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  • 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.