I’m on the Microsoft Insider list for Windows 10, which provides beta releases of Windows 10 as Microsoft makes them available.
Over the weekend, Build 14328 was made available, and for the most part, it’s getting rave reviews. Sure, there are things people don’t like, features not yet implemented, and outstanding issues (mostly with drivers) – but overall, it seems to me that Windows 10 is getting pretty stable.
The obvious big change with this build is a somewhat revamped Start Menu, or what Microsoft now calls the “Start Experience”. You still have the list of all apps in alphabetical order, as well as your tile menu.But you now have a selection of important functions, such as Power, Settings and File Explorer along the left rail (see below).
So, if you are on the Insider Build list, give this new build a run. But please remember, it is BETA, which means unexpected bugs can occur, and even system crashes. All that is to say – don’t install BETA software on a production system unless you are willing to take the risk ANDE you have good backup!
I recently upgraded an HP 700-410xt workstation from Windows 8.1 Pro to Windows 10. The upgrade itself went very well, and the user noticed immediate improvement with the various Adobe suite of products that he uses.
However, he reported that the each morning his workstation would have an error message on the screen regarding LogonUI.exe, or a low memory warning:
Note — he closes all his apps and locks the computer at night. I was able to monitor the computer that evening and identified that the LogonUI.exe service was indeed consuming all available memory.
I did the normal effort of making sure that Windows 10 patches were up to date, as well as computer drivers. I even went so far as to disable any apps with “live tile” turned on.
Finally, several other MVPs that were trying to assist asked (1) is this an HP computer, and (2) were there any fingerprint or biometric software installed? The answer was YES to both questions. The computer in question had the HP Simplepass program installed, although the user was not using any fingerprint scan device.
And then it turns out that this issue with LogonUI.exe has been affecting HP computers for at least two years, both on Windows 8.1 and Windows 10. In all cases, uninstalling software such as HP SimplePass or HP OmniPass fixed the low memory issue with LogonUI.exe!
I uninstalled HP Simplepass, rebooted the computer, and a day later, the user reported all was fine!
Adobe is working on a patch to address a critical vulnerability in their Flash Player software. The exploit impacts those on version 126.96.36.1996 and earlier. If your Flash Player is at version 188.8.131.52 or above, then you are not impacted by this exploit.
The patch may be available as soon as Thursday April 7, 2016.
Read more at this PC World post.
I came across this web site tracking outages with Frontier: http://outage.report/frontier/map
This is NOT an April Fool’s post.
Frontier Communications officially took over landline operations from Verizon today, April 1, 2016 in Florida, Texas and California. This includes Verizon’s FIOS service.
There have been reported outages all day today, including an unrelated fiber cut in Tampa, per this post from ArsTechnica.
All I can say is that if you are impacted, hang in there! Or try calling Frontier’s customer service at (800) 921-8101.
Apple released their 9.3 update to their operating system (iOS) last week. Since then, many people are reporting that their iPhones and iPads are freezing up or crashing.
Read more on at CNN and 9TO5Mac.
As usual, whether you are using a Windows, Apple or Android device, it is always best to make sure that your files and apps are backed up before proceeding with an operating system update.
Better yet, unless you really love being on the “bleeding edge” of technology, I would always advise to wait several weeks before upgrading to a new OS release. Let others work out the bugs first!
Ransomware keeps getting uglier by the day. Now comes a report from Germany of a new version of Ransomware that will overwrite the boot record of your computer. This version is called the Petya ransomware,
Up until now, most ransomware viruses were writing a highly secured password to files on the computer disk, blocking you from opening those files unless you pay the ransom.
But the Petya ransomware attacks the boot record. With a corrupt boot record, you will not be able to boot your computer at all!
According to anti-virus vendors, the Petya ransomware is being distributed through spam email that masquerades as job applications.
And if this is not enough to put you on your toes, consider that this Friday is April 1st!
BE CAREFUL OUT THERE!
Thanks to PCWord for their in depth article on the Petya ransomware!
Ransonware (often referred to as Cryptolocker) is a malicious virus threat in today’s environment.
If the virus gets onto your computer, it will begin locking down files on your computer by writing a hidden secured password to those files. It will then display a message that you have XX number of hours or days to pay the ransom to get the password to unlock your files.
Unless you have solid backup, your two options are: pay the ransom or lose all your files. The ransom could be in the hundreds of dollars. For a California hospital, that ransom was to the tune of $17,000 dollars!
MalwareBytes has a blog post on their site dated March 1, 2016 which gives an in-depth analysis of how such a ransomware virus works.
I found it an interesting read, and thought I would pass it along.
You can go directly to the blog post and read it, or I saved it as a PDF file that you might find easier to read.
Kudos to MalwareBytes!
Backblaze, a cloud storage company, recently posted their 2015 hard drive statistics and reliability report (click here), which may be interesting reading for some.
Keep in mind this is a report based on their own internal findings and use of disk drives in their datacenter, and is not a broad survey of hard drive reliability from various users and organizations.
So, for example, if you read through the report, you will see that they have nearly 30,000 various Seagate hard drives in use, versus over 12,000 HGST drives, but only 46 Western Digital drives.
This is not to knock their report … in fact, I found it quite enlightening.
An updated version of the free ebook Windows 10 for IT Professionals from Microsoft Press is now available as a PDF download.
This version of the book includes features of the November 2015 Windows 10 version 1511 update.
Hat’s off to Jeff Alexander (Technical Evangelist) for this information