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  • Patch Lady – how old is that computer?

    Posted on October 27th, 2020 at 15:41 Susan Bradley Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    So the other day I had a misbehaving computer that wouldn’t boot.  After I reset the cmos battery it booted up and is working like a champ.  But it got me to thinking about how old some of the computers in the fleet are and how it’s harder to keep track – either that or I’m not keeping track as much as I did.

    In the ancient days of computing, we would migrate to new machines when a new model or version came out and then hand the older computers to other people in the office.  There was major speed differences between these models.

    Now, I don’t see as huge of jumps.  I can only type so fast.  Once you get a Windows 10 with good ram (more than 8 gig, even more than 16 gig and more) and a SSD drive, you can be very happy with older hardware.

    https://engineering.purdue.edu/ECN/Support/KB/Docs/HPModelYears

    https://engineering.purdue.edu/ECN/Support/KB/Docs/PCDesktop

    I can honestly get more than four years out of a computer… “Most faculty, staff, and students will find their needs will be easily met by this year’s “standard desktop,” which is designed to provide sufficient performance for at least 4 years. ”  Laptops are a bit harder, especially if you want something portable, but desktop style you can get five and more years out of it.

    Gary pointed to some official “refurbished” computer listings from Microsoft

    https://devicepartner.microsoft.com/en-us/assets/detail/MAR_Partner_Directory_Aug2017-pdf

    https://www.msregrefurb.com/RRPSite/OnlineDirectory.aspx?setlang=en

    Refurbs are also an excellent way to get decent machines.  Recently I purchased a refurb and then took the video card out of another computer and moved some parts around.  Windows 10 had no issues whatsoever finding the drivers and handling the changes.

    So how old is your computer?

     

  • Patch Lady – who knew a cmos?

    Posted on October 23rd, 2020 at 12:30 Susan Bradley Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    So the other day someone plugged in a usb dongle to an HP Z240 workstation.  And it turned off.  And wouldn’t turn back on again.

    So I purchased a replacement power supply thinking it was that.  But it turned out once I connected the new power supply in, still no go.

    In searching around, I found a post talking about clearing the CMOS by removing the CMOS battery and pressing the CMOS reset button on the motherboard.

    Sure enough, that did the trick.  The computer now boots up as normal.  That said I’ll be plugging things into the usb slots in the front just to make sure there isn’t something else wrong with the machine.   I’ve had two other machines recently that had their power supply died on me.  The HP Z240 was the easiest to change out the power supply.  The hardest was a small form factor home built unit that I needed smaller fingers in order to plug in all the plugs.

  • Patch Lady – my favorite new Windows Update setting

    Posted on October 22nd, 2020 at 08:37 Susan Bradley Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    So you want to ensure you get feature release XXXX and no later than that right?  So you are on 1903, you forgot to download the 1909 iso and yet you still want to install 1909 and only 1909?

    There is now a way to do that.

    I’ve detailed out my new favorite setting and how it works here.

     

    Edit:  Bruce pointed out on twitter that I said the setting was first released last year…. it actually was released this year but clearly my brain has been impacted by the pandemic and I FELT like it was a year ago.  Apologies to anyone else scratching their heads.

  • The inevitable OS: Windows 10 at five years

    Posted on October 18th, 2020 at 21:10 Tracey Capen Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    WINDOWS 10

    By Richard Hay

    This past July, Microsoft’s flagship operating system, Windows 10, reached its fifth anniversary.

    Over the past half-decade, Microsoft has put a lot of work into Win10, aggregated into the current Version 2004, released this past May. (The next release, Version 20H2, is due out this month. But we haven’t gotten a good look at it, and it’s reportedly a minor upgrade.)

    Arguably, Win10’s evolution has made it a better OS. But it still gets a mixed reception from users. Some people love it, others hate it — and then there’s the mass of users who have simply learned to live with it.

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 17.41.0 (2020-10-19).

  • Patch Lady – I never thought Flash was a good idea

    Posted on October 17th, 2020 at 17:01 Susan Bradley Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    When Microsoft first included Flash in the operating system I thought it was a bad idea.  Flash is/was often how attackers wiggled into systems.  So it’s good to see that the end of life for Flash is coming at the end of this year.

    When I rebooted my Lenovo laptop just a little bit ago I got prompted to uninstall Flash.

  • An audio problem in Win10, a forgotten app, and a Dropbox update

    Posted on October 4th, 2020 at 21:00 Tracey Capen Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    SHORTS

    By TB Capen

    Controlling audio in Windows has always been one of those things that should be really simple — but aren’t.

    Recently, I ran into another audio problem that really had me flummoxed. When I was watching a Netflix movie on my PC, inside a Firefox tab, audio came through just fine on my USB headphones. But if I unplugged them, there was no audio from the speakers attached to the machine’s audio-out port.

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 17.39.0 (2020-10-05).

  • Patch Lady – what would you change about Windows 10?

    Posted on October 3rd, 2020 at 20:20 Susan Bradley Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Twitter-er Swift on Security asked the question…

    And scrolling down on the post you can see many of the same concerns and issues we see on Askwoody.

    Patch issues are commented on a lot.

    What would you change?

  • Patch Lady – why can’t Surface devices have the BEST experience?

    Posted on September 20th, 2020 at 21:27 Susan Bradley Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    So why can’t Surface devices have the absolute BEST patching experience EVER?

    Instead…

    After installing driver updates from Intel and Microsoft, offered up to me by Microsoft for a Microsoft built product it demanded that I reenter the bitlocker recovery key.  Surface devices that are set up with either a Microsoft 365 account or a Microsoft personal account have bitlocker set up automatically and backed up to the cloud.  And that’s a good thing because then you need ANOTHER working computer to log into said backup location and type in one key stroke at a time your recovery key hoping it works, mentally thinking about if the backup you have set up ran last time to the tiny external flash drive you have to plug in or if you will be spending tomorrow night rebuilding your Surface Go device.

    I had to go to another PC, log into my recovery bitlocker area – this one is a firm Surface Go so it’s backed up in Azure AD

    Then, I had to enter the Bitlocker recovery key not once, but twice.  It wanted to reboot, I did, it stopped again wanting the recovery key, I had to enter it a second time.

    But it just drives me INSANE that the most hiccups I have is on Microsoft built hardware.

    The items that were installed were Surface- System, Surface-Firmware, Intel-System, Intel-Software Component, FTDI-Ports, FTDI-USB.

    Come on Microsoft, you need to be better than this on your own hardware.

    Surface Go Device.  Purchased December 2019.