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  • 31 days of Paranoia – day 31

    Posted on October 31st, 2018 at 20:48 Susan Bradley Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    First off a bit of Halloween humor seen on a twitter post… someone was saying they were dressing up as “Outlook”.  Their costume was to wrap themselves up in a translucent shower curtain with a sign that said “Not Responding!”.

    I think we all can relate to that.

    So as I’m here at the front door (dressed up like Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg I might add) waiting for the trick-or-treaters let’s end our 31 days of paranoia with one more post of resources:

    Places to go to get help – especially for Windows issues.

    First off – and above all – this site.  Specifically the Forums on this site.  There is nothing that helps better than someone else saying “gee I don’t see that here”… or “yes, I’ve had that EXACT same issue and here’s how I fixed it!”.  When you have no other machine to compare to, you tend to get a bit paranoid thinking that attackers are making your machine freak out when it might just be… well… patching or anti virus scanning or something third party making it freak out.

    Next I’d recommend something that makes me shiver… and not just because it’s Halloween and I’m listening to the Amazon Halloween playlist (It’s playing Michael Jackson’s thriller right now).  Twitter.  Yup Twitter.  I am lately finding that you can get one on one help when you direct it to a corporate or official twitter account.  There is a list (it might be a bit outdated) of official twitter aliases, and their official support alias for Microsoft is https://twitter.com/microsofthelps

    You can direct message them and get communication back.  The reason it makes me shiver is I find that twitter is too narrow of a channel and the knowledge or solution doesn’t often get exposed like it does in a forum venue.

    If you are an IT pro kind of person, I’m finding that Microsoft employees respond pretty good on the Techcommunity venue.

    Also make sure you have at least SOMETHING that can get to google.  The best way to fix a Windows machine is a working computer or device and a search engine.  There are so many times I’ve fixed something scrolling around a page on my iPhone.

    Now just so you don’t think I’m going to end the 31 days of paranoia in a happy spot here are some parting trends to worry about:

    Crypto mining attacks are trending.  The bad guys get on your machine and use the excess CPU to coin bitcoin.  So they don’t want to steal your credit card data, they want to use your computer to make their own money.

    Smaller more targeted phishing is on the rise.

    Attackers that set up Office 365 relay rules and then hide the fact that they’ve taken over your email box.

    And with that we close this month of paranoia.  Going forward I’ll still throw in a paranoid post or two…. just not as often as one a day.

  • Patch Lady – 31 days of Paranoia – Day 25

    Posted on October 26th, 2018 at 00:23 Susan Bradley Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    How many times has this happened to you?  You get a call and the person on the other end of the phone says you have a problem with your [computer, iPhone, apple device, technology].  They usually say that your device is alerting them that it is full of viruses.

    Their goal?  To either get on your machine or get your credit card from you and then steal money from you.  As noted on this FTC page,

    The scammers may then

    Ask you to give them remote access to your computer — which lets them access all information stored on it, and on any network connected to it

    Try to enroll you in a worthless computer maintenance or warranty program

    Install malware that gives them access to your computer and sensitive data, like user names and passwords

    Ask for credit card information so they can bill you for phony services or services available elsewhere for free

    Try to sell you software or repair services that are worthless or available elsewhere for free

    Direct you to websites and ask you to enter credit card, bank account, and other personal information

    How many of you try to play along and keep the scammers online?  I know some folks that purposely keep a virtual machine around and let scammers log into that and pretend to be really really dumb in regards to technology to keep the scammers online as much as possible.  I have often dragged them along for a time and then finally asked them if they feel right scamming people.  They promptly hang up.

    If you’ve let them on your system, make sure you scan your system with an antivirus program.  Cancel credit cards if you gave them any financial information.

    But just know that Microsoft never calls you, unless you’ve called them first.

  • Patch Lady – 31 days of Paranoia – Day 22

    Posted on October 23rd, 2018 at 00:56 Susan Bradley Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    We come to our 22nd day of paranoia and today is about a topic that is near and dear to many of you….. end user license agreements.  Those statements that vendors provide that we all click through and most of us don’t understand them, nor read them like we should.  The electronic foundation recaps most of the terminology that we miss, but there’s another end user license agreement issue that we often overlook.  One where the terms change and we don’t realize that it has changed:

    For example… let’s look at the Windows 10 end user license agreement.

    In Windows 10 the eula specifically says this:

    Section 2 c (v):
    use the software as server software, for commercial hosting, make the software available for simultaneous use by multiple users over a network, install the software on a server and allow users to access it remotely, or install the software on a device for use only by remote users;

    Windows 8.1 Pro the eula says this:
    The software is not licensed to be used as server software or for commercial hosting, so you may not make the software available for simultaneous use by multiple users over a network

    One could argue that the eula specifically disallows the ability to set up a headless Windows 10 machine that one can remote into and use remotely.

    Given that they have announced a Microsoft virtual desktop hosted on Azure, you can see that’s where they want the remote experience to be.

    Bottom line, never assume that end user license agreements are static.  They can be updated with newer terms.  Keep reading ….and keep reading between the lines… as necessary.

  • If you got hit by the 1809 upgrade file deleting feature…

    Posted on October 6th, 2018 at 12:55 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    and you’ve tried using Recuva to get the files back…

    Contact Microsoft directly:

    “They have the tools to get you back to a good state.”

    Like, maybe Hawaii?

    If Microsoft does have a secret tool or two in their hip pockets, I’d sure like to hear about it/them.

  • Patch Lady – 1803 issues with peer to peer

    Posted on June 23rd, 2018 at 09:40 Susan Bradley Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    A new “known issue” note was posted in the answers forum:

    https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_10-networking/file-explorer-may-not-detect-other-devices-or/a7509468-27ce-4e92-a19b-a6b78d311b14

    File Explorer may not detect other devices or perform file sharing on the local network when running Windows 10 version 1803

    Justin posts:

    Microsoft is aware of reports that devices running Windows 10 version 1803 cannot connect to other devices on their home network and is investigating the issue.

    You can resolve this problem by setting some services to Automatic (Delayed Start) and restarting Windows:

    1. Press the Windows Key and R at the same time to bring up the Run dialog.
    2. Type services.msc in the Run dialog and press Enter.
    3. For each of the following services, locate the service in list, right-click the service and select Properties.  Then set the Startup type to Automatic (Delayed Start) and select Apply.
      • Computer Browser (Browser)
      • Function Discovery Provider Host (FDPHost)
      • Function Discovery Resource Publication (FDResPub)
      • Network Connections (NetMan)
      • UPnP Device Host (UPnPHost)
      • Peer Name Resolution Protocol (PNRPSvc)
      • Peer Networking Grouping (P2PSvc)
      • Peer Networking Identity Manager (P2PIMSvc)
    4. Restart Windows.

     

  • Patch Lady – Quickbooks and emails

    Posted on June 16th, 2018 at 00:46 Susan Bradley Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    I was posting up the master patch listing tonight and I spotted this KB and I know this impacted people recently:

    https://support.office.com/en-us/article/external-applications-crash-sending-email-through-outlook-fe719ad7-f44e-4f25-9822-478186c5ff4b

    ISSUE

    After updating Outlook to Monthly Channel Version 1805 (Build 9330.2087), external applications may crash when interacting with or sending email.

    For example, you may get an “Outlook is not responding” error with Intuit QuickBooks. Possible solutions for that specific error can be tried via this Intuit QuickBooks Help article: Crash: Com Error in QuickBooks Desktop

    STATUS: FIXED

    This issue is fixed in Monthly Channel Version 1805 (Build 9330.2118) and higher. To get the latest update immediately, open Outlook and choose File > Office Account > Update Options > Update Now.

    Microsoft made a service change for Outlook on June 11 2018 (3:45 PST) to mitigate instances of a crash that happens if you’re using a POP or IMAP account. Because of the way the service changes are implemented and also because the issue involves 3rd party interaction with Outlook, you may have to restart Outlook up to three times to ensure that the service change is applied. These restarts ensure that the service change is recognized, then downloaded, then applied successfully to your install of Outlook.

    If anyone is seeing this on NON Click to run, let me know.  But again this points out you need to move to the semi-annual non monthly version of Office 2016 as there are less issues.

  • Patch Lady – KB 4103718 no longer lists “investigation” note

    Posted on May 25th, 2018 at 01:30 Susan Bradley Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Remember that KB that was updated to showcase that Microsoft was investigating the networking issues?

    https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4103718/windows-7-update-kb4103718

    This has been removed from this KB and appears to have been updated today to remove this note:

     

    Microsoft is aware that some customers have reported that network drivers are intentionally uninstalled, then fail to reinstall after applying the May 8, 2018 update. This can result in the loss of network connectivity.

    Microsoft is presently investigating and will provide a status update when the investigation is complete.

    I haven’t seen as many reports in the last few days of networking issues, but I’m not sure if that’s due to folks holding off on updating.  I can tell you on my several Windows 7 machines I have not seen an issue with networking.

    As always, when you go to install, be prepared to roll back.

    Updated note:  My apologies if I didn’t make this clear:  The patch had no change.  All that happened was a documentation change where they removed the investigation note.  However we have no final word on what happened.  All I know is that in my personal testing/patching on my Windows 7 under my control none had issues with networking.

  • Patch Lady – KB4103718 /KB4103712 known issues

    Posted on May 14th, 2018 at 13:41 Susan Bradley Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    As noted in https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4103718/windows-7-update-kb4103718 and in https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4103712

     

     

    Microsoft is aware that some customers have reported that network drivers are intentionally uninstalled, then fail to reinstall after applying the May 8, 2018 update. This can result in the loss of network connectivity. Microsoft is presently investigating and will provide a status update when the investigation is complete.