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  1. Someone found a way to bypass Windows 7 Extended Security Updates checks Someone discovered a way to enable Extended Security Updates on all machines running Microsoft's Windows 7 operating system. Support for Microsoft's Windows 7 operating system ends after the January 2020 Patch Tuesday. Small businesses and Enterprises may extend support by up to three years for a price. Small businesses pay Microsoft up to $200 per device and year for extended support, Enterprises up to $200 per user and year. The support program is available already and there are prerequisites that need to be met. Microsoft won't offer the Extended Security Updates program to Home users even though some would pay Microsoft to extend support for Windows 7. Home users may get some security patches created by third-party company 0Patch, but support will be limited and not as extensive -- likely -- as what Microsoft pushes out via the Extended Security Updates program. Note: Microsoft released a test update that administrators may attempt to download and install to verify that the device is eligible for Extended Security Updates. This, and other parameters, may change before the program starts officially in January 2020. Creating backups is highly recommended. Devices or users that participate in the Extended Security Updates program need to install an update that verifies eligibility to receive updates after January 14, 2020. Extended Security Updates must be installed online on live systems; they cannot be integrated or installed offline, at least not right now. Users on the My Digital Life forum discovered a way to bypass the Extended Security Updates check. The bypass works with Microsoft's test update but it is unclear if it will also work with "real" updates that the company releases after the January 2020 Patch Day. All that needs to be done currently is to download a small archive from the My Digital Life forum and extract it. The package includes two batch files that enable or disable the bypass on the system, executable files, and the source. Basically, what happens behind the scene is that verification checks return true all the time through manipulation of these checks. One interesting aspect of the hack is that it enables support for all Windows 7 editions, even those that Microsoft does not want to support after January 14, 2020. In other words: Windows 7 Home, Starter or Ultimate editions would be able to receive updates provided by the Extended Security Updates program when the bypass is installed. The developers plan already to extend support to Windows Vista and to support the POSReady 7 SKU which will receive security updates until 2024. (via Deskmodder) Source: Someone found a way to bypass Windows 7 Extended Security Updates checks (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
  2. The Windows 7 Extended Security Update program is now available Microsoft will end support for the company's Windows 7 operating system on January 14, 2020, the same day that security updates are made available for the last time for the operating system. While there are not any official options for home users of Windows 7 to extend support, paid or unpaid, companies and organizations may pay Microsoft to extend support by up to three years. Security company 0Patch revealed plans to release (some) security updates for Windows 7 for free after Microsoft ends support. Microsoft unveiled the program for Enterprise customers in 2018 and for non-Enterprise businesses in 2019. Enterprise customers may pay Microsoft $50, $100, or $200 per year and user to extend Windows 7 Pro or Enterprise support. It is unclear at the time if Windows 7 Ultimate devices may also receive extended support or if support is reserved to Pro and Enterprise editions exclusively. Small businesses may also pay Microsoft for extended support for Pro and Enterprise editions but these businesses pay per device and not user. The cost of extending support for Windows 7 Pro machines is the same that Enterprise customers pay per user whereas it is half of that for Enterprise machines. Customers who have active subscription licenses for Windows 10 Enterprise E5, Microsoft 365 E5, Microsoft 365 E5 Security, or Windows VDA E5 will receive the first year of Windows 7 ESU support as a benefit according to Microsoft (only available to volume licensing customers). Enterprise customers could join the Extended Security Update program in April 2019 already while Small Business customers had to wait until December to join the program. Microsoft released an update that verifies whether Windows 7 SP1 or Server 2008 R2 SP1 devices can get the Extended Security Updates. The update is a test package that is only available via the Microsoft Update Catalog website (or WSUS) at the time of writing. The following prerequisites exist: 4474419 SHA-2 code signing support update for Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows 7, and Windows Server 2008: September 23, 2019 4490628 Servicing stack update for Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1: March 12, 2019 4516655 Servicing stack update for Windows 7 SP1 and Server 2008 R2 SP1: September 10, 2019 4519976 October 8, 2019—KB4519976 (Monthly Rollup) Install and activate the ESU key. See this article for instructions. Small businesses need to purchase ESUs from Cloud Solution Providers. Transactions generate unique keys. Each transaction for Windows 7 ESU licenses will generate a unique MAK key. If a customer purchases Windows 7 ESUs at multiple points in time, CSP partners will be able to see the full list of transactions in the Partner Center for that customer. The customer will also see the MAK keys and associated licenses in their Microsoft 365 Admin Center. Closing Words The information that Microsoft provides is scattered across multiple company websites and properties, and it is quite difficult to get a clear picture of requirements and instructions. Things like missing information about Windows 7 Ultimate make things even more complicated. Whether Microsoft manages to make things easier for customers remains to be seen. Source: The Windows 7 Extended Security Update program is now available (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
  3. What happens after Windows 7's retirement? The January end-of-support deadline for Windows 7 is fast approaching. Here's a rundown of some of the issues companies should keep in mind as that date draws near. Getty Images / Microsoft The Redmond doctor came into the room, huffed a chair into place, but wouldn't meet Windows 7's eyes, just stared at the desk. "I'm afraid it's bad news," the physician said. Windows 7 let out a long sigh. "It's terminal," the M.D. said. As if Windows 7 hadn't known it was on borrowed time since July 2015. That scare in the fall of 2012 had been irksome, nothing more. But then three years later, the end was clearly in sight. And here it was. "Ten weeks," the doctor said, gazing out the window at the fall leaves. "Maybe eleven. But then...." What happens to Windows 7 then? Nothing immediately. The operating system will continue to work or not, as it did or didn't, for each user the day before support retirement. That's important to remember, if only because some still don't — assuming that after midnight on Jan. 14, 2020, the OS screeches to a stop. Even Microsoft reminds customers that Windows 7 will continue to run post-retirement, although it could move those reminders closer to the top of its to-do list. In this FAQ about the end of support, Microsoft waited until the fifth item before making note of the operating system's resilience. "If you continue to use Windows 7 after support has ended, your PC will still work," Microsoft pledged, also noting, "Your PC will continue to start and run." Good to know, thanks. But customer support comes to a halt — theoretically, Microsoft's phone- and chat-based support won't answer questions — as do security updates. Yet unless Microsoft issues an emergency update in the four weeks after Jan. 14, the first fixes Windows 7 users will miss arrive Feb. 11. Until then, an out-of-date Windows 7 system will be as patched as if support had continued. What happens to Office when Windows 7 drops from support? That depends on the type of Office. Office 365, the version paid by subscription — whether for one, as in Office 365 Personal, or for thousands, as in Office 365 Enterprise E5 — will continue to receive security updates on unsupported copies of Windows 7 until January 2023. That's the good news. The bad? Office 365, whose premise is one of constant evolution, will not upgrade to new features or functionality. The feature set, in other words, will lock down and stay that way. On the Office flip side — those versions sold as "perpetual licenses," such as Office 2010 or 2016 — will be supported through each suite's standard span. (Remember: Perpetually licensed Office, a.k.a. non-subscription Office, only receives bug fixes, never feature updates or improvements.) Office 2010, for instance, will be supported until Oct. 13, 2020; Office 2013, until April 10, 2023; and Office 2016, until Oct. 14, 2025. The most recent perpetually licensed suite, Office 2019, is supported only on Windows 10. Microsoft did set a caveat, however, on Office support. "If the problem is a result of the combination of Office and an unsupported operating system, the problem will not be supported (emphasis added)," the company stated. The January 2023 end-of-security-updates deadline wasn't plucked from the air. It was chosen because that's how long Microsoft will provide Windows 7 patches for payment through its Extended Security Updates (ESU). Microsoft realized that if it sold ESU to commercial customers, it also had to keep patching Office. What about Internet Explorer? Unlike Office, Microsoft will stop patching Internet Explorer 11 (IE11) at the same time it halts updates to Windows 7. In other words, on Jan. 14, 2020. "As a component of Windows, Internet Explorer follows the support lifecycle of the Windows operating system it's installed on," Microsoft says — and has for ages, since that's been boilerplate for seemingly forever. But elsewhere, the firm put it plainly. "Support for Internet Explorer on a Windows 7 device will also be discontinued on January 14, 2020," it said here. The only way to keep receiving IE11 security updates in Windows 7 is to pay for Extended Security Updates (ESU). What happens to the antivirus defense we use? That depends on the antivirus vendor's policies and practices. Just as happened at the retirement of Windows XP in April 2014, expect that most credible AV makers will continue to pump out new definition updates — the "fingerprints" that identify newly-found malware to the scanner — for Windows 7 long after the OS has fallen off the support list. The three-year availability of Extended Security Updates (ESU) to business customers will guarantee AV vendors that cater to the corporate market will keep definition releases going. AV support may quickly be limited to issuing definition updates, although some vendors will continue to refresh products with new or enhanced features. For reference, Symantec moved Windows XP (retired 4/14) and Vista (4/17) to what it calls "Maintenance Mode" only in June 2018. As of that date, Symantec said, "New product capabilities will no longer be provided." But already-installed software "will continue to receive the latest malware definitions" as well as "vulnerability updates and compatibility fixes." Microsoft has not yet said what it will do for Security Essentials, the free anti-malware product for Windows 7. Again, a look to Windows XP is worthwhile: Microsoft provided definition updates for more than a year after XP's retirement. What happens if we can't get off Windows 7, but can't run unpatched PCs? Microsoft will gladly sell commercial customers, from the smallest businesses to the largest enterprises, what it calls "Extended Security Updates," or ESUs, that provide security updates to patch "Critical" and "Important" vulnerabilities through mid-January 2023...for a price. The per-device plans will be sold in one-year increments for up to three years, with prices for larger customers running as high as $350 per PC for all three years. (Costs for smaller businesses won't be revealed until Dec. 1.) Although Microsoft dubbed ESU the "last resort" for Windows 7 customers, it spent a large chunk of this "End of Support FAQ" describing the service, drawing its boundaries and extolling its benefits. ESU is, by far and away, the most transparent post-retirement security support concept Microsoft has launched. The company recognizes that many businesses will not make the deadline and so it wants a solution, temporary if that, or is eager to use what may be the last ever such OS transition to generate additional revenue. Or both. Note that ESU has no bearing on security updates for Office 365 ProPlus — the part of an Office 365 subscription that provides the locally installed applications — on Windows 7. Even Windows 7-powered PCs that are not covered by ESU will continue to receive patches for Office 365 ProPlus. Microsoft made that clear in the FAQ: "Windows 7 ESU will have no impact on support for Office 365 ProPlus on Windows 7," it read. Source: What happens after Windows 7's retirement? (Computerworld - Gregg Keizer)
  4. Dedoimedo: Straight talk about Windows 7 I don’t agree with everything in the article, but @EP just pointed me to a remarkably well-written and, in my opinion, highly accurate guide to the end of Windows 7. Igor Ljubuncic, on his Dedoimedo blog, doesn’t mince any words: If you have a Windows 7 machine, you can continue using it past the operating system EOL date. I’ve laid down the recipe for good security, the hardware will work as long as it lasts, and the software won’t just vanish. You will have time to adjust, and this should coincide with hardware replacement. Once that happens, you should definitely leave Windows 7 behind, and get a modern up-to-date operating system to match the capabilities of your new machine. If you’re going to stick with Win7, he has a number of common-sense recommendations (and observations!) that ring true with me. I disagree with him on some nit-picking points: I don’t like EMET because it borks too many programs that otherwise work just fine. You can try it, using his recommended method, but if you get too frustrated, don’t be afraid to turn it off. Igor’s fond of Microsoft Office (or at least tolerates it). By and large, I’ve kicked my Office habit – moved to the free Google apps. Like Igor, I also have editors who need Word DOCXs, and I use Office for those, but I’d likely be just as happy using the free online version of Word. Books are a different story altogether, of course — it’s Word all the way with those. Not my choice. He talks about Linux, but doesn’t touch on the most important Linux implementation for Win7 users — ChromeOS. You’ve heard me say it before, but for most people who aren’t overly concerned about snooping, a Chromebook should be your #1 candidate for a replacement computer. (And if you are concerned about snooping, you have a very long row to hoe with Win7.) As Igor says, this advice is for home users — if you’re running a 100-machine network, the considerations are quite different. But I still recommend the Chromebook. 🙂 You’re going to hear a lot of fearmongering, tales of impending hell fire and damnation, from the mainstream press. Many of the people offering the sermons will have the best intentions. But they don’t know your situation, what you need, what you can afford (time and money)… and, ultimately, what’s best for you. Win7’s, uh, transition to EOL is not The End of the Universe as We Know It. Source: Dedoimedo: Straight talk about Windows 7 (AskWoody - Woody Leonhard)
  5. A new report -- Webroot Threat Report: Mid-Year Update -- has found that one in 50 URLs are malicious, nearly one-third of phishing sites use HTTPS and Windows 7 and exploits have grown 75 percent since January 2019. According to the report, Hackers are using trusted domains and HTTPS to trick victims. Nearly a quarter (24 percent) of malicious URLs were found to be hosted on trusted domains, as hackers know trusted domain URLs raise less suspicion among users and are more difficult for security measures to block. 1 in 50 URLs (1.9 percent) were found to be malicious, which is high, the report says, given that nearly a third (33 percent) of office workers click more than 25 work-related links per day. Nearly a third (29 percent) of detected phishing web pages use HTTPS as a method to trick users into believing they're on a trusted site via the padlock symbol. Phishing continued rapid growth into 2019, and criminals are expanding their phishing targets. Phishing grew rapidly, with a 400-percent increase in URLs discovered from January to July 2019. The top industries impersonated by phishing include: 25 percent are SaaS/Webmail providers 19 percent are financial institutions 16 percent are social media 14 percent are retail 11 percent are file hosting Eight percent are payment services companies Phishing lures are becoming increasingly personalized as more PII is collected from breaches. Phished passwords are used for more than account takeover. Specifically: extortion emails are being used, claiming the user has been caught doing something embarrassing or damaging that will be shared with colleagues, friends and family unless a ransom is paid, says the results. Phishing doesn't always target usernames and passwords. The attacks also go after secret questions and their answers, says the report. Windows 7 is becoming even riskier, with infections increasing by 71 percent. Between January and June, the number of IPs that host Windows exploits grew 75 percent Malware samples seen on only one PC are at 95.2 percent, up from 91.9 percent in 2018 Out of all infected PCs, 64 percent were home user machines, and 36 percent were business devices. More at: (Webroot) Source
  6. MS to give small/medium businesses access to Win7 patches after January Chip, chip, chip. Jared Spataro, MS corporate VP for Microsoft 365 (note the title) has just posted a reprieve, of sorts: today we are announcing that, through January 2023, we will extend the availability of paid Windows 7 Extended Security Updates (ESU) to businesses of all sizes. (Previously, Windows 7 ESU was only available to Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Enterprise customers in Volume Licensing.) The Windows 7 ESU will be sold on a per-device basis with the price increasing each year. Starting on December 1, 2019, businesses of any size can purchase ESU through the cloud solution provider (CSP) program. This means that customers can work with their partners to get the security they need while they make their way to Windows 10. Mary Jo Foley at ZDNet has pricing: The price of the ESUs goes from $25 per device for Windows Enterprise users in year one, to $100 per device for year three. For Pro users, ESU pricing goes from $50 per device in year one up to $200 per device in year three. I don’t participate in the Cloud Solution Provider program, so I don’t know the precise details. But I have a feeling we’ll find out soon. Source: MS to give small/medium businesses access to Win7 patches after January (AskWoody - Woody Leonhard)
  7. By Ed Bott for The Ed Bott Report Windows 7 support officially ends on January 14, 2020. After that date, the only way to receive security updates from Microsoft for PCs running the out-of-support operating system is to pay a minimum of $50 per device for Extended Security Updates. That's particularly bad timing for election officials in the United States, where 2020 is an election year and the memory of foreign interference in the 2016 Presidential election is still fresh. An Associated Press analysis earlier this year found that "the vast majority of 10,000 election jurisdictions nationwide use Windows 7 or an older operating system to create ballots, program voting machines, tally votes and report counts." That count includes a significant number of brand-new systems in states that were highly contested in 2016. Election officials who were still agonizing over their response can breathe a sigh of relief today, after Microsoft announced it would provide free security updates for those machines through the end of 2020. Tom Burt, Microsoft's Corporate Vice President of Customer Security & Trust, made the announcement in a blog post today: Today, as part of Microsoft's Defending Democracy Program, we are announcing that we will provide free security updates for federally certified voting systems running Windows 7 through the 2020 elections, even after Microsoft ends Windows 7 support. [...] As a next step in protecting the 2020 elections, the Defending Democracy Program will make extended security updates available for free to federally certified voting systems running Windows 7. We will do this through the end of 2020, both in the United States and in other democratic countries, as defined by the EIU Democracy Index, that have national elections in 2020 and express interest. We are also working with major manufacturers that have sold voting machines running Windows 7 to ensure any security updates provided to these systems are successful. In July, Microsoft showed off a software development kit called ElectionGuard, which it is making available as open source for makers of voting machines. That effort comes on the heels of separate account security tools that Microsoft and Google are offering to political parties and election officials in the European Union and Canada. (Microsoft's AccountGuard technology was already available in the United States and the United Kingdom.) As part of today's announcement, Microsoft warned that the free update program does not apply to PCs used for standard business operations. For those PCs, Microsoft advised customers to upgrade to Windows 10 before the support deadline. Source
  8. Caution updating Win7 if you have an ASUS motherboard and get a “Secure Boot Violation” warning Poster @Charlie has questions about ASUS motherboards and the August Win7 Monthly Rollup: I was all set to go ahead with the August Updates when I read about this apparent problem that KB3133977 has with ASUS motherboards, and that stopped me dead in my tracks! I have an ASUS P8H61-MLE CSM, H61 B3 chipset motherboard of around 2012 vintage and it has an EFI BIOS, but not UEFI. I do not already have KB3133977 and according to what I see will need to install it (maybe). Just to refresh your memory, KB 3133977 caused all sorts of havoc when it was released in May of 2016. I wrote an article about it in Computerworld at the time. I’m not at all sure if the ghost from more than two years ago is still haunting Win7 Monthly Rollups. @PKCano has an answer: For those with ASUS motherboards considering KB3133977: It would seem that ASUS implemented “Safe Boot” on some Win7 machines, when Win7 doesn’t support Safe Boot, by altering the BIOS. There are instructions on the ASUS website (thank you, @samak ) here to deal with the situation: https://www.asus.com/support/FAQ/1016356/ If you have an ASUS motherboard, and Safe Boot is implemented, it looks there are three options: Either Make the modification in the BIOS so you can install KB3133977 OR Not install KB3133977 and just install the August patch. OR Do not install either patch and wait for further instructions. Anybody out there have more recent info? UPDATE: @Sinclair has a related question: What I am trying to get sorted is can you install the August and future patches on a non UEFI motherboard without installing the Bitlocker patch. Does the August patch not alter your boot files if the Bitlocker patch is not installed on a non UEFI system? Does it even matter if it is a non UEFI system or not when it comes to the boot files? Because it would really suck if so short before Windows 7 goes out of patching. I end up with a system that can not use any old repair tool to fix it if it ever has harddisk problems. That is why it is so complex. I have not seen anyone say yeah your fine the new boot files can be seen by old tools. Or yeah no worries nothing is altered on a non UEFI motherboard. Source: Caution updating Win7 if you have an ASUS motherboard and get a “Secure Boot Violation” warning (AskWoody - Woody Leonhard)
  9. A new report shows that businesses continue to use older operating systems such as Windows 7, and even Windows Vista, even though they are no longer supported and less secure compared to Windows 10. The data analysts firm NetMarketShare revealed that Windows 10 has seen a significant uptake in users and it's close to 50% of market share, but a new report from Kaspersky Security Network suggests that many users are still actively using outdated operating systems like Windows 7 and Vista. According to new research from Kaspersky, many of its customers are still using Windows 7 and that’s primarily due to its huge number of enterprise users. The research shows that 41% of surveyed customers still use Windows 7. Even worse, some are still using Windows XP and Windows Vista, which are no longer supported and therefore do not receive security updates. At least 40% of surveyed customers are very small businesses and 48% are SMBs. Perhaps more worryingly, 38% of customers and VSBs use Windows 7 operating system on small office and home office PCs. Of these surveyed businesses, 47% of SMBs and enterprises are still on Windows 7. "More than a third (38%) of consumers and VSBs, and 47% of SMBs and enterprises, still run this OS. For small, medium-sized and enterprise business segments, the share of Windows 7 and the newest version Windows 10 (47% of workstations work on this OS) is the same," the report reads. "The widespread use of Windows 7 is concerning as there is less than six months to go until this version becomes unsupported," said Alexey Pankratov, enterprise solutions manager at Kaspersky. There are less than six months to go until Windows 7 becomes unsupported. According to Microsoft, Windows 7 will officially stop receiving the monthly security updates on 14 January 2020. In its report, Kaspersky said that an old unpatched OS is a cybersecurity risk and it is highly recommended that users upgrade to the latest version of Windows. Source
  10. 6 Months before Support End, Microsoft brings DirectX 12 support to Windows 7 When Microsoft announced DirectX 12 in 2014, it did not reveal any compatibility information. The new version of DirectX was announced at a time when Windows 8 was the latest operating system; Windows 10 was released in 2015. We assumed back then that Microsoft would limit DirectX artificially to Windows 8 or the upcoming version of Windows which we assumed would be Windows 9. Microsoft revealed at the end of 2014 that Windows 10 would indeed ship with DirectX 12 support. Rumors suggested that the new version would not be made available to earlier versions of Windows, and a Microsoft support article confirmed that. Windows 7 systems were stuck with DirectX 11.0 and 11.1, Windows 8.1 with Direct X 11.1 and 11.2 Four years later, in early 2019, Microsoft suddenly announced that DirectX 12 support would be coming to select games on Windows 7. Game companies urged Microsoft to bring DirectX 12 to Windows 7 to make use of advanced capabilities and reduce development costs at the same time. Microsoft began to port the Direct3D 12 runtime as a response to Windows 7. Blizzard, maker of World of Warcraft and other games, was the first company to support a DirectX 12 game on Windows 7. World of Warcraft gamers could run the game using DirectX 12 to benefit from better framerates and other improvements. Options to bring DirectX 12 games to Windows 7 devices were limited initially but work with several game studios -- none is mentioned in particular except Blizzard -- continued after the initial announcement. Microsoft released a new development guidance in August 2019 to allow game developers to run their DirectX 12 games on Windows 7. To better support game developers at larger scales, we are publishing the following resources to allow game developers to run their DirectX 12 games on Windows 7. Developers can check out the Porting D3D12 games to Windows 7 guide to get started. The guide is divided into several chapters. It begins with a list of files and drivers that are needed to set up a development system and test machines. Other chapters reveal how to get DirectX 12 games up and ready on Windows 7 PCs, give optimization tips and release suggestions. Closing Words The big question that came to my mind immediately was "why now?". Windows 7 nears end of support; the operating system won't get updates anymore after the January 2020 patch day. While companies may extend support for up to three years, they are not the core target for gaming and it seems highly unlikely that many would benefit from the feature. Windows 7 systems won't just go away in January 2020, however. If Windows XP's death is anything to go by, it could take years before use of the operating system drops below the ten percent mark. Game companies may continue to support Windows 7 because of that even after Windows 7 support ends officially. I still think that the timing on this is really bad. It is clear that Microsoft wanted to encourage gamers to upgrade to Windows 10 by making DirectX 12 Windows 10 exclusive in the beginning: this did not work very well when Microsoft released Windows Vista and made DirectX 10 Vista exclusive. Gamers and companies ignored DirectX 10 for the most part as a consequence. Source: 6 Months before Support End, Microsoft brings DirectX 12 support to Windows 7 (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
  11. Microsoft releases KB4512478 and KB4512514 previews Microsoft released the monthly rollup previews KB4512478 and KB4512514 for Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows Server 2008 R2 and 2012 R2 this weekend. The release on a Saturday is a deviation from the Tuesday or Thursday release schedule for the preview updates. Whether that is a one-time deviation or something that could happen more often in the future remains to be seen. KB4512478 and KB4512514 are preview updates of the monthly rollup patch that Microsoft will release on September 10, 2019. Designed to give organizations time to test changes made in these updates, the previews are available on all devices running one of the supported operating systems. A check on Windows Update will return these as optional updates and they may also be downloaded from the Microsoft Update Catalog. The previews are not available on WSUS but they can be imported to WSUS manually. KB4512514 for Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 Support page Microsoft Update Catalog KB4512514 is a non-security update that fixes two issues on Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 systems: Fixed an issue affecting svchost.exe hosting WSMan Service (WsmSvc) that caused it to stop working and to stop other services in the same host process. Fixed the long-standing Preboot Execution Environment issue that could prevent devices from starting. Microsoft lists three known issues that affected previous updates as well: IA64 or x64 devices provisioned after the July 9th updates may fail to start with error" File: \Windows\system32\winload.efi Status: 0xc0000428 Info: Windows cannot verify the digital signature for this file." Certain Symantec or Norton security applications may block or delete Windows updates. VBScript should be disabled by default in Internet Explorer 11 but this is apparently not the case all the time. The release notes list only one known issue that Microsoft fixed in the new update; what about the fifth known issue that is no longer listed as a known issue in KB4512514 but also not listed as fixed? It is unclear if the Visual Basic issue is fixed in the preview update; Microsoft makes no mention of it. If you check the August 2019 Monthly Rollup update KB4512506 you find it listed there under known issues and the reference that the optional update KB4517297 fixes it. A quick check of the package details on the Microsoft Update Catalog website shows that KB4517297 is not replaced by this update. KB4512478 for Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 Support page Microsoft Update Catalog KB4512478 is a preview of the monthly rollup for Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 that Microsoft will release on the September 2019 Patch Day. The update fixes the following three issues: Fixed a memory leak issue in LSASS that caused it to grow until it became necessary to restart the device. Fixed an issue that caused rdpdr.sys to stop responding or working. Fixed the Preboot Execution Environment issue. Microsoft lists a single known issue: Operations such as rename may fail on files or folders that are on a Cluster Shared Volume. The August 2019 Monthly Rollup log lists three known issues; the Visual Basic issue is not listed as fixed but it is not listed as a known issue either. Source: Microsoft releases KB4512478 and KB4512514 previews (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
  12. Installing Windows 7 from a backup? You need a BitLocker patch right away Whether you’re installing Win7 from backup on bare metal or on a VM, watch out for a missing patch. On Friday, Microsoft issued a hidden advisory saying you need to run bcdboot.exe and get the SHA-2 patch KB 3133977 – a BitLocker fix – before you do anything else. Getty Images / Microsoft No doubt you recall the warning back in February that Windows 7, Server 2008 and Server 2008 R2 patches starting in July would use the SHA-2 encryption protocol. If you want to install Win7 patches issued after July, you have to get the SHA-2 translator installed. A few days ago, Microsoft tossed a zinger into the FAQs down at the bottom of its SHA-2 post, 2019 SHA-2 Code Signing Support requirement for Windows and WSUS. That post now says that you have to install a seemingly unrelated patch, KB 3133977, entitled, BitLocker can't encrypt drives because of service crashes in svchost.exe process in Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2. That should immediately raise your eyebrows. It’s a BitLocker fix, fer heaven’s sake, and Microsoft now says you better install that fix before you try to run a new instance of Win7 – whether you have BitLocker or not. Specifically, the SHA-2 post was updated on Aug. 16 to say you can run into trouble in any of these scenarios: You’re using setup to perform a clean install of Win7 using an image (perhaps created by DISM) that’s been customized with updates. You’re burning an image of Win7 directly to disk without running setup. You install an image with SHA-2 support, but the system won’t boot, tossing error 0xc0000428, “Windows cannot verify the digital signature for this file. A recent hardware or software change might have installed a file that is signed incorrectly or damaged, or that might be malicious software from an unknown source.” The remedies in each of those situations is a little bit different, but in general it includes installing the BitLocker fix KB 3133977 (even if you’ve hidden it!) and running the bcdboot.exe program to refresh your boot files. This, buried at the bottom of a FAQ in an old KB article. And you thought Win10 users got all the new bizarre bugs. Thx @abbodi86, @PKCano Stay up on the latest -- Win7, too -- on AskWoody.com. Source: Installing Windows 7 from a backup? You need a BitLocker patch right away (Computerworld - Woody Leonhard)
  13. If you get Windows Update error 0x80092004 on Windows 7 or Server 2008 R2 do this Microsoft released updates for all supported versions of Windows -- client and server -- on the August 2019 Patch Day. You can check out our overview of the updates if you have not done so already. Reports suggest that some administrators and home users face issues with the released updates on machines running Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2. Attempts to install the updates KB4512506 (monthly rollup update) or KB4512486 (security-only update) fail with the error 0x80092004. The error associated with the error code, CRYPT_E_NOT_FOUND, suggests that Windows Update rejects the updates because cryptographic values that the update packages contain are not found. Microsoft changed the signing of update packages for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 devices on the August 2019 Patch Day for the first time. The company signs packages only with SHA-2 since August 2019; it signed them with SHA-1 and SHA-2 previously but decided to drop SHA-1 because of known weaknesses. We published an article in 2018 about the change stating that Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2 systems needed certain patches to continue receiving updates. It appears that affected Windows systems are looking for SHA-1 in the update package and ignore SHA-2. SHA-1 is not included anymore and that appears to be the reason why error 0x80092004 is thrown on those systems. Tip: it is always good to research Windows updates before installing updates. Microsoft revealed that certain Symantec and Norton software installed on Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 systems does not play nice with the change and Microsoft made the decision to block updates on machines running Symantec and Norton software until the issue is resolved. The security solutions may block or delete Windows Updates. While it is possible that the issue is related, e.g. that other antivirus solutions are causing issues with Windows Updates as well, it is more likely that a required update is missing. Two updates need to be installed on Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 systems so that SHA-2 signed updates are installed correctly: KB4474419 -- SHA-2 code signing support update for Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows 7, and Windows Server 2008: August 13, 2019 KB4490628 -- Servicing stack update for Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1: March 12, 2019 If one of these is not installed, SHA-2 signed updates won't be accepted and the error is thrown instead. Microsoft confirms that KB4474419 is a prerequisite on the support website. The company lists KB4490628 on the page as well stating that it strongly recommends that it is updated. SSU updates are installed automatically if Windows Updates is used but need to be installed manually if updates are installed manually. It is unclear why Microsoft does not list the SSU as a prerequisite more clearly. You can verify that these updates are installed by checking the "Installed Updates" listing in the Control Panel or by running third-party software such as Nirsoft's WinUpdatesList. If at least one of the updates is not installed, install it on the device and run a new check for updates after installation; the August 2019 update should install just fine this time. Source: If you get Windows Update error 0x80092004 on Windows 7 or Server 2008 R2 do this (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
  14. Just over one million computers in the NHS are still using Windows 7. With less than half a year to go before support ends for Windows 7, about three-quarters of computers in the UK's National Health Service (NHS) are still running the OS. Just over one million computers in the NHS are still using Windows 7, according to a written answer from the Department of Health and Social Care. Having so many machines still running Windows 7 is a problem, according to Jo Platt MP, shadow cabinet office minister, as the end of extended support in January 2020 will mean no more fixes and patches without a costly custom-support deal. "With less than six months before Windows 7 support expires, it is deeply concerning that over a million NHS computers, over three quarters of the total NHS IT estate, are still using this operating system," she says. Platt drew attention to the WannaCry attacks on unpatched computers in 2017, which disrupted NHS systems and led to almost 20,000 appointments being cancelled, with the total cost to the NHS estimated to be around £92m. "The WannaCry cyber attack two years ago starkly proved the dangers of operating outdated software. Unless the government swiftly acts and learns from their past mistakes they are risking a repeat of WannaCry," she says. Answering Platt's parliamentary question, Jackie Doyle-Price, then parliamentary under secretary of state for mental health, inequalities and suicide prevention, said that while 1.05 million NHS computers were still running Windows 7, the migration process to Windows 10 was underway. "All NHS organisations, with the exception of one which had already upgraded to Windows 10, have signed up to receive Windows 10 licences and Advanced Threat Protection," she wrote. "Deployment of Windows 10 is going well and in line with target to make sure the NHS is operating on supported software when Windows 7 goes out of support in 2020." However, while Doyle-Price suggests the NHS will stop using Windows 7 before the 2020 deadline, the government chose not to answer a separate question from Platt about whether it was in talks with Microsoft about a custom support deal for Windows 7 post-2020. The government also faced further criticism for a minority of NHS machines still running Windows XP, Microsoft's 2001 operating system that went out of support five years ago. Despite the risk of running these Windows XP machines, Doyle-Price said it was not "not possible to set a timeframe for complete removal of Windows XP from all NHS machines". "This is because removal is not always possible, particularly where Windows XP is embedded in medical devices," she wrote. "All NHS organisations have been given guidance on how to mitigate the risks if they cannot completely remove Windows XP from their estate, for example, they can segregate the affected machines from the network. They can also contact NHS Digital for further bespoke advice and support to mitigate risks." She says additional management, monitoring, and risk mitigation was provided via the NHS's Data Security and Protection Toolkit (DSPT). Last year the Cabinet Office confirmed that government does not centrally track the number of Windows XP computers operating across the public sector. While Microsoft ended extended support for Windows XP in 2014, the UK government paid £5.5m for a year's extension to April 2015. The problem of public bodies using operating systems long after support ends is not limited to the UK, in 2015 the US Navy agreed to pay Microsoft millions to keep supporting Windows XP post-2014. Source
  15. Microsoft has acknowledged that the brisk sales it recently reported for Windows would continue past the support retirement date for Windows 7 as some customers will be late to get off the older OS. In a July 18 earnings call with Wall Street analysts, Microsoft's chief financial officer said revenue from sales to computer manufacturers of Windows 10 Pro was up 18% over the June quarter of 2018. "OEM Pro revenue grew 18 per cent, ahead of the commercial PC market, driven by healthy Windows 10 demand [and] strong momentum in advance of the Windows 7 end of support," said Amy Hood. She also attributed four percentage points of that increase to computer builders boosting inventory in the fear that tariffs might be applied, raising their costs and forcing them to choose between higher prices and lower profits. OEM stands for "original equipment manufacturer," the Lenovos, HPs and Dells of the world. Microsoft sells OEMs Windows 10 to pre-install on new systems. The OEMs place Windows 10 Home on PCs aimed at consumers and Windows 10 Pro on machines designed for businesses. Microsoft dubs the latter "OEM Pro" and the former "OEM non-Pro." Meanwhile, revenue from sales of OEM non-Pro Windows was down eight per cent from the same period the year prior, Hood said. Consumer PC sales have slumped for years as buyers abandoned the format for phones and tablets. Business PC sales, including those due to companies replacing aging Windows 7 systems with new machines running Windows 10, have saved the business from complete ruin. According to research firm IDC, the impending end-of-life for Windows 7 provided a "significant boost for the commercial segment" during the June quarter, especially in desktops. In Europe, the Middle East and Africa, desktop shipments experienced the first solid increase since the end of support for Windows XP in 2014. "This shows that OS upgrades are always the peak of demand for stationary device renewals," Daniel Goncalves, an IDC senior research analyst, said in a statement. Rival research company Gartner concurred. "Worldwide PC shipments growth was driven by demand from the Windows 10 refresh in the business market," said Mikako Kitagawa, senior principal analyst, also in a statement. But while IDC said that the commercial Windows 7-to-Windows 10 migration is in its "last leg," Microsoft's Hood thought that leg could stretch as long as a year. "What we've seen in prior releases is, [the impact of end of support] does extend a bit past the deadline, especially in our small and mid-sized business customers," Hood told investment analysts. "We will see some extension pass the line." Windows 7 exits support on Jan. 14, 2020. After that, Microsoft will provide patches for the security vulnerabilities only to companies and organisations that pay extra for Windows 7 Extended Security Updates. The post-retirement support will cost $25 (Windows 7 Enterprise) or $50 per (Windows 7 Professional) PC for the first year, with fees doubling each of the next two years. A majority of companies has made the transition to Windows 10, according to a survey of IT decision makers conducted for Kollective, an Oregon-based company that sells content delivery solutions to corporations. With just six months left before the Windows 7 deadline, 96 per cent of the businesses polled had started migrations to Windows 10, but a smaller number - 77 per cent - had completed the job. Of the large enterprises surveyed, 18 per cent, or more than one in six, had yet to wrap up. "While the migration process has been streamlined by Microsoft for the move to Windows 10 [compared to 2014's XP-to-7 move], there is still a significant risk of larger enterprises missing the January 2020 deadline," Kollective wrote in a white paper outlining the survey results. Other measurements argue that Windows 7 is even more entrenched. At the end of June, for example, U.S. analytics vendor Net Applications estimated that Windows 7 powered 40 per cent of the globe's Windows devices, a significantly larger share than Windows XP controlled half a year before its retirement. Net Applications' data over the last 12 months signalled that Windows 7 would still be on 36 per cent of all Windows PCs when it loses support. However, Net Applications does not report business and consumer data separately, making it unclear how big a problem Windows 7 remains in the working world. Gartner analyst Stephen Kleynhans said enterprise migrations had slowed of late, a not-unusual problem at this point. "Enterprises are moving along, but at a slower pace," Kleynhans said in an interview. "We're in the wave of, I don't like the word 'laggards' because it's not that they're laggards because they're lazy, but they have unusual issues that are holding them back [from migrating]. Sometimes it's budget, sometimes it's technical." Kleynhans estimated that between 15 per cent and 20 per cent of organisations will have what he called "significant numbers" of Windows 7 systems still in place at the mid-January retirement deadline. "But Microsoft really took the pressure off, in a good way," Kleynhans continued, referring to Extended Security Updates, or ESU. The after-retirement support, he said, will allow enterprises to "focus on getting [the migration) done right." Every organisation he had talked to that had or would pony up for ESU was planning on using it for just one year. Whether those enterprises will finish by January 2021, however, remains uncertain. "My gut feel is that we're ahead of where we were with EOL [end-of-lifecycle] of Windows XP," Kleynhans concluded. "The actual process for most has been a lot smoother." Source
  16. Time is running out for those who haven't already moved on from Windows 7 -- but are they really ready for the jump to Windows 10? It's been some time since Windows 10 overtook Windows 7 to become the most used PC operating system, but with the final end of Windows 7 support looming, there's still much work to do. With six months until Windows 7 goes out of extended support, there's quite a lot of data around to provide at least a rough picture of the current state of play. According to a survey by IT company Kollective of 200 UK and US decision makers, just under one in five large enterprises hasn't migrated to Windows 10. Even though that's a significant number, it's still down from the 43% the company found when it ran similar research at the start of the year. The research found that the vast majority of organisations have started to migrate to Windows 10, and estimated that three-quarters have already completed the project. However, for the quarter still working, six months may not be enough time to get everything finished. Separate research from authentication company Duo found that Windows 10 now accounts for 66% of PCs its software interacts with, compared with 29% for Windows 7. In some sectors, the situation is more worrying -- Duo points to healthcare as a sector that is particularly wedded to Windows 7. Finding the time to do an upgrade in a busy hospital is always going to be hard, and some medical hardware just can't be upgraded. It's probably worth noting that there also remains a worrying amount of Windows XP still in use -- the UK's health service still has about 2,300 PCs running the 18-year-old operating system, although the OS only accounts for 0.16% of the NHS's 1.4 million PCs. Data from NetMarketShare shows the gradual decline of the use of Windows 7, which now accounts for somewhere around 38% of PCs connecting to the internet; Windows 10 overtook it at the back end of last year and has around 41% market share. It's always wise to be aware of the caveats around figures like these, but the broad trends are clear. Whatever the precise figure for Windows 7 versus Windows 10 right now, what's clear is that -- with less that six months before Windows 7 goes out of extended support on 14 January 2020 -- there's still a lot of PCs out there using it. There are options for companies that don't get everything moved off Windows 7 before the middle of January, or who want to stick with the old OS for whatever reason, in the form of extended support packages from Microsoft, although there is a significant cost attached. But, even if they get the move to Windows 10 completed in time, these companies then have to adjust to the new(ish) world of Windows as a service. That means regular upgrades for new features and security fixes, not the giant lift-and-shift every few years that was the model previously. There's plenty to admire in that model, and not just for Microsoft; companies can get access to new features and bug fixes almost as soon as they are ready, without waiting for them to be bundled up into in mega-releases. The problem is that, as my colleague Ed Bott points out, even after four years of Windows as a service, Microsoft is still struggling to get the upgrade process right, and he has some advice for companies on how to manage that process. The large businesses that have spent the time and effort to get to understand Windows 10 will be fine -- but the issue could well be with those late adopters who are only now looking at Windows 10 as that Windows 7 deadline looms. They must prepare for more testing and more regular rollouts -- not easy when many companies are already well behind with software updates and patching. For many of these companies, their next Windows migration is the beginning, not the end, of the changes. Source
  17. Best Linux Distro for Windows 7 Refugees: Manjaro KDE With the impending destruction of Windows 7 (read: loss of official support) looming in the horizon, many users may find themselves in the debate of moving to Windows 10 or jumping ship to an alternative such as MacOS or Linux. There are hundreds of Linux distributions to choose from, but I’d like to personally throw my two-copper in and suggest Manjaro KDE. What is Manjaro? And KDE? Manjaro is based off of Arch Linux, but I like to describe it to people as the “Ubuntu of Arch” for its user-friendly design choices and its particular attention to helping new Linux users to learn what they are doing. Another great perk of the Arch foundation underneath Manjaro is the use of the Arch Linux Wiki. The Arch wiki is easily one of the largest resources of help, information, and know-how for all Linux users— regardless of distribution, many of the articles found can be applied. Back in the spring of 2017 I wrote a series of articles discussing various Desktop Environments for Linux systems, such as Cinnamon and KDE just to name a couple, and overall for Windows users who have decided to take the plunge, I’m recommending KDE. Regardless of distribution, KDE is filled with eye candy, is highly-customizable, one of the most powerful file-browsers available (Dolphin), and is deeply documented with a long-standing history (KDE was created in 1996). However, KDE is not without its downsides too: Arguably the most resource-intensive desktop environment Very in-your-face customization access can be jarring to Windows users not used to having such broad customization in their UI setup. Arguably more geared towards power-users than some other environments Some feel that KDE is too cluttered Looking at this list, with the exception of the increased resource usage compared to most of the other Desktop Environments, I personally find the other downsides to really be ‘benefits’, but that’s to each their own. Looking back at Manjaro as the choice of environment, I want to note that I really looked at: Ubuntu Linux Mint Debian Fedora OpenSUSE In the end, I felt that Manjaro held the best combination of user-friendliness with raw-power. Yes, any of the above-listed systems will work and run pretty much the same software; but Manjaro makes everything simple, easy, organized, and smooth, as well as featuring some great built-in tools such as Pamac/Octopi depending on environment chosen (though I always uninstall Octopi and install Pamac), the Settings Manager Kernel changing option is simply spectacular, and I’ve enjoyed many of the software choices by the Manjaro team (including Steam by default, Firefox, Thunderbird, Yakuake). Source: Best Linux Distro for Windows 7 Refugees: Manjaro KDE (gHacks)
  18. Users have such fond memories of XP, they seem to be replicating its death This is bald Sooty. This is a bunny MICROSOFT IS sitting on a Windows timebomb, and the fuse is lit. In six months' time, on 14 January 2020, Windows 7 will reach its natural End of Life (EoL), meaning no more security updates and the whole circus of panic that goes with it. It'll have had a damn good innings, nine-and-a-half years in fact, but the tiresome truth is that a lot of customers still aren't confident enough in Windows 10 for an upgrade, or their machine isn't capable of running it, thanks to Microsoft's draconian rules about what chipsets it supports. The free upgrade offer that let Windows 7 and 8.1 users update to Windows 10 for nowt was supposed to stop this exact thing happening, but uptake was finite, and even now, three years on, a whopping 35.38 per cent of users are still running Windows 7 (Windows 8.x is another 5.2 per cent). In fact, totting up all versions of Windows, there are almost as many users not running Windows 10 as running it. More worrying is that figure has hardly shifted from last month - Windows 7 has lost 0.06 per cent market share. Year on year, it's only dropped about six per cent. At that rate, we'd still be faffing about with this issue in the mid-2020s. The bulk will be organisations who haven't yet made the leap with their networks. This could be because of money, the need to run bespoke apps that don't play nicely on Windows 7, and yes, in some cases it could be ignorance. The fact remains, though; that's a lot of machines that aren't on a version of Windows with a future. The last remaining version to be supported beyond January 2020 will be Windows 8.1 (if you're running Windows 8 you can, nay should update to Windows 8.1 for free, from the Microsoft Store, as soon as possible - that's been EoL for ages). Organisations who really can't be ready in time can apply for extended support for up to three years, but its charged per seat, which, in a big organisation could be thousands of machines. Oh yeah, and that price per seat doubles every year. If you're an individual using Windows 7, you've got no options - this date has, after all, been in the calendar for years and Microsoft won't make any money out of your complaining - buy a copy of Windows 10 by 14 January, or you're screwed. The fact that it's only a few years ago that there was all the kerfuffle with Windows XP's EoL, which, lest we forget carried on for years including a spectacular fail during the Wannacry ransomware incident, you'd hope that Microsoft would be better arming its users for what is to come. Alas, however, it seems that if you're not running a network of Windows 7 machine, Microsoft isn't that fussed about telling you what you need to do. That said - it's all fun and games ‘till the nag screens start. And they will. On the plus side, we'll get to say 'we told you so' and we know you know how much we love doing that. Source
  19. Microsoft will be ending support for Windows 7 on January 14, 2020. After January 14, 2020, Microsoft will no longer provide security updates or support for PCs running Windows 7. After the support ends, you can continue to use Windows 7, but your PC will become vulnerable to security risks as you will not receive security and feature updates. Microsoft has advised everyone to upgrade to Windows 10 to avoid potential security risks. Kollective, an enterprise software company, conducted a survey related to Windows 7 adoption on more than 200 US and UK IT employees and the survey results were surprising. Almost a fifth of large enterprises are still on Windows 7. Even though many organizations have started the migration process, Kollective feels that migration will take several years and they won’t be able to complete the migration process before Jan 14th 2020. To support such customers, Microsoft last year announced that it will offer paid Windows 7 Extended Security Updates (ESU) through January 2023. Windows 7 ESU will be sold on a per-device basis and the price will double each year. “When it came to migrating away from Windows XP it took some large enterprises as long as three years to transfer their entire systems to the new operating system, now, many firms will have to make the transition in less than 12 months. Those that fail to do so will have to pay for extended support, with the largest organizations paying more than a million dollars a year in order to remain on Windows 7,” said Dan Vetras, CEO of Kollective. More at: [Fudzilla] Source
  20. Microsoft surreptitiously adds telemetry functionality to July 2019 Win7 Security-only patch Unannounced, Microsoft has added telemetry functionality to the July 2019 Security-only Update for Windows 7 KB4507456. Alerted on Patch Tuesday by an anonymous poster: Warning for group B Windows 7 users! The “July 9, 2019—KB4507456 (Security-only update)” is NOT “security-only” update. It replaces infamous KB2952664 and contains telemetry. Some details can be found in file information for update 4507456 (keywords: “telemetry”, “diagtrack” and “appraiser”) and under http://www.catalog.update.microsoft.com/ScopedViewInline.aspx?updateid=7cdee6a8-6f30-423e-b02c-3453e14e3a6e (in “Package details”->”This update replaces the following updates” and there is KB2952664 listed). It doesn’t apply for IA-64-based systems, but applies both x64 and x86-based systems. Microsoft included the KB2952664 functionality (known as the “Compatibility Appraiser”) in the Security Quality Monthly Rollups for Windows 7 back in September 2018. The move was announced by Microsoft ahead of time. With the July 2019-07 Security Only Quality Update KB4507456, Microsoft has slipped this functionality into a security-only patch without any warning, thus adding the “Compatibility Appraiser” and its scheduled tasks (telemetry) to the update. The package details for KB4507456 say it replaces KB2952664 (among other updates). Come on Microsoft. This is not a security-only update. How do you justify this sneaky behavior? Where is the transparency now. Susan, we need your Pinocchio with a loooooong nose. Source: Microsoft surreptitiously adds telemetry functionality to July 2019 Win7 Security-only patch (AskWoody)
  21. How to download and install Microsoft Edge on Windows 7 In case you haven’t heard, Microsoft has recreated Edge browser on Chromium for Windows 10, macOS and now Windows 7. Microsoft has just released the first preview build of Edge browser for Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 Microsoft Edge for Windows 7 offers experience and features like its Windows 10 counterpart, including Internet Explorer mode, rounded corners, and more. The company has published the Microsoft Edge Canary Builds for Windows 7 and the more stable Edge Dev builds will be released soon. In this article, we walk you through the steps to download and install Microsoft Edge on Windows 7. Install Chromium-Based Microsoft Edge on Windows 7 Visit the Microsoft Edge Insider page from here. Click on ‘More platforms and channels’. Scroll down. Click on ‘Download’ located below Windows 7. Click on ‘Download for Windows 7’ under Canary. Run the installer and allow it to install. That’s it, you can now use Microsoft Edge on your Windows 7 machine like any other web browser. You can import your bookmarks, history, and more from Google Chrome or you can start from scratch. Unlike Chrome, Edge offers you to choose the look of the new page tabs and you can also try experimental features from the flags menu. The dark mode is not available as Windows 7 does not support it natively. You can also sign-in to your Microsoft account and sync your browsing history across Windows 10, macOS, Android and even iOS devices.
  22. KB4503277 and KB4503283 for Windows 7 and 8.1 released Microsoft released two update previews for the company's Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 operating systems on June 20, 2019. The updates are also available for Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 and can either be downloaded directly from the Microsoft Update Catalog website or as an optional update through Windows Update. Please note that the updates are considered previews; in other words, they should be considered beta releases. It is advised to stay clear of them until a device is affected by one of the fixed issues or if you want to take the updates for a test drive. Both updates are non-security updates. KB4503277 for Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 Support link: KB4503277 Microsoft Update Catalog Link: link Servicing Stack Update: link KB4503277 "includes improvements and fixes that were part of KB4503292" according to Microsoft's update description. The release notes list the following changes: Fixed an issue that prevented the Calculator application from following Gannen settings when enabled. Addressed an issue with the evaluation of the compatibility status of the Windows operating system. Fixed an issue that caused Internet Explorer 11 to stop working when Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) markers are opened or interacted with. Fixed the Event Viewer issue that caused custom views to throw an error message on Start. The only known issue listed is the incompatibility with certain McAfee Enterprise products that may slow down the system start or make the system unresponsive altogether. KB4503283 for Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 Support link: KB4503283 Microsoft Update Catalog Link: link KB4503283 "includes improvements and fixes that were part of KB4503283" according to Microsoft's update description. The release notes list the following changes: All changes fixed by the Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 update. Fixed an issue that caused the user interface to appear frozen during scroll operations (in windows with many child windows). Addressed a reliability issue in Windows (which Microsoft did not reveal anything about other than that it is a reliability issue) Microsoft confirms two known issues, both of which not new. The systems are affected by the same McAfee software issue as the Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 systems are. The second issue is the longstanding issue on Cluster Shared Volumes that makes certain operations fail with the error "STATUS_BAD_IMPERSONATION_LEVEL (0xC00000A5)". New Internet Explorer cumulative update as well Woody Leonhard notes that Microsoft released a new cumulative Internet Explorer update for the client operating systems Windows 7 and 8.1, and the Server operating systems Windows Server 2008 R2 and 2012 R2 as well recently. Addressed an issue that caused Internet Explorer 11 to stop working when it opened or interacted with Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) markers, including Power BI line charts with markers. The cumulative update is available on Microsoft's Update Catalog website. Source: KB4503277 and KB4503283 for Windows 7 and 8.1 released (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
  23. 1 Million Computers Still Vulnerable to Major Windows Security Exploit Microsoft advises all affected systems to update to the latest software. HIGHLIGHTS Microsoft recently discovered "wormable" vulnerability on Windows It affects all machines except the ones running Windows 8 and Windows 10 The vulnerability is believed to be remotely exploitable Microsoft has warned nearly one million computers globally are still at risk of a malware attack Microsoft has warned that nearly one million computers globally are still at risk of malware attack similar to WannaCry that spread worldwide in 2017 causing billions of dollars in damage. The software giant recently discovered "wormable" vulnerability in Remote Desktop Services for Windows that can automatically spread. The company has issued its second advisory, urging users to update their systems to prevent the "BlueKeep" malware attack, TechCrunch reported on Friday. "Microsoft is confident that an exploit exists for this vulnerability. It's been only two weeks since the fix was released and there has been no sign of a worm yet. This does not mean that we're out of the woods," warned Simon Pope, director of incident response at Microsoft's Security Response Center (MSRC). "Our recommendation remains the same. We strongly advise that all affected systems should be updated as soon as possible," said Microsoft. The bug is a "critical" vulnerability that affects computers running Windows XP, Windows 7 and server operating systems. These operating systems are widely being used especially in corporate environments. "The vulnerability can be used to run code at the system level, allowing full access to the computer -- including its data. "Worse, it is remotely exploitable, allowing anyone to attack a computer connected to the internet," reports TechCrunch. Only Windows 8 and Windows 10 are not vulnerable to the new bug. Source
  24. After the debacle last month, you’d think that McAfee and Sophos would’ve figured out a way to work with Microsoft’s monthly patches. Not so. Microsoft says that its May 14 Monthly Rollup, KB 4499164 and Security-only patch KB 4499175, are triggering problems anew: Microsoft and McAfee have identified an issue on devices with McAfee Endpoint Security (ENS) Threat Prevention 10.x or McAfee Host Intrusion Prevention (Host IPS) 8.0 or McAfee VirusScan Enterprise (VSE) 8.8 installed. It may cause the system to have slow startup or become unresponsive at restart after installing this update. We are presently investigating this issue with McAfee. Guidance for McAfee customers can be found in the following McAfee support articles: McAfee Security (ENS) Threat Prevention 10.x McAfee Host Intrusion Prevention (Host IPS) 8.0 McAfee VirusScan Enterprise (VSE) 8.8 To be clear, this is in addition to the problems we all felt last month. The official Release Information status page says that this particular problem originated on April 9 and has been mitigated. McAfee disagrees: “May 16, 2019 Updated that this issue applies to Windows April 2019 update KBs or later Windows monthly updates.” You can choose which one you believe. Microsoft hasn’t yet admitted to the problems with Sophos, but I assure you they will. Here’s what Sophos says: We have had an increase in customers reporting that following on from the Microsoft Windows 14th May patches they are experiencing a hang on boot where the machines appear to get stuck on “Configuring 30%” Initial findings suggest that this relates to the below Microsoft Patches: May 14, 2019—KB4499164 (Monthly Rollup) May 14, 2019—KB4499165 KB4499175 (Security-only update) * We have currently only identified the issue on Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Applies to the following Sophos product(s) and version(s) Sophos Endpoint Security and Control Sophos Central Endpoint Standard/Advanced Why does this feel like deja vu all over again? Thx Kevin Beaumont @GossiTheDog. Source: For the second month in a row, McAfee and Sophos are having problems with the Win7/Server 2008 R2 Monthly Rollup and Security-only patches (AskWoody) * Poster's note: Sophos mentions KB4499165 above, but that's the security-only update for 8.1 and Server 2012 R2, not 7. They mean KB4499175 , the security-only update for 7 SP1 and Server 2008 SP1.
  25. Windows 7 users are now receiving the end of support reminder notifications Image Courtesy: Microsoft Some users are reporting that Microsoft has begun sending notifications to Windows 7 machines to remind users when support for the OS ends. The users are supposed to upgrade to Windows 10 before support ends for the older OS in January 2020. By the looks of things, the notification first popped up in the morning of April 18, 2019. A Reddit thread also confirms that some Windows 7 users received the notification on April 18. In another Reddit discussion, users confirmed that the notification showed up when they booted the computer. The notification titled “After 10 years, support for Windows 7 is nearing an end” reveals the date when support for Windows 7 ends. The notification popup features the ‘Learn more’ button on the right. If you click on the button, it opens Microsoft’s webpage in the browser to detail the end of support deadline and options available to the customers. As promised, there’s also a box ‘Do not remind me again’, which if clicked, is supposed to stop displaying this notification again. If you simply close the window, the notification would show up again in the near future. Microsoft says users can continue to use Windows 7, but the operating system will stop receiving software and security updates in 2020 and this will put the system at a greater risk for viruses and malware. “While you could continue to use your PC running Windows 7, without continued software and security updates, it will be at greater risk for viruses and malware. Going forward, the best way for you to stay secure is on Windows 10. And the best way to experience Windows 10 is on a new PC. While it is possible to install Windows 10 on your older device, it is not recommended,” Microsoft explains. Source
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