Newsletter Archives

  • MS-DEFCON 2: Settling down for a stable Windows 10

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    ISSUE 20.18.1 • 2023-05-04

    By Susan Bradley

    The order of the day is Windows 10 22H2.

    With Patch Tuesday just around the corner, it’s time to defer updates. Therefore, I’m raising the MS-DEFCON level to 2.

    However, there is one exception. If you are running Windows 10, update to release 22H2 as soon as possible. If you can’t get to it by Tuesday, defer — but be sure to get it done before the end of May.

    Anyone can read the full MS-DEFCON Alert (20.18.1, 2023-05-04).

  • Can you STILL do a Windows 11?

    Can you still do a Windows 11 without a Microsoft account with Windows 11 22H2?

    Yes. Absolutely.  When you get to the spot where it wants you to have a Microsoft account just put in and any password.  It then says “oops” and will let you set up an account even without a password if you like.

    The trick STILL works.

  • Windows 10 22H2 – the stable version

    Well Microsoft has made it official, 22H2 will be the last feature release for Windows 10.

    This is a good thing. 10 is now entering into the “most stable” version mode of it’s lifecycle.

    And Jason, dahling, sweetie, honey. While you’ve once again stated that October of 2025 is the drop dead date of support for Windows 10 and we should be migrating to Windows 11, the reality is that businesses and consumers will both need an extended support period because the hardware “tax” you’ve imposed means that it will take time and budget to get all hardware to the point that it will support Windows 11.

    Someone the other day said “isn’t there a Windows 12 announced” to which I said… well Microsoft hasn’t really announced anything and tech writers are speculating.  I always hate that part of the tech news churn.  Don’t give me what you are guessing at, give me facts. Right now the facts are 10 is fully supported until 2025 and is still the dominant operating system.

  • MS-DEFCON 4: Major April issue, but not from updates

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    ISSUE 20.17.1 • 2023-04-25

    By Susan Bradley

    I’m ready to approve the April updates.

    Accordingly, I’ve lowered the MS-DEFCON level to 4. This is not to say there are not a few oddities out there, but they will not affect many users.

    Most of the unusual behavior in updates this month is due to slow changes that will lead to future enforcement changes.

    Microsoft has also pushed off the implementation of the mandatory, number-based, multifactor authentication for Microsoft 365 applications.

    Anyone can read the full MS-DEFCON Alert (20.17.1, 2023-04-25).

  • The problem with local administrator accounts

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    ISSUE 20.17 • 2023-04-24
    Look for our BONUS issue on Monday, May 1, 2023!


    Susan Bradley

    By Susan Bradley

    Microsoft doesn’t want you to use a local administrator account, whether in a consumer or a business edition of Windows.

    But depending upon which sort of user you are, the company is taking two different approaches to “encourage” you to stop using local accounts.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (20.17.0, 2023-04-24).
    This story also appears in our public Newsletter.

  • Getting rid of that pesky bing icon

    If you are a user of Edge, but not necessarily of Bing, nor a fan of the menu bar on the right side, be aware that you can now disable these in the GUI without needing a registry key edit.

    Open Edge’s Settings page.  Click on sidebar. Then select Discover. Click on the “Show Discover” on or off, depending on your preference.

    Then on the main sidebar setting,

    Turn off always show sidebar.

    I’m working on a “all those annoying things I turn off” document which will be in a future newsletter. Stay tuned for more!

  • Apple and Microsoft fix April zero days


    Susan Bradley

    By Susan Bradley

    Tomorrow is the tax-filing deadline in the US. It’s not the time to be installing updates, especially since we’re still at MS-DEFCON 2.

    In other words, we’re still in deferral mode despite several newsworthy patching headlines and despite my not having noticed any significant side effects. As usual, I suggest patience until we know more.

    The majority of the items of concern relate to businesses, not consumers. Here are some highlights.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (20.16.0, 2023-04-17).

  • Microsoft… I’m not in the mood for this

    Buried in the latest insider edition is this little nugget….

    Changes and Improvements


    • We are continuing the exploration of badging on the Start menu with several new treatments for users logging in with local user accounts to highlight the benefits of signing in with a Microsoft account (MSA). If you see one of these treatments, give us feedback on what you think. As a reminder, it is normal for us to try out different concepts in the Dev Channel to get feedback.
    Different treatments of badging on the Start menu highlighting the benefits of signing in with a Microsoft account for users logged in with a local user account.
    Different treatments of badging on the Start menu highlighting the benefits of signing in with a Microsoft account for users logged in with a local user account.

    So being that this is nearly the end of the unofficial tax season for me … long story short those of us in California really get until October 16 due to our flooding earlier this year, but we’re still doing tax extensions to be proactive and ensure the IRS handles these right… but I digress, and this is patching week, and well… I’m tired!  My patience is at absolute ZERO.  So needless to say this is not going over well with me tonight.

    Here’s what I tweeted to @brandonLeBlanc on twitter tonight

    Sometimes we WANT the choice we have gone OUT OF OUR WAY to select.  If we wanted a Microsoft account, we would get that Microsoft account.

    I guess I should look at the bright side, there are enough folks using the workaround that they are taking the time (and developer effort) to code this up.

    More about this as we know more about this. As always we’ll keep you up to date in the newsletter.

  • Master Patch List April 11, 2023

    I’ve updated the Master Patch list for the April releases.

    Remember to always review the known issues we are tracking on the Master Patch List. I will keep the latest info there.

    So far trending issues are:

    Business patchers – weird Google chrome issue after installing kb5025221 if your group policy is used to set Chrome as default

    Also I’ll update the list for the SQL updates but I wanted to get the other updates out for you

    I am recommending at this time that you install Apple updates, I’m not recommending Windows updates at this time. I’ll have more details in the newsletter on Monday.

    • Windows 11 22H2: Not recommended
    • Windows 11 21H2: If you have a Windows 11 PC, recommended
    • Windows 10 22H2: Recommended
    • Windows 10 21H2: Recommended (if a vendor won’t support 22H2)
    • Apple Ventura – Recommended for newer hardware – as always check with the applications you rely on if they recommend this release.

    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.

  • The patching showers of April

    Apple did their patching showers yesterday – another zero day fix

    📱 iOS and iPadOS 15.7.5 – 2 bugs fixed
    💻 macOS Monterey 12.6.5 – 1 bug fixed
    💻 macOS Big Sur 11.7.6 – 1 bug fixed

    Now it’s Microsoft’s turn….

    97 vulnerabilities, 7 critical, 1 exploited

    Also out today… The AD team at Microsoft is proud to announce that with today’s Patch Tuesday updates, our new Windows Local Admin Password Solution (aka Windows LAPS) is available in all in-market builds of Windows – Win10 & Win11 clients and Server 2019 & 2022 SKUs!

    As usual, time to sit back, watch the testing occur and see what shakes out this month.

    Note that Windows 10 21H2 drops out of support in June unless you have edu or enterprise – so check what version of Windows 10 you are on. There’s no big changes for Windows 10 so I honestly don’t anticipate seeing any side effects. As always I will keep you up to date on the Master patch listing.

    This is interesting… there is only a security release for Publisher this month.

    No non security Office updates were released either. A VERY light Office release this month.

  • How do you install and patch your new computer?


    Susan Bradley

    By Susan Bradley

    I’m doing something vastly different this week.

    Right off the bat, you’ll notice that this article is a bit shorter than I usually write. That’s because it describes the actual writing task to which I’ve set myself. I’ve prepared two checklist documents about setting up a Windows PC, one for Windows 10 and one for Windows 11.

    Both of these documents are targeted at the ordinary consumer, the home user.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (20.15.0, 2023-04-10).

  • Dynamic or Static? Which do you choose?

    First off – if you are in the Northern Hemisphere – Happy spring.

    The tulips are in full bloom at my house.

    Speaking of houses – and more specifically, of home networks: The other day where I have a peer to peer network at home consisting of hard wired computers, a scanner/printer and another dedicated printer along with wifi, laptops, ipads, iphones, iwatches, kindles, an galaxy tablet, roku devices, rachio sprinkler device… well you get the idea. And for most of these devices I’ve left them to pick up their IP addresses from the router I have that sits between me and my Comcast modem. Until the other day. When I was trying to scan something from the scanner to my computer and it kept failing. The scanner is not set up via USB, rather it’s set up via a wired connection. So is my computer. And most of the time these two devices pick up the same IP address over and over again even though, in theory they can pick up any available IP address.

    This is also how I set up my network at the office, but there at the office there is a server called a domain controller that handles a specific role (called DHCP server) that hands out the IP addresses to each workstation or device. Once again most of the time each computer picks up exactly the same IP address it has had in the past, or you can exclude that IP address from the range being handed out and statically assign an IP address – as I typically do for printers at the office.

    Well you can probably see what’s coming next. The Lexmark MC2426 scanner/printer was working just fine and finding my computer to scan to, just fine, until it didn’t. I realized that the scanning shortcut I had built into the interface of the scanner was pointing to what I THOUGHT was the IP address of the computer. Clearly a reboot of the router had caused it to move the IP address on that computer. So I went into the settings of both the computer and the printer and set a static IP address to make sure it wouldn’t “move” on me again.

    So how do you know what settings to put into your computer?

    It’s pretty easy to figure out what your router is handing out to your computer.

    Open a command prompt on your computer and type in ipconfig /all

    In the window you will get a listing of all of the potential network connections on your computer. If the wireless port is active, that’s where the IP address will be.

    Typically in a home setting it’s based on a range with the router probably being at the or position in your home network.

    In my case my router is at (see that Gateway setting?)

    The main IP address that I’ve assigned to it is

    The subnet mask is a setting that tells the computer how big of a network it can talk to. Normally in a home private network you limit your IP range to 253(ish) devices (I say 253 because at least one is going to be your router itself taking up one of the spots.)  If that subnet mask is set to that means it will “talk” to a larger pool of devices.  You then go into the ethernet settings, change adapter options and manually set the ip4 address to a static IP address.

    Note I don’t recommend this for most home configurations, it’s MUCH easier to let your router do it’s thing, but I happen to mention it because when you start adding on a bit of home tech like printers, sometimes setting things statically does help especially in a peer to peer setup.

    Also note that the setting of the DNS server comes down to personal preference and sometimes recommendations from your ISP. Some ISPs mandate that you use their DNS, I have moved around over the years to various DNS providers based on various recommendations and speed.  Currently that is Cloudflare’s DNS servers.

    Also go into the control panel/network connections and make sure all of your computers in a home setting see that they are on a private network.

    There has been a couple of times I have been trying to do something shared on a peer computer only to find that our Microsoft patching overlords have sometimes flipped that to public. Whenever you can’t do something on a peer to peer network – check that “private network” setting in the control panel just to make sure.  Monthly patching does NOT normally touch this, but on rare occasions I do see that flipped, so make sure it says “private network”.  If it says public, just change the setting to private.

    So what about you? Do you use the IP addresses set up by your router or do you set up static IP addresses on your home computers? What DNS setting do you use? Share in the comments why you set up your home network the way you do.