Woody Leonhard's no-bull news, tips and help for Windows and Office
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  • It’s not time to install Windows or Office updates

    Posted on April 16th, 2016 at 10:39 woody 22 comments

    Just got a good question from CB:

    Hello Woody!

    First, I am fairly new to your website and want to thank you for your help.

    Here is my current problem: I’ve decided not to upgrade from Windows 8.1 to 10, and like so many, I have received all the dreaded stuff that MS sends because of this. Currently and it grows each day, I have 57 important MS Updates. I began searching their definitions about 2-3 months ago because I was suddenly receiving MS Updates each and every day and wanted to know why. In looking up their definitions on your website, I see that MS is not only dishonest, but the majority of these updates are for Windows 7 and 10.

    At this point, I really don’t know what do and would certainly appreciate any and all input and help.

    Thank you!

    My response:


    Right now is a bad time to install updates. Check back in a week or two, at which point we’ll probably move to MS-DEFCON 3. (Right now I’m waiting to see what MS does with KB3146706, but other problems may well surface.)
    When I switch MS-DEFCON levels, I always include complete instructions on what to apply and how.
    For now, make sure you run GWX Control Panel, and don’t sweat it!
  • Win7 security patch KB3146706 causing problems?

    Posted on April 16th, 2016 at 07:44 woody 61 comments

    I’m seeing lots of reports of MS16-044 / KB 3146706 throwing errors – most commonly blue screen 0x0000006B – that go away if the patch is removed.

    Remarkably, almost all of the reports (for example, this one on site vvcat) are in Chinese. Makes me wonder if there’s a conflict between KB3146706  and a program that’s commonly run in China. We saw something similar three years ago with KB 2823324, which triggered BSODs on many computers in Brazil.

    AskWoody denizen LL wrote to me and said that it looks like Microsoft is still distributing the patch through Windows Update, but isn’t checking it — which is typically a precursor to yanking the patch entirely.

  • Apple won’t tell you what your best friends know: Uninstall QuickTime for Windows NOW!

    Posted on April 15th, 2016 at 07:05 woody 34 comments

    Yeah, I like to take jabs at Microsoft – but this is just unbelievable.

    InfoWorld Woody on Windows

    UPDATE: Adobe is trying to extricate itself from the QuickTime mess.

  • Windows 10 Insider beta build 14279 has a couple of improvements

    Posted on March 7th, 2016 at 14:19 woody No comments

    If Microsoft’s going to ship Redstone 1 by June, there’s a long way to go, and not much time left.

    Redstone 2’s apparently been pushed out to 2017.

    InfoWorld Woody on Windows

  • Yes, AskWoody is on Facebook

    Posted on February 8th, 2016 at 09:49 woody 2 comments

    I cross-post most of the items here on Facebook. Here’s how you can keep in touch:

    Watch and post here on AskWoody.com

    Follow me on Twitter, @woodyleonhard

    Drop by Facebook, search for AskWoody

    Or you can always send me email, woody@askwoody.com.


  • Internet Explorer 8, 9, 10 end of life

    Posted on January 12th, 2016 at 09:53 woody 30 comments

    Several of you have asked about IE 8, 9 and 10, because today is the last day of support for all of them on most versions of Windows.

    Fahima Rashid at InfoWorld Tech Watch has a great overview of what’s happening, and why you should be moving to IE 11 in the near term. Short version: There’s a lot of incentive for malware folks to start releasing their closely-hoarded stash of zero-days, simply because they know (or at least think) that MS won’t be patching most IE 8, 9 and 10 systems after today.

    There’s been a lot of concern here and elsewhere about malicious side-effects of upgrading to IE 11. Our own PKCano — who originally reported that the dread KB 3035583 Windows 10 nagware was installed while upgrading to IE 11 — has conducted an exhaustive series of tests, trying to duplicate the phenomenon. She’s come up empty. Her tests are so thorough that I feel confident in saying, categorically, that Installing IE 11 does not install Get Windows 10 nagware.

    Some of you have expressed concern that going with IE 11 instead of an older version would make it easier for Microsoft to install Get Windows 10. I haven’t found that to be the case — and in fact can’t conceive of a set of circumstances where that would be the case.

    Bottom line: Get IE 11 installed in the next few days, unless you’re running Vista (maxes out at IE 9), Server 2008 (IE 9), or Server 2012 (IE 10). (If you have Windows 10, you already have IE 11.) You need to install IE 11 even if Internet Explorer is not your default browser, even if you never use Internet Explorer. Remarkably, distressingly, Windows still uses IE under the covers in odd circumstances.

    Keep in mind that even Internet Explorer 11 is fading into the sunset. Microsoft isn’t going to spend any money making it better. The owner has already switched horses, over to Microsoft Edge. For now, Edge only runs on Windows 10. In the future…. who knows?

    I’ll repeat a recommendation I’ve made since the Windows XP books: Dump Internet Explorer. Switch to Firefox and/or Chrome for your daily browsing. (Edge isn’t yet up to snuff.) Keep IE around in case you hit a recalcitrant web site — and a clueless or penniless web developer — and only pull it out when absolutely nothing else will work.

    Notes: ‘Softie Pat Altimore has a worthwhile blog about migrating to IE 11 in a corporate environment. Mary Jo Foley has a good overview of the IE 11 Compatibility mode, which may help you with older sites.

  • Merry Christmas, everybody!

    Posted on December 25th, 2015 at 05:17 woody 13 comments

    I can confirm that Santa has arrived, but the reindeer are soggy.

    At 5 am, it’s 68 degrees and rainy in Nashville.

  • LastPass and Windows 10 Mail

    Posted on December 22nd, 2015 at 17:21 woody 2 comments

    Good question from reader SS:


    Just bought your book and am enjoying it so far.  Thought I’d take you up on your offer to answer questions.

    This has to do with the integration of the Mail tile and LastPass.  I have been a long time user of Last Pass and my job requires that I keep my computer secure.  I am starting through Chapter 1 and see your section on using the Mail tile which requires setting up an account to work with that.  It asks for the usual user name and password, but I don’t see where Last Pass would integrate here.  That suggests to me that Windows would hold my user name and password which I have always understood not to be advisable from a security standpoint.  Is there a way to use this feature with LastPass? Or is my only alternative to browse in as I have always done and use LastPass within my browser?

    Thanks in advance!

    Short answer: LastPass doesn’t work with ANY tiled programs. None at all.
    Some day it may work with Edge, but for now your only choices are Firefox, Chrome and (shudder) Internet Explorer.