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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Mesa, AZ
    Posts
    26,872

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    Thanks very much Eric and Dick!!

    -- Bob

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Albuquerque(me) / Rincona(scope), NM
    Posts
    679

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    Yes! we do rock. But only because we take after you, Bob. Seriously. I knew I never had to worry about ACP or ASCOM during any of this.

    There's already inquiry on behalf of other astro communities, which are at disproportionate risk of this problem because of our growing use of (very) remote PCs and of cold-hardy SSDs.
    New Mexico Mira Project, Albuquerque NM

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Albuquerque(me) / Rincona(scope), NM
    Posts
    679

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    OK, the problem I found was a problem but apparently was not the problem. Windows 7 Update borked my observatory computer again. Microsoft went into my computer and trashed it. No communication. So now I'm packing the car for another trip; there goes another day of my life.

    If anyone knows of a cause of this problem, other than Microsoft employees' being primarily selected for abject stupidity, please let me know.

    If anyone knows of a solution to this problem, other than chanting Sumerian maledictions against Microsoft employees or performing a Jimi Hendrix lighter fluid act on this laptop, please let me know.

    My observatory upgrade is again on hold--I'm not pouring good money after bad. Avocations other than astronomy are looking very good right now. Which will make me sad for a while, but sometimes the only way to win is not to play.
    New Mexico Mira Project, Albuquerque NM

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Albuquerque(me) / Rincona(scope), NM
    Posts
    679

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    More productively, perhaps: does anyone out there have experience with upgrading an observatory computer from Windows 7 Pro to Windows 10 Pro? I would retrieve it home during the next cloudy spell, to take my time with it. Win 10 has its update concerns (the same idiots built it after all), but at least Win 10 updates don't seem to cut off PCs from the rest of the world.

    The operational question: would you recommend a fresh install (wonderful but very painful, given the number of astro drivers etc required) or in-place upgrade (would that likely even solve the Updates problems I'm having)?

    Win 10 is becoming inevitable, so I would guess this question of which upgrade path to take is timely for more than myself...
    New Mexico Mira Project, Albuquerque NM

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Virgil, NY
    Posts
    4,723

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    Hi Eric,

    A couple years ago I applied the (then free) update to my Win 7 Pro observatory computer - a small uncomplicated Dell machine. By uncommplicated I mean there's nothing but astronomy applications on it. I don't recall having any problems with the upgrade including not having to reinstall drivers. (Nowadays I use "Driver Easy" to automate that process, running it in the daytime on the first day of each month.) The updates for Windows 10 along the way over the years have also gone in smoothly. My only complaint was (and maybe still is) that the upgrades come along at the most inconvenient times. Until you figure out how to get them to be applied during the daytime, you run the risk of busting your observing plan in the middle of the night, which is of course Microsoft's usual time to apply an upgrade. But there is a setting where you can change the update time window.

    I do miss Windows 7 - it was rock steady, and I knew every in and out of it. During those years ago there were eleven computers on my home network - I was a pretty good network administrator, too. Today there are only five computers (kids not home much anymore), two Windows 10, two Windows 7 and one Windows XP, and a dozen other devices - phones, TVs, Raspberry Pi, weather stations. Good thing I'm retired so I can devote full time to keeping this stuff alive.

    Thinking back, I do remember when I upgraded my desktop computer from 7 to 10. It wouldn't "take" until I disconnected the network card. Until then it was many hours of watching the spinning wheel, rebooting, reinstalling, watching, threatening the computer with a sledgehammer. It took me a week to find the hint online, and I have no idea why that should have been a problem. So stuff happens, as they say.
    Dick
    www.VirgilObservatory.us
    Pier-mounted Meade 12-inch SCT "classic"
    w. focal reducer to f/5.3 ~ FL 1630mm
    Optec TCF-S focuser
    SBIG CFW-8A and ST7-XME
    FOV ~ 15' x 10'
    H-alpha, BVRI, RGB & Clear filters
    MaxIm and, of course, ACP!
    AAVSO Code: BRIC

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Albuquerque(me) / Rincona(scope), NM
    Posts
    679

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    Thanks for the useful tips, Dick.

    I have installed a high-end Win 10 Pro desktop at the house 18 months ago, and its Update schedule has been tamed quite nicely (I have heard that Pro is better behaved in this regard). Indeed, I don't think I've had a single problem with 10 Pro, though it's not a remote PC.

    Anyone else? thanks in advance...
    New Mexico Mira Project, Albuquerque NM

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Albuquerque(me) / Rincona(scope), NM
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    679

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    A ~happy ending, anyone like happy endings?

    I morphed from technical mode (I have to know what's going on here) to business mode (don't solve the problem, just blow it away): at home I scrape-cleaned my observatory laptop right down to shiny bare metal, installed Win 10 Pro clean, reinstalled all my software and settings, and last night got my first TPoint model, PEMPro run, and 157 data points to AAVSO. OK.

    Though it's not trivial to find the option, Win 10 Pro does allow the user to block all Windows Updates for 35 days at a time. Once set, this pretty much guarantees that (1) Win won't update in the middle of a run or download, and (2) I can update only when it's safe to do, preferably when I'm right in the observatory (far from home).

    For the record, my steps were:
    1. buy a backup SSD exactly like the one in the observatory laptop, use the Migration tool to clone an exact copy (so I could just swap the SSD and start over should everything go belly up);
    2. make list of software & drivers, download them to USB flash drive where possible, make note of ethernet settings, copy <user>/Desktop and similar directories, copy desktop background image, etc etc;
    3. backup every program's profile/settings/configuration files to a USB flash drive (from ACP's all in one file yay , to OMG Maxim DL's scattered in dozens of files across 2 different directories--jeez, clean up your act, Diffraction );
    4. Find bottle of single-malt. Fortify self. Destroy the laptop's SSD drive partitions. Just to be sure. Total scorched earth. Recreate a partition for new Windows.
    5. install Win 10 Pro from scratch. Actually this was the fastest step, so OK then.
    6. Reinstall all software, put settings/configuration files in their proper places (no thanks again, Diffraction).
    7. Fix DNS problems that Microsoft (of course) screwed up with their "Defender" poopware.
    8. Take laptop to observatory. While there test all programs to get the COM ports right etc etc. Shrug and drive home.


    I loathed the moral hazard of correcting Microsoft's stupidity by...throwing more money at Microsoft and their nose-ringed dirty-t-shirted magenta-mohawked script kiddies. But!--hey la hey la I'm up and running.
    New Mexico Mira Project, Albuquerque NM

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Albuquerque(me) / Rincona(scope), NM
    Posts
    679

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    Sigh--yet more junkware from Microsoft: https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/new...-support-date/

    So go into Windows Update, and if you see KB44931232, Hide Update. Unless you'd actually enjoy your OS overlords nagging you EVERY DAY until your puny self complies with their Righteous Plan For Your Life.
    New Mexico Mira Project, Albuquerque NM

 

 

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