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Internet Explorer 10 Update Failing

IE Fail

This week’s Internet Explorer 10 update (KB2828223) has been failing left and right…

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IE 10 Update Failing
Click to Enlarge

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The subsequent result is Windows failing to start in Normal Mode upon reboot.  Forcing the system off and potentially booting the system into Safe Mode, is required in order to overcome the “stuck” system.  Upon a subsequent reboot, the system shows it is “failing” the update and rolling it back…

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Failure Configuring IE 10

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For clients on our System Monitoring service, we’ve disabled the IE10 update across the board and will manually address any installation issues.

We tracked 31 IE10 update failures this week…

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IE 10 Failures[hr]

If you do not have Patch Management in place, be sure to keep up to date with the weekly set of Patches coming from Microsoft.  These are released every Tuesday and in days prior, Microsoft releases the official announcement for each update.  This gives you the chance to manually test updates on one system, before rolling-out updates across each of your systems.

If you come in and find your computer “spinning its wheels” in the morning, we recommend giving it at least 15 minutes to ensure it truly is stuck.  If the system is unable to start Windows, the only option is to power-off the computer.  Let it ‘rest’ for a minute, then power-on the system again.  If the system is able to either recover and reprocess the update OR if it’s able to properly “fail” the update and rollback the system, then you should be able to proceed into Normal Mode.  If the system cannot recover, booting into Safe Mode With Networking is most-likely the next step.

As always, if you have any questions, let us know!

Patch Tuesday To Address 57 Security Vulnerabilities

Windows Updates Patch Tuesday

Tomorrow is Patch Tuesday and this one’s a big one.  Microsoft is releasing a dozen updates that will address a whopping 57 security holes.  So chances are, this just means another Manic Wednesday for some users.

Some tips to help avoid bumps on Patch Tuesday:

[checklist]

  • When you leave for the day, close any programs or files you’re working on.  Running applications, un-saved files, etc. can all affect the Windows Update process, especially come time to shutdown/reboot.
  • Ensure your computer is running on a stable power source + an Uninterruptible Power Supply.  Even just a slight sag in power can have a major impact on a system.  It’s just not worth it to not protect your data with a battery backup.
  • If you see Windows Updates in progress when rebooting or when powering-on, be patient.  Sometimes it can take 5, 10, even 15+ minutes to “chew” on all of these updates.

[/checklist]

Don’t forget to patch your other applications as well, such as Acrobat Reader, Flash, etc.  Java should be fully removed unless absolutely required.  If you’d like to have The Computer Peeps handle automatic patch management for you, as well as complete system monitoring, we offer those services on a monthly basis with no contracts.  Whether it’s us, you, or another tech, someone needs to be patching your systems.

What are you doing for patch management at your consignment store?  Comment below if you have any questions!

Edit 2/11/2012 6:46 PM EST: Fixed a typo.

Don’t Run Out and Get Windows 8

The new version of Windows – Windows 8 – is officially available to consumers as of today.  There are some great additions to Windows 8, such as a “one-click” system reset, built-in support for ISO files (I know all of you consignment software users are just DYING for that feature!), and faster boot times.

One of the most controversial changes to Windows 8, is the lack of the Start button/menu:

OMG! Where's the Start button!?
OMG! Where’s the Start button!? | Click to Enlarge

Many feel that Microsoft are attempting to make a “bold” move and push consumers to something they don’t know they want yet – the touch/tablet interface.  With no Start button, once you get to the traditional Desktop, you’re seemingly trapped.  How to you launch a new program?  How do you shut down the computer?  There are invisible “hot spots” in the corner of the screen, which is where Microsoft anticipates YOU will be able to find quite intuitively.  Checkout our post,  Shutting Down Windows 8 | The Long and Winding Road… to see just how “intuitive” it is.

Windows 8’s UI is clearly more touch friendly and similar to Apple, Microsoft is attempting to unify their operating system across multiple devices – e.g. Windows Phone, Windows Surface, etc.

Windows 8 | Click to Enlarge

With many people still running Windows XP, which is now 11 years old and reaches its end of life in 2013, Windows 8 is not the version of Windows we recommend running out and buying.

Windows 7 is a huge leap above Windows XP in terms of security and for business systems – even personal systems – I can’t faithfully recommend Windows 8 just yet.  Windows 7 is slated for end of life in 2020, so we have plenty of time.

Another big problem is consignment software compatibility.  We’ve tested each of the major consignment programs on Windows 8 and we’ve found that Liberty’s database management system, MS SQL Server 2008 Express Edition, is not compatible with Windows 8:

Liberty4 Consignment & Windows 8
Liberty’s Database, MS SQL Server 2008, Is Incompatible With Windows 8

So for anyone running Liberty, as of right now Liberty is not compatible with Windows 8.

The way it’s looking, it might not be a bad idea to skip every other version of Windows.  🙂  Windows ME – problem ridden.  Windows XP – solid.  Windows Vista – not as horrible as some think, but still not an OS I would recommend for my worst enemy.  Windows 7 – fantastic improvement.  Windows 8 – let’s see.  Windows 9…

If anyone has any questions, let us know!

Shutting Down Windows 8 | The Long and Winding Road…

Microsoft has done us a favor and doubled the amount of steps it takes to shutdown/restart Windows 8 (as compared to Windows 7).  There’s been a bit of criticism of Microsoft’s new Metro UI – i.e. the new ‘tablet-like’ interface which sits on top of the normal Desktop and Explorer interface you’re used to seeing in Windows.

Windows 8 Metro UI
Windows 8 Metro UI | Click to Enlarge

I’m not here to gripe about change and while I’m not personally a fan of the Metro UI aesthetic, I get it.  Microsoft is going to be pushing their Microsoft Surface hardware and the general ‘touch’ experience on Windows Phone 8.

So, once you get through Metro and make your way to the Desktop, the fun begins.

Where do we go from here?

Windows 8 Desktop
Windows 8 Desktop | Click to Enlarge

We have the familiar Windows Desktop we’ve used for years and years, but what do?  The Start button is gone and I don’t see any visual queues as to where to go.  What do we do!?

Well, isn’t it obvious?  Clearly you’re supposed to move your cursor to the far right-hand side of the screen’s top or bottom corners!  😀  When we move the cursor to the right-hand top and bottom corners of the screen, it reveals

Windows 8 NavBar
Windows 8 NavBar | Click to Enlarge

Hmmm, I want to power my computer off, which one of these buttons seems to be the best choice.  Well, I guess power is a setting, so let’s try Settings!  Oh, yay!  I was right!  Looks like we found the Power ‘setting’:

Windows 8 Settings
Windows 8 Settings | Click to Enlarge

Yep, we have a winner!  The Power setting lets us Shut down or Restart our system:

Windows 8 Shut Power Settings
Windows 8 Shut Power Settings | Click to Enlarge

Woohoo!  We’re finally shutting-down Windows 8!

Windows 8 Shutting Down
Windows 8 Shutting Down | Click to Enlarge

To recap, in order to shutdown Windows 8 we:

  1. Hovered our cursor over one of the ‘hotspots’ at the top and left corners on the right-hand side of the screen.
  2. Clicked the Settings icon
  3. Clicked the Power icon
  4. Clicked Shutdown

Now, let’s compare that to Windows 7.  First, we click the Start button at the lower-left:

Windows 7 Desktop
Windows 7 Desktop | Click to Enlarge

Then we click Shutdown – amazing!  🙂

Windows 7 Start Menu
Windows 7 Start Menu | Click to Enlarge

Yay!  Two clicks and we’re shutting-down!

Windows 7 Shutting Down
Windows 7 Shutting Down | Click to Enlarge

So, to shutdown Windows 7 we:

  1. Clicked Start
  2. Clicked Shutdown

For those of you out there already testing Windows 8, let me know if I’m missing something @ shutting-down Windows 8.

Windows 8 Is Almost Here…

Windows 8 LogoWindows 8 is officially scheduled to launch on October 26th, 2012.  The Computer Peeps are actively testing and evaluating Windows 8.  Windows 8 brings a new look or ‘layer’ to the mix and that is the Windows Metro interface.  New security features promise to make Windows 8 a more secure operating system.

With change also comes the potential for applications to break.  We’ll be testing each of the major consignment programs on the market:

[checklist]

  • ConsignPro
  • Liberty4 Consignment
  • Consignment Success/Ease
  • ConsignmentTill

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We’re excited to see new features such as the ability to perform a clean OS installation, while keeping a user’s personal files – without having to backup the files to an external drive.  We saw the compatibility issues that came about with Windows Vista and UAC though and we’re evaluating the installation of each consignment program to see how they handle (or don’t) Windows 8.

Follow our blog for new posts that cover Windows 8, consignment software, consignment hardware, etc.  We’ve created a category just for Windows 8 posts, so you can quickly filter out posts related to Windows 8.

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[button link=”http://thecomputerpeeps.com/category/windows/windows-8/” open_new_tab=”true” size=”big”]Click here for all Windows 8 Posts[/button]

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We’ll go into more details in subsequent posts, but thus far, we’re already seeing consignment applications fail to install on Windows 8.

 

Windows Update ‘Update’ Disabling Windows Updates

Say that five times fast.  🙂  Throughout the morning, I’ve had about a dozen systems show that Windows Updates have been disabled:

Windows Updates Disabled | Click to Enlarge

When you go and inspect Windows Updates, it shows it is Downloading and installing updates, but it’s just spinning its wheels…

Windows Update Update
Windows Update Update | Click to Enlarge

I’m seeing this systems running Windows 7 and Windows XP as well…

Windows Updates Disabled on Windows XP
Windows XP ~ Updates Disabled | Click to Enlarge

The first system I worked on this morning, I thought maybe a user had made an adjustment to Windows Updates.  It didn’t seem likely, but the user has access to do so.  I noticed the ‘update’ for Windows Update and figured maybe it choked, as Windows Updates do from time to time.

As I continued working on clients’ systems throughout the early morning though, I came across system after system in this state.  From everything I can see, this would not have fixed itself and Windows Updates would’ve remained disabled.

We’re inspecting each of the systems we maintain for clients who are on our Monthly Support Plan.  I thought I’d share my findings though, as disabled OS updates can and will lead to security issues.

It’s Just Another Manic…Wednesday?

Good ol’ Patch Tuesday for Windows Updates.  You need them, your computers have to have them.  Every once in a while though month I have clients that report seeing the dreaded Preparing to configure Windows blank stare…

Preparing to Configure Windows
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I’ve had half a dozen clients run into this issue this morning already.  :/  The majority of the time a hard power-off/power back on again will kick Windows in its butt.  Other times, it’s not so easy.  This is when booting into Safe Mode is required and I’m going to stop right there.  The steps involved in righting the system from this wronged Windows Update, aren’t something anyone should just go dabbling with.  Data loss and system down-time are just two problems that can arise if you don’t know what you’re doing.

I just wanted to illuminate this issue to our clients out there and bring it to everyone’s attention.  Typically, the second Tuesday of each month is when Microsoft releases updates for Windows.  This usually calls for a reboot of your system, which is when the dreaded Preparing… loop begins.  So be prepared on Wednesday morning and don’t panic if you see this on your screen.  If you come in on the Wednesday after Patch Tuesday and see this message, we recommend the following:

  • Press and hold the power button on your computer tower until your computer powers-off
  • Let the computer sit for at least 5 seconds
  • Power-on the computer

If after doing this, your system doesn’t boot up as normal, contact The Computer Peeps.  The main thing is, don’t panic!  🙂

Thus far, we have yet to see a system that could not resume normal use after a Patch Tuesday hang-up.  This issue has been going on for years too.  Nonetheless, this is a good time to make sure you have a viable backup solution in place.  The Computer Peeps can configure all levels of backups for your system, from basic file-level backups of your consignment software’s database, to daily system snap-shots that let you recover with the click of a button.

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