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  • Windows 10 upgrade version timing

    Posted on January 23rd, 2017 at 11:08 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Why you may have been upgraded from 1511 to 1607 over the weekend, and what you can do about it.

    Important reading for anyone who wants to take control of forced version upgrades. There are lots of niggling details.

    InfoWorld Woody on Windows

  • Using the Reliability Monitor

    Posted on January 20th, 2017 at 05:36 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Is your machine feeling a little flakey? Check out the Reliability Monitor. Easy, fast and uncannily accurate. It won’t give you solutions, but it will pinpoint problems.

    InfoWorld Woody on Windows

  • If you want to buy a new Win7 system, look at this

    Posted on November 16th, 2016 at 17:04 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    I generally avoid “sales” like the plague, but I just couldn’t pass this by.

    Dell OptiPlex 3040 Micro (that’s the little one – 7 in x 7 in x 1.4 in, only room for one 2.5-inch hard drive). $399 with i3-6100T, 4 GB, 500 GB hard drive (which takes up the only slot), 4 x USB 3, 2 x USB 2, RJ-45, HDMI 1.4, No Wi-Fi.

    Windows 7 Pro with Win10 Pro license.

    That’s a bare-bones, but fully capable non-WiFi, Win7 Pro system. For $399.

    UPDATE: Reader poohsticks has a link for a Dell Inspiron 3000 laptop, Win7 Pro, for less than $300. Check it out if you want a Win7 laptop.

    Details on this and other great hardware deals await in the comments…. And if you find a deal that’s utterly fantastic, post away!

  • Controlling updates in Win10 Home

    Posted on November 10th, 2016 at 13:45 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    I’m going back and forth – forgive my indecision – on which method I should recommend for blocking updates in Win10 Home without Wi-Fi internet. (With Wi-Fi, just set a metered connection and you’re done.)

    I see three options:

    1. Manually edit the registry (or use Chris Hoffman’s How-To Geek REG file or Michael Pietroforte’s 4sysops PowerShell script) to set the DefaultMediaCost key.
    2. Disable the Windows Update service – type services.msc in the Cortana box, in the Services (Local) list, double-click on Windows Update, select Disabled and click OK. That’s the approach Noel Carboni favors, but abbodi86 notes that there are various scheduled tasks that will flip the setting back to Automatic, and that manually running Windows Update also flips the setting to Automatic.
    3. Advise people to just buy a Wi-Fi dongle, and use it for internet access. That approach has all sorts of problems, especially for folks who want (and pay for) speedy connections.

    Does anybody have a definitive take on the situation?

  • Everything you need to know about the new Surface Studio

    Posted on October 27th, 2016 at 05:37 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Peter Bright has a Surface Studio review on Ars Technica that’s worth reading, if you’re the least bit curious about where Microsoft hardware and Win10 are heading.  It’s a thorough review from somebody who knows Windows and hardware. (Peter also has the distinction of being the only person who’s dropped a Surface Studio screen and lived to tell the tale, but I digress.)

    My takeaway: Meh. If you need a minimalist desktop PC with a gorgeous screen that doubles as a drafting table, and don’t mind shuffling the keyboard out of the way, have at it.

    Don’t get me wrong. I think it’s wonderful that you can rotate a 3D drawing interactively inside a PowerPoint presentation. It’s just that I can’t imagine myself scouring the web looking for suitable 3D graphics – and I’m not nearly talented enough to create anything like that. Besides, I wouldn’t want to put my audience through that kind of torture.

    As for the hockey puck, hey, some of you spend a lot of time doing freehand drawing and I’m happy for you. But the rest of us can probably find better ways to spend all that money – $3,000 for older-generation Skylake i5, 8 GB, GTX 965M with 2GB, 1 TB hybrid drive, 4 x USB 3; up to $4,200 for i7, 32 GB, GTX 980M with 4 GB, 2 TB hybrid drive.

    For that price you could buy… well, let’s see what Apple’s about to announce. Although Windows users have a few hoops to jump through, if they want to watch the live broadcast, I’m going to start by simply navigating to TWiT.tv live. Starts at 10 am west coast time.

  • Watch the Windows 10 Creators Update rollout

    Posted on October 26th, 2016 at 09:25 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Leo LaPorte, Paul Thurrott and Ed Bott did a Mystery Science Theater 3000 treatment of the live Win10 presentation. You can relive the snark on Thurrott.com. Well worth watching.

    Bottom line:

    Windows 10 Creators (no apostrophe) Update version 1703 (apparently planned for release in March)

    Slight bump in Surface Book specs, with claimed 16 hour battery – and no change from the much-maligned Skylake processor

    Lots of 3D, holo, glitzy stuff

    $3,000 for the new Surface Studio: Skylake i5, 8 GB, GTX 965M with 2GB, 1 TB hybrid drive, 4 x USB 3; $4,200 for i7, 32 GB, GTX 980M with 4 GB, 2 TB hybrid drive; both gorgeous 3:2 screen @ 4500 pixels, Surface Dial free with purchase, limited time only.

    My take: Let’s see what Apple announces tomorrow.

  • Don’t install any updates yet – but here’s where to find them

    Posted on October 11th, 2016 at 12:11 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    We’re going to be discussing today’s patches, but DON’T ASSUME THAT YOU SHOULD INSTALL THEM.

    You have plenty of time to wait and see if they break anything.

    With that as prolog, addobi86 just provided info for the two patches that’ll be on everyone’s minds.

    The security-only Win 7 Oct 2016 patch is KB3192391. You can find it here:


    The security-only Win 8.1 Oct 2016 patch is KB3192392. Find it here:


    There’s also a security Win 8.1 patch for Flash, KB3194343 and it’s here:


    Windows Update in Win7 now showing Oct 2016 “Security Monthly Quality Rollup” (in other words, the security + non-security cumulative update) KB 3185330 and Oct 2016 “Security and Quality Rollup for .NET” KB 3188740. No surprises.

    And our good friend KB 2952664 – the detested snooping patch – is back, as a Recommended, optional patch.

    Look but don’t touch, OK?

    The Security Bulletins are up. They don’t include KB numbers, as expected, but I continue to wonder… how will Vista users install security patches?

  • New Win10 beta 14901 is out

    Posted on August 12th, 2016 at 07:14 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    I was going to write up the new Windows 10 beta branch – Redstone 2, build 14901 – but Microsoft somehow forgot to send me a copy. I’m sitting here, early Friday morning, with my long-time trusty beta testing machine and it’s still stuck on 14393.67.

    Oh well. I hope I’ll get a chance to look at it over the weekend and let you know how File Explorer looks with its new “suggestions” and step through the new Network status settings page.