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  • 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?

  • Tasks for the weekend – March 13 – what security scanner do you use?

    Posted on March 13th, 2021 at 22:59 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    You tube video here

    Do you have a deep security scanning tool that you use when you want to do a deep scan of your computer? I was reminded of this when Microsoft talked about their Microsoft Safety scanner tool. But there are others such as Kaspersky’s “boot under the OS” tool, and even Malware bytes clean up tool.

    Do you have a goto scanner for when your machine is misbehaving and you just want to make sure that everything is all right with the machine? What do you use?

     

  • Getting better feedback

    Posted on March 13th, 2021 at 00:03 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    I hope you’ll indulge me in a bit of an off-topic post tonight that I do not intend to make political in any way.

    Many of you know that I have a 92 year old Dad. He’s always inspired me in how he takes on new challenges. I thought he wouldn’t like Windows 10 after using Windows 7 for years and after I made sure I built a short cut for Solitaire on the desktop he’s migrated just fine. This past year he moved from a desktop application that he used to an online version. One thing I noticed that software vendors don’t take into consideration is the older generation. They often build web sites with a lack of contrast, or buttons that aren’t in obvious locations. I always wonder where web sites get their feedback when designing web sites, clearly they don’t take into account that many older users still use desktop applications.

    I’ve seen a similar situation in all of the web sites used to sign up for vaccines. I personally have helped several people (including my Dad) to sign up for vaccines. I’m not alone in helping people get signed up and expressing a bit of frustration in a process that needed to be geared towards the older crowd that we want to get vaccinated as soon as possible.  I helped out one person remotely by having her take pictures of her insurance card with her phone, email the images to me, and then I remoted into her computer, transferred the images to her computer remotely and then uploaded the images of the insurance card to the insurance portal to get her signed up. My girlfriend has been helping her Aunt who only has a flip phone, can’t see well to dial the phone and doesn’t have a computer to get signed up.

    If you are in a position to help others to get signed up, I urge the AskWoody readership to help out anyone who is not as tech savvy as you are.

    (Dad received the Pfizer shot and other than normal soreness in his arm as a result of the shot, had no side effects)

     

  • Tasks for the weekend March 6 – check your logins

    Posted on March 6th, 2021 at 23:32 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Youtube video here

    For those of you that do use Microsoft accounts, do you check your log in history?

    I mean your ONLINE log in history?

    Go here – sign in – and see if you see any suspicious activity. Do you recognize all of those log ins and where they came from?

    If you do see unusual activity, investigate if anyone got into your accounts. Change your password and investigate two factor protection. Consider shutting down whatever access you don’t want.

     

  • Tasks for the weekend – February 20, 2021 – it’s Squirrel away time

    Posted on February 21st, 2021 at 00:27 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    (Youtube video here)

    Microsoft just announced 21h1 is in the final testing. That’s a sign to me that I need to “squirrel away” a copy of the current ISO from the Microsoft download page.

    It’s also a sign to me to check for updated drivers from my computer vendors application – or if I’ve built my own computer – I go to the vendor page and see if they have a tool to review for new drivers. I also check to see if I have enough hard drive space. I’m not going to install the new version just yet, rather this is a sign to me to ensure that I’m prepared.

    So have you already squirreled away a copy of the 20H2 even though you may not have installed it yet?

  • Tasks for the Weekend – February 13, 2021 – Windows backup

    Posted on February 14th, 2021 at 00:54 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Youtube video here

    Tonight I’m showcasing making a backup of your Windows 10 computer. Picking your backup software is similar to picking your antivirus software – it comes down to what you are comfortable with. I personally recommend paying for backup software and not relying on a free version because the paid version normally has more features that I want. For example the backup software I personally use (Macrium Reflect) provides anti-ransomware protection in their paid version. This sets up the permissions on the drive used for backup so that attackers coming in through your access can’t destroy the backup.

    I also recommend taking the time to either building a usb boot flash drive or using the software to change the bootloader so that it does a slight delay in booting and gives you the option to choose to boot into recovery mode or into Windows 10.  A good step by step post on how to install the Macrium reflect software is here. Easeus backup is here. Acronis is here.

    For backup media I normally buy Western Digital external hard drives for my desktop at home, for laptops I put a small USB flash drive so that they can have standalone backups.  I even backup the workstations at the office with a centralized backup server for all of the workstations. When SSD drives fail I want to be able to get the user back onto their EXACT desktop with their EXACT icons as soon as possible. It’s the same way at home. I want my icons and programs back and the faster I can do that, the better.

    Backing up my machine means that I treat patching in the same way I do hard drive failure or ransomware – all of these issues I now know that I can recover from and they are not a big deal.

    Michael Austin has a great topic thread on why he chose the backup software he did.

    Bottom line HAVE A BACKUP.  It will save your bacon one day.