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  • A dozen reasons why you don’t want Win10 1903 — yet

    ISSUE 16.20.0 • 2019-06-03

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    The AskWoody Plus Newsletter

    In this issue


    WOODY’S WINDOWS WATCH

    A dozen reasons why you don’t want Win10 1903 — yet

    Woody Leonhard

    By Woody Leonhard

    On May 21, Microsoft officially released the latest version of the last version of Windows.

    The Windows 10 May 2019 Update — formerly known as the Windows 10 April 2019 Update or Version 19H1, and more reliably and consistently referred to as Version 1903 — isn’t getting pushed out in droves just yet. Instead, the “RTM” version is available primarily to beta testers and to people who manually install it in various ways.

    At least at this point, a little under two weeks after official availability, it appears Win10 1903 might just be — to borrow a favorite Microsoft marketeering phrase — “the best Windows 10 yet.” But only time will tell.

    How to avoid the upgrade

    Before I explain why you should delay Version 1903, let me review how. These instructions will change as we get more experience with the new Download and install now link (more info). But for the foreseeable future, you should be able to fend off 1903’s advances by following the steps in my Computerworld article.

    Of course, all bets are off if you manually install the new release with the Update Assistant Tool — or if you gratuitously (or mistakenly) click Check for updates and/or Download and install now.

    Here’s the rub. If you’re using Win10 version 1803 (by far the most common version of Win10 these days) you’ll have to watch out — sooner rather than later. Even though Microsoft says 1803 Home and Pro are covered by security patches until November 12, 2019 (more info), we’ve also received a threat … er, promise from Microsoft that …

    “Starting this June, we will begin updating devices running the April 2018 Update [aka Win10 1803] and earlier versions of Windows 10 to ensure we can continue to service these devices and provide the latest updates, security updates, and improvements. We are starting this machine learning (ML)-based rollout process several months in advance of the end-of-service date to provide adequate time for a smooth update process.”

    Which sounds like the usual marketing malarkey to me. There are no further details about the imminent demise of Version 1803, or whether the forced upgrades will obey the new genteel-upgrade rules. And we probably won’t know much until we see the forced 1803-to-1903 upgrades in action.

    If Microsoft’s ML-based rollout for 1903 works as well as the ML-based rollouts for 1803 and 1809 — both of which left a trail of trashed machines and livid customers — we have every reason to be defensive about 1903.

    The dozen (or so) acknowledged reasons to avoid Version 1903

    Why don’t I recommend upgrading to 1903 now? O ye of short memory.

    Microsoft has a horrible record when it comes to new versions of Windows. And make no mistake, Win10 1903 is a completely new version that will replace just about every Windows program file.

    Microsoft’s inability to ship stable new versions is a genetic and predictable flaw. Back in the Steampunk days of Win7 and earlier, the general advice was to “wait for Service Pack 1.” Unfortunately, there’s no analog with Win10, which ships new versions as substitutes for service packs. But the wait-and-see warnings ring just as true now as they did in Victorian Windows days.

    Don’t take my word for it. Microsoft has a detailed list of known and acknowledged problems with Win10 1903, and it’s currently hovering at around a dozen entries. Moreover, some of the known problems, such as the conflict with Trend Micro’s Apex One/OfficeScan XG SP1 products (more info) aren’t on the list.

    Most damning of all, Microsoft doesn’t at this time have enough confidence in Win10 1903 to recommend it for broad distribution in businesses — you know, the folks who actually pay for Microsoft’s advice.

    What I’ll be looking for — and you should, too

    If the new “Download and install now” feature works as promised, it’s going to be a major boon for Windows 10 users of all stripes. We still haven’t seen it in action (or the ability to pause updates for set periods), so some skepticism is warranted. But there’s a good chance that you really will want to move to 1903 … some day.

    Most of the other feature “improvements” leave me snoring: Cortana gets separated from Search (as it shoulda been from the beginning), the default Start menu has just one column (but Candy Crush is still there, along with other new “productivity enhancers”), and it’s easier to remove apps that you never use anyway. The new “self-healing” capability probably won’t be much better than the old one. Meh.

    If I finally decide to use and recommend Version 1903, it’ll be for the ability to block updates. Kinda ironic that Windows’ best new feature is the ability to block new Windows features, but there you have it.

    Win10 1903 will be the source of ongoing comment and debate on AskWoody. If you’re on Windows 10, you’ll want to keep up. If you’re using some other version of Windows, it’s worth a peek. Hop on the Lounge and let us know what you think.

    Oh, and that bit about “the latest version of the last version”? Microsoft claims that Win10 is the last Windows. What are the chances we’ll be discussing Windows 10 Version 3903 — twenty years down the road?

    Questions? Comments? Thinly veiled prognostications of impending doom? Join the discussion about this article on the AskWoody Lounge. Bring your sense of humor.

    Eponymous factotum Woody Leonhard writes lots of books about Windows and Office, creates the Woody on Windows columns for Computerworld, and raises copious red flags in sporadic AskWoody Plus Alerts.


    LANGALIST

    Taking the plunge with a new PC

    Fred Langa

    By Fred Langa

    Buying a new PC was once a fairly simple shop-and-buy process. There wasn’t much to consider beyond memory and drive capacity — and maybe an upgraded video card.

    But recent innovations have made choosing a new machine more complicated. Intel’s Optane technology, for example, claims to make a hard drive as responsive as an SSD!

    Here are some of the decisions — and mistakes — I made while selecting specs and setting up a brand-new Windows 10 system.

    Three steps to a well-performing PC

    I like my PC best when I don’t have to think about it.

    It’s great when everything’s working well — smoothly, quietly, and efficiently. It lets me focus entirely on whatever productivity or entertainment task is at hand. Recently, however, my aging PC required so much attention, it became an impediment to getting things done.

    Over several years of use, the machine had served me well. But when my workload increased earlier this year, it struggled to keep up. Too often, when I was performing routine tasks, the system’s cooling fan would spool up to maximum RPMs; my machine would also become frustratingly slow responding to commands.

    Clearly, something was wrong. But was it something I could correct through a software setting or change? Or was I looking at a hardware upgrade — or even a whole new PC?

    To answer those questions, I resorted to a classic three-step process for solving PC performance issues. Along the way, I documented the entire process so you can figuratively peek over my shoulders and see the diagnoses, choices, and changes that I made. The series includes:

    Step 1 (today’s column): I ran Task Manager to identify specific performance bottlenecks in my old PC. That information steered the next steps as I worked toward a solution.

    Step 2 (next week’s column): I experimented with different solutions — including the new-to-me Intel Optane system (info), a low-cost, plug-in board that promises ” … SSD-like responsiveness from your accelerated HDD boot or data drive.” (That sounded interesting!)

    Those experiments produced some surprising, real-life, before-and-after benchmarks. And when I say “surprising,” I really mean it: Those benchmarks forced me to switch plans midway and — argh! — totally re-do two of my initial upgrade choices!

    Step 3 (the final column in the series): After I’d made and installed my upgrade choices, the last step was to benchmark and fine-tune my new system — which, I am happy to report, resulted in a system significantly faster than its factory-delivered condition.

    You might not agree with any or all of my choices (and I admit I made some mistakes, as you’ll see), but my real-life experiences might help inform your decisions when it’s your turn to consider a major hardware upgrade.

    Moreover, you can apply many of the same tools, techniques, and technologies I used to help maximize your PC’s performance — whether it’s old or new!

    Let’s get started.

    Finding the system bottlenecks

    My old PC isn’t intrinsically underpowered — it’s a mainstream, brand-name laptop with 8GB of RAM, running current Win10 on a Core i7 CPU. Over its lifetime, I’d upgraded the original spinning-platter HDD with a speedy half-terabyte SSD. I’d also added 10TB of local external storage. I’ve taken good care of the system, following the best maintenance practices I know of.

    So, why was the PC struggling to keep up?

    To find out, I used Windows’ built-in Task Manager’s Performance tab, which can make it easy to identify PC bottlenecks. (To open the tool, right-click the Taskbar and select Task Manager. If its tabs aren’t shown, click the More details link and then click the Performance tab.)

    Keeping Task Manager open and visible on my desktop over several weeks, I went about my daily tasks and carefully watched how the system responded.

    During peak workloads, Task Manager would display performance graphs similar to those shown in Figure 1. There was hardly a byte of RAM to spare, and not a lot of CPU capacity left, either. I was maxing out this setup, for sure!

    Performance graphs
    Figure 1. Task Manager shows heavy use of RAM and CPU resources.

    The glaring problem: RAM starvation. Clicking the Memory graph showed almost the entire 8GB of system memory as being in use, with only a tiny bit left open for the system.

    The CPU graph suggests that the system processor wasn’t quite in crisis, but it sure was working hard. With that much RAM in use, it’s a safe bet that a good chunk of processing activity was actually busywork, as Windows frantically swapped overflow code and data between physical RAM and virtual RAM (the pagefile on the hard drive).

    The SSD (Disk 0) wasn’t being taxed — the read/write tasks produced only tiny blips of activity. In fact, the whole rest of the system was loafing along, despite the workload.

    But, again, system RAM was totally maxed out and the CPU was breathing hard. Clearly, as configured, that system was way underpowered for my current tasks.

    Should I upgrade the existing hardware?

    I initially considered the simplest option — beefing up the system.

    For example, to address the RAM-starvation issue directly, I could simply add more RAM — i.e., take the system’s 8GB up to 16GB or even 32GB.

    Trouble is, the notebook had no open RAM slots, which means I’d have to remove my current RAM and replace it outright with higher-capacity modules. I’d then have to scrap or sell my current RAM, a prospect that’s either a PITA or wasteful and therefore bad for the environment.

    Moreover, investing in a major upgrade is iffy on a system that’s already several years old. Something else might well break or need replacing before I’d gotten good use out of the new RAM.

    As I was noodling this, several readers sent in some helpful suggestions for taming Windows’ system-resources appetite. The tips included using various software tools for paring back unneeded system processes — apps such as Process Tamer (donationware; info), Process Piglet (donationware; info), and Process Lasso (free; info). Readers also suggested I change my work patterns to avoid the bottlenecks. (Thanks for the tips, App103, Bill, and Greg!)

    Fixes like those are worth a try; they might let you at least temporarily avoid a major hardware upgrade. (That’s why I’m mentioning them here.) But, alas, they couldn’t help me.

    For one thing, a lot of the heavy load on my PC is due to several virtual PCs (to troubleshoot reader questions) I run alongside my normal software (Chrome, Edge, Word, a graphics editor, an HTML editor, and so forth). Each virtual PC uses a significant amount of system resources — especially RAM.

    That’s why the “Process Tamer”–type apps, while very cool, really won’t help in my case. There’s just not much to pare away. And besides, although a process-taming utility might help me to work within the confines of an existing PC bottleneck, I’d much prefer a solution that actually widens the bottleneck.

    And, yes, I could spread out my computing tasks; I could, for example, never run more than one virtual PC at a time. But working in that kind of serial fashion — shutting down one virtual PC before I start the next and wait for it to boot — would squash my productivity. The notebook is already slowing me down, so changing my work flow isn’t an option. I need the PC to work at my pace — not me at its pace!

    So, it became clear that upgrading the existing hardware wasn’t a practical solution — nor were software or work style–adjustment options.

    Simply stated, I needed a new PC.

    Buying, correcting, and refining the new system

    In the next two installments of this series, you’ll see how I initially selected the new hardware, including an Optane-based drive setup that — I am not exaggerating — delivered some very surprising real-life benchmark results.

    Stay tuned!

    Send your questions and topic suggestions to Fred at fred@askwoody.com. Feedback on this article is always welcome in the AskWoody Lounge!

    Fred Langa has been writing about tech — and, specifically, about personal computing — for as long as there have been PCs. And he is one of the founding members of the original Windows Secrets newsletter. Check out Langa.com for all Fred’s current projects.


    PATCH WATCH

    Windows 1903 gets its first update

    Susan BradleyBy Susan Bradley

    Microsoft’s most recent “feature release,” better known as Version 1903, received its very first patch — and it’s optional!

    What’s apparently fixed is the very thing that blocked my initial install of Version 1903. If an external USB device or SD memory card is plugged in, the device is reassigned to an incorrect drive letter during the installation process.

    Although I’m not ready to give Win10 1903 an all-clear, I’ve also not found any deal-breakers during my early testing. Note that I don’t use any third-party antivirus apps on the system but rely only on the built-in Windows Defender. When it’s early days with new Win10 releases, you need to be extremely careful about your security software. There is, for example, a good chance of compatibility issues between non-Microsoft AV products and early versions of Win10 1903.

    - What to do: Feel free to play with Version 1903 on a test system, but don’t force an upgrade on your production machines.

    Waiting for the worm to turn

    As Woody pointed out in an AskWoody post, we were expecting the arrival of worms targeting the Remote Desktop Protocol security hole, aka BlueKeep, in XP and Win7 machines. They didn’t show up — at least not yet. Even so, I still recommend manually downloading and installing the following update:

    • KB 4500331 for Windows XP SP3 x86, XP Pro x64 Edition SP2, XP Embedded SP3 x86, Server 2003 SP3 x86, Server 2003 x64 Edition SP2, and Server 2003 R2

    (Vista users should look for KB 4499180.)

    Head over to the Microsoft Update Catalog site, select the update, pick the OS you’re patching, and choose the preferred language. You will need to restart your computer for the fix to take effect. (As I noted in the previous Patch Watch column, if you pick the wrong version, it won’t install.)

    Windows 7, Server 2008, and Server 2008 R2 are also vulnerable, but the patches should have shown up in Windows Update. Again as noted in the previous column, you’re vulnerable only if you have Remote Desktop Services enabled — and you also have port 3389 open.

    - What to do: Don’t panic! Install KB 4500331 on XP systems, and on Win7 systems, look for the patch in Windows Update. If you’re sure you don’t have port 3389 open and RDS isn’t enabled, you can skip the fixes.

    And now this …

    With Windows 10, Microsoft hasn’t made it easy to distinguish between updates you really need, optional feature updates, and — especially confusing — those Win10 “previews” of patches coming the next month. Unlike Win7 updates, those end-of-the-month, Windows 10 patches give no obvious clue that they’re previews — and optional. Just keep this in mind: If you don’t click “Check for updates,” the previews won’t automatically install.

    May Windows 10 updates

    For Windows 1809’s KB 4494441, we’re still tracking the following (mostly) non-issues:

    • For enterprises: Problems using the Preboot Execution Environment to start devices from Windows Deployment Services
    • For businesses: Issues with renaming files on Cluster Shared volumes
    • For all: Problems printing from Edge (use another browser)
    • For all: The computer must reboot twice to properly install updates.

    May’s Win10 fixes are contained in the following updates. Note: If you’ve had problems with United Kingdom websites, follow up with the patch in parentheses.

    • 4494441 for Version 1809 and Server 2019 (KB 4505056)
    • 4499167 for Version 1803 (KB 4505064)
    • 4499179 for Version 1709 (KB 4505062)
    • 4499181 for Version 1703 (KB4505055)
    • 4494440 for Version 1607 and Server 2016 (KB 4505052)

    A reminder to manually update Adobe Flash Player for Windows 7 (more info), or ensure that KB 4497932 is installed on newer versions of Windows.

    And be sure you’ve installed servicing-stack updates release for all Win10 releases. They are:

    You’ll want to pass on the following. They’re all previews for updates coming in June, and they don’t contain any new security fixes. Again, they don’t give you a clue that they’re completely optional previews. And trust me, they are not going to make your PCs more secure.

    • 4497934 for Windows 10 1809 and Server 2019
    • 4499183 for Windows 10 1803
    • 4499147 For Windows 10 1709
    • 4499162 for Windows 10 1703
    • 4499177 for Windows 10 1607 and Server 2016

    - What to do: May’s Windows 10 updates are looking good, for the most part. Install them soon.

    Windows 8.1/Server 2012 R2

    As a reminder, here are May’s Win8.1 and Server 2012 R2 updates.

    • 4499151 – Update rollup (A series).
    • 4499165 – Security only (B series).
    • 4498206 – Internet Explorer 11 (needed if security-only update is installed)
    • 4497932 – Adobe Flash Player

    If you’ve run into the UK website problem, install KB 4505050. Otherwise, skip it.

    - What to do: We’re into June, and there are no significant problems with the above updates. Install them when you can. Skip KB 4499182; it’s a preview of June updates.

    Windows 7

    And here’s my last reminder that you should have installed the normal May updates by now; there’s a viable threat coming your way (more info). May fixes include:

    • 4499164 – Update rollup (A series)
    • 4499175 – Security-only (B series)
    • 4498206 – Internet Explorer 11 (install with the security-only patch)

    Again, ensure you have the latest release of Flash Player.

    Install KB 4505050 only if you’ve had trouble with UK sites, and take a pass on preview update KB 4499178.

    - What to do: If you haven’t installed the usual Win7 updates for May by now, you’re late.

    Windows Server 2012 updates

    This month’s updates include:

    • 4499171 – Rollup (A series)
    • 4499158 – Security-only (B series; also install IE update below)
    • 4498206 – Internet Explorer 11

    If you’ve run into the UK bug, install KB 4505050. Otherwise, ignore it.

    - What to do: Test and install these updates at this time.

    .NET Framework

    A reminder that Microsoft issued .NET Framework security updates in May to combat a denial-of-service threat. The updates included:

    • 4499406 for Win7 SP1 and Server 2008 R2 SP – .NET 3.5.1, 4.5.2, 4.6, 4.6.1, 4.6.2, 4.7, 4.7.1, 4.7.2, 4.8
    • 4498961 for Win7 SP1 and Server 2008 R2 SP1 – .NET 3.5.1, 4.5.2, 4.6, 4.6.1, 4.6.2, 4.7, 4.7.1, 4.7.2, 4.8
    • 4499407 for Server 2012 – .NET 3.5, 4.5.2, 4.6, 4.6.1, 4.6.2, 4.7, 4.7.1, 4.7.2, 4.8
    • 4499408 for Windows 8.1, RT 8.1, and Server 2012 R2 – .NET 3.5, 4.5.2, 4.6, 4.6.1, 4.6.2, 4.7, 4.7.1, 4.7.2, 4.8
    • 4498963 for Windows 8.1 and Server 2012 R2 – .NET 3.5, 4.5.2, 4.6, 4.6.1, 4.6.2, 4.7, 4.7.1, 4.7.2, 4.8

    Microsoft also released the following cumulative .NET 4.8 security updates for Win10. They include:

    • 4495620 for Version 1903 – (both .NET 3.5 and 4.8)
    • 4495618 for Version 1809 and Server 2019 – (both .NET 3.5 and 4.8)
    • 4495616 for Version 1803
    • 4495611 for Version 1703
    • 4495610 for Version 1607 and Server 2016

    - What to do: Install these updates if offered.

    Office security updates

    May’s Office updates are looking good, too. There are no major issues of note.

    The following security patches are mostly designed to fix a remote-code-execution bug.

    Security updates:

    Office 2016

    • 4464536 – Word; remote-code-execution bug plus various Japanese-era fixes
    • 4464551 – Office

    Office 2013

    Office 2010

    Feature updates and fixes

    Office 2016

    • 2920717 – Office; crashes with Korean proofing tools
    • 4461441 – Office; synchronization error with OneNote
    • 4461477 – Office; performance problem
    • 4462113 – Visio; naming issue in Explorer
    • 4462119 – Office, Japanese-era information
    • 4464538 – Office; Japanese proofing fixes
    • 4462243 – Office; Japanese era
    • 4464532 – Skype for Business; various fixes
    • 4464533 – PowerPoint; linking error with Excel
    • 4464540 – Outlook; various fixes
    • 4464541 – Project; various fixes
    • 4464550 – Excel; crashes and other issues
    • 4464552 – Office, OneNote synchronization

    Office 2013

    • 4011677 – Office; Japanese proofing
    • 4464545 – Word; Japanese era
    • 4464546 – Outlook; image blocking
    • 4464547 – Skype for Business; various issues

    Office 2010

    • 4464524 – Office; crashes and image blocking

    - What to do: Install May’s Office security updates soon; add the feature fixes and enhancements at your leisure.

    Questions or comments? Feedback for this article is always welcome in the AskWoody Lounge!

    In real life, Susan Bradley is a Microsoft Security MVP and IT wrangler at a California accounting firm, where she manages a fleet of servers, virtual machines, workstations, iPhones, and other digital devices. She also does forensic investigations of computer systems for the firm.


    TROUBLESHOOTING

    How to fix OneDrive file-synching problems

    Lance WhitneyBy Lance Whitney

    OneDrive is the one cloud-storage app all Win10 users have on their system — because it’s included with the OS.

    So there’s a good chance you’ve used it as a helpful tool for backing up files and/or synching them between devices. But as with any program, you can run into hiccups with OneDrive; files don’t get backed up, synching fails, and so forth.

    As a result, you might end up with missing files, older versions of synched files, or two copies of the same file. Fortunately, you can set up OneDrive to better guard against such glitches. Here are some tricks for safer synching and for fixing problems that pop up.

    Review basic settings: We’ll start by looking at some standard OneDrive settings to ensure they’re properly set. There are several, but I’m going to focus on the two related to the most common OneDrive problems: files that disappear and those that don’t sync correctly.

    Assuming OneDrive is running properly on your computer (e.g., you’re signed in to a valid Microsoft account), right-click the OneDrive icon in the notification area/taskbar, select Settings, and then click the Choose folders button under the Account tab (see Figure 1).

    OneDrive Account tab
    Figure 1. To check basic OneDrive settings, start in the Account section.

    Next, in the “Sync your OneDrive files to this PC” window, you should see a tree of files and folders stored in OneDrive. A checkmark next to a file or folder means it’s set to be synched between this PC, the cloud, and possibly other devices (see Figure 2). No checkmark means the file/folder is stored in the OneDrive cloud but not locally — typically used when the computer has limited storage space or you simply don’t need the file or folder on this PC.

    Checked files are stored locally.
    Figure 2. Checked files/folders are stored locally; unchecked items are stored in the cloud.

    Review the listed folders to ensure that each one is set correctly. Be sure to check subfolders, too. Click OK when you’re done making changes (or Cancel to abandon all changes).

    Back in the main settings windows, select the Settings tab. To ensure important files aren’t accidentally deleted from the cloud, check these two boxes: “Notify me when many files are deleted in the cloud” and “Warn me before removing files from the cloud” (see Figure 3). After you close the Settings window, OneDrive will alert you when you’re going to delete — either accidentally or on purpose — multiple files in one shot.

    Deletion warning settings
    Figure 3. Configure OneDrive to warn you of simultaneous, multiple-file deletions.

    Recover a lost file: Okay, now let’s say OneDrive is synching folders and files to the cloud and to your other devices. One day, though, you notice that a specific file is missing on your computer, or the file is an older version that’s missing important changes. Here are some steps to take.

    First, temporarily stop OneDrive synching on your local PC, which might prevent the deletion or incorrect file from spreading to your other devices. To pause synching, simply right-click the OneDrive icon again and select the Pause synching option. You can choose two hours, eight hours, or 24 hours (see Figure 4). In this example, the interval isn’t important, because you can manually resume synching whenever you choose.

    Sync pause intervals
    Figure 4. You can pause OneDrive for up to 24 hours — and resume whenever you like.

    Next, hunt for your missing file, or a more current version, online. Right-click the OneDrive icon and select View Online. Then sign in to the Web-based OneDrive page with your Microsoft account.

    With the online version of OneDrive open, drill down to the specific folder that should contain the file in question. If you find it, right-click it and select the Download option — it should show up in the correct local folder. If you don’t see it, click the Recycle bin folder in the left pane. OneDrive stores deleted files for 30 days, so you should be able to locate a file that was lost fairly recently. If you find the file, right-click on it and select the Restore command to put it back into its proper folder (see Figure 5).

    Restore deleted file
    Figure 5. If a OneDrive file suddenly goes missing, look for it in the cloud-based recycle bin.

    If you still can’t find the missing file or can’t locate the latest version, move to another computer or device that has your OneDrive account enabled. Should you find it there, open it and re-save it, or make a copy. It should then show up in the cloud — and eventually on your local PC.

    Once you’ve found the correct file, go back to the computer where you paused OneDrive synching. Right-click the OneDrive icon and select the Resume synching option to restore the file to its proper place on the local system (see Figure 6).

    Resume synching
    Figure 6. You can easily resume synching — anytime.

    Fixing duplicates: Sometimes OneDrive generates two copies of the same file. This can happen when you’re working with and synching the same file across different computers. OneDrive can get confused about which version is the correct one. In this case, you’ll see one file with the original name and a second file that has the name of a computer appended to it (see Figure 7).

    Duplicate files
    Figure 7. OneDrive marks one of the duplicate files with the name of an associated device.

    Yes, the duplicate-file glitch is annoying, but the fix is simple: Open and review both versions to see which one has the correct changes. Delete the incorrect version. Then make sure the correct version has the original filename (sans computer name) — it should resume synching normally.

    Questions or comments? Feedback on this article is always welcome in the AskWoody Lounge!

    Lance Whitney is a freelance technology reporter and former IT professional. He’s written for CNET, TechRepublic, PC Magazine, and other publications. He’s authored a book on Windows and another about LinkedIn.


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