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  • What’s your feedback for Windows 11?

    Posted on June 22nd, 2021 at 08:13 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    In Computerworld this week I started my list of feedback for Windows 11.  Before we get to the next version of Windows, I have a list of things that need to be fixed on Windows 10.

    So what’s your feedback to Microsoft?

  • News and Interests are a bit blurry

    Posted on June 15th, 2021 at 11:14 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    “After installing KB5001391 or later updates, the news and interests button in the Windows taskbar might have blurry text on certain display configurations.

    Affected platforms:
    • Client: Windows 10, version 21H1; Windows 10, version 20H2; Windows 10, version 2004; Windows 10, version 1909
    Next steps: We are working on a resolution and will provide an update in an upcoming release.”
    So far if turning it off doesn’t work, try icons only.
    And next time Microsoft?  Don’t push out “feature release stuff” in a security patch.  Signed… your beta testers.
    UPDATE: They’ve released to fix the blurry text and system tray issues. (Thanks EP)
  • June updates bring news

    Posted on June 9th, 2021 at 01:05 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    It’s been a little bit funny seeing some of the reactions online to the News and Interests feature that is included in the June updates. As Askwoody readers know, this first started to trickle out in May but in the June security updates they are included in everyone’s Windows 10 including Enterprises.

    Just a reminder, you can right mouse click on the weather info, go up to news and interests, and either adjust the options (as it does take up a bit of real estate) or turn it off completely.

    Optionally you can use this registry key to do so. To use it, simply click on the download in the upper right, click to run the file, it will warn you it’s not digitally signed, click through that, next click through the UAC prompt and you’ll get to this page warning you about adding it to your registry.

    Click yes and it will turn off the News feature. You’ll need to reboot (I had to) to get it to turn it off.

    I’m keeping an eye on the early beta testers in the forums, so far I’m not seeing anything trending.  As always full details of the updates will be in the Newsletter, in the meantime if anyone needs assistance or help, you know where we are.

    In other patching news, keep an eye out for Apple 14.6 for your iphone/ipad and remember that Apple 15 will be offered up to even iphone 6 models. Androids, keep an eye out for your updates as well.

  • Tasks for the weekend – June 5, 2021 – what’s in your startup?

    Posted on June 5th, 2021 at 23:40 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    (You tube video)

    Have you looked as to what applications start automatically in your computer as it starts up?

    Take the time to review and turn off what you don’t want. For example, here on one of my home PCs, I disable Skype for Business. It was installed by an Office suite a while back and I don’t use it on this pc so I disable it.

    In Windows 10, we’re going to use the “Windows 10 way” to review the apps that are listed for startup. Click on the search box, type in Startup Apps and review the resulting listing of applications. Review in particular the ones that say “high impact”. Disable what you don’t want launching and then reboot your computer to see the impact.

    So what apps are listed in your computer?


  • Got a Windows 7 Ultimate key lying around?

    Posted on May 25th, 2021 at 23:56 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Ed Bott reports that you can use a Win 7 pro or ultimate key to upgrade your Windows 10 home to pro. I still recommend upgrading from Home to Pro because it exposes a lot more ways to defer updates. As we know the Targetreleaseversion registry key works with Windows 10 Home as well as pro, but I’m still a fan of having more ability to control updates, not less.

    I think I just saw one of those plastic cases the other day buried in a box upstairs. You should see the cables and boxes I have and keep because you just never know….clearly I was anticipating a need for these keys


  • News and Interest are going to go wider

    Posted on May 25th, 2021 at 20:20 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    The optional update  (KB5003214) for Windows 10 for 2004, 20H2 and 21H1 is out today and it indicates several fixes to the News and Interests

    “News and interests on the taskbar is now available to anyone who installs this update!

    Improves the news and interests hover experience to prevent accidental openings.

    Adds the Open on hover option (checked by default) to the News and interests menu. To access it, right-click a blank space on the Windows taskbar and open the News and interests menu.”

    Note that ALL THREE of the recent releases are covered with this update showcasing that the recent release is minor and not a major release since it can share the same code base as the other two.

    Microsoft Build – the developer conference started today and the news regarding Windows 10 is that they aren’t talking about Windows 10. We’re supposed to hear about the future of Windows “very soon.

    Speaking of very soon, DefCon will be changing soon we’ll be sending out the alerts soon!

  • News and Interests is not a new feature

    Posted on May 20th, 2021 at 14:22 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    So that thing with the weather that you think is the new thing with 21H1? It’s actually not new for that feature release. Rather it’s included in all supported Windows 10 May releases.

    Now the interesting thing is that I’ve yet to see it on a domain joined or even a machine where the windows updates are get via group policy.

    Anyone else seeing this in a domain or business setting yet?

  • 21H1 is getting close

    Posted on May 18th, 2021 at 11:17 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Windowslatest reports that 21H1 is getting close to release.

    B shares that 21H1 is out for “seekers”

    Remember these days it’s a bit nicer behaved and will offer itself up and not be forced.

    The good news is that it’s a smaller release this time so it shouldn’t take that much time to install.  But I’m a waiter, not a seeker 🙂

    Remember if you have any questions – we have a forum for you!

  • …..annnnnd they are out – Patch Tuesday for May 2021

    Posted on May 11th, 2021 at 13:02 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    As usual we will be watching for the issues.

    Businesses:  If you are a small to med business with Exchange – you have work again as there’s Exchange bugs being fixed including one that’s been publicly disclosed.

    Consumers and home users – obviously too early to tell if there are side effects this month. All of the documented known issues at this time are “leftoverisms” from prior months or only impact Enterprises. I’ll be starting my personal testing on my spare machines and will report in.

    There are some patches impacting wireless networking and bluetooth that I will be keeping a close eye on to see if they cause any interactions.

    Remember 1909 has reached it’s end of life, when we flip back to Defcon 4, you need to take action to be on 20H2 as soon as the all clear is given.

    While you are in wait and see mode, don’t forget to update your iphones and android phones and tablets. As always let’s be extra careful out here as we wait to see the impact.

    Outlook click to run is the first having issues. Microsoft is aware and investigating. Note I am on the semi-annual channel and not seeing this.


  • Conexant and the 2004 saga continues

    Posted on May 8th, 2021 at 09:10 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    I’m scratching my head a bit this morning reading the post on Bleeping computer.

    Microsoft has addressed the last remaining known issues affecting Windows 10 computers with Conexant or Synaptics devices causing errors and problems when updating to Windows 10 versions 2004 or 20H2.

    But when you go to the underlying Windows Health dashboard item it still is the same lousy resolution as before:

    Resolution: The safeguard hold with safeguard IDs 25702617, 25702660, 25702662, and 25702673 has been removed for all devices as of May 7, 2021, including devices with affected drivers. If updated drivers are not available for your device and you are offered Windows 10, version 2004 or Windows 10, version 20H2, a small number of devices might roll back to the previous version of Windows 10 when attempting to update. If this occurs, you should attempt to update to Windows 10, version 2004 or Windows 10, version 20H2 again.

    I don’t read “gee, we scan your computer, see that it has an impacted driver, remove it DURING the 2004 install so that you have a nice install process”, I still read that you will have a horrible upgrade experience and you’ll have to try it several times before it completes.

  • 21H1 is getting closer

    Posted on April 29th, 2021 at 20:55 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    You’ve probably seen the news that the release of 21H1 is getting closer.

    You know how I feel about the initial release of feature releases. I prefer to hold back a bit. Remember we have ways now to better control when feature releases are installed. The good news is that even for “seekers” the 21H1 release won’t automatically install. You’ll have to approve it being installed.

    The updated features included in it are underwhelming even for businesses. Windows Hello improvements and Windows Defender Application Guard (WDAG) performance improvements are the two often touted.  For me the big advantage is the  life cycle support.

    But bottom line, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered and will let you know when it’s safe.

  • Coming soon to a Windows 10 near you

    Posted on April 22nd, 2021 at 15:02 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    This is the time of the month that we normally see preview updates for Windows 10.

    Per the ITpro blog, included in the preview updates will be a new “News and interests” on the task bar.  The official announcement is here, but the IT pro blog gives a bit more information about the timing and roll out….

    News and interests on the taskbar will begin rolling out to Windows 10 users today. We are taking a measured approach starting with the April 2021 Cumulative Update Preview for Windows 10, and broad availability will occur in phases. Devices running Windows 10, version 1909 (and later) who have installed the May 2021 Windows monthly update (or later) will be included in this phased rollout.

    So as I’m reading between the lines, if you have the April preview or main May update installed, this new task bar will start showing up.

    For the record I have a person in the office that I STILL find the Vista era gadgets and install them on his Windows 10 because he prefers the date and clock in his sidebar. Which if you remember they got rid of because they found that attackers could sneak things in there and they were vulnerable.

    Bottom line know that your task bar will change. Don’t know when…. but it will…

    P.S. I will be investigating if there is a registry key available for Home users to turn it off, stay tuned.

    TenForums has a tutorial on how to disable the taskbar “News and Interests” via group policy or registry key file. (Thanks to Bruce for pointing that out)