Archive for the ‘Windows 8.1’ Category

Summary:   Microsoft Surface web site for the latest and past released software and firmware updates



  • Microsoft’s Surface Update History (Software and Firmware) web site for Surface devices
  • Applies to the following Surface devices
    • Surface, Surface Pro
    • Surface 2, Surface Pro 2
    • Surface 3, Surface Pro 3
    • Surface Pro 4
    • Surface Book, Surface Book with Performance Base
    • Surface Studio
  • Direct links to obtain update history for the above Surface devices
  • Surface Updates are automatically installed via Windows Update
  • Note: Surface Updates files can also be downloaded and installed manually for most Surface devices
    • The file name format is the Surface version, followed by the operating system, followed by the release number.
    • To obtain, download and install Surface Updates manually follow the steps in this procedure


Additional Information:



November 22, 2016: Initial Draft and Initial Publish Date

December 8, 2016: Revised Comment section; Added ‘Applies to’ comment

January 14, 2017:  Added example picture to better explain the multiple files available for download and installation.


  • How to use the Microsoft DISM Tool to Check, Scan and Restore Windows 10 System Image Health



  • DISM(Deployment Image Servicing and Management [DISM.exe]) is a command-line tool that can be used to determine the status[Health] of the Windows operating System Image’s Component Store.  The tool can also be used to Repair a Windows System Image
  • DISM’s command-line tool is run in an elevated command prompt
  • DISM is also available via PowerShell.  (Note: This article will not cover using DISM’ with PowerShell)
  • This article covers three(3) of the command line switches available for use with the DISM command
    • /CheckHealth  – Scans and reports if the System Image is healthy, corrupted, repairable, or non-repairable
        • Informative Only, Doesn’t Fix, Repair or Change
    • /ScanHealth – Scans and reports if corruption exists
        • Informative, Doesn’t Fix, Repair or Change (This scan will take several minutes and will provide a progress bar showing % progress – Do not interrupt)
    • /RestoreHealth – scan the Windows Image for component store corruption and automatically perform repairs
  • Use the DISM tool to determine the health of the Windows System Image if the built-in Windows System File Checker can not repair Windows file corruption.
  • If the DISM tool’s CheckHealth and ScanHealth options report the image (a) corruption **and** (b) is repairable, then use the DISM tools /Restore Health option.


How To: 

  • Using DISM’s /CheckHealth or /ScanHealth  option
  1. Open an Elevated Command Prompt => Press Windows key + X ] then select the ‘Command Prompt (Admin) option
  2. At the command line prompt enter one of the following
              • DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth
              • DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth
        • Note: A healthy system, i.e. no component store corruption will report findings as shown in the two pictures shown below



  • Using DISM’s Restore Health option (Note: Always perform a /CheckHealth and /ScanHealth prior to attempting a repair of the Windows System Image and ensure that the /CheckHealth option reports the image as repairable)
              • DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth




Additional Information:



January 6, 2016: Initial Draft and Publish Date

May 8th, 2016:  Updated and revised Comments section description of the command line switches

August 15, 2016:  Replaced example pictures for better view-ability

September 9, 2016: Added reference to using DISM for Windows Update errors caused by component corruption


The Skype for modern Windows App(Windows 8 and later) will be replaced by Skype for Windows Desktop


1. On July 7, 2015 Microsoft will turn off Skype for modern Windows

2. To continue using Skype on Windows 8 and later Windows operating systems it will be necessary to use ‘Skype for Windows Desktop’


  • Skype for modern Windows is the app included with Windows 8 and 8.1 operating systems.
  • Skype for Windows Desktop is a stand-alone downloadable and installable program
  • In the past Windows 8.0 and 8.1 allowed both versions (Modern app and Desktop program) to co-exist thus this change effective July 7, 2015 eliminates that possibility and makes Skype for Windows Desktop the sole Skype application for use on Windows 8 and 8.1 (and most likely Windows 10).
  • Skype for Windows Desktop can be downloaded here => Skype for Windows Desktop
  • Skype for modern Windows (the included Windows operating system App) should be uninstalled before installing Skype for Windows Desktop


  • If Skype for Windows Desktop is already installed, it may only be necessary to remove/uninstall the Skype modern Windows app and update Skype (manually using the latest downloadable installer file or updating via the Skype Desktop program ‘Update’ option)
  • When updating Skype for Windows Desktop it may also be preferable to download and use the Skype for Windows Desktop manual installer since the Skype program’s built-in updater has been known (and proven) to lag version(s) behind the latest available download version
  • Do pay attention (when upgrading/installing Skype) to the screen prompts for optional services. Ensure you accept or uncheck any supplemental plug-ins or other offerings (e.g. Skype Click to Call; Making Bing the default browser Search engine, etc.)


Official Notifications:

Two separate notices are available – email and web article. Both notices are shown below





How To:

  • Note: The recommend method to upgrade from Skype for modern Windows to Skype for Windows Desktop Perform the following in the sequence shown below (Download Skype Desktop, remove Skype modern Windows app, install Skype for Windows Desktop)

Download Skype for Windows Desktop


Uninstall the Skype modern Windows app

– Close Skype by pressing Alt+F4 on your keyboard,
or by swiping from the top edge of the screen
– In the Start screen, right click or tap and hold the Skype tile.
The Options menu appears at the bottom of the screen.
– Select Uninstall from the Options menu

Install Skype for Windows Desktop

– Double click the Skype for Windows Desktop *.exe installer file
and follow the instructions to install
– When it’s installed, go to the Apps view
– Slide up from the middle of the Start screen with your finger,
or click the arrow near the lower left corner of the Start screen.
– Navigate and find the Skype for Windows Desktop app icon
(you may have to scroll past the modern apps first)
– Right click or tap and hold the app icon and select Pin to Start
– The app icon will appear at the end of your Start screen
but you can drag and drop it to wherever you like
– Click the Skype for Windows Desktop app icon to load and run Skype and configure to your preferences



June 19, 2015: Original Draft

June 21, 2015:  Updated ‘Comments’ and ‘How To’ section


  • Windows Live Mail stores and exports Email and News messages on a pc in a viewable text file format.
  • Email messages use the file type extension ‘eml’; News messages use ‘nws’
  • Both Email and News messages use a hyphenated numerical/hexadecimal format as the filename
    • Two examples for Mail are 00294823-00000147.eml and 26A6701F-00000002.eml
    • Two examples for News are 0FDD08FE-0003DBFF.nws or 63F86350-0003DB89.nws
  • Neither of the above filenames by default show the message’s ‘Subject’ or ‘Title’ field when viewed in Windows Explorer


  • If using Windows Windows 10, 8.x or Windows 7, the ‘Subject’ field can be enabled in Windows File Explorer (aka Windows Explorer in Windows 7)


  1. To add the ‘Subject’ (or ‘Title’ field via the Windows File Explorer menu)
  2. Open File Explorer  (aka Windows Explorer)
  3. Navigate to the Windows Live Mail email account folder or the location of the exported message folder
  4. The default location for your mail and news folders/subfolders in Windows Live Mail is:
    • C:\Users\<your Windows logon id>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Live Mail\<your email or newsgroup account name>
  5. The location for exported messages willl be the same folder/subfolder location where the messages were exported (or dragged from Windows Live Mail to another user desired location – e.g. Desktop, user created folder, etc.)
  6. Click on ‘View’ on the Explorer menu or press Alt V
  7. Scroll and select ‘Choose Details’
  8. Scroll and select ‘Subject’ and/or ‘Title’ (see Note below for additional available fields)
  9. Click ‘Ok’


  • Applicable to all released versions of Windows Live Mail (2012, 2011, 2009, 2008)
  • Other fields in addition to ‘Subject’ are available (e.g. To Address, From Address etc) when configuring the ‘Choose Details’ option in  Windows File Explorer
  • Method is applicable for use when a supported version of Windows Live Mail is installed on Windows 10, 8x, 7, and Vista


Dec 8, 2015:  Original Draft Date

January 6, 2015 : Original Publish Date

March 15, 2015:  Added note on applicability for Windows versions – 10, 8x, 7, and Vista


Summary:    New feature allows importing email from Yahoo and other IMAP accounts using


  1.  Import Wizard Based

  2.  Permits keeping old account and email address (No impact on old 3rd party account; account remains intact)

  3. Email confirmation upon completion of Import

  Additional Information: Blog article




April 17, 2014: Original Draft

April 19, 2014: Original Published

May 9th, 2014: Updated (added Comment #3), republished to Windows Unplugged

Summary:  Method to expand message thread conversations in Windows Live Mail


  • This article is based on Windows Live Mail 2012


How To:

1. Open Windows Live Mail

2. Click Blue button (upper left), Options, Mail, Read tab
– check ‘Automatically expand grouped messages’

3. Click the View tab (tabs are located on the Ribbon to the right of the Blue button))

Suggested settings on the View tab
Filter Messages = Show all
Conversations = On
Sort Order = Descending
Sort by = Sent
Message List = Automatic
Reading Pane = Right of message list and Show header
Calendar pane = Off (setting is a toggle)
Compact View = Off (setting is a toggle)
Storage Folders = On (setting is a toggle)
Status Bar = On (setting is a toggle)



August 3, 2013: Original Draft

September 7, 2013: Original Publish Date

December 7,  2013: Updated to itemize View tab recommended settings, republished to Windows Unplugged blog