Newsletter Archives

  • Patch Lady – Windows 7 ESU last minute requirement

    Microsoft has thrown a wrench into the last minute Windows 7 ESU updates.

    Now even though you’ve installed the ESU key and everything “was” ready to go, you now need KB4538483 to be MANUALLY installed in order to make Windows update show you updates for both any Windows 7 post ESU security updates *AS WELL AS* the Office updates.

    To get this manual update you have to go to the catalog site — And download either the 64 bit or 32 bit version of this update (depending on your computer version) before any security updates for February will show up when you go to Windows update.  (*)

    Note this is a late breaking change to the instructions and were NOT listed as a requirement until just today:  This procedure page just added this additional update requirement today:

    To anyone who has purchased updates through any ESU program, as a shareholder of Microsoft I want to apologize for this really  not well done, not automatic process.  I personally will be calling several businesses that I assisted to obtain these extended security patches and will apologize for having to bother them to get their machines in a condition to get additional updates when I thought I already had them ready to go.

    Bottom line, my apologies to anyone who thought they were all set.  You are not.  You need to be able to get Windows 7 security updates in February.

    (*) For corporate patchers this update is available via WSUS but NOT available via windows update.

    If you need ANY help with these updates please reach out at

    Rant (and warning) in Computerworld Woody on Windows.

  • How we automated the Win7 ESU-purchase process


    By Amy Babinchak

    At Harbor Computer Services, we specialize in providing IT services to small businesses with between one and 100 computer users.

    An important part of those services is helping customers modernize their business processes by effectively using applications and tools provided with their Microsoft 365 subscription. Often, this entails automating repetitive office tasks — an approach we also apply in our own business. Here’s an example.

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 17.6.0 (2020-02-10).

  • Patch Lady – Windows 7 ESU lessons

    Some lessons to be learned from the Windows 7 ESU upgrade….

    1. You have to have a valid Windows 7 pro(*) license.  No pirated keys allowed.
    2. If you have an unused Windows 7 pro key you can STILL do an Windows anytime upgrade from Home to Pro.  When you get to the screen in the Windows anytime upgrade, indicate that you have a key, enter in it and depending on the speed of your computer, it will upgrade to pro.  Be patient .. it says it takes 10 minutes or longer…. it can be HOURS depending on the speed of the computer.  Then activate the key in the system section and then you can add the 1 year add on to keep it patched.
    3. The free upgrade from 7 to 10 still works.  Is it legal?  I would say no.  But Microsoft is totally ignoring that and letting the machines activate.
    4. Can you still buy a Windows 7 license if you don’t have a new one?  Yes, but man it’s hard to ensure that you are buying it from a reputable place online.  Everything looks a bit scammy to me.  And certainly don’t buy it from an ebay vendor.  There are a few on Amazon that look okay and not too scammy, but be careful.  If it’s too good to be true or too cheap to be a proper license, it’s probably not one.
    5. A healthy Windows 7 machine should have no problem installing this key and activating it.  A not so healthy one… you may have to manually install missing updates and run the Windows update troubleshooter to get it to healthy condition.
    6. Finally remember that the offer is still open and doesn’t close.  If you are small business and need to keep even one machine on 7 for a key business need, you can continue to get updates next week by purchasing a license.

    (*) or Ultimate license.

    Details now in Computerworld Woody on Windows.

  • Closing the book on Windows 7


    By Susan Bradley

    We’ve finished the last chapter for the storied Windows 7 operating system — at least for almost all home users.

    With all the various notifications, can there be a Win7 user who doesn’t know that the last general patches were sent out this past Tuesday (January 14)? If so, it’s time to come out from under your rock.

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 17.3.0 (2020-01-20).

  • 2020 patching starts with a bang!


    By Susan Bradley

    Patch Tuesday arrived on January 14, and it was not an auspicious start to the new year.

    An NSA warning about a newly revealed Windows vulnerability isn’t the only newsworthy event for January. Let’s recap:

    As we’ve discussed thoroughly on, millions of Windows users are saying goodbye (sort of) to the beloved Windows 7. For consumers, January’s updates are the last they’ll receive — barring some extraordinary event. Businesses still relying on Win7 machines (and there are possibly millions) get a three-year reprieve — if they take advantage of Microsoft’s Win7 Extended Security Updates (ESU) offering.

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 17.3.0 (2020-01-20).

  • Hunting for an elusive Win7 ESU license


    By Susan Bradley

    We know that a sizable number of AskWoody members will continue to use Windows 7 well after its January 2020 end-of-service deadline.

    So we took up the challenge of finding and acquiring Microsoft’s Extended Security Updates (ESU) licenses for Win7 — not by the dozens or hundreds, as a large business might do, but just one or a few for individuals and small businesses.

    Our conclusion: Once you’ve tracked down a provider, a Win7 ESU is relatively easy to set up on your machine — if you’re an IT pro or advanced Windows user.

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 16.47.0 (2019-12-23).

  • Questions about Win7 Extended Support Updates? We have answers

    Susan Bradley just started a thread that deals with ESU questions – and we have many. She and Amy Babinchak are blasting through the bafflegab, with the intent of making official Win7 security patches available to normal people.

    Questions, answers, and a look forward here:

    Got Questions about ESU patches? We got answers

    This one blew me away. Totally unexpected: @abbodi86 says it’s possible MS will continue with both Monthly Rollups and Security Only patches.

  • Patch Lady – yes the Windows 7 ESU keys work on Ultimate

    See that activation on the top?  That’s a $61 (US) first year fee for Windows 7 Extended Security Updates that is activated on a Windows 7 Ultimate machine.

    So to those wanting to know the question… “Does the Win7 ESU keys work on Ultimate?”  Yes they do.

    One thing to keep in mind — if you are a security only patcher, you will need to flip over to the update rollup model to get this key on your machine.  There are requirements mandated.  Stay tuned as a step by step article will be out soon.

    But bottom line… Windows 7 Ultimates can continue to be patched in 2020.

  • Organizations with Enterprise E5 and Microsoft 365 E5 licenses will get one free year of extended Win7 updates

    To quote the official FAQ:

    Starting June 1, 2019, EA and EAS customers who have active subscription licenses for Windows 10 Enterprise E5, Microsoft 365 E5, Microsoft 365 E5 Security, or Windows VDA E5 (as of January 14, 2020) receive Windows 7 Extended Security Updates (ESU) for Year 1 as a benefit. This limited-time promotion gives customers more options to continue receiving Windows 7 security updates after the end of support.

    This promotion is available only to volume licensing (VL) customers, and is not available through cloud service providers (CSP). This promotion does not apply to Academic SKUs.

    Not sure when that announcement first appeared, but it’s accurate as of Nov. 26.

    Thx @teroalhonen