Newsletter Archives

  • Windows 7 ESU year two oddities

    According to the thread in the Microsoft Tech Community:

    Year two: Extended Security Updates for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 – Microsoft Tech Community

    Here are some interesting things about the Year 2 ESU license.

    Oddity number 1:  While you can’t buy year 2 of the ESU without having an existing (or new) order for year 1 on your account, you can install the year 2 ESU without and having the year 1 ESU installed.  I guess you’d have this situation if you were reinstalling/rebuilding a Windows 7 machine.

    Oddity number 2:  We don’t think there is a “test” update like last year.

    Overall, I have less clients this year asking for these ESUs as they’ve replaced many of their machines with Windows 10 in the past year.

  • Win7 ESU License purchasing now open

    For the second year Harbor Computer Services has agreed to make the Win7 ESU licenses available for small quantity purchasers. What do you know? Microsoft and the distributors both got their act together this year and opened up Windows 7 – Year 2 Extended Servicing Updates license for sale on time. That means it’s available now! The cost of year two licensing is $142.

    To prepare for your license purchase you will need:

    • Your tenant information from last year. Find that email from Ted. It’s in there and you were instructed to keep it in a safe place.
    • Credit card
    • Number of licenses needed
    • email address

    If you have any Windows 7 computers that do not have year 1 applied, then you will also need to purchase year 1 for that computer. There’s a note section to let Ted know that you need one of those too. After you submit the form, Ted will process the information, make the purchase and the send you an email response with the license and instructions for installation. Just like last year. Please be a bit patient as we get ramped up to process these.

    Here ‘s the link to the form

  • Windows 7 “not dead yet”

    Nearly a year after Win7’s EOL, Ed Bott has been diving into how many might still be using the OS. He hints it’s a big number.

    …as December 2020 draws to a close, the proportion of PCs running Windows 10 has gone up 12%, to 87.8%; the Windows 7 count has dropped by more than 10 points, to 8.5%, and the population of Windows 8.x holdouts has shrunk even further, to a minuscule 3.4%

    If my calculations a year ago were on the mark, that means more than 100 million Windows PC were retired, recycled, or upgraded in the past 12 months.

    It is somewhat reassuring to hear that WinXP is now in the region of a “fraction of a rounding error”. And of course, that doesn’t quantify how many of those Win7 machines are or aren’t enrolled in the ESU program.

    You can read Ed’s write-up on Zdnet here.

  • Windows 10 and chkdsk issues?


    By Susan Bradley

    Yikes! Say it isn’t so!

    Günter Born reports that a small number of Windows users whose systems have solid-state drives ran into serious trouble with the classic chkdsk tool after installing KB 4592438, the December cumulative update for Win10 20H2. When they kicked off chkdsk c: /f, their systems crashed with a blue screen of death. The problem appears to be limited to machines with SSDs.

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 17.51.0 (2020-12-28).

  • Windows 7 ESU for 2021

    UPDATE: Purchasing is now open.

    About 3,000 of you purchased the Windows 7 ESU from Harbor Computer Services last year. We offered to make this available to Woody readers after so many IT firms recklessly said that they wouldn’t. My feeling is that while I’d prefer that no one was running Windows 7 anymore, for those that are they need access to updates to retain some degree of security on those systems. We aren’t here to judge. My firm is also an advocate for healthy IT communities and so we agreed to sell the ESU license to all comers even though there’s no money in it for us to speak of. In our regular business, selling stuff is not our thing. We’re a services business.

    We’ve been getting a lot of email recently asking about the year two ESU license and we’ve been letting everyone know that we didn’t have any information yet from Microsoft or distribution. But just yesterday, we got word from our distributor that the license should be ready for purchase beginning on January 5th 2021. Keep that should in mind because this date is dependent on Microsoft hitting thier deadlines. It appears that the price will be $142 all in. This is less than the predicted $150-$200 so that’s some good news.  Keep in mind that last year Microsoft changed the pricing during the first month creating some chaos, so we’re braced for a sudden price change and will keep you posted.

    The process for making this purchase will be the same as last year. We’ll open a form on which you’ll provide all of the information needed for the purchase to take place. Then you’ll get an email from with your ESU license code and instructions for installing it.

    To prepare for your license purchase you will need:

    • Your tenant information from last year. Find that email from Ted. It’s in there and you were instructed to keep it in a safe place.
    • Credit card
    • Number of licenses needed
    • email address

    Keep an eye on this space in January for the URL to the purchase form.

    If you’d like to know more about the behind-the-scenes process. Please see this article from last year. How we automated the Win7 ESU-purchase process @ AskWoody

    – Amy Babinchak, president Harbor Computer Services, Third Tier and Woody contributor


  • Windows 7 users – sites start to impact

    In case you missed this post, as we come up to the year anniversary of the extended support for Windows 7, we’re seeing reports of vendors starting to shut the door on support.

    Many of my line of business applications already throw up warning signs that they aren’t officially supported even though I purchased an ESU to ensure that I kept an older workstation around in order to run older applications that won’t run on Windows 10.

    Forum user GonetoPlaid indicated that they couldn’t use CBS all access on their patched Windows 7.  As the post indicates, one ISP modem was about to be reset when a forum user indicated that they’d also reached out to CBS all access and they told them that Windows 7 was no longer supported.  Thus using the tip:

    User-Agent Switcher and Manager add-on for Firefox. I then switched the user agent string to indicate Firefox on Windows 10. That fixed it instantly. Thank you for the tip that CBS discontinued support for Windows 7.

    Be aware that as we come up to year 2 you may see more of these even if you have purchased the ESU support.

    (and thanks to all who participated in that helpful forum thread)

  • New Win7 Extended Security Updates licensing package

    Yesterday Microsoft released a new Licensing Prep package for those of you who are paying for Windows 7 Extended Security Updates. Per KB 4575903

    This update provides an additional set of licensing changes to enable installation of the ESU add-on key. This is one of the steps to prepare for installation of Extended Security Updates. For the full set of steps, please see KB4522133.

    If you previously successfully installed and activated your ESU key on your Windows 7 SP1 device, you do not have to re-install or reactivate it after applying this update.

    It’s my understanding that you don’t need to install this particular update in order to get the August patches (which aren’t out yet), but that you will need it to install the September ESU patches.

    Thx Günter Born

  • Patch Lady – Windows 7 ESU and the .NET patch problem

    For those of you with Windows 7 ESUs that could not install the July .NET KB4565636 patch it looks like the issue has been resolved.

    A new version of KB4565636 has been released. After a WU rescan, the update was installed successfully on the previously problematic machine.

    (According to the log, the machine still gets detected as having a “FES” license, but at least the installer recognizes the ESU license now.)

    See the Microsoft Answers forum.

  • Is it safe yet?


    By Susan Bradley

    Every month, Windows users have to ask the same question: “Is it safe to patch yet?”

    As is all too common, the issues and concerns I had at the beginning of this month are not the ones I have a few weeks later. Case in point: I thought for sure we’d have more screams of frustration when the recent Office updates started blocking Web information requested by Visual Basic apps.

    But no: I’m mostly tracking possible issues with the Windows 10 1909 update. It’s sort of similar to how we’re feeling these days about staying in or going out; I don’t think you’ll see any issues, but I also can’t guarantee you won’t. It’s confusing, I know.

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 17.17.0 (2020-05-04).

  • Microsoft Office gets a drenching of updates


    By Susan Bradley

    COVID-19’s impact on patching doesn’t extend to Office releases.

    If April’s updates prove anything, it’s that Office is a prime target for malware attacks. This month, all supported versions of Microsoft’s productivity suite received a dozen or more security patches. And most of these fixes have a common purpose: breaking a specific risk to our networks — Office apps using Visual Basic scripts to pull information from the Internet. This change is good, for the most part, but it might cause line-of-business apps with sloppy coding to stop working.

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 17.15.0 (2020-04-20).

  • More help with Windows 7 extended support


    By Susan Bradley

    Windows 7 extended-security updates are easier to buy than to deploy. The entire process seems to be a work in progress.

    It’s been over a week since the February Win7 Extended Security Updates (ESU) patches were released … and I’m still helping people get these updates in place. In many cases, folks ran into problems through no fault or misstep of their own. For sure, Microsoft has not made keeping Windows 7 patched an easy process. Here are some of the things we’ve found:

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 17.8.0 (2020-02-24).

  • The trials and tribulations of Windows 7


    By Susan Bradley

    We’re starting the Windows 7 extended-support era … with more than our fair share of confusion.

    Before I shed some light on making Extended Security Updates (ESUs) work, here’s a bit of good news for all Win7 users.

    You might recall that the final free Win7 updates (January’s) included a bug that broke the “Stretch” wallpaper setting. Some systems ended up with black backgrounds. The easy fix was to use another “Choose a fit” option. But if “Stretch” is important to you — or you’d just like your Win7 copy to be as bug-free as possible — Microsoft released KB 4539601 to fix the flaw. Currently, however, you must manually download and install the patch.

    The February launch of extended-support updates got off to a shaky start.

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 17.7.0 (2020-02-17).