Windows Defender Offline – How To Run and Scan in Windows 10

Summary:  ‘How To’ select and run Windows Defender Offline in Windows 10


  • Windows Defender Offline(WDO) is an antimalware scanning tool
  • WDO provides the ability to boot and scan the device in a trusted environment
  • WDO’s scan runs outside the normal Windows kernel and operating system
  • Scanning in a trusted environment outside the Windows kernel allows WDO to scan for and target malware that attempts to bypass the Windows shell(e.g. viruses and malware that can infect or overwrite the boot record data)
  • WDO can be run on devices using MBR(Master Boot Record) or GPT(GUID Partition Table)
  • The ‘How To’ section in this article is based on the current Windows 10 1703 version(Creators Update)
  • When WDO’s is instructed to run(required, it does not run on its own) it(and Windows) will restart the device, boot the device, pass control to WDO instead of the Windows kernel and operating system, and then perform the scan
  • WDO’s Offline scan should take less than 15 minutes when no infections are found and/or corrected
  • WDO may remove or quarantine items during its scan
    • Items removed or quarantined by WDO will be listed/shown in Windows 10 in Windows Defender’s Scan History section (located in the Windows Defender Security Center/Virus and Threat Protection/)
  • Note: To run WDO ensure Windows 10 is logged on with an Administrator account

How To:

  • Click the Windows Start Button and scroll down the alphabetical app listing and select Windows Defender Security Center
    • Optionally one can right click on the Windows Defender icon in the Task Bar Notification area and select open
  • Click on ‘Virus and Threat Protection’


  • Click on ‘Advanced Scan’


  • Select the ‘Windows Defender Offline scan’ option, then click ‘Scan Now’


  • Acknowledge the prompt to ‘Save your work’ do so if necessary, then click ‘Scan’


  • Once ‘Scan’ is clicked,  Windows 10 Creators Update Version 1703 will prompt with a User Account Control(UAC) notice dialog box requesting the user to allow changes to the computer.  Click ‘Yes’ to this required prompt to proceed with the restart process and allowing WDO to run and scan the device the necessary offline mode.

Additional Information:


June 26, 2017: Initial Draft Date

June 27, 2017: Final Draft Date

June 28, 2017: Initial Publish Date

Windows 10 – How to Remove and Recreate A HomeGroup

Summary:  This article shows how to remove and recreate a HomeGroup on Windows 10 for multiple devices


  • There may be occasions where removal and recreation of the HomeGroup on Windows 10 is necessary
    • End-user desire to remove and recreate HomeGroup anew with different sharing options
    • End-user choice to reset HomeGroup to ‘off’ and require other devices to re-join the network
    • Corruption in the Windows HomeGroup service and/or related Peer Networking Service Profiles’ configuration files
    • Inadvertently deleting the HomeGroup system files (Note: Rare, but its occurred more than once)
    • HomeGroup does have a few requirements on Windows 10
      • IPV6 is required
      • Admin rights are required for the logged on user to create a Homegroup
      • Both of the Homegroup Windows Services must be running(HomeGroup Listener and HomeGroup Provider)



On the computer that created the HomeGroup

  1. Navigate to c:\windows\serviceProfiles\LocalService\AppData\Roaming\PeerNetworking[1]
    – delete idstore.sst
  2. Navigate to Control Panel/HomeGroup
    – leave HomeGroup
  3. Go back to the above ‘ServiceProfiles’ path and delete the remaining files in that same folder
    – Repeat the exact same above steps(1, 2, 3) on any other machines on the HomeGroup network
  4. Shutdown all machines
  5. Power up the machine you wish to create the HomeGroup(leave the other devices powered down(Note: Only a machine with administrative rights [aka admin] can create a HomeGroup)
  6. Logon to Windows
  7. Open File Explorer/View/Options/View Tab
    – scroll down to ‘Use Sharing Wizard’, toggle off, Apply, toggle on, Apply, close File Explorer
  8. Navigate to Control Panel/HomeGroup
    – create the HomeGroup (follow the HomeGroup wizard instructions and configure sharing options to your personal preference)
    – The wizard will provide a password for HomeGroup access ==> Write the password down – you’ll need it on the other device(s) to join the HomeGroup
  9. Power up the other device(one at a time if more than one other device exists)
  10. Logon to Windows
  11. Open File Explorer/View/Options/View Tab
    – scroll down to Sharing Wizard, toggle off, Apply, toggle on, Apply, close File Explorer
  12. Navigate to Control Panel/HomeGroup
    – Join the HomeGroup – follow each step provided by the HomeGroup setup wizard, enter the password when requested)
  13. Shutdown the device (Optional, but if other devices exist, its best to configure each device with only the host device on the network).
  14. Repeat Steps 9 through 13 for any other devices
  15. Power up each device and verify access to the HomeGroup’s shares established by the host device.


Footnote: [1]  c:\windows\serviceProfiles\LocalService\AppData\Roaming\PeerNetworking is a Windows System/Hidden folder, it may be necessary, even with admin rights, to configure File Explorer to show ‘Hidden files’ and when accessing agree to the prompt to obtain permission to access the folder and its subfolders. (This is expected and routine in order to access and clear out any old HomeGroup service profiles




April 12, 2017: Initial Draft Date

April 13, 2017: Initial Publish Date

April 15, 2017:  Added note in Comments and How-To section – Admin rights for HomeGroup creation

Windows 10 – Creators Update Requires Review and Choosing Privacy Settings

Summary: Windows 10 Creators Update installation prompts to review and choose privacy settings


  • Prior to upgrading and installing the Windows 10 Creators Update on a device the Creators Update setup will prompt/alert the user to review and choose their privacy settings
  • The review and choice selection is a required step prior to upgrading your device
  • Microsoft states this requirement is part of their continued commitment to ‘your’ privacy on Windows 10 and to make sure your privacy settings are also ready(for Windows 10)
  • The configured(chosen) privacy settings will be the privacy settings in effect after installing the Windows 10 Creators update(i.e. the choice is applicable only to the installed Windows 10 Creators Update)
  • Upon completion of the review, choosing, and saving the privacy settings the upgrade to the Windows 10 Creators Update will proceed on the device


Additional Information:



April 13, 2017:  Initial Draft and Initial Publish Date

April 15, 2017: Edited ‘Comments’ section for better clarity

Windows 10 Update History – Version 1703 (Creators Update)

Summary:  Microsoft web site for the latest and past released feature and security updates for Windows 10 Version 1703 Creators Update


  • Reference site for Windows 10 Version 1703(Creators Update) Build 15063 updates
  • Contains updates for each  released KB(Knowledge Base) update by Build number.Subversion number
    • e.g. 15063.138 = Build number 15063 Subversion number 138  (Initial Release, April 11th, 2017)
      • Subsequent updates will be deployed via Windows Update and only modify the ‘Subversion number’
  • Each KB contains(when applicable) a section describing:
    • Information and Fixes
    • Known issues
    • How to obtain the update (including Update Replacement and File Information)
      • Update Replacement identifies if the KB replaces or doesn’t replace a prior update
      • File Information is provided by linking to a downloadable *.csv file






April 11, 2017:  Initial Draft Date

April 12, 2017: Initial Publish Date


Windows 10 – Creators Update Available April 5th

Summary:  Microsoft makes Windows 10 Creators Update available early on April 5th, 2017



  • Windows 10 Creators Update, the next version major release for Windows 10, is now available as of April 5th
  • Microsoft previously announced the Windows 10 Creators Update would be rolled out in stages on April 11th
  • A variety of methods/options are available to obtain the Creators Update in advance of the previously announced scheduled deployment date.  The primary consumer methods are noted below. Also see the ‘How-To’ section for specific information on each method.
          • Media Creation Tool
          • Upgrade Assistant
          • Windows 10 Windows Update
          • Windows 10 Refresh option
  • The above methods are primarily intended for early adopters interested in installing the Windows 10 Creator’s update in advance of the scheduled staged rollout starting on April 11, 2017
      • Note: Staged rollout = Not everyone will receive the new Windows 10 Creator bits at the same time


How To:

  • Media Creation Tool – (Microsoft tool on the Windows 10 Software Download web page for creating Windows 10 USB/DVD media and optionally an ISO file for mounting or creating media)
    • Visit the Windows 10 Software Download web page, download and save the Media Creation Tool executable file(MediaCreationTool.exe), close all open applications, and Run the executable in Admin mode
  • Update Assistant
    • Visit the Windows 10 Software Download web page and choose the ‘Upgrade Now’ option
  • Windows Update
    • Windows 10 – Settings/Update and Security/Windows Update)
  • Windows 10 Refresh Option
    • Windows 10 – Settings/Update and Security/Recovery/More Recovery Options)


Additional Information:



April 6th, 2017:  Initial Draft Date

April 7, 2017:  Draft Published

April 8, 2017: Initial Publish date with final edits

Windows 10 – Creators Update Rollout April 11

Summary:    Microsoft will begin rolling out the Windows 10 Creators Update on April 11, 2017



  • Microsoft will begin to deploy the Creators Update on April 11, 2017
  • The Creators Update will be deployed via Windows Update
  • Deployment will, as in the past for major o/s feature updates, be a measured/staged rollout
      • i.e. not everyone receiving the new bits at the same time
  • The Creators Update is Version 1703 with an expected Build Number of 15063
  • Installation of 1703 will most likely download additional fixes and patches(during or immediately after installation)
  • On or shortly after the April 11th rollout the Media Creation Tool should be updated to allow Windows 10 end-users to create USB/DVD installation media and/or an ISO file for creating DVD media or mounting
    • Note: if creating a DVD then Dual Layer DVD media will most likely be required
  • Notable new features included in the Creators Update are Paint 3D, improved Start Menu, Windows Defender Security Center, and additional Personalization options
  • Highly recommended to backup your operating system and data prior to installing the Creators Update
        •  ===> Image your operating system and backup your data to external media


Additional Information:



March 30, 2017:  Initial Draft and Initial Publish Date