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  • VulturEMaN

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    Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
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    • in reply to: Patch Lady – are you seeing issues with KB4556799? #2264811
      AskWoody Lounger

      We have seen social media and news reports related to various issues with KB4556799.
      We are actively engaged with customers who are reporting issues. To date, we have not seen widespread issues reflected<span class=”x-hidden-focus”> in telemetry, support data, or customer feedback channels. We continuously investigate all customer feedback and are closely monitoring this situation.

      That’s the MS “investigating” post.

      We recently turned off driver updates across our company through WSUS because of some problems with video drivers and we don’t need that during Covid Times™. Last week, about the same time as this release, we had 4 users with audio problems reported. What we ended up finding was that HP Support Assistant had rolled out an updated driver to deal with a vulnerability:

      But what was interesting was that all 4 of our laptops with issues were zBook 14u/15u G5’s. G5’s aren’t on the list of who was supposed to get this fix, except for the 15v, which is TOTALLY different hardware from the ‘u’ models.

      Needless to say, we’re uninstalling HPSA agency-wide so we don’t have remote broken laptops en masse. Either way, wake me when someone’s determined that this was all Mfgr driver pushes to deal with the vulnerability that I linked to, and nothing to do with that patch.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      in reply to: Patch Lady – Does Woody tell you to not patch? #2088690
      AskWoody Lounger

      My experience has been that 98% of the time, setting Featured updates to be delayed 90 days and Quality updates delayed to 30 days lines up well with giving MS enough time to resolve stuff. Is it consistent? Yea I’d say so. Is it safe to not pay attention and let MS push stuff down without looking? Never. But it’s a decent start, and I can monitor patching resources for a few weeks to wait for stability.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      AskWoody Lounger

      I’ll discuss this a bit differently, having done tons of migrations while working at a MSP. My perspective is going to be migrating from the most common setups to gmail for all Windows PC scenarios. This doesn’t cover business situations that should involve your company’s IT department, like trying to do anything with OST files (do a proper export or use OST2 in a true emergency), or migrating to GSuite Business (just use gsuite sync!).


      • Section 1 – local app users only – pitfalls I’ve encountered
      • Section 2 – creating a gmail account and preparing for migration to a new account
      • Section 3 – steps if you want to just do a straight web-based email to web-based email migration (if you only ever used the web-based email access before, or if you previously used IMAP, or if you don’t mind migrating whatever email exists in your provider’s POP3 mailbox).
      • Section 4 – Prepare for the number of website accounts you’re going to have to change

      Section 1: Local App Users Only: This section applies to users that only use local mail apps on their computer, like Outlook, Thunderbird, Windows 10 Mail, or Windows Live Mail.
      If you only use email in the web browser, skip to Section 3 below.

      Firstly: If you had email set up locally on your PC with POP3 (and not IMAP), depending on the configuration this may make it harder to migrate. For your future setup, consider using the web-based version, or at the very worst IMAP. There’s no good reason to use POP3 anymore other than to create sadness for technical people and data recovery situations.

      1. Please ensure that you have good working backups before you do anything. Ensure your backup software isn’t configured to skip those mail store files (pst, mbox, eml, etc). If you don’t have backups, consider trying something like BackBlaze if you don’t want to worry about managing and maintaining a local backup device.
      2. Try to examine your current email program to see if it’s set up for IMAP or POP. If you can’t determine that (or if you see multiple accounts), perform the following checks below:
        1. If you login to your mail provider’s web-based version of your old email and you don’t see everything (like you only see the last 5 or 14 or 30 days of email), then it’s likely that your old email only exists locally within your local email application. Be careful with what’s on your PC – Too often I’ve seen this with legacy GoDaddy email accounts, where users had 100mb inboxes but stored 10GB of their mail in Outlook in a POP3 setup. Their web inbox was just big enough to hold email when Outlook wasn’t running before it synced it down to their PC. Even worse is that you get 2 different sets of email on your phone vs your PC unless you keep your email application always running.
        2. If you see tons of mail, going back years, but you also see emails that you’ve deleted in your local email program, just assume that everything you’ve saved locally on your PC has not synchronized back to the web provider. This is typical of a POP3 setup. If you were to try to migrate the data from the web-based set of data, just be aware that you may be migrating a bunch of junk you already deleted.
        3. If you login to your old email provider’s website and see the same synced folders and emails that you have in your local email app, you’re probably set up with IMAP. If you don’t see any folders synchronized to the website but you have them in your local email app, you’re probably running POP3.
      3. Only email is synced with IMAP or POP3. Not Contacts, Calendar items, Tasks, etc. Be sure to look up specific steps for your application to backup these sets of data.
      4. If all of your email is determined to only exist on your local computer in an app, be mindful that some apps have made it quite hard to migrate away from them and you’re likely going to have a harder time.
        1. Outlook: If you’re set up in Outlook, you actually have the best chance to migrate the mail out successfully. Most of the time, you’d:
          1. Enable IMAP in your gmail account
          2. Change the IMAP Limits Per Folder in gmail IMAP settings.
          3. Export your mail to PST in Outlook. Ensure to check the “And all subfolders” when selecting your profile to export, or otherwise it’s going to only export the Inbox and nothing else. The Profile item is at the top of the selection list screen. This will take a long time and may require a substantial amount of disk space (usually anywhere from 500MB to 50GB)
          4. Go to Contacts and export any contacts
          5. Go to Calendar and export each calendar that you wish to keep individually, so you can import them later.
          6. Create a new Outlook profile in Control Panel (don’t delete the current one)
          7. Set up gmail locally in IMAP in the new profile and make that new profile your default profile
          8. Launch Outlook and import your saved PST into the empty IMAP setup
          9. I believe Google has set sync limits for email to be imported this way, so just keep in mind that you may need to keep Outlook opened for an extended period (days?) for this method to work.
          10. We exported to PST first because it re-validates the data on each email when exporting it, ensuring that it should import successfully wherever you go to use the mail. Often, older copies of email in Outlook change as the product gets patched or upgraded so it’s important to let Outlook re-validate this before trying to move it. While we could have used scanpst, this can actually cause corruption of the original working mailstore and is beyond the scope of this type of article.
        2. Thunderbird:
          1. Set up a gmail IMAP account in Thunderbird
          2. Create any folders in the gmail account in Thunderbird that you want to migrate from the old account
          3. Open a folder in the old account in Thunderbird
          4. Highlight any mail you want to copy (Ctrl-A should highlight all mail)
          5. Right click one of the messages and choose Copy To -> gmail address -> folder you created.
          6. Rinse, wash, repeat manually for each folder.
          7. Keep Thunderbird open until it’s done syncing everything to gmail.
        3.  Windows 10 Mail app
          1. You can only manually export each message as a .eml, one at a time.
          2. Remember: If you’re using IMAP, all of the mail should be on the web interface. If you’re using POP3 with Windows 10 Mail app, then all of your email is likely stuck locally on the PC unless the website retained it all (even what you deleted). It may be easier to migrate from what’s on the old email provider’s website instead.
        4. Windows Live Email
          1. We’ll all pray for you.
          2. Consider looking into reputable 3rd party programs to handle the migration from Windows Live Mail EML files to a unicode PST for Outlook 2007 or newer, then follow the Outlook steps above to do the migration. Be sure to only buy programs that offer a trial that you’ve tested and ones that offer refunds if it doesn’t work. There’s tons of scammy programs out there that try to do this.
      5. If you do set up gmail on your local application again, please be mindful to test the send/receive, and then confirm that emails are being received and sent properly.

      Section 2: Steps to create your new gmail account and prepare for the migration:

      1. Create your new gmail account by going to and following the new account process.
        1. I highly suggest setting up 2FA (2 Factor Authentication) at the same time as a security measure, so that it’s nearly impossible for someone to get into your account even if your password becomes compromised. Google offers multiple methods – a text with a security code, a 2FA rotating code on an app on your phone (like Authy, Google Authenticator, or Microsoft Authenticator), or even a simple notification for Android (any phone with that account on it) or iOS devices (any iPhone or iPad running the GMail app or the Google app, and the iPhone needs to be a 5S or newer). See here for more details:
      2. On the old email account, set up auto-reply (vacation alert). There should be an option to only send the vacation reminder to your stored contacts – that’ll help keep the auto-reply away from vendors and spam mail. Obviously this means that you need to ensure everyone is in your stored contacts, but that’s usually already the case.
      3. Send an email out to everyone from your old email account contacts in batches. Most email providers have an email sending limit as well as a number-of-contacts-per-email limit. Search for your limits for your old email provider (or if it’s your Internet Provider, call them and ask). For instance, hotmail let you send up to 300 messages per day, but only up to 100 contacts per email. So at the very most, that’s 3 emails with 100 contacts and then you’d wait 24 hours before sending more. Gmail allows 500 total emails per day (where each contact on an email chain counts as an individual email), and also supports up to 500 recipients in a single email (one 500 person email and then you’d wait 24 hours).
      4. Letting them know preemptively that you’ve updated to a new gmail address from your old address also makes the address change more legitimate. In the process, you may learn that a few of your email contacts are also out of date! Update your contacts list, and then export it to CSV (literally all apps/websites support contact import via CSV). If you’re unfamiliar with CSVs, it’s a large unstyled excel sheet that can be opened/edited in a simple text editor like Notepad as well. We’ll be keeping this CSV as a just-in-case backup. We’re doing this because you can run into problems importing more than 3000 contacts at a time into gmail. Often you have to break them into chunks before importing. Overall, gmail can handle 25000 contacts, which is more than enough for most people, but I have seen people hit the 3000 import-in-one-file limit before.

      Section 3: Steps if you want to just do a straight web-based email to web-based email migration
      If you only ever used the web-based email access before, or if your previous local email setup was IMAP, or if you don’t mind migrating whatever email exists in your provider’s POP3 mailbox, this section is for you.

      1. Login to gmail. Click the gear icon towards the top right and choose “Configure Inbox”. I highly suggest enabling these tabs (and checking “Include starred in Primary”, especially if you have social media accounts and forums, as it makes it easier to clean up items. Typically, I “mark as read” everything under Social, Promotions, and Forums without worrying about missing something important when I get too many messages, as 99,9% of the important stuff ends up under Updates or Primary. It’s been consistent for me for years.
      2. Click the Gear icon again and choose settings -> Accounts and Import -> Import Mail and Contacts.
      3. It’ll ask for your old email credentials, if you want to import mail and contacts, and if you want to keep importing any new mail for the next 30 days. It will also ask if you want to apply a label to all of your imported mail – labels are like folders, but that you can categorize items into multiple labels. I’d I’d suggest attaching a label with your old email provider’s name (like Hotmail), check all of those checkboxes, then click Start The Import.
      4. This will run for quite a long time depending on how much mail you have, and will display an import status within gmail.
      5. You can close out of everything once it’s started running, as it’ll continue to run in the background on google’s end.
      6. If you want to continue receiving old account emails beyond 30 days, you can usually set up forwarding on the old account.

      Section 4: Prepare for the sheer number of website accounts you’re going to have to change

      1. Do your most important email address changes first. Keep in mind that some websites/companies will make you open up a whole new account to change an email address, but these should be few and far between nowadays. If you have issues, call their support directly. This list is pretty rambling and extensive, and is in no particular order:
        1. Money-related stuff: Banks, Credit Union, credit cards, store cards, Paypal, Loan Providers, student loans, IRA Administrator, Investment management, accountant, tax prep (including TurboTax and HRBlock).
        2. Bills: gas, electric, phone, cable, internet, cell phones, sewers, water, garbage/recycling, ezpass/tolls, bus pass, parking pass, HOA
        3. Insurance companies: home, auto, renters, health, dental, life
        4. Security, alarms, one-off household hardware (sprinkler controls, IoT devices controlled from mobile apps, TVs/Roku
        5. Any business you interact with on a yearly or bi-yearly basis. Yearly subscriptions, like software or magazines. Bi-yearly stuff, like your doctor, dentist, vet, car dealership, fishing/hunting license,
        6. Any business you interact with on a monthly basis (more subscriptions). This includes web services like Netflix, Hulu, TeamViewer, etc.
        7. Online Shopping/Selling websites (Amazon, Newegg, eBay, craigslist, Kohls, etsy)
        8. Offline shopping (Ollie’s, harbor freight, walmart)
        9. File storage (OneDrive, dropbox, box, mediafire)
        10. Travel websites (expedia, rental car companies, hotels)
        11. Pharmacy websites where you can request a refill via website or app
        12. UPS/FedEx/USPS accounts
        13. Clubs/organizations/CO-OPs, including Costco, Sam’s Club, BJs, REI.
        14. Social websites (facebook, twitter, linkedin, flickr, soundcloud, youtube, reddit, yelp, etc)
        15. Any important warranty registrations (car, power tools, computers, pc part companies)
        16. Any software you bought a lifetime subscription to (email may be required to download the full copy or access your license key)
        17. Libraries
        18. Dynamic DNS setups
        19. Bitcoin account and/or wallet
        20. Steam and other game services like Steam
        21. Forums
        22. Hospitals, companies like LabCorp
        23. Entertainment (pandora, AMC theatres)
        24. Your resume, every resume uploaded to job search websites, and every job search website account. Do this now, even if you’re not looking for a job. When you are looking for a job years later, and you initially start applying with old info everywhere, you’ll have a sad time with lost opportunities.
        25. If any other email accounts use the old email account as a recovery email account.
        26. Any websites where you listed your email in plaintext (a personal blog)
        27. Any laptop/desktop/tablet/smartphone
        28. Any business cards
        29. Food websites (taco bell, chick-fil-a, grubhub, orderup, petsmart
        30. Whatever company you work for, if they have a record of your personal email anywhere. My secretary has it just in case the pinata called 365 Hosted Exchange finally breaks.
      2. Once you’ve got all of your email into gmail, start searching for items under the Updates inbox tab in gmail for things that you missed. Then tackle Social, Forums, and Promotions tabs. To do this efficiently: You can filter to a specific tab category by search for “category:social” and then adding “” to filter out any emails from facebook (the minus filters it out). For example, if I wanted to filter out facebook and linkedin, I’d do “category:social” and see everything under the social tab that wasn’t from facebook or linkedin.
      3. Check your bank account statements for any recurring subscriptions/bills/bill payer that you pay for. I thought I had everything but nearly forgot one, and it was because their notification email address didn’t match the company name.
      4. The last place to check would be to check your saved passwords for any websites you missed. For the most common browsers, you should be able to use WebBrowserPassView from, but be aware it will get flagged by nearly every AV product out there because malicious people love to utilize this great free tool for nefarious things. On its own it’s completely clean and very useful for personal backup/reference, or for migration to a password management tool. Depending on your setup, it may not be able to pull Chrome passwords or any passwords saved in addon password managers like LastPass, so you’d have to reference those directly within chrome or the password manager.
      • This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by VulturEMaN. Reason: reformatting headers
      1 user thanked author for this post.
      in reply to: Patch Lady – well not quite ready #1849116
      AskWoody Lounger
      in reply to: Meet the $399 Surface Go #202507
      AskWoody Lounger

      The target here is most definitely not the image editing crowd.

      Given the processor performance (about the same performance as a 6th gen i3), I’d consider getting one if there was an 8GB option. I understand why it’s 64gb of hdd space unfortunately, but hell, even last-gen netbooks shipped with 4GB of RAM five years ago, and Win10 runs happier with more than 4.

      Then again, while my Inspiron 1012 had a terrible CPU, that terrible CPU supported hyper-v and that PC got 6 hours of HD video playback, something I’ve been waiting for a cheap laptop to accomplish again. Previously it was because of the Broadcom CrystalHD chip, but there’s no reason why similar magic sauce can’t be integrated into something like this.

      Give me a cheap device that doctors can buy a few dozen of, or I can take on the plane for books/media/etc, or something cheap to get the parents that want a laptop. This checks so many boxes – a hands on review should prove me right.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      AskWoody Lounger

      Last time I saw this error, the following was the case:

      1. In C:\Users\%username%\, there was two Desktop folders showing up. One was blank, and the other had local desktop data. One of those folders, if not the entire profile folder for that user, may have had incorrect permissions compared to a stock machine.


      2. In HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders\ it is pointing to the wrong location for the desktop. In a server environment with redirected desktops, this may mean that it’s pointing at a broken UNC path or it’s pointing locally to a folder that doesn’t exist or has bad permissions.

      I’ve seen this happen on a few screwy OEM installs for an entire batch of desktops, and a few other one-off scenarios.

      2 users thanked author for this post.
      in reply to: Patch Lady: Inaccessible Boot Device Error #169713
      AskWoody Lounger

      It’s plenty easier to back up the files and not worry about the OS, because let’s be honest, it takes almost no time to install Win10. But yea, as long as you’ve got a file somewhere with your keys in it you should be fine. I personally use Backblaze for the idea of unlimited backup size for a fixed cost (as I’ve got quite a few terabytes of videos), but I understand why managing your own local backup would be appealing to others.

      A quick command line for extracting your programs to a file in C:\Migration\programslist.txt

      wmic product get Description,InstallLocation,InstallSource,Version /format:TABLE >> “C:\Migration\programslist.txt”

      in reply to: Revisited: How to update an old copy of Win7 #168873
      AskWoody Lounger
      1. Navigate to and scroll down to ‘Solution to the issue’
      2. Download KB3177467 for the machine’s architecture
      3. Download and install KB3172605
      4. Reboot (do it!)
      5. Check for updates – it should take about 2-10 minutes
      6. Only check the following:
        1. IE11
        2. Whatever .NET 4.x full package it offers you (likely KB3102433 for 4.6.1)
        3. KB976932 (Win7 SP1 finalization from windows updates – usually about 9mb)
        4. KB890830 (malicious software removal tool)
      7. Reboot again
      8. Patch Normally after that
      4 users thanked author for this post.
      AskWoody Lounger

      Always give Michael Niehaus the benefit of the doubt at MS – he’s one of the few people that gets it and is really trying to refine the way that we do patching and general OS management. He created MDT, was instrumental with nano server, etc etc.

      With this change adding all of the granularity for the Enterprise folks, this should resolve a bunch of issues on the enterprise WSUS end of things for patch management.

      3 users thanked author for this post.
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