Woody Leonhard

Columnist

Woody Leonhard is a columnist at Computerworld and author of dozens of Windows books, including "Windows 10 All-in-One for Dummies." Get the latest on and vent your spleen about Windows at AskWoody.com.

Check to make sure you have Windows updates paused

Check to make sure you have Windows updates paused

Patch Tuesday is here. While we aren’t expecting any big surprises, it would behoove you to ensure that Windows has been set to wait until the dust clears. Yes, you have to patch eventually. No, you don’t have to patch immediately.

Odd problems remain unresolved, but get the April Windows and Office patches installed

Odd problems remain unresolved, but get the April Windows and Office patches installed

In spite of persistent reports of pesky problems with April’s updates, there doesn’t seem to be a single point of pain. You need to watch out for the long-documented 'missing' data/zapped desktop bug, and it’s possible your printers...

Cumulative Update bugs spur Microsoft to call for help. Where’s the telemetry when we need it?

Cumulative Update bugs spur Microsoft to call for help. Where’s the telemetry when we need it?

The recent round of complaints about bugs in KB 4549951, this month’s Win10 version 1903 and 1909 cumulative update, have prompted a request from Microsoft to sound off. That’s great. But you have to wonder why we’re sending Microsoft...

Many reported problems with this month’s Win10 Cumulative Update, but few patterns

Many reported problems with this month’s Win10 Cumulative Update, but few patterns

The Windows 10 version 1903 and 1909 Patch Tuesday patch for this month, KB 4549951, has drawn lots of criticism (and more than a few clickbaity headlines) for bugs and crashes. We’re seeing a reappearance of the old race...

Patch Tuesday alert: Get your system locked down.

Patch Tuesday alert: Get your system locked down.

With all the problems we’re having, the last thing you need is a bum patch throwing your system (or your family's systems) for a loop. Take a couple of minutes right now and make sure you have Windows automatic updating set to pause....

Five steps Microsoft should take RIGHT NOW to help us through the pandemic

Five steps Microsoft should take RIGHT NOW to help us through the pandemic

Competitive decisions made in the past need to be re-examined in light of the world’s current COVID-fettered state. It’s time for Microsoft to look hard at how its behavior wreaks unnecessary havoc on a billion customers. We need to...

Get the March Windows and Office patches installed, but watch out for known bugs

Get the March Windows and Office patches installed, but watch out for known bugs

Microsoft pushed four separate patches in March, including one to plug a leaked hole and another to fix a bug in an earlier patch, but never mind. The problems with the March patches are reasonably well understood. Now would be a good...

Reading between the lines about Microsoft 'pausing optional updates'

Reading between the lines about Microsoft 'pausing optional updates'

Starting in May, Microsoft won’t be releasing separate “optional, non-security, C/D Week” patches for Win10. That much is clear -- and welcome. But what about the bugs that have to be fixed? What happens to testing? Will the new...

Disappearing SMBv3 patch, non-security Office patches, and a so-far-mild Patch Tuesday

Disappearing SMBv3 patch, non-security Office patches, and a so-far-mild Patch Tuesday

With lots of drama over a patch that was never released, and a handful of non-security Office patches that should’ve been released a week ago, this month’s Patch Tuesday is progressing surprisingly well.

Patch Tuesday’s tomorrow. We're in uncharted territory. Get Automatic Updates paused.

Patch Tuesday’s tomorrow. We're in uncharted territory. Get Automatic Updates paused.

Even in the best of times, it’s wise to hold off on updating Windows until the dust has settled. This month, there are two additional, extraordinary reasons. Take a few minutes to make sure you aren’t in the line of fire.

In spite of the disappearing Windows desktop bug, now’s a good time to install the February patches

In spite of the disappearing Windows desktop bug, now’s a good time to install the February patches

It doesn’t look as if Microsoft is going to fix the 'temporary profile' bug in the February Win10 cumulative update that causes random users to lose their desktops and files, but we have a pretty good handle on how to recover. Get...

With a fix for the 'temporary profile' bug still elusive, Win10 1903 and 1909 customers should check Pause Updates

With a fix for the 'temporary profile' bug still elusive, Win10 1903 and 1909 customers should check Pause Updates

Microsoft has not yet acknowledged — much less fixed — the widely publicized bug in its February Patch Tuesday update that causes Win10 1903 and 1909 customers’ desktops to disappear. If you haven’t yet installed KB 4532693, make sure...

The mess behind Microsoft’s yanked UEFI patch KB 4524244

The mess behind Microsoft’s yanked UEFI patch KB 4524244

Patch Tuesday’s truly odd Win10 patch KB 4524244 wreaked havoc before it was finally pulled last Friday night. Since then, accusations have flown about Kaspersky, in particular, and Microsoft’s complicity in signing a rootkit. There’s...

February Win10 1903 and 1909 cumulative update causing desktops to disappear

February Win10 1903 and 1909 cumulative update causing desktops to disappear

Reports are starting to pour in about a bug — or maybe a conflict — with the February cumulative update for Win10 1903 and 1909, KB 4532693. Installing the patch may leave your machine with a swapped-out main profile, removing all of...

Patch Tuesday: 99 holes, 'exploited' IE fix, Win7 mayhem and UEFI ghost

Patch Tuesday: 99 holes, 'exploited' IE fix, Win7 mayhem and UEFI ghost

Microsoft’s February 2020 Patch Tuesday fixes are out, and the result is a huge, jumbled mess. With 164 patches plugging 99 separately identified security holes, klaxon calls to fix an “exploited” IE JScript hole, an unidentified UEFI...

Thought you already paid for Win7 Extended Security Updates? Think again.

Thought you already paid for Win7 Extended Security Updates? Think again.

Even if you bought and paid for Win7 extended security patches, and even if you’ve followed all of the instructions to install the ESU key, and even if Microsoft’s test program said your installation was complete — it wasn’t. And...

Reports say the manual-install-only 'Stretch' bug fix for Win7 and 2008R2 deletes boot file

Reports say the manual-install-only 'Stretch' bug fix for Win7 and 2008R2 deletes boot file

If you’re trying to install last week’s free fix for Win7 and 2008 R2, KB 4539602 — surprise! Microsoft changed the files yesterday. No indication of what happened or why, but plenty of admins are reporting widespread damage.

For Patch Tuesday, verify you have 'Pause Updates' enabled

For Patch Tuesday, verify you have 'Pause Updates' enabled

If you like to install Microsoft’s patches as soon as they roll out the chute, hey, have at it. But if you’re even a little bit skeptical, here’s how to make sure your machine isn’t in the first cohort of cannon fodder.

Win10 Search blackout due to 'fiber provider' glitch? Pull the other one, Microsoft.

Win10 Search blackout due to 'fiber provider' glitch? Pull the other one, Microsoft.

Microsoft blamed the widespread Win10 Search blackout we experienced yesterday on a 'third-party networking fiber provider that experienced a network interruption.' Hogwash. Somebody at Microsoft is beta-testing buggy software on our...

Has your Win10 Search box gone black? Does Search even work?

Has your Win10 Search box gone black? Does Search even work?

The Windows 10 Search debacle continues, with many people reporting this morning that their Search box has turned black and that Search itself doesn’t work. The cause seems to be related to Microsoft moving Search from old-fashioned...

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