Windows 10

Windows 10 May 2019 Update Now Available for Everyone

Microsoft today has officially taken the wraps off Windows 10 1903 and made it widely available. Those that want it right away can perform the “Check for Updates” procedure in the Windows 10 settings area. Beginning today, the May 2019 Update is available for customers who would like to install the latest release. If you are ready to install the update, open your Windows Update settings (Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update) and select Check for updates. Once the update appears, you can select Download and install now. (Note: You may not see Download and install now on your device as we are slowly throttling up this availability, while we carefully monitor data and feedback). Once the download is complete and the update is ready to install, we’ll notify you s...

Bug: A System Restore Can Keep Windows 10 from Booting

In a recently published support document, Microsoft has exposed a bug in Windows 10’s System Restore feature that keeps the computer from booting. When installing a clean installation of Windows 10, setting the Restore Point, and then installing updates, you can’t go back to that original Restore Point. When you attempt to use the original Restore Point, the computer will blue screen, fail to boot, and emit a Stop error (0xc000021a). Microsoft admits… This is a known issue in Windows 10. During the system restore process, Windows temporarily stages the restoration of files that are in use. It then saves the information in the registry. When the computer restarts, it completes the staged operation. In this situation, Windows restores the catalog files and stages the driver...

Microsoft Patches Severe Bug in Remote Desktop Services

One of the more critical security holes that Microsoft is patching this month is one in its Remote Desktop Services. Today Microsoft released fixes for a critical Remote Code Execution vulnerability, CVE-2019-0708, in Remote Desktop Services – formerly known as Terminal Services – that affects some older versions of Windows. The Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) itself is not vulnerable. This vulnerability is pre-authentication and requires no user interaction. In other words, the vulnerability is ‘wormable’, meaning that any future malware that exploits this vulnerability could propagate from vulnerable computer to vulnerable computer in a similar way as the WannaCry malware spread across the globe in 2017. While we have observed no exploitation of this vulnerability, it is highly likely that...

What’s Old is New Again – PowerToys for Windows are Back, But with an Opensource Flair

Back in the day, PowerToys were all the rage for Windows users. PowerToys were a set of freeware system utilities for power users, that were actually developed by Microsoft. Yet…they weren’t vetted as strictly as “official” apps similar to how utilities and apps are being developed through Microsoft Garage efforts today. From the GitHub page: PowerToys is a set of utilities for power users to tune and streamline their Windows experience for greater productivity. Inspired by the Windows 95 era PowerToys project, this reboot provides power users with ways to squeeze more efficiency out of the Windows 10 shell and customize it for individual workflows. A great overview of the Windows 95 PowerToys can be found here.

Alexa for Windows 10 Gets Full Hands-free Mode

Prior to this latest update, Alexa hands-free mode only worked for certain devices and PC manufacturer models. But, this latest update brings hands-free capability to any PC running Windows 10. If you have the Alexa app for Windows 10 installed and the feature isn’t yet working, just go into the Windows Store and grab the update. If you haven’t installed the Alexa app for Windows 10, get it here: Alexa The app requires that you be logged-in to your Amazon account, but you can then alter the Alexa for Windows 10 settings to enable hands-free, give sound indicators when Alexa is waiting for a response or has stopped listening, and if the app should run automatically when the computer starts.   Unfortunately, the app still doesn’t run as a System Tray service. The app m...

Windows 10 1809 Gets Its Second Big Update in as Many Days

Microsoft today has rolled out a new update for Windows 10 1809. This update comes just two days after a May 1st release that, among other things, fixes bugs with Japanese language pieces. Here’s what’s new: May 3, 2019—KB4495667 (OS Build 17763.475) Allows the built-in Administrator account to run Microsoft Office setup after downloading the installer in Microsoft Edge. Addresses an issue that causes Internet Explorer Automation to fail in certain instances. Addresses an issue that may prevent Custom URI Schemes for Application Protocol handlers from starting the corresponding application for local intranet and trusted sites on Internet Explorer. Addresses an issue that prevents certain apps from launching when you set folder redirection for the Roaming AppData folder to a net...

Tip: Enabling Bookmarks Sync Between Edge with Chromium and Edge on Android

As part of its ongoing development effort, Microsoft this week added the ability for Android users running Microsoft Edge to synch bookmarks with the desktop counterpart for those participating in the Insider program for Microsoft Edge with Chromium. The option needs to be enabled on Android devices in the Edge browser settings, but once enabled, the desktop bookmarks show up quickly. To sync with Microsoft Insider Channels, sign in with your Microsoft Account, ensure that it is selected as your active account, go to Settings > Account and select your Microsoft account, then select Microsoft Edge Insider Channels > Switch. Currently, only Bookmarks are available for synching, but Microsoft is working on the other important things.

Tip: Testing Website Notifications in Supported Browsers

If you need to test your website’s ability to send HTML5 web notifications to supported browsers, there’s a website to do that. Located at: https://www.bennish.net/web-notifications.html Using this site you can send notifications to the desktop either immediately or in the length of time it takes for you to minimize the browser.

Tip: Configure Focus Assist When Site Notifications Aren’t Working in Edge with Chromium

There’s a growing number of websites that allow subscription to site notifications that alert you when new content is posted. These will notify you like any other Windows 10 app or service. But, there’s a couple Windows 10 settings that can inadvertantly keep this from working correctly. In Windows 10 Settings go to System – Focus Assist. Make sure to configure the Automatic Rules settings appropriately. For example, if you have a multi-monitor setup the “duplicating my display” needs to be turned off. Additionally, consider if the “app in full screen” option may be hindering the feature from working for you.

Microsoft Delivers a May 1st Surprise Update for Windows 10 Version 1809

Depending on how positive you want to start the month of May, Microsoft has kicked off the the month with a cumulative update for Windows 10 1809. Here’s what’s fixed: Addresses an issue that prevents the CALDATETIME structure from handling more than four Japanese Eras. For more information, see KB4469068. Updates the NLS registry to support the new Japanese Era. For more information, see KB4469068. Addresses an issue that causes the DateTimePicker to display the date incorrectly in the Japanese date format. For more information, see KB4469068. Addresses an issue that causes the Date and Time Settings control to cache old Eras and prevents the control from refreshing when the time enters the new Japanese Era. For more information, see KB4469068. Updates fonts to support the new...

Windows 10 1903 Will Require More Disk Space

The minimum hardware requirements for Windows 10 1903 have changed a bit. Those tasked with deploying this next version should be aware that the disk space requirements have been altered. Windows 10 1903 will require a full 12GB more than previous versions. PCs should be inventoried to identify those that need to be replaced for more space.

Remove USB devices or SD cards before upgrading to the Windows 10 May 2019 Update

As Microsoft prepares to unleash its latest Windows 10 version on the masses, the company is working feverishly to minimize similar damage that was caused with the last release. As the moment of Windows 10 May 2019 release gets closer, the company should continue to produce warnings about pieces of potentially errant technology that customers need to be aware of. In the latest warning, Microsoft suggests removing any USB devices or SD cards from PCs prior to performing the upgrade. Microsoft will actively block the upgrade from PCs with USB or SD hardware installed to help eliminate potential problems. Full details: “This PC can’t be upgraded to Windows 10” error on a computer that has a USB device or SD card attached