News, tips, advice, support for Windows, Office, PCs & more. Tech help. No bull. We're community supported by donations from our Plus Members, and proud of it
Home icon Home icon Home icon Email icon RSS icon
  • High praise, indeed!

    Posted on January 18th, 2019 at 14:00 Kirsty Comment on the AskWoody Lounge, and its eponymous factotum (…Woody), have made it to Martin Brinkmann’s Tech Sites We Love, over on offers news, tips, and support for Microsoft Windows, Office, PCs and other tech. It is run by Woody Leonhard and one of the prime news sources for Windows administrators and users on the Internet…
    It is a must-visit site in my opinion as a system administrator, regardless of whether you administrate a single Home PC or PCs in a company network.

    @martinbrinkmann is a trusted MVP here (but of course, with the roles still not 100%, you may not always see a correct indication on any account!), and his articles have often been linked here on AskWoody. Judging by the number of mentions he’s received here, you must respect him too.

    In this case, I am 100% in support of Martin’s opinion – Well done, Woody!

    Thx @Microfix

  • Newly acknowledge bug in Edge keeps you from accessing some local pages – if you’ve installed this month’s cumulative updates

    Posted on January 18th, 2019 at 05:36 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Ah, the joys of installing the latest patches as soon as they’re available.

    Microsoft has officially acknowledged that this month’s cumulative updates for all versions of Win10 (starting with 1703) have hobbled Edge so it can’t access some fixed-address pages like 192.168.x.x. The pages that seem to be hit most commonly are router admin pages.

    The bug was identified shortly after Patch Tuesday, but it took this long to acknowledge it.

    Details in Computerworld Woody on Windows.

    Thx @gborn

  • Win10 1803 starts to roll out to Win10 users with “Semi-Annual Channel” and 180 day “feature update” deferral

    Posted on January 17th, 2019 at 10:36 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    If you have Win10 Pro update advanced options set for “Semi-Annual Channel” (which is to say, ready for business) and 180 days for “feature update” (which is to say, version upgrade) deferral, you’re going to see 1803 rolling down the update chute.

    I have my version upgrade deferral set to 120 days (see the screenshot), so I’ve already dealt with this particular gotcha.

    Be forewarned.

    Thx HotDogginMcG.

  • Microsoft starts forced upgrades to Win10 1809. Again. This time with a next generation machine learning model.

    Posted on January 17th, 2019 at 06:47 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Here we go again.

    Microsoft’s starting to push the Win10 1809 upgrade on Windows 10 Home machines, and on Win10 Pro machines that haven’t been properly set to block the upgrade.

    I have no doubt that 1809 will be the most stable version of Win10 yet. (Damning with faint praise alert.) MS took more than three months after its release to fix the problems. But you’d be well advised to lock down and see if there are any more big surprises.

    Computerworld Woody on Windows.

  • Patch Lady – Windows 7 documentation is showing it’s age

    Posted on January 16th, 2019 at 00:00 Susan Bradley Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    So I’m working on a master listing of all the Windows 7 updates that I’ve installed on my crusty Windows 7 machines and I’ve found something interesting.  In documenting each knowledge base article that is installed, I’ve noted that there’s a handful of updates out of the 540 someodd updates listed in my Windows update history that don’t have a corresponding knowledge base article.

    Take for example this patch.  If I  click on it and try to find the KB link, it says that KB2868623 is “sorry not found”.  The security bulletin page is there  in the docs.  It’s just the KB article that is missing.  When you get to the end of the life of a product, you start to see a fair amount of what I call “link rot”.   Links no longer work, or venues no longer are as active as they were.

    It’s also interesting to see the evolution in resources as well.  I used to go to as the go to place to read technical blogs.  Now I’ve added the Techcommunity to my list of resources.  As we come to the year countdown to the end of life for Windows 7, you need to determine your road ahead.  Do not plan on using your Windows 7 after the end of patching while surfing the web.  I’d much rather have you surf on a phone or a tablet than an unpatched anything.

    So be thinking now, be planning now to prevent your own “windows 7 rot”.  What are you planning to do?

  • Incoming: New cumulative updates for Win10 1703, 1709, 1803, and previews for Win8.1 and .NET 4.6

    Posted on January 15th, 2019 at 12:25 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    They’re coming hot off the presses right now.

    The Microsoft Update Catalog shows 14 new patches, just released. Details coming.

    Nothing for 1809. Yet. It would appear as if using the Windows Insider Preview Ring is working the way it’s supposed to!

    Win10 1803 cumulative update KB 4480976 brings build up to 17134.556

    Win10 1709 cumulative update KB 4480967 brings the build to 16299.936

    Win10 1703 cumulative update KB 4480959 brings the build to 15063.1596

    Looks like they’re only for “seekers” — they only install if you click “Check for updates.” I don’t see them coming in through the Automatic Update chute.

    Win8.1 Preview of Monthly Rollup KB 4480969

    I don’t see anything for Win7.

    Win7 Preview of Monthly Rollup KB 4480955 released 17 Jan

    Win10 1607 cumulative update KB 4480977 build 14393.2759 released 17 Jan

    All of them still have the acknowledged Jet database bug.

    Thx @GoneToPlaid

  • Brinkmann, Horowitz: Are remnants of the despised “GWX” Get Windows 10 campaign still on your Win7 computer?

    Posted on January 15th, 2019 at 07:39 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    This is… disturbing.

    Yesterday, Michael Horowitz published a detailed rundown of GWX remnants still on a Win7 PC.

    … today, I took a glance at the Event Logs of a Windows 7 PC and found it was still trying to upgrade to Windows 10. I kid you not. The machine in question last had  bug fixes installed on December 3, 2018. In other words, it had all the November 2018 patches. The Event Log indicated the GWX (Get Windows 10) tasks were scheduled

    Ab-so-lute-ly mind boggling.

    This morning, Martin Brinkmann at provided additional background:

    What is puzzling about all this is that GWX should not be running anymore on the system. Microsoft ended the Get Windows 10 campaign in 2016 and there is no reason to keep scheduled tasks or files associated with it on the system.

    Is Microsoft preparing for another Get Windows 10 campaign? Is it a bug? Leftover files on a system that were never removed completely?

    It is unclear but it is probably a good idea to check the tasks and folders on Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 devices to make sure that these tasks and files don’t exist.

    Just when you thought it was safe to get back in the GWX cesspool….

    UPDATE: Günter Born has additional background.

  • FAQ: AskWoody, Windows Secrets, Subscriptions and ongoing database clashes

    Posted on January 14th, 2019 at 10:44 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    This morning’s release of the first AskWoody Plus Newsletter has brought a flood of questions. I’m answering them all at, but there are some recurring themes that I figure deserve a FAQ. I’ll update this list as the questions roll in.

    Q: What’s happening?

    We’re taking the Windows Secrets Newsletter subscriber list, which is indexed by email address, and moving it to a much more stable email system known as MailChimp. (The homegrown Windows Secrets Newsletter system was notoriously unstable, as many of you will attest.) At the same time, we’re using a WordPress add-in to manage subscriptions. The WordPress add-in depends on AskWoody usernames.

    We’re sending out newsletters to both (1) folks who had Windows Secrets Newsletter accounts and (2) folks who have the new AskWoody Plus accounts. It’s dueling database time.

    Q: Will you honor my payment to Windows Secrets?

    Yes. Absolutely.

    Q: I paid by PayPal, but it said I was set up for recurring payments.

    PayPal and the AskWoody ordering system have a weird relationship. When you make a donation, PayPal sets up an automatic payment, pays the bill, then immediately discontinues the automatic payment. It makes no sense, but that’s how it works.

    If you check your PayPal account, there won’t be a recurring payment.

    I receive email notifications each time the auto payment is set up, when the account is charged, and when auto payment is turned off. If you’re concerned that PayPal has you on the hook for auto-renewals, write to me at and tell me your PayPal account name (usually your email address). I’ll look it up just to make sure.

    I apologize. I’m seriously thinking about dropping PayPal support for just this reason!

    Q: I have an active Windows Secrets subscription, but I’m getting renewal notices.

    Usually that’s because the WSN data coming in isn’t complete. Any number of possible causes. The best solution, though, is to get you manually moved over to, and pick up your subscription from there. Once you’ve registered here — you need an email address different from the one you use for Windows Secrets — write to me at and we can make the switch manually.

    I hope to have an automated way to do all of that shortly. Will keep you posted.

    Q: When I went to register on AskWoody, I was notified that my email address was already in use. How do I get around this?

    The email address you use for the Windows Secrets Newsletter has been moved over to the AskWoody user database. Dueling databases. The easiest solution is to register on this site (use the Register link in the upper right corner) using any different email address you have. You’ll need to respond to a verification email sent to that different address.

    Once you’ve registered here, you can change your email address to anything you like. To change your email address (or password, for that matter), click on your picture in the upper right corner of this page, then click on Edit. 

    Q: I have a lifetime Windows Secrets Newsletter subscription. How do I get it switched over?

    Gotcha covered. With a lifetime subscription, you’ll get the AskWoody Plus Newsletters forever, but switching over to a Plus Membership (yes, lifetime, for free) will get you all of the new benefits. It’ll go faster if you first Register on this site and set up a username. Then write to me at with your AskWoody username and we can make the switch manually.

    Q: I created an AskWoody username that’s the same as my Windows Secrets Newsletter username — which is to say, an email address.

    Not a good idea. Using your email address as a username means that any time you post on AskWoody, everybody can see your email address — and that’s not good for a zillion reasons.

    Best bet is to register a new AskWoody username (don’t use an email address!) using any different email address you have. You’ll need to respond to a verification email sent to that different address.

    Once you’ve registered here, you can change your email address to anything you like. To change your email address, click on your picture in the upper right corner of this page, then click on Edit. 

    Q: What do Windows Secrets loungers use for user name and password for accessing AskWoody? I tried my Windows Secrets user name and password, and it doesn’t work!

    We haven’t yet migrated the Windows Secrets Lounge over to the AskWoody Lounge. That’ll be another huge effort, with two additional dueling databases.

    Just to add to the fun ‘n games, the Windows Secrets Lounge passwords won’t carry over to the AskWoody site. They’re incompatible – and I wouldn’t want to be moving passwords around anyway.

    For now, feel free to register a new account on AskWoody. Ultimately, when we move the Windows Secrets Lounge over to AskWoody, I hope to have a relatively simple way to combine your old account with your new account.

    Q: Wait a sec. You’re covering

    Yep. I learned a long time ago that the best way to understand a system is to respond to questions and complaints. Until the dust settles, I’m tackling all of the questions personally. I really believe in this project.