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September 2019

The Linux Experiment

29 September 2019

I've completed The Linux Experiment and the results are in. Did I switch to Linux? Should you switch to Linux? Is this the Year of Linux? I just like saying Linux. Read it if you like.

AMD Chipset Driver 1.9.27

28 September 2019

AMD has released Version of its drivers for use on AMD chipset-based motherboards. A changelist is not available.

Windows Updates

27 September 2019

Microsoft has released a Cumulative Update for Windows 10 version 1903 which contains a range of bug fixes, including a fix for the game audio issues reported earlier.

Intel HD Graphics 26.20

26 September 2019

Intel has released Version of its HD Graphics drivers for the optimal performance of Integrated Graphics Processors on Intel CPUs. Changes include adding support for FIFA 20, Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch Remastered and Hot Lava; improved performance in Gears of War 5, support for HDCP 2.3 on DisplayPort panels, support for DX12 Variable Rate Shading and Adaptive Sync, as well as Beta support for Retro Scaling.

Windows Updates

25 September 2019

Microsoft has released Cumulative Updates for Windows 10 versions 1809, 1803, 1709 and 1703. These contain a range of improvements fixes, but also list several known issues.

Windows Updates

24 September 2019

Microsoft has released a Cumulative Update for Windows 10 which addresses an Internet Explorer security vulnerability.

Samsung Magician 6.0

23 September 2019

Samsung has released Version 6.0.0 of its Magician software for the management of all Samsung SSDs. This version introduces a new interface and new features, including more details on drive performance and drive status.

Update: The file is listed but still doesn't seem to be available for download from Samsung. It can be downloaded from Station Drivers here and appears to be legitimate and safe, but probably best to get it direct from Samsung.

Update 2: It's now available from Samsung, I've installed it, and have posted some thoughts in Site Updates

Update 3: If you still can't download the file from Samsung because of their download limit, I've compared the hashes of the .exe file (c6c474e811c5b00a02c03c540d835bef) and the Samsung and Station Drivers files are identical, so just download that instead.

Windows Updates - Start Menu & Desktop Search Issues Resolved

22 September 2019

Microsoft has updated the Known Issues page for Windows 10 version 1903 to note that the general Start menu and Desktop Search issues reported by users last week due to the latest Windows 10 update are 'Resolved'. The resolution comes in the form of MS saying it can't detect any significant Search or Start issues affecting users. More details and thoughts in Site Updates.

Chrome 77.0

19 September 2019

Google has released Version 77.0.3865.90 of the Chrome browser. This update provides security and bug fixes.

Firefox 69.0.1

19 September 2019

Mozilla has released Version 69.0.1 of the Firefox browser. This update fixes several issues.

Windows Updates - Windows Defender Issues

19 September 2019

There are now numerous reports on the Microsoft support forums that Windows Defender is not working properly after the last update. I can confirm this on my system - selecting a Full Scan and clicking the 'Scan Now' button results in only 8 files being scanned before it stops and announces that no threats have been found, as pictured here. Step into the Site Updates page for my thoughts.

Update: The workaround at the moment, which I can confirm does work, is to use the Custom Scan option, and select your hard drive for a full scan of the files on it.

Update 2: I can confirm that the latest definition update for Defender fixes this issue. Check for updates under Windows Update and it will install automatically as usual.

Windows Updates - WiFi Issues

16 September 2019

Microsoft has now added another bug to the general Known Issues page for Windows 10 version 1903. This one affects Intel Centrino 6205/6235 and Broadcom 802.11ac WiFi cards - the update can disable WiFi altogether. The workaround is to disable and re-enable the WiFi adapter in Device Manager, but this only works until you reboot. MS is preventing systems with this hardware from upgrading to the latest update, and no ETA for a fix is given.

Update: I've posted a brief editorial on these update issues in Site Updates.

Windows Updates - Audio-Related Issues

15 September 2019

Microsoft has listed an audio bug in the Known Issues section of the latest Windows 10 version 1903 update (KB4515384). The bug can result in audio being quieter in certain games, and MS has provided a workaround which involves disabling multi-channel audio in the game(s), as well as disabling multi-channel/virtual surround audio in any third party audio control panels, until a fix can be issued later this month. Microsoft has also released an Update that addresses a problem with USB audio 2.0 multi-channel microphones. If Windows detects that you have such a device, the update will download via Windows Updates.

Fixing Search Issues in Windows 10

13 September 2019

Aside from acknowledging the bugs caused by recent Windows 10 Updates, Microsoft has now also released a Support Article that covers several different methods for attempting to fix Search-related issues.

AMD Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition 19.9.2

13 September 2019

AMD has released the Adrenalin Edition 19.9.2 driver for the HD 7700, HD 8500 series and above on Windows 7 and 10. This driver improves support for Borderlands 3, adds Radeon Image Sharpening to the RX 470, 480, 570, 580 and 590 series GPUs under DX12 and Vulkan, along with a range of bug fixes.

iTunes 12.10

13 September 2019

Apple has released a new Version 12.10 of the iTunes software. If you don't wish to use the Windows Store to download iTunes, direct download links are provided: 64-bit Version, 32-bit Version. This version adds iOS 13 support, as well as security and bug fixes.

Windows Updates

12 September 2019

Once again there are mixed reports about the latest Cumulative Update for Windows 10 version 1903 (KB4515384), such as those on Reddit. These include continued search problems and Start Menu errors. At the moment, Microsoft has not listed any Known Issues on the Update's Page. I'm not experiencing any issues either.

Update: Microsoft now acknowledges these issues in the latest update on their general Windows 10 Issues page. No ETA for a fix is provided.

Ryzen 3000 Boost & Idle Changes

11 September 2019

AMD has posted a new Community Update on its blog discussing improvements to Boost and Idle behaviour that will be included in BIOS releases for Ryzen 3000 CPUs in coming weeks.

GPU-Z 2.25.0

11 September 2019

GPU-Z, a free graphics card information utility, has reached Version 2.25.0. Changes in this version include the main tab showing support status for Vulkan, DirectX Raytracing, OpenGL & DirectML, support for new chipsets such as Intel Ice Lake, improved clock speed reporting on AMD Navi, as well as bug fixes.

Chrome 77.0

11 September 2019

Google has released Version 77.0.3865.75 of the Chrome browser. This major update provides new features and improvements, along with security and bug fixes.

Microsoft Security Updates

11 September 2019

Microsoft is releasing its monthly set of Windows security updates which you can view here, and obtain via Windows Update as they become available today. This includes the latest Windows 7 Rollup and Windows 8.1 Rollup updates, as well as Windows 10 Cumulative Updates.

Update: The latest Windows 10 Cumulative Update contains a fix for the Cortana High CPU Usage bug. There also seems to be a slight change to the way Windows Update now works in Windows 10 - more details & my thoughts on it are on the Site Updates page.

Nvidia GeForce 436.30 WHQL

11 September 2019

Nvidia has released the 436.30 WHQL certified graphics driver. This driver is for GeForce 600 and higher graphics cards under Windows 7, 8 and 10. It is the recommended driver for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare PC Open Beta, Gears 5, and Borderlands 3. It also adds support for new G-Sync compatible monitors.

Flash Player 32.0

11 September 2019

Adobe has released Version of the Flash Player plugin for browsers. To download the full offline installer, use these links depending upon your browser: Internet Explorer or Firefox or Opera. Use Windows Update to update the built-in Flash Player in IE11 under Windows 8 and 10, and Edge under Windows 10. Update to the latest version of Chrome to update its built-in Flash Player.

O&O Shutup10 1.6

10 September 2019

O&O Software has released Version 1.6.1403 of the free O&O Shutup10 utility, designed to provide greater control over Windows 10's privacy and update related settings. This version allows the search field in the Taskbar to be deactivated from Windows 10 version 1903 onwards, as well as providing bug fixes.

Process Explorer 16.30

7 September 2019

Microsoft has released Version 16.30 of the free Process Explorer utility, which is a more detailed version of Task Manager. A changelog is not yet available.

Bluekeep Threat Level Rises

7 September 2019

A serious security vulnerability dubbed Bluekeep, which was recently discovered in Windows XP, Vista and 7 (Windows 8 & 10 are unaffected), may be even more dangerous as a Working Exploit has now been added to the open-source Metasploit testing framework. However, this only affects Windows 7 64-bit, and Microsoft already released Security Updates to address Bluekeep several months ago.

Intel HD Graphics 26.20

6 September 2019

Intel has released Version of its HD Graphics drivers for the optimal performance of Integrated Graphics Processors on Intel CPUs. Importantly, this driver adds support for 10th Gen Intel Core CPUs with UHD graphics. It also provides performance improvements in a range of games including: eFootball Pro Evolution Soccer 2020, Greedfall, Children of Morta, Spyro Reignited Trilogy, Pagan Online and Age of Wonders: Planetfall, as well as general OpenCL optimizations.

Windows PowerToys Preview

6 September 2019

Microsoft has released a preview of the new Windows PowerToys utilities. Meant to be the spiritual successor of the old Windows 95 PowerToys, the latest batch of these small tweaking utilities is for Windows 10 and includes FancyZones and Shortcut Guide. More will be added later, and users can also create their own PowerToys.

AMD Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition 19.9.1

5 September 2019

AMD has released the Adrenalin Edition 19.9.1 driver for the HD 7700, HD 8500 series and above on Windows 7 and 10. This driver improves support for Gears 5 and the Vulkan API, as well as providing bug fixes.

Windows Updates

4 September 2019

Microsoft has acknowledged the bug in the latest update for Windows 10 Version 1903 which can result in Cortana using large amounts of CPU resources unnecessarily. However, it has not done this in the normal manner, which is to add it to the list of Known Issues on the Update's Page, rather it has posted it on Twitter.

Update: Microsoft has now added this as a Known Issue on the Update's Page. I've written an editorial on this on the Site Updates page.

Office Updates

4 September 2019

Microsoft has released its latest Updates for the Office Suite.

Firefox 69.0

4 September 2019

Mozilla has released Version 69.0 of the Firefox browser. The changes in this major update include improved CPU prioritization in Windows 10, strengthening of Enhanced Tracking Protection, the Block Autoplay setting now has the option of blocking audio and video, removal of the 'Always Activate' option for the Flash plugin, and the disabling of userChrome.css and userContent.css loading by default - if you want any customizations in these files to execute at launch, you need to set toolkit.legacyUserProfileCustomizations.stylesheets to True in about:config. This update also provides security and bug fixes.