Emergency KBs to fix Internet Explorer

So it appears that Microsoft has released an “out of band” update aimed to patch a vulnerability in Internet Explorer which would cause a user’s PC to get infected upon visiting a bad website using the legacy browser.

As stated by Microsoft:

A remote code execution vulnerability exists in the way that the scripting engine handles objects in memory in Internet Explorer.

This security issue affects Internet Explorer 9 to 11 on all supported client and server versions of Windows.  Specifically, it fixes the problem on devices running Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10, and Windows Server 2008, 2008 R2, 2012, 2012 R2, Windows Server 2016, and Windows Server 2019.

The update is available as a cumulative update for Internet Explorer and Windows.  Microsoft enabled the update on Windows Update already but it can also be downloaded from the Microsoft Update Catalog website and for those in the corporate patching world can be found on SCCM/WSUS catalogs.

Microsoft Update Catalog website links:

Windows 7, 8.1, Windows Server 2008, 2008 R2, 2012, 2012 R2, Windows Embedded: KB4483187
Windows 10 version 1709: KB4483230
Windows 10 version 1803: KB4483234
Windows 10 version 1809: KB4483235

 

If you decide to install the patch, be aware that Microsoft has a history of releasing “emergency” fixes only to have them wreak havoc on the PCs they get installed on so please proceed with caution!

Migrating to Windows 10

As you may know, Windows 7 is reaching “end of life” status on January 14, 2020 (only 13 months away believe it or not!) which means that Microsoft will no longer provide security patches to protect your PC despite the fact that it still has about the same percentage of market share as Windows 10 does.

Whether we like it or not, those using Windows 7 must act sooner rather than later and plan for migrating to Windows 10 (or another supported platform such as Apple’s macOS).  That being said, I recently came across a great migration guide (click here) by Jonathan Hassell of Computerworld detailing what to be aware of when moving off of Windows 7 and onto Windows 10.

An excerpt from the article says it all…

A caveat before I begin: While this is not a review of Windows 10, I think it is important to let you know what to expect. Windows 10 is, to me, a frustrating mix of tremendous security improvements and OS enhancements, along with several significant steps back in stability, usability, and overall quality. I have not run Windows 10 without it crashing, hard, at least every 48 hours on any system. My experience indicates that in general you will find that your client machines have more trouble than they did running Windows 7, and you may well have the trouble ticket count to match.

For the many who have already migrated to Windows 10, feel free to leave any tips, pointers, etc. to help make the process as seamless as possible…

R.I.P. (or R.E.B.O.O.T.) Microsoft Edge Browser?

So it looks like Microsoft’s critically acclaimed Edge browser is headed for a major revamp after a mere 3 1/2 years.  According to various publications, Microsoft will now build its latest version of Edge off of the open source Chromium browser which is also the bulk of the brains behind Google Chrome.  Being that it never gained the type of market share necessary in order to stay afloat in addition to its technical shortcomings, this may go down as one of Microsoft’s better decisions assuming that they follow through with their commitment to fully embrace more open source platforms as well as become more of a contributor to the open source community.

Even though we do not have many technical details of what the “new” Edge will be, we can expect that Microsoft will commit to making this browser more competitive with Chrome and Mozilla’s Firefox.  They plan on making it available on operating systems outside of Windows 10; other OSs include Microsoft Windows 7, 8.1 and even the latest versions of macOS.

Only time will tell whether their efforts backed by their refreshed corporate mentality will result in Microsoft gaining back some of their lost mojo on the browser front…after all, you’ve got big problems when a six year old browser (Internet Explorer) still convincingly outpaces your so-called “flagship” Edge browser despite notable success with deploying Windows 10 to the masses.  Stay tuned!

 

Update: R.I.P. Adobe Flash

Back in July 2017, you may recall when Adobe announced the “end of life” for their legendary Flash software.  Back in its heyday (ok so what if it was a mere 10 to 15 years ago), Flash was the standard when it came to producing multimedia content on the web.  As with many tech related things, the mantra: “out with the old and in with the new” can’t ring true enough especially when it comes to Flash.  As I was casually surfing the web over the weekend, I came across an article from earlier this year claiming that less than 5% of all known websites use Flash!  I have to say that I’m surprised at how fast Flash has dropped off the face of the earth.  Compare that with Microsoft’s Windows XP and 7 operating systems which stubbornly held on much longer than their corporate owners anticipated and therefore have caused so many security related issues…oh wait, you mean to tell me that was because their newer “replacements” have been even more problematic…???

Umm…nevermind, time to go.  R.I.P. Adobe Flash.

SCOM Version 1807 Upgrade

Being that it is a short week and almost all staff is gone for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, I’m afforded a small window of time which will allow for me to upgrade to the latest version of SCOM.  At the start of the process, I immediately noted that it is not as simple as extracting the ISO and running setup.exe…instead it is a series of KBs that need to be installed in a certain order as stated by Microsoft.  See the link below for further details…

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/system-center/scom/upgrade-1801-to-1807?view=sc-om-1807

After following all of the instructions, the install is now complete!

Roasted Duck and New York Steak

So it looks like I got the cooking bug again.  I had been meaning to prepare the duck I had stowed away in my freezer for sometime.  After thawing out the night before and marinating with sea salt, black pepper, olive oil, fresh garlic, and onion while proceed to bake in the oven at 375º F for 2 hours and 15 minutes…the final result was a beauty!

And since my wife doesn’t care for duck, my cast iron skillet didn’t get the night off and had to help whip up a nice piece of New York Steak rubbed with assorted ground pepper, sea salt, and chili flakes cooked medium rare.  Happy Friday!

       

       

Step By Step Guide to Enabling “Disk Cleanup Utility”

While the vast majority of the servers present in the environment I work in are running 2012 R2 and 2016, we still have some 2008 R2’s lingering.  One of the features that is noticeably missing is the fact that the Disk Cleanup utility is not present on anything running 2012 or 2008 R2.  Since our local C: drives are reaching capacity and need some cleanup, it was imperative that this feature be installed.  Here’s a simple step by step guide provided by Microsoft on how to get this accomplished…

1. Open The Roles and Features Wizard

To open the Roles and Features Wizard, launch the “Server Manager”:

2. Click on “Add Roles and Features”

3.  Choose installation Type

Choose “Role-based or feature-based installation” to install to the local machine:

4. Click Next all the way to features

Locate “User Interface and Infrastructure”.  Click on “Desktop Experience” and install additional required features:

5.  Proceed with the installation and Reboot

6.  Verify that the Utility is indeed installed

See screen shot below:

7.  Disk Cleanup in Action

Below is a sample snapshot of disk cleanup in action:

New Google Certification

As someone who works in a school district, I’ve seen firsthand the influence Google has had on education.  Whether or not you agree with how much technology plays a role in the classroom, it’s up to Network / System Admins such as myself to stay current with what is out there.  That being said, I’m going to commit to getting Google Certified; I’m thinking G Suite may be a good start and am looking forward to seeing what they have in store for the revamped curriculum and certification exam.