1 Year Left of Windows 7 Support

Today marks exactly one year before Microsoft ends extended support for Windows 7 with service pack 1.

What seemed like forever away just a little while ago, now is close to coming due, and those responsible for keeping the company’s user base in compliance have only a year to complete migrations to Windows 10 or another operating system.

On January 14, 2020, Windows 7 with service pack 1 will exit extended support. Windows 7 with service pack 1 is the only supportable Windows 7 version left. All others have already expired.

When January 14, 2020 hits, Microsoft will halt all development for Windows 7, meaning no additional security updates will be made available for Windows 7 and customers can no longer pay for updates. Effectively, Windows 7 dies on that day.

Those struggling to migrate to Windows 10 should quickly put more expedient plans in place or seek help from external sources.

More: Windows 7 support will end on January 14, 2020

Add the Convenience of an all-in-one Keyboard and Mouse to Fire TV with the AuviPal R9 2.4GHz Wireless Mini

On-screen keyboarding isn’t a favorite activity for anyone. For tablets, it’s an OK experience, but when trying to navigate and input characters quickly for devices like Fire TV, Roku, Xbox, and others, it can be frustrating and excruciatingly slow.

I’ve cobbled together Bluetooth keyboards and mice and even then the experience is less than optimum. Sitting in bed with a full keyboard across your lap and a mouse sitting on an impromptu book surface can look pretty comical.

I was recently given the opportunity to test the Bluetooth keyboard and mouse combo from AuviPal. This device has fundamentally changed how I interact with our Fire TV farm and made the process more enjoyable – particularly when setting up new apps or surfing the web on the big screen.

The AuviPal is about the size of a standard game controller (like the one for the Xbox) but much thinner and lighter. It sports a full keyboard, standard navigation buttons, and a touchpad for mousing. Additionally, the keyboard lights up making it a great regular controller replacement for nighttime usage.

There are a couple caveats with this device you should know about. First off, even though the gadget is promoted as a Fire TV controller enhancement, there’s no back button like on the original Fire TV controller. It took me a while to figure it out, but instead, you can use the keyboard’s Escape (ESC) key to simulate the back operation. For the other caveat, I’ve yet to find a solution. There is also no normal video navigation keys like Pause, Play, FF, Rew, etc. So, pausing and restarting a Prime, Hulu, or Netflix videos is impossible. There might be a workaround, but the documentation for the AuviPal is pretty sparse. It only comes with a quick list of commands on a four-fold paper insert.

UPDATE: The bring up the Pause/Play menu, press the Spacebar on the keyboard.

Still…with the caveats, having the ability to use the keyboard and mouse pad has saved a lot of time.

The AuviPal comes with a Bluetooth USB receiver that can work with anything that supports the near geo wireless technology. So, while I’m using it for Fire TV, it can be used with PCs, tablets, gaming systems,  etc. In the case of the Fire TV, the AuviPal comes with a special USB OTG cable that allows you to install the Bluetooth receiver directly into the Fire TV device.

The AuviPal is rechargeable

Get it from Amazon for around $20: AuviPal R9 2.4GHz Mini Wireless Keyboard Mouse Combo

Features

  • Simple to set it up – Connect FireStick (2nd Gen) to 2 in 1 USB cable, Plug the USB dongle of R9 keyboard into the USB adapter. no extra effort or configuration needed, Plug and play. Note: 2 in 1 USB cable is specially designed for firestick which Supports OTG function – Saves your money by eliminating the need for buying extra components.
  • Time saver for FireStick (2nd Gen) , especially for KODI media player application. The speed of typing on R9 mini keyboard is about 10 times faster than typing on the previous remote. AuviPal R9 mini wireless keyboard makes the navigation of your devices more easier and faster. Note: the R9 keyboard does not support Hulu APP.
  • Simply but all-round: Added two new R/L buttons to the front of the keyboard and Reduced 21 needless keys compared to the old models. Go R9 wireless keyboard, no more pointing, and clicking.
  • Adjustable Function – R9 mini keyboard has over 180,000 backlit colors available and four backlit models, Powerful features allow you to have more choices to enjoy your leisure time. Luminosity of each backlit colors is adjustable.
  • Wide Compatibility – Compatible with FireStick (2nd Gen), Nvidia Shield and Android TV box KODI Media Player Application, including Raspberry Pi, PC, Xbox 360, PS 3 and more. Please note: This keyboard does not work with ROKU devices. If you want to connect Amazon Ethernet adapter, please make sure that One end of the 2 in 1 USB power cable connected directly to the FireStick and the other end connected to the Ethernet Adapter power source.

 

Photos

Microsoft Provides a Workaround for WSUS Synch Problems, But Can’t Tell Us Why Problems Exist

You’re not going crazy. Customers are experiencing intermittent failures when synching WSUS.

When running standalone WSUS or System Center Configuration Manager integrated with WSUS, software update synchronizations may fail on an intermittent basis, while subsequent synchronizations may be successful.

Details: Windows Server Update Service (WSUS) to Microsoft Update sync fails

According to the newly created article, Microsoft knows the problem, knows it exists, and can even suggest a temporary workaround, which is…

Synchronization/import of previously failed definition updates should be successful with subsequent software update synchronizations.

However, the cause is still To be determined.

Microsoft Japan Gives the List of January’s ‘Problematic’ Updates for Windows 7 Network Connectivity

UPDATE: Microsoft quietly resolved the issue described in this article using KB4487345

Original article…

Microsoft USA rarely apologizes for bad patches and definitely refuses to concede that any are problematic, however, Microsoft Japan has now listed out the updates (translated page) from January 2019’s Patch Tuesday that are giving companies fits when trying to connect to their networks.

What started out as the inability to connect to network shares has also been reported to keep users from connecting to shared printers.

After applying one of the following update programs published on January 8, 2019, to the file server and accessing the file server (the computer holding the shared folder ) by using the local user belonging to the Administrators group, The event of connection failure will occur.

This may cause problems such as access to a shared folder or connection to a network printer.

[ Workaround ]

When accessing the file server, use a local account that does not belong to the Administrators group, or use a domain account.

[ Corrective measure ]

Please check the Known Issues section of each update for the latest information on countermeasures against this problem.

OS version Problematic Update
Windows 7 SP1 / Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1

(Monthly Rollup)

KB 4480970 (Monthly Rollup)
Windows 7 SP1 / Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1

(Security-only update)

KB 4480960 (Security-only update)
Windows Server 2008 SP2

(Monthly Rollup)

KB 4480968 (Monthly Rollup)
Windows Server 2008 SP2

(Security-only update)

KB 4480957 (Security-only update)

As soon as we update the compatibility situation, this blog is also planned to be updated.

Good on you, Japan!

Tip: Changing the Default App Association for Files in ChromeOS

Changing which app opens which file type in ChromeOS isn’t easy to find and there are caveats.

For most file types, the default is good enough, but for others, you may want to change the app that opens the file type because you like something better. For example, the default app for opening PDF files doesn’t currently support markups, signatures, or bookmarks. We recently recommended XODO for these additional features, but you still have to run XODO first and then open the file you want to edit from within the app. Opening a PDF in the file system will still open the file in the system’s default app.

But, you can change that.

First off, you can’t change the default app to a web app. It has to be an app installed to run locally. So, in the case for XODO, you have to install the Android app from the Google Play Store. The ChromeOS extension or the XODO web app won’t work.

You can find the Android app here: Xodo PDF Reader & Editor

In the case of XODO, once you have the Android app installed, you’ll need to open it once so that XODO will prompt you to allow it access to the local file system. Once you give it access, XODO will be added to the list of applicable default apps.

Now, go into the File system, locate a PDF file and highlight it.

Then, choose dropdown arrow next to “Open” at the top of the Files app and choose “Change Default.”

Change the default to Xodo.

Using this method you can alter the default app for just about any file type.

CVE-2019-0543 Changes How Windows PowerShell and PowerShell Core 6 WinRM Based Remoting Works

If you’re attempting to do loopback remoting for Windows PowerShell or PowerShell Core 6 after applying January security updates, you may have run into problems.

Per Microsoft…

The breaking change is not in PowerShell but in a system security fix that restricts process creation between Windows sessions. This fix is preventing WinRM (which PowerShell uses as a remoting transport and host) from successfully creating the remote session host, for this particular scenario. There are no plans to update WinRM.

Further…

The breaking change only affects local loopback remoting, which is a PowerShell remote connection made back to the same machine, while using non-Administrator credentials.

Details and workaround: Windows Security change affecting PowerShell

Tracking: KB4480966 for Windows 10 1803 Causing False Positives for Malware for Some

Not every malware tool is affected by this particular bug, but if your particular malware tool is casting errors about d2d1.dll being a Trojan after installing KB4480966 for Windows 10 1803 after the release of this month’s Patch Tuesday stack of updates, you can rest assured it’s a false positive.

You can effectively add an exclusion for this file to your malware package.

Thread: Since Update KB4480966; d2d1.dll a Trojan?

Tracking: KB4480966 for Windows 10 1803 Causing Unrecognized Database Format Error

UPDATE: Microsoft is working on a solution for this problem and since originally reported, it is now known that it affects 1803, 1709, and 1703. There is a workaround, however. See: Customers Still Using Access 97 Databases Affected by Windows 10 Patch Tuesday Updates

Original article…

Microsoft is off to a sound start for 2019. As the days have progressed past the company’s first Patch Tuesday of the year, bug reports are continuing to roll in.

One additional bug has been uncovered by some customers in that after installing KB4480966 for Windows 10 1803, .mdb databases are unrecognizable.

See: Unrecognized database format after January 2019 update KB4480966

So far, no workaround is available and Microsoft hasn’t yet acknowledged if its a widespread problem or not.

Microsoft Reverts Changes to KMS Servers that Caused Widespread Problems with KB971033

UPDATE: What seemed like yet another problem with yet another Microsoft patch has turned out to be something else. The issue, as it turns out, was a combination of customers installing KB971033 and Microsoft making changes to its license activation servers.

From Activation failures and “not genuine” notifications around January 8, 2019, on volume-licensed Windows 7 KMS clients:

A recent update to the Microsoft Activation and Validation unintentionally caused a “not genuine” error on volume-licensed Windows 7 clients that had KB 971033 installed. The change was introduced at 10:00:00 UTC on January 8, 2019, and was reverted at 4:30:00 UTC on January 9, 2019.

Note This timing coincides with the release of the “1B” January 2019 updates (KB 4480960 and KB 4480970) that were released on Tuesday, January 8, 2019. These events are not related.

The article goes on to recommend uninstalling KB971033.

Microsoft has yet to apologize for causing the widespread panic, only taken time to explain it.

— original article —

UPDATE with Workaround – Tracking: KB971033 Affecting KMS for Windows 7 Clients

According to new reports, there’s a bug in the KB971033 update that is causing problems with Windows 7 clients and KMS.

UPDATE:  A poster to a thread on Reddit concerning this issue offers a workaround that was obtained by Microsoft:

Action Plan :Uninstall KB971033

Reboot

Run Command Prompt as administrator

i. Type: net stop sppsvc

ii. Type: del %windir%\system32\7B296FB0-376B-497e-B012-9C450E1B7327-5P-0.C7483456-A289-439d-8115-601632D005A0 /ah

iii. Type: del %windir%\system32\7B296FB0-376B-497e-B012-9C450E1B7327-5P-1.C7483456-A289-439d-8115-601632D005A0 /ah

iv. Type: del %windir%\ServiceProfiles\NetworkService\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\SoftwareProtectionPlatform\tokens.dat

v. Type: del %windir%\ServiceProfiles\NetworkService\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\SoftwareProtectionPlatform\cache\cache.dat

vi. Type: net start sppsvc

vii. Type: slmgr /ipk 33PXH-7Y6KF-2VJC9-XBBR8-HVTHH

Type: slmgr /ato

As others have correctly pointed out, the key in step vii is for Windows 7 Enterprise. Use the correct key for your environment. https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server/get-started/kmsclientkeys

Lenovo Computers Running Windows 10 version 1607 May Not Boot After Installing KB4480961

Lenovo computers running an older version of Windows 10 (1607) may not be able to boot, according to reports.

Microsoft has acknowledged this and updated its guidance and known issues for the update page.

Problem:

After installing KB4467691, Windows may fail to startup on certain Lenovo laptops that have less than 8 GB of RAM.

Workaround:

Restart the affected machine using the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI). Disable Secure Boot and then restart.

If BitLocker is enabled on your machine, you may have to go through BitLocker recovery after Secure Boot has been disabled.

Microsoft is working with Lenovo and will provide an update in an upcoming release.

Microsoft Acknowledges KB4480970 Bug for SMBv2 Shares, Provides Explanation and Guidance

Customers are experiencing a severe bug in KB4480970 where computers are unable to access network shares. Reports have been rolling in steadily since the roll-up for Windows 7 was released.

Microsoft has now updated the roll-up history page to reflect the bug, issue some reasoning, and apply some guidance for affected customers.

Problem:

Local users who are part of the local “Administrators“ group may not be able to remotely access shares on Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7 machines after installing the January 8th, 2019 security updates. This does not affect domain accounts in the local “Administrators” group.

Guidance:

To work around this issue use either a local account that is not part of the local “Administrators” group or any domain user (including domain administrators).

We recommend this workaround until a fix is available in a future release.