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  • MS-DEFCON 2: Make sure auto updates is turned off, as MS re-re-…-releases KB 2952664 and KB 2976978

    Posted on March 7th, 2017 at 13:22 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    We’re seeing a replay of February’s Patch Tuesday run –

    Microsoft re-releases snooping patches KB 2952664, KB 2976978

    … except this time it isn’t Patch Tuesday. No idea what’s been changed in those two proto-snooping patches. No idea why they’re being re-re-…-released on the first Tuesday of the month. But they are coming out as Optional, which means they won’t get installed unless you check the corresponding box in Windows Update.

    Anyway, best to get locked down. We’re at MS-DEFCON 2: Patch reliability is unclear. Unless you have an immediate, pressing need to install a specific patch, don’t do it.

    Oh and, yes, it looks like Windows Update is working again, after taking a month off.

    Full story in InfoWorld Woody on Windows

  • Office non-security patches are out

    Posted on March 7th, 2017 at 13:18 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Now that you all can log on with your Microsoft accounts again, the official list is here:

    March 2017 Non-Security Office Update Release

    I count five Office 2013 patches, twelve for Office 2016. As always, it’d be a good idea to avoid installing them. I’m changing the MS-DEFCON level as we speak.

  • Microsoft Accounts are having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day

    Posted on March 7th, 2017 at 07:54 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    I’m seeing reports all over Twitter that Microsoft Accounts aren’t working right. Logging in to your MS Account online, via Outlook, Xbox, OneDrive, Skype – all appear to be broken.

    In my case, I have an old @hotmail.com account that opens in Win10 Mail. At one point I was getting repeated “ding!” toaster notifications that “Your Hotmail account settings are out of date.” Clicked on the toaster notification, went through the steps to enter my PIN. Got an Error 0x800704cf.

    Tried logging in using my password. Looked like that worked, but shortly afterward I started getting the toaster notifications again.

    At this moment, Win10 Mail shows a ! icon

    When I try to refresh mail, I get a yellow bar at the top of Mail that says “Your Hotmail 2 account settings are out-of-date” giving me the option to Fix account or Dismiss.

    I tried to log in to Hotmail and got this notification:

    Of course, I’ve been using that Hotmail account for a couple of decades.

    I think I need to write up how to avoid using Microsoft accounts… anybody want to add a tip or two?

    UPDATE: 30 minutes later, and I can directly log in to hotmail.com, but the verification in Win10 Mail still shows Error 0x800704cf

    UPDATE 2: Mary Jo Foley reports that she’s back in but, as of 12:00 eastern US time, “I am still hearing from some who cannot sign into Outlook.”

  • Microsoft endorses a technique for installing Win7 from scratch

    Posted on March 7th, 2017 at 04:09 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    If you’re looking at installing Win7 from scratch, you have a tough row to hoe.

    InfoWorld Woody on Windows.