Monthly Archives: October 2023

  • Hard-drive imaging — AOMEI Backupper Standard


    Deanna McElveen

    By Deanna McElveen

    At, we test a lot of software. Sometimes we do so in a virtual machine that we can reset when things get out of control.

    But a lot of software deals with the actual hardware in a computer, so we must use our test system to assure that a rogue app does no harm. In that case, we make a drive image before we experiment.

    There are many free and open-source backup programs out there. Some do just file backups, and some also do total hard-drive imaging. That means they take a snapshot of your entire hard drive and save it as a single file, or perhaps a few files. In this article, I will concentrate on my favorite program in this class.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (20.43.0, 2023-10-23).

  • Windows 11 23H2 is around the corner


    Susan Bradley

    By Susan Bradley

    The 23H2 release of Windows 11 is coming soon. Don’t panic — you can defer. But before its release, you should be prepared.

    First, make sure you are on Windows 11 22H2 if you are using the Home or Professional Windows 11 editions. Second, I recommend downloading and keeping a copy of the Windows 11 22H2 ISO from Microsoft’s download site.

    You can also use the Rufus tool to download past versions of Windows 11. However, I feel that Microsoft download is the easiest way to ensure you have all the necessary media should you need to do a repair install at a later date.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (20.43.0, 2023-10-23).

  • Got a question about browsers?

    It’s pretty obvious that Browsers are an operating system into themselves. No matter what platform or operating system you use, all of us depend on the browser as a key component to get to the thing we want to do. Increasingly it’s the thing we use for more and more of our daily lives as our vendors push more features and functions to the Web. As a result, I recommend having several browsers on any platform so you can have a primary (secured and paranoid) browser and then one that is plain default as a fallback in case you have an issue on a site. In the future, I’ll be doing newsletter topics on the new kid on the block, DuckDuckGo.

    Check out the reorganized section of the forum! We’ll be moving around older posts into these new slots over time, but in the meantime, ask away.

  • Copilot is here, sort of

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    ISSUE 20.42 • 2023-10-16


    Susan Bradley

    By Susan Bradley

    The October security updates include Copilot.

    As I have alerted you before, if you have Windows 11 22H2 and live in North America or certain South American and Asian countries, Microsoft will be “dribbling” the “Chat for the operating system” update.

    Never fear — you can disable this “feature.” I didn’t say remove or block, but rather disable.

    In the European Union (EU), Copilot for Windows will probably be installed — but you won’t have the shortcut to it enabled, due to some EU digital rules. Expect Microsoft to make the changes necessary to bring it into compliance, at which point it will be enabled.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (20.42.0, 2023-10-16).
    This story also appears in our public Newsletter.

  • Can Microsoft Advertising just keep your money?


    Brian Livingston

    By Brian Livingston

    Scores of legitimate business owners report that they were rejected by Microsoft for “egregious behavior” shortly after applying for an account to advertise in the Bing search engine.

    If Microsoft doesn’t want to accept more advertising revenue, well, fine. But the new account holders say Microsoft failed to promptly refund hundreds of dollars that the potential new advertisers had deposited to fund their initial ad buys.

    Talk about adding insult to injury: US applicants, among others, receive a formulaic email message telling them to call a phone number in Brazil for support!

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (20.42.0, 2023-10-16).

  • Tax simplification


    Max Oppenheimer

    By Max Stul Oppenheimer, Esq.

    The Inflation Reduction Act gave the U.S. Treasury Department billions of dollars to create a world-class customer experience for taxpayers.

    Let’s put aside the question “Do we want a world-class customer experience, or do we deserve something better — maybe an Amazon-class customer experience?” Because I’m not really sure how customer-friendly the typical world tax system is. I mean, half the world’s population is in India and China.

    Maybe they’re great — I just don’t know.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (20.42.0, 2023-10-16).

  • Apps vs. applications


    Ed Tittel

    By Ed Tittel

    In Windows 10 and 11, there are two parallel architectures for building executables.

    Let’s call the older and more familiar architecture “applications.” It uses traditional, more conventional development tools and frameworks and results in programs that typically run as .exe files.

    The newer alternative was introduced with the debut of Windows 8 in 2012 as “Metro-style apps,” using tiles in the Windows Start menu with a variety of executable formats based on what is called .appx technology.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (20.42.0, 2023-10-16).

  • Looking for a different email client?

    <a href="" title="email icons">Email icons created by Those Icons - Flaticon</a>Looking for additional email clients OTHER than Outlook? We’ve opened up a new section in the forum where you can ask your questions. We’ll be sorting and moving more threads under this section, but in the meantime if you have questions about patching Thunderbird or changes to the interface.

    We’ve also set up a forum for AOL email as the changes in that platform lately has created a LOT of people asking about how to deal with the changes.

    If there is another email client that you think we need to call out, let us know. In the meantime there’s an “other” section.

    As always if there is a suggestion, we have a forum location for that as well.

  • Master Patch List for 10-10-2023

    I’ve updated the Master Patch list for the October updates.  Remember to always review the known issues we are tracking on the Master Patch List page. I will keep the latest info there.  This month the .NET 4.x updates do not have new security patches so it’s not mandatory to install them. That said .NET has been well behaved. I AM seeing KB5011048 .NET 4.8.1 being pushed to machines. Note this is a bit confusing and it’s making me scratch my head as well.  It was originally placed on Windows update back in June.  But clearly it’s been refreshed as of 10/10/2023.  As noted below it’s triggering multiple reboots.

    Windows 11 22H2 changes:  Rolled into the October updates as noted in September 26, 2023—KB5030310 (OS Build 22621.2361) Preview – Microsoft Support

    • New! This update introduces websites to the Recommended section of the Start menu. These websites will be personalized for you and come from your browsing history. This gives you quick access to the websites that are important to you. You can remove any website URL from the Recommended section using the shortcut menu. To turn off the feature, go to Settings Personalization Start. You can adjust settings for all recommended content on the Start menu on this Settings page. Commercial customers can manage this feature using a policy.

    Windows 10 22H2 if you made search smaller or got rid of it, this reintroduces the bigger search box.

    • From  “New! This update brings back an improved search box experience on the taskbar. If you have a top, bottom, regular, or small icons taskbar, you will see the search box appear. You can use it to easily access apps, files, settings, and more from Windows and the web. You will also have access to the latest search updates, such as search highlights. If you want to restore your previous search experience, you can do that easily. Use the taskbar shortcut menu or respond to a dialog that appears when you use search.”  You can use group policy or set a registry key  HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Search to 0 in a GPO if you want to kill it off.

    Windows 10/11 may see multiple reboots this month.  Workstations are being pushed .NET 4.8.1 KB5011048 in addition to the other updates triggering a multi-reboot month.

    Issues installing update on Windows 10 — see Here

    Server 2022 adds Azure Arc server setup – see here.

    WSUS appears to not be detecting that Windows 11 machines need updates.  Still investigating this to see what’s going on.

    Windows 11 22H unmanaged PCs may start to see Copilot.  To disable this use Download reg file to disable Windows Copilot  I’ve seen it dribbled on some, but not all machines.

    As always, thank you all for supporting the cause! Remember a donation will give you access and if you donate $50 or more you’ll get a special code to enable text messages sent to your phone each time the Master Patch List gets updated and when I change the MS-DEFCON level.  More details in Monday’s newsletter.  You are missing out if you don’t sign up. All content is human made with our own blood, sweat, tears, fingers and brain power and 100% AI free.  Therefore, if I’ve fat fingered any KB numbers or if you have any questions, as always post in the forums and I’ll follow up!

  • October updates – here comes Copilot

    Here we go again with the monthly updates for Windows.

    Just a reminder that end of life for Server 2012 and 2012r2 is hitting. You can opt for 0Patch, or plan on upgrading and migration.  See resources at this page.

    Already I’ve seen a “what the?”  In the notes of this patch it has   “To protect against CVE-2023-44487, you should install the latest Windows update. Based on your use case, you can also set the limit of the RST_STREAMS per minute using the new registry keys in this update.”

    This is related to that DDOS attacks vulnerability that has been discussed.  First off for consumers, this is NOT an issue. But for those in businesses, I’m going to have to digest this a bit and see if we can get a consensus as to when and where we might want to use these settings.

    IF you plan to be part of the patch Tuesday install today crowd (which I don’t recommend but I know that we do have beta tester folks) ALWAYS insure that you have a full backup BEFORE you install updates. Remember this October updates in the Windows 11 22H2 has the copilot code. Remember we CAN remove the icon from our computers – even Windows 11 Home machines.  I’ll be keeping track of the side effects on the Master Patch List page and start recapping the issues tonight as the reports come in.

    .NET only has security updates for core 6 and 7 , all others (4.81, 3.5 etc etc) have non security updates being released.

    Exchange is getting updates today – if you still do on premises email with an Exchange server you’ll want to read this post.

    Dustin Childs Zero day initiative blog

  • Pumpkin-spiced fall roundup — Top 10 free downloads

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    ISSUE 20.41 • 2023-10-09


    Deanna McElveen

    By Deanna McElveen

    There are many reasons for us to choose a program for a Top 10 list.

    It might be because we are an official, recognized mirror for the program. The program might be very popular among computer techs. Perhaps my columns for AskWoody brought the program extra attention. Or it might just be extremely popular with ordinary users.

    Whatever the reason, here are the past week’s top 10 downloads from Peruse them with a two-handed grip on that mug of pumpkin latte (ew). Or a cup of real coffee.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (20.41.0, 2023-10-09).
    This story also appears in our public Newsletter.

  • Why aren’t you using Edge?


    Josh Hendrickson

    By Josh Hendrickson

    You’re probably reading this newsletter from Chrome. But I’m not. I’m using Microsoft Edge.

    I know, I know. It’s pretty easy to take potshots at Microsoft as a whole, let alone a browser that comes from the company. This is the maker of such “fine” products as Windows Vista, Windows 8, and Internet Explorer. Yes, I agree — the tech behemoth has missed the mark plenty of times.

    But let’s also be fair: for every terrible version of Windows you can name, there is a great one you never wanted to leave (Windows XP and 7, anyone?). The company can put out good products, too, and even good hardware these days (hello, Surface). And the Edge browser is something different — it’s Chrome, but better.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (20.41.0, 2023-10-09).