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  • Woody’s Windows Watch: Beware the crapware in Win10 version 1903

    Posted on May 6th, 2019 at 02:10 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    When Microsoft releases Win10 version 1903 – expected any day now – it’s going to bring along a bumper crop of junk that you don’t want: Candy Crush, Forza something or another, “Seeker Notes,” Dragon Marsh, and a zillion other pieces of crapware that should make Microsoft embarrassed.

    Here’s what’s coming, and why — and what you can do about it.

    Out this morning in the AskWoody Plus Newsletter 16.16.0.

  • Phone support: Pairing your Android or Apple phone with Win10

    Posted on May 6th, 2019 at 02:04 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    We’re finally seeing some robust and worthwhile reasons to pair your phone to your PC. Yes, you can pair your phone to your PC in order to look at photos and text messages from your phone.

    Now we have something different – and worthwhile. The Dynamic Lock capability lets you tell Windows that it should lock your PC whenever your phone drifts out of range.

    Cool stuff from Lance Whitney in this morning’s AskWoody Plus Newsletter 16.16.0.

  • Patch Lady – Firefox add ins disabled due to cert prob

    Posted on May 4th, 2019 at 00:57 Susan Bradley Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Kurt Buff on the list reports that all of the Firefox add ins are disabled due to the expiration of an intermediary cert:

    UPDATE: From the Mozilla discourse blog:

    12:50 p.m. UTC / 03:50 a.m. PDT: We rolled-out a fix for release, beta and nightly users on Desktop. The fix will be automatically applied in the background within the next few hours, you don’t need to take active steps.

    In order to be able to provide this fix on short notice, we are using the Studies system. You can check if you have studies enabled by going to Firefox Preferences -> Privacy & Security -> Allow Firefox to install and run studies.

    You can disable studies again after your add-ons have been re-enabled.

    We are working on a general fix that doesn’t need to rely on this and will keep you updated.

  • You know that Windows 7 End-of-Life nag screen?

    Posted on May 1st, 2019 at 07:13 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    The scare isn’t working.

    Details in Computerworld Woody on Windows.

    Seven Semper Fi.

    UPDATE: I’m looking for the “patch” that activates that nag screen – KB 4493132. Can’t find it. It isn’t in the Microsoft Update Catalog. But the KB article is still around. It says:

    This update is available through Windows Update. If automatic updates are enabled, this update will be downloaded and installed automatically.

    But it isn’t showing up on any of my Win7 machines, most notably not on the super-clean Seven Semper Fi test machine I’m maintaining. Apparently the patch was released “for real” about April 18, but it may have been pulled.

    Günter Born notes that it was re-released on April 26. But I don’t see it now.

    ANOTHER UPDATE: As @zero2dash notes (and I forgot!), the nag screen patch is only intended for Win7 Home and Ultimate. I’m using Pro, and so missed all the fun.

  • Facebook Messenger is coming to Windows

    Posted on April 30th, 2019 at 14:38 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    For most of you this isn’t a big deal, but for those who have friends who incessantly use Facebook Messenger (harump!) it’s another app to stick on your PC.

    Facebook has just announced that it’s going to have a version of Facebook Messenger that works on Windows:

    We’re also launching a desktop app for Messenger that’s available for both Windows and MacOS. People want to seamlessly message from any device, and sometimes they just want a little more space to share and connect with the people they care about most. You can download Messenger Desktop — and enjoy the same features as the app on your phone — like group video calls, collaborate on projects or multi-task while chatting in Messenger. We are testing this now and will roll it out globally later this year.

    That’s kind of ho-hum. But this part’s worth noting:

    we are committed to making Messenger end to end encrypted by default.

    Sounds like it’ll be a usable desktop (not UWP) app. Unlike, say, Skype. Put down that brickbat.

  • How much junk will you get on a clean install of Win10 1903?

    Posted on April 29th, 2019 at 10:36 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Short answer: It’s a crap shoot.

    I posted a couple of weeks ago about the fine array of crapapps that appeared when I clean installed Win10 1903.

    Ends up that my install wasn’t exactly clean — I clean installed 1809 to a local account, went into the Release Preview Ring using an Insider account, installed the update (using a local account), then did one round of cumulative updates —  although at the time it was the best I could do.

    Since then, MS has released clean ISO versions to MSDN (which is now called MSDN Visual Studio Professional). They also released a test Enterprise version, which expires in 30 days, but I see the download links no longer work. Both of those clean copies are, uh, cleaner than the one I tested.

    Tero Alhonen installed a clean MSDN copy of Win10 Home and didn’t see the junk. Others have had different experiences. This from Martin Geuss:

    Paul Thurrott just went through the paces with Win10 Pro and got this:

    ‘Softie Michael Neihaus notes, quite correctly, that “Targeted apps can vary by region.”

    UPDATE: Michael clarifies, in reference to his post from a year ago:


    But you have to wonder… What will you see on your Start menu? If you sign in with a Microsoft Account, or upgrade from an older version of Windows, of course you’ll see vestiges of your old Start entries. With a Local account, if you install from Timbuktu I guess you’ll get Candy Crush Timbuk. My favorite is still “Seekers Notes: Hidden Mystery” in the Productivity section.

    I wonder if anybody at Microsoft has a more-or-less definitive answer? This is getting ridiculous. And 1903 isn’t that far away.

  • New Win10 1903 beta testing cumulative update KB 4497093

    Posted on April 26th, 2019 at 13:41 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Official Microsoft announcement is here.

    We have released Build 18362.86 (KB4497093) for Windows Insiders who are currently in the Fast ring only and on Build 18362.53. We’ll roll this out to the Slow and Release Preview rings in a bit.

    It includes the Japanese calendar fixes, plus a fix for the hiccup in 20H1 testing.

    Windows Insiders on Build 18362.53 who were unable to update to Build 18875 will need to install Build 18362.86 (KB4497093) *FIRST* before being able to receive today’s build.

    No, there’s still no word on 19H2 (or 1909, if you prefer).

    Thx @EP

  • 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