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.