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  • Buying a refurbished computer can save you money

    Posted on July 5th, 2020 at 02:00 Jamie Comment on the AskWoody Lounge


    What to look for in a new-but-old computer

    You have to look closely at the offerings, and they aren’t ideal for every use case, but refurbished machines can be the way to go.

    Susan BradleyBy Susan Bradley

    Unless we have a specific need for an overpowered gaming computer, most of us can get along just fine with a machine that is a few years old. But one thing we should always look for is ample hard-drive space.

    A recent article from Ars Technica showcases what I’ve said for years: never purchase a laptop that has a super-small hard drive; you will immediately and forever regret the decision and fight with that small hard drive for the rest of the time you have it. For example, when I want to upgrade my 32GB ASUS laptop, I have to attach an external USB hard drive. It will still not do a proper feature-release install without it.

    But you don’t have to pay an arm and a leg for a decent computer. Machines that the vendors call “refurbished” can be perfectly fine for what you and I do on a regular basis. Furthermore, if you don’t mind a bulky machine, you can get what I consider to be a bargain with an old-fashioned desktop computer.

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 17.26.0 (2020-07-06).

  • Microsoft removes Windows 10 2004 block for Surface devices

    Posted on July 1st, 2020 at 10:37 joep517 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Per the erstwhile Mary jo Foley, Microsoft has removed the compatibility block for Windows 10 2004. If you have one of these devices you may see the upgrade offered to you in the next several days. If you don’t wish to upgrade take precautions now.

    See Microsoft removes the Windows 10 2004 block on Surface devices for more details on the block and what fixed it.

  • Windows 10 information hub

    Posted on June 27th, 2020 at 22:14 joep517 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Zdnet’s Ed Bott has put together an article he calls – The ultimate Windows 10 information hub: Everything you need in one place. Ed says if you are “Looking for technical information about Windows 10 releases, new features, known issues, troubleshooting, and tech support?” start there.

    The page is updated frequently. It has links to many of Ed’s articles on various aspects of Windows 10. It also has links to many Microsoft support articles and tools.

    All-in-all it is a good place to start Windows 10 information. Saving a bookmark to this article might be a time-saver in the future

  • Is the Disappearing Profile bug still alive and well?

    Posted on June 26th, 2020 at 09:26 PKCano Comment on the AskWoody Lounge
    This morning I logged in to my Win10 Pro v2004 VM, and, after entering my password, ran into the rolling circle of dots that took minutes and a message “Preparing Windows.”
    It opened into a desktop with a “We can’t log you in to your account” box in the middle of the screen and a desktop that was not mine.
    Note, there were no obvious updates in the last few days, no other indication that anything was going on.
    I shut down (not restarted) the VM – don’t have Fast Startup, sleep, or hibernation. In fact, I have removed the hiberfile. So no hangovers.
    Restarted the VM, logged in again, and everything was normal. My Profile was back.

    Seems the disappearing profile bug is still alive and well. And it isn’t necessarily precipitated by an (obvious) update.

    Has anyone else seen this lately? Tell us your version of Win10 (v1809, v1903, v1909, or v2004) and the Edition (Home or Pro).
  • Update to AKB2000016 Guide for Windows Update Settings for Windows 10

    Posted on June 25th, 2020 at 12:23 PKCano Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    For those of you that have upgraded to (or been pushed into without forewarning or your permission) Win10 v2004, there will not be much difference dealing with Windows Update if you are running the Home Edition. “Pause” and “Metered connections” remain the best built-in controls. And, of course, there is always wushowhide.diagcab and third-party software.

    But those running the Pro Edition have lost one of the major means of Windows Update control. The pulldown settings for deferral of Quality and Feature updates have gone missing from the GUI at Windows Update\Advanced options.

    AKB2000016 Guide for Windows Update Settings for Windows 10 has been revised to reflect the changes between v1909 and v2004. Previous setting suggestions have been differentiated as applying to v1909 and earlier. And possible suggestions have been made for dealing with Windows Update in v2004 and later(?).

    So, those of you with v2004 (voluntary, or otherwise) who want to try one of the methods (you don’t need both), please let us know how well they work.

  • Report: Windows 2004 update is not updating Office 2016 Pro Plus (MSI) installation

    Posted on June 22nd, 2020 at 17:21 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    This one has me scratching my head.

    @ScotchNSoda reports:

    I recently had to rebuild my Windows 10 machine due to a failed SSD.  I installed Windows 10 version 2004 as well as Office 2016 Pro Plus (installed MSI version).  When checking for updates via Windows Update, only Windows updates are downloaded and installed; no Office updates are downloaded or installed.

    I already confirmed the Windows Update setting ‘Receive updates for other Microsoft products when you update Windows’ is enabled.  I know there are Office 2016 updates that should be installed.  Office 2016 is updating correctly on my other Windows 10 machine running version 1909.

    Can anybody confirm?

  • Re-thinking the Windows development cycle

    Posted on June 19th, 2020 at 06:55 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Ed Bott has a(nother) great piece out on ZDNet: Microsoft, stop feeding bugs to a billion Windows 10 users. Here’s how. He wraps a cogent argument around what we’ve all been bellyachin’ about for… six?… years now.

    I’d like to go one tiny step further, and suggest that Microsoft revamp the outward face of its development cycle. It’s simple, really. Here are the buckets we should have to get Windows from the dream stage to hard, cold reality:

    Canary (or Developer) Channel – the primordial stew, not necessarily associated with a specific version

    Beta Channel – for testing a new version before it’s released, just as you would expect

    Preview Channel – combines the new “Release Preview Channel,” the current “Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted)” half-baked status, and the new “Preview Cumulative Update” releases.

    Stable Channel – when the product’s ready.

    I don’t see much distinction between “Release Preview Channel,” “Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted)” and “Preview Cumulative Update” levels. There’s a lot of tongue-wagging going on, but in the real world it’s a simple choice – do you want the new stuff early, or are you willing to wait until it actually, you know, works?

    A lot of people inside Microsoft spend a lot of time (and a lot of money!) splitting hairs on all of the distinctions. What Microsoft’s customers care about is much more straightforward.

  • Patch Lady – printing issues with PCL 5 drivers

    Posted on June 11th, 2020 at 17:53 Susan Bradley Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Just a heads up – saw this a bit last month and now seeing it reported quite a bit.  KB4560960 is causing printing issues with PCL 5 drivers and PCL 6 type 3.

    Given that I can see telemetry in my event logs, I know that Microsoft is seeing this issue.

    2020-06 Rollup (kb4560960) and Printing from msp


    As a workaround you can update to PCL 6 type 4 drivers (yes I know that’s a pain to do).  But bottom line heads up there are issues with Windows 10 June printing.

    Details in Computerworld Woody on Windows.