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  • Win10 version 1903 beta upgrade halted if you have a plugged-in USB drive or SD card

    Posted on April 24th, 2019 at 07:29 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Catalin Cimpanu at ZDNet reported on this yesterday:

    Microsoft has published a support document today warning Windows 10 users that the impending May 2019 Update may not install on their systems if they use external USB storage devices or SD cards.

    The OS maker cited problems with “inappropriate drive reassignment” as the main reason for blocking the May 2019 Update.

    The solution’s simple: Yank the USB drive or SD card, if you can.

    The block only happens on 1803 – to 1903 and 1809 – to -1903 upgrades. And you don’t have to worry about it unless you’re trying to upgrade as part of the Insider Program, or using one of the MSDN copies.

    Thx @abbodi86

  • The demise of Windows 10 “Sets” – the part you won’t read about

    Posted on April 23rd, 2019 at 05:09 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    The Windows blogosphere was all alight yesterday about the announcement that Microsoft has given up on a feature called “Sets.”

    The feature showed up in one of the Win10 beta builds, didn’t work worth squat, got pulled, and isn’t coming back. “Sets” basically turned any Windows window into a tabbed window — so, for example, you could have File Explorer and Google and Notepad open in different tabs in a single window. Like this screenshot, taken from The Verge:

    I never thought much of Sets, frankly. It seemed (and seems) to me to be an attempt to match Stardock’s Groupy. Meh. Putting tabs in File Explorer would be nice (see EJIE’s Clover – which is free), but as far as having windows with a mixture of random apps open in tabs, you can count me out. I do just fine with Chrome and Firefox.

    So when I read that Sets weren’t coming back, I wasn’t exactly heartbroken.

    Here’s the interesting part.

    Chris Hoffman over at How-To Geek originally wrote about the demise of Sets on Saturday. He took a tweet from ‘Softie Rich Turner and fleshed out the topic. Turner said, “The Shell-provided tab experience is no more, but adding tabs (to Windows PowerShell) is high on our to do list.” That’s not exactly an official announcement, but it’s close enough.

    Chris’s article appeared in the middle of a three-day weekend here in the US, and didn’t get much traction. But on Monday, boy howdy, everybody and his brother was writing about it. Much wailing and gnashing of teeth accompanied a description of how Microsoft had yanked this wonderful new feature from our poor, anxiously awaiting souls.

    Except… nobody bothered to credit Chris. The Windows blog echo chamber articles have popped up like dandelions in my lawn and with a few notable exceptions (Bleeping Computer among them), none of the authors have credited Chris or How-To Geek.

    It’s a tough business, folks.

  • Bott: Win10 apps – which are worth keeping, which should you dump?

    Posted on April 22nd, 2019 at 10:41 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Over on ZDNet, Ed has a succinct roundup of major pre-installed Win10 apps and what you should do with them. Ed’s verdict:

    “Sponsored” crap apps – delete them immediately
    Internet Explorer – once a browser, now a relic, only worth trashing
    XPS Writer – wuzzat? Thumbs way down.
    Office (cloud based free version), OneNote, OneDrive, Skype – optional
    Groove Music, Movies & TV – put a fork in it
    3D whosit, whatsit, wheresit, Mixed Reality – off with their heads

    Take a look and tell me what you think.

  • Woody’s Windows Watch: More on April’s abysmal Win7 and 8.1 patches

    Posted on April 22nd, 2019 at 05:49 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Six (seven?) patches. Four (five?) antivirus programs. Bluescreens. Slow-as-sludge systems. Conflicting advice. Delayed warnings. Hundreds of thousands of machines put through the wringer.

    The people who know what happened with this month’s conflicted patches aren’t talking.

    Here’s what we know, and why it’s important to you — even if (especially if!) you run Windows 10.

    Woody pokes at the mystery and throws some well-deserved shade in this week’s AskWoody Plus Newsletter 16.15.0, out this morning to AskWoody Plus Members.

  • Patch Lady – .NET changes

    Posted on April 20th, 2019 at 18:00 Susan Bradley Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Back in the 7 and 8.1 era .NET was independently released and not part of the operating system – exactly – yes each shipped with a base .NET version, but other versions would come out and be offered up to those platforms.  On some platforms (you know we are talking about you Small Business Server) it became common knowledge that you did not upgrade .NET on that platform and just serviced it as is.

    Then along came Windows 10 with it’s cumulative patching model with everything patched in one shot.  If you wanted to upgrade to a newer .NET you didn’t install it, it came with the feature release.  And .NET updates on Windows 10 were not separate, they came with the cumulative update.  Well…. until 1809.  When 1809 was released the .NET updates separated back out from the operating system and you could separately install them.

    Coming with Windows 10 1903 .NET 4.8 will be released.  So far consistent, yes?  Well not so fast.  Once again Microsoft is changing .NET patching so that .NET is uncoupled again from the operating system.  .NET 4.7 was supported on Windows 10 anniversary edition  (I think that’s 1607? Can’t keep track of them)

    As noted in the .NET blog post

    Updates for .NET Framework 4.8 on Windows 10 versions 1607, 1703, 1709, 1803 and Server 2016 will now be delivered independently and side by side with Windows cumulative updates.

    Before to upgrade to a new .NET you had to go up a feature update to do so.  Now you can install .NET 4.8 on Windows 10 all the way back to 1607.  And when you do so, those .NET updates will be offered up separately from the Windows 10 operating system updates.

    I honestly think this is a good thing.  Lord knows my line of business apps don’t move to support new platforms as fast as they should.  But it is hard for me to try to keep track of what does what where on what platform and who’s on first and what’s on second and … you get the idea.  I honestly do not want to go back to the Windows 7 patch model of separate patches as I think the cumulative model – once we get the patch quality to where it should be – is what we need to do as it keeps our machines more secure – but at the same time you can tell that as Microsoft is listening to our complaints about patching, they are moving back to a model where things are more modular and optional.

    So Microsoft?  Good on you for listening and making changes in patching.  Now get that quality up.

  • If you have an MSDN account, you can download a clean copy of Win10 1903

    Posted on April 18th, 2019 at 16:18 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Unlike my jury-rigged version (see the next post), this one installs clean.

    Per Tero Alhonen, here are the versions that were just posted on MSDN (by subscription only):

    Mary Jo Foley has a detailed explanation on ZDNet.

  • Win10 version 1903 shaping up to be a real productivity enhancer

    Posted on April 18th, 2019 at 12:46 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    I finally got a super-clean copy of Win10 Pro 1903 installed. Local account. No remnants from earlier installs.

    Take a look at the new, improved Start menu. Yes, that’s “Seekers Notes: Hidden Mystery” in the Productivity section.


  • LangaList: “Why am I not able to reset my PC or reinstall Windows?”

    Posted on April 16th, 2019 at 06:11 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Fred goes beyond the answers he provided in this week’s AskWoody Plus Newsletter, to cover details about no-reformat reinstalls for Win7 and 8.1.

    Good stuff from Fred Langa.