Microsoft updates

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Microsoft updates

EC2 Boot Loop

We always encourage our customers to swap out their servers every three years, and desktops every five. We like the servers to be of a tier one company such as HP, IBM and Dell. This ensures we are most likely to have hardware and BIOS updates that work with the latest Microsoft Software and can handle any third party updates.

We wake up and find older systems are not compatible with much of anything. Windows 7, has to be updated to 10 in order to deal with security issues. QuickBooks 2020, will not load on Windows7. Pretty soon apps on Windows 7 will not update at all. There will be no updates for third party apps such as banks applications, Quicken, and Microsoft Windows updates. So goes the mad rush to upgrade.

Even new hardware can cause grief during Microsoft updates. The November and and December Microsoft updates have been keeping Small Biz PC busy. We were up late just last night with a Windows 2012 Standard edition server getting the Latest Stack Update KB4532920. The machine was in an eternal boot loop. It would boot up to the fifth step of the update and restart. Doing this again and again keeping our server down notification software very busy. We were unable to remote in to the server. Our customer had to drive in to his data center. We figured out that we could stop the problem and regain the server by booting to the Windows safe mode then turn off the server. Do this one more time and boot the server into safe mode where the update process was then able to rollback the update. We booted the server again, and it came back as normal. Once in the system, we verified updates were indeed turned off, and hid this update so it will never come back. Since then we have setup terminal access which allows us to access powershell. From a terminal session, we can enter bcdedit /set {default} safe boot network, These boot loops are a nasty reality today, This example was just two ways to stop the loop. There are never guarantees backup before every update so your data is safe, apply your updates to protect your data from miscreants and always be ready for a restore (Practice like you want to be a concert pianist!).

We are hoping Microsoft will continue to support Windows Server2012 Standard until 2023, but with all the cyber criminals and changes we as end users demand there is no guaranty. Microsoft has to design their software for hundreds of thousands of system designs. They used to have a strict hardware compatibility list which made their software development job easier, but harder to sell the latest software due to the fact that few people could get that hardware that Microsoft tested. Today, Microsoft attempts to support nearly everything in existence up to a certain age. That is why these much needed security updates and bug fixes are so problematic. Microsoft just has to cover too much ground. How quickly they get the fixes is paramount to the survival of the PC world. Most of the time we are the benefactor of their R&D, and even though everything is top tier, new, and updated, we are still the victim of their R&D. Again Obsolescence makes one more likely to be the victim.

The best insulation from obsolescence is buy the latest and greatest meaning tier one machines from tier one vendors. Install the latest software and latest updates. This puts you in the best position to withstand all the future software updates and keep your business on track. The older your systems, cheaper the system, and more obscure your hardware, the more you will spend on system outages, emergency system replacements and technicians. An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure, this I am sure is hard to believe when you see the up front cost of quality. When it comes to servers, Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure are a great way to level your hardware risks. They maintain the hardware and often move your systems to new hardware proactively. You only need to maintain the software and your data.

If your reconsidering your infrastructure, want to know if your secure, or need additional IT support. Contact us.