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  • Patch Lady – DNS anyone?

    Posted on April 2nd, 2018 at 23:36 Susan Bradley Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    For anyone  who remembers my benchmark things to do on a Windows system to make it more secure that I used to do (hey I need to do that over here don’t I?) I was (and still am) a big fan of alternative DNS providers other than the ones you are given by your ISP.  While DNS purests will lament about openDNS, but I’m still a fan especially in consumer world of something that helps to filter out the bad stuff before it gets to your systems.

    New on the block is one up from Cloudflare and a post I just spotted tonight talks about how …

    CloudFlare was the fastest DNS for 72% of all the locations. It had an amazing low average of 4.98 ms across the globe.

    If you want to try it out the easiest way to do so it to go into the settings of your router and enter 1.1.1.1 as the DNS settings.  In my house I have an “inner router” and the ISP provided Xfinity gateway device.  I place the DNS settings I want on my “inner” router.  It also means that I’m masking my devices a bit from Xfinity’s gateway.  I can’t use the advertised “pause” feature per device, but I do get more control over my DNS settings inside my home network as well as a stronger wifi broadcasting from my internal router rather than relying on my ISP’s device.  I do also go into the setting of the Comcast gateway and turn off the open wifi that the gateway/router ships with that allows anyone that has a username and password on the Comcast network to “hang” off the advertised wifi coming from your router. You can do this setting inside the web admin portal page, or from inside your Comcast account app.  I have a Netgear device that I set to pick up the Internet from my Comcast gateway – it’s set to have a static IP of 10.0.0.3 and then it hands out IP addresses inside my home using the normal local address range of 192,168.1.x.

    In the settings of the internal modem I have placed the DNS settings I want:

    Needless to say I might check out the new settings.  All I need to do is enter in the values of 1.1.1.1 and 1.0.0.1 and hit apply.  If you have a internal router that handles IPv6 DNS entries enter in 2606:4700:4700::1111 and 2606:4700:4700::1001

    By the way, if you’ve ever wondered what IP address your computer is, open up a command prompt and type in ipconfig /all  and hit enter.  Next to the active network connection will be the information about that computer’s IP address.

  • Patch Lady – Patch naming

    Posted on April 2nd, 2018 at 21:11 Susan Bradley Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Just thought I’d post something that I often see being asked about.

    When Microsoft releases an update for the 64 bit platform and in the name of the patch it includes AMD64 in it’s naming it does not mean it’s only applicable to AMD machines.  Normally 64bit patches have the naming of “Security update for Windows 7 for x64-based Systems” but every now and then you see the naming of AMD64 in the patch name and it invariably confuses everyone who is running an Intel based PC.

    The use of AMD64 is only used because AMD invented the architecture and AMD64 bit patches can be installed on Intel or AMD machines.  Bottom line if you are seeing AMD64 patches offered up to your Intel 64bit machine, don’t worry.  They are indeed applicable to your system.

  • Patch Lady – tool to diagnose feature update issues

    Posted on April 2nd, 2018 at 20:58 Susan Bradley Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    With 1803 expected to be out any day, Microsoft has released to the IT pro community a new tool to help parse out why a feature update has been unsuccessful.

    The tool checks 26 rules and helps to identify what the issue is.  On my successfully updated Windows 10 1709 the log file came back indicating I had no issues (which is expected).  It is geared toward the IT crowd and thus geared towards being used in scripting, thus don’t expect a GUI in this tool.  When you click on it and run it, it will dump the file log in wherever you downloaded and ran the tool from.  It then parses out the Setupact.log file to diagnose issues.

    Which reminds me about a key folder to keep an eye on when upgrading …the Panther folder.

    This information about setup log file locations still applies:

    Setupact.log

    Primary log file for most errors that occur during the Windows installation process. There are several instances of the Setupact.log file, depending on what point in the installation process the failure occurs. It is important to know which version of the Setupact.log file to look at, based on the phase you are in.

    Setup (specialize): X:\Windows\panther

    Setup (OOBE), LogonUI, OEM First Run:%windir%\panther

    Windows Welcome (OOBE): %windir%\panther\unattendGC

    The Panther file location is a key location used during the upgrading process.  Don’t ask me exactly where the name “Panther” came from, there’s probably a story long ago from some product manager who used to work at Microsoft.  But bottom line, I’ll be trying out that tool and see if I can use it to better diagnose feature release upgrade issues.

    [As an aside, speaking of long ago product managers with stories about how things were named, one of my favorites is the story about “Squeaky Lobster” the name given to a diagnostic counter tool in Exchange.]

  • ScottGu we need you: Please unscrew Windows

    Posted on April 2nd, 2018 at 14:36 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Scott Guthrie has enormous technical skills. Let’s see if he can put them to use for us, turning Windows back into a reliable platform.

    Difficult? Sure. Impossible? I don’t think so.

    Computerworld Woody on Windows.

  • Windows patches for Total Meltdown, bluescreens, an IP stopper — and little documentation

    Posted on April 2nd, 2018 at 07:38 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Last week ended with a bang. Several bangs, in fact, including an enormously confusing and potentially damaging fix for the Win7 Total Meltdown hole, a patch that fixes the NIC/static IP bug in Win7, and a laundry list of bluescreen fixes.

    Computerworld Woody on Windows.