Newsletter Archives

  • Hedge your bets: Download an official, clean copy of Win10 version 1903 (build 18362.356) and save it for a rainy day

    You can get a copy of Win10 1903 whether you’re running Windows or not. Might prove nice to have on a rainy day.

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

  • Microsoft acknowledges, and fixes, the audio bug in this month’s Win10 1903 patch

    I’ve been grousing about the audio bug all week, but Friday afternoon we got official confirmation:

    Audio in games is quiet or different than expected

    Microsoft has received reports that audio in certain games is quieter or different than expected. At the request of some of our audio partners, we implemented a compatibility change that enabled certain games to query support and render multi-channel audio. Due to customer feedback, we are reverting this change as some games and some devices are not rendering multi-channel audio as expected. This may result in games sounding different than customers are used to and may have missing channels.
    Affected platforms:
    • Client: Windows 10, version 1903

    It appears as if the problem’s solved with that weird ghost patch, KB 4516421, that I originally thought might be a hoax. I was saying it was a cumulative update, but as @abbodi86 notes, it’s a tiny patch.

    As @EP says:

    KB4516421 for 1903 is available only thru WU/MU (windows update/microsoft update) and WSUS, not thru MUC (ms update catalog) as noted in that Knowledge Base article

    I did a recent WU scan on a friend’s pc running v1903 and that update was not offered – guess it’s only available to machines running usb audio devices

    Somebody please tell me that 1903 is ready for prime time.

    I wonder how the installer knows if you have a conflicting USB mic that hasn’t been plugged in…

  • Will Win10 1903 and 1909 co-exist?

    I’m still scratching my head over this one. Please tell me if you’ve heard anything, official or otherwise.

    Sometime in the next few weeks, Microsoft’s going to release Win10 version 1909. We know it’s going to appear as a cumulative update to Win10 1903 — just like a Service Pack, which is great.

    Here’s the question: Will Win10 customers be able to continue to use and update Win10 1903 without making the leap t0 1909?

    We have concurrent patches in beta testing with builds and separately available. The former apply to 1903; the latter to 1909.

    Will the stubborn ones in the crowd (e.g., me) be able to stick with 1903 for a while, to see what, uh, surprises await us in 1909? If you’ve seen anything official, please post a link!

  • Microsoft confirms: Visio online stops working with Win10 1903

    Here’s one I missed…

    Sergiu Gatlan at BleepingComputer points to an official Office online document that says:

    Visio stops working when using the keyboard

    You may have experienced the Visio app becoming slow or stalling when using the keyboard. This issue occurs on Windows version 1903. If you don’t know which version of Windows you have, see Which version of Windows OS am I running?

    This is a known issue and we are actively working on a fix.

    There’s a workaround — turn off Show text suggestions as I type — but no details about the 1903 build number.

    The Microsoft 365 Service Status page lists the bug, saying:

    Current status: We’ve completed development of the fix and we’ll begin performing exhaustive internal validation before deploying to the affected environments. We expect this validation phase to take an extended period of time while we ensure the effectiveness of our fix. Once the validation is complete, we will deploy it in the next Windows update.

    Scope of impact: This issue may affect any of your Microsoft Visio users that are on Windows Build 1903 and have the “Show text suggestions as I type” feature enabled.

    Start time: Tuesday, May 21, 2019, at 12:00 AM UTC

    Root cause: A code issue within Microsoft Windows is causing the Microsoft Visio service to experience stalls or delays.

    Next update by: Thursday, September 26, 2019, at 7:00 AM UTC

    MS has known about this since May 21. I’m really late to the party….

  • Things I didn’t know: “Check for updates” in Win10 1903 now warns about optional and feature updates

    I must’ve been sleeping when this announcement hit the waves:

    Best I can tell, as is so often the case, Ed’s right. It looks like Microsoft has fixed one of the most abominable come-ons in Windows history. In every test I could come up with, clicking Check for Updates only in Win10 1903, triggers an “Optional updates available” notice and “Download and install now” link, instead of just carpet bombing the PC with anything in the update bucket.

    Are any of you seeing anything different? It hasn’t always been so.

    If that behavior’s true and consistent, I now have a second good reason (after Pause updates on Home) to upgrade to 1903.

    A related observation: It looks like we’ve definitively lost the user interface for “Choose when updates are installed” in Win10 1903 Pro if either feature or quality deferrals are non-zero. At first I thought that was a bug. Now I guess it’s a … feature?

    UPDATE: Ed just changed his long-standing ZDNet explainer about Windows updating. He’s included a section on this new “Download and install now” behavior for “optional” (= not Patch Tuesday) patches.

    As of version 1903, Windows 10 no longer installs feature updates automatically. Instead, as with the optional cumulative updates delivered in the “C” and “D” weeks, the update is listed as available in Windows Update, but you have to click Download And Install to kick off the installation. This change affects all editions, including Windows 10 Home.

    As best I can tell, that behavior changed very recently. It may have coincided with the change in the appearance/disappearance of the “Choose when updates are installed” part of the user interface in Win10 1903 Pro.

    There’s a whole lot of paddling going on beneath the surface. Fortunately, the changes (if they work the way Ed describes) are definitely in the right direction.

    Details in Computerworld Woody on Windows.

  • Another Win10 version 1903 redline bug: Disconnected RDP sessions peg dwm.exe at 100% utilization

    Here’s an oldie but goodie just mentioned to me by Günter Born….

    In Win10 version 1903, if you use a computer to RDP into another computer, and then disconnect the RDP session on the second computer (without logging out), dwm.exe redlines one core on the originating machine.

    Apparently, disabling the WDDM driver using Group Policy fixes the problem.

    Microsoft knows about the problem — it’s documented on Answers forum and other posts here and here and here and here and here. There are lots of posts on the Feedback Hub, too.

    It’s not clear (at least to me) if this is an Intel driver problem, or a Win10 1903 problem. But it’s definitely widespread. And I’ve only seen it reported on Win10 1903.

  • Where we stand with the Cortana/Search redlining bug

    We’re stuck between a rock and a very hard place.

    On the one hand, if you’re running Win10 1903 — you may have been pushed — you really need to get the first August cumulative update installed to guard against DejaBlue (which hasn’t been exploited yet).

    On the other hand, there are so many bugs in the first August cumulative update (VB/VBA/VBScript, Windows Sandbox, PXE, MIT Kerberos) that you really should get the second August cumulative update.

    On the third hand, if you install the second August cumulative update, your machine may start redlining.

    Tell me again how Win10 1903 is ready for prime time?

    Computerworld Woody on Windows.

  • Microsoft STILL hasn’t acknowledged the bugs in last Friday’s Win10 1903 cumulative update

    Last Friday, Microsoft released KB 4512941, the long-anticipated second August cumulative update for Win10 version 1903.

    Within a few hours, people were complaining on various online forums that installing the update immediately triggered excessive CPU use. I wrote about that on Friday night.

    Since then, explanations and workarounds have appeared all over the place. @EP came up with this list:

    one workaround to the problem posted on Softpedia news:

    Günter Born has had two — not one, but two — explainers with detailed analyses. Ends up that making certain registry changes can get the CPU utilization back to normal.

    Most damning, Mayank Parnmar at Windows Latest reported on Saturday:

    It’s important to note that Microsoft actually tested KB4512941 with Windows Insiders in the Release Preview Ring for more than a week before shipping the update to the general public.

    According to some posts on Feedback Hub, reports of high CPU usage were submitted multiple times by testers earlier this week, but the reports appear to have been ignored because they weren’t upvoted enough.

    So now it’s Tuesday, four days after the offal hit the fan… and Microsoft hasn’t said one thing about it.

    Even now, the KB article says:

    Known issues in this update

    Microsoft is not currently aware of any issues with this update.

    And the Release Information Status page says absolutely nothing.

    UPDATE: As I was writing this, MS posted on Twitter (thx, MJF)

  • Report that Win10 1903 cumulative update KB 4512508 clobbers Outlook 365 startup

    A new report from the group:

    KB 4512508 causes Outlook 365 (Version 1902 Build 11328.20368 Click-to-Run – July version) to get stuck on loading profile. Uninstalling KB4512508 corrected the issue.

    I don’t see this listed as a known bug in either Win10 1903 or in Office.

  • Is Windows pushing you to upgrade to version 1903? Don’t be bullied.

    I’m getting a lot of questions from people with Win10 version 1803 who wonder if they’re doomed to upgrade to Win10 1903 in the next few weeks. Microsoft’s “Download and install now” notification certainly makes it sound that way, but you have more control over the matter than you may think.

    Detailed explanation of the pros, the cons, the howtos and the wherefores, in Computerworld Woody on Windows.

  • Where do we stand with Feature Update deferrals in Win 10 Pro v1903?

    What has happened to Feature Update deferrals in Win10 Pro v1903?

    Everyone has been lauding the “Pause update” feature added to Windows Update in v1903 Home Edition since Microsoft sacked SAC Targeted (pun intended). But there has been no documentation (that I am aware of) about the changes to Win10 Pro v1903.

    I have upgraded one of my v1809 Pro to v1903 Pro in the last few days (by the hardest). The full adventure is in these four posts: #1889088, #1891639, #1896176, and #1896177.
    Under Windows Update, the Advanced options screen has changed. There is no longer the SAC/SAC(Targeted) pulldown (MS did away with the “Targeted”). The Feature Deferral pulldown, which was set to 365 days in v1809 prior to the upgrade, has also disappeared. I have posted more detailed observations about some of the changes on the Lounge, but here are the points these changes have raised:

    Point #1
    The Feature deferral setting/value that existed in the Advanced options GUI (pulldown) at the time of upgrade 1809 -> 1903 (365 days) is still set at that value (0000016d) in the same place in the Registry after the upgrade.
    Point #2
    The Settings represented by the pulldowns in the GUI (and their respective settings in the Registry) ARE NOT THE SAME as the settings in the Group Policy “Windows Update for Business” (and their respective settings in different place in the Registry). The locations in the Registry are different and their values do not necessarily correspond.
    Point #3
    Although the settings did not change with the 1809 -> 1903 upgrade, it is unclear if the settings in the Registry (related to what the the GUI pulldowns were) will still be respected by MS if the GUI settings (pulldowns) do not exist. (in the same way MS doesn’t respect the “no drivers in the updates” setting).
    Point #4
    It is not clear if the Group Policy settings have any effect on Pro versions. They may be exclusive to Ent/Edu? They are a completely different thing than those set by the GUI were.
  • Windows 10 gets better at taking screenshots

    WINDOWS 10

    By Lance Whitney

    Starting with Windows 10 1809, the legacy screen-capture Snipping Tool became Snip & Sketch — with great new capabilities.

    Ages ago, most of us downloaded third-party screen-capture apps because they were far superior to anything built into Windows. And it’s still true that products such as the paid Snagit and the free/paid PicPick offer extensive screen-capture and manipulation tools you won’t find in Windows.

    But the new, built-in Snip & Sketch is an excellent — and free — option. The app lets you capture an entire screen, any rectangular area, or an area that you draw freeform. And with Win10 Version 1903, you can also capture a specific window.

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 16.28.0 (2019-07-29).