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  1. Windows 11, which has been released by Microsoft earlier this month, has a number of known issues that affect the performance of certain systems. One major issue affects AMD processors, which may see a performance drop by up to 15% on Microsoft's newest operating system. The situation worsened after the release of the first cumulative update for Windows 11 this Tuesday. A patch is already available for testing but stable version users need to wait a bit longer before it is made available to their machines. Microsoft confirmed another performance issue on Windows 11 this week. The company released build 22478 to the Developer channel, bringing new fluent emoji to the operating system and a number of fixes. One fix addresses the performance issue in File Explorer, which occurs when users navigate between folders in File Explorer. Fixed an issue where the command bar was doing unnecessary calculations when navigating to folders, causing an unexpected decrease in performance. This is also believed to be the root cause of performance issues when using drag to select files, as well as using the arrow keys to navigate in certain folders. Folder navigation is one of the core activities in File Explorer, considering that users need to navigate to different folders often to access files stored in those folders. Microsoft did not reveal details on the performance degradation, only that File Explorer's new Command Bar is performing unnecessary calculations. The Command Bar replaced the traditional Ribbon interface of File Explorer in Windows 10. The new File Explorer has usability issues, e.g. that it has two context menus instead of just one when users right-click. First, the new Microsoft designed one with just a few functions, and then the Windows 10 menu with all functions. The classic File Explorer context menu can be restored, however. Some of the options change depending on the type of folder or drive that is displayed. A CD or DVD drive may display additional options, e.g. eject, than a regular folder on a hard drive. Drag & drop operations, and keyboard navigation are always affected by the performance issue. There is no workaround for the issue currently. Affected users may use a third-party file manager for the time being. Options include recently reviewed apps such as Imperium, Sigma File Manager, or Altap Salamander. The fix is being tested in the developer build currently. Microsoft has not revealed an ETA for the update, but a likely target is the next cumulative update for Windows 11, which will be released on November 9, 2021. Closing Words It is usually a good idea to wait months before upgrading Windows to a new version. The smaller updates for Windows 10 that Microsoft released since 2020 may be an exception, as they happen to introduce less bugs and issues. Users who upgraded to Windows 11 this month face a number of issues, of which only some are confirmed officially by Microsoft. Windows 11 File Explorer may slow down PCs
  2. Google is investigating reports of black screens showing up on users' Chromebooks when trying to log into their Chrome OS accounts. The company has acknowledged this issue on the Google Customer Care Portal almost one hour ago and is yet to provide updates or a workaround for customers impacted by this bug. "We are aware of issues with users unable to login to Chrome OS devices and looping back to the login screen. Engineering is continuing to investigate this issue," the company said. Google hasn't yet shared the operating system versions impacted by this issue as the status page only lists Chrome OS as the affected product. Chromebook customers are sharing reports of not being able to sign into their devices across several channels, including Google's help community and social media. Some incoming reports say that 80% of users on a network aren't currently able to sign in as they're automatically kicked back onto the login screen. Others shared that the only sign their Chromebook is on is that the screen lights up even though it is entirely black. "I can still turn the brightness up and down, but nothing else," a report reads. "I have tried fulling shutting it down, and doing a hard reset with the refresh button and power button. Neither worked." "I have tried fully powering it off (Holding the button down 30 seconds), and I have tried a hard reset (Holding the refresh button and then pressing the power button) but neither has worked," another report says. Two months ago, Chromebook users were hit by another severe issue blocking them from logging into their devices after updating to Chrome OS 91.0.4472.165. Affected customers should wait for a fix to be deployed by Google and download the update using the steps available here. Until Google gets to the bottom of the current black screen bug, impacted users might also be able to work around the issue by rolling back the Chrome OS device to a previous version via USB or powerwashing (resetting their Chromebooks to factory settings). Before resetting or rolling back to a previous on your device, be aware that you should back up your files to an external hard drive or on Google Drive because all information on your Chromebook's hard drive, including all files in the Downloads folder, will be erased. Chromebooks enrolled on a work or school network will have to be reset by the administrator who manages your Google device. A Google spokesperson was not available for comment when contacted by BleepingComputer earlier today. Google Chromebook bug causes black screens after login
  3. Microsoft accidentally broke the Start menu and taskbar on systems of Windows Insiders after pushing a Teams promo to the desktops of users running Windows 11 preview builds. While the company didn't explain the reason behind Dev and Beta Channel Insiders experiencing Start menu and taskbar unresponsive and having issues accessing other OS areas, including Settings, developer Daniel Aleksandersen discovered that a buggy promo deployment caused the problem. "The problem wasn’t caused by an update delivered through Windows Update," Aleksandersen explained."Instead, it was caused by a small file [..] [that] contained an advertisement for Microsoft Teams." "The promo intended to promote the upcoming operating system’s integration with Microsoft Teams Instead, it caused Explorer (the Windows desktop shell) to stop responding and left users without a working Start menu and taskbar." Windows 11 Teams promo (Daniel Aleksandersen) Windows Insiders impacted by this issue reported that they couldn't use their computers because Explorer and the Taskbar are gone, and the Windows desktop shell is not accessible even after reinstalling the system. After being flooded with reports, Microsoft acknowledged the issue and pinned it on a "server-side deployment" problem. "Recently, Windows Insiders in both the Dev and Beta Channels began reporting that Start and Taskbar were unresponsive and Settings and other areas of the OS wouldn’t load," Microsoft said. "We quickly discovered an issue with a server-side deployment that went out to Insiders and canceled that deployment." Windows Insiders whose computers' were impacted by the buggy Teams promo need to go through the following steps to get their PCs back into a working state: Step 1: Use CTRL-ALT-DEL and choose to open Task Manager. Step 2: Choose “More details” at the bottom of Task Manager to expand Task Manager. Step 3: Go to “File” and choose “Run new task.” Step 4: Type “cmd” in the “Open” field. Step 5: Paste the following (everything in bold): reg delete HKCU\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\IrisService /f && shutdown -r -t 0 Step 6: Hit enter, and then your PC should reboot. After rebooting, everything should be back to normal. Update: When asked for more details about this issue, a Microsoft spokesperson told BleepingComputer that "Microsoft has nothing to share on this topic besides the update published in this Windows Insider Blog: Announcing Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 22449 | Windows Insider Blog and tweet from the Windows Insider Twitter." Microsoft breaks Windows 11 Start Menu, Taskbar with Teams promo
  4. Google says that users of some Android phone models are affected by a Google App bug preventing them from making and receiving calls. "After the latest update to the Google Search App on Android, the users of certain mobile phones are experiencing difficulty in receiving and making calls," a Google community manager said earlier today. The company has released an update that should likely fix this known issue on impacted Android devices. "We are currently looking into the matter and have released a new version of the app which should address the issue," Google added. While most users' phones will automatically install the Google app update the search giant published on Sunday, those who have disabled automatic updates on their device will have to install it manually from the Google Play Store. However, given that the Google Android app has over 5 billion installs worldwide, some percentage of users are likely still affected even with automatic updates toggled on. To ensure that you have the latest version installed on your phone, you need to follow these steps to update it manually: Search for the 'Google' app on 'Google Play' (or click here). Tap the Update button. LG devices likely the ones affected by the bug While Google did not share the Android phone models impacted by this Google app bug, user reports over the weekend have only mentioned LG devices such as LG G7, LG G7 ThinQ, LG V40 ThinQ, and LG Q70. Users confirmed Google's findings, saying that they could only make calls after reaching out to their carriers' support team and uninstalling or updating the buggy Google app version. "You need a lot more vigilance on QA for your updates so they the patch/update doesn't disable my phone's ability to make and receive calls," one user said in a review published today. "Like the last one did this patch/update fixed it, BUT it should of NEVER HAPPENED with proper QA." Even though some have confirmed that Google's latest update has fixed the issue blocking their calls, others had to remove the app altogether to restore their phones' call feature. "The phone worked fine before the update, no longer worked after the update and works again once I uninstalled the update," a user reported. "The update seems to cause the problem, as stated in my previous review." A Google spokesperson was not available for comment when BleepingComputer reached out for a list of impacted Android phone models earlier today. Google App bug blocks Android users from receiving, making calls
  5. Mitch McCarley reports that his clients are impacted by the August patches and multi-user QuickBooks. It looks like the August 2021 Windows Updates are causing an issue in QuickBooks. We are unable to open QB in multi-user mode, and also QB is having a hard time opening QB data files on mapped drives. Intuit Support said it’s a known issue possibly related to recent Windows Updates and there is no fix at this time. He went on to say There were a few issues: – QB could not switch to multi-user mode. – QB could no longer find the previously opened file. When I tried to browse to the mapped drive, the mapped drive not listed under This PC in the QB explorer. – With Network Discovery on and the required services enable, I could browse the network to the server and find the data file. – I could open the file directly from the mapped drive. Intuit Support only knew there was “known issue probably related to a Windows Update”, but had no other details. I’m also still tracking issues with group policy deployed printers. Microsoft has made a mess of the printer deployment via group policy. If you have v3 printer drivers they are prompting for administrative rights. If you are an IT pro I’ll urge you to join the conversation on the patchmanagement.org list where everyone is still trying to figure out a solid solution. A reminder for home/consumer users: If the patch is installed and you have no issues with printing, leave the patch installed, don’t uninstall it. August updates causing issues with multi user QuickBooks
  6. Microsoft acknowledges the blurry News and Interests text issue on Windows 10 Earlier this year, Microsoft introduced News and Interests, a feature that allowed Windows 10 users to access weather, news, traffic updates and more directly from the taskbar. Just last month, Microsoft started rolling out the News and Interests feature to all the Windows 10 users. However, soon after the update was released, users started complaining about the blurry text in News and Interests on the taskbar. Earlier today, Microsoft updated its Windows 10 Health Dashboard page to acknowledge the bug. The company wrote: Certain display configurations might cause blurry text on the news and interests button in the Windows taskbar. The company also noted that it is working on a fix which will be available in an "upcoming release". However, it did not specify the display configurations that are affected by the bug or when can users expect a patch. In the meantime, users can navigate to Settings > System > Display and set the recommended Scale and Layout. Furthermore, they can also switch News and Interests to 'icon only' which will hide the text and will act as a temporary workaround for the problem. If you are not happy with the feature then you can follow our guide to turn off the News and Interests widget permanently. Microsoft acknowledges the blurry News and Interests text issue on Windows 10
  7. Microsoft Teams hit by a bug, wants users to select a certificate [Update] Microsoft Teams seems to be experiencing a bug since this morning. A recent update seems to have caused a "Select a certificate" prompt to be displayed to Teams users before they can use the software. The issue shows up when the service tries to reach us-prod.asyncgw.teams.microsoft.com while signing into the service. The prompt displays to users even before they can log in to use the software. Microsoft has acknowledged the bug and is tracking the issue under the 'TM261228' advisory, where the company said: "We've determined a recent deployment, designed to improve service performance, is inadvertently causing impact. We're reverting the update while we monitor the affected environment to validate that it resolves the issue." Microsoft Teams users in Brazil, Costa Rica, APAC, EMEA, and EU are reported to be receiving the errors. However, Microsoft says only those users served through the infrastructure in North America are affected. Some users have been able to use the service by restarting the Microsoft Teams client. Update: Microsoft has tweeted that it has reverted the update that caused the issue and can confirm that the service is restored and functional. Source: Microsoft via Bleeping Computer Microsoft Teams hit by a bug, wants users to select a certificate [Update]
  8. Windows 10 KB5003214 update causes taskbar display glitches The latest Windows 10 2004, 20H2, and 21H1 preview update is causing display issues and glitches on the taskbar's system tray. Last week, Microsoft released the optional Window 10 KB5003214 preview update so that users and the enterprise can test the fixes coming in the mandatory June 2021 Patch Tuesday updates. This update also enables the new Windows 10 News and Interests taskbar news feed for all users of Windows 10 2004 and later. Since installing this update, numerous users report that the system tray in the Windows 10 taskbar began having display glitches where tray icons disappear, get pushed to the right, overlay each other, or get pushed off the edge of the screen. "I'm experiencing an issue that I've traced to the new "News and interests" taskbar feature. I got this feature recently - within the last few weeks, I don't recall exactly because I shut it off immediately - and things were fine," a user posted on Reddit. "But after a few updates yesterday (21H1, KB5003214, KB5003254), the notification area in the far right edge of the taskbar began behaving strangely." An example of these display glitches is shown below, where you can see the system tray icons all overlaying each other in a mess. System tray display glitches Source: Reddit After users experimented with different settings, it was determined that the bug is caused by disabling the News and Interests widget on the taskbar. Once disabled and a new system tray icon is shown, it triggers the glitch. Once you enable the News and Interests widget again on the taskbar, the icons begin to display correctly. Windows 10 users affected by this bug found that it could be fixed by uninstalling the KB5003214 preview update, but unless Microsoft fixes the issue before June 8th's Patch Tuesday, all users will be faced with this issue. H/T WindowsLatest Windows 10 KB5003214 update causes taskbar display glitches
  9. Microsoft Outlook bug prevents viewing or creating email worldwide A Microsoft Outlook update released today for the desktop client introduced bugs that prevent users from creating or viewing mail. Today, Microsoft released Outlook version 2104 build 13929.20372, and after installing the update, users of the click-to-run desktop client found that they could no longer properly view emails or create new ones. When attempting to view an email, instead of seeing the entire message body, they only see a small portion or a single line of the email message, as shown below. Missing Outlook email content Source: BleepingComputer To make it even more frustrating, when creating a new email message, every time you press enter, all the previously written content will be removed, as shown below. Outlook email text disappearing when you press enter Source: BleepingComputer The Microsoft 365 Status Twitter account has tweeted that they are investigating an issue with "email message visibility in Outlook," and that Outlook on the Web is unaffected. In an incident status message in the Microsoft 365 Admin Center titled 'EX255650: Issue affecting viewing email content in Outlook', Microsoft suggests users use web and mobile clients until the issue is resolved. Title: Issue affecting viewing email content in Outlook User Impact: Users may be unable to view email message content within Outlook. More info: Initial reports indicate that Outlook on the web is unaffected and users with access to Outlook on the web can view email messages there while we work on a solution. Current status: We're gathering and analyzing data in an effort to isolate the cause of impact. Initial reports indicate that impact is specific to the Outlook client and users with access to other protocols, such as Outlook on the web or the Outlook mobile app, can view message content in those platforms as a potential workaround. Scope of impact: This issue could affect any user attempting to view an email message in the Outlook client. How to fix the Microsoft Outlook issues If you are experiencing this issue in Microsoft Outlook, users have reported that you can fix the bug by rolling back to a previous Microsoft Outlook version. BleepingComputer has tested this method, and it resolved the problems in our Outlook desktop client. Method 1: Roll back Microsoft Office to latest April 2021 release To roll back to the April 23rd, 2021, release and fix the Microsoft Outlook problems, please follow these steps: Open a command prompt by clicking on the Start Menu and typing CMD. When the 'Command Prompt' result appears, click on it. In the command prompt type cd "C:\Program Files\Common Files\microsoft shared\ClickToRun" and press enter. You will now be in the ClickToRun folder. Type officec2rclient.exe /update user updatetoversion=16.0.13901.20462 and press enter. Entering commands in Command Prompt Microsoft Office will now download the specified version of Microsoft Office and roll back to that previous version. Please be patient as this may take a few minutes or longer, depending on your computer and Internet connection speed. Rolling back Microsoft Office to the previous version When the updates are finished installing, you will be shown a screen stating 'Updates were installed.' You can press the Close button on this screen. Microsoft Office updates were installed Microsoft Outlook will now be rolled back to the previous version, and you should be able to start Microsoft Outlook again. You can now close the Command Prompt by clicking on the X button. Please let us know if this works for you. This is a developing story. Source: Microsoft Outlook bug prevents viewing or creating email worldwide
  10. SO it seems the guys at Tonec Inc. didn't lie when they said that the latest patch would break the application. A few days ago users of this popular application were greeted with an annonying popup cautioning then against using patched versions of the program. The activation runtime was embedded in the file IDMGrHlp.exe. Recent patches to jump this instruction segment have since been found to cause CPU leaks and resource hogging, locking up CPU's with less than two cores. While the guys at Internet Download Manager seem to have some brilliant anti piracy scheme in order, making your program into a virus that will seize up a computer and sabotage the CPU is certainly not the way to combat piracy.
  11. I have recently suffered a BSOD phenomenon in my notebook running windows 8 pro x64. After loading the boot logo, a black screen appears and never goes off. I'm not being able to find out its cause. I have recently completed installing all windows updates - so, is there any particular update responsible for causing this phenomenon?I was not intending to use UxThemePatcher but at last decided to and patched the system with it - Could it be the reason?Or is it any other reason told/untold/foretold by M$?
  12. Microsoft is working on a fix for 'Error code 6' crash on Microsoft Edge for Mac Microsoft has acknowledged an issue on Microsoft Edge for Mac that is causing the web browser to crash with 'Error code 6'. Earlier this week, users took to Microsoft Answers forum (via Techdows) to report the issue with Edge on macOS Catalina. According to users, Microsoft Edge started crashing after updating to Safari 14. The browser crashes after opening a new tab, settings, and even Edge extensions, with the error, "The page is having a problem. Try coming back to it later”. It also suggests users to refresh the page or open a new tab but none of the workarounds solves the problem. Fortunately, the Microsoft Edge Dev Twitter account has now confirmed that the culprit has been found and they are working on a fix that will roll out to Edge users in all the channels. In the meantime, the Edge Dev team has suggested rebooting Mac as a temporary fix to the problem. Some users have tried reinstalling Microsoft Edge but that does not fix the problem and hence, is not advised. Unfortunately, we don't know what exactly caused the problem but we do expect Microsoft to shed light on the problem once the fix has rolled out to Mac users. Microsoft is working on a fix for 'Error code 6' crash on Microsoft Edge for Mac
  13. Recent Windows 10 version 2004 Patch Tuesday updates are reportedly breaking WSL 2 Microsoft released its regular suite of Patch Tuesday updates to all supported versions of Windows 10, Windows 8.1, and Windows 7 ESU customers yesterday. However, users of Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 (WSL 2) have begun reporting that the updates are causing issues with the environment. The troublesome update seems to be the one released for the May 2020 Update (version 2004), filed under KB4571756. Installing the cumulative update that bumps up the build to 19041.508 supposedly causes WSL2 to not load and display an “Element not found error”. It is not clear how widespread the issue is, and if there are any specific configurations that are causing the issue. Users on GitHub report that the problems began surfacing after installing the update, and that uninstalling the quality update fixed the problem. Interestingly, though users claim to be able to get WSL 2 working post uninstalling KB4571756, the problem with WSL prompting an error has existed since late July and also plagues users when they try to upgrade from WSL 1 to WSL 2. Another thread suggests that the errors are being served in Insider Preview builds, suggesting that the problem is not specific just to current production versions of the OS. It is not clear what exactly causes the issue since it affects multiple versions of the OS. It is also not clear if it was fixed with a previous patch for the production versions that reappeared with the latest round of updates. There are no reports on whether the error is seen on Windows 10 versions 1903 and 1909 since WSL 2 was backported to those versions last month. While the known issues on the KB article does not list the WSL 2 problems, a response on GitHub suggests that the company is working on a fix. For those running production builds that rely on WSL 2, it is best to pause the latest updates from installing. The only workaround for those that are facing issues after the update is to uninstall the cumulative patch by heading to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update > View update history > Uninstall updates and uninstalling KB4571756.. Source: GitHub via Techdows Recent Windows 10 version 2004 Patch Tuesday updates are reportedly breaking WSL 2
  14. Cyberpunk 2077 reportedly has a nasty save game corruption bug on PC Big-time crafters beware (Image credit: CD Projekt Red) There’s now evidence that Cyberpunk 2077 on PC is affected by one of the worst kinds of bug – a save game corruption gremlin. As Tom’s Hardware spotted, apparently larger saved games (over 8MB) can be plagued with the possibility of going bad, and this might affect those who really get into the crafting side of Cyberpunk 2077 – seeing as that’s a major cause of the file size becoming larger. This complaint from PC gamers surfaced on CD Projekt Red’s own forums and via Reddit, with one post doing a good bit of digging and comparing, coming to the conclusion that crafting and 8MB+ save game file sizes are to blame. If you get hit by this bug, when trying to load a game, you’ll see an error message instead: “Saved data is damaged and cannot be loaded”. According to some of the reports from affected gamers, once the save game file starts to creep up towards 8MB, you may experience long loading times that involve staring at a black screen for 30 seconds or so. If this is happening, consider it a warning that if your save continues to expand, you may experience a corruption issue (so perhaps lay off on the crafting – although that’s hardly an ideal solution). While the developer is apparently aware of a problem here, according to Tom’s, there has been no official announcement of the bug – although a moderator on the CD Projekt Red forums has offered a bit of advice in terms of backing up saves and repairing the game, although the feedback to the usefulness of those measures is rather negative. Furthermore, you should consider re-enabling any mods you might have been using that you’ve disabled. Apparently this could cause problems with save data, as the moderator states: “Any modification to the game can leave reference data that will corrupt the game’s ability to read the save files unless the modifications are also running.” GOG.com has further acknowledged this issue in a support center troubleshooting post, which advises those affected that: “Unfortunately the save is damaged and can’t be recovered. Please use an older save file to continue playing and try to keep a lower amount of items and crafting materials.” Stadia woes The bug has also been observed on Google Stadia saves as well as with the PC version of Cyberpunk 2077, so streamers, you’ve been warned. Seemingly the console versions aren’t affected, but of course they have their own major issues as we’ve seen. Indeed, the PC version is in far better shape than either the PS4 or Xbox One flavors, generally speaking when it comes to performance and polish, but a save game corruption popping up is a distinct blow on PC to say the least. Whether hotfix 1.05, which just arrived for consoles and is planned to land on the PC soon, will do anything, we shall just have to see, but nothing is mentioned in the patch notes. In the aforementioned support post, GOG.com noted: “The save file size limit might be increased in one of the future patches, but the corrupted files will remain that way.” If nothing is done with version 1.05 on PC, the next patch is due in January – unless the developer decides to release a standalone hotfix of some kind. Whatever the case, this is a nasty bug which really does need to be dealt with sooner rather than later. Cyberpunk 2077 reportedly has a nasty save game corruption bug on PC
  15. Microsoft close to fixing Windows 10 website logout bug Windows 10 users have been suffering a strange issue where they are constantly logged out from their web sessions in Chrome when they restart their PC, meaning for example that they keep on having to re-enter their password on Facebook or Twitter. The issue started in May and appears to be related to the May 2020 Update for Windows 10 Not only Chrome is affected, but only Edge and apps such as OneDrive. Microsoft and Google engineers have been attempting to debug the issue, and a few days ago a Google engineer said Microsoft can now reproduce the elusive issue, meaning a fix should be on the way soon. Thanks all for confirming, big relief to get this one solved! I’ve heard back from Microsoft they can repro now, so an official fix should be on the way. via WindowsLatest Microsoft close to fixing Windows 10 website logout bug
  16. Some Windows Insiders are seeing build expiration warnings If you're on the Windows Insider Program and you're getting a message that the build you're on is about to expire, you're not alone. Due to an oversight, the build expiration date was set to July 31 all the way up until build 20161, which was released on July 1. Two weeks later, build 20170 was released, changing the expiration date to January 31 of next year. Unfortunately, build 20170 has an issue with AMD processors, so if you're like the user linked to above, you're still stuck on build 20161. The good news is that that bug should be resolved, and you should get a new build long before the expiration date. Builds usually arrive on Wednesdays, so assuming that there is one tomorrow, you'll still have nine days before your build expires. There's another group of users that are going to have issues though, and this has to do with how the Windows Insider Program has been restructured. Previously, the Fast and the Slow rings have been on the same development branch. Now, the Dev channel is in a perpetual state of prerelease builds while the Beta channel is tied to a specific release. When switching from the Fast ring to the Slow ring, or switching from the Dev channel to the Beta channel, the process has been the same for a while. You'll stop receiving builds, and you'll get a new update whenever your channel catches up. This worked fine in the Fast and Slow ring days because they were getting similar builds. It's different now, as the Beta channel is on build 19042 and the Dev channel is on 20xxx. In short, if you switched your machine from the Dev channel to the Beta channel before build 20170 came out, your build is going to expire on July 31. Your options are the same as they've always been. You can temporarily switch back to the Dev channel to get a new build, which will expire next January, or you can do a clean installation of Windows 10. You can, of course, wait for an update. To be clear, expired builds won't put your machine in an unusable state like they did years ago. You'll just keep getting warnings about it, and then those warnings will get more frequent. The problem with waiting for an update is that you're going to be waiting for a while. It seems that 21H1 isn't going to be the major update that we were expecting, so if you thought the Beta channel would catch up in September or October, you're probably wrong. Now that the Windows Insider Program has been completely restructured, albeit gradually over the last year and a half, this is a problem that Microsoft is going to have to sort out going forward. Build expiration dates typically changed every six months or so, and the Dev channel switches to the Beta channel yearly at best. Some Windows Insiders are seeing build expiration warnings
  17. Microsoft posts a workaround for the 'Reset this PC' bug plaguing some Windows 10 PCs Microsoft offers an in-built solution to reset a Windows 10 PC through the Settings app if users choose to do so due to a corrupt build or issues with the operating system. The tool also gives users the choice to keep their files and only reset the OS settings to factory default. However, the feature might not be working as expected for some users running Windows 10 version 2004. The company today posted a support article acknowledging the issue with the ‘Reset this PC’ feature that causes the tool to fail and prompt an error that reads “There was a problem when resetting your PC. No changes were made". The company also posted a workaround for users who are unable to use the feature and are experiencing the said error. Here is the workaround as shared by Microsoft: Open an elevated command prompt. To do this, click Start, type Command Prompt or cmd in the Search box, right-click Command Prompt, and then click Run as administrator. If you are prompted for an administrator password or for a confirmation, type the password, or click Allow Type the following command, and then press Enter: dism /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth Reboot your system, and attempt Reset this PC again. The workaround involves using the Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) tool to attempt to fix the issue. However, Microsoft does not mention any timelines on when a permanent fix for the problem is expected. Interestingly, this is not the first time that the problem with the ‘Reset this PC’ feature has been acknowledged. A security update back in February introduced a similar issue and affected Windows 10 versions all the way back to version 1809. The update was then pulled by the company. While today’s documentation only mentions the May 2020 Update, it is not clear if the problem has been fixed for the earlier versions. Source: Microsoft Support via BleepingComputer Microsoft posts a workaround for the 'Reset this PC' bug plaguing some Windows 10 PCs
  18. Another iOS 14 bug resets default app settings for the email and browser apps One of the major new features in iOS 14 is the ability to set third-party apps as the default for the email and browser apps. However, a bug in the OS ended up resetting the app defaults to Apple’s offerings every time the device was restarted. The Cupertino giant issued a fix for the issue with iOS 14.0.1. As it turns out, the problem might persist, this time resetting the defaults every time the user-defined apps are updated via the App Store. Twitter user David Clarke posted a video of the behavior (spotted by The Verge) where an update to the Gmail app results in the default email app switching to Apple Mail. The setting for the default browser app supposedly behaves similarly, resetting any defaults set by users. The problem seems to be present on the latest iOS 14.1 update released yesterday. Considering that the issue has been confirmed to affect both the email and browser defaults, it is less likely that the behavior is caused by the apps itself and not the OS. It is possible that the upcoming iOS 14.2 update contains a fix for the problem, though, the release notes for iOS 14.2 Beta 4 do not contain a mention of the issue. For now, users affected by these problems can turn off automatic updates so as to not have to constantly change the defaults every time the apps are updated. Another iOS 14 bug resets default app settings for the email and browser apps
  19. This new Windows 10 bug could be bad news for gamers Error code 0x803F8001 (Image credit: Shutterstock) Users of the Xbox Game Bar may have noticed a few issues after a recent update of Windows 10, and it seems the latest bug to plague the Microsoft operating system is crashing the Xbox Game Bar on launch, and even completely blocking some users completely. The error message appearing on screen reads 0x803F8001, and appears to be caused by a server-side change made to Windows 10 on November 5. The bug is a global issue and only affects users with Windows 10 version 1809 or later, so if you utilize the Xbox Game Bar and haven't updated your machine yet, it may be best to hold off until the error is resolved No solution yet At the time of writing, there doesn’t appear to be a fix for the issue, with forums filling with user reports and complaints. It also isn’t apparent what’s actually causing the issue, and no official statement from Microsoft has been made. We’ve contacted Microsoft for a response, but until then, this unfortunately looks to be a case of simply waiting it out. Via Windows Latest This new Windows 10 bug could be bad news for gamers
  20. Microsoft warns Windows 10 update breaks Office updates The Windows 10 update bugs are mounting (Image credit: Shutterstock) Microsoft has warned Windows 10 users that recent updates come with a number of bugs. Reportedly, one of the flaws prevents individuals from updating Office products due to a certificate loss issue. After downloading October 2020 Patch Tuesday updates, some Windows 10 users received an error message reading, “Download of Office 365 file failed, error =” when trying to apply the latest Office updates. Microsoft is yet to reveal a workaround for the problem, meaning individuals must uninstall the faulty Windows update, then update Office and then re-install the Windows patch. Microsoft engineer David James tweeted that the issue seems to be caused by the Windows 10 updates generating a certification failure, which prevents Memcm and Configuration Manager from downloading Office updates. Update denied Unfortunately for Microsoft, the Office update error is not the only issue users have been having with its Windows patches recently. There have also been reports of October Windows 10 patches causing File Explorer issues and even the dreaded Blue Screen of Death. Microsoft has not commented on these system crash issues but did admit that system and user certificates could be lost during the update process. “This primarily happens when managed devices are updated using outdated bundles or media through an update management tool such as Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) or Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager,” a Microsoft support document explained. “This might also happen when using outdated physical media or ISO images that do not have the latest updates integrated.” Microsoft recommends that users install patches for their operating system using the official Windows Update service, rather than any other method in order to reduce the likelihood of any issue cropping up. Via Windows Latest Microsoft warns Windows 10 update breaks Office updates
  21. Microsoft acknowledges Windows 10 bug causing forced reboots, fix in the works Microsoft has acknowledged a new issue that affects Windows 10 versions 1809 and newer that causes the Local Security Authority Subsystem Service (LSASS) to fail on some devices, forcing users to reboot the system. Though the problem was reported widely after this month’s Patch Tuesday updates, the company has acknowledged the bug in the known issues section of the KB articles for impacted versions, which also include articles for the May updates. The LSASS process is tasked with enforcing security policies on a system that verifies user logon, password changes, and more. The problem relates to a failure in the LSASS.exe file which leads to users losing access to any accounts currently active on the machine. This forces users to reboot the machine. A Microsoft Tech Community thread (spotted by BleepingComputer) detailing the problem was first posted on May 27. Image: BleepingComputer The only workaround, for now, is to uninstall the June Patch Tuesday cumulative updates, meaning that users will have to uninstall KB4561608 (1809), KB4560960 (1903 and 1909), or KB4557957 (2004). However, those that skipped the June updates and are still sporting the May patches will have to uninstall KB4551853 (1809) or KB4556799 (1903 and 1909). Users that manually installed the fixes that were rolled out last week for the printer issues will need to roll back those patches. One of the support forum responses suggests that the company intends to roll out a fix via its July Patch Tuesday updates. Microsoft says that it is working on a resolution, but has not provided any timelines for when the fix will roll out to affected versions of the OS. Microsoft acknowledges Windows 10 bug causing forced reboots, fix in the works
  22. Debilitating 'Outlook needs to close' bug linked to a bad Windows cumulative update Microsoft has acknowledged that a combination of the June 2-or-later version of Microsoft 365 (nee Office 365) and the June Win10 cumulative updates cause Outlook to disavow its PST files. The source of the problem seems to be a bug in the cumulative updates. Microsoft / lVcandy / Aleksei Derin / Getty Images Internecine conflict seems to be a recurring theme at Microsoft, but this one takes it to new levels. Somehow, somebody forgot to test the latest patched version of Outlook with the latest patched version of Windows. The result is an error message that makes Outlook inoperable. The official announcement appears on the Microsoft 365 support site: After updating to Version 2005 Build 12827.20268 or higher and starting Outlook you may see the following error prompt: The Outlook Team is investigating this issue with the Windows Team. We are not sure yet if the primary fix will come from Outlook or Windows. When we have more information on fix details we will add them here. Microsoft If you click OK, the ScanPST Inbox Repair Tool starts. Go through the repair process, reboot, and - surprise! - you get the error message again. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. No telling how many hours have been wasted over the weekend on this one. The good news, though, is that your PST file is fine – and always has been. As best I can tell, the show-stopper bug only occurs on machines that: Use PST, not OST, files; Run Microsoft 365 version 2005 Current Channel release 12827.20268 (from June 2) or Current Channel release 12827.20336 (from June 9); And have installed the June 2020 Win10 cumulative update (KB 4557957 for version 2004, KB 4560960 for versions 1903 or 1909, or KB 4561608 for version 1809). Microsoft’s solution – published in that Microsoft 365 support article – involves manually editing the Registry to make Outlook disregard the bogus “corrupt” PST file on startup. In fact, the “corrupt” PST file isn’t corrupt at all. It’s just Windows messin’ with Outlook. If you don’t want to pummel your Registry, Diane Poremsky at Slipstick has an easy downloadable solution. The insider report I have says that the bug is actually in the June cumulative updates, but that it’ll be easier for Microsoft to fix the problem by working around it in a new Microsoft 365 Current Channel release. You might expect that the Office people aren’t particularly happy about this one. Tell me once again…, who tests this stuff? Solace for muzzled Outlook devs available on the AskWoody.com Lounge. Debilitating 'Outlook needs to close' bug linked to a bad Windows cumulative update
  23. Microsoft fixes Secure Boot bug allowing Windows rootkit installation Microsoft has fixed a security feature bypass vulnerability in Secure Boot that allows attackers to compromise the operating system’s booting process even when Secure Boot is enabled. Secure Boot blocks untrusted operating systems bootloaders on computers with Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) firmware and a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) chip to help prevent rootkits from loading during the OS startup process. Rootkits can be used by threat actors to inject malicious code into a computer's UEFI firmware, to replace the operating system's bootloader, to replace parts of the Windows kernel, or camouflage maliciously crafted drivers are legitimate Windows drivers. The security feature bypass flaw, tracked as CVE-2020-0689, has a publicly available exploit code that works during most exploitation attempts which require running a specially crafted application. "An attacker who successfully exploited the vulnerability might bypass secure boot and load untrusted software," Microsoft explains. Affected Windows versions include multiple Windows 10 releases (from v1607 to v1909), Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2, and Windows Server 2012. How to install the security update To block untrusted or known vulnerable third-party bootloaders when Secure Boot is toggled on, Windows devices with UEFI firmware use the Secure Boot Forbidden Signature Database (DBX). The KB4535680 security update released by Microsoft as part of the January 2021 Patch Tuesday addresses the vulnerability by blocking known vulnerable third-party UEFI modules (bootloaders) to the DBX. Users have to install this standalone security update in addition to the normal security update to block attacks designed to exploit this Secure Boot vulnerability. If automatic updates are enabled on the computer, the security update will be installed automatically, without user intervention needed. However, on systems where updates need to be installed manually, you will be required to first download KB4535680 for their platform from the Microsoft Update Catalog. Next, you will have to make sure that a specific Servicing Stack Update is installed before deploying the standalone security update (you can find the list here). If you also need to manually install the January 2021 Security Updates, the three updates should be installed in the following order: Servicing Stack Update Standalone Secure Boot Update listed in this CVE January 2021 Security Update On systems where Windows Defender Credential Guard (Virtual Secure Mode) is also enabled, installing the KB4535680 standalone update will require two additional reboots. Microsoft also released guidance for applying Secure Boot DBX updates after the disclosure of the BootHole GRUB bootloader vulnerability in July 2020 which also allows for Secure Boot bypass. The company added at the time that it "plans to push an update to Windows Update to address" the BootHole vulnerability in 2021. Source: Microsoft fixes Secure Boot bug allowing Windows rootkit installation
  24. New Docker Container Escape Bug Affects Microsoft Azure Functions Cybersecurity researcher Paul Litvak today disclosed an unpatched vulnerability in Microsoft Azure Functions that could be used by an attacker to escalate privileges and escape the Docker container used for hosting them. The findings come as part of Intezer Lab's investigations into the Azure compute infrastructure. Following disclosure to Microsoft, the Windows maker is said to have "determined that the vulnerability has no security impact on Function users, since the host itself is still protected by another defense boundary against the elevated position we reached in the container host." Azure Functions, analogous to Amazon AWS Lambda, is a serverless solution that allows users to run event-triggered code without having to provision or manage infrastructure explicitly while simultaneously making it possible to scale and allocate compute and resources based on demand. By incorporating Docker into the mix, it makes it possible for developers to easily deploy and run Azure Functions either in the cloud or on-premises. Since the trigger code is an event (e.g., an HTTP request) that is configured to call an Azure Function, the researchers first created an HTTP trigger to gain a foothold over the Function container, using it to find sockets belonging to processes with "root" privileges. From there, one such privileged process associated with a "Mesh" binary was identified to contain a flaw that could be exploited to grant the "app" user that runs the above Function root permissions. While the Mesh binary in itself had little to no documentation to explain its purpose, Intezer researchers found references to it in a public Docker image, which they used to reverse engineer and achieve privilege escalation. In the final step, the extended privileges assigned to the container (using the "--privileged" flag) were abused to escape the Docker container and run an arbitrary command on the host. Intezer has also released a proof-of-concept (PoC) exploit code on GitHub to probe the Docker host environment. "Instances like this underscore that vulnerabilities are sometimes out of the cloud user's control," Intezer Labs researchers said. "Attackers can find a way inside through vulnerable third-party software. "It's critical that you have protection measures in place to detect and terminate when the attacker executes unauthorized code in your production environment. This Zero Trust mentality is even echoed by Microsoft." Source: New Docker Container Escape Bug Affects Microsoft Azure Functions
  25. Claps and cheers: Apple stores' carefully managed drama Those ‘geniuses’ in the bright, sleek Apple store are underpaid, overhyped and characters in a well-ma Steve Jobs wanted customers to understand the Apple store “with one sweep of the eye,” as if gods standing on Mount Olympus. Indeed, the outlets seem to speak for themselves. Bright, uncluttered, and clad in glass, they couldn’t contrast more sharply with the big-box labyrinths they were designed to replace. Neither could their profit margins. Since launching in 2001, the instantly recognizable stores have raked in more money – in total and per square foot – than any other retailer on the planet, transforming Apple into the world’s richest company in the process. Yet the very transparency of the Apple store conceals how those profits are made. When we think of “tech”, we rarely think of retail stores, and when we think of “tech workers” we rarely think of the low-waged “geniuses” who staff them. Most media coverage of tech companies encourages us to forget that the vast majority of their employees are not, in fact, coders in Silicon Valley: they’re the suicidal assemblers of your phone, the call-center support staff, the delivery drivers and the smiling shop floor staff who make up the majority of Apple’s workforce. The Apple store was explicitly designed as a brand embassy rather than a dedicated source of technical knowledge. As Ron Johnson, the former Target executive who came up with the concept, told the Harvard Business Review, “People come to the Apple store for the experience – and they’re willing to pay a premium for that … Apple is in the relationship business as much as the computer business.” Johnson and Jobs wanted ambassadors whose ostensible role was not to sell products – uniquely, Apple store employees receive no commission – but to create positive customer sentiment and repair trust in the brand when it broke. That was hard to do if your stuff was lumped in with everyone else’s in a big electronics store, overseen by third-party staff lacking any special expertise or interest in what you wanted to sell. The goal was to take full control of the brand image while humanizing it. The problem, however, was that humans can be rather unruly. Fortunately for Apple, someone had been hard at work fixing that bug. In 1984, a group of professors at Harvard Business School published a book, Managing Human Assets, aimed at updating workplace organization for a new era. The book was based on the first new compulsory course at the Harvard Business School in a generation, launched in 1981. Ron Johnson started his MBA at Harvard the next year, graduating as the book itself was released. Previously, the book argued, labor discipline could be achieved in a relatively straightforward top-down manner, but now it required something else. “The limitations of hierarchy have forced a search for other mechanisms of social control,” the authors said. The mechanisms they proposed consisted, at root, of treating employees as nominal stakeholders in business success, but within narrow limits that would increase rather than challenge shareholder profitability. Johnson put many of these ideas into practice. He found the first cohort of Apple store employees by personally interviewing every manager and offering jobs to upbeat staff working for competitors. He sent the first five managers through the Ritz-Carlton training program to learn concierge skills. Then he developed a training program for the in-house production of “geniuses”. (Jobs reportedly hated the term at first, finding it ridiculous. True to form, he asked his lawyers to apply for a trademark the following day.) How do you create an engaged, happy, knowledgable workforce that can pass, however implausibly, as an entire battalion of geniuses in towns across the country? More importantly, how do you do all of that without the stick of the authoritarian boss or the carrot of a juicy commission? Apple’s solution was to foster a sense of commitment to a higher calling while flattering employees that they were the chosen few to represent it. By counterintuitively raising the bar of admission, crafting a long series of interviews to weed out the mercenary or misanthropic, Johnson soon attracted more applicants than there were posts. Those keen enough to go through the onerous hiring process were almost by definition a better “fit” for the devotional ethos of the brand, far more receptive to the fiction that they weren’t selling things but, in an oft-repeated phrase, “enriching people’s lives”, as if they’d landed a job at a charity. “When people are hired,” Johnson explained, “they feel honored to be on the team, and the team respects them from day one because they’ve made it through the gauntlet. That’s very different from trying to find somebody at the lowest cost who’s available on Saturdays from 8 to 12.” While not the lowest, the cost of these eager staff was still low – relative to industry averages, to the amount they made for the company, and to the $400m that Johnson earned in his seven years at Apple. Lower wages also had another, less obvious effect. As Apple store managers explained to the New York Times, the lack of commissions meant that the job didn’t pay well enough to support those with dependents: older workers were functionally excluded from representing the brand without the need for a formal policy – or the attendant specter of discrimination lawsuits that it would raise. Deploying psychology, not the maximizing calculus of economic rationality (money), allowed Apple to turn hiring and wages into managerial props. The sense of higher calling and flattery doesn’t stop with the hiring process, of course. Make it through the gauntlet and you are “clapped in” by existing workers: given a standing ovation as if receiving a prize. The clapping, according to employees, continues until new hires, perhaps after a confused delay, begin clapping too, graduating from outside spectator to part of the performance – part of the team. Leave the company and you’re “clapped out”. Products are clapped, customers waiting overnight to buy them are clapped, their purchases are clapped, claps are clapped. Clap, clap, clap. “My hands would sting from all the clapping,” said one manager. Claps, cheers, performances of rapturous engagement provided, by design, a ready-mixed social glue to bind teams together, reaffirming both the character of the brand and employees’ cultish devotion to it. It might be expected that Apple store employees are, as their name implies, tech gurus with incredible intellects. But their true role has always been to use emotional guile to sell products. The Genius Training Student Workbook is the vaguely comical title of the manual from which Apple store employees learn their art. Prospective geniuses are taught to use empathetic communication to control customer experience and defuse tension, aiming to make them happy and relax their purse strings. One of the techniques the book teaches is the “three Fs”: feel, felt, found. Here’s an example from the book, meant to be role-played by trainees: Customer: This Mac is just too expensive. Genius: I can see how you’d feel this way. I felt the price was a little high, but I found it’s a real value because of all the built-in software and capabilities. When customers run into trouble with their products, geniuses are encouraged to sympathize, but only by apologizing that customers feel bad, lest they implicate Apple’s products as the source of the trouble. In this gas-lit performance of a “problem free” brand philosophy, many words are actually verboten for staff. Do not use words like crash, hang, bug, or problem, employees are told. Instead say does not respond, stops responding, condition, issue, or situation. Avoid saying incompatible; instead use does not work with. Staff have reported the absurdist dialogues that can result, like when they are not allowed to tell customers that they cannot help even in the most hopeless cases, leading customers into circular conversations with employees able neither to help nor to refuse to do so. Apple’s “geniuses” perform on a stage that’s as carefully managed as they are. Jobs and Johnson wanted to control every aspect of the Apple stores, down to the specific color of the bathroom signs. Almost every detail is trademarked, from stairs to display tables to storage racks. Even the supposedly “intuitive” layout, so obvious that it can be understood by all, is considered unique enough to warrant a suite of intellectual property protections. In part to counter the falling sales volume of a saturated market, Apple has spent the past two years overhauling its stores to work even harder. Potted trees have been added to give a green splash to the signature grey and, in a move so ridiculous it’s almost certain to be a hit, the Genius Bar has been rebranded the “Genius Grove”. Windows are opened to blur the distinction between inside and outside, and the stores are promoted as quasi-public spaces. “We actually don’t call them stores any more,” the new head of retail at Apple, former Burberry executive Angela Ahrendts (2017 salary: $24,216,072), recently told the press. “We call them town squares.” The town square. It’s an almost-quaint symbol of participatory civic life – a world away from the big-box sprawl that characterized the retail imaginary of the late 20th century, or even the digital isolation of the 21st. Apple’s goal has been to create spaces for people to just hang out in, extending the original insight that focusing on everything other than cold hard cash will paradoxically be the best way to rake it in. In Ahrendts’s vision, “the store becomes one with the community”. But the real hope seems to be closer to the opposite, that the community will become one with the store. After Apple recently won the race to surpass a $1tn valuation, CEO Tim Cook emailed staff to explain, “Financial returns are simply the result of Apple’s innovation, putting our products and customers first, and always staying true to our values.” While seductive, this story is, like the Apple store itself, a managed fiction. Apple’s system of operation is less the result of genius than of capture and control. Semiconductors, microprocessors, hard drives, touch screens, the internet and its protocols, GPS: all of these ingredients of Apple’s immense profitability were funded through public dollars channeled into research through the Keynesian institution called the US military. They are the basis of Apple’s products, as the economist Mariana Mazzucato has shown. The company’s extraordinary wealth is not simply a reward for innovation, or the legacy of “innovators” like Steve Jobs. Rather, it flows from the privatization of publicly funded research, mixed with the ability to command the low-wage labor of our Chinese peers, sold by empathetic retailers forbidden from saying “crash”. The profits have been stashed offshore, tax free, repatriated only to enrich those with enough spare cash to invest. But, as the public well from which it has drawn past innovations runs dry, the company’s ability to repeat the success of the iPhone is evaporating. Federal funding for scientific research is in deep decline, and Apple isn’t likely to make up the gap. To keep profitability high, Apple is moving to ever-more-luxury price tags for ever-more-marginal improvements (like the iPhone XS Max) and expanding its ability to extract rent by controlling the creativity of others (through Apple Music or the App Store, both impossible to sign out of without landing in pop-up purgatory). All the while its brand embassies sell a different story with a smile. Source
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