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Monthly Archives: January 2021

  • MS-DEFCON 4 – Make sure January updates are installed

    Posted on January 31st, 2021 at 10:15 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    It’s time to make sure January updates are installed. More details are in the AskWoody Plus newsletter out  tonight/tomorrow (sign up for it here).

    I’m recommending that Win10 Home and Pro users move to version 2004 (or 20H2) if you haven’t already done so.  Remember you can set the Targetreleaseversion setting and make sure you only get to the version you want.

    I also have advice and information about the supposed NTFS “bug” upcoming Computerworld.  Stay tuned!

  • Tasks for the Weekend – January 30, 2021

    Posted on January 30th, 2021 at 23:24 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Youtube video here

    If you are still running Windows 10 1909 I’m recommending that you move onto 2004 or 20H2.  I’ve been running both platforms both at home and now at the office and have not seen major issues. Microsoft is working on the next release and one of the things I recommend to do is to push off feature releases until a time that you have time and patience to deal with any side effects.  While MOST of the time there are little to zero issues with installing a feature release on a consumer or home computer, but it still takes your machine out of commission for a short time. At the office every feature release means that I have to repair the Lacerte/QuickBooks pdf printer driver as that is impacted and I can no longer generate emailed PDFs from the tax software that is installed until I repair the issue. Fortunately it’s easily fixable, but it’s more of an inconvenience I don’t want to deal with during busy season. Therefore, I don’t want feature releases installed during the months January through April 15 (the traditional tax season in the United States). In the past I would use the deferral setting and push off feature releases for 365 days. I no longer recommend using this setting. I now prefer a setting called Targetreleaseversion. You’ll often see the setting mentioned as “TRV” on posts in the forums.

    Here’s how to set this:

    If you have Windows 10 Professional and 2004, you can actually see this setting in the local group policy editor settings.  Open the local group policy editor, then browse to   Computer Configuration, then to Administrative Templates then to Windows Components then to Windows Update then to Windows Update for Business.  You’ll want to double click or tap on the Select the target Feature Update version policy to edit it.  Set it to enabled and the enter in the feature release version you want your machine to be offered. If you are on 2004 and want to stay on 2004, enter 2004.  If you are on 2004 and want to be offered 20H2 and no MORE THAN 20H2, even when the next version comes out, put in 20H2.  You won’t be offered any higher version that what you enter.

    For Windows 10 Home you can use the registry key method to set the value you want.  You’ll want add the TargetReleaseVersion with a dword value of 1 and then set the TargetReleaseVersionInfo (see in the video how this looks on the machine itself).  It’s easier to download a prebuilt reg file and just add it to your computer.

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate]

    “TargetReleaseVersion”=dword:00000001

    “TargetReleaseVersionInfo”=”2004”

    The code above would set the registry value to 2004.  You can download this 2004 version here.

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate]

    “TargetReleaseVersion”=dword:00000001

    “TargetReleaseVersionInfo”=”20H2”

    Would set the registry value to 20H2.  You can download this 20H2 version here.

    To undo either of those registry settings, you can “blank out” the info but using another registry file.

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate]

    “TargetReleaseVersion”=-

    “TargetReleaseVersionInfo”=-

    Using this reg file will reset it and remove the settings if you want to reset the values back.

    If you want (or need) to stay on 1909 at this time, you can use this registry key download which will set the value to 1909.

    Merely click on these registry files and download them to your computer. Double click on the file to have it merge into your computer. You will get a User account control prompt, click yes to approve the install on your computer.

    To do this manually editing your registry keys do the following:  Click on the search box and type in run. Type in regedit and click OK to enter the registry. Drill down to

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate

    In the right hand side pane, if the info is not there in the window you will have to manually add the information. Add the value of TargetReleaseVersion with a Dword of 1. Then add on TargetReleaseVersionInfo string value (REG_SZ) and again pick the feature release version you want to be on.  Again type in 2004 if you want 2004 and no later. 20H2 for that version and no later. Click OK.

    Last but not least, you can use the batch file from the Tenforums site. But be aware that in order to use that batch file you have to click through quite a bit warnings and smartscreen prompts so this final batch file version is a bit scarier than the other methods.  Personally I think the reg file method might be the easiest to do.

    I hope that helps to make it easier to set this value on your machines?

  • Chromebooks easier and cheaper

    Posted on January 28th, 2021 at 23:58 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    (Original story behind a paywall, apologies)

    Seen on a twitter post tonight.  The gist of it is that Microsoft’s education boss says that Chromebooks are easier and cheaper to deploy in education.

  • Linux sudo flaw

    Posted on January 27th, 2021 at 23:55 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Over there on the “other” platform, Linux also needs to be updated this week.

    As bleepingcomputer notes,

    A now-fixed Sudo vulnerability allowed any local user to gain root privileges on Unix-like operating systems without requiring authentication.

    What’s interesting is the bug has been under the hood for 9 years!

  • Apple needs an update

    Posted on January 27th, 2021 at 23:51 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    You know that the newsmedia have been talking about an issue when your Dad asks you how to update his iPhone.

    There is a patch out to fix several “zero day” bugs that involve browsing and malicious app that may be able to launch privileges.

    For the record you want go into the gear/settings, then to the general section. Find the Software update section and click on that to trigger the update. Your device needs to either be plugged or more than 50% battery life.

  • Emotet malware disrupted

    Posted on January 27th, 2021 at 10:31 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    https://www.europol.europa.eu/newsroom/news/world%E2%80%99s-most-dangerous-malware-emotet-disrupted-through-global-action

    https://krebsonsecurity.com/2021/01/international-action-targets-emotet-crimeware/

    Woo hoo!! What does that mean to you and me?  A slight lowering of attacks until…. well until they figure out a new way to attack us.

  • Excess heat during laptop recharging?

    Posted on January 25th, 2021 at 01:30 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    LANGALIST

    Excess heat during laptop recharging?

    By Fred Langa

    A reader is concerned: His laptop’s CPU temperature rises during battery-charging sessions. Why would the CPU heat up?

    Relatedly, what are normal CPU temperatures, anyway? What’s a safe temperature rise?

    Plus: A tiny freeware app that prevents PC overheating!

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 18.3.0 (2021-01-25).

  • Hackers are running your smart home

    Posted on January 25th, 2021 at 01:25 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    PUBLIC DEFENDER

    Hackers are running your smart home

    By Brian Livingston

    I never thought it would get this bad. But it has.

    There are now more Internet of Things (IoT) devices than there are people on the planet. And the vast majority of those IoT gadgets are wide open, easily taken over by malicious hackers and used against you, your community, and the world.

    Almost half of all technology managers have let IoT gizmos — printers, HVAC systems, protocol gateways, etc. — into their corporate networks without changing the default passwords, according to a ForeScout survey.

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 18.3.0 (2021-01-25).

  • Freeware Spotlight – Immunet 7

    Posted on January 25th, 2021 at 01:20 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Best Utilities

    Freeware Spotlight — Immunet 7

    By Deanna McElveen

    Where did the good, free antivirus programs go?

    Remember how great the little AVG and Avast Antivirus companies from the Czech Republic once were? Well, they got big — real big — and then they merged back in 2016, as is often the case with small tech companies. Unfortunately, many use their free versions as a loss leader for their paid versions, which sadly means the free versions act like adware, popping up ads to nag users.

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 18.3.0 (2021-01-25).

  • Schrödinger’s Bill

    Posted on January 25th, 2021 at 01:15 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge
    Logo

    Legal Brief

    Schrödinger’s Bill

    By Max Stul Oppenheimer, Esq.

    The recently passed Consolidated Appropriations Act includes provisions that should be of interest to those involved in e-commerce or whose use of the Internet involves copyrights.

    In March 2010, when House Speaker Pelosi told the National Association of Counties that we needed to pass the Affordable Care Act in order to find out what’s in it, few saw the humorous reference to one of the most famous parables of modern physics: Schrödinger’s cat.

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 18.3.0 (2021-01-25).

  • Tasks for the Weekend – January 23, 2021

    Posted on January 23rd, 2021 at 23:07 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Youtube video here

    This question came up the other day when I discussed Microsoft Defender.  If you are using a third party antivirus instead of Defender, your version information may show a version of 0.0.0.0

    This is perfectly fine and is just showcasing that Defender is not active and your third party antivirus is the controlling antivirus on your machine.

    Now if you THOUGHT you were using Defender, you might want to investigate what third party security program has been installed on your machine.

    There is a specific setting I show in the Video where Malwarebytes knows to take over the role as your main antivirus and register itself as your default antivirus.

     

  • Slow file copy

    Posted on January 22nd, 2021 at 22:32 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    I’m setting up a new Server 2019 with HyperV and I’m reminded of something I did on the LAST Server 2019 that I set up.

    I disable RSS on the server  by typing into PowerShell the following command:  netsh int tcp set global RSS=Disabled

    And then Disable-NetAdapterRsc -Name (and then you put in the name of your Ethernet connection)

    Now for that second command you need to make it easy on yourself by renaming the name of the Ethernet connection so you don’t have to type a huge line into the command. When I went googling for the exact command I realized that while I don’t do this command on my workstations, I DO indeed do this command on my servers. There is a detailed write up on this blog about this command and it walks you through the process of identifying if your network connection is impacted by RSC.

    So what is RSC?  A technology that is SUPPOSED to make things better/faster.  I’ve found that at least when your server is supposed to do file sharing, it does better when it’s off.

    The underlying issue (as I understand it) comes down to drivers. For me, I needed to turn this off. On desktops running the latest Windows 10 and reasonably up to date drivers I have not needed to use this command to impact wifi  speed on my workstations.