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  • Tasks for the weekend – June 12 – Let’s look at Autoruns

    Posted on June 12th, 2021 at 23:46 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    [Youtube here]

    This week we’re following up with June 5th’s  look at programs that launch on startup  and this time we’re looking at the “uber” version of a tool that allows you to review what’s starting up on your machine.

    Sysinternals Autoruns

    Most of time it’s self explanatory… until it’s not. And then remember just ask.

    The colors mean different things:

    Pink – this means that no publisher information was found, or if code verification is on, means that the digital signature either doesn’t exist or doesn’t match, or there is no publisher information.

    Green – this color is used when comparing against a previous set of Autoruns data to indicate an item that wasn’t there last time.

    Yellow – the startup entry is there, but the file or job it points to doesn’t exist anymore.

     

  • Tasks for the weekend – June 5, 2021 – what’s in your startup?

    Posted on June 5th, 2021 at 23:40 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    (You tube video)

    Have you looked as to what applications start automatically in your computer as it starts up?

    Take the time to review and turn off what you don’t want. For example, here on one of my home PCs, I disable Skype for Business. It was installed by an Office suite a while back and I don’t use it on this pc so I disable it.

    In Windows 10, we’re going to use the “Windows 10 way” to review the apps that are listed for startup. Click on the search box, type in Startup Apps and review the resulting listing of applications. Review in particular the ones that say “high impact”. Disable what you don’t want launching and then reboot your computer to see the impact.

    So what apps are listed in your computer?

     

  • What’s in your task scheduler?

    Posted on May 29th, 2021 at 23:42 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Youtube here

    This task for the weekend was inspired by Robtl’s post in the forum asking about black DOS boxes that would randomly pop up on his screen.

    In my personal experience they typically are on boot – or right after boot and are triggered by vendors who have put tasks in the task scheduler to run their routines.

    It’s a good idea to review and make sure you can identify all of the tasks in there and can determine what vendor stuck something in there. In the search box on your computer type in Task and then when you find the Task Scheduler, click on that. A window will pop up and you can review the tasks that have been put on your machine. If you use Chrome, you will for sure have a Google updater task in there. It’s okay to leave that in there because you want your browsers to update.

    So are there any tasks you don’t recognize? Post up what you don’t recognize and we’ll sort it out for you.

  • Tasks for the weekend – May 22, 2021 – Status of 21H1

    Posted on May 22nd, 2021 at 22:36 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    (Youtube here)

    The May 2021 version of Windows 10 21H1 has been released and Microsoft is doing a “dribble out”. You will see it if you click on check for updates.

    While this will probably be the least impactful Windows 10 release we’ve seen in a long time, I still recommend that for those who

    1. Dual boot
    2. Have older machines
    3. Had issues in the past

    to hold back and wait for a bit.

    I know that I’ll probably have to repair the QuickBooks pdf printers (I normally do each release), and I’ve seen some folks still have issues with partitions as well as a person having a BSOD after the install. Remember we have a forum set up for questions as you have them.

    Microsoft is tracking the known issues here.

    Remember if you want to stay on 20H2 and ensure you are not even offered up 21H1, use this 20H2 registry key download. Merely click on it to install it in your computer and it will ensure you aren’t offered 21H1.

    Once I give you the all clear, I’ll have you install the 21H1 registry key. But until then, as you can see in the video, if you don’t have the 20H2 registry key in place, the minute you click on “Check for Updates” it will install 21H1!

  • Tasks for the weekend – May 15, 2021 – Squirrel away time

    Posted on May 16th, 2021 at 00:09 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Youtube video here

    If you haven’t already done so, it’s time to go to the Microsoft download site and download a copy of Windows 10 20H2.

    21H1 will be coming out shortly and I always like to keep a copy each release of Windows 10.  While there are now ways to get the older versions that don’t involve having access to business licenses, I still find that this is the easiest way to ensure you have a ISO in case you need to reinstall the operating system – or – my typical need – to do a repair install over the top.

    Another tool that my fellow geeks use to install to a flash drive is Rufus. You can use it to make a bootable windows 10  – or other platforms as well.

  • Tasks for the weekend – May 8th – Should I remove KB4023057?

    Posted on May 8th, 2021 at 23:16 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Youtube here

    KB4023057 is an update that comes out normally before a feature update is released. In theory it’s supposed to help a machine get the feature update installed by ensuring that there’s enough hard drive space, that the system won’t snooze and that the windows update components are “healthy” to then install the feature release.

    Now if it really wanted to help machine get a feature release installed, it would check drivers, flag which ones would cause issues and warn you in plain English what issues you would face. If  I were coding it up, I would make it so that when it found a machine with Conexant drivers it would remove them and ensure it was set to install 2004. But I digress…

    Because it doesn’t have a reputation of being well behaved, you’ll see it recommended to either block the  install (use Wushowhide from Oldergeeks or your favorite hiding tool of choice), or if it sneaked in while you weren’t looking, to uninstall it. If it snuck in, look for “Microsoft Update Health Tools” in the classic control panel/programs and features and remove it.

  • Tasks for the weekend May 1, 2021 – How to remove IE

    Posted on May 1st, 2021 at 23:48 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    (YouTube video here)

    So now that new Edge is out you may ask yourself … “Self? Is it wise to keep Internet Explorer 11 on my Windows 10?”

    Some people have indicated that they proactively have removed IE from their systems and then realized some applications demand – even now – that Internet Explorer is still kept on the system. The biggie in the small business space is QuickBooks. Yes indeed, it still demands that Internet Explorer is installed.

    IF you want to proactively remove it here are the steps:

    20H2 instructions:
    Open Settings.
    Click on Apps.
    Click on Apps & features.
    Then on optional features.
    Click on Internet Explorer 11 option.
    Click to Uninstall.
    Click the Restart now button.

    Consider this an “optional” task for the weekend for those that have a backup and are in a beta testing mood. If you find a key application needs it just go back through the steps above and this time click to add features and choose Internet Explorer 11. Reboot again and it’s back on your machine. Remember to not have the “metered connection” trick enabled otherwise the reinstallation will fail.

  • Tasks for the Weekend – April 24, 2021 – changes to New Edge

    Posted on April 24th, 2021 at 22:47 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Youtube here

    Included in the April updates is the installation of New Edge and the removal of old Edge. But already Edge has changed: The download location has moved from the bottom left to the top right. Now for those of you that are Firefox and Chrome users you’ll say… yeah? And? As that’s where it’s been for you. But for Edge, this wasn’t where the download used to be. Unfortunately there’s no way to change it back to the bottom left.

    Also you may have had your PDF reader changed to Edge. You’ll want to click on the search box, then type in default apps, scroll down to find file type, now file PDF and change it to what program you want it to be. (It will make more sense if you watch the video).

     

  • 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?

  • Tasks for the weekend – April 3, 2021 – Event Viewer

    Posted on April 3rd, 2021 at 22:41 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    YouTube here

    The event log can be the most helpful – or the most confusing thing you’ve ever seen. To find it go to the search box, type in event viewer and launch it. The main log files are Application, Security, Setup and
    System.

    One of THE MOST annoying events thrown off in the event log is the DCOM error. I see it typically with vendor software and 99.99% of the time it can be ignored. If you are having issues with your computer – sometimes the event viewer can help to identify a problem. Other times it’s like many things with Windows – annoyingly confusing.

    If you are an IT admin/IT pro I often recommend the subscription site of www.eventid.net as a great place to get guidance as to issues in the event log. If you don’t go into event log that much merely googling the event ID you see in the log files is enough to give you the guidance you need.

    Of course you can also ask here in the forums and we’ll try our best to help figure out the confusing event logs as best as we can.

    Remember we’re back this week and will be sending out the newsletter late Sunday night, early Monday morning!

  • Tasks for the weekend – March 27, 2021 – How to pause

    Posted on March 27th, 2021 at 19:22 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    (Youtube video here)

    So how do you uninstall updates should you have an issue with printing after installing this months updates? It’s actually pretty easy for Windows 10 users. Click on Start, Settings, Update and security, Click on View update history, Click on uninstall update, Find the KB and click.

    So now that you know that you ARE having issues with the main March updates you have the choice to find the out of band updates or just wait until April (the fixes will be rolled up into Aprils).

    If you want to continue to pause updates I recommend going to start, Settings, Update and security, Windows update, Advanced options and Pick a new date.

    The optional update should be offered up to you but if they are not, you can also go to the catalog site. To find an update I go to the Windows Health release dashboard and find the KB number I need in the resolution section, then go to link in the page the catalog site and search for it. If you go from the Health release dashboard, it gives you the exact link to go to.

    Once you find the KB you need, the trick is to find the “bitness”. Most of us have 64 bit machines so then find the 64 bit version of the update and click to download it. Now click to install it and follow the prompts. If you get a message that the update doesn’t apply to your machine, don’t worry, this just means you clicked on the wrong patch. Windows will never let you accidentally install the wrong patch.

  • Tasks for the weekend – March 20, 2021 – Ease of Access tweaks

    Posted on March 20th, 2021 at 22:36 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Youtube video here

    Have you ever checked out the options you have to assist you if you are colorblind? What about changing the overall size of fonts on the computer?  Have you changed the contrast settings?

    You can drill into these tweaks in Windows 10 by going to Start, then Settings, then Ease of Access. From here there are several adjustments you can make:

    For Vision you get the following adjustments:
    Display
    Mouse Pointer
    Text Cursor
    Magnifier
    Color filters
    High contrast
    Narrator
    Color Filters

    For Hearing you get:

    Audio
    Closed captions

    And finally for Interaction this gives you options for:

    Speech
    Keyboard
    Mouse
    Eye control

    So do you make any tweaks to make it easier for you to view your computer?