Windows 10, 2004 update

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Just an update replaces all the system files. That might well be enough.
I keep all the "garbage" as you call it, so I don't have to spend days reinstalling everything.
My systems all date from Windows 7, then 8, 8.1, 10 and all its versions, and they are fast and reliable. I see no need to do clean installs. Even when I get a new machine I don't do a clean install (I clone from another machine).
But I am disciplined and clean and tidy. The garbage gets taken out.
Yes, a FULL install is very time consuming and a PitA to do.
And it is worse on Win 10. The post install update can take a LONG LONG time to run.

I started Windows from Win 3.1.
Some updates went fine, others had issues.

I get leftover garbage from:
  • Repeated updates of various software, which don't always update nicely.
  • Program delete/uninstall, that do not completly uninstall, and leaves stuff behind: directories, files, registry entries and other stuff.
    • What ticks me off here are software that installs say 5 programs, but the uninstall only uninstalls 4, leaving one behind still running, taking resources and sometimes conflicting with other software.
 
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Don Roy
Yes, a FULL install is very time consuming and a PitA to do.
The 'PITA' and 'long' assessments are subjective. Only 3 weeks ago I did a full clean install in 4 hours or so. When the current system is still running, it's easy to get all your panning done before starting. To get ready, I take screen shots of the Apps list, the Start menu, browser extension list and settings, etc.. I also do fresh downloads of many of the install files before starting the Windows install. I've also got all the family jewels 'locations' (Docs Downloads Pictures Videos Music) pointing to another drive, so it's easy to get then back again by just changing the 5 location pointers in the new system. To me, it's worth the time to get a nice clean start point.
 
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The 'PITA' and 'long' assessments are subjective. Only 3 weeks ago I did a full clean install in 4 hours or so. When the current system is still running, it's easy to get all your panning done before starting. To get ready, I take screen shots of the Apps list, the Start menu, browser extension list and settings, etc.. I also do fresh downloads of many of the install files before starting the Windows install. I've also got all the family jewels 'locations' (Docs Downloads Pictures Videos Music) pointing to another drive, so it's easy to get then back again by just changing the 5 location pointers in the new system. To me, it's worth the time to get a nice clean start point.
With a 2004 install disk, it should go fast.

With the prior install disk that I used, it wasn't the install, but the post install update.
That would run for HOURS (or was it days). It was worse on my test computer, where the system drive is a spinning HD, not a SSD. :(
 
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Win 10 2004: Happy day today, after one false start which scrambled my login profile requiring reloading an old image last week, the Win 10 2004 has now updated AND CURED my recaptcha problem.
 

Growltiger

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Well, here we are 2 days later. Same old recaptcha problem. And I promised I did not change anything ! Here's a simple test that gives me error / fail (API parameters invalid)
https://patrickhlauke.github.io/recaptcha/
That link works perfectly for me.
Did you say you had tried different browsers?
I'm still not sure this is anything to do with your computer. I still think it could be your IP address. Google deliberately uses IP address to make it impossible, for some addresses.
To test this you need to take a different computer to your home and see if that works or not. And/or take your computer to a different place and try that.
Puzzling that it worked for a few days...
 
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That link works perfectly for me.
Did you say you had tried different browsers?
I'm still not sure this is anything to do with your computer. I still think it could be your IP address. Google deliberately uses IP address to make it impossible, for some addresses.
To test this you need to take a different computer to your home and see if that works or not. And/or take your computer to a different place and try that.
Puzzling that it worked for a few days...
Or try a VPN set to a different country?
 

Growltiger

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Or try a VPN set to a different country?
The problem with my IP address idea is that Google makes it fail, when I have had the problem, by going on giving more and more tests and you can never get through them. Whereas in this case he gets an actual error message about API parrmeters invalid.
If you google "google recaptcha api parameter invalid" you can see many others have had this.

This page has a registry change that sounds worth trying (second message down):
https://stackoverflow.com/questions...invalid-api-parameters-try-reloading-the-page

Are you using a VPN? Are you using any proxy settings?
 
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The problem with my IP address idea is that Google makes it fail, when I have had the problem, by going on giving more and more tests and you can never get through them. Whereas in this case he gets an actual error message about API parrmeters invalid.
If you google "google recaptcha api parameter invalid" you can see many others have had this.

This page has a registry change that sounds worth trying (second message down):
https://stackoverflow.com/questions...invalid-api-parameters-try-reloading-the-page

Are you using a VPN? Are you using any proxy settings?
Personnaly to access certain US sites since GDPR I use a VPN, Tunnel Bear on iphone Surfshark on laptop. I also sometimes use the built in VPN in Opera.
I also use the
Google Public DNS IP addresses
The Google Public DNS IP addresses (IPv4) are as follows:
  • 8.8.8.8
  • 8.8.4.4
The Google Public DNS IPv6 addresses are as follows:
  • 2001:4860:4860::8888
  • 2001:4860:4860::8844
 
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Joined
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Same exact failure mode as before. Immune to all fixes: vpn on / off /and with vpn different location servers. Anti virus on/off. Different browsers / all the various internet advice: the 5 step network clear, registry hacks (that have worked for other folks). Using various dns servers (I also use the google 8.8...)

The kicker is same recaptcha failing PC running windows hypervisor in a window and firefox under Ubuntu Linux works fine. So the basic network stack is not zapping anything.

Also using a virgin hosts file in windows.

Worked fine for a couple days after the 2004 upgrade. Then fail.
That has to be my best clue for finding the trouble. I've got a system image and restore point from the time it was working so I'll try the restore and see if things clear up. Others have tried this, even going back to previous windows versions where recaptcha worked, with no luck, claiming the poison is permanent.

Wouldn't you know I tried to renew my state annual car tag tax license over the internet. Took all my info including credit card then the I am not a robot box appears at the very end. Hit the box, API invalid. Back into it with another computer and the state database has me locked out for being a robot.
 
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yes, I've tried it all (except - still looking forward to reloading from my known working state later today).
Folks who have this recaptcha problem who don't have multiple PC's are really in a fix. Fortunately it affects I'd guess 0.000000001 % of PC users.
 
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yes, I've tried it all (except - still looking forward to reloading from my known working state later today).
Folks who have this recaptcha problem who don't have multiple PC's are really in a fix. Fortunately it affects I'd guess 0.000000001 % of PC users.
I think it must be a higher proportion than that. For the estimated 1.5 billion PCs in 2018 (as reported by Statista) that would be a mere 1.5 people!
 
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OK, all you folks that have followed my recaptcha "I am not a robot" problem I owe you the final fix.

And a big thank you to the recaptcha folks from not accepting my check mark in the box. They rejected it because my keystroke sent to them did not come from my computer. That triggered my work to fix things.

It was malware that forced use of a "proxy". If you have a windows 10 machine: settings-network&internet-proxy (bottom left item). The malware, smart stuff, would put in a proxy script download command (127.0.0.1:9090/proxy.pac) and not allow turning it off with the 'save' button. Internet search took me to lots of complex registry fixes, but the malware after some hours would reset those and the trouble would return. To be sure, the recaptcha fail was just a tiny bit of the problem, likely my keystrokes were routed through a very unfriendly server somewhere (the proxy).

>>>>So to fix the root cause I had to find and delete the malware. Many things did not do the fix (win malicious software tool, malwarebytes, avast antivirus, and several others. Some were good at resetting the many registry issues but not stopping the malware from taking over again after a few hours. <<<

***The fix was this program: RogueKiller. Ran it once, free, it reported some success and the problem has not appeared in several days.*** Unfortunately it did not leave me any breadcrumb trail to ID the actual malware.

One learning from this is the latest firefox (not other browsers) will allow you to bypass the windows proxy and use one you specify or none.

One other discovery, unrelated to the problem, a free program called "winaero tweaker" - it safely changes (and reverts if you don't like it) windows things to enable system behavior / features you may like. I made some very nice changes.

Thanks for listening and offering ideas for me along the way.
 
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Growltiger

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Thank you for the report, very interesting.
It is disturbing that this malware was not found by normal methods - I'll be downloading RogueKiller.
I'm so glad you have finally solved it.
 
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