My review: HTC Google Nexus 9

AutoAssembly 2015

2015-08-14Quick notes on fixing some things in Windows 10


Tags All Personal Tech

If Windows 7 was Vista done right, and 8/8.1 a desperate attempt to build a Windows tablet market, 10 is at best an insincere apology for forcing tablet interfaces on desktop computers. It withholds more from the customer in terms of interface configuration than previous versions of Windows, and the emphasis on dark colour schemes recalls the X-Files. Seriously, the usability and accessibility concerns aside, the default wallpaper looks like an alien blue light streaming into an empty room at night in the 90s.

After trying technical previews via the Windows Insider programme in the months before release I've only let it near my testing ThinkPad, because whilst I might look at upgrading later Windows 7 remains in support until 2020... so as I'm probably going to replace my main system within five years anyway, and it remains to be seen whether the company will ever be in a position to convince home users to pay for Windows again, there's a significant "Why hurry?" factor. There aren't any compelling reasons to upgrade other than continued security updates to address the fact that Microsoft's incompetence puts you and your information at risk.

This is just some notes for myself on what I've done with the laptop install. The wallpaper is from

Big Brother settings

Still on the X-Files theme, a Fox Mulder "trust no one" poster would be entirely appropriate. By default Microsoft is receiving some of what you type and copies of some of your files, and they aren't saying clearly what exactly that includes. Look at the Privacy section in Settings and "Disable OneDrive" further down, too.

The company is also stealing your bandwidth to push updates to other customers.

Replace the Start Menu

Classic Shell to the rescue. It not only replaces the appallingly limited Windows 10 start menu and provides a quick way of editing the task bar colour, but restores functionality such as proper file size counts in Explorer.

Change title bar colour

Basically, take a copy of the default theme in C:\Windows\Resources\Themes and rename parts (and references to it) from 'aero' to something else. Then create a shortcut to rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL desk.cpl,Advanced,@Advanced to use a better colour picker than the one in Settings. Wonder out loud what idiots think that title bars don't need to be differentiated from window contents.

Update: Microsoft backtracked on white title bars in an update rolled out late in 2015.

Remove "This PC" folders from Explorer

Either fish around under HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\MyComputer\NameSpace\ and HKLM\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\MyComputer\NameSpace\ or use the reg file supplied by

Disable OneDrive

If using Pro run gpedit.msc -> Local Computer Policy -> Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> OneDrive > Prevent the usage of OneDrive for file storage

Equivalent to HKLM\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows with a key created for OneDrive and DWORD DisableFileSyncNGSC=1

Disable the lock screen

If using Pro run gpedit.msc -> Local Computer Policy -> Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Control Panel -> Personalization -> Do not display the lock screen

Equivalent to HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Personalization with DWORD NoLockScreen=1


Tags All Personal Tech