Woody Leonhard's no-bull news, tips and help for Windows and Office
Home icon Home icon Home icon Email icon RSS icon
  • Four new Windows patches to avoid: KB 2952664, 2976978, 2977759, 3170735

    Posted on July 6th, 2016 at 08:06 woody 34 comments

    It looks to me like Windows Journal has finally gone to the bit bucket in the sky.

    InfoWorld Woody on Windows

  • Wednesdays releases: KB 2952664, 2976978, 2977759

    Posted on June 10th, 2016 at 05:28 woody 17 comments

    Guess that writing on the book has rolled over my brain – or I’m just getting lazy. You wouldn’t believe how many changes there are in build 1607. Anyway.

    On Tuesday, Microsoft re-re-re-re-re(^16)-released three old familiar faces:

    KB 2952664 – Compatibility update for upgrading Windows 7, version 21

    KB 2976978 – Compatibility update for Windows 8.1 and Windows , version 25

    KB 2977759 – Compatibility update for Windows 7 RTM (that’s the one for people who are still using the original Win7, and haven’t yet applied Service Pack 1), version 21

    They’re all unchecked, optional updates, all related to Win10 marched upgrading, all equally ignorable. No doubt they’ll turn into “recommended” before too long. I last wrote about them two months ago.

    Second verse, same as the first….


  • Microsoft re-releases three “compatibility” patches KB 2952664, 2976978, and 2977759

    Posted on March 31st, 2016 at 16:37 woody 27 comments

    I don’t understand why MS does this.

    InfoWorld Woody on Windows

  • Three obnoxious Win7/8.1 updates return, plus two warmed-over patches, KB 3138612 and 3138615

    Posted on March 2nd, 2016 at 14:13 woody 57 comments

    KB 2952664, KB 2976978, KB 2977759, KB 3138612 and KB 3138615 all basically useless.

    InfoWorld Woody on Windows

  • KB 3135449 and 3135445 could be useful, but ignore the rest of Microsoft’s batch

    Posted on February 3rd, 2016 at 13:40 woody 16 comments

    KB 2952664, 2977759, 2976978 are more of the same-old, same-old.

    InfoWorld Woody on Windows

  • MS-DEFCON 3: Patch Windows, but beware the snoops

    Posted on October 7th, 2015 at 10:27 woody 51 comments

    It’s time to get caught up with your Microsoft patches. The September Black Tuesday patches have festered, gone through a few re-releases, and generally stewed enough to warrant applying to your machine.

    If I count Susan Bradley’s list of patches correctly, there were 75 patches released for Vista, Win 7 and Win 8.1 in September, and another six — many of which are nagging or snooping patches — released so far in October.

    I don’t see any patches screaming to get out, as long as you aren’t using Internet Explorer. Of course, as I’ve been advising for a long time (a decade?), you should update IE but not use it. Instead, use Firefox or Chrome for your day-to-day browsing. If you have Windows 10, Edge is a secure choice, but it’s still way behind the ball on features – most Windows 10 users have moved to Chrome, for good reason.

    Here’s what I recommend:

    Vista – install all available updates.

    Windows 7 – This is hairy because of the snooping patches just re-re-released. Start by reading this article in InfoWorld, then search through your list of available patches (in Windows Update, see the tab above that says “Automatic Update” for instructions). If you see any of these patches: KB 3035583, KB 2952664, KB 2977759, KB 3068708, 3022345, 3075249, or 3080149, [UPDATE: or 3083324, which now appears to be “Important”] [UPDATE: or 3090045, which is supposed to help upgrading to Win10] make sure they’re unchecked, right-click on the patch and “Hide” it. They’re all Win10 nags or telemetry patches. If you don’t see one or more of those patches, don’t worry about it. I have an article in the works that’ll show you how to turn off most Windows 7 telemetry.

    (If you’re double-checking with last month’s recommendations, note: I received official information back from Microsoft about those patches, and it was demonstrably incorrect and/or misleading.)

    After installing all outstanding patches, reboot, then immediately follow the instructions here to run the GWX Control Panel. That should turn off the Windows 10 upgrade nags. Reboot again.

    Windows 8.1 – Similar to Windows 7, but uncheck and hide KB 3035583, KB 2976978 KB 3068708, 3022345, 3075249, and 3080149 [UPDATE: or 3090045, which is supposed to help upgrading to Win10]. If you don’t see one or more of those patches, don’t worry about it. I have an article in the works that’ll show you how to turn off most Windows 8.1 telemetry. Reboot, use GWX Control Panel to remove the Windows 10 nagging software, and reboot again. If you have trouble getting KB 3069114 to install, try installing KB 3096053 and see if that helps.

    Windows 10 – If you’ve been using the metered connection trick to block Windows 10 updates, now’s a good time to turn off the metered connection and let the updates flow. (Start, Settings, Network & internet, Wi-Fi, click on your connection, then Advanced options, turn Metered Connection off. Let Windows do its update thing, then turn the metered indicator back on.) We’re up to Cumulative Update 7.

    If you’re using the new Windows Store setting to block Automatic Store app updates, turn the switch in Windows Store on, then in Windows Store, click on your picture, choose Downloads and Updates, then click to Check for updates. Remember to turn the switch off again.

    If you have problems installing the Cumulative Update, don’t worry about it. Microsoft will get its act together one of these days. All of the Win10 patches to date are cumulative (with a couple of driver exceptions), so when Microsoft gets caught up, you will, too.

    We’re going down to MS-DEFCON 3: Patch reliability is unclear, but widespread attacks make patching prudent. Go ahead and patch, but watch out for potential problems. Specifically, I’m concerned about adding Windows 10 nagware and Microsoft snooping to Windows 7 and 8.1 machines. I’ll be following that closely in InfoWorld’s Woody on Windows.

    The usual admonitions apply: In Vista, Win7 and Win8.1, use Windows Update, DON’T CHECK ANY BOXES THAT AREN’T CHECKED, reboot after you patch, and then run Windows Update one more time to see if there’s anything lurking. When you’re done, make sure you have Automatic Update turned off. I always install Windows Defender/Microsoft Security Essentials updates as soon as they’re available – same with spam filter updates. I never install drivers from Windows Update (in the rare case where I can actually see a problem with a driver, I go to the manufacturer’s web site and download it from the original source). For Windows 10, the situation’s more complicated, depending on how far you’ve gone to block forced patches. The general procedure’s described above.

  • Microsoft re-releases Windows telemetry “snooping” and Win10 nagging patches, including KB 3035583 and 2952664

    Posted on October 6th, 2015 at 16:35 woody 16 comments

    They’re baaaaaaack.

    InfoWorld Woody on Windows

  • Microsoft re-re-releases KB 2952664, KB 2976978, and KB 2977759

    Posted on June 3rd, 2015 at 06:43 woody 11 comments

    And it looks like Microsoft has re-re-released KB 3022345 — the old patch that threw the SFC /scannow error — but with a new KB number, 3068708.

    InfoWorld Tech Watch