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Daily Archives: March 30, 2020

  • Final beta test version of the FREE Newsletter headed out shortly

    Posted on March 30th, 2020 at 22:00 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    We’re just about ready to re-introduce the free Windows Secrets Newsletter.

    Now rechristened as the (what else?) AskWoody FREE Newsletter it’s, uh, free.

    Each week we’ll send out one full article from the Plus Newsletter, a recap of the latest happenings on the AskWoody web site (just like we have in the Plus Newsletter), and an offer for folks to join us as Plus Members. It’s a great way to sample what we’re up to, to see if it’s worth making a donation.

    If you’d like to take a look, please sign up. And encourage your friends to join us, too!

  • Microsoft posts a fix for the VPN-related dropped internet connection bug

    Posted on March 30th, 2020 at 16:22 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    That was quick.

    Four days ago, Microsoft posted an acknowledgment of an unusual bug that’s contained in every Windows patch since the “optional, non-security, C/D Week” patch for February.

    AskWoody poster @jayinalaska describes it thusly:

    Yesterday, I installed the Pulse Secure application on my work PC so I could VPN into a sensitive work network. As soon as I make a connection in the Pulse Secure application, I get the “Limited network” (no internet) warning. I can verify the warning is accurate. During one VPN session, I had Google Drive open in a browser at the same time and was warned I didn’t have a connection any more. As soon as I disconnect from the VPN, the network comes back to normal.

    Here’s the announcement:

    Out-of-band optional update is available for internet connectivity issues on devices with manual or auto-configured proxies including VPNs

    An out-of-band optional update is now available on the Microsoft Update Catalog to address a known issue whereby devices using a proxy, especially those using a virtual private network (VPN), might show limited or no internet connection status.

    We recommend you only install this optional update if you are affected by this issue. For more information, see the known issues section for your version of Windows 10 or see the links below.

    You can find all 20 of the patches in the Microsoft Update Catalog.

  • Office 365 mutates into Microsoft 365

    Posted on March 30th, 2020 at 13:06 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    There’s a whole lotta chaff flying around — and we haven’t yet played with The Real Thing — but here are the basics of Microsoft’s announcement earlier today:

    New Office features start rolling out to Office 365 subscribers today.

    Microsoft 365 Personal (one person, $70/yr) and Microsoft 365 Family (up to 6 people, $100/yr) available on April 21.

    If you’re an Office 365 renter, er, subscriber, you’ll become a Microsoft 365 renter automatically.

    Microsoft has a lengthy official list of new features here.

    Office 365 Business Essentials is now Microsoft 365 Business Basic

    Office 365 Business Premium is now Microsoft 365 Business Standard

    Microsoft 365 Business is now Microsoft 365 Business Premium

    Office 365 Business is now Microsoft 365 Apps for Business

    Office 365 ProPlus is now Microsoft 365 Apps for Enterprise

    Expect to see lots and lots (and lots and lots) of articles about the new features shortly. Remains to be seen how many will be useful for you.

    Mary Jo Foley has an excellent roundup on ZDNet.

  • Hello in there

    Posted on March 30th, 2020 at 09:37 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

  • Patch Lady – COVID-19: The challenges of working from home

    Posted on March 30th, 2020 at 07:03 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge


    By Susan Bradley

    “Social distancing” — such a simple-sounding phrase. But it’s having a titanic impact on our social and economic fabric. By any measure, we’re now living in uncertain times.

    With so many folks being furloughed or laid off, consider yourself fortunate if you can work from home. For those who can, there’s a wealth of online information on remote computing. Here are some highlights for making the experience effective and safe.

    And for all of you with kids staying home, I’ve included some information on home-learning resources.

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 17.12.0 (2020-03-30).

  • Win10 update breaks a USB modem?

    Posted on March 30th, 2020 at 01:10 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge


    By Fred Langa

    Networking issues can be daunting, but with a little prep work and Win10’s built-in, one-click Network reset option, you can usually get things going again.

    Here’s what to do, step by step, to help ensure a successful repair of this and many similar networking problems.

    Plus: MS Office won’t let a user type the word “you”!

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 17.12.0 (2020-03-30).

  • Win10 optional updates placed on hold

    Posted on March 30th, 2020 at 01:05 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge


    By Susan Bradley

    As the world hunkers down in response to the COVID crisis, so does Microsoft.

    On March 24, the company announced it would pause optional non-security patches (C/D-week updates), starting in May. I assume the April releases are already mostly baked.

    The primary purpose of C/D-week updates — aka “previews” — is to let enterprises test non-security fixes before the formal releases go out — typically, two or three weeks later.

    Microsoft will reportedly continue to ship the official monthly cumulative updates, but with this announcement, the company is clearly putting its focus on critical security patching. In effect, Microsoft is acknowledging that both it and its customers already have a lot on their plates.

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 17.12.0 (2020-03-30).

  • Freeware Spotlight — A Thousand Words

    Posted on March 30th, 2020 at 01:00 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge


    By Deanna McElveen

    As we’re all dragged into this new pandemic reality, PC-service clients are going to need remote assistance more than ever.

    Unfortunately, many of those folks are not as computer-savvy as we might wish. So when users run into problems, they might find it difficult to convey what exactly is going awry. In many cases, simple screen shots will illustrate the problem far better than will describing it over the phone.

    The aptly named A Thousand Words (ATW) is a handy screen-capture app from developer Andrew Lambert. The tool is specifically designed to be easy to use — suitable for PC users of any skill. If a problem can be seen on-screen, the machine’s user can launch ATW and follow a simple wizard to quickly grab shots of the fault. The user can then annotate the images and email the shots to a service tech (or the unofficial family IT person).

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 17.12.0 (2020-03-30).

  • Patch Lady – KB4535996 issues?

    Posted on March 30th, 2020 at 00:22 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Installing an update to Macrium Reflect tonight and in the release notes this caught my eye:

    In response to potential file system corruption issues that could arise from applying some recent Windows Updates, we have reviewed our data integrity checks and implemented new features:

    Note: The first Incremental after installing may take much longer than normal.

    Clearly there are issues noted in that thread but I honestly haven’t seen side effects.  Bottom line don’t forget to update your backup software as well as your operating system.  ….. and read those release notes.