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  • Undocumented Surface Pro 4 updates suddenly documented

    Posted on September 21st, 2017 at 04:57 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    I’ve given up trying to keep track of Surface Pro 4 updates. I figure the machine – like all Surface Pro’s before – is a buggy mess. Microsoft throws fixed firmware/driver updates for it out through Windows Update like manure on mushrooms.

    My last tirade about undocumented Surface Pro 4 updates appeared on Sept. 2, when Windows Central reported eight previously unknown and undocumented firmware and driver updates.

    Now, thanks to a post from Paul Thurrott, I see there are four more previously undocumented Surface Pro 4 updates, supposedly released on Sept. 14, which have just been documented on the official Surface Pro 4 update site. A week late.

    Part of me is galled that so many people are buying machines that are so obviously buggy. Part of me is galled that Microsoft patches those machines — the firmware and drivers for heaven’s sake — without documenting them. All of me is galled that some companies, with data protection responsibilities, allow that to happen.

  • Is your CCleaner safe? New evidence suggests maybe not

    Posted on September 21st, 2017 at 04:37 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    CCleaner is back in the headlines. After the initial report that the CCleaner installer included malware, Avast/Piriform/CCleaner claimed that installing the latest version of CCleaner — version 5.34 — would knock out the infection.

    Now Cisco’s Talos Group says that isn’t the case. For machines on some domains —,,,, and a couple dozen more — there’s a secondary infection that isn’t so easy to scrub.

    Martin Brinkmann at has a good overview.

    For those of us who have railed against registry cleaners for many years (“It’s like sweeping off a spot in a Target parking lot in Anacortes”), the brouhaha comes as a welcome vindication. Yes, I know CCleaner does more than registry cleaning. Mumble mumble.

    UPDATE: Catalin Cimpanu at Bleepingcomputer digs into the code. Signs point to this being the handiwork of Axiom, which has been linked to the “Chinese Intelligence Apparatus.”

    UPDATE: Avast confirms the Talos Group report.

  • Shanah Tovah Umetukah

    Posted on September 20th, 2017 at 13:50 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge


  • Outlook 2007 KB4011086 expired, KB4011110 seems to be the replacement

    Posted on September 19th, 2017 at 16:48 PKCano Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    See my Computerworld update about MS yanking one bad Tower of Babel Outlook patch, keeping the other, and messing up the instructions.

    Both Outlook 2007 and 2010 security patches for September have been implicated in switching languages — Swedish menus in the Hungarian version, for example. Outlook 2010’s patch has the additional distinction of breaking custom form print function.

    It now seems the Outlook 2007 patch that was causing the problem, KB4011086 has been expired and replaced by Security Update for Microsoft Office Outlook 2007  KB4011110.

    This update provides defense-in-depth changes to help improve security in Microsoft Outlook 2007. To learn more about these vulnerabilities, see Advisory ADV170015.

    NOTE: Please follow the instructions here to uninstall KB4011086 before installing KB4011110.
    NOTE: There is an error for Windows 7 and Windows Vista in these instructions. The correct patch to uninstall is KB4011086

    The 2017-09 Preview for Monthly Quality Rollup for Win 7 (KB4038803) and Win8.1 (KB4038774) have also been released.

  • Ongoing list of problems with this month’s Win10 Creators Update cumulative update KB 4038788

    Posted on September 19th, 2017 at 11:44 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    @MrBrian has been knocking them back. Officially acknowledged:

    After installing this update, some users may observe performance or unresponsiveness issues on the first launch of the Microsoft Edge browser.

    Closing and restarting Microsoft Edge will alleviate this issue.  This issue may appear periodically.

    Microsoft is working on a resolution and will provide an update in an upcoming release.

    Some users may experience a black screen on their device for 5-10 minutes upon rebooting the OS. After this time, the user will regain use of their device. This issue is triggered on every reboot.  

    Microsoft is working on a resolution and will provide an update in an upcoming release. For more information see KB4043345.

    The .NET cumulative updates are a mess. As usual.

    Any others floating around?

  • Remember how this month’s Outlook security patches broke VBScript printing?

    Posted on September 19th, 2017 at 07:56 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Ends up it was a feature, not a bug.

    Computerworld Woody on Windows.

    Tweet from @JBar3000:

    KB4011089 also breaks archived mail in Outlook 2010. You can only see a portion of the message and the link to see the rest doesn’t work.

  • was out for 18 hours in Europe

    Posted on September 19th, 2017 at 05:55 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    According to Microsoft’s Office 365 Service Health page, went down for western Europe and Britain at about 7:20 am UTC on Monday, and stayed down for almost 18 hours, until 1:25 am UTC on Tuesday.

    Users located in Europe may have been unable to send or receive email messages… Additionally, users may have been unable to access their email accounts. Users may have also observed that sent emails remained in the Drafts folder.

    Reuters says

    Microsoft said the issue involved part of the company’s internet traffic load-balancing system which was gobbling up server capacity despite no apparent increase in user traffic.

    (Take the rest of the Reuters article with a coupla grains of salt.)

    It also appears as if Skype is having another bad day. One of many. Matthew Sprau on the official Skype Heartbeat site posted this yesterday:

    We are aware of issues where users are unable to send/receive messages and are unable to connect to Skype. Our engineers are actively investigating the issue and we hope to resolve it as soon as possible.

    No update as yet.

  • Report of KB 4038777 breaking activation on Dell machines

    Posted on September 18th, 2017 at 15:15 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Anybody else see this with the September Win7 Monthly Rollup, KB 4038777?

    An email from reader AJ:

    I saw your article regarding KB4038777. We are having an issue when this update is installed where it breaks the windows activation on Dell machines. Seems to be happening only to Dell Windows 7 Professional machines. Dell says to reimage, awaiting assistance from Microsoft. Still troubleshooting, currently no fix. Has anyone else pinged you on this?


    We actually just figured it out. Apparently the update removed Dell’s OEM folder from System32, and upon reboot Windows couldn’t validate its license. Fix is to replace OEM folder with a known good, then run:

    Slmgr /upk

    Slmgr /ilc oem.xrm-ms

    Slmgr /ato