Microsoft delays February patches until March

Microsoft has decided to delay the February patches until March – even though there is a possible critical vulnerability not addressed.

While not officially disclosed, some believe it is the “build” mechanism for the patching that is an issue and not a patch itself.

 

Microsoft’s updates for February delayed a bit

Microsoft has delayed releasing the February patches due to a last minute issue found:

“Our top priority is to provide the best possible experience for customers in maintaining and protecting their systems. This month, we discovered a last minute issue that could impact some customers and was not resolved in time for our planned updates today.

After considering all options, we made the decision to delay this month’s updates. We apologize for any inconvenience caused by this change to the existing plan.”

Miscellaneous computer tips – Volume 4

Tip #1:

If you have upgraded to Windows 10 Anniversary Update [v1607], you may come across the error “Unspecified Error” when you open File Explorer from the task bar or other locations.

To correct the problem, change the default view of File Explorer from “Quick Access” to “This PC”. To do so, go to Control Panel and click on the File Explorer Options applet. Change the “Open File Explorer to” option to “This PC”. Then you’ll be able to open File Explorer from the taskbar or elsewhere.

 

Tip #2:

One change in the Anniversary Update [v1607] of Windows 10 is that the User Access Control window [the window that pops up asking for your permission if you try to change, install or uninstall something] has changed. If you are use to the old UAC prompt, at least in v1607, you can revert back to the old prompt with this registry fix:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

;

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Authentication\LogonUI\TestHooks]

“XamlCredUIAvailable”=dword:00000000

If you need to turn on the modern UI version in future, just set its value to 1.

 

Tip #3:

In their infinite ways, Microsoft pulled the popular screen capture tool out of OneNote 2016 so it can be a part of Windows 10. And if you don’t have Windows 10? At this time, the following registry fix should allow the screen capture to return to OneNote 2016.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

;

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\16.0\OneNote\Options\Other]

“ScreenClippingShortcutKey”=dword:00000058

 

Note: As usual, before you apply the registry fixes, you should test, backup and verify the settings. Use at your own risk.

 

Receiving Email from a Yahoo account warning

You may receive an Email from a friend [or someone in the family] who has a Yahoo account. [The Email address sent from may not be a Yahoo account but the person has one.]

In the Email, which may not have a subject, it will give you most likely a one line paragraph and to click on a link.

It may be something like:

“You can’t miss it! http://blahblahblax.com/Johnny It’s my favorite one!”

The site above does not exist but is an example. Replace “Johnny” with the name of the person that sent it to you.

DON’T Click on the link in the Email.

Verify with the individual if they sent it. Do not reply to that Email directly.

I have received two of these the past couple of days. These are probably related to one of the two huge hacks on Yahoo over the past couple of years or so.

 

Further changes to Windows Update

Back in October, Microsoft started to release cumulative or roll-up packages for Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, and Windows Server 2012 R2.

They consist of a security only package that has all the updates for that month only. They call it the Security Only Quality Update [SOQU].

There is also the monthly roll-up which includes all security and non-security updates since October 2016. They call it the Security Monthly Quality Update [SMQU].

If you install the SMQU, it will bring you up to date quite fast. It also replaces all SMQUs since October 2016]. It technically also replaces all SOQUs since October 2016 as well.

If you just want security updates, you would need to install every monthly SOQU available from October 2016 and on.

From October 2016 to January 2017 the SOQU contained all supported Internet Explorer updates. As of February 2017, Microsoft has removed IE from the SOQU and IE will be a separate update. This was requested by enterprise clients. [The SMQU will still incorporate the latest IE update.] As usual, none of the updates will upgrade your version of IE.

Months with no new Windows security or reliability fixes will not have a SOQU or SMQU release. [Of course with Windows, that gets a bit unlikely!]

Confused?

 

 

How to restore an uninstalled Windows 10 app

If you have somehow uninstalled a Windows 10 app [the ones that came with Windows 10], you can restore the app. There are a number of ways but this method seems the least confusing [well to me]:

Find PowerShell in the Start menu [choose one that says “PowerShell” and not “PowerShell (x86)” or the others].

  • Right click on it and select “Run as administrator”. A big deep blue window opens up.
  • Run the command:

Get-Appxpackage –Allusers

  • Because of the number of applications, I would suggest you redirect the output to a text file.

Get-Appxpackage –Allusers > c:\temp\output.txt

  • You can use a different name. Use a location to save the text file and you have rights to save it there. You will be deleting it after.
  • Open your output.txt file.
  • Find the application that you want to restore. For our example, it will be the “Windows Store”.
  • So look for and copy the text to the right of “FullPackageName” under “Windows Store”.
  • So for this version of Windows 10 that I’m using [Windows 10 Pro v1611 64-bit] it is “Microsoft.WindowsStore_11610.1001.10.0_x64__8wekyb3d8bbwe”.
  • Now build/copy the following line:

Add-AppxPackage -register “C:\Program Files\WindowsApps\XXX\AppxManifest.xml” –DisableDevelopmentMode

  • Replace XXX with “Microsoft.WindowsStore_11610.1001.10.0_x64__8wekyb3d8bbwe” [no quotes] in my example and you should be left with

Add-AppxPackage -register “C:\Program Files\WindowsApps\Microsoft.WindowsStore_11610.1001.10.0_x64__8wekyb3d8bbwe\AppxManifest.xml” –DisableDevelopmentMode

  • Copy the full line [to the clip board].
  • Go into the big deep blue PowerShell window, and right click on the top line where you have the PowerShell command prompt. It should automatically insert the line that you “built” two lines above. Hit the “Enter” key.

If there is no error, it will bring you back to the PowerShell command prompt. Now if you go to the Start menu, your application should be back [in our example, it show up as “Store”].

Note: I am not a PowerShell expert. So, if something is missing, I can’t help. At worst case, this procedure should do nothing.

 

Updated features in the Windows 10 Creator Update

The list below is based on the latest Windows Insider build that beta testers are using [and may change] when Windows 10 v1703 is released in the spring. It is being dubbed the Creator Update by Microsoft. It is not the complete list but highlights some of the updates.

  • You can now to organize and personal your tiles in Start menu into folders.
  • OneNote 2016’s popular screen capture feature is built into Windows 10. Use Win+Shift+S to capture a region of your screen and copy it to anywhere. It is expected to be removed as a feature of OneNote 2016. [Note: If using OneNote but not using windows 10, there is a registry fix to bring it back].
  • PC’s health section includes more options for Device performance and extra health scans for an in-depth report.
  • When running Windows for the first time [after an upgrade or a new computer], a female voice will guide you and exclaim some options. The voice can be disabled.
  • Added is an option that will enable you to pause updates on your computer for up to 35 days and allow you to decide whether or not to include driver updates. This capability will not be available on the Home edition.
  • Also added is logic to better detect if the PC’s display is actively being used for something, such as projecting, and avoid attempting to restart.
  • Home edition of Windows will now have Active hours increased to up to 18-hour maximum.
  • You will now be able to change resolution straight from the main Display Settings page.
  • An improved performance and smoothness when resizing GDI-based Desktop applications [such as File Explorer, Notepad, Task Manager, ….] and UWP apps [such as Outlook Mail, Photo]. When resizing UWP apps, the window frame background will be transparent as the app adjusts.
  • The new device settings combine the Bluetooth and Connected devices pages to offer a single place to manage all of your devices/peripherals. They can all now be discovered and managed from the same place using the same UI. You can also disconnect and reconnect your Bluetooth audio devices directly from the settings page.
  • High DPI support will be enabled for GDI-based applications.
  • Settings pages now contain additional information on the right or bottom [depending on the window size} that will provide feedback, support links, etc.
  • App related settings have moved out of System into a new category called Apps.
  • The header on the landing page for each Settings category will now stay in place as you pan the page.
  • You can easily pick between the colors you’ve decided on in the past on some screens.
  • The Settings app now contains the theme management [formerly in the Control Panel.