Woody Leonhard's no-bull news, tips and help for Windows and Office
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  • Introducing 2Bee2

    Posted on August 13th, 2016 at 07:31 woody 38 comments

    You know tile-matching games — match three of the same color, and the tiles disappear — but you’ve never played anything like 2Bee2.

    Hexagonal tiles combine with “gravity” to make a game that’s easy to learn, but filled with strategy and intellectual challenge. One swipe can change the entire board. Levels start out easy, then evolve into brain busters.

    Now available in the

    Apple App Store ===== Google Play Store ===== Amazon App Store

    and coming soon to the Windows Store. All free to download and play, with in-app purchases for cheats.

    Those of you who have wondered how you can help the “AskWoody” cause — this is it. Give the game a try, and tell your friends. Don’t forget Great Aunt Martha. And if you know somebody who’s a whiz in the game publicity biz, drop a line!


  • There’s a fix for the double-print security bug in Win7 and 8.1 – but not Win10

    Posted on August 25th, 2016 at 13:16 woody 69 comments

    A great demonstration of the Achilles’ Heel in “Windows- as-a-Service”

    The congenital Windows 10 penalty.

    InfoWorld Woody on Windows

  • More problems with Windows 7 update taking forever

    Posted on August 25th, 2016 at 10:58 woody 100 comments

    I’m getting more messages from people who are facing hours and hours of Win7 update scans, even though they followed the directions here:

    and installed KB3177725.

    Any guesses what’s wrong, and how to fix it?

  • Long-standing bug in Win7 log file compression can suddenly fill your hard drive

    Posted on August 25th, 2016 at 07:37 woody 25 comments

    I’ve seen reports of hundreds of GB of junk files maxing out big hard drives. Microsoft knows all about the problem, but hasn’t deigned to fix it.

    InfoWorld Woody on Windows

    Many thanks to our own ch100

  • PowerShell problems with KB 3176934, the new Win10 v 1607 build 14393.82

    Posted on August 24th, 2016 at 08:13 woody 19 comments

    Don’t these people even talk to each other?

    Right hand, meet left hand.

    InfoWorld Woody on Windows

  • Language Pack slowdown with Windows 7

    Posted on August 23rd, 2016 at 17:10 woody 21 comments

    Good note from ch100:

    On Windows 7 Ultimate and Enterprise, there are currently 34 Language Packs on offer as Optional Updates. I’ve often made the claim that for simplicity and for the added features, all Recommended and Optional updates should be installed in addition to the Important updates which I consider mandatory for a fully supported Operating System.

    That said, I believe Language Packs should not be installed unless there is a need for them as they slow down the system.

    This in detail explanation is based on Windows Vista, but applies to a large extent to Windows 7.

    The Technet article claims that “Microsoft recommends that you do not install more than ten language packs at a time.”

    More technical details based on Windows 7 here

    This blog instead claims “NOTE:  We recommend that you have no more than 3-5 language packs installed on any one Windows installation unless you have to have them installed.”

    In my experience, even 2 Language Packs (the main one which is installed with the system plus one additional) can slow down the system significantly, so do not install if not needed.

  • Microsoft releases KB 3176934, bring Win10 Anniversary Update to build 14393.82

    Posted on August 23rd, 2016 at 13:52 woody 11 comments

    Details in the morning, in InfoWorld.

    This has been a dicey one, with two different versions in the Release Preview ring.

    KB article

    Win10 update history

  • Win10 Anniversary Update woes: ‘freeze’ issue thawing, but BitLocker problems emerge

    Posted on August 19th, 2016 at 08:11 woody 68 comments

    I still say it’s best to hold off on installing the Anniversary Update, version 1607.

    InfoWorld Woody on Windows

    Brad Sams: Microsoft Has Broken Millions Of Webcams With Windows 10 Anniversary Update on

    Peter Bright: Windows 10 Anniversary Update breaks most webcams on Ars Technica

    Ed Bott took the “freeze fixer” – the Self-Healing Tool – to task. It’s old, ineffective, and not recommended by Microsoft. I have no idea who at MS gave the link to Mazzetti, but he was bamboozled. Ed’s article on ZDNet.

    I’ve been saying it since Aug. 4: The Anniversary Update isn’t ready for prime time.


  • Which patches to patch?

    Posted on August 19th, 2016 at 04:58 woody 61 comments

    Good question from GT:

    You’ve written that even when on Defcon-2, we should still download the malicious software removal tool; however, it won’t download to my Win7 system..

    Also, I’ve previously downloaded the 52MB security update to IE 11 but I nevertheless see it again, checked.

    I’m ready to abandon IE in favor of Firefox; but Norton Identity Safe doesn’t work with FF despite showing it as an enabled add-on. I’m reluctant to use Chrome for privacy reasons.

    Please advise if ever you have a spare moment.

    Yep, we’re at MS-DEFCON 2, which means I don’t think there’s any reason to install the current round of patches.

    The neat thing about the MSRT and Windows Defender updates is that you don’t need to run them. Don’t even need to think about them. They take care of themselves.

    Not sure why IE 11 is showing you the update again, but it probably didn’t get installed the last time. Stop using IE, and don’t worry about it. You need to update it sooner or later, but there’s no sense even thinking about it right now.

    Move to Firefox. Dump Norton. I understand why you don’t want to use Chrome – it’s a valid concern. Firefox is great. If Norton doesn’t work with Firefox, give Norton the heave-ho. It’s an expensive, problem-prone package that has very few benefits. You may have problems uninstalling it. If you do, drop back here.

    I recommend the free (absolutely free) Microsoft Security Essentials, and I’ve recommended it for many years. Antivirus has become less and less relevant. MSE might not be the highest scoring package, but it works fine for just about everybody. If you’re carrying nuclear detonation codes, it’s another story, but for most people, MSE does the job, does it well, and doesn’t beg you for money.