2019 Newsletter: 22/66 — PreviousNext — (Attach.)

Sydney Harbour

Hello and Welcome,

Meeting This Week:

Penrith Group - Saturday May 4th - 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm

The meeting normally starts with a Q&A session around the table to enable members to share problems, advice and computer tips.

The group will then consider any further computer topics of interest.

Meetings Next Week:

Friday Forum - Friday May 10th - 9:30 am (10:00 am meeting start) - 12 noon
Communications - Friday May 10th - 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Meetings This Month:

31 2019/05/04 - 14:00-17:00 - 04 May, Saturday - Penrith Group
32 2019/05/10 - 09:30-12:30 - 10 May, Friday - Friday Forum
33 2019/05/10 - 12:30-15:30 - 10 May, Friday - Communications
34 2019/05/14 - 17:30-20:30 - 14 May, Tuesday - Programming
35 2019/05/18 - 13:30-16:30 - 18 May, Saturday - Web Design
36 2019/05/21 - 09:30-12:30 - 21 May, Tuesday - Tuesday Forum
37 2019/05/24 - 09:30-12:30 - 24 May, Friday - Digital Photography
38 2019/05/28 - 17:30-20:30 - 28 May, Tuesday - Main Meeting

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Tech News:

“Microsoft blocks Windows 10 May 2019 Update on PCs that use USB storage or SD cards”:

Referred by Jeff Garland: See the ZDNet article by Catalin Cimpanu | April 23, 2019 -- 23:52 GMT (09:52 AEST) | Topic: Windows 10.

Microsoft has published a support document today warning Windows 10 users that the impending May 2019 Update may not install on their systems if they use external USB storage devices or SD cards.

The OS maker cited problems with "inappropriate drive reassignment" as the main reason for blocking the May 2019 Update.

"Inappropriate drive reassignment can occur on eligible computers that have an external USB device or SD memory card attached during the installation of the May 2019 update," the company said. "For this reason, these computers are currently blocked from receiving the May 2019 Update."

The following error message will be shown for Windows 10 users where the May 2019 Update has been blocked because of problematic external USB storage devices or SD cards.

What needs your attention

The following things need your attention to continue the installation and keep your Windows settings, personal files and apps.

[ Why am I seeing this? ]

⊗ This PC can't be upgraded to Windows 10.

Your PC has hardware that isn't ready for this version of Windows 10. No action is needed. Windows Update will offer this version of Windows 10 automatically once the issue has been resolved.

Fortunately, there's a quick and simple workaround for this issue. Microsoft recommends that users remove any external USB or SD media and restart the May 2019 Update installation.

What a great explanation [ No action is needed! ] — Ed.

Looks like all one needs to do to stop the dreaded Windows Updates is to plug in any old USB drive! Incredible! — Ed.

Read more

“LG patents a transparent foldable phone”:

See The Verge article by Vlad Savov | @vladsavov | Apr 10, 2019, 8:54am EDT.

Showing Patent application for a transparent LG phone
Patent application for LG transparent foldable phone.

LG has been granted US patent 10,254,863, as noted by Let's Go Digital, which sets out one potential vision for foldable phones — and it involves a mostly transparent display. Filed in 2015, this patent is just a hint at how long tech companies have been mulling foldables, as well as how weird and outlandish their concepts have been. The idea with this one is that you'd have one half of the device with an adjustable transparency, with the other half having some transparent portion and an opaque section to accommodate its battery. As usual with patents, the why of such a gadget is not explained, only the how.

Earlier this year, LG went on the record with its belief that it's too soon to launch a foldable phone, and the company instead opted for a second-screen accessory for its upcoming LG V50. Both of those moves seem justified by the current facts of the developing foldable category: Samsung and Huawei are the only major companies to have announced foldables, and neither of them has been able to price its device under $2,000. LG could, as has been its wont, dive into the chase for hype and engineering prestige, but the company's more pragmatic approach of late has gone against that. All of which is to say: don't expect a transparent LG foldable to surface anytime soon.

Read more

“More on April's Win 7- and 8.1-patching debacle”:

See the Windows Secrets article by Woody Leonhard | ISSUE 16.15.0 • 2019-04-22

For many Windows 7 and Win8.1 users, April's Patch Tuesday brought calamity. Numerous admins managing Windows Server 2008 R2, Server 2012, and Server 2012 R2 shared in the pain.

An unknown conflict between six April updates and installed antivirus products resulted in major system failures. If you were running AV apps from Sophos, Avira, Avast, or McAfee on any of the above systems, and you installed the April updates, your machine may have bluescreened on reboot or turned into virtual sludge.

The story unfolded in a rather bizarre way. April's updates arrived on Patch Tuesday in their usual, seemingly innocuous fashion. But when the updated systems rebooted — typically the next day — users were greeted with locked-up or slow machines.

As I reported in a Computerworld article, the pattern of failure became clear almost immediately. Machines running Sophos Endpoint anti-malware wouldn't boot — or they'd slow down interminably.


Tonight at the Main Meeting (23 April) when booting up the Club's machine, we were getting lots of NEWS popups, so we temporarily disabled ALL notifications and then tried rebooting.

It took many minutes to get past a black screen (with only a mouse pointer), so I suspect we are now at the mercy of the Patch Tuesday and †AVG conflict. Thank goodness we dodged the BlueScreen bullet and got to finish the bootup!

We will probably have to boot into Safe Mode, uninstall †AVG and then switch to Microsoft Defender as our AV.

We're using Windows 10 (1809), so it sounds like the patches affected Windows 7 AND 10.

Sounds serious...

†Antivirus software company AVG Technologies has been acquired by rival Avast Software for $1.3 billion. [ July 7th, 2016. ]



What happened? McAfee's one-sentence explanation provides a tiny clue:

"Changes in the Windows April 2019 update for Client Server Runtime Subsystem (CSRSS) introduced a potential deadlock with ENS (McAfee Endpoint Security)."

The company gives no other details — anywhere. There's nothing about Win7 or Win8.1; nothing about a software fix. That's all we know about a bug that brought down hundreds of thousands — if not millions — of machines.

What's going on?

We know that Microsoft hasn't, so far, changed the patches. The company isn't budging, except to block the patches on some machines. So the problem has to lie with the way antivirus products access and protect Windows.

Although the symptoms vary, it's now clear that a deadlock condition is part of the problem — the antivirus product is trying to do a task that's delayed indefinitely.

Unfortunately, neither Microsoft nor the antivirus manufacturers are talking.

What can you do?

Not much. But good on you if you delayed the April updates.


Here's what really concerns me [ Woody Leonhard - Ed. ]. There has to be a group inside Microsoft that gives the final A-OK on specific patches. In the case of April's debacle, that entity either:

a) Didn't know that the patches would cause these problems, or

b) Didn't care.

I don't know which case is worse.

Woody Leonhard

Read more

“Some good news for a change”:

See the Oldergeeks page describing how to save and restore your Desktop layout.

Desktop Restore v1.7.1

This tiny application operates as a Shell extension. It records the layout and positions of icons and programs on the Windows Desktop, and permits restoration of the layout.

From the author:

"I wrote this program after severe frustration of having my layout trashed every time I switched screen resolutions. Sometimes other programs will switch screen size and trash your layout as well. This program is an answer to this problem, and I thought other people might find it useful too."

This program puts a couple of extra entries in the Right-click menu on the Desktop, allowing you to save or restore your Desktop layout. It looks very easy to use — Ed.

Read more

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Bob Backstrom
~ Newsletter Editor ~

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