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  • Patch Lady – Networking issues and KB 4088875

    Posted on March 15th, 2018 at 00:11 Susan Bradley Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    As Woody pointed out earlier today there are some reports of networking issues after the install of this month’s Server 2008 r2 and Windows 7 patch.  The issues are not widespread and they appear to be limited to two scenerios:

    Scenerio 1 – VMware.  As noted on a reddit post a new virtual Ethernet network card is installed/enabled after the update.  The side effect has occurred before with other convenience rollups and a workaround was previously posted to this KB and a script is provided to fix the issue.  It is not impacting all servers, it appears to be impacting virtual machines on VMware.

    You can see more threads here.

    Scenerio 2 – workstations.  This one is a bit more fuzzy and not clear cut.  I’ve seen reports where workstations with static IPs may be impacted with this update.  There are definitely enough credible reports of chipsets being reset and losing their networking IP addresses.

    Note that I’m seeing this more in businesses than in consumer/peer to peer settings.

    On my Windows 7 (my old machine that we keep around for older programs), I’m seeing this update unchecked:

    Which normally means that Microsoft is throttling the patch while they monitor issues.

    What is honestly a bit more concerning is this documented side effect:

    After installing this update, SMB servers may leak memory. Microsoft is working on a resolution and will provide an update in an upcoming release.

    If you run a file server, you may want to run tests and determine if you do see THIS side effect as that one may impact.

    More on this as I see issues.

  • Revisited: How to update an old copy of Win7

    Posted on February 20th, 2018 at 06:32 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Credit: David Stanley, Nanaimo, Canada

    Kevin Beaumont just tweeted:

    Barry Dorrans replied with a reference to this advice from @SwiftOnSecurity in April 2016:

    [REVISED] If updating fresh Win7, first download these, install, and reboot to make update install faster:


    What struck me is how @SwiftOnSecurity’s advice (from April 2016) differs from our AskWoody advice (Feb. 2017, as amended) from @CanadianTech at AKB 3172605, basically:

    3… download and install either one or two updates manually. In most cases only the first (KB3172605) of these is needed. If that produces a result that says the “update is not appropriate for your computer”, you need to first install the 2nd of these (KB3020369), then install the first (KB3172605).

    Can anybody out there reconcile the differences? Which method is best?

    I have a sneaky suspicion we’re going to see lots of Win7 (re-)installs this year.

  • Adobe Flash patch KB 4074595 pushed out the Windows Update chute

    Posted on February 8th, 2018 at 00:58 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Doncha just love Flash?

    A few hours ago, Microsoft pushed the first round of February 2018 patches. The KB 4074595 patch fixes two security holes in Adobe Flash Player, CVE-2018-4877 and CVE-2018-4878.

    Microsoft has a few details in Security Advisory ADV180004.

    Adobe’s Security Bulletin APSB18-03 says:

    Adobe is aware of a report that an exploit for CVE-2018-4878 exists in the wild, and is being used in limited, targeted attacks against Windows users.  These attacks leverage Office documents with embedded malicious Flash content distributed via email.

    Adobe goes on to say it’s a remote code execution hole. Critical Priority 1. Impacts and earlier versions (February 6, 2018). New version is

    Adobe’s version checker is here.

    Microsoft’s patches are for Windows 8.1 and Win10, all versions. All of those versions need to have Internet Explorer (and, in the case of Win10, Edge) fixed to plug the holes in the embedded versions of Flash.

    Adobe’s patches cover everything other than IE 11 and Edge. Chrome is fixed automatically, by default, when you re-start Chrome.

    Liam Tung at ZDNet reports:

    Researchers at Cisco Talos said hackers known as Group 123 were using the zero-day Flash flaw and Excel sheets to deliver the ROKRAT remote-administration tool.

    Cisco researchers found Group 123’s Excel sheets contained an ActiveX object that was a malicious Flash file that downloaded ROKRAT from a compromised web server. Notably, it was the first time this group has been seen using a zero-day exploit, suggesting the targets were carefully selected and high value.

    FireEye, which calls Group 123 TEMP.Reaper, said it had observed the group interacting with their command-and-control infrastructure from North Korean IP addresses. Most of the group’s targets were South Korean government, military and defense industry organizations, it said.

    If you haven’t yet disabled Flash, now would be a very good time to do so. Chris Hoffman at How-to-Geek has detailed instructions. If you absolutely have to have Flash, restrict it to one browser — I use Chrome to do the dirty deed — and only use it manually, under duress.

    If you can’t or won’t throttle Flash, get the update applied. Yet another Patch Wednesday.

    Thx CAR, Günter Born.

  • Even more problems with Surface Pro 4 batteries and Surface TypeCovers

    Posted on February 7th, 2018 at 10:26 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    I’ve been covering “flickergate” since last April, and there’s still no resolution from Microsoft — in spite of a recent flare-up in tech blog coverage.

    Now, even more complaints are circulating about dead batteries and bricked TypeCovers.

    Computerworld Woody on Windows.

  • Outlook 2016 bug “No results when searching All Mailboxes” fixed

    Posted on February 7th, 2018 at 08:52 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Got a note last night from reader KY saying that the old “Search All Mailboxes” bug has been fixed.

    Microsoft says that the latest click-to-run version of Office 365 has the fix:


    After updating Outlook or Office to version 16.0.8827.2062, searching using the All Mailboxes option shows no results.


    The issue is fixed in Monthly Channel Version 1712 (Build 8827.2179). To get the latest update immediately, open Outlook and choose File > Office Account > Update Options > Update Now.

    I wonder if one of the non-security Office 2016 patches this month also provides the fix. (There were three patches specifically for Office 2016 this month.) Darned if I can find any documentation about it, though.

    KY confirms that his fix came through Click-to-Run.

  • Microsoft offering free OneDrive for Business to current Dropbox, Box and Google Drive customers

    Posted on February 7th, 2018 at 07:25 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    If you have more than 500 users, and you aren’t currently paying for OneDrive, it’s a very inviting offer.

    Microsoft says:

    We are making it easier for new customers to make the switch by offering free OneDrive for Business for the remaining term of their existing contract with Box, Dropbox, or Google. This offer is valid starting February 6, 2018 through June 30, 2018 for organizations that are not currently OneDrive for Business or Office 365 customers and who make a minimum 500 user commitment.

    Microsoft will pay off your existing contract for up to three years.

    Of course, MS would like to sell you an Office 365 contract (if you don’t already have one) along with the bargain, but on the face of it, a whole lot of Box, Dropbox and Google Drive customers must be running the numbers.

  • Mind boggling: SpaceX Falcon Heavy

    Posted on February 6th, 2018 at 15:10 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge


    Look here starting about 35 minutes

    And a live view of Starman:

    To hear about the center booster (which, I fear, may not have landed on its drone ship), follow The Guardian’s coverage.

  • Universal Windows Programs (“Metro apps”) aren’t dead yet, but there’s a better alternative on the horizon

    Posted on February 6th, 2018 at 11:56 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Microsoft just announced that it’s going to start building Progressive Web App support into Edge and Win10.

    Progressive Web Apps aren’t so much Google’s much-better alternative to Win10-only Universal Windows Programs (formerly known as “Metro apps” or “Universal apps” or “Windows Store Apps” or any of a half-dozen other monikers) as they are a genuine attempt to make browser-based applications look and feel more like regular ol’ apps.

    Chances are very good you’ve never seen a PWA in action. But they’re definitely coming. At some point.

    The theoretical benefits of PWAs over UWPs are enormous. Just for starters, UWPs can only run in the stripped-down Win10 environment. PWAs, on the other hand, should be able to run on just about anything that supports a browser — particularly Chrome, or ChromeOS. Yeah, that includes Chromebooks, at least at some point.

    The browser requirement has vanished in the past couple of years, banking on a concept called service worker. Horrible name, but web folks are good at horrible names. Paul Thurrott described service workers months ago:

    Google’s initial take on PWAs wasn’t that compelling: The full resources of Chrome needed to load each time a PWA ran, and there was no minimal user interface or runtime. But when Google introduced the notion of service worker, the technological core of what we now know as PWAs, it was a big differentiator. With service workers, PWAs could work like native apps, offering features like offline support, background processing, and more.

    It now looks to me as if there’s going to be a headlong dash into developing PWAs — and that UWP’s days are numbered. Time will tell.

    UPDATE: Mary Jo Foley has a calendar for future developments in Microsoft’s side of the PWA wars, in her ZDNet blog.