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Archive for April, 2010

The prior KB915597 Windows Defender Update, dated April 22, was for Definition Set 1.81.149.0.

The latest KB915597, for Definition Set 1.81.66.0, is the seventh, and most likely last, for April 2010. 1.81.660.0 is a ‘BIG’ one — i.e., claims to fix a long list of  ‘severe’ threats.

You can see the list of threats addressed by this update and others at this Microsoft site … click <here>.

1.81.660.0 has already been superseded. There are three new Definition Sets, the latest being 1.81.729.0. So we will most likely get another KB915597 this weekend or Monday to get us started up for May 2010.

I installed today’s update along with KBKB980408 — the latest stability and reliability update. I had to restart. All is well from what I can see.

Good luck. I will try to keep you posted.

Cheers,
Anura Guruge

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I took a few days off and took the kids to New York City.

When I got back, today, KB980408 was waiting along with two optional updates that were not applicable to this system. One was to do with BitLocker and I definitely stay clear of that.

KB980408 is SUPPOSED to be another stability and reliability update, and some of us remember what happened with one such other before Christmas. But, I went and read the detailed report. < here > As far as I could see there was nothing there that applied to me, but I decided to go ahead and install it.

I did.

It required a RESTART. That was around 10:30 this morning. Restart went fine. I have used it for about 3 hours since then — taking a break to go pick up our golden, Ulysses.

I haven’t bothered to check if others were having issues with KB980408. As I have mentioned, I can, now that “The Next Pope” book is done, afford to be more cavalier.

So, I am giving a thumbs up to KB980408.

Good luck.

Cheers,
Anura Guruge

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Today, April 25, 2010, when I checked my updates, on a whim, I found an optional NVIDIA update for my GTX 260 Video Card.

Starting when I first started using PCs, in anger, in 1998 (me having till then being the most avowed of Mac bigots with 6 Macs ALL to myself in 1998) I discovered that updating Video Card microcode isn’t a bad thing. in those days each new update upped the ante. I still remember that I used to have issues with the ‘slide view’ display of my highly multi-media PowerPoint presentations. Then we updated the video card microcode. BINGO. Since then I try to keep up to-date with video card software updates.

So I agreed to the update. It was BIG, 147MB. Took a few minutes to download and install. Both my screens (yes, I have dual monitor set-up) went BLANK for a few minutes and when they came up again, the update Window had, magically (and kind of cutely), moved from my right-hand (axillary) monitor to my left-hand (primary) monitor.

It didn’t ask for a restart. But, to be on the safe side I did a restart. My PC HUNG! Sacre bloody bleu! But, to be fair, I am not sure what happened.

I forced another restart by jabbing on my Power button. System then came up. Since I am paranoid, I have tried restarting the system three times since then. No problems. So I can’t really pin the original restart quirk to NVIDIA. [Also to be fair, I very rarely restart this machine. This was probably the first time in months. So I can’t claim to be an expert on the restart behavior of this rig.]

Bottom line, however, is that all seems well.

Hope this helps.

Good luck.

Cheers,
Anura Guruge

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Four days after the last KB915597 Windows Defender Update (Definition set 1.79.1918.0) yet another one, this time for Definition set 1.81.0.0. It was sent out on April 19 but I only installed it on April 21.

Then another KB915597, dated April 22, today for Definition Set 1.81.149.0. This Definition Set is so new that it still hasn’t even made it to the ‘Change definition version’ drop down menu.

That is the sixth (6th) KB915597 Windows Defender Updates this month; i.e., April 1, April 5,  April 8, April 14, April 19 and April 22.

You can see the list of threats addressed by this update and others at this Microsoft site … click <here>.

It is sobering to realize that Microsoft, supposedly, created 9 definition sets between April 19 and April 22. They really should just move to daily updates, à la Avast.

I installed both updates. I have restarted and even run a full scan of Windows Defender. So far, so good. So, this is to say that I didn’t have any problems with these two updates.

Hope none of you got too burned by the McAfee goof-up yesterday. If I was mean spirited I could say “serves you right,” but I am not, so I won’t say that. McAfee is the pits. Why anybody would use McAfee, unless THEY are paying YOU to use it, baffles me. I have never used it. I bought my wife a Sony Vaio laptop a few years ago which had it installed. She persevered with it for awhile. She now uses free AVG and we all know that she is safer with that than she ever was with the bloated, out-of-control McAfee.

Good luck. I will try to keep you posted.

Cheers,
Anura Guruge

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I have been running FireFox 3.6.3 since April 3, 2010.

I had thought that 3.6.3 was slightly better on hangs than FireFox 3.6.2, and my Windows 7 Reliability History appears to confirm that. I have had one FireFox hang since I installed 3.6.3 — BUT I also recognize that I have not been banging FireFox as hard as I normally do, since I am going through a transition in my work.

Yesterday, or day before, I got an unsolicited ‘pop-up Windows’ from FireFox saying that it had, unilaterally, disabled my Java Deployment Toolkit plugin because it was known to cause instability! Wow.

This is kind of interesting because on March 23, 2010, I had suggested that you upgrade to the latest and greatest Java because I had the feeling that it was Java that was responsible for many of the crashes.

So if YOU are using FireFox 3.6.x … go to TOOLS and invoke ADD-ONS >> Plugins. See if FireFox will tell you to disable Java Deployment Tools. Even if it doesn’t try it.

Maybe it will help.

Good luck.

Cheers,
Anura Guruge

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Within a week of the last KB915597 Windows Defender Update (Definition set 1.79.1432.0) yet another one, this time for Definition set 1.79.1918.0.

That is the fourth (4th) KB915597 Windows Defender Updates this month; i.e., April 1, April 5,  April 8 and April 14.

You can see the list of threats addressed by this update and others at this Microsoft site … click <here>.

There seems to have been quite a few definition updates between 1.79.1432.0 and 1.79.1918.0 … so much so that 1.79.1432.0 has fallen off the end of the list!

Even 1.79.1918.0 has already been usurped by 1.79.1945.0. So we should get another KB915597 within days.

Good luck. I will try to keep you posted.

Cheers,
Anura Guruge

P.S., I successfully installed it … as well as the latest [i.e., April] Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool, KB890830.

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KB978601, KB979309, KB981332, KB980232 & KB979683 were the five security Windows Updates for Windows 7 that were sent out on Tuesday, April 13, 2010.

I waited until today to see if there were any reports of folks having trouble with these. Didn’t see any reports, though I will confess I didn’t look that hard.

I took a risk. Bit the bullet. Installed all of them.

It required a restart. I am posting this, from my Windows 7 machine, after the restart. I am still alive … I think. << smile >>

It seems OK. So if you are vacillating, give it another 24 hours and then go ahead. I will keep you posted.

Good luck. All the best.

Cheers,
Anura Guruge

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