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.

February Win10 1903 and 1909 cumulative update causing desktops to disappear

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...

It’s not too late to get an Extended Security Update license for Windows 7

It’s not too late to get an Extended Security Update license for Windows 7

Every business — even a business of one — qualifies to put Extended Security Update patches on a “genuine” Win7 Pro or Ultimate machine. It costs less than $70 and, thanks to a benevolent official Microsoft CSP, it’s not incredibly...

The 'optional, non-security' update for Win10 version 1909, KB 4532695, runs zero for two

The 'optional, non-security' update for Win10 version 1909, KB 4532695, runs zero for two

We had two high hopes for the next patch to Win10 — that Microsoft would finally fix the Win10 version 1909 File Explorer Search bugs, and that the IE JScript Security Advisory ADV200001/CVE-2020-0674 hole would get plugged. Nope and...

Is Microsoft messing with your Win10 Search box builds?

Is Microsoft messing with your Win10 Search box builds?

Following up on a report that the Win10 Search bar on some machines is suddenly showing “Start a web search” instead of the usual “Type here to search” text, it appears as if Microsoft is updating the Search box without your advice or...

The perils of shouting 'fire' in a crowd of PC patchers

The perils of shouting 'fire' in a crowd of PC patchers

It happens over and over again. Microsoft releases a patch and the world panics. Dire predictions of doom stampede Windows customers into installing patches, then – poof! – the threat disappears. Who gets hurt when the industry cries...

Microsoft blinks again, promises to clean up after its Win7 'Stretch' black screen mess

Microsoft blinks again, promises to clean up after its Win7 'Stretch' black screen mess

Microsoft introduced a new 'Stretch' wallpaper bug in its last-ever Win7 patch, then claimed it would only fix the problem for paying customers. Now, it looks like everyone will get it — but how?

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