Windows 10 installation: Customize settings vs. express settings

If you care about privacy then you should select customize settings during Windows 10 installation.

Windows 10 customize settings

After seeing a clip of an accident at the Windows 10 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway, it struck me that in the same way driver Brad Keselowski mowed over his pit crew, Microsoft will mow over the privacy of Windows 10 users who don't change Microsoft's default settings.

"Get Going fast…change these at any time," Windows 10 greets users before suggesting they should select express settings. You shouldn't, though, if you care about privacy. Instead, select customize settings so you can turn off features that you would otherwise be automatically opted into via express settings. If you left the choices to Microsoft, then I snapped some pictures of what you missed and what Windows 10 settings are turned on by default.

The first screen addresses personalization and location options turned on that you should turn off. Personalization:

Personalize your speech, typing and inking input by sending contacts and calendar details along with other associated input data to Microsoft.

Send typing and inking data to Microsoft to improve the recognition and suggestion platform.

Let apps use your advertising ID for experiences across apps.

Location is next and on by default unless you change it:

Let Windows and apps request your location, including location history, and send Microsoft and trusted partners some location data to improve location services.

The second customize settings screen addresses browser and protection as well as connectivity and error reporting.

Browser and protection:

User SmartScreen online service to help protect against malicious content and downloads in sites loaded by Windows browsers and Store apps.

Use page prediction to improve reading, speed up browsing, and make your overall experience better in Windows browsers. Your browsing data will be sent to Microsoft.

Connectivity and error reporting:

Automatically connect to suggested open hotspots. Not all networks are secure.

Automatically connect to networks shared by your contacts.

Send error and diagnostic information to Microsoft.

The third customize screen deals with choosing your default apps that would otherwise be defaulted to Microsoft's apps for photos, music, movies and TV, as well as Microsoft Edge for browsing.

Under photos, Windows 10 states: "Photos and videos from all your devices are automatically organized into albums, enhanced to look their best and ready to share."

Under music, Windows 10 states: "Play and manage your music collection on your PC, phone, and Xbox. Want more? Subscribe and get unlimited listening to millions of tracks (where available)."

Microsoft Edge: "The web at its best. Take notes directly on pages, find things faster, and read distraction-free with Microsoft's new browser."

Under Movies & TV, Windows 10 states: "Rent and buy the latest movies & TV shows and watch them in high definition (where available). It plays all your personal videos, too."

Even if you go through those customize settings, there are plenty of other Windows 10 settings to change that are otherwise on by default. It would also be where you would look if you let Windows 10 setup with "express" settings.

I couldn't wait to get off Windows 8, but just about the time people accepted that Microsoft didn't kill your pappy, the company plows through your privacy. Sure, Windows 10 is free for most folks, but Microsoft has made people the product in the same way Google has by offering "free" services. Do go through the privacy and other default Windows 10 settings and make changes.

There might be nag notifications if you dared to customize your settings, such as by turning off "security" options like Windows SmartScreen. The recommended selection is probably the smart move.

Windows 10 steals your bandwidth by default

Speaking of changes, Microsoft has enabled an update option so that "your PC may send parts of previously downloaded Windows updates and apps to PCs on your local network, or PCs on the Internet." By Windows 10 default, Microsoft has you opted into the latter.

Navigate to Settings>Update & Security>Windows Update and then select "Advanced options." After that opens, click on "Choose how up updates are delivered."

Turn it from "on" to "off."

Windows 10 installation fail errors 80240020 & 80246010

You can be a line jumper and force Windows 10 to download with Windows Update via "wuauclt.exe /updatenow," as discussed yesterday, but after the update downloads some folks run into errors. Granted, I've been going back and forth from visiting a hospital ICU, which is not the wisest time to try and upgrade your OS, but the install probably failed at least 25 times. If Windows Update fails with error code 80240020, then you might try:

Locate the registry key: [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\WindowsUpdate\OSUpgrade]

It should exist, but if not, create it.

Create a new DWORD (32-bit) Value with Name = "AllowOSUpgrade" (without the quotes), and set the Value = 0x00000001.

Other users resolved error code 80240020 with "net stop wuauserv" and then "net start wuauserv" via Command Prompt (Admin).

Please note, however, that both Windows 10 via update and even the media creation tool option to keep apps can appear as if Windows 10 is actually installing. You see a black screen and a circle progressing with the percentage of the OS upgrade install process. But even that can fail and waste hours of your time before eventually giving the dramatically unhelpful "something happened" error message or putting you back on Windows 8.1.

Then there's Windows 10 installation fail error code 80246010. Some suggestions to resolve that error code were so over the top that I wondered if the people writing them were high as a kite or just trolling. As soon as someone suggests turning off all antivirus or firewall options, I usually stop listening to their advice. It's unclear if the 80246010 error is most common among the thousands of folks who have custom-built gaming boxes designed via helpers and price-comparing apps like PC Part Picker. At any rate, what finally worked for me was popping off the side of the tower, disconnecting all hard drives except for the one being upgraded to Windows 10, disconnecting all monitors except one, unplugging card readers or any extra USB-connected devices other than keyboard and mouse, and jumping into BIOS to turn off overclocking. It's aggravating, but try that and then use the Windows 10 media creation tool.

Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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