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Windows

Cisco Releases December Warning About a July Bug for Windows Servers

Someone at Cisco just woke up in time for the holidays. On December 13, 2018, a Cisco Field Notice was issued to warn customers that… Multiple processes that run on a Microsoft Windows 2012 R2 server can crash or fail to start because of KB4338815.  The solution is to install KB4338831 on the affected servers. But, both updates (KB4338815 and KB4338831) are from July 2018. For those Cisco customers waiting for a fix for this, its been available since July – you just didn’t know it until now.

Microsoft Ends Its Program to Deliver Instant Fixes to Windows Problems

In a redirect from a KB article, Microsoft gives more evidence that it’s truly serious that it wants cumulative updates to be the go-to solution for updates. One page, originally titled “How to use Microsoft easy fix solutions” is now brandished in bold letters: Microsoft Easy Fix solutions are no longer supported It goes on to say… You might have tried to download a Microsoft Easy Fix solution (formerly referred to as a “Fix It”). Easy Fix solutions are no longer supported or offered for download.    

Tip: Malicious Software Removal Tool Command-line Switches

Microsoft distributes the Malicious Software Removal Tool (MSRT) through Automatic Updates once a month. MSRT is designed to find and remove threats and it can reverse the changes made by these threats. MSRT is generally released monthly as part of Windows Update but it’s also available as a standalone tool. 32-bit and 64-bit versions downloads:  Malicious Software Removal Tool The standalone tool is developed for those tasked with protecting the company’s computer assets and can be used through remote automation tools such as scripts or Configuration Manager. The tool can be configured to utilize command-line switches to alter how the tool runs. Here are the available command-line switches: /Q or /quiet =       Uses quiet mode. This option suppresses the user interface of the ...

Why is Microsoft interested in PWA’s?

In this series, Aaron answers various questions about Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) – what they are, how to create them, what you can use them for.   Looking for an awesome, no-nonsense technical conference for IT Pros, Developers, and DevOps? IT/Dev Connections kicks off in Dallas, Texas in 2018!

Microsoft Delivers the First Version of its Security Servicing Criteria for Windows

In June this year, Microsoft delivered a draft copy of its very first Security Servicing Criteria for Windows. This policy document was to serve as transparent evidence on how the company will work with security researchers and customers to display the criteria used for determining when reported vulnerability will be addressed through a security update. After feedback and modifications, today, Microsoft has delivered the first version of the Security Servicing Criteria for Windows. Full doc:  Security Servicing Criteria for Windows And, as part of this release, Microsoft is also releasing the Microsoft Vulnerability Severity Classification for Windows document. That document is available for download from HERE. Looking for an awesome, no-nonsense technical conference for IT Pros, Developer...

Tip: Using PowerShell to Get the Running Windows 10 Power Plan

If you want to know the Power Plan that is running on a Windows 10 PC, use the following PowerShell query: Get-WmiObject -Namespace root\cimv2\power -Class win32_powerplan In the image example above, the Power Plan is Balanced. The following options are available: Balanced – Offers full performance when you need it and saves power when you don’t. This is the best power plan for most people. Power saver – Saves power by reducing PC performance and screen brightness. If you’re using a laptop, this plan can help you get the most from a single battery charge. High performance – Maximizes screen brightness and might increase PC performance. This plan uses a lot more energy, so your laptop battery won’t last as long between charges. Ultimate Performance –...

Tip: Windows Servicing – What Releases When

Microsoft regularly delivers updates outside of its servicing model, but its intent is to adhere to the following regimen. For a regular cadence expectation, the following is what will be delivered each month: Security-only quality update – Releases on Patch Tuesday, i.e., the second Tuesday of each month. Security monthly quality rollup – Also releases on Patch Tuesday, i.e., the second Tuesday of each month. Preview of the next month’s quality rollup – Releases on the third Tuesday of the month. This “preview” is exactly as the name suggests.  It contains those non-security fixes that will be included in the next monthly rollup. In addition to these intended updates, Microsoft can deliver new updates outside of this regimen usually to solve problems in...

Actions Required Per Windows Operating System to Fully Protect Against Spectre/Meltdown Vulnerabilities

For Microsoft’s operating systems, fully protecting against Spectre/Meltdown vulnerabilities may require additional actions. Use the table below to get an understanding of which protections are enabled by default versus those that might require further action.   OS CVE-2017-5715 CV-2017-5754 CVE-2018-3639 Windows 10 Enabled by default Enabled by default Disabled by default – see ADV180012 Windows Server 2016 Disabled by default – see KB4072698 Disabled by default – see KB4072698 Disabled by default – see ADV180012 Windows 8.1 Enabled by default Enabled by default Not applicable Windows Server 2012 R2 Disabled by default – see KB4072698 Disabled by default – see KB4072698 Disabled by default – see ADV180012 Windows RT 8.1 Enabled by defau...

Microsoft Posts List of Products that Will No Longer Be Supported Online Including Windows 7, Zune, Office, IE10

Microsoft is looking to minimize the effort it has to put forth for supporting products and services that are no longer viable. In a post to the company’s Answers forums, the following list of products will no longer be supported for online help… Windows 7, 8.1, 8.1 RT Microsoft Security Essentials Internet Explorer 10 Office 2010, 2013 Surface Pro, Surface Pro 2, Surface RT, Surface 2 Microsoft Band – this topic will be locked. Users are invited to participate in Microsoft Band 2 topic. Mobile devices forum – Microsoft support will continue in “Other Windows mobile devices” topic Zune – this topic will be locked, but will remain available for browsing   These changes will take effect in July. Full announcement: Product support forum changes on Microsoft Commun...

Tip: Virus Scanning Recommendations for Windows-based Computers

Antivirus applications can sometimes produce unexpected results, should they not be configured correctly. In many cases, problems arise that are unexplained and hard to diagnose, but eventually lead back to files and directories that need to be excluded from antivirus application scanning. Microsoft maintains a list of its recommendations for those files and folders that should be excluded. See:  Virus scanning recommendations for Enterprise computers that are running currently supported versions of Windows Guidance is included for the following: For computers that are running Windows XP and later versions of Windows Turn off scanning of Windows Update or Automatic Update related files Turn off scanning of Windows Security files Turn off scanning of Group Policy related files Running antiv...

Known Issues for Windows Security Updates for May 2018

As has been the case for a while, Microsoft delivers its OS updates already knowing that there are potential gotchas included. This month, you can expect the following… Windows 10 version 1709 – KB4103727 (OS Build 16299.431) – Some non-English platforms may display the following string in English instead of the localized language: ”Reading scheduled jobs from file is not supported in this language mode.” This error appears when you try to read the scheduled jobs you’ve created and Device Guard is enabled. Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 – KB4103718 (Monthly Rollup) and KB4103712 (Security-only update) – A stop error occurs on computers that don’t support Streaming Single Instructions Multiple Data (SIMD) Extensions 2 (SSE2). For both ...

Tip: Getting Information About All Running and Specific Windows Processes Using PowerShell

If you need to identify the Windows processes that are currently running – for example maybe you need to shut down process prior to installing software, or locate a misbehaving thread – use the following examples to retrieve information about what it currently active. Getting all processes: Get-Process Using the wildcard to get specific processes: Get-Process “font*” As shown, the example above gets all the processes with the text string font in them. Since its a text string, it must be surrounded by parenthesis.   Looking for an awesome, no-nonsense technical conference for IT Pros, Developers, and DevOps? IT/Dev Connections kicks off in Dallas, Texas in 2018!