News, tips, advice, support for Windows, Office, PCs & more
Home icon Home icon Home icon Email icon RSS icon

We're community supported and proud of it!

Monthly Archives: December 2020

  • 2021 has arrived

    Posted on December 31st, 2020 at 20:00 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    (well for some…. for me not quite)

    Well we almost have made it.  It is …or nearly is… 2021.

    I’ve seen some of the fireworks displays of other countries – hopefully these links work for everyone?

    Auckland fireworks

    Sydney fireworks

    Taipei fireworks

    Dubai fireworks

    Paris fireworks

    England fireworks and drone show

    New York

    Las Vegas

    Los Angeles

    Here’s to a better 2021 for everyone from all of us here at

  • Today’s the day – Flash EOL has arrived

    Posted on December 30th, 2020 at 18:02 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Today’s the day – Flash EOL has arrived

    Back in 2017, Adobe announced it was “planning to end-of-life Flash”. Yes, this has been posted about before… Well, the time has now come. Pop-ups have been seen in those machines still using it, for a bit now.

    If you have questions about what happens next, Adobe has a page full of questions and answers here.

    If you’re looking for articles on how to uninstall, check out Martin Brinkmann’s ghacks post.

    (and yes, only half the world is having New Year’s Eve already – Happy New Year to all)

  • Windows 7 “not dead yet”

    Posted on December 30th, 2020 at 17:34 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Nearly a year after Win7’s EOL, Ed Bott has been diving into how many might still be using the OS. He hints it’s a big number.

    …as December 2020 draws to a close, the proportion of PCs running Windows 10 has gone up 12%, to 87.8%; the Windows 7 count has dropped by more than 10 points, to 8.5%, and the population of Windows 8.x holdouts has shrunk even further, to a minuscule 3.4%

    If my calculations a year ago were on the mark, that means more than 100 million Windows PC were retired, recycled, or upgraded in the past 12 months.

    It is somewhat reassuring to hear that WinXP is now in the region of a “fraction of a rounding error”. And of course, that doesn’t quantify how many of those Win7 machines are or aren’t enrolled in the ESU program.

    You can read Ed’s write-up on Zdnet here.

  • Tech support scams want you

    Posted on December 29th, 2020 at 22:43 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    One of the items that came out of the first ever Askwoody survey is that most of the readers are older.  You’ve been around technology for a long time.  And that’s a good thing as you have experience with a lot of technology.  But that also puts you in the “sweet spot” of scams.  Meaning that the attackers see you as a good target to attempt to scam.  And one of those classic scams is the Microsoft support scam not to be outdone by the increasingly used Apple iphone support scam.

    This headline caught my eye:

    Dept. of Justice credits Microsoft with identifying tech-support fraud scheme that targeted seniors

    No kidding.  Of course if you are a savvy senior (which most readers are) you may do the trick where you pretend to be a stupid user just to draw that person on the phone line on so as to waste their time so they don’t try to go after another person.  I’ve often played the dumb blonde routine until the very end where I tell the person on the other end of the call that they should be ashamed of themselves.

    What do you do?  Do you hang up?  Do you keep them on the phone?

  • MS-DEFCON 4 – all clear to install updates

    Posted on December 28th, 2020 at 08:16 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Well it’s time to close the year and the month on patching.  If you haven’t already done so, install them now and get ready to say goodbye to Adobe Flash.

    More on Computerworld.

  • Signing off from AskWoody

    Posted on December 27th, 2020 at 21:10 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge


    By TB Capen

    The smartest call you can make in business is knowing when it’s time to leave.

    After some thirty years in tech journalism, it’s time I put the cap on the old digital inkwell. To wit, this is my last issue as editor of the AskWoody newsletter.

    It’s been a fun and interesting ride. Back in 2010, Brian Livingston convinced me and Riley the cattle dog to move 1,000 miles up the West Coast and become the editor of Windows Secrets. I retired from the newsletter seven years later during the Penton years.

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 17.51.0 (2020-12-28).

  • Drive-dense system suffers from sub-par performance

    Posted on December 27th, 2020 at 21:05 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge


    By Fred Langa

    The final LangaList for 2020 takes a look at a subscriber’s PC with a strikingly unusual configuration.

    It’s a high-capacity machine, but the owner reports slow boots and RAM use that never drops below about 17 percent — even at idle!

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 17.51.0 (2020-12-28).

  • Windows 10 and chkdsk issues?

    Posted on December 27th, 2020 at 21:00 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge


    By Susan Bradley

    Yikes! Say it isn’t so!

    Günter Born reports that a small number of Windows users whose systems have solid-state drives ran into serious trouble with the classic chkdsk tool after installing KB 4592438, the December cumulative update for Win10 20H2. When they kicked off chkdsk c: /f, their systems crashed with a blue screen of death. The problem appears to be limited to machines with SSDs.

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 17.51.0 (2020-12-28).

  • Tasks for the weekend – December 26, 2020

    Posted on December 26th, 2020 at 22:29 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Youtube video here

    Like Amy, I use the end of the year to take stock, clean up and possibly upgrade.  It’s that time of the year that I ask myself if my computer is running okay or if it needs a bit of help.  Does it need a bigger hard drive?  More ram memory?  CAN it be easily upgraded or if it’s a laptop, it’s so hard to pry it apart that they expect you to just by a new one.  You can typically search online for someone’s youtube video on how easy – or hard – it is to open up a laptop or desktop and change out parts.

    I typically go to and see if I can upgrade a part that is easy to change out.  This allows me to review the pricing and see if it’s worth the cost.  If I can’t easily upgrade something I will spend the time reviewing software installed and if anything should be removed.  I’ll use something like treesize free to review what is the hard drive hog on my machine.

    So do you use this time to review your computer?

    (note that computer shortages are still being seen, so consider upgrading what you have)

  • It’s unsubscribe season! Clean that inbox

    Posted on December 26th, 2020 at 15:18 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    The most wonderful time of the year is here! It’s unsubscribe season! Unsubscribe season is when I de-clutter my mailbox in a deep cleaning kind of way. This year, I couldn’t help myself, my annoyance level was so high that I started unsubscribing in mid-December but usually unsubscribe season happens after Christmas though the second week of January. Why then? Because every newsletter, every corporation, every hopeful salesperson, sends out their season’s greetings and predictions for the new year. This means that every last organization that has your email address will send you an email and by the grace of the can-spam act they are required to include an unsubscribe link. Every time you hit that unsubscribe link, a little bit of joy comes back into your life. Therefore, it’s the most wonderful time of year.

    Does it work?

    Years ago, I used to advise my clients not to click the unsubscribe button because all it did was verify that your email address had a live person attached to it. But the can-spam act changed all of that. It holds businesses responsible for generating mailing lists in a fair way and for making it easy and then honoring unsubscribe requests. So, hit that unsubscribe link and bring bits of joy back into your email life. It works!

  • Got a misbehaving Windows 10?

    Posted on December 25th, 2020 at 21:26 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    If you ever have a misbehaving Windows 10 that just will not install and update no matter what dism or sfc or powershell command or anything that you’ve tried, what’s the best (and quite frankly easiest) way to fix a system to get it working with Windows update again?

    By doing an inplace repair over the top.

    You will not lose data.  (that said, I would still recommend to back up your computer)

    Once upon a time I would run the Windows update troubleshooter or numerous googling on the web.  Now if I get a machine that won’t respond to a number of reputable steps on the web to fix the issue, I will simply do an inplace repair over the top.

    Remember…”If you have Windows 10 version 20H2 installed, then it is required to have KB4586853 for build 19042.662 or higher installed to be able to do a repair install and keep everything.”

    This is one of the reasons I recommend to always download an ISO of whatever version of Windows 10 that’s out and store it for a rainy day.

  • Twas the night before 2020 style

    Posted on December 25th, 2020 at 01:05 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Depending on where you live it’s either the night before or the day of Christmas.  I hope you will have or have had a wonderful day where ever you are.  Here’s hoping that all of your technology worked, your Christmas lights were all lit up, and more than anything else, you and your loved ones are hanging in there even if we can’t be as much together as we want to this year.

    The other night, Dolly Parton sang a song on her Christmas special that resonated with me because of this year.  Have a listen to the song here   (*) and more importantly read the lyrics here.

    This has been such an unusual year that I just want to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you and especially thank Woody for starting this site.  I want to thank him for entrusting me to continue on with what he started.  I know I’m looking forward to 2021 and I hope you are too!

    Again thank you for all that you do here on

    “I believe to my very core we’ll walk again in the sunshine by the seashore
    That we’ll dance and we’ll sing and be happy again
    Don’t know how or when
    But we will again
    You’ll see ….”

    (*) If you can’t view the video from that link, try this one instead.  (thank you E in the comments for the link to one that works in Belgium)