Microsoft issues its monthly updates on “Patch Tuesday,” the second Tuesday of the month. Since the beginning of this year it has tried to fix the critical issues associated with the Spectre and Meltdown problems. But in a totally unexpected turn, the March 2018 monthly update knocked Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 systems offline because the network drivers get clobbered after the computers were restarted.

As a result, for the past two months I have blacklisted the updates; meaning I prevented them from being installed. In cases where I missed that phase and the computer had not been rebooted, I ran a script to uninstall the update. And in some cases, I was altogether too late and had to manually reinstall the network drivers.

Unfortunately, the May 2018 monthly update was wrapped up with a critical security patch, so it was inevitable that I had to release it. And I regret it, because this last episode has pretty much worn me out – and I’m not done with it yet.

Of all the vaunted software tools I have at my disposal, the most valuable one is remote access. However, when a client’s computer cannot connect to the internet that tool becomes useless; and I am forced into “break/fix” mode.

So the second Thursday of the month has now become a day of running around to client sites and manually reinstalling drivers, getting internet access again, updating the drivers and fixing other elements that are listed as “Unknown” in the Windows Device Manager.

Knowing that I’m shouting into the wind, I’m going to make this plea anyway. “Hey Microsoft! Could you please figure out a way to get this update to work properly without any extraordinary measures on my part?” I would thank you, and my clients would thank you.

As many of you know, I started using Lenovo as a vendor of choice for both desktops and laptops earlier in 2012.  There are several reasons for this change.  One is because I think the design and build of Lenovo’s products is compatible or better than other computer manufacturers.  Now, most people use (and some even like) Dell, and I am a Registered Dell Partner.  Nevertheless, I have always believed in offering an option for my price-conscious clients, and Lenovo frequently beats Dell’s pricing.

Granted, Dell offers a wider array of customization options, but then you have to wait for the factory to build it for you.  Lenovo, on the other hand, has determined a decent core set of options that appeal to a wide segment of my client base.  There has been, so far, very little need to alter the basic hardware configurations.  I discovered long ago that most of you keep your computers far longer than their normal life spans.  I find it comforting to know that Lenovo computers will let me upgrade the memory one or two times to keep it performing like a newer computer.

So what is the headache?  Well, that came during installation.

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