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  • News and Interests are a bit blurry

    Posted on June 15th, 2021 at 11:14 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    “After installing KB5001391 or later updates, the news and interests button in the Windows taskbar might have blurry text on certain display configurations.

    Affected platforms:
    • Client: Windows 10, version 21H1; Windows 10, version 20H2; Windows 10, version 2004; Windows 10, version 1909
    Next steps: We are working on a resolution and will provide an update in an upcoming release.”
    So far if turning it off doesn’t work, try icons only.
    And next time Microsoft?  Don’t push out “feature release stuff” in a security patch.  Signed… your beta testers.
  • Terabyte update 2021

    Posted on June 14th, 2021 at 02:45 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge
    AskWoody Plus Newsletter Logo
    ISSUE 18.22 • 2021-06-14


    Will Fastie

    By Will Fastie

    The price of storage is in flux for a variety of reasons, making predictions extremely difficult.

    In my previous article on this subject about a year ago (AskWoody 17.21.0), I wrote an expanded version of an article I have been writing on my personal site for a number of years. The article attempted to illustrate the difference in price between hard disk drives (HDD, rotating magnetic discs) and solid-state drives (SSD, flash memory). The goal was to establish that HDD had a significant price advantage over SSD; over the period of time covered, SSDs were small, very expensive, and primarily used as small boot drives in PCs needing high performance.

    Read the full story in the AskWoody Plus Newsletter 18.22.0 (2021-06-14).
    This story also appears in the AskWoody Free Newsletter 18.22.F (2021-06-14).

  • Readers speak: How-tos, tips, and troubles with OneDrive

    Posted on June 14th, 2021 at 02:44 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge


    Fred Langa

    By Fred Langa

    An outpouring of reader mail turned what was planned as a one-off item into a multi-issue conversation!

    In today’s column, readers share their experiences in working around some of the worst omissions in Microsoft’s thin OneDrive documentation.

    Topics include overcoming a too-full C: drive, more detail on the use and removal of symlinks, and unexpected delays in syncing files to the cloud.

    Read the full story in the AskWoody Plus Newsletter 18.22.0 (2021-06-14).

  • Amazon quietly halts arbitrations — consumers can now sue

    Posted on June 14th, 2021 at 02:43 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge


    Brian Livingston

    By Brian Livingston

    With no announcement, has changed its terms of service, which previously compelled aggrieved consumers to submit their claims to mandatory arbitration. But last month, the retail giant eliminated arbitration as a requirement and now allows customers to join in class-action lawsuits.

    This may make a big difference for you — and for anyone who’s ever used any of Amazon’s products and services — because you may someday be eligible for large, court-ordered refunds.

    Read the full story in the AskWoody Plus Newsletter 18.22.0 (2021-06-14).

  • Targeted zero-day vulnerabilities; will more attacks be seen soon?

    Posted on June 14th, 2021 at 02:42 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge


    Susan Bradley

    By Susan Bradley

    Solutions for six exploited vulnerabilities are included in this month’s patch releases.

    Months like these always leave me in a quandary. Sometimes fixes appear before anyone in the wild has been affected, but sometimes there are users who have been impacted. Should I urge everyone to immediately patch without testing? Or should I keep with my tried-and-true recommendations — don’t panic, and wait to ensure there are no side effects with these updates.

    Read the full story in the AskWoody Plus Newsletter 18.22.0 (2021-06-14).

  • Tasks for the weekend – June 12 – Let’s look at Autoruns

    Posted on June 12th, 2021 at 23:46 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    [Youtube here]

    This week we’re following up with June 5th’s  look at programs that launch on startup  and this time we’re looking at the “uber” version of a tool that allows you to review what’s starting up on your machine.

    Sysinternals Autoruns

    Most of time it’s self explanatory… until it’s not. And then remember just ask.

    The colors mean different things:

    Pink – this means that no publisher information was found, or if code verification is on, means that the digital signature either doesn’t exist or doesn’t match, or there is no publisher information.

    Green – this color is used when comparing against a previous set of Autoruns data to indicate an item that wasn’t there last time.

    Yellow – the startup entry is there, but the file or job it points to doesn’t exist anymore.


  • Shared code base means interesting out of bands

    Posted on June 12th, 2021 at 09:23 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    So we have a bit of an unusual out of band (meaning an extra update not released on the Second Tuesday) update released on June 11 for Windows 10. Note that this is one of those types of updates that will be offered up in the WU window but not pushed to you UNLESS you specifically clicked on “Check for Updates”.  If you do that, it WILL install.

    KB5004476 was released to “Addresses an issue that might redirect you to the Microsoft Store page for Gaming Services when you try to install or start an Xbox Game Pass game on your Windows 10 device. Additionally, you receive error 0x80073D26 or 0x8007139F.”  I can honestly say that I’ve never tried to install an Xbox Game pass game on my Windows 10, I stick with my Dad’s solitaire games but I guess I’m in the minority.

    Also out is our dear friend KB4023057  the patch that Microsoft rereleases every time there’s a feature release. It’s goal is commendable (it’s trying to make enough free space, ensure your system is healthy, etc), but it’s not been a well behaved as we’d like and in the past people have reported that it reset power settings incorrectly and reset network stacks incorrectly so most wise patchers opt to skip it.

    I find it interesting that for the Xbox game bug they couldn’t use the known issue rollback where they can roll back the code on your device for a bad quality patch without having to have you install an update and reboot. Meanwhile be aware that some folks are reporting issues with the size of News and Interests on their toolbar causing display issues and being fuzzy. One recommendation is to change to icons only. Bottom line too bad Microsoft can’t do an out of band on News and Interests.

    Remember – if you click on “check for updates” you will get both of these installed. Ultimately KB5004476 will be included in your Windows 10 machine in the next cumulative fix. But it’s recommended to avoid or uninstall KB4023057.

  • Doing a bit of re-organizing

    Posted on June 10th, 2021 at 15:59 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    I’m doing some reorganizing of the side menu to make the site better in the long run.  First off thank you to all that make the forums a happy and healthy place.  But…. and there’s a but coming… but that happy and healthy means that we have a LARGE database. Over a million entries and counting.  As we grow there are certain functions that cause a real drag on the database – and one of them is the “recent replies” widget.  Because it was on every page and on every view, every time it causes a query to be run. You can only imagine that as we grow bigger …. well you get the idea. Bottom line in the background it’s been giving us headaches over the last few weeks. So for now I’ve rearranged the widgets on the side to remove that offending one so it doesn’t trigger the database errors we’ve been seeing.

    So here are some alternative ways to view the forums:

    First I moved up the search for topics menu and the ones I’d recommend are “New posts: Last day”  or “Recently active topics

    Remember too as you post a question to either tick the box “Notify me of follow-up replies via email” or – if you just want to watch the topic and not post, remember to click subscribe at the top of the topic.  Either method will ensure that you get an alert when someone someone posts.

    As always THANK YOU to all and everyone for making this a fantastic and helpful site!

  • June updates bring news

    Posted on June 9th, 2021 at 01:05 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    It’s been a little bit funny seeing some of the reactions online to the News and Interests feature that is included in the June updates. As Askwoody readers know, this first started to trickle out in May but in the June security updates they are included in everyone’s Windows 10 including Enterprises.

    Just a reminder, you can right mouse click on the weather info, go up to news and interests, and either adjust the options (as it does take up a bit of real estate) or turn it off completely.

    Optionally you can use this registry key to do so. To use it, simply click on the download in the upper right, click to run the file, it will warn you it’s not digitally signed, click through that, next click through the UAC prompt and you’ll get to this page warning you about adding it to your registry.

    Click yes and it will turn off the News feature. You’ll need to reboot (I had to) to get it to turn it off.

    I’m keeping an eye on the early beta testers in the forums, so far I’m not seeing anything trending.  As always full details of the updates will be in the Newsletter, in the meantime if anyone needs assistance or help, you know where we are.

    In other patching news, keep an eye out for Apple 14.6 for your iphone/ipad and remember that Apple 15 will be offered up to even iphone 6 models. Androids, keep an eye out for your updates as well.

  • Buying crypto? Watch out for these 100 problems

    Posted on June 7th, 2021 at 02:45 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge
    AskWoody Plus Newsletter Logo
    ISSUE 18.21 • 2021-06-07


    Brian Livingston

    By Brian Livingston

    People in the tech industry tend to find cryptocurrency very attractive as a concept. After all, crypto coins are totally digital — there are no paper bills or metallic coins to handle — and you can transfer these “digicoins” to anyone in the world, instantly (in theory).

    The reality is that digital money is prey to all kinds of hacks and cons. Many people have lost their life savings because they converted their hard currency into crypto and got hacked. Bad actors used one security flaw or another to transfer the victims’ funds to themselves.

    Read the full story in the AskWoody Plus Newsletter 18.21.0 (2021-06-07).
    This story also appears in the AskWoody Free Newsletter 18.21.F (2021-06-07).

  • The Next Windows

    Posted on June 7th, 2021 at 02:44 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge


    Will Fastie

    By Will Fastie

    What is it? We don’t really know.

    By now, the news is out that Microsoft will host a livestream event on Thursday, June 24, 2021, at 11 a.m. Eastern Time. The event does not have a title; the livestream page on Microsoft’s site just says, “Join us to see what’s next for Windows.”

    Read the full story in the AskWoody Plus Newsletter 18.21.0 (2021-06-07).
    This story also appears in the AskWoody Free Newsletter 18.21.F (2021-06-07).

  • OneDrive’s two Documents folders; missing menu items

    Posted on June 7th, 2021 at 02:43 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge


    Fred Langa

    By Fred Langa

    One of the most confusing aspects of OneDrive’s operation is its creation of a second Documents folder.

    Most Microsoft (and many third-party) apps automatically accept OneDrive’s Documents folder as their new default save-to location, but some apps may still continue to use the original Documents folder.

    Read the full story in the AskWoody Plus Newsletter 18.21.0 (2021-06-07).