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  • MS-DEFCON 4 – reminder for December updates

    Posted on January 4th, 2021 at 00:27 Susan Bradley Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Just a reminder – it’s time to install the December updates.  If you received a bit of an unusual alert tonight/this morning that had a heading of November updates but content regarding December updates that left you slightly scratching your head, blame yours truly (me!) that clearly didn’t read the manual well enough to get all the parts of the alert template right.  Like a typical geek I missed a step or two.

    For those WindowsSecrets former newsletter subscribers who are receiving unusual renewal reminders saying that their subscription is about to expire on November 10, 2206, no we having been drinking the leftover egg nog a bit too much, clearly the technology gods are slightly freaking out on the year change.  Apologies for any unusual emails you may be receiving, have received or will be receiving as we work through the issues.  I have someone looking at that.

    Ah isn’t technology fun?

    Remember we are taking a break this week from the newsletter and will be back next week with some exciting new content and authors.  Stay tuned!

  • MS-DEFCON 4 – all clear to install updates

    Posted on December 28th, 2020 at 08:16 Susan Bradley Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Well it’s time to close the year and the month on patching.  If you haven’t already done so, install them now and get ready to say goodbye to Adobe Flash.

    More on Computerworld.

  • MS-DEFCON 4 – It’s time to Patch for Nov

    Posted on November 23rd, 2020 at 11:15 Susan Bradley Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    My advice: If you have a zoom call coming up this week for a Thanksgiving get together – ensure that you do that Zoom call FIRST – then update your computer after that!  So it’s okay to use this week as “computer maintenance week” (at least for those of us in North America).  For those outside of North America I’m still ready to give the all clear especially for those on 1909.

    Remember 1903 goes out of support next month.

    More at

  • MS-DEFCON 4: Get the September 2020 patches installed

    Posted on October 2nd, 2020 at 09:25 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    If you’re running SQL Server 2019, surprise!, Microsoft yanked the old cumulative update and replaced it with a working one last night.

    In general, it looks like a pretty healthy bunch of patches, with the usual (undocumented) problems: the “temporary profile” bug; stealthy installation of KB 4023057; odd miscellaneous blue screens and interface bleeps.

    I still won’t install version 2004 on my production machines, even though about one-third of all Win10 users have swallowed that pill. There’s nothing in version 2004 that warrants even the slightest bit of sweat off your brow.

    So I’m moving us to MS-DEFCON 4: There are isolated problems with current patches, but they are well-known and documented here. Check this site to see if you’re affected and if things look OK, go ahead and patch.

    Full story in Computerworld Woody on Windows.

  • MS-DEFCON 4: Install the August updates, but avoid the Optional and non-security patches

    Posted on September 4th, 2020 at 10:05 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Now that we have the second cumulative update for Win10 version 2004, I feel confident in recommending that you install the August patches.

    Nope, Win10 version 2004 isn’t ready for prime time yet, but if the latest bumper crop of bug fixes work out OK – with few if any reported problems – we may be closer to having a stable version to jump to.

    Step-by-step details in Computerworld Woody on Windows.

  • MS-DEFCON 4: Get the May 2020 patches installed now

    Posted on June 1st, 2020 at 08:45 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Although there have been screaming headlines about bugs in May’s patches, neither Susan nor I have detected any pattern – with two exceptions.

    • We’re still seeing the “temporary profile” bug, where machines come back after installing the latest cumulative update, and the user logs into a brand new profile. As a result, their icons are all wrong, some data appears to be missing (but it isn’t), and pandemonium reigns.
    • There seems to be some sort of problem with audio drivers. I haven’t figured out if it’s specifically the cumulative update, drivers that sneak in, or some combination thereof.

    As usual, Windows 8.1 remains the most stable version of Windows – unless you’re running Windows 7 and paying for Extended Security Updates.

    Details on safely updating your machine in Computerworld Woody on Windows.

    From the article:

    I’m assuming that you don’t voluntarily jump down the rabbit hole and join the unpaid beta testers working on Windows 10 version 2004 – the May 2020 Update. It’s kicking up all sorts of problems – but that’s no reason to hold off on the May patches.

    We’re now at MS-DEFCON 4: There are known problems, but go ahead and patch.

  • MS-DEFCON 4: Time to get the November patches installed

    Posted on December 5th, 2019 at 08:52 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    A few quick notes:

    • I’m recommending that Win10 Home users move to version 1903 (or 1909). The ability to Pause updates outweighs the potential hassles and problems with changing versions. That said, I still recommend that Win10 Pro users stay on 1809 (awaiting results of the December patches).
    • There’s a bug in the Office patches that throws bogus “Query … is corrupt” errors. If you hit that error, you need to manually install a fix.
    • The manually installed “Group B” security-only patches for Win7 and 8.1 do not include telemetry this month. But you will need the SHA-2 patch to get the Win7 patch to install.

    Full details and step-by-step instructions in Computerworld. Woody on Windows

  • MS-DEFCON 4: It’s time to get patched

    Posted on November 1st, 2019 at 10:59 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    The moment you’ve all been waiting for…

    It looks like the October Windows patches are ready for prime time. The usual caveats — and there are many — apply. We also have special warnings for people running Win10 1903 with certain RealTek LAN adapters, and for folks who need to run older VisualBasic programs on 32-bit version 1903.

    There’s no rush this month, by the way. Nothing in the patches screams for installation. But in the normal course of events you want to get patched. We’ve entered the normal course of events.

    Full step-by-step updating details for everybody, from Win7 to Win10 1903, are in Computerworld Woody on Windows.