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  • Microsoft to start pushing Win10 1809 customers onto 1909

    Posted on December 6th, 2019 at 04:57 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Nevermind that Win10 1809 Home and Pro don’t officially hit end of service until May of next year…

    Microsoft just announced that it’s starting to push machines from Win10 1809 to version 1909.

    Current status as of December 5, 2019:

    Beginning today, we will slowly start the phased process to automatically initiate a feature update for devices running the October 2018 Update (Windows 10, version 1809) Home and Pro editions, keeping those devices supported and receiving the monthly updates that are critical to device security and ecosystem health. We are starting this rollout process several months in advance of the end of service date to provide adequate time for a smooth update process.

    I can understand a month, or maybe two. But five?

    No indication how the push will proceed. I guess you wake up one morning to find that your 1809 machine wants to reboot into 1909.

    As a service.

    Thx Bogdan Popa, Softpedia.

  • The (sorta) quiet release of Win10 Version 1909

    Posted on December 2nd, 2019 at 01:00 Tracey Capen Comment on the AskWoody Lounge


    By Susan Bradley

    Microsoft’s latest update of Window 10 is rolling out with little fanfare — and few reports of major problems.

    As Woody notes in an AskWoody post, the migration to Version 1909 appears to be relatively painless — especially if you’re coming from Version 1903.

    That said, businesses will want to thoroughly test Win10 1909 — and prepare for upgrading to Version 1903, assuming you’re not already on it.

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 16.44.0 (2019-12-02).

  • Should you upgrade or stick to the MS-DEFCON rating?

    Posted on November 26th, 2019 at 09:32 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    I created a lot of confusion with my Computerworld post yesterday. In a nutshell, it goes through the pro’s and con’s of upgrading to versions 1809, 1903 and 1909 and, once you’ve chosen the version you want, gives detailed instructions on how to get there.

    To put this in perspective with the MS-DEFCON rating you see above…

    I published that article knowing that many of you in the US will be visiting with family and friends over the next few days. If you’re going to upgrade your Deranged Uncle Darth this year, many of you will want to get the dirty deed done while everybody else is watching football. (American football, of course – and I say that with apologies to my Sainted Aunt Martha.)

    I should’ve made clear that, if you’re concerned about bugs this month – of which there are a few, but not many – you should wait until the MS-DEFCON level goes down before you move from one version to another. (Note, in particular the fix for the Access bug hasn’t been completely rolled out.) But if you’re under some pressure to get things sorted out in the next week or so, it’s OK to upgrade now.

  • Here’s how to control the upgrade from Win10 version 1803 or 1809

    Posted on November 25th, 2019 at 12:54 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Yes, you can choose which version you want to run — 1809, 1903, or 1909.

    There are direct methods from moving from 1803 to 1809, 1903 or 1909.

    And there are direct methods from moving from 1809 to 1903 or 1909. You do have control, with either Win10 Pro or Home.

    A discussion of options and upgrade details in Computerworld Woody on Windows.

  • Known problems with Win10 version 1909

    Posted on November 24th, 2019 at 05:45 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    With Win10 version 1909 now (… checks watch …) 12 days old, I figured it’d be a good time to come up with an Airing of Grievances for the latest version of the last version of Windows.

    Let me kick this off.

    Stutter in File Explorer search

    Mayank Parmar in Windows Latest says:

    Windows 10 November 2019 Update makes File Explorer’s search pane unresponsive. According to posts on Microsoft’s community forum, users have to wait for an abnormally large amount of time before the search box unfreeze and the cursor appears. We were able to reproduce this bug after several attempts.

    Thx, Divyanka

    Text in File Explorer search box very small

    jjblau reports:

    When I click in the search box in File Explorer the text is so small I cannot read it.  I had no problems in 1809.  The search works but you do not know if you spelled your search correctly until you see the results.

    Search box in File Explorer not responsive

    An anonymous commenter adds:

    Right-click on the explorer search box get nothing. Ctrl-V to paste into explorer search box is currently impossible, I can’t even access it to type.

    Problems installing 1909

    Let’s see. This is a day with a name that ends in “y,” so I guess we’re going to see Win10 upgrade installation problems. Mauro Huculak at Windows Central has an enormous compilation of upgrade problems and solutions:

    If you’re still running the October 2018 Update [that’s version 1809 to us normal folks – WL], April 2018 Update [version 1803], or an even older version, then the upgrade process will require full reinstallation. Therefore, increasing the chances of running into problems or stumble upon hardware and software compatibility issues.

    Moving from 1903 to 1909 should be easy — the 1909 update simply plugs in the Christmas tree lights that were already installed by 1903 — but there are reports of problems. For example, hotcore on TenForums says:

    Shortly after the reboot I see the Windows logo and the dots are circling, but after a short time the system hangs completely… I managed to solve the issue by creating the 1909 ISO with Media Creator and installing from that.

    What to do

    Nothing. There’s absolutely nothing in Win10 1909 that you need to have just yet. Let’s give it a few months and see what problems arise.

    For those of you still running Win10 1803 or 1809, I’ll have a detailed step-by-step analysis of your upgrade options — what to consider when upgrading, and how to thread the needle — coming this week in Computerworld.

    In the interim… have you heard of any Win10 1909 specific bugs?

  • Another key Win10 security feature bites the dust: Say goodbye to Windows Defender Exploit Guard

    Posted on November 22nd, 2019 at 08:08 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    There’s a reason why I’m skeptical about the fancy new security features touted for Win10 versions. In many cases, at least for me, they don’t work. Enterprises have a different school of fish to fry, but the benefits of some of the new features just eludes me.

    Take, if you will, the Windows Defender Exploit Guard. When Win10 version 1709 hit the street, it was billed as a major new security feature that the whole world needs. Although on the surface it seemed like something I could understand — keep rogue programs out of key pieces of Windows — I never got it to work right. Here’s how MS described it back during the 1709 release:

    Implementing Attack Surface Reduction rules within Windows Defender Exploit Guard. Exploit Guard is a new feature of v1709 that helps prevent a variety of actions often used by malware. You can read more about Exploit Guard here: Reduce attack surfaces with Windows Defender Exploit Guard. Note that we have enabled “block” mode for all of these settings. We are continuing to watch the “Block office applications from injecting into other process” setting; if it creates compatibility problems then we might change the baseline recommendation to “audit” mode for that setting. Please let us know what you observe.

    That seems like a worthy goal, and I dutifully reported on it. But I never got it to work.

    Now comes word that Microsoft’s recommending everybody disable it in Win10 1909. From the newly published Security Baseline for 1909:

    Exploit Protection 

    Because of reported compatibility issues with the Exploit Protection settings that we began incorporating with the Windows 10 v1709 baselines, we have elected to remove the settings from the baseline and to provide a script for removing the settings from machines that have had those settings applied. (See Remove-EPBaselineSettings.ps1 in the download package’s Scripts folder.)

    So this once-highly-touted security feature has not only bitten the dust, there’s a handy program included in the Security Baselines toolbox that makes it easy to ensure that the %$#@! thing has been turned off everywhere.

    There’s a reason to be skeptical of new security “features” that you don’t understand….

  • Upgraded to 1909 – or was he?

    Posted on November 21st, 2019 at 09:26 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Tero Alhonen has a tweet that baffles me:

    In the end, it appears as if he’s on the first October cumulative update for 1903 (build 18362.418), but the original prompt and the install history says he’s on 1909, presumably the latest build 18363.476.

    Anybody have a guess what’s going on?

  • Peering into the Windows tea leaves

    Posted on November 4th, 2019 at 01:15 Tracey Capen Comment on the AskWoody Lounge


    By Woody Leonhard

    You can expect some significant changes — existential changes — to Windows in the very near future.

    Based on some official announcements and more than a few highly reliable leaks, it looks like Windows is in for a very bumpy ride.

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 16.40.0 (2019-11-04).