Windows feature edition 21H1 for Windows 10 is going to have its last security patch on June 13th, 2023. At this point, all Windows 10 users should switch to Windows 10 22H2 (2022 second half), or move to Windows 11. Need help? I’ve placed instructions in the May 2023 PC Updater News, available free for download or delivery at https://startupware.com/newsletter.
Mark that date. Tuesday, October 14, 2025. It’s the second Tuesday of the month, so it’s a Windows patch Tuesday, and it will be the last Patch Tuesday for a whole set of Microsoft products. This list is probably going to grow:
- Windows 10 Home and Pro. The last feature update was 22H2.
- Windows 10 Enterprise and Education
- Office 2016
- OneNote 2016
- Office 2019
- Windows Defender for Windows 10
- Skype for Business 2019
- Exchange Server 2019
Also check the Windows end of Support Calendar for a list by year, of when the patches end.
I’m asked how to identify malware, a lot. I’ve created a video to explain what to look for. Here’s a start on how to identify credential theft pages, ransomware downloads, and hoax pages.
Dateline: March 19th 2020: That’s right, Science Translations, PC410.com, Startupware, even Graphcat, aren’t shutting down for Covid-19. And also, it’s remote work only for the duration of the emergency. Literally not going anywhere. All remote computer repairs, Windows tuneups, malware cleanups, and Windows upgrades are still possible and routine as long as the problem isn’t the internet connection itself. As for hardware, drop shipments are still working, and remote configuration is also available.
Working from home? FREE OFFER to new and existing customers, LOCAL ONLY: Free half hour of remote setup time for Splashtop Remote Access, plus a coupon for an extra free month on the Splashtop annual subscription. Local here means within my usual service range for onsite work once normality resumes its traditional limits, so that’s Carroll County and the north and west sides of Baltimore County. Daytime hours only, 9 to 5.
For more on the non-medical side of Coronavirus/Covid-19, read my March 10th newsletter, also free, available here: https://www.startupware.com/newsletter/
And for those who aren’t local, the discount coupon for Splashtop is also in the March newsletter.
Slow notebook? A solid-state drive may be the best fix, and they are no longer expensive. And they improve battery runtime, too.
Computers are slow for many reasons:
- Malware, Adware, and PUPs taking up background cycles on work for their owners, not for you.
- Hard drive hasn’t been defragmented in, well, ever.
- Autostarts are cluttered with advertising crapware from the computer manufacturer, some as ads, some as phone-home junk.
- Not enough memory. Windows 7, 64-bit, requires 2 Gb of memory, and speeds up with 4 Gb. 32-bit installs can manage with 1 Gb, but still benefit from more memory. Windows 8.1 has similar needs.
- The antivirus is a suite product, with far too many autoplay entries, and it has taken over your notebook like the Borg on a mission. Switch to a non-suite AV.
- The installed hard drive is running at 5400 RPM. By comparison, most desktop drives run at 7200 RPM.
So, first, deal with any cleanups and updates needed. Then consider why a notebook should be running a storage device with spinning disks and motors, based on a cross between a photograph record and something akin to 8-track tapes and wire recorders. These spinning disks are technology from the early 1970s, known as Winchester Drives back then. Yes, they’re reliable if you don’t move them. But motors and moving parts don’t really work all that well in a travel notebook.
Why an SSD?
A solid state drive has no moving parts, just memory chips, and can survive a drop better than the notebook it’s installed in. A solid-state drive is many times faster than a spinning drive. An SSD uses less power than a hard drive, so battery runtime is significantly improved. All that is the good side.
And the bad side? Well, until recently, cost and reliability. As of now, solid-state drives are very reasonably-priced in the smaller sizes, up to 250 Gb, and that size works well for nearly all notebook owners. Reliability is approaching that of spinning hard drives, and many SSD’s have 5-year warranties, compared with 1 or 3-year warranties for mechanical hard drives, or drive warranties that match the notebook warranty on every drive installed by a notebook manufacturer. As always, use an external drive for backups, both as full-drive images and as uncompressed document files.
Yes, we’re installing SSD’s as upgrades to notebooks here at Science Translations, if you’re anywhere near Carroll County, Maryland, including Howard and Baltimore Counties. Call us at 410-871-2877, and we can tell you if it’s worthwhile for your notebook. We’ll ask for the computer model number, and how much space is used on the current drive, and can help find that information.
by Jerry Stern
Webmaster, PC410.com, Startupware.com
Dateline, November 2011: First, the good news. Here in Westminster MD, I have hard drives in-stock for PC repairs and new systems. Not in central Maryland? Well, drives are scarce.
Floods in Thailand have caused extensive damage to factories that create at least a quarter of the world’s production of hard drives, and additionally create parts for hard drives made elsewhere. Hard drive prices have fluctuated, and inventories have disappeared from stores and online sellers. A basic hard drive that sold for $50 a month ago can be bought online as of today for $140, but only if you’re not picky about what brand, model, or speed of drive you buy. In my wholesale price lists, a distributor that usually stocks several hundred models of drives is showing 145 models as current, but only 5 as in-stock today, 13 drives ready-to-ship TOTAL, and every one of them is a specialty drive for a server, and priced to match. Even the old ‘IDE’ or ‘ATAPI’ hard drives are scarce, and they’re mostly used for system repairs now. There are ZERO in-stocks on the list today.
It’s going to be an interesting holiday season. Notebook computers for upcoming holiday sales are still available, but the selection may be uneven; most pre-built systems for the season are already built. Don’t expect Black Friday bargains on storage this year.
Projections I’m hearing from Western Digital put ‘significant disruptions’ as far out as mid-2012. They’re the worst-hit by floods, but all drive builders have problems in either flood areas or parts availability.
Back here in Westminster, I have enough drives to take care of my local customers; I’m still building custom PCs. Just don’t ask me to sell a bare drive without a computer attached.