News, tips, advice, support for Windows, Office, PCs & more. Tech help. No bull. We're community supported by donations from our Plus Members, and proud of it
Home icon Home icon Home icon Email icon RSS icon

Blog Archives

  • Windows 1.0 turns 34 years old today

    Posted on November 20th, 2019 at 11:48 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Actually, the first for-real version of Windows was called 1.01, but there’s a complicated story around it. Microsoft’s had problems with version numbering for a long time.

    My first experiments with Windows were on Windows 286. What about you?

  • Patch Lady – 7 patches are getting prepared

    Posted on November 6th, 2019 at 16:30 Susan Bradley Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Microfix spotted in the catalog a catalog only patch to test for the ability to accept extended support patches for Windows 7.

    The update

    https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4528069/update-for-eligible-windows-7-and-server-2008-r2-devices-can-get-esu

    The patch points out the necessary parts:

    Prerequisites

    You must have the following installed on your on-premise device before you apply this update:

    1. Install the following SHA-2 code signing support update and servicing stack update (SSU) or a later SSU update:
      • 4474419 SHA-2 code signing support update for Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows 7, and Windows Server 2008: September 23, 2019
      • 4490628 Servicing stack update for Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1: March 12, 2019
    2. Install the following servicing stack update (SSU) and monthly rollup:
      • 4516655 Servicing stack update for Windows 7 SP1 and Server 2008 R2 SP1: September 10, 2019
      • 4519976 October 8, 2019—KB4519976 (Monthly Rollup)
    3. Install and activate the ESU key. For information about how to install and activate the ESU key, see the How to get Extended Security Updates for eligible Windows devices blog on the Microsoft Tech Community website.Note After activation, you can then continue to use your current update and servicing strategy to deploy ESU through Windows Update, Windows Server Update Services (WSUS), or whichever update management solution that you prefer.

    Everyone should have received the SHA-2 and servicing stack update in part 1.  Everyone by now should have (or are real close to) installing the servicing stack and rollup.  But note, that patch is not a security only patch, it’s a monthly rollup patch that is mandated.   I don’t remember if we’ve determined if that monthly rollup has telemetry stuff in it or not, but certainly those of you on the security only path – we will have to do a bit more digging into that.

    Finally the ESU key – and the ability to purchase the ESU key won’t be known until 12/1/2019 when it goes on the sku pricing list.  Hang loose for that last piece as I will be (attempting) to purchase 1 and only 1 copy of a Windows 7 extended support.

    Stay tuned, more to come.

    [edit]  PK points out in the comments:  Windows 7 Security Monthly Quality Rollups have had the KB2952664 functionality (Compatibility Appraiser) included since Sept. 2018. Rollups are cumulative. KB4519976 is a Rollup

    My follow up comment:  I guess one can always go in and ensure you disable the tasks that turn on telemetry?

  • Patch Lady – good to know I’m not the only one

    Posted on November 6th, 2019 at 15:18 Susan Bradley Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    https://mashable.com/article/microsoft-edge-browser-new-logo-tide-pods/

    I too thought the Edge logo looked like a Tide Pod.

    Old logo…. new logo

  • Windows Insider Skip Ahead Ring goes bye-bye

    Posted on November 6th, 2019 at 06:22 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Rings within Rings….

    Those of you confused by the Release Preview Ring/Slow Ring/Fast Ring/Skip Ahead Ring nonsense in Microsoft’s marketing beta program will have one fewer ring to fret in the coming weeks.

    The official announcement:

    Hello Windows Insiders, today we’re releasing Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 19018 (20H1) to Windows Insiders in the Fast ring.

    Starting today, Windows Insiders who have opted into Skip Ahead are being migrated back into the Fast ring. This means that Skip Ahead will no longer be reflected under Settings > Update & Security > Windows Insider Program. Going forward, we will not be offering Skip Ahead as an option for Insiders to sign-up for. Our goal is to provide everyone in the Fast ring the freshest builds at the same time.

    Skip Ahead has always been a kludge, necessitated by Microsoft’s simultaneous testing of 1903 (in Preview), various features of 1909, and 2003 (or whatever 20H1 will be called). They needed another Ring.

    Now, with 20H1 expected to hit RTM shortly and 20H2 not too far behind, look for 20H2 in the Fast Ring.

  • Firefox users don’t be fooled: The “Contact Windows support” message is fake.

    Posted on November 5th, 2019 at 13:19 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Scary.

    Dan Goodin at Ars Technica takes a shovel to this message, now appearing in Firefox:

    Apparently the message appears as the result of a bug in Firefox and it appears if you venture onto an infected site — you don’t have to lift a finger..

    The attack works on both Windows and Mac versions of the open source browser. The only way to close the window is to force-close the entire browser using either the Windows task manager or the Force Close function in macOS.

    Looks like the Firefox folks are working on a fix.

    Thx CA…

  • Microsoft just slipped in a bug fix for the new PowerToys – version 0.13 now available

    Posted on November 5th, 2019 at 10:11 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    I skipped the wave of announcements about the bulk-file-renaming app in the nostalgically named – but still underwhelming – collection of Microsoft utilities called PowerToys. There’s an official description of version 0.12 here.

    The old XP-era PowerToys were great. But this is the new show.

    Anyway, it seems that the bulk-file-renaming app, called PowerRename, had some significant bugs. And it looks like the snap-to-any-location app called FancyZone had other bugs, which were fixed about a week ago.

    Being the occasionally gullible soul that I am, I went through the usual process to install:

    Step 1. Over on GitHub, click PowerToysSetup.msi to download it

    Step 2. Run the MSI file to step through the Setup Wizard, which is relatively painless.  I personally chose to NOT run the program(s) on startup.

    Step 3. Reboot.

    My first attempt was to prepend the text “Test” to a bunch of files that I’ve selected (in File Explorer, select the files, right-click and choose PowerRename). Ends up I didn’t have the right syntax:

    See how the “Rename” button is grayed out? So I went through the documentation and decided that I needed to use a different syntax involving the “%1” match key:

    That didn’t work either. (Again, Rename is grayed out.)

    So I uninstalled the app. There are much better and more capable (albeit harder to understand) and simpler but predictable third party bulk renaming utilities out there….

  • Hey admins: Is SCCM finally dead?

    Posted on November 4th, 2019 at 11:51 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

  • Peering into the Windows tea leaves

    Posted on November 4th, 2019 at 01:15 Tracey Capen Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    WOODY’S WINDOWS WATCH

    By Woody Leonhard

    You can expect some significant changes — existential changes — to Windows in the very near future.

    Based on some official announcements and more than a few highly reliable leaks, it looks like Windows is in for a very bumpy ride.

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 16.40.0 (2019-11-04).