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
  • Microsoft: Win10 1903 having problems with Bluetooth speakers

    Posted on August 23rd, 2019 at 22:12 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    This one’s odd.

    According to the just-posted KB 4518538, “Bluetooth speakers don’t work after update 4505903 is installed on Windows 10, version 1903.”

    After you install update 4505903 on Windows 10, version 1903 on a computer that has an internal speaker installed, you experience one of the following issues:

    • A Bluetooth speaker can’t connect to the computer.
    • A Bluetooth speaker can connect to the computer. However, the speaker output sounds noisy (bad quality).
    • A Bluetooth speaker can connect to the computer. However, the sound is generated by the internal speaker instead of the Bluetooth device.

    Additionally, in Device Manager, you notice an entry under the Sound, video and game controllers node for Microsoft Bluetooth A2dp Source that shows a yellow bang (exclamation mark) icon.

    Here’s what’s odd. KB 4505903 is July’s “optional non-security” second monthly cumulative update. I have no idea why the second July update would have a problem that doesn’t occur in the first August cumulative update. (We haven’t yet seen the second August cumulative update for Win10 1903.)

    UPDATE: @abbodi86 has what sounds like the right diagnosis:

    The issue is probably caused by some combination, or bad sequence, of patches. It does not seem directly related to the update

  • We’re easing into the Plus Membership benefits

    Posted on August 23rd, 2019 at 15:37 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Several of you have written to tell me that you can’t download Susan Bradley’s Master Patch List. There’s a reason for that.

    We’re gradually enforcing the Plus Membership restrictions: In order to get onto the Master Patch List page — and, soon, in order to download the latest Plus Newsletter and Alerts — you have to be a Plus Member.

    I’ve waited more than six months to clamp down. We’re starting now.

    If you want to get to Susan’s Master Patch List, or want to see the latest AskWoody Plus Newsletter, you need to:

    1. Sign up for an AskWoody account. That’s easy and free — just click Register.
    2. Log in using your AskWoody account.
    3. Sign up for Plus Membership.

    Keep in mind that we’re still on a donation model: You get to decide how much to pay for a one year’s Plus Membership. Really.

    The new Newsletter download page should be up early next week. We’ll bring over all of the old Windows Secrets Newsletters as part of the migration. Right now, it’s my intent to limit access to just the most recent Newsletter, and keep that block in place for a week. Everyone will be able to view or download every Newsletter except the most recent one — which requires Plus Membership.

    There are no plans to change our policy on Anonymous posting, or to limit the site in any other way. The big question is whether we can bring in enough revenue to keep the whole ship moving. And that, my friends, is up to you.

  • More Surface Pro battery blues: Thurrott quoting Barb Bowman

    Posted on August 23rd, 2019 at 12:09 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Barb Bowman has pulled together a lot of information about bad batteries in the Surface Pro 5 and 6. Bottom line: Microsoft caused the problem (probably with bad firmware/driver updates), but they aren’t responding to customers who complain.

    Sound familiar?

    In today’s Short Takes, Paul quotes Barb:

    I’ll let Barb Bowman, an outspoken MVP (and friend), handle this discussion. “It took [Microsoft] 9+ months to acknowledge battery issues with [Surface Pro 2] and the fixes didn’t solve everything,” she noted in a community support post. “This issue is just starting to trend. I keep emailing an internal contact on it but no replies.” Honestly, this is the problem with Surface: It’s a small business that moves slowly, especially when it comes to responding to issues. It tarnishes the whole brand.

  • Another re-release of the Win10 1809 installation fix KB 4506578 – appears to be metadata related

    Posted on August 23rd, 2019 at 11:17 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Microsoft released a new version of KB 4506578 yesterday, “Compatibility update for installing and recovering Windows 10, version 1809: June 18, 2019

    Looking inside the download, all of the component files are dated May 31.

    Likely another metadata change.

    Thx, @PKCano, @Microfix, @photm, @gborn

  • Microsoft re-issues the Win7 VB/VBA/VBScript fixing patch KB 4517297

    Posted on August 22nd, 2019 at 09:56 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Bear with me here….

    Microsoft screwed up all of the Windows patches this month, clobbering VisualBasic, VBA and VBScript. You know that.

    It has slowly been releasing Silver Bullet patches — largely single-purpose patches — to fix the error of its ways.

    But there have been problems with the Win7 patch, in particular, KB 4517297. People report that they can’t get it to install, or that it doesn’t fix the problem. Günter Born has details.

    Yesterday, MS released a new version of KB 4517297. The title of the KB article, Update for Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1: August 16, 2019, hasn’t changed. Nor has the content of the KB article, as best I can tell — except for a note at the bottom that the article was updated on August 21.

    What’s different? Does it fix the reported problems with the original KB 4517297? Or is it just a metadata change, to fix installation problems?

    UPDATE: Looks like a metadata change.

    Confirming that all of the files inside the download are dated 8/15. That’s not definitive, but it’s highly indicative of metadata changes.

    Thx @PhantomOfMobile, @etguenni, @SBSDiva

  • Chromebook expiration dates

    Posted on August 22nd, 2019 at 06:52 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Just read an article by Tim Anderson in The Reg that explains how to find your Chromebook’s “Auto Update Expiration” date.

    every Chromebook has an “Auto Update Expiration (AUE) Date” after which the operating system is unsupported by Google.

    That’s a concept every Windows user should understand – but the big difference is that Google sets the expiration date before the machine is put on sale. Microsoft arbitrarily decides when a specific chip goes out of support – and the decision is made way after initial release.

    I’ve seen ads for Chromebooks lately that include the AUE expiration date. But if you don’t know your Chromebook’s expiration date, it’s easy to look up. Google has a readily accessible list of machines and their expiration dates.

    If you can’t match up your Chromebook’s specific model name with an expiration date on the list, there’s an additional trick in The Reg article that shows you how to query the OS to get the correct model name. For most people, though, simply knowing which machine you have is enough to get you a definitive answer on when support ends.

    Per Anderson:

    You can continue to use your Chromebook after the AUE but the OS will be frozen in time and Google’s warnings above will apply. The device will show a notification along the lines of: “This device will no longer receive the latest software updates. Please consider upgrading.” … Security is an issue, though a Chromebook is one of the more secure devices out there thanks to the sandboxing of applications and other techniques, so it is less serious than it would be for, say, a Windows PC.

    My all-time favorite Chromebook fell off the AUE turnip truck more than a year ago. It’s still humming along, getting daily workouts both from me and my nine-year-old.

    Thx, @Kirsty

  • Report: The new .NET updates break Veritas Backup Exec

    Posted on August 22nd, 2019 at 06:24 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Two days ago, Microsoft released a bunch of patches for .NET Framework 3.5, 4.7.2 and 4.8.

    Now comes word from Günter Born that they’re breaking Veritas Backup Exec.

    The updates (per

    They all claim to fix the bug “Addresses a crash that occurs after enumerating event logs in Bass Class Library (BCL).”

    Born has a translation of a German blog post that says after installing the .NET 4.8 patches, Veritas BackupExec 20.4 won’t start. Apparently, rolling back the patch brings Backup Exec back to life.

    Have you had any problems with the .NET patches?

  • Patch Lady – ransomware attacks

    Posted on August 21st, 2019 at 22:42 Susan Bradley Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Have you seen the news about all of the small Texas towns hit with ransomware? Bobby Allyn at NPR has a good overview.

    Texas is the latest state to be hit with a cyberattack, with state officials confirming this week that computer systems in 22 municipalities have been infiltrated by hackers demanding a ransom. A mayor of one of those cities said the attackers are asking for $2.5 million to unlock the files.

    Scary, huh!

    So if you are a small business and you use consultants ask them if they use two factor authentication in order to access your resources.  If they say no, tell them to check out Duo.  And it’s free for up to 10 users.

    I had it recommended to me today (and no this isn’t a vendor plug, I’m just pointing out options to small businesses)

    Bottom line have a backup.  Have another one.