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Monthly Archives: February 2020

  • Patch Lady – are you an IT pro?

    Posted on February 22nd, 2020 at 13:44 Susan Bradley Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Would you be willing to fill out a survey?

    I’m assisting someone getting a masters degree – she is conducting a research job on IT pros especially those that have managers. If you would be so kind – For full information in the Consent Form document and to begin the survey, please go to: https://uisits.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_efhaTYgFuxlVdu5

    On behalf of myself and Janetta Waterhouse, thank you!

  • Patch Lady – not every side effect is widespread

    Posted on February 21st, 2020 at 23:17 Susan Bradley Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Today Woody recommended that you wait on the February updates and pass on them until the March updates come out.  I honestly wouldn’t wait that long.  In fact I’ve installed the February updates on all of the machines under my control with no issues.

    I know that many of you don’t like it when Woody and I disagree over when updates should be installed.  But I never start a month not installing the updates for the prior month.  I think my machines work better when I wait at least a week, but never go completely without installing updates.

    Here’s where I think Microsoft is not going far enough to be as transparent as it should be regarding updates:

    Clearly there are *some* people having issues with the profile issue that occurs (as I understand it) when something such as antivirus or some other software is holding certain files as the system boots up.  Because it can’t open the files it needs it opens up a temporary profile.  Your data is still there.  When I’ve seen this happen before often a mere reboot caused the system the second time to boot just fine.  I’ve also seen too often that the use of multiple antivirus and third party antivirus and antiransomware software would hold onto these boot files causing the “race” condition.  (It’s one of the reasons that I recommend not going too willy nilly with multiple antivirus software, and stay away from free consumer antivirus offerings).

    But for the vast majority of patchers, this issue is *not* widespread.  This is where Microsoft could go a long way to being a LOT more transparent.  And this is also where I say BRING ON THAT TELEMETRY that everyone thinks is Microsoft spying on them.  I want Microsoft to get the information as my system boots up and tells them if I’ve had issues – or not.  I want them to know the impact they have on my machine.  I want them to have the big picture about how they impact me, my business, my home PCs.

    But because they aren’t sharing that information back to us we’re a bit in a misinformation quandary.  We think the issue with patches is larger than it actually is.  But because we are not getting good information we think everyone is going to have this side effect.  Amy and I were chatting earlier today and not a single one of her clients have had this issue.  All of the computers under my control (which includes home, office, friends, family, clients, etc etc) have not had this issue.

    So the idea that everyone is going to suffer from this side effect is impacted by a lack of good information.  No one runs to a tech forum announcing that they survived the update.  Everyone runs to forums, twitter, social media and often (and I’ve been guilty of this myself) we will think the problem is bigger than it is because we’re seeing the same folks in multiple locations.

    Furthermore, I’m going to state that if you fear updates, then you should fear every day surfing, and every day reading of email, and everyday use of your computer just as much.  Because things happen to technology.  Hard drives die.  Ransomware hits machines.  These days with computers you either need to be in a mobile mode or in a recovery mode.  What I mean by that is that either you need to build your technology with the view that everything is online, backed up, secured by a password and two factor authentication and such that you can use ANY phone or laptop or tablet to get to it in a heartbeat – OR – you need to know exactly how to backup and restore your computer.

    If you set up your technology in either methodology you will not fear any side effect of any patch.

    I’ll be writing more on this topic in future Askwoody newsletters.  Bottom line it’s my personal opinion that you need to be more scared of ransomware than of updating.  As long as you have a backup, neither one will be a worry to you.

    Bottom line, I’ve installed the February cumulative updates and did not have a loss of my profile.

  • Patch Lady – Even Microsoft has issues

    Posted on February 21st, 2020 at 22:46 Susan Bradley Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Tonight even Microsoft is having issues with updates and having to roll them back.

  • No fix for the Feb cumulative update “lost profile” bug in sight. I suggest you Win10 1903 and 1909 customers make sure Pause Updates is engaged.

    Posted on February 21st, 2020 at 09:24 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Microsoft hasn’t yet publicly acknowledged the bug that we’ve known about for nine days: Installing the February cumulative update for Win10 version 1903 and 1909,  KB 4532693, can be hazardous to your machine’s health.

    (See, for example, Susan Bradley’s post below.)

    If you’re relying on Pause Updates to keep your machine protected from Microsoft’s buggy spittle (I’m being generous here), now would be an excellent time to make sure your Pause Update setting goes out for at least a few more days. I’m setting mine to March 9, in the hope that MS will fix (or at least acknowledge!) the bug before next Patch Tuesday.

    I was shocked to discover that, yes, you can extend the “Resume updates” date beyond its current setting without installing all of the outstanding patches. That’s a major shift — undocumented I believe — that you should use to your advantage.

    Details in Computerworld Woody on Windows.

    UPDATE: We have an interesting discussion underway on a different thread about extending Paused Updates, and whether you’re locked out of extending them even more if, at some point in the past, you ran the pause up to its maximum of 35 days. Thx @PKCano, @DriftyDonN, @Alex5723, @Brockton. Can anyone replicate their results?

  • Patch Lady – so about that profile issue

    Posted on February 20th, 2020 at 18:14 Susan Bradley Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    So an AskWoody reader has (or rather had) a problem in upgrading from 1809 to 1903.  Every time it attempted the upgrade she ended up with all of her personal data in a folder ending up in .003.  I *think* what was going on was during the feature release update process, the temp copying  was moving files, somehow got interrupted in the process  and was failing to move her files back to the proper location – or as I put it in a tech lingo… her Windows 10 was coughing up a fur ball.  While attempting to investigate/troubleshoot the issue I opened up a support case.  (more on that later in this post).  She ended up going to the “update now” site, which, in my personal experience, tends to work better with cats and furballs.  (My little acer works the best with that process).  Also I recommended that she disable/or uninstall any third party antivirus or anti-ransomware product that might be slowing the machine down.  So far that seems to have done the trick.

    Now for the support call.  The folks at Microsoft assumed that her problem stemmed from the recent issue where the February updates for Windows 10 kept causing a temp profile.  They gave her their “script” or “playbook” that they are giving to folks for this issue.

    Given that the resolution is very vague this tells me they still don’t know the root cause for the temp profile problem.  Also interesting that they include recommendations to disable Microsoft’s own antivirus as one of the troubleshooting steps.

    “I disussed the case with my tech lead and confirmed this to be a bug – 25270101.

    As​ there is no estimated time mentioned yet to fix this bug and devepoer’s team is still working on it.
    Once they will be able to find a fix, another patch will be released to fix this issue.
    For now we have this workaround to fix the issue. You can refer the link mentioned below:-
    Also I request you to please report it via Feedback Hub App. You can use following link to open it.

    https://www.bing.com/search?q=temporary+profile

    And then another email was sent:

    “As discussed with you on call, please find the below troubleshooting steps:

     

    If you try to sign in to Windows 10 and receive the error message, “We can’t sign in to your account” or you see an Action Center notification saying “You’ve been signed in with a temporary profile,” Windows will create a temporary profile and sign you in to that one. (Note: Any settings or new files created within that temporary profile will be removed after logging out, so it is important to attempt to resolve this issue, either by rebooting, or with the below additional steps.) Here are some things to try to get signed back into your Windows profile:

     

    1)      Before doing anything, use an external drive to save any work you’ve done since your last successful sign in. Any files you have created or changed while in the temporary profile will be lost when you sign off.

     

    2)      Restart your device in safe mode and sign in with your original profile. Check to see if your settings and files are restored.

     

    3)      Restart your device in normal mode and sign in again with your original profile. Check to see if your settings and files are restored. (You might need to restart your device more than once.)

     

    4)      If multiple restarts don’t help, try temporarily disabling your antivirus software or any other app that might scan your device during sign-in. (Note: Some antivirus products may have additional components which affect the system and may only be disabled after complete removal and system reboot.)

     

    5)      If you continue to experience issues logging in with your original profile, disable Windows Defender services: Open the Services app by typing services in the search bar and selecting it from the list of results. Then, find the Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection and Microsoft Defender Antivirus services, right-click each of them, select Properties, and change Startup Type to Disabled, selecting OK after each change. Restart your device in normal mode and attempt to sign in with your original profile. (Note: After troubleshooting and resolving the issue, remember to set the Windows Defender services back to Automatic.)

     

    6)      If you still can’t sign in, try creating a new local administrator account, log in to that new account, then follow the steps in Fix a corrupted user profile to copy your personal data from the old profile into the newly created one.

     

    7)      If you still can’t sign in to your profile after these steps, we’d like to know. Please provide feedback using the Feedback Hub app on Windows 10 so that we can investigate the issue. (Feedback Hub is a public forum. Don’t include personal information in your comments.). You can refer following link to open it.

     

    https://www.bing.com/search?q=temporary+profile

     

    All of this is recapped in https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4027881/windows-10-we-cant-sign-in-to-your-account

    The moral of this story?  We still don’t have a root cause for this temporary profile issue.  I personally have not hit this issue.  Have you?  We’ve seen a fair amount of “defender only” people hit this as well.  Normally it’s a race condition caused by antivirus software holding a file open while the system boots.  Often a reboot will fix it up.  Were you impacted?

     

  • Bill Jelen: Microsoft just released a fledgling version of TypeScript in Excel that will, in 20 years or so, supplant VBA

    Posted on February 20th, 2020 at 10:57 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Bill Jelen has just posted a fascinating video of the “Excel VBA Killer” known as TypeScript.

    For 16 years, people asked me if Excel VBA will be around forever. I always said, “Don’t worry – they can’t kill it until there is a viable replacement with a macro recorder.”

    Today, Microsoft released a public preview of Office Script, which offers a macro recorder that works. More or less. Most of the time. It’s hard to find, but if you have an E3 or E5 Office 365 subscription (can’t try this at home, folks), you can use the new macro recorder to create functioning TypeScript code.

    Jelen figures it’ll take 27 years or so before VBA Excel gets replaced entirely, but this most definitely looks like the way of the (far) future.

  • The mess behind Microsoft’s yanked UEFI patch KB 4524244

    Posted on February 20th, 2020 at 07:04 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Yes, Microsoft signed the buggy Kaspersky bootloader/rootkit. But there’s a good reason why. And Kaspersky is quite justified in saying the problems with the KB 4524244 patch aren’t their fault.

    Here’s how the sausage was made — and how it turned to tripe.

    Details in Computerworld Woody on Windows.

  • Still running Win10 v1809 or earlier? Watch out for KB 4023057!

    Posted on February 18th, 2020 at 19:45 PKCano Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    The Infamous “Let us help you get upgraded” patch KB 4023057 has once again raised it’s ugly head. Each time it is re-released, the newer version makes it again eligible for Windows Update. Looks like Microsoft may be getting ready to push Force Upgrades to versions of Win10 prior to v1903/1909.

    This time.KB 4023057 is listed and 2019-12 Update for Windows 10. The last one was listed as “2019-08,” so it has been revised again and will need to be hidden again.
    Here is the description of what it does according to Microsoft:

    Notes about this update

    • This update may request your device to stay awake longer to enable installation of updates.

      Note The installation will respect any user-configured sleep configurations and also your “active hours” when you use your device the most.

    • This update may try to reset network settings if problems are detected, and it will clean up registry keys that may be preventing updates from being installed successfully.

    • This update may repair disabled or corrupted Windows operating system components that determine the applicability of updates to your version of Windows 10.

    • This update may compress files in your user profile directory to help free up enough disk space to install important updates.

    • This update may reset the Windows Update database to repair the problems that could prevent updates from installing successfully. Therefore, you may see that your Windows Update history was cleared.