Vol. 23, #21 - May 28, 2018 - Issue #1183

WServerNews: Best tech support forums


A company is hit with Ransomware every 40 seconds


Ransomware has cost US businesses over $75 billion in downtime. 1 in 5 businesses hit by ransomware are forced to close. Veriato RansomSafe acts as a vital layer in your ransomware defense, combining just-in-time data protection with multiple mechanisms to detect, and shut down attacks before they hold your business hostage. RansomSafe™ also saves your company time and money, and saves you from having to deal with a painful recovery process. Veriato RansomSafe Installs and configures in less than 10 minutes.  Get protected!

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Editor's Corner

This week's newsletter catches up on our list of what we think are the best forums IT pros can use to get help when they face an intractable problem or are looking for advice in some area. We also have our usual tips, tools, links and other stuff including our Factoid of the Week and by the way if YOU have a factoid you'd like us to inform our readers about just send it to us at [email protected].

What's a factoid, you might ask? Google offers two short definitions:

Bing offers the exact same two meanings while DuckDuckGo gives us a bit more:

Meanwhile here's what Lycos responds with when you type the word "factoid" into the Search box on its home page:


Lycos? By golly, is Lycos still around? Does anyone still use it? See the Factoid of the Week in this issue for more about the current state of Lycos, one of the pioneering web portals of the 90s which has since been acquired several times but is apparently still around. Check it out:


Hmm, just typed my name in the search box on their home page and got no results. Maybe if I try "Bill Gates"? Hmm, still no results. What's going on? Hmm…



HOT! - Like learning from screencasts? Check this out!

PowerShell guru Adam Bertram (a.k.a. Adam the Automator) has developed a new e-learning platform for sysadmins who need to quickly how to "do stuff" without being bored by PowerPoint slides or distracted by unnecessary background info. TechSnips focuses purely on technical screencast demonstrations and gives you what you need whenever you need it. Check it out here:


I'll also be featuring Adam in an upcoming article on our TechGenix website so stay tuned!


Ask Our Readers! - Need help from the IT pro community?

WServerNews goes out each week to more than 500,000 subscribers worldwide! That's a lot of expertise to tap into. Do you need help with some issue or need advice on something IT-related? Got a question you'd like us to toss out to our readers to try and answer? Email us at [email protected]

From the Mailbag

In the Mailbag section of last week's Issue #1182 Security briefs and in the previous issue Issue #1181 Windows alert and what's coming in Windows Server 2019 we mentioned some issues that had appeared after users upgraded to Windows 10 v.1803. Mark a Doctor of Dentistry also sent us this email:

Hello Mitch, When 1803 upgraded, I ended up with a windows.old directory. I don't use either file history or restore points consciously so I can't add to that observation. I think there was a major change. Thanks for being there!

IIRC starting way back with Windows Vista the windows.old folder appears whenever you upgrade a Windows computer to a newer version of Windows. The reason this folder is created is so you can roll back your upgrade if something goes wrong or you're not happy with the newer version. How-To Geek explains this pretty well:

What is the Windows.old Folder and How Do You Delete It?


Microsoft Support explains that you can use Disk Cleanup to remove the windows.old folder to reclaim unused space on your computer:


So it's normal for windows.old to be there I think after the upgrade, and you should be able to remove it using Disk Cleanup. But the Microsoft Answers Community says there seems to be a problem when you try doing this with Windows 10 v.1803:

Q: Windows 10 version 1803 - Cannot remove Windows.old folder


Does anyone have an answer? Email us at [email protected]

And now on to the main topic of this week's newsletter…


Best tech support forums

We looked at this topic a few years ago and thought it might be time to revisit this topic. When you need answers to your problems with operating systems (Windows, Linux, MacOS), with applications/services (SharePoint, Office365, Azure, AWS etc), or with hardware platforms (HP, Lenovo, Microsoft Surface, Apple, Synology, Check Point, etc) where do you go? Typically for software vendors you'll try their own support forums or third-party ones, while for hardware you're also likely to go straight to the vendor's own forums (if any). 

But in IT your problems can sometimes span multiple OSes, applications, and even hardware platforms, so what do you do then? Do you post the same question to half a dozen different forums or do you try something more general first? Below is my persona short list of general tech support forums that I frequently use when I'm investigating some problem or trying to resolve an issue. If you have other similar forums that you'd like to recommend and add to my list, please email me at [email protected]

In the past many of our newsletter readers have recommended Spiceworks as the best overall tech support community/forum:


I've used Spiceworks occasionally myself but generally the problems I have to solve are more application- or vendor-specific.

One tech forum I've often browed when searching for a solution is Experts Exchange:


I've often found quite complex IT problems described and discussed there in some detail and it's frequently been helpful in pointing the way forward for me in my own troubleshooting efforts.

If I have a more system-specific issue to discuss or troubleshoot I often go to the forums at BleepingComputer which has well-populated forums on Windows, Linux, MacOS, system hardware, malware, networking, and more:


Their home page also has interesting news on a wide variety of tech topics.
If I have a question concerning a specific hardware component such as a motherboard, CPU, graphics card, or storage device, I'll often go straight to Tom's Hardware forums instead of the hardware vendor's own forum:


The home page of this site is also a good source of news and tips about the latest hardware, security and privacy issues, and tech companies.

Finally, if the problem I'm facing involves mostly Microsoft products I'll probably start off by posting a question in, browsing, or searching one of the following three Microsoft free support channels:

TechNet Forums - The oldest Microsoft tech support forum but in my mind not so useful anymore as so many questions seem to go unanswered and the Microsoft support engineers and Microsoft MVPs who answer often use canned responses that sometimes don't seem to treat the questioner with the respect they deserve:


Microsoft Community - Formerly called Microsoft Answers, this forum aims to be of help to ordinary users more than IT pros, I've still many times found threads that have helped me as an IT pro as I've searched for a resolution to some problem I'm experiencing:


Microsoft Tech Community - The new kid on the block and I think intended as a replacement for TechNet Forums but maybe not. Actually I'm really not sure what this community is all about -- the home page turns me off as it seems to be a bunch of random articles/discussions than a focused forum, and there also seems to be some advertising mixed in, which is maybe the real reason for its existence? 


It does look nice on a phone though. And if you sign up and log in you can drill down into some actual forums like this one for Office 365:


At least this forum has something going on compared to the almost dead Office 2016 and Office 365 ProPlus forum on TechNet:


What about you? What are your own favorite general tech support forums and most often-used vendor- and third-party forums? Email us at [email protected]


Send us your feedback

Got feedback about anything in this issue of WServerNews? Email us at [email protected]

Recommended for Learning

Infographic on cloud computing and new mobile workforce

Last week newsletter reader Harry Wilson sent us the following email:

Hey there, I'm doing a research on mobility and cloud computing and I came across similar information on your website (TechGenix) - as always, great stuff! In fact, it inspired me to create an Infographic on cloud computing and new mobile workforce. You can check it out here: 


Might be worth adding to your article, blog or website. Either way, keep up the great work!

Be sure to check out Harry's infographic. And if any of you have IT learning resources of your own that you've created and would like to tell our readers about just email us at [email protected]

Factoid of the Week - Farewell Lycos Mail

Last week's factoid and question "I love my Beemer" was this:

While the new autonomous driving capabilities of the latest cars are amazing, the dashboard technology of most new cars sucks. What's your opinion on this? 

I them mentioned that seven years ago I bought one of the last BMW models not to have a touchscreen on the dashboard. The reason I bought it was because I wanted a dashboard where I could reach for the controls I needed without taking my eyes off the road. As someone said somewhere, a good user interface must be easy to navigate, put frequently used controls where you can easily reach them, and give you clear feedback (preferably tactile) when you make a change to a control. The dashboard of my BMW has all these features and I intend to keep driving it until the wheels fall off. This brought a corrective response from another BMW lover named Charlie who works in Infrastructure Admin for a financial company in North Carolina, USA:

As a snobbish/wonkish BMW car owner (since 1984):

Re: your question: I'm ole-school so…not a big fan of the touch screen.

Always enjoy your WServer News emails.

Thanks Charlie and sorry but I'm still going to call my car a Beemer. I think Bimmer is just a silly Yankee take on what any sane person (i.e. Canadian) would obviously call a Beemer. See BimmerForums for a typical discussion of this issue:


I mean, if "bimmer" is pronounced "beemer" then why not spell it that way, eh?

Let's move on to this week's factoid:

Fact: Lycos has finally discontinued its free Lycos Mail service as of June 1, 2018.


Question: Who still has fond memories of using Lycos? For a while in the late 90s it was my go-to search engine for finding stuff on the booming Internet. AFAIWC it beat Altivista, Yahoo! and Webcrawler to a pulp for its quality of results and the way they were laid out on the page. Then along came Google and the old world began to fade away…

Email your answer to us at [email protected]

Until next week, 

Mitch Tulloch


Admin Toolbox

Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without

GOT ADMIN TOOLS or other software/hardware you'd like to recommend? Email us at [email protected]

Ransomware has cost US businesses over $75 billion in downtime. Veriato RansomSafe™ acts as a vital layer in your ransomware defense, combining just-in-time data protection with multiple mechanisms to detect, and shut down attacks before they hold your business hostage.


BrowserStack is a cloud-based cross-browser testing tool that has optional Visual Studio integration:


PowerCopy GUI Tool leverages the command-line utility Robocopy:


FileSystemWatcher is a PowerShell script that uses the .net FileSystemWatcher class to subscribe to 'create', 'change' and 'delete' events on files or folders in the NTFS filesystem:


This Week's Tips

VMware - HTML5 client

This is more in the area of news than a tip but Peter van den Bosch tells that VMware is going to release a full-featured HTML5 client for vSphere some time this coming fall:


VMware admins will want to keep a sharp lookout for this new tool for managing their virtual infrastructure, so stay tuned to Peter's blog for updates.

PowerShell - Managing firewall rules for remote access

Terri Donahue has a post on the Microsoft MVP Award Program Blog that explains how to implement automated management of Windows Firewall on standalone machines that may require remove access via RDP, FTP, or SQL:


PowerShell - Send authenticated SMTP test messages

Aaron Guilmette has a post on his blog Undocumented Features that explains how to use PowerShell to send a bunch of test messages for testing SMTP authentication with outside mail relay services:



Events Calendar

Infosecurity Europe in London, England on June 5-9


Computex in Taipei, Taiwan on June 5-9


Cloud & DevOps World in London, England on June 12-14


OfficeCamp in Gelsenkirchen, Germany on June 18-20


HPE Discover in Las Vegas, Nevada on June 18-21


Microsoft Inspire in Las Vegas, Nevada on July 15-19


Microsoft Ignite 2018 on September 24-28, 2018 in Orlando, Florida USA


Add Your Event

PLANNING A CONFERENCE OR OTHER EVENT you'd like to tell our 100,000 subscribers about? Contact [email protected]

New on TechGenix.com

Setting up self-service users in Virtual Machine Manager

Allowing access to private clouds for self-service administration used to require the use of an external portal such as Azure Pack. Today it can be done using Virtual Machine Manager.


Need a BI solution? The most crucial questions to ask a vendor

Even startups and small businesses know the need for BI tools. But purchasing your BI solution must be done carefully. Here are some questions to ask potential vendors.


Power throttling: Using, tweaking, and disabling this new Windows 10 feature

The power throttling feature in the recent Windows 10 update is designed to help increase battery life by scaling back the amount of CPU resources.


Cloud data migration: Common issues and problems you must avoid

Moving to the cloud is often fraught with various challenges. Here are the top cloud data migration problems enterprises may face and how to deal with them.


Microsoft continues mission to eliminate passwords with FIDO2

Microsoft has been working on several initiatives to do away with passwords. Its latest: FIDO2, which allows users to sign into Windows 10 and Azure AD using a security key.



Tech Briefing - Education and Training

Cloud vs. On-Premises Certification

Born to Learn


Top 3 Tips: Stepping up to Computer Science

UK Microsoft Educator


Want to learn the basics of Word, Excel, or Outlook? Get started here!

Born to Learn


So, how do you prepare for a Microsoft exam?

Lee Stevens


Exploring Today's E-Learning Ecosystem




Other Articles of Interest

VMware announces AirLift for co-management and releases Workspace One products announced at VMworld

Workspace One Intelligence, Mobile Flows, macOS client, and Graph API support are all GA now; plus VMware is announcing a new security partner program. Learn more here. 


Decide when to support the iPad Pro for work

Don't assume that the iPad Pro always works for the enterprise. IT pros should first evaluate when it's best to use an iPad rather than a PC or laptop.


Windows Server 2019: Session Host is dead! Multi-user Win10 instead?

Imagine if RDSH was based on a client OS instead of a server OS. Fantastic, right?


Progressive web apps drive mobile development of the future

Progressive web apps offer many benefits, leading organizations to take advantage of this trend in mobile app dev. A lack of Apple support stands in the way for some, however.



WServerNews FAVE Links

This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff

GOT FUN VIDEOS or other fun links to suggest you'd like to recommend? Email us at [email protected]


Sukhoi Su-35S Amazing Aerobatics Air Show

Test pilot Yuriy Vaschuk gives a breathtaking aerobatic flight display of the SU-35S at the MAKS 2017 Air Show:


Most Extreme Parkour Moments Caught On Camera

The scariest and most extreme parkour moments caught on camera. Don't watch this if you are afraid of heights!


Denmark's Got Chef Magic Talent

Trained cook, professional magician and comedian Henning Nielsen gives a hilarious, unique and perfectly timed magic performance at Denmark's Got Talent:


The Best Of Magic - Lance Burton

Possibly the most beautiful sleight of hand magic routine ever performed for the camera. A masterful act by Lance Burton at the Magic Castle:


Have any other readers found similar content they'd like to recommend for our Fave Links section? Email us at [email protected]


WServerNews - Product of the Week

A company is hit with Ransomware every 40 seconds


Ransomware has cost US businesses over $75 billion in downtime. 1 in 5 businesses hit by ransomware are forced to close. Veriato RansomSafe acts as a vital layer in your ransomware defense, combining just-in-time data protection with multiple mechanisms to detect, and shut down attacks before they hold your business hostage. RansomSafe™ also saves your company time and money, and saves you from having to deal with a painful recovery process. Veriato RansomSafe Installs and configures in less than 10 minutes.  Get protected!

Try a free 15-day trial!

WServerNews - Editors

Mitch Tulloch is Senior Editor of WServerNews and is a widely recognized expert on Windows administration, deployment and virtualization. Mitch was lead author of the bestselling Windows 7 Resource Kit and has been author or series editor for almost fifty books mostly published by Microsoft Press. Mitch is also a ten-time recipient of Microsoft's Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award for his  outstanding contributions in support of the global IT pro community. Mitch owns and runs an information technology content development business based in Winnipeg, Canada. For more information see www.mtit.com.

Ingrid Tulloch is Associate Editor of WServerNews and was co-author of the Microsoft Encyclopedia of Networking from Microsoft Press. Ingrid is also manages research and marketing for our content development business and has co-developed university-level courses in Information Security Management for a Masters of Business Administration program.