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.

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?

Get the January 2020 Patch Tuesday patches installed

Get the January 2020 Patch Tuesday patches installed

Usually it’s smart to wait until the end of the month before installing the Patch Tuesday patches. This month, though, patches seem to be behaving themselves, and the Crypto API CurveBall CVE-2020-0601 security hole looms. Admins take...

Microsoft Patch Alert: January 2020 patches look relatively benign

Microsoft Patch Alert: January 2020 patches look relatively benign

In spite of what you’ve read, that NSA-advertised Crypto API security hole still doesn’t pose an immediate threat. There are minor problems with various patches, Win7 saw a sloppy farewell, and threats of browser search hijacking...

Don’t worry about CurveBall just yet — get your Citrix systems patched

Don’t worry about CurveBall just yet — get your Citrix systems patched

All eyes are focused on the NSA-promoted CVE-2020-0601 Crypt32.dll vulnerability, for which there are no active attacks. Meh. There’s a much bigger problem with Citrix Application Delivery Controller and Citrix Gateway. If you have...

Worried about an NSA ChainOfFools/CurveBall attack? There are lots of moving parts. Test your system.

Worried about an NSA ChainOfFools/CurveBall attack? There are lots of moving parts. Test your system.

While many researchers recommend that you install Microsoft’s January Patch Tuesday updates to fend off a not-yet-imminent attack from the CVE-2020-0601 security hole, skeptics who are concerned about buggy Windows updates can now...

Windows 7 end of support: Separating the bull from the horns

Windows 7 end of support: Separating the bull from the horns

There’s a lot of misinformation about Win7 end-of-life bouncing around the blogosphere. While the last free official Win7/Server 2008 R2 patch appeared yesterday, there’s more to the story. No need to go running to the nearest...

Patch Tuesday aftermath: The NSA Crypt32 threat is real, but not yet imminent

Patch Tuesday aftermath: The NSA Crypt32 threat is real, but not yet imminent

In one of the most-watched Patch Tuesdays ever, Microsoft yesterday unveiled its security patches for all recent versions of Windows. Star of the show: a security hole contributed by the NSA. As of Wednesday morning, there’s at least...

Today's Patch Tuesday brings fireworks and — a magic bullet?

Today's Patch Tuesday brings fireworks and — a magic bullet?

The world is expecting a Thor’s thunder clap of a Windows patch later today. Given Microsoft’s track record with flashy hyper-hyped patches, a bit of skepticism is in order. Here’s a bit of history, and an invitation to a ringside...

With Patch Tuesday arriving, get Windows Automatic Update under control

With Patch Tuesday arriving, get Windows Automatic Update under control

If you’re running Win7, 8.1, or Win10 1903 or 1909, putting on a temporary patching pause is quick and easy. Other versions, not so much. Here’s how to run to the sidelines, so you can watch while the pioneers engage in unpaid Windows...

The December 2019 Microsoft patches get the all-clear

The December 2019 Microsoft patches get the all-clear

There was – and is – no pressing reason to install the December 2019 patches, other than the imminent arrival of January’s Patch Tuesday on Jan. 14. The only major hiccup lies in wait for those who install Win7 patches (or .NET...

Why — and how — I’m moving Win10 production machines to version 1903

Why — and how — I’m moving Win10 production machines to version 1903

As a card-carrying member of the Ain’t-Broke-Don’t-Fix Society, I’ve been keeping my production machines on Win10 1809. It’s now time to move on — but not all the way to Win10 version 1909, which continues to have a major Search bug.

Bugs continue to haunt Win10 version 1909

Bugs continue to haunt Win10 version 1909

Billed as the kinder, gentler update to Windows, the latest version 1909 is still plagued by persistent wake-up and botched search.

Microsoft blinks: Security Essentials will continue to receive updates after Jan. 14

Microsoft blinks: Security Essentials will continue to receive updates after Jan. 14

According to an official post, the company will continue to ship updates to Microsoft Security Essentials after Win7’s demise on Jan. 7. At least, that's what we've been promised. The FAQ hasn't been fixed yet.

Will Microsoft stop updating its Security Essentials on Jan. 14? Are you sure?

Will Microsoft stop updating its Security Essentials on Jan. 14? Are you sure?

A very poorly worded support document and a glimpse at the past have me wondering if Microsoft will, in fact, continue supporting its premier Win7 antivirus product after Win7 hits the skids next month.

Patch Tuesday brings a reprise of the Autopilot debacle, now quashed, and another Win7 nag

Patch Tuesday brings a reprise of the Autopilot debacle, now quashed, and another Win7 nag

December’s Patch Tuesday seems to be causing few problems — no doubt because it’s a very minimal crop, with very few announced bug fixes. The 'exploited' security flaw is a yawner. A one-off patch for Autopilot, KB 4532441, has...

Patch Tuesday alert! Protect your machine by pausing updates

Patch Tuesday alert! Protect your machine by pausing updates

If you’re running Win10 1903 or 1909, setting up a temporary patching pause is quick and easy. Other versions, not so much. Opt out of cannon-fodder mode with these simple steps.

All’s clear to install Microsoft’s November patches

All’s clear to install Microsoft’s November patches

The one pervasive bug — an Access 'Query xxx is corrupt' error in all Office patches — has a manual fix. Everything else looks good to go. For those of you who have been putting off patching until the coast is clear, well, the coast...

Running Win10 version 1803 or 1809? You have options. Here’s how to control your upgrade.

Running Win10 version 1803 or 1809? You have options. Here’s how to control your upgrade.

With support for the venerable Win10 version 1803 officially at an end, and 1809 not too long for this earth, it’s time to think seriously about upgrading. Fortunately, you have lots of options — and a surprising amount of control...

Mysterious app keeps you from shutting down — or does it?

Mysterious app keeps you from shutting down — or does it?

Some people are finding that Windows shutdown is blocked by a running program called G. Except there is no G, no G.exe, nothing even resembling G. In spite of what you’ve read, it isn’t a virus or other malware. It’s a bug — in...

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