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  • Win10 Creators Update now available – and you don’t want it

    Posted on April 6th, 2017 at 13:03 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Why and how to block the latest version of the last version of Windows, 1703.

    See InfoWorld Woody on Windows

    BTW, Günter Born has a German-language list of all the installation possibilities on Borncity. The English language version is here.

  • Microsoft Security Essentials finally fixed

    Posted on April 6th, 2017 at 13:02 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    For several days we’ve been nursing a list of woes with MSE, primarily a completely bogus “preliminary scan results show that malicious or potentially unwanted software might exist on your computer” followed by a clean bill of health.

    Yesterday, it seems, Microsoft released a new version – and it’s fixed the problem.

    Join the discussion here.

  • Is the Windows phone fan community imploding?

    Posted on April 6th, 2017 at 10:39 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Great analysis from Jason Ward at Windows Central:

    The Windows phone community may be the most passionate group of smartphone fans on the internet. Sadly, it seems that many, not all, of those fans, are also becoming the most jaded, cynical, aggressive and downright cruel group of anti-fans on the web.

    I don’t claim any first-hand knowledge here. I bought a Windows phone many months ago so I could test Office on it, but that’s the extent of my experience. I love my Nexus 6P and my wife’s very happy with her iPhone. I see no reason to move to Windows Phone just because it’s from Microsoft. And I see no other reason to move to Windows Phone, period.

    Maybe some day Microsoft will get its act together. In the interim, sorry, but life’s too short.

  • Group B and Patch blocklists

    Posted on April 6th, 2017 at 10:16 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Good question from L:

    I’m in Group B and I’d like to ask a question about something I’ve been confused about ever since you posted it about a year ago. Back on March 11, 2016, you posted an article titled “Bad Patch Lists”, and in that article, you said “In the future, only install security patches for Win7 and 8.1. Don’t install optional patches.” My question is this: what about patches that Microsoft lists as “important” (but are not described as security patches)? These “Important” patches don’t fit into either the “optional” category nor the “security” category. For the past year since you published that, I’ve been unchecking the boxes for those “important” ones, so as to err on the safe side and not install them. Every month there’s about 4 or 5 of them that I uncheck in this fashion, but I always scratch my head and wonder whether I should have installed them. And again this month, I don’t see them listed in the Step B5 of your article, which is titled “Step B5: Get rid of problematic updates”. So can you tell me, should I install those ones that are described by Microsoft as “important” (but not described as “security” nor as “optional”)?

    Recall that March 11, 2016 was before the patchocalypse – there was no Group A or Group B at that time.

    The best approach is to follow the exact instructions that I give every month. For example, at the end of March I posted these directions.

    In broad terms, I have folks in Group A – the ones who don’t mind the snooping – install Recommended updates; while I have those in Group B skip the Recommended updates.

    The most important part: If you see something that’s checked, don’t uncheck it unless the instructions specifically tell you to uncheck. If you see something that’s unchecked, don’t check it, unless there are specific instructions to the contrary.

    If you see an “Important” update that isn’t checked, don’t check it – regardless of whether you find reference to it somewhere in the documentation as security or optional.

  • MS17-006 (KB4012216, KB4012215, KB1042204) and Servers dropping off of the network

    Posted on April 6th, 2017 at 09:55 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Intriguing observation from PB:

    We had some of our Windows 2008, Windows 2008 R2 and Windows 2012 R2 servers “drop off the network” today.  In most of the cases, we noted that ICMP requests to the server were ignored.  Using WireShark I did confirm that the traffic was received by the server but no reply was ever sent.  The server could ping any device on the network, but would not answer any request sent to it.  In most of the cases application protocols (At least http and https) would stop working as well (though there were a couple of instances where it seemed to work selectively). 

    Our troubleshooting led us to the patches released under MS17-006 (Specifically KB4012216, KB4012215, and KB1042204).  Removing these returned the server to normal operation.  Curiously, the patches were installed on some of the servers as long as two weeks ago and the behavior didn’t start until last night. 

    I have only found one article online indicating anyone has had this or similar issues.  I have been reading your articles on infoworld.com lately.  So, I figured you might have some knowledge of how common this issue might be.  If it isn’t common (or common yet), I thought it might benefit you to hear about our experience.

    Have you hit something similar?