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Patch Tuesday April 2014: 4 Security Updates

Tuesday April 8, 2014

Windows Update IconToday is Patch Tuesday. April's patches consist of 4 updates that correct several unique security issues across Microsoft Windows operating systems and some other Microsoft software.

Also this month, Windows 8.1 is being updated to Windows 8.1 Update (via a non-security update). This month also marks the end of Windows XP support. See Support for Windows XP Ends April 8: Here's What You need to Know for more on this.

The next Patch Tuesday will be on May 13, 2014.

What Do These Security Updates Do?

These patches from Microsoft update several individual files involved in making Windows and other Microsoft software work.

Do I Need These Security Updates?

You need these updates if you're running any supported edition of Microsoft's operating systems, 32-bit or 64-bit. This includes Windows 8 (as well as Windows 8.1), Windows 7, and Windows Vista. Windows XP is also receiving security updates this month but, as I mentioned above, this will be the last time that happens.

All supported versions of Microsoft Office are also getting security updates, including Office Viewer and Compatibility Packs. This includes Microsoft Office for Mac as well.

Popular business and enterprise software is also being updated, including supported Windows Server operating systems, as well as SharePoint Server and Office Web Apps.

Some of these updates correct issues so serious that, in certain situations, remote access to your computer may be possible without your permission. These issues are classified as critical, while some others this month are less serious and classified as important.

See Microsoft Security Bulletin Severity Rating System for more on these classifications.

Important: In case you missed my note above, updates are being released for Windows XP this month, but for the last time.

Are There Any Non-Security Updates This Month?

Yes, most notably the Windows 8.1 Update update for Windows 8.1 I mentioned at the start of this post.

Additional non-security updates are being made available for Windows 8 (pre-update), Windows 7, and Windows Vista. Also, as usual, Microsoft is pushing this month's update to the Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool.

Some Microsoft Surface tablets are also getting driver and firmware updates, among other fixes. You can get all the details on the Surface RT, Surface 2, Surface Pro, and Surface Pro 2 update history pages.

There may also be non-security updates included this month for Microsoft software other than Windows. See the non-security update information in the section below for details.

Download Patch Tuesday Updates

In most situations, the best way to download patches on Patch Tuesday is via Windows Update. Only the updates you need will be listed and, unless you've configured Windows Update otherwise, will be downloaded and installed automatically.

You also have the option of manually installing updates via the individual Bulletin IDs listed in the Microsoft Security Bulletin Summary for April 2014.

Any non-security updates for Windows are listed on Microsoft's New Non-Security Content for 2014 page. You can find links to any non-security Microsoft Office updates on the Microsoft Office Updates blog.

Note: Most of these downloads come in 32-bit or 64-bit versions. See Do I Have 32-bit or 64-bit Windows? if you're not sure which downloads to choose.

Patch Tuesday Problems

While updates from Microsoft rarely result in widespread problems with Windows itself, they do frequently cause specific issues with software or drivers provided by other companies.

If you haven't yet installed these patches, please see How To Prevent Windows Updates From Crashing Your PC for a number of preventative measures you should take before applying these updates, including disabling fully automatic updates.

If you're having problems after Patch Tuesday, or during or after installing any Windows update:

See Windows Updates & Patch Tuesday FAQ for answers to other common questions, including "Does Microsoft test these updates before they push them out?" and "Why hasn't Microsoft fixed the problem that their update caused on my computer?!"

More Help with Patch Tuesday April 2014

Run in to some trouble during or after April's Patch Tuesday? Head over to Google+ and leave a new comment on my post:

Patch Tuesday Problems: April 2014 [Google+]

Be sure to let me know exactly what's happening, what version of Windows you're using, and what if any errors you're seeing, and I'd be happy to help you out.

If you need help with a computer problem but it's not about an issue you're having surrounding Microsoft's Patch Tuesday, see my Get More Help page for information about contacting me for personal assistance.

Support for Windows XP Ends April 8: Here's What You Need to Know

Monday April 7, 2014

Windows XP LogoAs of April 8th, 2014, Windows XP is no longer supported.

No longer supported means what you probably think it means - that Windows XP will no longer receive security patches, like those your computer normally automatically installs on Patch Tuesday, nor will it receive non-security updates, like bug fixes.

I considered writing a lot about the end of Windows XP support, but other projects got in my way and, surprisingly, Microsoft did a pretty good job communicating what this means. So, instead of rehashing everything out there, I've gone out and found some of the best explanations about what it means, what to do (or not to do), and more.

Microsoft is sharing their Support is Ending Soon piece widely, which is good, but it's not full of the type of information that most of you XP-hold-outs are probably looking for. Check it out if you're confused about the basics of what end-of-support means for XP, but skip it otherwise.

The real jewel on Microsoft's site about the end of Windows XP support is their Support for Windows XP is Ending piece for business and enterprise customers. I know most of you don't run hundreds of Windows XP computers in a corporate setting, but that's OK - the information here applies to you too and is very detailed and worth reading for a full understanding of what this all means.

You'll find a list of potential risks of staying with Windows XP, instructions for migrating from XP to Windows 8 (or 7, etc.), and lots more. Most valuable, I think, is the extensive FAQ. Here is some of you'll find answered there:

  • Can Windows XP still be activated after April 8, 2014?
  • Can Windows XP Mode in Windows 7 still be used in Windows XP?
  • Will Microsoft Security Essentials be supported after April 8, 2014?
  • Will Microsoft's Malicious Software Removal Tool be supported after April 8, 2014?
  • Will existing updates still be available via Windows Update after April 8, 2014?
  • Will Internet Explorer 8 still be supported on Windows XP?
  • Which machines will receive the Windows XP End of Support notification?

A few things I didn't see, but I'll answer:

Is Windows XP included in the April 2014 updates on Patch Tuesday?

Yes. So for all intents and purposes, I'd consider the day before the next Patch Tuesday as the real end-of-life for Windows XP. That would be May 12, 2014, by my count.

Will Windows XP stop working?

Absolutely not. You just increase the chance, over time, that your computer will be vulnerable to newly discovered security threats.

For more on this, see PC World's Windows XP holdouts: Meet the diehard faithful who refuse to move on. You're not alone! Also good at PC World: How to keep your PC secure when Microsoft ends Windows XP support and from TechCrunch: As Microsoft Support for XP Expires, Antivirus Vendors Pick Up The Slack.

If you're curious about the end of support for Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8 (yes, they already have this figured out), see Microsoft's Windows Lifecycle Fact Sheet. Don't worry Windows 8 folks, we have until January 10, 2023!

Are you still using Windows XP? Will you be buying a new computer or upgrading to Windows 7 or Windows 8? Head over to Google+ and let me know your thoughts!

Windows Logo Microsoft

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World Backup Day 2014

Friday March 28, 2014

World Backup Day 2014 LogoMonday, March 31st, is World Backup Day, the day we technology folks remind you of how important it is to back up your data. Considering my particular expertise, I tend to do this much more often than once per year, but I'll take this annual excuse to do it yet again!

Here's the message to remember:

Your Data is More Valuable Than Your Device!

Hardware is cheap and getting cheaper. You know what's expensive or even priceless? That term paper you spent three weeks writing, the $3,000 USD in music and movies you have on your hard drive, and the digital video of your little boy or girl's first step.

You can get a new computer or phone, but try replacing those important files: You can't!

So what do you do? How do you make sure you never lose the bits and bytes important to you?

You back them up!

I'm a very huge of fan of online backup services. I think using a cloud backup service (what they're sometimes called) is the most easy, economical, and effective way of keeping your important data safe.

See my 39 Online Backup Services Reviewed for a ranked, updated list, complete with prices. Some plans allow an unlimited amount of storage, some limit you to so many GBs or TBs, some support backup from multiple simultaneous computers, some are even free for a just a little storage.

No matter what your needs, I've done all the research to help you make the right decision. Aside from the list of reviews I linked you to above, my Online Backup Comparison Chart is really helpful if you're curious about which of my favorite cloud backup services offer a particular feature.

Have questions about online backup or not completely sure what it is? I answer most every question I've ever gotten about online backup in my Online Backup FAQ.

Here are some more online backup resources you might find helpful:

The newest edition to my collection of online backup pieces is my Online Backup Q&A. Here you'll find interviews I've done with online backup services where I ask questions you probably won't find elsewhere, like Why Should I Pick Your Service?, How Do You Handle NSA Data Requests?, and a more.

From Other About.com Experts:

Image World Backup Day

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Piriform Releases CCleaner v4.12.4657

Wednesday March 26, 2014

CCleaner LogoPiriform has released CCleaner v4.12.4657, the latest version of their registry and system cleaner tool. For a full overview, see my review of CCleaner v4.12.4657.

This update to CCleaner improves cleaning support for Opera, improves registry cleaning, and adds or improves junk file cleaning for a number of programs. You can read about all changes in Piriform's Change Log, which you find here.

You can download CCleaner v4.12.4657 for free here.

Related Content:

Free Registry Cleaner Programs
Registry Cleaner FAQ

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Piriform Releases Recuva v1.51.1036

Thursday March 20, 2014

Recuva LogoPiriform released Recuva v1.51.1036 today, the latest version of their free file recovery tool. For a full overview, see my review of Recuva v1.51.1036.

New in this version of Recuva is support for both the EXT2 and EXT3 file systems, the ability to recover from drive volumes without a GUID, and a number of improvements to existing features.

If you keep a copy of Recuva installed all the time, something that I recommend you do, then I suggest you update to this new version. All of the changes they made from the last version are listed in the Change log on their blog post about this update here.

As always, you can download the newest version of Recuva for free here.

Related Content:

Free File Recovery Programs
File Recovery FAQ

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Firefox 28 Now Available

Tuesday March 18, 2014

Firefox LogoMozilla released Firefox v28 today, the latest version of their Firefox browser.

As usual, a huge number of issues were corrected from v27. You can see the complete list Firefox's v28.0 Bug Fixes page.

Some new features in Firefox v28 include the addition of VP9 video decoding, volume control for HTML5 audio/video, notification center support for Mac OS X, and lots more. Check out the Firefox v28.0 Release Notes for a complete overview of what you're getting in this new version.

You can download Firefox v28 here, or just watch for the update notification next time you're using the browser.

Having Trouble Installing or Using Firefox?

See Get More Help for information about contacting me on social networks or via email, posting on tech support forums, and more. Be sure to let me know what version of Firefox you're using (or trying to install), your version of Windows, any errors you're receiving, what steps you've already taken to try to fix the problem, etc.

Related Content:

How to Clear the Cache in Firefox
How to Activate Private Browsing in Firefox
Firefox Add-on Reviews

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Windows 9 [Rumor Roundup]

Monday March 17, 2014

Windows 9 BoxshotIt might seem strange, but yes, Microsoft is working on Windows 9. In fact, they're probably working on Windows 10 on some level.

Considering the time that developing an operating system must take, it shouldn't be that surprising that the next major version of Windows is getting some serious development time right now, even though Windows 8 is still being actively updated and improved.

See my new piece, Windows 9: Latest Information for an updated look at the most likely release date, system requirements, and lots more. There aren't many facts available yet but that's likely to change over the next few months.

What would you like to see Microsoft add, remove, or change in Windows 9? Head over to my Google+ post on Windows 9 and let me know!

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NVIDIA GeForce Video Card Drivers v335.23 Now Available

Monday March 10, 2014

NVIDIA LogoNVIDIA has released GeForce drivers version 335.23. For the most part, this update provides better gaming experience for the new Titanfall game.

This is the final, WHQL version of these drivers and replaces all previously available drivers. You should install v335.23 if you have a supported NVIDIA GPU running any previous driver release.

Important: If you have any previous beta version of this driver installed, please update to v335.23 as soon as possible. It's almost always a better idea to have the WHQL certified version of a driver installed.

Here are some of the new features, changes, and fixes available in v335.23 over previous releases:

  • Improves performance with several GPUs.
  • Updates SLI profiles for Diablo III, Bound by Flame, Need for Speed Rivals, DOTA 2, and Watch Dogs.
  • Adds or updates 3D Vision profiles for Titanfall, Thief, and Call of Duty: Ghosts.
  • Corrects several issues across most Windows operating systems.
  • NVIDIA PhysX is at v9.13.1220 and HD Audio is at v1.3.30.1 in this release.

For complete information on v335.23, see NVIDIA's Version 335.23 Release Notes for Windows 8.1/8/7/Vista here (desktop) and here (notebook), or the Version 335.23 Release Notes for Windows XP here. All links are to PDF files.

Download Links:

Most NVIDIA GPUs are fully supported with the v335.23 driver in most current versions of Windows, like Windows 8 (including Windows 8.1), Windows 7, and Windows Vista.

The following two downloads are for Desktop GPUs ONLY. These are the NVIDIA drivers you need if you have a video card with an NVIDIA ION/ION LE or GeForce GPU installed in your desktop computer.

32-bit Download [Windows 8/8.1, 7, Vista]
64-bit Download [Windows 8/8.1, 7, Vista]

These two downloads are for Notebook GPUs ONLY. These are the NVIDIA drivers you need if your laptop, netbook, notebook, or tablet is powered by an NVIDIA ION/ION LE or GeForce GPU.

32-bit Download [Windows 8/8.1, 7, Vista]
64-bit Download [Windows 8/8.1, 7, Vista]

Tip: Not sure if you should download the 32-bit or 64-bit driver? See Am I Running a 32-bit or 64-bit Version of Windows? for help. If you need even more assistance, head over to the GeForce Drivers page and click on the big green AUTO-DETCT YOUR GPU button.

Windows XP Drivers: NVIDIA supports Windows XP less and less with each new GPU and driver release. However, they do support many GPUs on Windows XP with their newest v335.23 drivers. You can download the 32-bit driver here or the 64-bit driver here. These drivers are only designed for desktop GPUs but you may have luck getting them to work on your notebook PC. If not, check with your notebook maker for better drivers or with NVIDIA for an older release.

Other downloads like nForce drivers, GeForce drivers for non-Windows operating systems, previous driver releases, and much more, can be found here.

Note: If you're using a relatively recent version of NVIDIA's GeForce drivers, just right-click on the NVIDIA icon in the system tray and choose Check for updates.... You can download and install the driver automatically from there. If you want to be prompted for beta driver updates, be sure to check the appropriate box in the Preferences tab.

Tip: If you're looking for an up-to-date resource on new drivers, see my Windows 7 Drivers and Windows 8 Drivers pages. I keep those pages updated with information and links to new drivers available from NVIDIA and other major hardware makers.

Having Trouble With These New NVIDIA Drivers?

See Get More Help for information about contacting me on social networks or via email, posting on tech support forums, and more. Be sure to let me know what version of NVIDIA drivers you installed (or are trying to install), your version of Windows, any errors you're receiving, what steps you've already taken to try to fix the problem, etc.

Related Topics:

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Windows 8.1 Update 1 to Arrive in April (Probably)

Wednesday March 5, 2014

Windows Logo IconWindows 8.1 Update 1, which I first blogged about in late January, is a relatively small update to Windows 8.1, which itself is the major update to Windows 8 that was released last October. [Confused yet?]

Anyway, the latest gossip is out on this update, and it looks even more certain that we'll see this update included in Patch Tuesday on April 8, 2014. It's not official yet, but seems likely.

UPDATE: It's now official. :)

Most of the changes in Windows 8.1 Update 1 (which, by the way, is still not officially the name of this update) continue the pro-keyboard-and-mouse-user changes seen in Windows 8.1

You can read all the details in Mary Jo Foley's Microsoft releases Windows 8.1 Update 1 to manufacturing piece out yesterday.

Related Topics:

Windows Icon Image Microsoft

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Office 2013 Service Pack 1 (SP1) Now Available

Tuesday February 25, 2014

Microsoft Office 2013 Box-shotMicrosoft Office 2013 Service Pack 1 (SP1) was just released by Microsoft. Service packs are big updates, usually a combination of new features and up-to-this-date, previously individually available, security and stability updates.

See my Latest Microsoft Office Service Packs page for direct links to both the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Office 2013 SP1. You're welcome to manually update starting right now via those links or via Windows Update. Beginning near the end of March, Office 2013 SP1 will be pushed as an automatic update.

If you're using Office 365, the subscription based version of Office 2013, the changes included in Office 2013 SP1 will be included in the next update to your software.

Tip: If you're really interested, you can download this spreadsheet of all the fixes included in Office 2013 SP1. It's a really big list, but might be handy if you're looking to see if SP1 solves a specific issue you've been seeing in one of your Office 2013 programs. Microsoft's Office Blogs also posted about Office 2013 SP1 with some generic information.

Related Content:

Latest Microsoft Windows Service Packs
What is Patch Tuesday?

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