Category Archives: Insider stuff

Zoom Restores Unpaid Update Capability

Let me first confess: I don’t know exactly when the change I report here actually occurred. What I do know is that I reported last October (2022) that the free version of Zoom no longer offered a “Check for Updates” option in its free version’s user menu. It’s highlighted in the red box in the lead-in graphic at right. Because my son is back home from college, I accidentally logged into Zoom on his (free) account yesterday, and saw that the same update item was present. Good-oh!

Glad Zoom Restores Unpaid Update Capability

If you read my earlier post, you’ll see I dinged the Zoom developers for making update a paid-only capability. Why? Because that approach fosters the possibility of security exposures for the class of users that stick to the free version. I took it as a deliberate strategy to force that class to trade security against cost. That’s not good.

Given what I discovered yesterday, I take it all back. Zoom is now doing the right thing. It may have been doing so for some time without my knowledge. That IS good, and I thank them for reversing the earlier development decisions that made users choose between more cost, better security and lower cost, lower security (or more work, to get around that limitation).

Indeed, as I mentioned in my October 2022 post, users could always uninstall an outdated version, then install the current one. This would bring them back to par, and let them benefit from any security patches or fixes in the newer version. Now, thanks to Zoom’s decision to reinstate the “Check for Updates” menu item — and its supported auto-download and -install capabilities — such contortions are unnecessary. Once again: good! And thanks again to Zoom for taking the right path, regardless of exactly when that occurred.


Updating Intel Processor ID Utility

Hmmmm. Here’s an interesting one. SUMo just told me that the Intel Processor Identification Utility (Legacy Model) needs an update. Poking around on the Intel site, I found a download page that covers Intel processors by generation: the new one goes Gen 12 and up; the old one Gen 11 and down. The old one appears beneath the new in the lead-in graphic, so it’s the one I downloaded and installed. That got me through Updating Intel Processor ID Utility on my i7 Skylake.

Why Bother Updating Intel Processor ID Utility?

The latest version of the new utility is 5/22/2023. The legacy one that works for my i7 Skylake shows a date of 5/17/2023 on the General Properties tab for the ProcID.exe file. That means it’s the latest and greatest of such files. I’m not aware of any security or other issues that the new version fixes. I’m just in the habit of updating as new versions come out. It runs just fine on the production PC. Here, for example, is the “CPU Technologies” info from that tool:

Updating Intel Processor ID Utility.CPU-tech

CPU Technologies show instructions, virtualization, sleep and other state info support (or not).

Intel Always Makes Updates Interesting

I feel lucky this morning that the landing page for Processor ID Utility took me to the update I needed. Sometimes, they don’t make it totally easy or simple to find the latest versions. Indeed, searching on version number ( didn’t work all that well for me. But this tool has an “Update” button subordinate to its Help menu. Now that I know this is an option, I bet it will work immediately next time around. That’s what makes updates interesting in general (and Intel in particular): there’s almost always a way to get a boost from the developer, if you know where and how to look for same. Sigh.


Concluding Windows 10 22H2 Non-Security Preview

There’s an interesting tidbit in the Support Note for KB5026435, released May 23, 2023. Indeed, it is the concluding Windows 10 22H2 non-security preview release, ever. It goes so far as to say “no more” such releases are forthcoming. In a way, this marks the beginning of the end for Windows 10, whose EOL date is 10/14/2025 (about 17.5 months from today). As you can see from the lead-in graphic, I just installed it onto my sole remaining Windows 10 production desktop.

Sussing Out the Concluding Windows 10
22H2 Non-Security Preview

MS elaborates further on the future release scheduling for Windows 10 in the afore-linked Support Note. It says:

Only cumulative monthly security updates (known as the “B” or Update Tuesday release) will continue for these versions. Windows 10, version 22H2 will continue to receive security and optional releases.

Here’s what I think this means:

  1. 22H2 is the final release for Windows 10 (unless something big changes).
  2. No more second (4th) Tuesday preview releases for Windows 10 22H2.
  3. There may be some second (4th) Tuesday security and optional releases from time to time.

The inescapable conclusion is that Windows 10 is now purely in “maintenance mode.” That means we’re unlikely to see more (or at least, precious few) Windows 11 features “back-ported” into 10.

Take it as a signal, business users. MS is clearly warning you that it’s time to start planning the transition to Windows 11 (or beyond). It should be interesting to see how this plays out between now and mid-October 2025. Stay tuned, and I’ll opine further on what’s up, what’s hot, and what’s not.


Old-School Gadgets Still Rule

I read a Windows Latest story yesterday with interest and bemusement. It proclaims that MS is “bringing … Vista-like gadgets to Windows 11…” Of course, these are widgets (not gadgets, per se) and I don’t see them in the same light, either. I’m still happily using Helmut Buhler’s excellent 8GadgetPack, as you can see in the lead-in graphic. For me, these old-school gadgets still rule — as they have done on my desktops since Vista appeared in early 2007 (16 years ago).

Why Old-School Gadgets Still Rule

The range of still-available gadgets is large (61 total on the “Add Gadget” display). It offers elements for time, CPU, GPU, storage, and networking status and activity. Lots of pop-ups for news, weather, games, media and other interesting services. There’s more here, in fact, than I want or need on my desktop.

Here are the four elements I use all the time on nearly all of my Windows 10 and 11 PCs and laptops (they appear in-line at the right-hand side of my left-screen’s desktop; here I stack them 2×2):

Clockwise from top left, these are:
1. Clock gadget: shows machine name and time (with seconds)
2. Control gadget: provides ready access to shutdown and restart, even in RDP sessions (very handy)
3. Network Meter: shows int/ext IP addresses, in- & out-bound network activity (on graph and numerically)
4. CPU Usage: shows overall CPU and memory consumption, along with per-core activity levels.

So far, I haven’t seen Windows 11 widgets that come close to matching this kind of capability with minimal overhead and effort required for installation and use. I’ll keep my eyes on widgets as they develop and evolve. But so far, the old-school gadget still beats the new-school widget three ways from Sunday. Stay tuned: this may change!


Canary Dev Gain Enhanced Webp Support

Here’s an interesting change in the bleeding edge versions for Windows 11. Indeed, Canary Dev gain enhanced Webp support for images of that type. It does require visiting the MS store on one of those platforms to download and install the Webp Image Extensions app shown in the lead-in screencap. After that, a number of interesting options present themselves. Let me explain … and illustrate!

What Canary Dev Gain Enhanced Webp Support Means

Thanks to Sergey Tkachenko at WinAero, I learned about this yesterday. What I didn’t realize was how widespread webp support has already become across the Windows 10 and 11 landscape. As you can see, the following image — prosaically named bunny.webp — shows up just fine inside WordPress (and by extension, most web browsers).Canary Dev Gain Enhanced Webp Support.bunny

Say hello to bunny.webp!

Indeed, it turns out that in addition to Photos and Edge, webp also works in Corel PaintShop, Snagit Editor, Paint, IrfanView (though I did have to download and install a plug-in DLL for Webp) and more. And it worked on Windows 10 as well as 11. It’s just that the Windows Photos app (and possibly Edge for some users) couldn’t handle webp before installing the afore-mentioned Store app “Webp Image Extensions.”

What Is Webp Anyway?

Webp is yet another compact, accurate image format. A Google design, it made its debut in 2010 but didn’t go widely public until April 2018 (when the vendor released a stable “supporting library” for the format — See Wikipedia). Looking at the bunny above, I see that Webp has some characteristics in common with the XML-based SVG graphics format. That said, it also supports captured photos, animation, tiling, advanced meta-data and more.

Visit Google’s WebP page for the official line on this format, which is gaining wider acceptance and use. As Google explains “WebP is a modern image format that provides superior lossless and lossy compression for images on the web. Using WebP, webmasters and web developers can create smaller, richer images that make the web faster.”

This was an interesting exercise for me, and a good learning experience. Worth digging into for IT and web professionals alike, if you haven’t dug in here already…

Note: Webp does NOT work in Photos in Windows 10 or Window 11 (versions with numbers lower than those for Canary or Dev channels, 25357 and 23451, respectively). Outside the OS umbrella, though, Webp seems to work in browsers and image apps and applications of all kinds.


P16 Manifests LSASS Bug

The Windows Local Security Authority Subsystem Service, aka LSASS, handles security policy enforcement for that OS. With KB5023706 (installed on 3/14) on my mainstream Windows 11 PC, some have shown interesting side-effects. My P16 manifests LSASS bug shown in the lead-in graphic.

Basically, it falsely asserts that LSASS protection is turned off (see text in red box). How do I know it’s actually running? As I searched the System log in Event Viewer, I found a message indicating the “LSASS.exe (process) was started…” as part of that system’s last boot-up. According to this discussion of that very issue at, this indicates that LSASS protection is enabled and working as it should be.

P16 Manifests LSASS Bug.evt-viewer

The Event Viewer (System Log) reports a successful start of LSASS.exe as part of the OS boot-up process. It’s working!

What To Do If Your P16 Manifests LSASS Bug

Of course, this applies to all Windows PCs of all kinds. That said, the afore-linked BleepingComputer story explains a couple of Registry hacks that will fix such spurious notifications. MS will probably get around to fixing this sooner or later. Meanwhile, I’m not concerned about false security flags. Indeed, I’m content to wait until it’s corrected in some future update.

It sounds like a serious error. And it would be a major security hole, if the notification were true. But since it’s simply a false positive, and I’ve proved to myself that things are working as they should be, I’ll live with it.

This problem has been in play for some while now (BleepingComputer reports it goes back to January 2023). If I search for “Local security authority protection is off” at, I see hits as far back as March 1, 2023, on this topic. All are unanimous in flagging this as a false positive not worth corrective action.

But that’s the way things sometimes go here in Windows-World. Take it under advisement if you see the “Yellow bang!” in Windows Security on your Windows 11 PC. Cheers!


Missing Advanced Startup Gets Explained

Here’s a real Homer Simpson moment for you: Doh! I just figured out why I can’t find the Advanced Startup option on some of my Windows 11 PCs (see lead-in screen-cap, then compare to the next one below). It came when I checked a reference on running that ability from the command line. Simply put: the missing Advanced Startup gets explained as a local-remote distinction. It shows up when accessing a device directly, but not via Remote Desktop.

Now you see it, now you don’t (vice-versa, actually…)

Quick Note Means Missing Advanced Startup Gets Explained

I referred to a pureinfotech story to figure out how to get to advanced startup when it didn’t show up as in the lead-in graphic. Turns out the explanation appeared in a “Quick Note” in a discussion of accessing Advanced Startup via Settings → System → Recovery. It reads:

Quick note: The Advanced Startup option in the Settings app isn’t available through a Remote Desktop Connection.

And wouldn’t you know it? I was accessing a test PC via RDP (Remote Desktop Connection) at the time. Sure enough, as soon as I broke the remote session and logged into that same machine via the local keyboard, the Advanced Startup entry made itself available. Doh again!

Command Line Method Works Remotely, Tho…

The old standby shutdown command at an administrative command prompt still works, even in a remote session. For the record, that syntax is:

shutdown /r /o /f /t 00

Those switches work as follows:
/r  Restarts the computer after shutdown
/o  Goes to Advanced Boot options menu
/f   Forces running applications to close sans user warnings
/t   Waits 0 seconds before restart (works immediately)

So now I finally understand why the Advanced Startup item under Recovery sometimes goes missing on me. It MUST be run locally to work. Can I get one more Doh!?


Pet Peeve: Upgrade Walls Around Free Versions

I was checking upgrades over the weekend (part of my daily routine, in fact). I found myself having to search for a specific version of a favorite app. Why? Because the developer erected upgrade walls around free versions of the app. It’s just a “little reminder,” I guess, that users should support developers by paying for what they use.

Why Put Upgrade Walls Around Free Versions?

Basically, the developer steered its “manual update” capability into the purchase dialog for the same program’s for-a-fee version. I have the paid-for version on my production PC, in fact. But I don’t pay for the instances I run on my test PCs (which vastly outnumber my home desktop and traveling “work laptop” — by 5 to 1). It just ticks me off when the developer leads users down a road with no obvious access to downloading the free version through the application’s own built-in update facility. Am I wrong to feel that way?

I don’t think so. But in this case, I had to remember that the name of the free version includes “lite” in its name (cute). Then, I had to Google the name of the application with that string in its name to get to the right download page. Not too challenging, but at least mildly vexatious, IMO.

The Pecuniary Imperative

Sure, developers need income to justify their time and effort spent in creating and maintaining their offerings. But do users need to be reminded that they could pay for the for-a-fee version each time they update (or upgrade) its free counterpart? Depends on who you ask: some developers obviously feel that the answer to that question is “Hell, yeah!” As for me, I just find it somewhat annoying.

Sigh. That’s just the way things go in Windows-World sometimes. Thanks for letting me vent…


X390 Network Return Requires Discovery Tweaks

Son Gregory is back from college for the summer, bearing his Lenovo ThinkPad X390 Yoga laptop. Its 8th-gen i7-8565U CPU, 16 GB RAM, and 500 GB Intel SSD are entirely adequate for his mobile computing needs. But I couldn’t see his device on the LAN when he first joined back in. Indeed, an X390 network return required discovery tweaks to make itself entirely visible. A couple of quick, minor toggles in “Advanced sharing settings” made everything OK.

Understanding X390 Network Return Requires Discovery Tweaks

I’m still getting used to digging into Advanced sharing settings inside the Windows settings app. That’s where I made sure the following toggles were in the “On” position:

Once I made sure discovery was working, Presto! the X390 (computer name = “DinaX390” as shown in the lead-in graphic) appeared. Sometimes, it’s the little things that mean alot.

The X390 Gets a Thorough Once-Over

I’m glad to see the machine is running Windows 11 22H2 (Build 22621.1702). SUMo also gives its paltry 17 identifiable programs a clean bill of health, update-wise. I have to say that it looks like Gregory took excellent care of his laptop while away at school. Good for him!

Now that it’s showing up inside Advanced IP Scanner, I can see what it’s doing on the network, too. All’s well that ends well.


Intel DSA Version Confusion

OK then, I’m back in the office after a 10-day hiatus. Natch, after meeting today’s writing deadlines, I started updating all 11 of my Windows PCs. Along the way, I found myself caught up in Intel DSA version confusion for that company’s Driver & Support Assistant software.

Look at the lead-in screencap. The Intel download page shows version is the latest and greatest version. Yet the details for the download file show it as version And indeed, when you install or repair DSA using the file the lower-numbered version is what’s installed. Go figure!

Overcoming Intel DSA Version Confusion

After handling over 100 updates, the Patch Tuesday and incidental WU stuff, I didn’t want to find myself troubleshooting a bogus update problem. But that’s what I’ve got going on. Until Intel puts the update for version in the “Latest” position on its download center, there’s not much I can do to fix this.

C’mon Intel: please fix this issue so OCD updaters — like yours truly — can get caught up. I’ve already got (the version that actually appears in the Properties window for the download) installed. I can’t catch up until the right file gets posted to the download center.

It’s Always Something, Right?

Just goes to show you that here in Windows-World there’s always some kind of gotcha lurking to make life more interesting. In some cases, my issues are of my own making. In this particular case, it looks like something odd is up with the Intel download page itself.

Just for grins, I went to an alternate download source. Much to my surprise, that installer shows the correct version number for this file, to wit:

Intel DSA Version Confusion.alt-source

An “alternate download source” DOES have the right file.
Go figure again!

I wish I knew how the other source got the right file, when I couldn’t grab it myself directly. As Mr. Churchill said of Russia, that makes this “a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.” I don’t know whether to laugh, or cry.