Manage Windows 10/8.1 APPXes
article #1395, updated 11 hours ago

These are the new style of “apps” which Windows 10 and 8.1 accept as part of their quasi-tableteering behaviors. To see the list of currently installed appx’s:

get-appxpackage -allusers | ft

Please do be aware that many of them cannot be removed at all, and in many cases, if you try hard enough, the system will be compromised. However, many can be removed for conservation of resources. Below is a list of these at this writing. You’ll notice that the last one is Skype, this is deprecated and replaced with Teams, Teams will connect with legacy Skype users. In addition, “WindowsCommunicationsApps” includes the Windows 10 built-in email client, this is helpful to avoid confusion for many users.

Get-AppxPackage "Microsoft.XboxApp" -allusers | Remove-AppxPackage -allusers  -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue | Out-Null
Get-AppxPackage "Microsoft.XboxGameOverlay" -allusers | Remove-AppxPackage -allusers  -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue | Out-Null
Get-AppxPackage "Microsoft.XboxIdentityProvider"  -allusers | Remove-AppxPackage -allusers  -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue | Out-Null
Get-AppxPackage "Microsoft.Xbox.TCUI" -allusers | Remove-AppxPackage -allusers  -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue | Out-Null
Get-AppxPackage "Microsoft.XboxSpeechToTextOverlay" -allusers | Remove-AppxPackage  -allusers  -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue | Out-Null
Get-AppxPackage "Microsoft.WindowsCommunicationsApps" -allusers | Remove-AppxPackage -allusers  -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue | Out-Null
Get-AppxPackage "Microsoft.BingNews" -allusers | Remove-AppxPackage  -allusers  -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue | Out-Null
Get-AppxPackage "Microsoft.BingWeather" -allusers | Remove-AppxPackage -allusers  -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue | Out-Null
Get-AppxPackage "Microsoft.Advertising.Xaml" -allusers | Remove-AppxPackage -allusers  -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue | Out-Null
Get-AppxPackage "*Microsoft.Skype*" -allusers | Remove-AppxPackage -allusers  -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue | Out-Null



HPE Easy Part Return
article #1394, updated 13 hours ago

If you need to print mailing labels and/or check status and get info, for an HPE part return, try this:



a little bicycle story
article #1393, updated 6 days ago

Once upon a time, there was a rather self-confident boy, nine or ten years old, who managed to convince his parents to buy him a ten-speed bicycle for his birthday. The family went to Sears, then a rather good place for such things, and the boy spotted his bicycle, a beautiful red-and-blue model, the latest one. The boy set his heart immediately, and it was good. But the boy also saw, in the corner of his eye, his dad very carefully quietizing a reaction to the sprocket-derailleur gearing which was just in that year starting to be sold to most people, rather than to just mostly esoteric racing folks. The boy enjoyed the bicycle for a long time, and replaced it eventually with another not very different, and then another. But he never forgot.

And he noticed, that that gearing tended to do odd things. After a number of years this became very understandable to him. In this now most common of bicycle gear shifting, the chain is literally yanked off of one sprocket, onto another, in mid-air. Somehow, theoretically, this is supposed to be reliable, and is said to be so by lots of people! But after a lot more years, the boy, now a bit older, noticed that the friends and others who were talking the most about reliability, all not only had very expensive bicycles, but also, had devoted their whole garages to their upkeep, with expensive tools and liquids and whatnot. They washed the chains at least every week and sometimes every day, examined the sprockets for wear very often, et cetera, et cetera, devoting much precious time.

And the boy remembered his dad’s bicycle, and his parents’ tandem bicycle. The first had three speeds, in a sealed hub, and it was working well and steadily, without washing chains, and certainly without sprocket replacements or any other major work, for decades. The second had five speeds, similar hub, similar results.

So he looked into it, as there now was an Internet. He found that those hubs are still made, even well-known in some places, and now in eight-speed and higher…and are very highly recommended by those who know them. The highest were very expensive, but eight-speed was within reach. So he brought this information to local bike shop mechanics…all of whom gently but firmly steered him away from this. They gave lots of reasons. They were clearly not happy with the idea of such a project, so he decided to let it go, at least then.

But the thought would not go away. So, years after that, the boy finally called in a wider radius, and found a really good and creative bicycle mechanic about 50 miles away, named Ron, and his amazing wife Lorena, who run Eclectic Bikes in Emporia, Kansas; they were intrigued with the idea. They set up a Shimano Nexus 8 for me, with a chain tensioner, and now I have a Real Bicycle :-) And it is simply marvelous!!!!

How so?

A good way to see it, is to consider what happens when a bicycle reaches a busy intersection which is at the top of a hill. We’re already pedaling hard to get there, applying force on that chain and sprockets. We have to downshift, in order to do either of two necessary things: first, to be low enough to take off fast into the traffic at the top, and second, to be low enough to get up the hill still rolling as traffic builds towards the intersection. So we downshift with everything under great stress, which is the worst time for this, and one of three things happens. One, it shifts. Two, the chain goes somewhere bad, and you’re not going anywhere until you pull that (dirty and greasy) chain up by your hand and put it where it needs to go. Three, something worse happens, and there is worse out there, including a broken chain.

And one can find hundreds, not unlikely thousands, of web pages out there, which explain why those things happen. They don’t tell you when you buy the things, but you really are expected by the component-manufacturers to clean the chain (any one of a few dirty, stinky, time-consuming, unpleasant procedures) and the sprockets before any very long ride. And of course, if such a hill comes at the end of a very long ride, we can imagine the situation.

The contrast with the internal hub, takes my breath away. The shifts just work. There is none of the pull-and-hope. You change the gears and they change, and you have what you need, for hill or traffic or sharp corner. And not only that, but you can shift perfectly well while standing still. Sprocket-and-derailleur can’t do that, you can only shift while pedaling, because it’s the pedaling which works with the derailleur to yank the chain – but it also means that stress situations, especially at the end of a ride, are the times you’re most likely to wipe yourself out if you need to shift for safety. Hub gearing is marvelous this way; for one example, if I’m at a stop light which is built onto a hill, and I need to change my direction from up to down, sprocket-and-derailleur can be very difficult, both because of the need to pedal to shift and because of the risk. But for this or any other difficult situation, with my gears, I just shift, whether standing still or moving slowly or coasting, and I’m immediately using everything I Ihave to get in there and out of there safely and smoothly!

Thanks, Dad!!!




Good & simple app to burn CDs in Windows and create ISOs from disks
article #357, updated 10 days ago

AnyBurn seems to be possibly the current best light & powerful CD/DVD toolbox item:

It’s available in 64-bit and 32-bit versions. ImgBurn was go-to for a long time, but it hasn’t had updates since 2013. Quite a few others are gone too. But the old reliable CDBurnerXP is still being kept up to Windows 10 as well:



Remove All Mitel Software via Powershell
article #1392, updated 15 days ago

All Mitel software names seem to start with that one word “Mitel”. So this:

( Get-WmiObject -Class Win32_Product | Where-Object{$_.Name -like 'Mitel*'} ) | ForEach-Object {
	& msiexec /x $_.IdentifyingNumber /quiet /qn /norestart 

appears to do the job nicely.



Enable Active Directory Recycle Bin
article #1069, updated 21 days ago

Always nice for recoverability in case of.

GUI on Server 2012:


Enable-ADOptionalFeature 'Recycle Bin Feature' -Scope ForestOrConfigurationSet -Target domain.local



ssh reports no matching key exchange method
article #1391, updated 26 days ago

This occurs when there is a version mismatch between the client and server of SSH. When it occurs, the client will give the list of available methods provided by the server, e.g.:

$ ssh root@
Unable to negotiate with port 22: no matching key exchange method found. Their offer: diffie-hellman-group-exchange-sha1,diffie-hellman-group14-sha1,diffie-hellman-group1-sha1

You’ll have to choose one. Here’s how:

ssh -oKexAlgorithms=diffie-hellman-group14-sha1 root@



Reregister All Win10/8 Appxes
article #1390, updated 27 days ago

This can solve lots of problems:

# Reregisters the remaining Appx items, this can solve lots of problems

"Reregistering needed Appx items..."

Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers | Foreach {
	Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register "$($_.InstallLocation)AppXManifest.xml" -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue | Out-Null



BCUninstaller, a New Open Source Uninstaller, Very Tech-Friendly
article #1389, updated 28 days ago

Best tool for this I’ve ever seen.



"BitLocker waiting for activation", McAfee Security, and other items
article #1388, updated 48 days ago

If you see “BitLocker waiting for activation”, this is a situation needing careful action: the machine is in an unstable state, and is likely to bluescreen and/or misbehave in other ways unless handled well.

What has happened, is Microsoft’s BitLocker, embedded into Windows, has done at least some encryption of the hard drive, but has lost whatever tool it was that controlled the encryption, so it is not “activated” even though the encryption is in place at least to some extent. One of the tools known to do this, is McAfee Security, it is not unlikely that there are many others.

If you see this situation, don’t try to install or remove anything yet, don’t try diagnostics, just run this from administrative CMD:

manage-bde C: -off

Then, in Control Panel, in the Small Icons, you’ll notice BitLocker Drive Encryption. Please be aware that status reporting in this Control Panel area is not reliably informative. To know what is happening, run this:

manage-bde -status

Discovered by the excellent Yvonne Wynkoop.