Monday, October 11, 2021

                                       Windows 11 Reverted Back to Windows 10

On October 5, 2021, the computer named Stirling (see previous post) was upgraded (or downgraded) from the latest Windows 10 to Windows 11.

I did not find even one feature of Windows 11 that was better for me than Windows 10. Not one. More to the point, I did find at least one feature that was a lot worse - the loss of toolbars on the taskbar. Those toolbars were my way of configuring Windows for my own particular use, and made Windows much more efficient for me. I can't BELIEVE they took that away. I used those taskbar shortcuts ALL the time. Dozens of them, in hierarchical lists.

Other issues:

  • System sounds were very quiet - too quiet. For example, if I plugged in a USB thumb drive, I would expect to hear a sound confirming the connection, but it was inaudible. Perhaps there was a way to fix that - I didn't look very hard.
  • Disk drives were apparently set to spin down when not in use, because I had to wait for them to spin up on occasion (Stirling has 7 disk drives). I probably could have fixed that too, as each drive has its own settings.
  • Context menus were flaky on my double-monitor system. Right-click menus would pop up and then disappear, often several times, before I could get them to stay put. Buggy.
  • Much has been made of the taskbar icons in the middle of the taskbar. But this isn't an improvement - it's just different, and not even very different. However, it was easy to move them back to the left edge where I'm accustomed to finding them.
The amazing news is that everything worked. Every application, even some that were 20+ years old, and every command-line script worked as it had before. Same functionality, same bugs. So Microsoft broke the user interface, but not the inner engine. Note that this is expected, so it isn't an improvement or even a compliment, just a relief. Whew!

Because of the broken interface I reverted the computer back to Windows 10 yesterday. I didn't use Microsoft's method of reverting the operating system - I used my own, because I don't trust Microsoft that far. If they can't make the new operating system work properly, could they really unmake it properly? The procedure makes use of Macrium Reflect twice, though any backup that makes an image would probably work::

  • Save the Windows 11 version of the C: drive to a spare drive, using Macrium Reflect, which would allow file-by-file restores if necessary.
  • Save email (Thunderbird) to a spare drive. Also save calendar data (Rainlendar).
  • Likewise save other files that had been changed in the interval between October 5 to October 10.
  • Restore the very last Macrium Reflect image of Windows 10 to C:. An image of C: is made every night, as part of the automatic backup process. I used the image dated October 4, 2021, the night before Windows 11 was released by Microsoft and installed here.
  • Update Thunderbird, Rainlendar, and the other files. 

Good to go! Windows 10 is back to normal.

One review suggested that toolbars were removed from the taskbar because of a security issue, but that doesn't make sense because you can still attach an executable to the taskbar. Duh.

I'm afraid that Microsoft has done it again - issued a new operating system in a hurry and therefore with guaranteed bad reviews. They certainly don't pay much attention to their early reviewers, and they don't seem to want to explain their reasons for anything. It will be quite a while before they live this down. But hey - they once again validated my overriding distrust of Microsoft. 

They're not actually evil people, but they are motivated by marketing considerations which have little to do with their installed base. They don't get much revenue from their installed base, so sales of new computers (hence operating systems) has to be their main concern.

There was a Windows 8, and then 8.1 Will there be a Windows 11.1?

Friday, October 8, 2021

 Friday, 2021 Oct 8                    Windows 11 Review (Preliminary)

The computer (named Stirling) is new, home built, first booted in February, 2021. AMD Ryzen 9 5950X Processor, ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII Hero Motherboard, Corsair Force MP600 500GB M.2, plus 7 rotating disks for a total of 24TB. It ran Windows 10 Professional, fully updated, now Windows 11 Professional. It met every requirement for the "upgrade" to Windows 11 and then some.

The Good News:

After backing up Windows 10, the Win 11 installation was done "in place" on Stirling using the Windows 11 Installation Assistant. It booted up just once, and was ready to go with Windows 11. Impressive:

  • Even the placement of the icons on my double-monitor desktop is unchanged.  
  • Every application (e.g. .exe) still works, including some that are 20 years old. 
  • I have written thousands of lines of code in command-line script, and all of that still works. 
  • Even the Windows 10 bugs are still there. If you use command-line script, you know what I mean. 
  • So the good news is that Microsoft didn't break the really important stuff.

The Bad News:

  • Toolbars can no longer be attached to the taskbar. This is huge, more about it below. 
  • Some Windows utilities, such as the Task Manager, are no longer accessible through the taskbar. 
  • Sound is changed - the maximum volume is much lower on my two HDMI monitors, too soft to hear. I'll work on that.
  • Certain screens are flaky, e.g. right-click menus may disappear for no reason, and you have to right-click again.
  • Menus are different, for no obvious reason. Not better, just different, especially the right-click menus. 
  • Things that were accessible with one click now often require two or more clicks. Windows is harder to use.

So What?:

Except for the loss of toolbars, all of those "bad news" items are minor problems. There is a workaround for each of them, though I certainly made very good use of toolbars on the taskbar and will search high and low for the best functional equivalent. I WANT MY TOOLBARS! They saved a lot of mouse clicks and provided a kind of personal environment. Taking them away was a huge mistake. I hope there's a registry patch, or a simple executable that will do what the taskbar did in Win 10.

Bottom line: In my opinion Windows 11 is not at all better, just different, and not in a good way. There is probably a marketing reason why Microsoft created Windows 11. Perhaps it will help sell Windows and Windows-based computers to new buyers. It does help to enforce some security enhancements, so that's a good thing. Otherwise, for long-time loyal users like me, it's just a pain in the you know what.

My advice: 

Don't upgrade yet. I wish I hadn't. Maybe I'll roll it back.

Friday, September 17, 2021

2021 09 17                                           Forte and Windows 11 

Windows 11 sort of sneaked up on me. My fault of course, not paying attention, but Microsoft says October 5, 2021, less than three weeks from today. We'll see. 

Microsoft did have an application called the "PC Health Check App," which could run on a destination computer and determine whether that computer met their Windows 11 requirements, but the scuttlebutt is that it was thoroughly flawed (with source code unavailable of course) and it has been withdrawn. As of today, September 17, the page for it still says "COMING SOON."  It's been coming soon for a while now.

However, there is a page on which does purport to set forth the requirements for Windows 11.  Happily, there are others besides Microsoft who have read these requirements and put them in an application. In particular, there is a Windows application called WhyNotWin11.exe on GitHub: This app is open source and peer reviewed (unlike any Microsoft apps), written by by Robert Maehl, downloaded 869,000 times so far. Might be a good thing to support. 

WhyNotWin11.exe puts all of Microsoft's Windows 11 stated requirements into a nice display. You see two of those displays here. One is for a twelve-year-old HP Dv7t laptop, which has been updated from Windows Vista all the way to Windows 10. That one shows a lot of Windows 11 deficiencies. The other is for the Forte computer, built just this summer, showing no deficiencies. 

Bill of Materials
Of course even the old laptop might be upgraded to meet the Windows 11 requirements, and perhaps some of the requirements might not really be necessary to get Windows 11 running. For example, that ancient laptop has neither a discrete TPM nor a firmware TPM, but it has BitLocker encryption working just fine and quite securely on its (one and only) disk drive anyway. Experience will tell us what will actually work with Windows 11. 

Forte did initially have a deficiency, according to WhyNotWin11: The Vision Tech Radeon 5450 Graphics Card did not meet the Win 11 DirectX or WDDM requirements. Therefore that card has been replaced by the ASUS NVIDIA GT710 “4H SL 2GD5" Graphics Card, which I know will qualify and which is probably better anyway. See the revised Bill of Materials.

By the way, Forte is for sale. You can see what it cost, and I do expect to receive some benefit from my work in building it, so make me an offer. Note, however, that I will not ship it, and will only deliver it in the Twin Cities Minnesota metropolitan area. It can come with Windows 10 or Windows 11, your choice. Either way, it's a really hot computer!

Thursday, September 16, 2021

 2021 09 16                 Forte, ASUS BIOS Version 3801, and TPM             

                                                      BIOS Version 3801

This was installed in the motherboard on August 13, 2021, and as far as I can tell it behaves exactly the same on the Forte computer as did the Beta version 3703, which is  no longer downloadable. It feels now almost like a finished product. I also installed it on my main computer, Stirling 2021.

It still has the "Improved System Performance" bug described in an earlier post titled Forte Performance 002 and dated August 6, 2021,, but that is not a problem for me. I just leave the "Improved System Performance" feature alone and use the Overclocking Presets instead. Specifically: BIOS > Extreme Tweaker > Overclocking Presets > (Load Generic OC Preset). The August 6 post mentioned above has more about that.

Again, here is the computer:

  • AMD Ryzen 9 5950X CPU with 16 cores and 32 threads, 7nm technology;
  • G Skill Trident Z Neo F4-4000 Memory 32GB;
  • ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII Dark Hero. Motherboard, BIOS Version 3801;
  • be quiet brand BK022 Dark Rock Pro 4 CPU cooler;
  • WD Black 1TB M.2 NVMe PCIe 4 Drive;
  • WD Gold 10TB Enterprise Class rotating SATA disk drive;
  • VisionTek Radeon 5450 Graphics card, BUT SEE NEXT POST.


Some processors have a built-in firmware TPM (Trusted Platform Module), especially AMD processors I think. I did an experiment to see if my Ryzen 9 5950X processor has it: Remove the discrete TPM module from the motherboard, reboot with Advanced > Advanced\AMD fTPM configuration > Selects TPM Device > Enable Firmware TPM. The firmware is apparently in the processor, not the motherboard. After booting, run Manage BitLocker, then TPM Administration (lower left corner), then appears a window labeled TPM Management on Local Computer. 

There are options here, but if BitLocker is not to be used right away, you can just check to see that it's available. On mine, the Status window says "The TPM is ready for use."

In the window labeled "TPM Manufacturer Information" the following information is displayed, depending on which TPM is selected:

  • Firmware TPM: Mfgr Name: AMD,  Mfgr Version:,  Specification Version: 2.0
  • Discrete TPM: Mfgr Name: IFX,  Mfgr Version: 5.63.3353.0,  Specification Version 2.0
  1. Note that you may see different information.
  2. Note that the specification version must be 2.0 (or greater if greater exists). 
  3. Note also that a TPM will be required for Windows 11, coming soon. It must be available.
  4. Note that the Forte computer qualifies with two different TPMs.
  5. Note that you are not required to use BitLocker or either TPM. BitLocker is simply available if you want the additional security.

I'm not certain that the discrete TPM module provides any advantage over the processor's TPM during use, but it's removable, so if the drives are BitLocker encrypted and the computer is to be shipped somewhere or left idle for a time, the TPM module could be removed from the mobo and secured elsewhere. This would render the data on the computer quite useless. 

If the processor contains the active TPM, then a naughty party needs only the password to the computer (depending on the BitLocker setup), but if the discrete module contains the TPM, then the naughty party needs both the module and the password. I suggest you try this before you depend on it. 

Set Erase fTPM to Disable
WARNING: The two ASUS motherboards that I have will try to CLEAR the TPM when anything major is done, like updating the BIOS, setting the BIOS to its defaults, or even choosing the Overclocking Presets described above. Therefore, if any drives are BitLocker encrypted, then every time that you boot into the BIOS, the last thing to do before exiting the BIOS is check Advanced > Advanced\AMD fTPM configuration > "Erase fTPM NV for factory reset" and make sure that it says "Disabled." In case I forget this I have always UN-BitLockered (Decrypted) all drives before making any BIOS changes, to avoid the damage that might be caused by leaving that selection in the Enabled state.

Please please ALWAYS keep a record of BitLocker keys in a secure place, no matter what. If you like to think of yourself as a professional, and you lose your BitLocker keys, there is a good argument that you are not yet a professional. More about this in the blog post dated 2021 06 16.

Friday, August 6, 2021

2021 08 06                         Forte Performance 002

Woohoo! ASUS has solved my problem. Until a week ago I couldn't make my new, hot computer work hard enough to get its CPU temperature above 65 degrees C. 

Enter ASUS BIOS Version 3703 for the ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII Dark Hero motherboard. Now we're getting somewhere. It's almost as if ASUS was reading my blog (which I'm pretty sure they're not!).

Again, here is the computer:

  • AMD Ryzen 9 5950X CPU with 16 cores and 32 threads, 7nm technology.
    Generic OC Parameters

  • G Skill Trident Z Neo F4-4000 32GB Memory.
  • ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII Dark Hero. Motherboard, BIOS Version 3703.
  • be quiet brand BK022 Dark Rock Pro 4 CPU cooler.
  • WD Black 1TB M.2 NVMe PCIe 4 Drive.
  • WD Gold 10TB Enterprise Class rotating SATA disk drive.
  • VisionTek Radeon 5450 Graphics card.

Water-cooled OC Parameters

The ASUS BIOS now has two sets of preset overclocking (OC) parameters. I don't think that those were there before this BIOS version. I swear they weren't there! Since I've overwritten the previous BIOS version, I can't tell. However, they're not in the ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII Hero, BIOS Version 3601, which is very similar to the Dark Hero BIOS. 

They're accessed as follows: Extreme Tweaker > Overclocking Presets > (Load Generic OC Preset) or (Load Water-cooled OC Preset). Two choices. I tried them both, along with no presets at all. The detailed results are documented in a table below.

Bottom line:

Using these presets, the CPU can easily reach temperatures exceeding 85 C, and up to 90 C. With the CPU working that hard, the performance in the CineBench 10-minute test increases from about 24,974 at the default presets to about 28,395 with the generic OC presets, or 28,410 with the water-cooled presets.  In both cases, the overclocking improves the CineBench score by about 13.7%. That might be enough to make a difference in some applications, including gaming. 

Note that there is only a trivial difference between the results from the two different presets. Therefore the "generic" version is to be preferred because it is much simpler.

Results Table


  1. This computer may not be telling the whole truth, however. While I believe that the humongous 3-fan Dark Rock Pro 4 CPU air cooler is equivalent to a decent water cooler, it may not be. I don't really know. Or I may not have made the best thermal connection from the CPU to the cooler, who knows. Further, version 3703 for the Dark Hero motherboard is intended to work with several different AMD CPUs, so these results are specific to the AMD Ryzen 9 5950X CPU, not any other AMD CPU.
  2. This BIOS version is a Beta version. Included in its description on the ASUS website is the following: "Please note that this is a beta BIOS version of the motherboard which is still undergoing final testing before its official release."

No matter. I don't really have a destination for the Forte computer yet, so for now it's set back to the default presets, which limit the maximum CPU temperature to about 65 C. 

BIOS Version 3703 Bug:

There is another issue with the BIOS Version 3703 on this motherboard with this CPU: In the EzMode screen, upper right corner, is EZ System Tuning. Theoretically this allows the selection of "Improved system performance," "Energy Savings," or "Normal." It doesn't work properly, though, because once you have selected "improved system performance," resulting in a CPU clock of 4000 MHz, you can't unselect it again. Furthermore, you can't select "Energy Savings" at all. Even if you get EZ System Tuning to show "Normal" again, the CPU clock remains at 4000 MHz, even after a reboot. It seems to be a software bug, and it existed in the previous BIOS version as well.

Friday, July 16, 2021

 2021 07 16                                 Forte Performance 001

Forte System:

  • AMD Ryzen 9 5950X CPU with 16 cores and 32 threads, 7nm technology
  • G Skill Trident Z Neo F4-4000 32GB Memory
  • ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII Dark Hero Motherboard
  • be quiet brand BK022 Dark Rock Pro 4 CPU cooler
  • WD Black 1TB M.2 NVMe PCIe 4 Drive
  • WD Gold 10TB Enterprise Class rotating SATA disk drive
  • VisionTek Radeon 5450 Graphics card

So far I haven't been able to make the AMD Ryzen 9 5950X CPU work very hard. The highest temperature that it has ever reached, as far as I know, is 65 degrees C. It could easily go up to 85 and higher without harm, but when I tried to manually overclock it a little, the performance got worse, so I set that part of the BIOS back to AUTO.

                  Precision Boost Overdrive

The motherboard has mysterious functions called "Precision Boost Overdrive," which can actually be found in at least three places in the BIOS setup. In all three places that function defaults to "AUTO," with choices of Auto, Disable, Enabled, and Advanced (or Manual):

  • One place to find it is Advanced > AMD Overclocking > AMD Overclocking > Precision Boost Overdrive. 
  • Another is Extreme Tweaker > Precision Boost Overdrive, where there are five available settings, all set to AUTO, including one called (you guessed it) >
  • Precision Boost Overdrive (again!).

When I stress the system with either the CineBench or the HeavyLoad application, every core always shows 100% utilization and the clock frequency of the individual cores can briefly jump as high as 5040 MHz, even though the motherboard is set to the default of 3400 MHz The individual core voltages change as well, as does, of course, the power consumed (and dissipated) by each core. I don't know why the mobo is doing this when, to my knowledge, overclocking is not enabled.

Forte Under Load

I've made changes to the settings of Precision Boost Overdrive (PBO) to disable it, in one or two places, but those changes made no difference in the system's performance with CineBench or HeavyLoad. I'm a little perplexed. PBO has officially been left untouched in this system.

Note: Regardless of PBO, this 16-core system's performance in the 10-minute CineBench R23 comparison test is very good indeed, behind only an AMD 32-core Threadripper system, so whatever is going on is OK with me. But I'd like to understand it.

In a previous experience with a slightly different mobo, the ROG Crosshair VIII Hero (not "Dark" Hero), I found a BIOS entry which could limit the CPU temperature. I haven't found that on this Dark Hero mobo yet, but I suspect it's there somewhere. It seems like that's what's happening - the mobo is automatically overclocking the CPU but also protecting it by limiting the CPU's temperature.

                                                                  Precision Boost 2

Enter Precision Boost 2. See  It looks like ASUS does automatically boost the system's clocks and other parameters when under load, using the mathematics of Precision Boost 2 (PB2), which, curiously, is quite different from Precision Boost Overdrive (PBO) despite the similarity in name. PB2 is enabled automagically as the default, and I haven't even found where it's enabled or could be disabled. I think that's where the CPU temperature is being limited, maybe not directly but as a result of some other limitations in PB2, such as current draw, core voltage, or power consumption (current * voltage).

                                                                       EZ System Tuning

In the EzMode screen, in the upper right corner, is EZ System Tuning. Theoretically this allows the selection of "improved system performance," "energy savings," or "normal." It doesn't really work though, as there is something quite wrong with the ASUS BIOS software: Once you have selected "improved system performance," resulting in a CPU clock of 4000 MHz, you can't unselect it again. Even if you get EZ System Tuning to show "normal" again, the CPU clock remains at 4000 MHz, even after a reboot. It's a software bug in the ASUS BIOS, version 3601, Dark Hero.

However, it does improve the system performance. Before selecting "improved system performance" the best CineBench score was 25,076, but with "improved system performance" selected it reached 26,402, an improvement of more than 5%. In my world that's not very important, but it might be important to some gamers. I had to clear the CMOS to get it back to normal, where the CPU clock again starts at 3400 MHz

                                                                     EZ Tuning Wizard

This is not so much a wizard as an assassin. From EZ Mode, I select EZ Tuning Wizard (at the top) > PC Scenario = Daily Computing > Tower Cooler > It says CPU Performance 163% up, DRAM 139% up. That sounds like a LOT, and indeed the computer failed to boot. It tried several times, all by itself, but failed. After I pressed the back panel Clear CMOS button, it booted up OK, no evident harm done, except for clearing all previous selections in the CMOS. The same thing happened when I selected Gaming/Media Editing as the PC Scenario. I'm quite glad that the Clear CMOS button was there. This seems to be another bug in the ASUS BIOS, version 3601, Dark Hero.

                                            "be quiet" brand BK022 Dark Rock Pro 4 CPU cooler

The humongous "be quiet" BK022 Dark Rock Pro 4 CPU cooler is obviously doing a fine job, keeping the CPU down to 62-65 degrees while it is dissipating 125-130 watts of heat. The cooler is huge, but since it's an air cooler, it will never leak water. 😊 By the way, I was ultimately able to add a third fan on the back of that cooler. Thus it has one in the front, one in the middle, and that extra one in the back, all blowing the same direction of course, out the back, where there is a fourth fan, a case fan, mounted an inch and a half away, taking that warm air directly out. Put your hand there, you can feel the warmth.

The entire computer has 12 very very quiet fans, eight of them RGB, either red or blue. I like it.

                                                 Change of Graphics Card and Monitor

VisionTek Radeon 5450 Graphics Card

I don't really understand how the CPU and the graphics card work together, so I though it might be possible that the CPU was somehow limited by the speed or capability of the graphics, and for that reason could not consume more than about 100 watts of power in the cores, preventing it from exceeding a temperature of about 65 C. Forte has a VisionTek Radeon 5450 Graphics card talking to a $70 16-inch TV set in HDMI mode, and my working computer here, Stirling 2021, has an ASUS NVIDIA GeForce GT 710 card talking to two inexpensive 24-inch HP monitors. Neither system is a gamer's dream, to be sure, but at least they're different from each other. Therefore, I wondered if I would see a difference if I swapped Stirling's graphics elements into Forte.

Bottom line - it made no discernable difference. The Forte CPU was still limited to about 65 C. 

                                                        I Give UP

For now. I'm unable to make the AMD Ryzen 9 5950X CPU reach a temperature above 65 C, though it could certainly handle more work and thereby a higher temperature. More research to be done here. In the meantime, Forte is nonetheless a formidable consumer-grade computer.

Friday, July 9, 2021

2021 07 07                                  FORTE WORKS!

The new computer, Forte, is working, and it's pretty powerful. In the CineBench R23 test it beats everything except the Threadripper 2990WX, the AMD 32 core 64 thread predecessor. The 16 core 32 thread Ryzen 9 5950X in Forte scores 25076, where the Threadripper's CineBench score is listed as 30054. Forte also scores just ahead of Intel's Xeon W-3265M, with its 24 cores and 48 threads.
CineBench content creation application

Just as important, Forte does this in a walk. The maximum CPU temperature reported by HWMonitor is 65 C, and it mostly runs about 60 to 62. The CPU can easily handle 80, even 90. It's loafing! The huge Dark Rock Pro 4 air cooler is cool to the touch, barely warmer than the case. According to HWMonitor the CPU "package" is consuming (and therefore dissipating) about 125 watts, while the cores themselves are burning about 105 watts of that, each core about 6.5 watts.

The Forte CPU is unlocked, meaning that it can be overclocked. However, as far as I know it isn't overclocked. I tried manually overclocking it slightly, but the CineBench performance got worse, so it's back to "reset" values. Nominally that's 3400 MHz, though HWMonitor does seem to show that the individual core clocks run from 3800 MHz all the way up to 5040 MHz on occasion during the CineBench test, and I don't know why it's doing that. Another CPU test program is HeavyLoad, and during a HeavyLoad test the clocks run a little over 4000. Clearly, I have something to learn yet about overclocking the Ryzen 9 5950X on the ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII Dark Hero motherboard.
Missing a fan in he upper left of the
photo. Note the HUGEness of the "be
quiet" air cooler. The memory modules
almost disappear beneath it.

In the meantime, the computer isn't quite complete. There are two red LEDs on the top front of the case that blink continually, as if the case thinks that the computer inside is asleep, though it's wide awake and working hard. There's also an empty two-pin header on the motherboard called PLED that might be related, and I suspect that there's a two-pin connector from the case buried somewhere that still needs to be connected. If that exists, I haven't found it yet. It's a mystery.

By the way, Forte really is quiet. Even when the package is dissipating 127 watts or so, and the fans are keeping the CPU temp down to 60-62 degrees, the fans are inaudible with all of the skins off the case. I admit to being somewhat hard of hearing, but I have pretty good hearing aids and this computer is QUIET!

                                                     NewEgg Shipping

Today is July 9.
There's a fan missing. On Thursday, July 1, I ordered two Phanteks 140mm LED case fans from NewEgg, one red, one orange (in case they couldn't scrounge up a red one). According to NewEgg those were shipped by NewEgg, one from Fontana CA on July 1, and the other from Indianapolis IN on July 2. One of them stopped briefly in Stillwater, MN (where I live), and then proceeded to the US Postal Service in Brooklyn Park MN, not to be seen since. The other went directly to Brooklyn Park where it too disappeared. Both were shipped by the UPS "Mail Innovations" service, which UPS describes as follows: "Mail Innovations is not a day definite service."

Well I guess not! According to UPS one of those fans has an estimated delivery of Tuesday, July 06 by 7:00 PM, and the other Wednesday, July 07 by 7:00 PM. Today is Friday, July 09, all day. No fans yet.

One could argue that a delay should be expected because of the intervening Fourth of July weekend. OK, that sounds reasonable, except that the Fourth of July was not a surprise this year. In fact it happens every year on or about July 4. It's actually possible to plan for it, and even predict an accurate delivery date despite the interference of the July 4 festivities. 

Note that it's expedited. Certainly glad it's not
just a normal shipment

I'm totally underwhelmed by the service of NewEgg, UPS, and USPS. In fact, in the meantime, I ordered a different fan from Amazon (for a different computer) on Tuesday, July 6, and received it the morning of Thursday, July 8. Excellent.

The USPS seems to be going downhill fast. Letters within the metro area here, once dependably prompt, now take an indeterminate number of days. The same is true of packages. But NewEgg and UPS know this and persist in using a delivery service which is not "day definite" and not even reasonably prompt. The only solution I have for this is to avoid NewEgg whenever possible. In fact it would have been possible in this case, and if I had done it my computer would be complete and I could button it up. Grrrr.

                                                              UPDATE  Saturday, July 10, 2021

UPS Tracking now says that one of the fans is out for delivery today, only 9 days after the order. No time specified. Nothing on the other fan - apparently it hasn't been in detention long enough yet. I'll post here when either of them arrives.

OK the first fan did arrive today at about 3:45 pm, only 9 days after the order. It's installed.