Woody Leonhard's no-bull news, tips and help for Windows and Office
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  • Report of Win10 cumulative update 8 (10586.104) breaking Nitro PDF

    Posted on February 11th, 2016 at 15:54 woody No comments

    Just got this from reader DH:

    I believe the latest update damages the PDF driver used by Nitro PDF Reader, which I have been using for some time now. The reader still operates property but trying to print using this driver causes applications including the control panel to freeze. I just spent a couple of hours with Inuit to restore Quick Books after I had to abort my quick books session.
    Apparently, after printing from Quick Books using the Nitro PDF printer driver, the driver freezes. Clicking on the driver name from the task icon, causes the driver to prevent Devices and Printers from opening so the Queue could no longer be deleted. Thereafter, Quick Books fails to start. I verified this on another machine (running in a VM). There, I tried printing using Note Pad. It froze. Then, rather than trying to open the driver from the task icon, I cleared the queue from Device Manager’s printer queue . Thereafter, after ending the Note Pad task from the Task Manager, I was able to open the text document and print using the Microsoft PDF printer driver.
    In summary:
    (1) Nitro PDF driver is now damaged;
    (2) Trying to clear the queue from the driver icon causes the control panel applet of Devices and Printers to freeze requiring a restart of Windows;
    (3) Clearing the queue by right-clicking the Driver Icon from Devices and Printers restores the ability to print.

    Can anybody replicate?

  • Office 2010 patch KB 3114750 clobbers Outlook Calendar (again)

    Posted on February 11th, 2016 at 12:50 woody No comments

    Midnight appointments get garroted

    InfoWorld Woody on Windows

  • What little we know about recommended Windows 7/8.1 update KB 3123862

    Posted on February 11th, 2016 at 10:23 woody 10 comments

    It’s a Dirty Harry patch.

    How this turned into a “Recommended” undocumented patch is anybody’s guess.

    Aren’t you glad you have Automatic Update turned off?

    InfoWorld Woody on Windows

    t/h PKCano, Josh Mayfield

  • What every Windows 10 customer should know about the Azerbaijani Manat

    Posted on February 10th, 2016 at 19:21 woody No comments

    It’s time to take on the second fundamental problem with Windows 10

    InfoWorld Woody on Windows

  • Interesting details on KB 3123862

    Posted on February 9th, 2016 at 16:07 woody 13 comments

    Remember KB 3123862, the mystery patch that reminded me so much of our good friend “Get Windows 10”?

    Our own PKCano ran it through a Win7 test system and found some big changes in those key files.

    Before     After
    Name                       Explorer.exe Explorer.exe
    Date Modified           2/24/11 11:30pm            1/21/16 11:13pm
    Size                          2555KB 2904KB
    File Ver.                    6.1.7601.17567 6.1.7601.19135

    Name                      ExplorerFrame.dll ExplorerFrame.dll
    Date Modified           8/6/15 12:44pm             1/22/16 12:00am
    Size                          1464KB 1464KB
    File Ver.                    6.1.7601.18952 6.1.7601.19135

    Name                       Shell32.dll Shell32.dll
    Date Modified           8/6/15 12:44pm             1/21/16 11:13pm
    Size                          12574KB 12576KB
    File Ver.                    6.1.7601.18952 6.1.7601.19135

    Name                      Authui.dll Authui.dll
    Date Modified           6/15/15 4:43pm            1/21/16 11:59pm
    Size                          1764KB 1764KB
    File Ver.                    6.1.7601.18896 6.1.7601.19135

    So the big change – in terms of size – is with explorer.exe, which got a hefty bump of 350 KB.

    I wonder what in the blue blazes is going on?

  • Microsoft releases Windows 10 build 10586.104, cumulative update 9, KB 3135173 — with changelog

    Posted on February 9th, 2016 at 14:01 woody 11 comments

    My #1 hurdle to Windows 10 adoption, finally addressed. It ain’t the world’s greatest changelog, but it’s one heck of a lot better than anything we’ve had before.

    InfoWorld Woody on Windows

  • MS-DEFCON 2: Check to ensure your system is locked down

    Posted on February 8th, 2016 at 19:53 woody 36 comments

    Black Tuesday is upon us, once again. Heaven only knows what it’ll bring.

    Make sure you have your Vista, Win7 and 8.1 Windows Update set to “Notify but don’t download.” If your Windows 10 machine is set up with a Wi-Fi connection, set it to a metered connection. To do all of that, see the Automatic Update tab above.

    We’re headed to MS-DEFCON 2: Patch reliability is unclear. Unless you have an immediate, pressing need to install a specific patch, don’t do it.

    Let’s see what happens tomorrow.

  • Good prices on Dell XPS laptops in Microsoft Store

    Posted on February 8th, 2016 at 12:11 woody 5 comments

    The Dell XPS-13, Signature Edition (read: no crapware) just got a $200 price shave on the Microsoft Store:

    • $800 for the non-touch 3200 x 1800, i5-6200U (Skylake – the latest Intel processor series), 8GB memory, 128 GB SSD.
    • $1,200 for the touch screen i5, 256 GB.
    • $1,400 for the touch i7, 256 GB.
    • $1,800 for the touch, i7, 512 GB.

    I reviewed the XPS-13 in September, and came away very impressed. “The Dell XPS 13 is arguably the best 13-inch clamshell on the market and inarguably the smallest.” It has a fan, and the web camera’s at a weird angle (not enough room on the top of the bezel), but other than that it’s a stupendous machine.

    Even more amazing, the XPS-15 got a $200 price cut, too. I’m currently using one of the new XPS-15’s and it’s even more amazing:

    • $1,500 for the i5-6300HQ machine, 8 GB, 256 GB SSD
    • $1,900 for the i7, 16 GB, 512 GB SSD

    That last machine is the one I’ve been beating on as hard as I can, and it’s astounding. The 15.6 inch screen runs 3840 x 2160 (yeah, 4K), by far the best computer screen I’ve ever used. And it’s seat-of-the-pants more powerful than my production desktop.

    If you’re looking for a laptop, forget the Surface Book. This is the gold standard.