Newsletter Archives

  • Batten down the hatches for January updates


    As the wind blows in California where I live, we’re trying to batten down the hatches (as the trite saying goes).  So batten down the hatches on your computer as here comes the January Windows patches

    98 updates.

    1 publicly disclosed.

    11 critical

    Stay tuned and remember to defer at this time and I’ll be reporting on any side effects and issues.

    Remember it’s the end of the road for Windows 8.1 and the last of the updates for Windows 7 ESU.

    I’ll be discussing options you can take for these two platforms (yes once again 0patch is coming to the rescue)

    Don’t forget the OTHER needed updates:  Chrome, Firefox (14 critical), Citrix, Foxit, VMware.  As always don’t forget to check your browser updates.

    Edit of 1-12-2023.  I’m not sure if this is a coincidence or not but I’ve had to run the QB tool hub tool to fix printers on two of the three test machines at the office. All other printing was fine, it was just printing a report from INSIDE of QuickBooks that wouldn’t print. Ran the printer fix up tool and all was well.

  • Final year for Windows 7 ESU

    Ted and Amy from Harbor Computer reminded me that we are coming up to year 3 of the Windows 7 ESU program. As a reminder, every year the price tag of ESU’s keep going up.

    If you still need to patch and protect Windows 7 you have a couple of options, some official, some not official:

    Official way – especially if you are a business/consultant and need to be official is to reach out to Harbor computer services and purchase year 3 of the ESU (you can click here to once again sign up keeping in mind that unless you’ve already purchased year 1 and 2, you’d have to purchase years 1, 2 AND 3. So I see this final year of support for only those folks that have a business need.

    For the rest remember that oPatch is still providing support.

    Continuing with Extended Security Updates. Those who wanted to keep using Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 and purchased Extended Security Updates from Microsoft are now facing another doubling of the price for year 2022. For a fraction of this price0patch continues to provide critical security patches for these two Windows versions at least until 2023, and perhaps longer if there’s sufficient interest.

    As always Windows 7 is still tracked in the Askwoody forums.


  • June updates bring news

    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.

  • Windows 7 ESU year two oddities

    According to the thread in the Microsoft Tech Community:

    Year two: Extended Security Updates for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 – Microsoft Tech Community

    Here are some interesting things about the Year 2 ESU license.

    Oddity number 1:  While you can’t buy year 2 of the ESU without having an existing (or new) order for year 1 on your account, you can install the year 2 ESU without and having the year 1 ESU installed.  I guess you’d have this situation if you were reinstalling/rebuilding a Windows 7 machine.

    Oddity number 2:  We don’t think there is a “test” update like last year.

    Overall, I have less clients this year asking for these ESUs as they’ve replaced many of their machines with Windows 10 in the past year.

  • Win7 ESU License purchasing now open

    For the second year Harbor Computer Services has agreed to make the Win7 ESU licenses available for small quantity purchasers. What do you know? Microsoft and the distributors both got their act together this year and opened up Windows 7 – Year 2 Extended Servicing Updates license for sale on time. That means it’s available now! The cost of year two licensing is $142.

    To prepare for your license purchase you will need:

    • Your tenant information from last year. Find that email from Ted. It’s in there and you were instructed to keep it in a safe place.
    • Credit card
    • Number of licenses needed
    • email address

    If you have any Windows 7 computers that do not have year 1 applied, then you will also need to purchase year 1 for that computer. There’s a note section to let Ted know that you need one of those too. After you submit the form, Ted will process the information, make the purchase and the send you an email response with the license and instructions for installation. Just like last year. Please be a bit patient as we get ramped up to process these.

    Here ‘s the link to the form

  • Windows 7 “not dead yet”

    Nearly a year after Win7’s EOL, Ed Bott has been diving into how many might still be using the OS. He hints it’s a big number.

    …as December 2020 draws to a close, the proportion of PCs running Windows 10 has gone up 12%, to 87.8%; the Windows 7 count has dropped by more than 10 points, to 8.5%, and the population of Windows 8.x holdouts has shrunk even further, to a minuscule 3.4%

    If my calculations a year ago were on the mark, that means more than 100 million Windows PC were retired, recycled, or upgraded in the past 12 months.

    It is somewhat reassuring to hear that WinXP is now in the region of a “fraction of a rounding error”. And of course, that doesn’t quantify how many of those Win7 machines are or aren’t enrolled in the ESU program.

    You can read Ed’s write-up on Zdnet here.

  • Windows 7 ESU for 2021

    UPDATE: Purchasing is now open.

    About 3,000 of you purchased the Windows 7 ESU from Harbor Computer Services last year. We offered to make this available to Woody readers after so many IT firms recklessly said that they wouldn’t. My feeling is that while I’d prefer that no one was running Windows 7 anymore, for those that are they need access to updates to retain some degree of security on those systems. We aren’t here to judge. My firm is also an advocate for healthy IT communities and so we agreed to sell the ESU license to all comers even though there’s no money in it for us to speak of. In our regular business, selling stuff is not our thing. We’re a services business.

    We’ve been getting a lot of email recently asking about the year two ESU license and we’ve been letting everyone know that we didn’t have any information yet from Microsoft or distribution. But just yesterday, we got word from our distributor that the license should be ready for purchase beginning on January 5th 2021. Keep that should in mind because this date is dependent on Microsoft hitting thier deadlines. It appears that the price will be $142 all in. This is less than the predicted $150-$200 so that’s some good news.  Keep in mind that last year Microsoft changed the pricing during the first month creating some chaos, so we’re braced for a sudden price change and will keep you posted.

    The process for making this purchase will be the same as last year. We’ll open a form on which you’ll provide all of the information needed for the purchase to take place. Then you’ll get an email from with your ESU license code and instructions for installing it.

    To prepare for your license purchase you will need:

    • Your tenant information from last year. Find that email from Ted. It’s in there and you were instructed to keep it in a safe place.
    • Credit card
    • Number of licenses needed
    • email address

    Keep an eye on this space in January for the URL to the purchase form.

    If you’d like to know more about the behind-the-scenes process. Please see this article from last year. How we automated the Win7 ESU-purchase process @ AskWoody

    – Amy Babinchak, president Harbor Computer Services, Third Tier and Woody contributor


  • Windows 7 users – sites start to impact

    In case you missed this post, as we come up to the year anniversary of the extended support for Windows 7, we’re seeing reports of vendors starting to shut the door on support.

    Many of my line of business applications already throw up warning signs that they aren’t officially supported even though I purchased an ESU to ensure that I kept an older workstation around in order to run older applications that won’t run on Windows 10.

    Forum user GonetoPlaid indicated that they couldn’t use CBS all access on their patched Windows 7.  As the post indicates, one ISP modem was about to be reset when a forum user indicated that they’d also reached out to CBS all access and they told them that Windows 7 was no longer supported.  Thus using the tip:

    User-Agent Switcher and Manager add-on for Firefox. I then switched the user agent string to indicate Firefox on Windows 10. That fixed it instantly. Thank you for the tip that CBS discontinued support for Windows 7.

    Be aware that as we come up to year 2 you may see more of these even if you have purchased the ESU support.

    (and thanks to all who participated in that helpful forum thread)

  • Zero day for Windows 7

    Bleeping computer reports that 0-patch is releasing a fix for a zero day in Windows 7 and server 2008 R2.

    I haven’t yet seen an out of band patch released to Windows 7 ESUs but I’ll keep you posted.

    One clarification on that post, Sergiu says “At the moment, only small-and-midsize businesses or organizations with volume-licensing agreements can get an ESU license until January 2023.”  You actually don’t need a volume licensing agreement in order to buy Windows 7 patches.  Amy Babinchak is still selling Windows 7 ESUs and for anyone who bought them last year, she’ll be contacting you to see if you want the updates again this year.  Microsoft hasn’t yet set it up so that the 2021 Windows  7 ESUs are on their price list, but I’m guessing December 1st is when they will post it to the price list.  It’s expected to be twice the price of last years.

  • Ed Bott’s poll results: Here’s why people are sticking with Windows 7

    Ed got more than 3,200 replies to his survey. Here’s a summary of what people are saying about moving away from Win7:

    The answer to this question was pretty emphatic. Just under 58% replied No, with another 27% answering Not Sure. Only 16% said Yes.

    Lots of interesting info in that ZDNet article.

    Patch Lady Susan Bradley posted a question last week, referencing Ed’s survey. We got dozens of interesting, and well-considered, replies.

  • Patch Lady – why are you running Windows 7?

    Rather than speculate, I’ve put together a poll. It’s only three questions and won’t take more than 30 seconds to answer. And if you need a little more space, send an email to I’ll share the results next week.

    Want to help out Ed Bott with the question of why are you still running Windows 7?

  • What happened to the Win7 Windows Update Troubleshooter?

    I have an old Win7 virtual machine that I’d like to get updated – but Windows Update keeps throwing an error 80092004.

    Normally, that means Win7 still needs the SHA-2 update, KB4474419 – but I already have that update. And since I’m using Windows Update, the latest Servicing Stack Update should get installed, too.

    Next step? Download the trusty, old (very old) Windows Update Troubleshooter. One problem: If the Troubleshooter is still around, it isn’t located where it should be. Here’s what I see:

    I know I can download the old Troubleshooter from about a gazillion different places on the web. But how do I know I’m getting the right one?