News, tips, advice, support for Windows, Office, PCs & more
Home icon Home icon Home icon Email icon RSS icon

We're community supported and proud of it!

Newsletter Archives

  • Coming soon to a Windows 10 near you

    Posted on April 22nd, 2021 at 15:02 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    This is the time of the month that we normally see preview updates for Windows 10.

    Per the ITpro blog, included in the preview updates will be a new “News and interests” on the task bar.  The official announcement is here, but the IT pro blog gives a bit more information about the timing and roll out….

    News and interests on the taskbar will begin rolling out to Windows 10 users today. We are taking a measured approach starting with the April 2021 Cumulative Update Preview for Windows 10, and broad availability will occur in phases. Devices running Windows 10, version 1909 (and later) who have installed the May 2021 Windows monthly update (or later) will be included in this phased rollout.

    So as I’m reading between the lines, if you have the April preview or main May update installed, this new task bar will start showing up.

    For the record I have a person in the office that I STILL find the Vista era gadgets and install them on his Windows 10 because he prefers the date and clock in his sidebar. Which if you remember they got rid of because they found that attackers could sneak things in there and they were vulnerable.

    Bottom line know that your task bar will change. Don’t know when…. but it will…

    P.S. I will be investigating if there is a registry key available for Home users to turn it off, stay tuned.

    TenForums has a tutorial on how to disable the taskbar “News and Interests” via group policy or registry key file. (Thanks to Bruce for pointing that out)

  • How big is your hard drive?

    Posted on April 21st, 2021 at 23:56 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Recently I did an article for ComputerWorld about how Windows 10 has increased what I consider “normal” hard drive space.

    No longer do I think 100 gigs is enough for Windows 10. What size of hard drive do you have in your Windows 10? Pick the one closest to what you have.

    I also don’t consider anything other than a SSD drive is acceptable for Windows 10. Just a kind reminder, if you finally get to the point where your Windows computer is getting wheezy, remember you can take the plunge with Linux and resident Linux guru Sandra will be here to help. Bottom line the “bare minimum” of Windows keeps edging up over time.

    (Apologies in advance if the poll isn’t scientific, I just find them fun and educational to get your views)

    How big is the hard drive in your Windows computer?
  • End of the road for old Edge

    Posted on April 19th, 2021 at 01:08 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

     

    AskWoody Plus Newsletter Logo
    ISSUE 18.14 • 2021-04-19

    PATCH WATCH

    Susan Bradley

    By Susan Bradley

    The April 13 updates bring a close to “old”  or “legacy” Edge and force us to say hello to “new” Edge. The Windows 10 updates released in April will remove legacy Edge and replace it with new Edge.

    I’ve noted before that when I’ve set a default PDF viewer and then installed new Edge, it has been necessary to reset the preference. Resetting default applications always has been problematic in Windows 10; it has often taken several feature releases before things settled down and defaults were respected.

    Read the full story in the AskWoody Plus Newsletter 18.14.0 (2021-04-19).
    This story also appears in the AskWoody Free Newsletter 18.14.F (2021-04-19).

  • Tasks for the weekend – April 17, 2021 – How to best ask a question

    Posted on April 17th, 2021 at 23:42 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Youtube here

    Here are just some quick tips on how to ask a question to then get the best and quickest response. Note that this is just some suggestions of mine and I’m sure many of you have better recommendations on how to ask a question.

    First start off by searching for an answer: Put in your “exact” error message and try searching first. You may be surprised that someone else had your same problem and someone else has helped them find the answer.

    A kind reminder: There are no dumb questions. If you think it’s a dumb question, it’s just dumb because you can’t find the answer. Always ask, as someone else probably has the same question that you have.

    Next location, location, location: Find the proper venue and post. Clicking on the links on the right hand side gets you into the the best section for the version of Windows you have.

    Including details helps us to understand what happened:

    Include the following details about the Computer exhibiting the Problem:
    Version installed:
    Feature release
    Other applications on the box:
    Antivirus Software / Version:
    Processor:
    Memory:
    Was something recently installed?

    Details about the Network, if applicable:
    Wired or wireless:
    Firewall or Network particulars?

    Full, complete error message wording or screenshot:
    When did the issue first occur?
    What changes were made around that time?
    Steps to reproduce if any:
    Any Additional Information you think would be helpful?

    Any other tips you’d recommend that I’ve forgotten to post here?

  • Edge appears to be having a Friday meltdown

    Posted on April 16th, 2021 at 10:54 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Over on Gunter Born’s blog he’s confirming the same thing… Edge and Edge’s updating server appears to be having a Friday meltdown.

    Some report that rebooting fixes the issue. Bottom line if you are seeing this, it’s not you, just let’s wait this out and see if it fixes itself.

  • Patch Tuesday poll – how is the testing going?

    Posted on April 14th, 2021 at 08:06 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    This poll is no longer accepting votes

    Did you survive April's Patch Tuesday?
    1106 votes

    Well how is everyone doing the day after in your early testing of the updates?

  • April Patch Tuesday out – Exchange once again

    Posted on April 13th, 2021 at 12:56 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Patches are just coming out.
    Patch Lady

    Small business guidance up first:

    Exchange (Microsoft’s on premises mail server) has an update. This time I’m ignoring any guidance that might say “targeted attacks only” and saying – if you have on prem Exchange patch TODAY just to be safe. I totally understand that to ask any business large or small to have them take down the mail server on a business day is asking a lot, but I’m not taking chances this time with my small business peeps getting nailed.
    Patch them.
    Do it.
    Reboot that Exchange server ahead of time.
    Ensure you open a command prompt and run as admin to run the commands to update Exchange. Ensure you watch that services fully restarted after the box is rebooted.
    – CVE-2021-28480/28481 – Microsoft Exchange Server Remote Code Execution Vulnerability
    Both of these CVEs are listed at a 9.8 CVSS and have identical write-ups, so they both get listed here. Both code execution bugs are unauthenticated and require no user interaction. Since the attack vector is listed as “Network,” it is likely these bugs are wormable – at least between Exchange servers. The CVSS score for these two bugs is actually higher than the Exchange bugs exploited earlier this year. These bugs were credited to the National Security Agency. Considering the source, and considering these bugs also receive Microsoft’s highest Exploit Index rating, assume they will eventually be exploited. Update your systems as soon as possible.
    For consumers and home users, pop that popcorn and we’re going to be in patch testing mode watching for the dead bodies. As usual the full write up will be coming up in Monday’s Plus newsletter.  Biggies to watch out for – old Edge goes, and… for how many months past October end of life for Office 2010 we are STILL patching Office 2010.
  • Known Issue Rollback

    Posted on April 12th, 2021 at 01:00 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    PATCH WATCH

    Susan Bradley

    By Susan Bradley

    Patches that fix themselves

    Every month we receive updates to keep us secure, but sometimes they cause other side effects. If only Microsoft had a mechanism to roll back the side effects of any update. But wait — at least for some updates, it does.

    Read the full story in the AskWoody Plus Newsletter 18.13.0 (2021-04-12).

  • MS-DEFCON 2 – Deferring the April Updates

    Posted on April 11th, 2021 at 01:00 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge
    AskWoody Plus Alert Logo
    ISSUE 18.12.1 • 2021-04-11

    Susan Bradley

    By Susan Bradley

    Brace yourself for April updates

    It’s the time of the month to pause for updates. You will recall that the March updates were very disruptive and many of you decided to not install that round. The April releases are cumulative so you won’t have to go back and install the March updates. Instead, we’ll take a long pause to see what April brings.

    If you are a home/consumer user, I recommend two actions to ensure you do not get inadvertent updates. First, select Start, Settings, Network & Internet, and then Wi-Fi or Ethernet (whichever connection you are using). Next click Manage known networks, click on the network that you use, click Properties and turn on Set as metered connection. This “tricks” the computer into thinking that your Internet connection is not unlimited (i.e., you might incur charges) and thus will only download patches once you approve the process.

    The second action is picking a deferral date after April 13, when the next Patch Tuesday security releases will be pushed out by Microsoft. Click on Start, Settings, Update & Security, then click on Advanced Options. Pick a date far enough in the future to give you comfort. I always wait at least a week, usually more. I’ll be reevaluating the update situation closer to the end of the month, but for now choosing April 30 should be safe enough.

    Remember: For those of you running Windows 10 1909, support is coming to an end. After May 11, 2021, 1909 will not receive security updates. In accordance with prior advice, update to 20H2; 21H1 is just around the corner.

    Read the full story in the AskWoody Plus Alert 18.12.1 (2021-04-11).

  • Tasks for the weekend – April 10, 2021 – change your Office

    Posted on April 10th, 2021 at 22:12 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Youtube here

    Office Click to run normally installs on the monthly version. This means features can be installed every month. I find it changes too much too fast. So I recommend that if you want more stability that you choose the semi-annual version. Note ANY VERSION of Click to run can be done to made to do this flip to what I call the fuddy duddy versions that don’t change as much as the monthly version.

    You can follow this blog post to do this.

    To change to the semi-annual channel, from an administrative command prompt:
    cd C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\ClickToRun
    OfficeC2RClient.exe /changesetting Channel=Deferred
    OfficeC2RClient.exe /update user

    It will take some time and then there you are, on the “fuddy duddy” version that I think works better.

  • Inside tech support scams

    Posted on April 10th, 2021 at 12:03 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    My Dad spotted this article in the latest AARP bulletin:

    Inside an International Tech-Support Scam (aarp.org)

    It’s an interesting read.

    As he says… “What’s the ultimate solution to this growing fraud menace? Realistically, it will require a mix of tough law enforcement, tighter regulations and increased education to warn consumers of these evil practices.”

    Just a reminder, if you have any stories or tips you can send them to Brian Livingston, Public Defender as scams and tricks are what he loves to investigate best.

  • How much RAM does your computer have?

    Posted on April 9th, 2021 at 19:50 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    The other day someone said that their new “normal” for Windows 10 machines was 16 gigs of RAM. It got me to wondering…what is your normal amount of RAM that is in your Windows machine?

    This poll is no longer accepting votes

    How much RAM does your computer have?