Woody Leonhard's no-bull news, tips and help for Windows and Office
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  • Does the new Intel Bluetooth driver fix the problem created by KB3172605?

    Posted on October 24th, 2016 at 16:24 woody 4 comments

    The one big problem with KB3172605 speed-up patch for Windows 7 is its uncanny ability to break Intel Bluetooth.

    I’ve just discovered that Intel released a driver on Sept. 28 that may fix the problem. See

    Has anybody tried that driver?

    Intel’s documentation of the problem was last updated on Oct. 17:

  • Task Scheduler not working in Win10 Anniversary Update

    Posted on October 24th, 2016 at 11:50 woody 13 comments

    I’m just starting to clear out the backlog. Could you tell?

    Here’s another known bug in Win10 1607 – the Anniversary Update – that hasn’t yet been officially acknowledged, much less corrected.

    Since the Windows 10 Anniversary Update was automatically installed on my machine, jobs in Task Scheduler no longer run as they did previously. The scheduled jobs are failing with error “2147943767” and “2147943726”.

    Lost of discussion – SpiritX is trying hard to help – but no answers.

  • Firefox asks for testers of new browser supercharger, Context Graph

    Posted on October 24th, 2016 at 11:33 woody 2 comments

    They’d like you to sign up, but your activity will be tracked. It’s 100% opt-in.

    Interesting concept – improve Firefox’s ability to anticipate which pages may help you. A noble goal:

    We also believe there is no necessary trade off to be made between user control and personalization, and we will prove that these products are achievable without violating user trust or privacy. We will work to make sure our users understand what they’re sharing and the value they get in return. True to our open heritage, our methods will be open for scrutiny by anyone.

    Sign up if you like.

    Thanks to JP.


  • Major backstyle, ZOrder problems with controls in latest Office 2016 Click-to-Run, Excel 2016, likely Word 2016

    Posted on October 24th, 2016 at 10:12 woody 3 comments

    Another chapter in the ongoing saga of “What will Microsoft do when one of its patches screws up?”

    This time, it looks like Office Click-to-Run 7369.2038 – that’s the latest version you’re likely to have if you are using Office 365 – is causing havoc with backstyles in certain custom user forms. If you have a custom form that set a Backstyle (or, it appears, a ZOrder), this latest version of Office CtR will clobber your setting. It looks like Excel 2016 and Word 2016 may have the same problem.

    For most folks running Office it isn’t a big deal. But if you have a VBA app that fiddles with its labels, checkboxes, option buttons, or other controls, you may be seeing weird artifacts — or may not see anything at all.

    As best I can tell, the problem started on Oct. 4 with the release of CtR 7369.3024. The bug continued in 7369.3028, released Oct. 11. The only apparent fix is to revert to an earlier version of Office CtR.

    Microsoft, much to its credit, has acknowledged the problem in a TechNet post, but there hasn’t been any news of a real fix. The best on offer is to roll back to a previous version of Office CtR, Word or Excel. In this case, looking at the official CtR release docs, that means pulling back to 7341.2035.

    Once you’ve reverted to an earlier version of Office, you automatically turn off Office Click-to-Run Automatic Updating. It’s up to you to turn it back on again.

    Before I hear from the “it’s trivial” crowd, consider this post from L Phillips:

    Our application (which runs in Excel) is used around the world by food companies and universities to formulate new foods, run food manufacturing processes, and develop nutrition facts labels. This means several thousand organizations must use Excel because of my application. Releasing updates that make Excel unusable is bad for everyone? It may seem like an inconvenience to you but when a key user interface is no longer functional because a label that was added as border in the back is now a solids grey box in the front is a big deal to us.

  • Report: October Monthly rollup patch KB 3185330 causing lockups

    Posted on October 24th, 2016 at 09:44 woody 14 comments

    This from Joe Dawson:

    I work in IT and have had my system set to do all security updates and it is a fully patched Windows 7 64 bit system.

    When patch KB3185330 was released the next day my system would lock up in a weird way. Shortly after rebooting I could use any apps that I had loaded in the first 30 seconds of booting but no more apps would load. I could see the EXE running under process monitor but no new windows would open and the apps would basically stop loading at the point a window should launch.

    I could exit loaded apps I could access all disks but I couldn’t request a reboot or do much else. Networking also looks to have been working…

    After much trial and error I found that uninstalling KB3185330 and everything was OK.

    I then installed all other patches but not KB3185330. I did reboots and ran it for days to make sure it was stable… Then cleaned out all temp folders and everything. Then re-installed KB3185330 and the problem was back.

    Go into safe mode and uninstall it and all is ok again. Did this once more to confirm it was the patch and I feel it is because with it I have the issue and without it I haven’t had any issues.

    I don’t know what inside the patch is the issue.

    Quick Google search didn’t turn up any similar reports. Have you seen anything?

  • Patching Win10 in the real world

    Posted on October 23rd, 2016 at 11:20 woody 35 comments

    Forgive me for ranting.

    I have a half dozen kids over every Sunday morning, for a “learn to code” session. I haul out six computers – a Chromebook, an iPad, Surface Pro 3, a MacBook Pro, a Win7 machine and one more Win10 machine. I don’t use those machines all the time.

    I made a mistake. One of the Win10 machines is set to update automatically. You guessed it. Without any assistance on my part, as I was cranking up other computers, it started upgrading to 1607. The poor kid with that machine had to sit and wait and wait. I finally hauled out an older iPad and got him going.

    The upgrade took almost an hour. And the machine was useless the whole time. But it’s now on 1607.

    GRRRRRR. The Chromebook is still the most reliable PC that I own, followed by the Mac. (iPads are great, but they aren’t PCs – I specifically want to teach the kids how to use a mouse, because their standardized tests use mice.)

  • Preventing the modal “Updates are available” notice in Win10

    Posted on October 23rd, 2016 at 06:14 woody 36 comments


    Some of you are reporting a modal dialog box like this one, appearing on the Windows 10 desktop. (“Modal” means it shows up on the screen, takes over, and you can’t do much of anything unless you click “Get updates.”) You can disable the dialog box by going into Task Manager, but that’s a real pain.

    There’s a discussion on Reddit, one on Superuser, and several more scattered around the web. But nobody seems to have figured it out. I, personally, have never seen the beast.

    Does anybody out there know (1) What causes Windows to show the dialog box and (2) How to prevent the dialog box, both for Home and Pro?

  • What’s the latest for speeding up Windows 7 scans?

    Posted on October 21st, 2016 at 16:16 woody 121 comments

    We’ve had a whole lot of water under the bridge these past few weeks. Where do we stand on Win7 update scan speedups?

    The game’s going to change after this month’s updates – Group A won’t have to worry about scan times, Group B will be going to the Update Catalog directly. But for now the scan problem persists.

    What say ye, oh wise ones?

    UPDATE: Canadian Tech has just posted a new thread on the Microsoft Answers forum. It explains what you can do if the straightforward patching methods mentioned here don’t speed up the Win7 scan for updates. Good reading – but difficult.