Speed up Windows 10

So I had a friend of mine ask earlier this week what could be done to maintain a high level of performance or speed up Windows 10 on his office PCs and rattled off numerous suggestions that could help the cause (i.e. keep installed programs to a minimum, have a good amount of available HDD/SSD space, keeping it free of infections, etc.)

It just so happens that as I’m browsing one of my favorite tech news sites, I come across an article detailing the ways that can help a Windows 10 user speed up their PC.

Check it out here and let me know if you see a difference in performance on your PCs!

Time Machine Backups for Windows OSs

While doing some casual browsing about all things tech, I came across a post discussing a software package that can pretty much be looked at as “System Restore” on steroids.  Enter RollBack Rx…it has also been dubbed as the Time Machine Backup-like solution for Windows.

Check out the details here and I’ll be sure to test out the software for myself!

“Once a year” Windows 10 feature updates

So it seems that Microsoft has finally gotten the message that it is too burdensome to expect users (especially business ones) to install these large feature updates!

Without taking into account what will happen with “19H2”, it can be expected that Microsoft will release Windows 10 feature updates every Spring and will do away with the fall update.


Patching change for Windows 10 version 1903

For the past few years as an SCCM admin, I have become accustomed to Microsoft’s semi-annual release of the latest version of Windows 10 and patching it is usually seamless and does not require making any changes to WSUS / SCCM.

However, it seems that Microsoft has made a significant change starting with version 1903 and beyond, system administrators of WSUS / SCCM must select “Windows 10, version 1903 or later” in order for those systems running it to be updated.  See Microsoft’s announcement here.

Special shout out to Bryan Dam (damgoodadmin.com) and Mary Jo Foley (ZDNet.com) for bringing this to the attention of the masses.  Saves me a support call to Microsoft that’s for sure!

Windows 10 version 1903 is here!

Fresh off the press from Microsoft’s Joe Lurie announcing on the TechCommunity website that the latest version of Windows 10 is here!

I’m happy to announce that Windows 10, version 1903 is now available through Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) and Windows Update for Business, and will be able to be downloaded today from Visual Studio Subscriptions, the Software Download Center (via Update Assistant or the Media Creation Tool), and the Volume Licensing Service Center[i]. Today marks the start of the servicing timeline for this Semi-Annual Channel release, and we recommend that you begin rolling out Windows 10, version 1903 in phases across your organization—validating that your apps, devices, and infrastructure work well with this new release before broad deployment.

Click here to view the full post for more details!

New Windows XP and Server 2003 Updates?!?!

So it appears that Microsoft has discovered a “wormable flaw” that could possibly “fuel a fast-moving malware threat” similar to the WannaCry ransomware attacks from a couple years ago.

Apparently the vulnerability directly affects the Remote Desktop Services component that’s part of all of Microsoft’s client and server OSs so needless to say that it’s very important you get the patch in place as soon as possible!

For more details, check out the Krebsonsecurity.com breakdown here.

Forescout: “The legacy Windows problem”

As we near the highly anticipated Windows 7 end of life date (01/14/2020 in case you forgot), I wondered which business sectors / organizations will still be running this legacy OS in 2020…and then I came across a report from Forescout that confirmed my worst fears.

It looks like the healthcare industry will have a lot of catching up to do since it is anticipated that the majority of all devices will be running an unsupported OS after January 14, 2020.

According to summaries of the Forescout report that can be found on Askwoody.com,

Within our data sample… 71% of devices will be running unsupported Windows operating systems by January 14, 2020.

The study revealed that 40% of deployments had more than 20 different operating systems on their medical VLANs.

Source data for this report came from the Forescout Device Cloud, a repository of host and network information for more than 8 million devices, making it one of the largest crowdsourced device repositories. For this study, researchers limited Device Cloud analysis to 75 healthcare deployments with over 10,000 virtual local area networks (VLANs) and 1.5 million devices. Since the primary focus of the report is the status of medical devices, many of the results are based on analysis of more than 1,500 medical VLANs with 430,000 devices.

Very scary in the grand scheme of things!  Microsoft, if you’re listening, you may want to think about extending support for a bit longer…

Windows 10 version 1903 is almost here!

After a month plus long delay, it looks like the powers to be in Redmond are ready to release the latest feature update for Windows 10.

Over the past few days, I’ve been reading many articles like this one praising Microsoft for their extensive testing on this version and how users should be confident that it will be reliable and have a minimal amount of issues.

Personally, I am puzzled by this because Microsoft’s recent (and extended) track record seem to tell a different story.  Why not wait until v1903 is ACTUALLY RELEASED to the public, installed on a few million PCs, wait for feedback, and THEN make a determination as to whether it is recommended you install it on your PC or not?

Strange times.

Windows 10 version 1903 Update will not work if USB Drives are plugged in

Looks like it was a good thing that version 1903 was delayed especially after coming across this article!

According to Forbes,

Microsoft has confirmed that certain Windows 10 based computers will not be able to upgrade to the May 2019 update if they have either an external USB device or SD memory card attached. The newly published Windows 10 support document reveals that those computers that already have the April 2018 (version 1803) or October 2018 (version 1809) updates installed will see an error message stating that “This PC can’t be upgraded to Windows 10.”

Oh, and it gets better…

Interestingly, Microsoft has also confirmed that “The drive reassignment is not limited to removable drives. Internal hard drives can also be affected.”

Both points are pretty bad news and needless to say must be fixed before any official release is put out to the public.  Since I’m one of many users that have multiple internal hard drives, I guess I couldn’t try out the new version even if I wanted to…yikes!

Windows 10 Apps: To keep or delete?

Just came across an article from Ed Bott at ZDNet who has a great run down on Windows 10 applications linked to the Microsoft Store and provides justification on what is useful and should be kept versus what’s useless and can be deleted.  Check it out here to see if it’s in line with the apps that you use or not on your own PC…