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  • Changes to the volume licensing Software Assurance program

    Posted on September 16th, 2019 at 15:18 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Looks like there are some significant changes:

    What’s changing with the Problem Resolution Support benefit?

    We’re adjusting support eligibility criteria and changing support allocations beginning in February 2021 to replace incident-based support with as-needed support and credit toward Unified Support. Software Assurance customers will no longer earn a limited number of support incidents based on spend, agreement type, and product(s) but instead will get as-needed support with a Software Assurance spend of $250,000 or more annually. The Software Assurance support provides business hours support with a 24-hour response time goal.

    What’s changing with the Planning Services benefit? 

    Beginning in February 2020, we’re retiring the Planning Services benefit in Software Assurance. We’re consolidating our programmatic deployment planning assistance to a single approach, and Microsoft FastTrack is our primary implementation support offer. You can use FastTrack for Azure, Microsoft 365, and Dynamics 365 engagements.

    Cloud services will be retired from Planning Services eligibility in February 2020 in favor of FastTrack deployments. Planning Services will be fully retired on January 1, 2022.

    What’s changing with training vouchers?

    We’re retiring the Software Assurance training voucher benefit starting in February 2020, and training days will no longer be used to convert to planning services days. You can still use training vouchers until January 2022, with the exception of Azure training, which will be removed from the course catalog in February 2020. Training vouchers will be fully retired on January 1, 2022.

    I don’t use Software Assurance, but I have a sneaky suspicion that folks who do won’t be overly happy with these changes.

  • Yet another bug with this months Win10 1903 cumulative update: PIN knockout

    Posted on September 16th, 2019 at 06:34 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    I don’t know how widespread this is, but @gpmartens1 reports:

    Applied the KB 4515384 Cumulative Update to 4 machines using Win 10 1903.  On 3 of the 4 machines, it made Pin Login Unavailable.  I uninstalled the update on 1 machine, and it did not fix the problem.  I’ve tried numerous suggested fixes/changes in Group Policy, etc., and nothing has fixed the problem.  No other problems have been noted yet.

    There are other details to getting to this point, but found a solution, after trying 10-15 other suggestions.  Delete the contents of the folder C:\Windows\ServiceProfile\LocalServices\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Ngc , then reboot, and your prompted for the Pin login again.  Don’t know why it’s requiring a 6 digit PIN, because I’ve never set that rule.  The files in the Ngc folder will be rebuilt when you reboot.

    Worth noting: Microsoft says it fixed a similar-sounding bug in the late-late second August cumulative update for 1903. Per KB 4512941:

    Addresses an issue that may prevent the personal identification number (PIN) prompt from appearing when authenticating in Internet Explorer.

    I wonder if this is a new manifestation of an old bug — or a completely new one altogether?

    Have any of you had this problem?

  • Coming soon: Windows Secrets Newsletter archives!

    Posted on September 16th, 2019 at 01:15 Tracey Capen Comment on the AskWoody Lounge


    By Woody Leonhard

    One more big piece of the Windows Secrets legacy is about to drop into place.

    If all goes as planned, in the next few days we’ll have the full catalog of past Windows Secrets newsletters available, right here on AskWoody. You’ll need an AskWoody Plus membership to see the most recent two months of newsletters, but all the rest will be free to one and all.

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 16.33.0 (2019-09-16).

    Thanks to @TBCapen-AW and @joep157 for pulling this all together.

  • A ‘tip of the iceberg’ problem with RPV

    Posted on September 16th, 2019 at 01:10 Tracey Capen Comment on the AskWoody Lounge


    By Fred Langa

    Win7’s and Win10’s Restore previous versions (RPV) applets normally work in the background, so you might not notice when they’ve failed.

    But an RPV failure can be a symptom of deeper problems — especially in Win10, where RPV is intimately linked with other recovery components.

    Plus: “Bad penny” drivers and (ahem) “asking for a friend” about browser trouble.

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 16.33.0 (2019-09-16).

  • The patch waiting game — September edition

    Posted on September 16th, 2019 at 01:05 Tracey Capen Comment on the AskWoody Lounge


    By Susan Bradley

    For those of us in the northern hemisphere, September can be a time when days seem to be noticeably shorter — the daylight hours more precious.

    Time has value, too, when it comes to patching our systems. As regular Patch Watch readers know, we need some time for the monthly updates to sort themselves out. In the days following Patch Tuesday, some updates get reissued due to significant issues, while others need clarification.

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 16.33.0 (2019-09-16).

  • Freeware Spotlight — TweakPower

    Posted on September 16th, 2019 at 01:00 Tracey Capen Comment on the AskWoody Lounge


    By Deanna McElveen

    PC “cleaning” tools have had a long and often notorious history. Many of these apps were little more than marketing ploys designed to con users into paying for a dubious service.

    In truth, there’s been just a handful of safe and effective “cleanup/tuneup” utilities. Our favorite is Kurt Zimmermann’s TweakPower, a comprehensive collection of system analysis and cleanup tools organized into a simple and easy-to-use interface.

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 16.33.0 (2019-09-16).

  • Patch Lady Podcast for Sept 15 2019

    Posted on September 15th, 2019 at 23:42 Susan Bradley Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Patch Lady

    For those of you that are Plus members head on over to the Podcast page.  While we’re not ready to roll out updates just yet, I showcase how you can keep an eye on Microsoft’s acknowledged issues by following a twitter account.

  • Yet another bug in Win10 1903: Upgrade may knock out certain WiFi cards

    Posted on September 15th, 2019 at 06:57 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Microsoft just announced that it’s putting a hold on upgrading machines to Win10 version 1903 for “some devices with Intel Centrino 6205/6235 and Broadcom 802.11ac Wi-Fi cards.”

    Here’s the full announcement:

    Safeguard on certain devices with some Intel and Broadcom Wi-Fi adapters

    Microsoft and NEC have found incompatibility issues with Intel Centrino 6205/6235 and Broadcom 802.11ac Wi-Fi cards when running Windows 10, version 1903 on specific models of NEC devices. If these devices are updated to Windows 10, version 1903, they will no longer be able to use any Wi-Fi connections. The Wi-Fi driver may have a yellow exclamation point in device manager. The task tray icon for networking may show the icon for no internet and Network & Internet settings may not show any Wi-Fi networks.
    To safeguard your update experience, we have applied a compatibility hold on the affected devices from being offered Windows 10, version 1903.
    Affected platforms:
    • Client: Windows 10, version 1903
    Workaround: If you are using an affected device and you have already installed Windows 10, version 1903, you can mitigate the issue disabling then re-enabling the Wi-Fi adapter in Device Manager. You should now be able to use Wi-Fi until your next reboot.
    Next steps: Microsoft and NEC are working on a resolution and will provide an update in an upcoming release.
    Note We recommend that you do not attempt to manually update using the Update now button or the Media Creation Tool until this issue has been resolved.

    I’m trying to remember when the “Update now” button appears. I know about “Download and install now,” but “Update now” doesn’t sound familiar.

    Thx Bogdan Popa, Softpedia