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  • 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.

  • Windows 7 ESU year two oddities

    Posted on January 15th, 2021 at 21:45 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    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

    Posted on January 4th, 2021 at 13:49 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    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”

    Posted on December 30th, 2020 at 17:34 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    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

    Posted on December 23rd, 2020 at 10:07 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    UPDATE: Purchasing is now open. https://www.askwoody.com/2020/windows-7-esu-for-2021/

    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 Ted@harborcomputerservices.net 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

    Posted on December 14th, 2020 at 22:46 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    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

    Posted on November 25th, 2020 at 12:11 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    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

    Posted on October 5th, 2020 at 10:16 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

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

    DO YOU PLAN TO UPGRADE TO WINDOWS 10 IN THE NEXT 12 MONTHS?
    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?

    Posted on September 29th, 2020 at 12:22 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    https://www.zdnet.com/article/poll-why-are-you-still-using-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 windows7@realworldwindows.com. 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?

    Posted on August 22nd, 2020 at 10:55 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    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?

  • FBI Private Industry Notification: Win7 is a leaky boat

    Posted on August 5th, 2020 at 07:42 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    The US Federal Bureau of Investigation released PIN number 20200803-002 which says, inter alia,

    The FBI has observed cyber criminals targeting computer network infrastructure after an operating system achieves end of life status. Continuing to use Windows 7 within an enterprise may provide cyber criminals access into computer systems. As time passes, Windows 7 becomes more vulnerable to exploitation due to lack of security updates and new vulnerabilities discovered. Microsoft and other industry professionals strongly recommend upgrading computer systems to an actively supported operating system.

    Migrating to a new operating system can pose its own unique challenges, such as cost for new hardware and software and updating existing custom software. However, these challenges do not outweigh the loss of intellectual property and threats to an organization.

    The announcement is long on conventional wisdom but, as best I can tell, presents no new information. There are some old examples of long-patched security holes (EternalBlue, BlueKeep) and advice that you check your antivirus, spam filters, and close up Remote Desktop access. Most of all, though, the FBI says you should move from Win7 to Win10.

    Which shouldn’t surprise anybody.

    Catalin Cimpanu has a detailed look on ZDNet.

  • New Win7 Extended Security Updates licensing package

    Posted on August 1st, 2020 at 08:11 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Yesterday Microsoft released a new Licensing Prep package for those of you who are paying for Windows 7 Extended Security Updates. Per KB 4575903

    This update provides an additional set of licensing changes to enable installation of the ESU add-on key. This is one of the steps to prepare for installation of Extended Security Updates. For the full set of steps, please see KB4522133.

    If you previously successfully installed and activated your ESU key on your Windows 7 SP1 device, you do not have to re-install or reactivate it after applying this update.

    It’s my understanding that you don’t need to install this particular update in order to get the August patches (which aren’t out yet), but that you will need it to install the September ESU patches.

    Thx Günter Born