Tag : Windows 7

Monthly patch rollups for Windows 7, 8.1 start October 2016

microsoft-patch

Monthly patch rollups for the Windows 7, 8.1, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012 and Server 2012 R2 operating systems will commence in October 2016. Microsoft will also move the same monthly rollup model for the .NET Framework in October as well.

A rollup is multiple patches, “rolled up” into a single update, replacing individual patches for operating systems. Previous individual patches allowed users and administrators to select the patches they wished to apply, but Microsoft officials say this has led to fragmentation, with different PCs having different sets of updates installed.

“The new rollup model gives you fewer updates to manage, greater predictability, and higher quality updates. The outcome increases Windows operating system reliability, by eliminating update fragmentation and providing more proactive patches for known issues. Getting and staying current will also be easier with only one rollup update required. Rollups enable you to bring your systems up to date with fewer updates, and will minimize administrative overhead to install a large number of updates.” –  Microsoft said in a statement

Security and reliability patches will be included in the rollups, yet Servicing Stack and Adobe Flash updates will not. Windows Update, Windows Server Update Services (WSUS), System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) and the Microsoft Update Catalog will have the monthly updates published.

Microsoft’s goal is for the monthly rollups to be fully cumulative, happening as the team adds patches previously released, so users can install the latest single rollup and be up to date.

Windows will release a single Security-only update, including new security patches for each month with individual patches no longer available. The Security update will not be available on Windows Update, but will be available from WSUS, SCCM, and the Microsoft Update Catalog.

 

 

 


 

If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented int his blog post, please visit : www.zdnet.com

Microsoft Pushes Back Windows 7/8.1 End Date

Windows 7 Windows 8 End of Support It appears Microsoft is trying to get users to upgrade to Windows 10 by finally pulling the plug on Windows 7 and 8.1. Well. Sorta.

The painstaking process of adapting older operating systems to Intel’s revolutionary architecture lead to the initial decision to withdraw support for 7 and 8.1 in 2017. Users have until July 17,2017 to upgrade. If the upgrade is not made, users will only receive security fixes deemed as most critical. After this date only users working with Windows 10 will  receive the most recent updates, patches, tweaks, and fixes. As you can imagine this irked consumers wishing to stay with older operating systems. This is the first time Microsoft has somewhat become demanding of its customers when it comes to making the switch to Windows 10.

Jeremy Korst, general manager of Windows marketing, reveals the shortened life span is “designed to help consumers purchase modern hardware with confidence, while continuing to manage migrations to Windows 10” . This makes sense considering upgrading to Windows 10 on Skylake devices ensures users are able to access the latest and greatest in terms of modern hardware and software.

Korst also explains in a blog post the obvious advantage of running Skylake on Windows 10, “Compared to Windows 7 PC’s, Skylake when combined with Windows 10, enables up to 30x better graphics and 3x the battery life.”

The end of life date for Windows 7 is January 14, 2020 and January 10, 2023 for Windows 8. The delayed deadline should hopefully make the transition smoother for customers. Another year will be allowed for Skylake to run on Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 while still receiving all major windows updates. Microsoft is also enhancing its overall policy to promise more security updates, in case the deadline alone doesn’t convince users to make the switch to Windows 10.

If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about material presented in this blog post please visit:

http://www.pcmag.com/news/343041/microsoft-extends-update-deadline-for-windows-7-8-1-skylake?mailing_id=1646016&mailing=DailyNews&mailingID=4C40F34FE0DC8E21A3A653EEBB113330

Windows 7…on the way out

slug, windows 7 slow, sluggish Designed in 2005, over ten years ago, Windows 7 is still used among common user and business owners alike. Microsoft released the Windows 7 Service Pack 1, more than 5 years ago in 2011. A more recent Service Pack 2 has never been released despite the desire of devoted Windows 7 users. Lack of updates makes for a sticky situation for those users wishing to do a clean install. When you run Windows Update, you see a whopping 216 updates available. Mildly insane.

As discovered by Ed Bott, for The Ed Bott Report, there is a way to avoid the delay partially. The KB3083710 and KB3102810 updates need to be downloaded before starting the installation process and copied to a USB flash drive. From this point you can install Windows 7 with SP1, leaving the network cable disconnected while you proceed to install the two saved updates from the USB flash drive. This saves time and allows you to then connect to the network again and run the Windows Update.

To increase frustration further, getting to the place where 216 updates are made available takes nearly eight hours due to the bug detected by Microsoft in fall 2015, making installing and searching for updates with Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 extremely slow and painful.

Windows 10 utilizes cumulative updates in comparison to Windows 7. Rather than waiting hours for hundreds of updates to be installed, after one clean install only one update is needed, a great improvement. It appears that Windows 7 is on its way out, with lack of security updates and service packs. Although the extended support for Windows 7 does not officially end until January 2020, the outlook for shorter update times and less updates found in general is less than optimistic.

If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about material presented in this blog post please visit:

http://www.zdnet.com/article/sticking-with-windows-7-the-forecast-calls-for-pain/?tag=nl.e539&s_cid=e539&ttag=e539&ftag=TRE17cfd61

Microsoft OneDrive raises the bar for cloud storage

Microsoft OneDrive Cloud Storage The Microsoft OneDrive, otherwise known as “device cloud”, is available free of charge for anyone who has created a Microsoft account. Included are 5 GB of free storage, easy access to media files, folder syncing, documents, as well as playing and viewing capabilities in addition to simple storage.

Similar to the iCloud for iPhones and iPads, OneDrive allows iPhone, Android, and Windows phone users to automatically upload photos to the OneDrive camera roll. Combining online storage and syncing into one device, One Drive offers a new convenience for Microsoft users who had to previously deal with separate storage and syncing services. Windows 10 has allowed OneDrive to grow as a built-in capacity. If you utilize other technology platforms OneDrive is compatible with Windows 7 and 8, Mac OS X, iOS, and Android.

 

PROS-

Excellent photo viewing and slideshow capabilities.

Clear interface.

Works with Windows phone, Mac, iOS, and Android.

Easily retrieves any file from a PC.

 

CONS-

Storage offerings shrinking according to a recent release from Microsoft.

Not a share target for Windows 10 apps.

 

If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about material presented in this blog post please visit:

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2409569,00.asp

Windows 7 Useful Keyboard Shortcuts

So everyone has been using Windows 7 for some time now and they are fairly familiar with it, but there might still be some things you do not know. Let me help you become a more efficient user of Windows 7 with these several useful keyboard shortcuts. Learn fast and become a power user today.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Using the mouse, you can drag-”˜n-dock windows to either side of the screen, or drag it to the top to maximize it. These keyboard shortcuts are even faster:

  • Win+Left Arrow and Win+Right Arrow dock the window to the left and right side of the screen
  • Win+Up Arrow and Win+Down Arrow maximize and restore/minimize
  • Win+M minimizes everything
  • Alt+UpAlt+Left ArrowAlt+Right Arrow navigate to parent folder, or browse Back and Forward through folders in Explorer
  • Win+Home minimizes/restores all open windows except the active window

Alt+Win+# accesses the Jump List of program number ‘#’ on the taskbar

Bins – Folders for the taskbar.

When users work on their workstations, some have trouble keeping the clutter off the desktop, some keep an icon for every application on their machine in their taskbar dock. 1UP Industries has developed a new solution called Bins that’s provides folders for the task bar. The cost of the solution is $4.99 and here’s some more information on the product:

 

Restore sanity to your Windows 7 taskbar

Combine related icons on your Windows 7 taskbar with Bins™.
Reduce clutter, and get at your programs quickly.
Super easy

Create a Bins container by dragging one taskbar icon on top of another, and dropping into the bubble that appears. Ungroup icons by dragging the icon back to the taskbar. No need to open a settings screen; Bins is simple and intuitive.
Instantly accessible

Once combined, your icons will appear instantly when you mouse over a group’s icon, for launching or for window-management. Move your mouse away and Bins will tuck back into the taskbar.
Pin files and folders to your taskbar

Want a favorite folder or document more easily on hand? Bins allows you to pin any file or folder to your taskbar natively.
Bins also allows you to add spacers to your taskbar, as well as a fully functional Recycle Bin.

Check out the solution at www.1upindustries.com/bins

How to reset local security policy settings to default

If you’ve ever found yourself with a computer that has remnants of a Group Policy still applied to it, or if you have changed GPO, and need to reset the local policy back to default, there’s a handy command you can use.

Open a command prompt (Start, Run, CMD) and enter:

secedit /configure /cfg %windir%repairsecsetup.inf /db secsetup.sdb /verbose                           for Windows XP

secedit /configure /cfg %windir%infdefltbase.inf /db defltbase.sdb /verbose                                 for Windows Vista/7

It will take a few minutes, and then you will need to reboot the computer to complete. This uses the default security configuration templates to reset the local policies.  Once rebooted, new policies or configuration can now be applied.

OnLive Desktop – Windows Desktop Access on an iPad

Windows on an iPad? Want access to Microsoft Office application on your iPad? With OnLive Desktop you will have access to a Windows7 Cloud desktop. This service allows you to have access to a Windows 7 desktop machine with Office pre-installed, a file storage center with 2gb of free storage space. What’s cool is that you can access your OnLive Desktop account through a web browser if you want to download or upload files for editing or review on the iPad or your main computing system. You will have to get used to the Windows keyboard versus the iPad keyboard when you’re using this app.

To see a demo check out this link http://desktop.onlive.com/

To use OnLive Desktop you will first have to create an account. There are several service accounts available however you will receive 2GB of cloud storage for free just for signing up for the service.

Features:
• PC Microsoft Office with 2GB cloud storage Free
• Full-featured document viewing and editing programs
• Easily transfer files between OnLive Desktop and other devices

Desktop Imaging – Good or Bad

bva gets many inquires about how should organizations back up local desktops.  Of course as technical professionals, bva recommends having nothing on the desktop with regards to important data.  But never the less it is always a subject matter that gets voiced and requested from management.  Having the ability to build and push an image to a user desktop is a great and easy way to ensure user satisfaction and lowers administration time.  That being said it is starting to be a common development when moving email into the cloud such as Exchange Online with BPOS/Office365.  There is currently no way of backing up the mail store which is painful.  That being said the way around that is to back-up the local OST file that can be backed up to local disk from the desktop.  Of course for restoration purposes you really need to move the OST to PST for restoring with typically takes another migration tool that is not free and needs to be purchased per mailbox.  A great way around that is to simply image the desktop and keep that image locally on slower or cheap disk.  That covers you on many levels from our perspectives and has many copies of data on different sets of hardware,  something to consider.

The popular software that we are using as of right now are as followed:

  • Acronis® Backup & Recovery™ 11 Advanced Workstation  Website Link – Use console to manage machines locally or remotely, Includes Acronis Management Server for single point of centralized management, Group machines into static on dynamic groups, Automatically include multiple machines or group of them to backup task, Monitor backup and recovery activities on all machines from a single place, Build customizable reports.
  • Symantec Backup Exec 2010 Desktop and Laptop Option  Website Link – With the majority of business-critical information residing outside the data center or off corporate servers, protection for desktops and laptops is a must. The enhanced Desktop and Laptop Option delivers continuous data protection to desktops and laptops whether in the office or on the road. Not only improving data protection and efficiency, this option enables users to restore their own files and maintains synchronization between multiple desktops and laptops so the most up-to-date file versions are available on all of a user’s computers. Because the Desktop and Laptop Option does not require a dedicated stand-alone server as competing products do, it easily integrates into existing IT infrastructure and policies, helping lower the total cost of ownership.  The new push-install functionality from within Backup Exec centralizes deployment. Backup Exec 2010 includes support for Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP 64-bit OS, as well as delta file transfer, reducing the total amount of data being backed up. With this release, this option is integrated with Backup Exec Retrieve (available with the Backup Exec Continuous Protection Server) for even greater simplified file recovery.