21 Aug

Enterprise Dish: How to Address Windows 7 Upgrade Scenarios

After two Microsoft Windows 10 Patch Tuesday updates and Windows 7 support ending soon, SmartDeploy CEO, Aaron Suzuki, and Enterprise Dish host, Brad Sams, had plenty of Microsoft news to unpack. Watch the video to learn how these updates and discontinuations can affect you and your end users and follow along to learn the full scope of these Microsoft changes.

As Microsoft has stated, Windows 7 support will be discontinued on January 14th, 2020. If users continue to use PC’s with Windows 7 after the revoked support, the device will still work but it runs a higher vulnerability risk for viruses and security threats. After Windows 7 support ends, technical support, software updates, and security patches will no longer be available for machines running on Windows 7. Naturally, the threat of having sensitive information leaked on Windows 7 machines leaves businesses feeling uneasy. However, for some industries, upgrading to Windows 10 isn’t that simple—for manufacturing companies with expensive equipment running on Windows 7 updating to Windows 10 could require purchasing new equipment, or other expensive update avenues. Watch the video for Aaron’s suggestion on how to navigate these situations.

Microsoft is strongly encouraging Windows users to upgrade to Windows 10, as they recently released a FastTrack for Windows 10 Deployment Guide which assists users in planning their upgrade to Windows 10. This service can be utilized for users who have purchased at least 150 licenses. Eligible users can work with a FastTrack Specialist to deploy Windows 10 and coordinate FastTrack Center benefits for Office 365 ProPlus. Watch the video to hear Brad and Aaron dive into the potential reasons why Microsoft is making their final push for a Windows 10 upgrade.

Microsoft released an update on August 13 – KB4512508 (OS Build 18362.295) which affects remote code executions related to remote desktop servers. The affected Windows Server software includes Windows 10, Windows Server 2008 R2 Sp1, Windows 7, Server 2012 8.1, and Server 2012 R2 and is being classified as a wormable exploit. Although this appears as a high security risk, it may not be as detrimental as it appears. The code executions are not exploitable by RDP if you have NLA turned on, which is an automatic software setting that requires authentication. The pair agreed if users and IT departments are already focused on cyber security, they should continue to proceed with caution and their devices should maintain security.

SmartDeploy recently discovered a bug related to the two most recent updates, the July 26th KB4505903 (OS Build 18362.267) update and the August 13th update (listed above). While assisting a customer with a Sysprep issue, the SmartDeploy support team found the July 26th update broke Sysprep. Once the update was installed, Sysprep returned an “unable to validate the OD” error. The July 26th update also included several undocumented Windows Autopilot fixes. The Sysprep break was never stated in the KB article, or anywhere else since the update, but the Windows Autopilot fixes were included in a later released support article. The August 13th update doesn’t mention the Autopilot fixes or the Sysprep failures either, but it did fix the Sysprep break. However, the August 13th update support article warns PXE may fail which could affect SCCM, WDS, and other deployment software’s performance. Watch the video to hear Aaron’s take on why Microsoft didn’t explicitly report these bugs.

About the Author

Heidi Flaig
Heidi Flaig has overseen the marketing department for SmartDeploy since 2011 and thrives on engaging with IT professionals to better understand how SmartDeploy products can improve their world. She has over 500 contributions in the Spiceworks community. When she’s not in the office, you can find Heidi hiking with her husband, two sons, and silver lab, Miles.