Quick Access and File Explorer header list. 15GB isn't a whole lot for anyone who chooses to sync pictures or local music, so it turns into a headache for people who use it.

I actually advocate for using Libraries and using Onedrive as an optional save location but Microsoft has de-emphasized that feature since Windows 8 and that creates its own set of problems.

Google Drive usually maps itself to Drive Letter G: now and I'm not fond of that either but at least it's not a problem most client computers. It's less of a PITA than Install-Time OneDrive is.
 

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Fatwah on Western Digital
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That's worrying. I use an MS account personally, but not on my work machine or machines I build to sell.

My big problem with Windows Home is the insistence on putting everything in OneDrive. 15GB isn't a ton of space and it makes people think they have to start paying to store data on their own computer. Also, a lot of people don't particularly want MS password requirements on a home machine. Also also, MS doesn't make it clear that a Windows Hello PIN or biometric sign-in isn't the same thing as the actual password on their account, and every once in a while, a device will forget that information or decide it's not valid, which causes all sorts of headaches.

Anyway I just tested this and sure enough it does work.
 

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Fatwah on Western Digital
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Windows 11 will also do whatever an autounattend.xml file tells it, which will also bypass install defaults. I've been rolling my own Windows installers for years anyway but this is the first time I've bothered to try it on Windows Home edition.
 

LunarMist

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Unattended setups haven't changed much since the release of Windows NT also 30 years ago. I think they already know about it.
They knew the scripts defeat Windows 11 intentions, and deliberately left that option?
 

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Fatwah on Western Digital
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They might not want to break 30 year old functionality, or they might be operating under the (probably correct) assumption that users generally aren't going to use it anyway.
 

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Fatwah on Western Digital
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Here's an interesting project: Windows 10 Ameliorated. The project can be built from hand or from a provided ISO, but the idea is to make a contemporary Windows installation with every single thing pulled out that would normally connect back to Microsoft. The down side to this is that users lose the ability to directly update their installation, but it's great for specific VM needs or extra-lean gaming systems.
 

LunarMist

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Interesting. I wonder if they will alleviate the Windows 11 in the future.
 

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Fatwah on Western Digital
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It's not that different. You can't move the taskbar and the right click menus are stupid but everything can be fixed if you have administrator rights on your own PC.
 

LunarMist

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You think I am administator at work. :D 🤣
They don't let us do anything and the software is always changing without notice to some some slow, clod-based system that people can barely use.
 

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Fatwah on Western Digital
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I can verify that Rufus 3.19 will skip all the hardware checks, most of the OOBE BS and MS Account creation for a bootable Windows 11 image as long as the PC in question isn't connected to a network.

My new pet peeve in life is that current releases of Office now require registration by an individual user per license number, even for perpetually licensed copies. If you're installing Office 2016, 2019 or 2021, you have to sign in to a Microsoft account for those as part of the activation. I still absolutely despise Microsoft accounts because there are too many ways to create them and associate names and phone numbers with them, and there's no way to clear out old associated info, so this is just a new circle of hell for now.
 

sedrosken

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Yep. Ran face-first into this and even had a mild panic because we acquired 150 individual keys as Microsoft makes it a real pain to obtain volume licensing for perpetually licensed Office versions. Under recommendation by our MS rep, we associated 25 keys apiece to "holding" accounts but then because they automatically configure onedrive all of a sudden everyone can see everyone's files!! So that was fun to go through and manually disable all that garbage every time.

I miss the days when you could just. put in a key. and it'd just. work.
 

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Fatwah on Western Digital
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Microsoft is making it harder and harder to have fully local Windows. I disable Onedrive with a registry hack that's integrated into my installation .wim files. I think it's still installed, but Windows no longer tries to use it. No customer I deal with can afford to move to Azure, and MS doesn't have any realistic SMB-grade offering (if you want nothing but Active directory hosted, it's $250/month), so I just avoid as much of it as possible.
 

sedrosken

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They're really doing their best to push small business over to Google, aren't they? I mean, we're permanently an MS shop, but I can see how some of our clients would find the pricing and headaches a lot easier to deal with over there. 99.999997% of what they do in MS Office they can do just as easily in G suite, if not more because G suite has a sane interface. I don't like Google, but they're positioned to really start eating MS's lunch if they don't get their act together. They've already got the schools, and they were traditionally a Microsoft stronghold in everywhere but maybe the digital art or media classes where you'd maybe see some Macs in the better-funded schools.
 

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Fatwah on Western Digital
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I've been advocating for Google as an SMB solution all along. Google Docs and Sheets are sane and need virtually no management. Gmail, if used as a web application, is perfectly fine, although there can be weirdness if you're using a third party client. I've found EMclient to be a solid full replacement for someone who thinks they need Outlook for Mail/Contacts/Calendar.
 

Chewy509

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Microsoft is making it harder and harder to have fully local Windows.
Agree 100%, but this is inline with MS attempting to move everything to a SaaS model with returning monthly revenue, and by doing so provides a lock-in to their eco-system, as well as doing forced upgrades on infrastructure (which includes client OSes as well).

The real nasty one is the push for SMB's to use AD in Azure with ties to MS Accounts everywhere, and having been through the issues with MS Accounts not playing nice (especially if you had one generated via Hotmail and morphed into an MS Account), it's not a fun place to be in. I'm so glad I don't have to deal with that side of the fence anymore. (Despite my wife and kids running Win11 on their desktops, and the sh*t f**kery that comes with Home Edn).
 

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Fatwah on Western Digital
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I just ran in to a problem with an MS account earlier in the week. User wanted to create a new account on her personal laptop. It wouldn't let them because her kid tied her cell phone number to an Xbox account a dozen years before. There's no way for her to remove it. Her kid would have to do it, but of course he has no idea what his Xbox account from 2010 even was. The account recovery process asks to identity contacts and email subjects for an account that was probably only ever used for Xbox.

There's so many ways that's screwed up that I can't even begin to wrap my head around it.
 

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Fatwah on Western Digital
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Here's a funny new one for me: Windows 11 Pro client keeps invoking a UAC prompt for no reason I can find. It's a trusted .EXE with a valid hash. The "Run this program as Administrator" bit isn't set anywhere I can find. The user is already an admin on the PC in question. The Registry settings for the application are identical to another PC on the same Domain. Just... one PC does it and the other 18 don't.
 

LunarMist

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How can you ungroup the programs running on the taskbar? It's ridiculously a pain to try to see a postage stamp sized image of the windows you want within one program instead of clicking from A to B separate items. Normally I use group only when the taskbar is full.
 

sedrosken

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As per Microsoft:

maxresdefault.jpg


As part of the UI dumbing-down, they removed the ability to split taskbar groups or show labels. Just another reason I consider the stock Win11 UI broken. You can install StartAllBack by Stardock I believe, and that fixes 95% of my gripes with it, but that's 3rd-party software you eventually have to pay for. It's reasonably priced but ridiculous that it needs to exist at all.
 

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Fatwah on Western Digital
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Usually I'm on board for whatever the current desktop Windows version might be. I lived with Vista and 8. My current policy on Windows 11 is that it needs too many little fixes to make it tolerable on any computer I care about. Yes, I can fix the taskbar with a third party version, or fix the right click menu with a registry hack, but at the end of the day, I don't feel like I should have to. I'll wind up with something that looks like Windows 10, so I might as well just stay with 10 a while longer.
 

LunarMist

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I have to use 11 at work, so there is no option to install any 3rd party programs that have not been approved.
 
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