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  • Changes to policies

    Posted on February 21st, 2021 at 12:05 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    “We are trying to build a gentler, kinder society, and if we all pitch in just a little bit, we are going to get there.”

    Alex Trebek said that in his final episode and it’s encouraged me to ask everyone here to make a slight change in the Lounge/Forum.

    I wanted to update you on a slight change in the policies on the venue.

    Posts and Privacy

    I’ve made a change to item number 3:

    3.  No politics and religion.

    So why are we changing this policy?  As a person in business for many years, the topics of politics and religion have been always considered to be something personal and not suited to be discussed on a site intended to be more technical than social.  Because these topics tend to cause topic drift I feel that at least for the foreseeable future I would prefer that this is a “free zone” where we all can come together and know that these topics won’t be causing a lack of civility.

    Sometimes we will have articles that deal with real-life issues that affect us all, such as the intersection of law and technology. Such topics can easily slip into a political discussion but we ask that your commentary remains polite, respectful, unbiased, and factual.  That sort of commentary is to be encouraged

    Anyone violating the terms of the Posts and Privacy rules will be dealt with accordingly.

    I want to thank everyone participating on the site for encouraging, embracing and enhancing our educational and technical topics on this site.  Rants (complaints) forum about technology will still allow you to complain about technology.  However I will suggest that taking a hammer to your old hard drive not only to ensure that it’s properly destroyed for security purposes, will also make you feel better than ranting.  Seriously, I can confirm this after many years working with computers.  The Fun Stuff venues are still available for your use to also relax after dealing with annoying technology.

    Also be aware in regards to 8. Before posting a link or question, search the site first

    There are two new boxes on the side of the site. One searches the postings on the site. I called it searching the “newsletters” as it will let you search for past newsletter stubs as well as the blog posts.  I’m going to be working on getting a more advanced search that will allow you to target *just* the posts or *just* the newsletters, but this is a short term workaround that I hope you’ll accept until I get a long term solution in place. The second search box allows you to search the forums/lounge. Because the site is in reality three parts – the “blog posts”, the newsletter posts and the forum/lounge we have to have multiple search tools. I’m hoping long term to get a unified search but again, hopefully this is a good compromise for now?

    Thank you to everyone and thank you all for your expertise and sharing of information.

  • Tasks for the weekend – February 20, 2021 – it’s Squirrel away time

    Posted on February 21st, 2021 at 00:27 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    (Youtube video here)

    Microsoft just announced 21h1 is in the final testing. That’s a sign to me that I need to “squirrel away” a copy of the current ISO from the Microsoft download page.

    It’s also a sign to me to check for updated drivers from my computer vendors application – or if I’ve built my own computer – I go to the vendor page and see if they have a tool to review for new drivers. I also check to see if I have enough hard drive space. I’m not going to install the new version just yet, rather this is a sign to me to ensure that I’m prepared.

    So have you already squirreled away a copy of the 20H2 even though you may not have installed it yet?

  • Can you check your user name?

    Posted on February 19th, 2021 at 20:33 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Can you do me a huge favor? For those of you that frequent the forums, I need you to make sure that your user profile name is not your email address. If it is, email me at sb@askwoody.com and I’l change it for you.

    To check it easiest way is to hover over your name in upper right.  If you see your name or a word, then you are set.  If you see your email address up there, we need to get it changed.

    I think everyone that actively comes here have been fixed, but if you would be so kind to double check?  If you DO see an email address up there, remember to send me an email and we’ll get you fixed up.  This is to ensure that your email address is protected better from anyone trying to harvest info from the site.

    P.S. Another way to check is to go here and see what the Username field has.

  • Bleeping computer reports Flash patch force installed

    Posted on February 17th, 2021 at 10:56 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Sigh.

    https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/microsoft/microsoft-force-installs-windows-10-update-to-remove-flash-player/

    Now hopefully by now Askwoody readers did this task manually a few weeks ago, but if you didn’t….. well apparently Microsoft feels that you should do it NOW.  Barb Bowman reports that it also kicks a reboot.

  • Mary Jo Foley indicates 21H1 will be smaller update

    Posted on February 17th, 2021 at 00:08 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    In today’s ZDnet report – Mary Jo Foley indicates that rumors are that the 21H1 release will be a smaller update similar to how the fall updates have been in the past.

    Rumors are that the fall release will be larger in terms of changes. It will be nice to not have any major headaches in the spring release. Looks like the Pandemic is still impacting patching releases.

  • When the patch is worse than the attack

    Posted on February 15th, 2021 at 01:00 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    PATCH WATCH

    When the patch is worse than the attack

    By Susan Bradley

    .NET releases include known bugs

    I was dismayed to see that Microsoft had released several .NET patches that have known interactions with a major developer software platform and could potentially have wider impact on those of us with line-of-business applications. Because .NET updates have been very well behaved for so long, I was finally feeling that .NET updates were trustworthy on their face, with no risks to my applications, and could thus be recommended without fear.

    But not this month. It’s very disturbing to see Microsoft release a security update that has a known problem, one that had been identified even before the security patch was released.

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 18.6.0 (2021-02-15).

  • Tasks for the Weekend – February 13, 2021 – Windows backup

    Posted on February 14th, 2021 at 00:54 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Youtube video here

    Tonight I’m showcasing making a backup of your Windows 10 computer. Picking your backup software is similar to picking your antivirus software – it comes down to what you are comfortable with. I personally recommend paying for backup software and not relying on a free version because the paid version normally has more features that I want. For example the backup software I personally use (Macrium Reflect) provides anti-ransomware protection in their paid version. This sets up the permissions on the drive used for backup so that attackers coming in through your access can’t destroy the backup.

    I also recommend taking the time to either building a usb boot flash drive or using the software to change the bootloader so that it does a slight delay in booting and gives you the option to choose to boot into recovery mode or into Windows 10.  A good step by step post on how to install the Macrium reflect software is here. Easeus backup is here. Acronis is here.

    For backup media I normally buy Western Digital external hard drives for my desktop at home, for laptops I put a small USB flash drive so that they can have standalone backups.  I even backup the workstations at the office with a centralized backup server for all of the workstations. When SSD drives fail I want to be able to get the user back onto their EXACT desktop with their EXACT icons as soon as possible. It’s the same way at home. I want my icons and programs back and the faster I can do that, the better.

    Backing up my machine means that I treat patching in the same way I do hard drive failure or ransomware – all of these issues I now know that I can recover from and they are not a big deal.

    Michael Austin has a great topic thread on why he chose the backup software he did.

    Bottom line HAVE A BACKUP.  It will save your bacon one day.

  • Friday night quick patching recap for business patchers:

    Posted on February 13th, 2021 at 00:03 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Friday night quick patching recap for business patchers:

    Windows Server 2016 SSU – has been recalled and been replaced with KB5001078.  This fixes the issue where the cumulative update got stuck at 24%.

    Source:  Windows 10, version 1607 and Windows Server 2016 | Microsoft Docs

    1909 received a replaced February release that fixes an issue with Wifi in the form of KB5001028

    Source:  Windows 10, version 1909 and Windows Server, version 1909 | Microsoft Docs

    All .NET updates may trigger issues with applications and games

    Source:  Windows 10, version 1803 | Microsoft Docs

    February updates enforced secure logon for the Zerologon issue.  If you have Windows 7/Server 2008 even without ESUs these still connect to your domain.  Windows server 2003 will probably fail.  You will need to disable signing enforcement if you have any non compliant devices.

    KB: How to manage the changes in Netlogon secure channel connections associated with CVE-2020-1472 (microsoft.com)

     Monitoring script: Script to help in monitoring event IDs related to changes in Netlogon secure channel connections associated with CVE-2020-1472 (microsoft.com)

    All of these issues will be discussed in detail in NEXT week’s patch watch.  I’ll be doing a consumer patching overview this weekend in the newsletter and business patching in the Plus newsletter next week.