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  • Microsoft admits that it forced Win10 1703 machines to upgrade to Win10 1709, even with updates blocked

    Posted on March 12th, 2018 at 07:44 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Third time they’ve pulled this “Gawrsh” garbage in the past four months.

    Computworld Woody on Windows.

  • Patch Lady – getting 1709 TO install

    Posted on March 11th, 2018 at 01:14 Susan Bradley Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    While everyone else is wanting to keep 1709 at bay, I was wanting to get it to install on a small 32 gig hard drive.

    I had previously tried a usb flash drive, purchased and installed a SD card and neither one worked.  A good (geek) friend of mind recommended that I try using an external usb hard drive during the feature install process. I initially said to him that I had already used a flash drive and he kindly pointed out that he didn’t say to use a flash drive, he said to use an external USB hard drive.


    While everyone historically swears that external usb powered hard drives and flash drives are the same, clearly in this feature release update process it’s not.  When I was attempting to use either the flash drive or the SD card, I would get to a point in the install process where it would say I didn’t have enough room and I would have to prompt the system to use these devices.  When it would attempt to use them, it would fail and roll back the install.

    When I used the usb external hard drive, it never prompted me for the need for additional storage.

    After installing the update it immediately began properly installing unlike all of the previous sessions where it would stop and roll back.

    The moral of this story?  If you are like me and you DO want 1709 to install, you have a hard drive tight on space and you are having issues, go get a usb external hard drive and see if that does the trick.

  • So how DO you block the upgrade to Win10 1709

    Posted on March 9th, 2018 at 00:18 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    More than a few people have asked, what with Win10 1703’s new-found ability to upgrade to 1709 all by itself — no Windows Update required — what does it take to make sure Microsoft doesn’t change its mind again and pushes you onto whatever version it likes?

    @abbodi86 has an interesting observation:

    Windows Update in Windows 10 is a lost cause without intervention

    some steps are obligatory to keep the current version:
    – set connection to metered
    – set Automatic Update policy to disabled or notification
    – disable UpdateOrchestrator and WindowsUpdate schedule tasks
    – use wushowhide.diagcab or WUMT to check for updates and hide the upgrader-updates

    which seems to be a whole lot of work just to stay with what you have.


  • Report: Win10 users being pushed onto 1709 even if they have Feature Updates deferred

    Posted on March 8th, 2018 at 11:31 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    UPDATE: See Computerworld Woody on Windows.



  • Problems with yesterday’s Win10 1709 patch, KB 4090913, starting to appear

    Posted on March 6th, 2018 at 07:26 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    I’m seeing some reports of problems with yesterday’s Patch Monday single-purpose cumulative update for Win10 1709.

    Computerworld Woody on Windows.

    UPDATE: We have a report of the “reboot to black” bug in the Win7 Feb. Monthly Rollup KB 4074598.

  • Microsoft claims it’s solved the USB problem with Win10 1709 cumulative update KB 4090913

    Posted on March 5th, 2018 at 20:15 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Welcome to Patch Monday!

    A few hours after I posted my diatribe in Computerworld, taking Microsoft to task for not fixing Win10 Fall Creators Update, version 1709, wouldn’tcha know it, but Microsoft released yet another cumulative update for 1709 that claims to fix one (not all) of the admitted problems with Win10 FCU.

    KB 4090913 brings Win10 version 1709 up to build 16299.251.

    According to the KB article its sole raison d’être is fixing the USB bug introduced in the last cumulative update.

    Addresses an issue in which some USB devices and onboard devices, such as a built-in laptop camera, keyboard, or mouse, stop working. This may occur when the Windows Update servicing stack incorrectly skips installing the newer version of some critical drivers in the cumulative update and uninstalls the currently active drivers during maintenance.

    That’s all she wrote. The other bugs are still there:

    • Windows Update History reports that KB4054517 failed to install because of error 0x80070643.
    • After installing this update, some devices may fail to start, and return INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE.
    • Because of an AD FS server issue that causes the WID AD FS database to become unusable after a restart, the AD FS service may fail to start. / There is no way to undo the database corruption. To return your AD FS server to a functional state, you must restore it from a backup.

    There’s also an out-of-out-of-band Servicing Stack update, KB 4090914.

    I suggest you hold off until we find out if this patch actually fixes the problem, or if some other ogre jumps out and bites.

  • Patch Lady – Not enough space to install 1709

    Posted on March 3rd, 2018 at 23:53 Susan Bradley Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Susan Patch Lady here – writing an online letter to Microsoft:

    To whom it may concern at Microsoft:

    I am concerned that in your zeal to make your vendors happy you are “vista-fying” Windows 10. 

    Let me explain:

    Recently I purchased a cheap laptop because I needed another one since I am lately using a computer connected to my TV to watch online videos.  Because I still needed a laptop to look up items, remote into computers and various other tasks, I needed a computer – not a tablet or an ipad – and I needed a Windows based computer.  I reviewed my options for a cheap small laptop and I saw one online for a low price and purchased it.  Knowing in advance it had a small SSD drive I figured that I would have fun keeping it updated and keeping the drive cleaned out.  But I’m a cheap geek, and knew I had options so I purchased it.  The computer came shipped with 1703 Windows Home and soon after I turned it on it started attempting to update.

    The first thing I noticed after the system started checking into Windows update was how sluggish the machine had become. In reviewing the task manager both the CPU and the drive was pegged at 100% utilization causing the device to respond slowly.  Please ensure that when a machine is first turned on and checking in for updates that sucking up 100% CPU and disk drive isn’t the norm.  I’m seeing more and more people complain about this.  Please make sure that when either Windows update or Windows Defender is operational they aren’t taking all of the resources of the system.

    Then you need to make sure that a 32 gig hard drive is really suitable to handle Windows 10 semi-annual feature releases. In my case it’s not and demanded that I have some sort of external storage available to have enough room to handle the update.

    Yes, Microsoft I know that I got what I paid for, but my point is like Vista you are causing undo harm to a platform by letting vendors install it on price points and platforms it shouldn’t. When you shipped Vista, the driver ecosystem wasn’t ready and you had vendors install it on hardware that couldn’t handle the operating system. If one installed Vista on the RIGHT hardware it actually worked just fine.

    I’m seeing in the consumer space of Windows 10 that multiple vendors have selections in this 32 gig space that will have issues getting any feature update installed.  After I get this laptop upgraded to 1709, there’s an HP Envy tablet that a friend of mine has that I have to help it up to 1709 as well.

    I’ll be filing a bug on this, but please don’t “vista” any more vendor offerings. Any windows device should be able to handle a feature update without any external storage – at least in my opinion. And I’ll bet many of your frustrated customers think that way too.

    To anyone else suffering from this issue, evaluate your options. In my case I’m ordering a MicroSD card to add a bit more space. For the Envy tablet I’ll be recommending we purchase that as well to give it breathing space to get this 1709 feature update installed.  Remember you can evaluate the files and storage on the machine and even turn off hibernation temporarily to gain a bit more space as noted in this blog post.  Microsoft does make it obvious during the upgrade to 1709 that it needs additional storage space and gives a various obvious GUI interface indicating that it needs more storage space. After the install remember you have 10 days before it automatically deletes the prior version so check your applications to make sure there are no issues.   1709 is now the most broadly released version, but if you are stuck back on 1703, I would recommend going to the Software download site and trying to install from the update now link at the top of the page and have a MicroSD card on hand should you get stuck.

  • Microsoft “helps” Intel by releasing KB 4090007, a Spectre 2 microcode update for Win10 1709, Skylake processors only

    Posted on March 1st, 2018 at 13:38 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    UPDATE: Correcting myself (thanks to the anonymous poster) — this is a microcode update, which is kind of a transient firmware override, for lack of a better description. There’s a more thorough description on the Debian wiki, “Processor microcode is akin to processor firmware. The kernel is able to update the processor’s firmware without the need to update it via a BIOS update. A microcode update is kept in volatile memory, thus the BIOS/UEFI or kernel updates the microcode during every boot.”

    I can’t recall ever seeing Microsoft issue a firmware update (other than a Surface firmware update) as a security patch. This one comes with its own KB, no less.

    The announcement is very specific. KB 4090007 only deals with the Spectre Variant 2 / CVE 2017-5715 (“Branch Target Injection”) mitigation, and only on 6th generation Skylake H/S, U/Y and U23e processors. It’s only for Win10 1709. It’s not a cumulative update.

    And — importantly — it’s an Intel microcode update. Not a Windows patch.

    Says Microsoft:

    We will offer additional microcode updates from Intel as they become available to Microsoft. We will continue to work with chipset and device makers as they offer more vulnerability mitigations.

    which is a noble goal, at least to my way of thinking.

    You won’t get the patch via Automatic Update. If you really, really want to test it on your Win10 1709 / Skylake machine, you can download it from the Microsoft Update Catalog and manually install.

    Spectre v2 is a vulnerability in just about everything — Intel, AMD, ARM. As I’m fond of repeating, neither Meltdown nor Spectre (either variant) has been found in the wild.

    As you might imagine, I’m highly skeptical. I mean… what could possibly go wrong?