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IT Spotlight


Some Windows users are reporting problems restarting their computers after applying the latest Windows updates (KB4493472 (Windows 7, Server 2008R2) and KB4493446 (Windows 8.1, Server 2012R2)).

If your Windows system is having trouble, here are the basic steps to fix the issue. Please note that you will need to have administrator rights on the computer and have working knowledge of the Windows operating system.  Please feel free to Request Help if you would prefer to not fix the issue yourself:

  1. Restart in safe mode, see https://go.lbl.gov/WindowsSafeModeBoot. Methods include:

    1. Reboot and hold down the F8 key and select safe mode OR

    2. Before reboot use the msconfig tool to set safe mode on startup OR

    3. Before reboot use the command prompt and issue safe mode commands

  2. Once in safe mode, disable the Sophos Anti-Virus service

    1. Open the Control Panel

    2. Choose System and Security

    3. Choose Administrative Tools

    4. Open the Service icon

    5. Locate the Sophos service and open “Properties” by double-clicking

    6. Choose “Disabled” for the Startup Type

    7. Click OK to confirm your choice

  3. Restart the computer normally (Boot into normal mode)

  4. Uninstall the Windows KB4493472 or KB4493446 updates depending on your operating system

    1. Open the Control Panel

    2. Click “Uninstall a program” from the Programs icon

    3. Select “View installed updates” on the left window pane

    4. Scroll down the list and search for the update(s)

    5. Highlight and click “Uninstall”

    6. Confirm you want to uninstall the update by selecting “Yes” button

    7. Click “Restart Now” button

  5. Enable the Sophos Anti-Virus service

    1. Open the Control Panel

    2. Choose System and Security

    3. Choose Administrative Tools

    4. Open the Service icon

    5. Locate the Sophos AntiVirus service and open “Properties” by double-clicking

    6. Choose “Automatic” for the Startup Type

    7. Click OK to confirm your choice

  6. Restart the computer normally again for good measure

Users can minimize this sort of impact in the future by utilizing the IT User Support WSUS (Windows Server Update Services) server rather than Microsoft. Request this support via Request Help.

On April 29, 2019, the certificate for the LBL server that handles eduroam authentication will expire.  Once this certificate expires, you will not be able to use eduroam. You will need to update your eduroam profile if you plan to continue using this service.  After April 29, 2019, you will not be able to use eduroam until you update your profile.

What do I need to do?
To update your profile you must first remove your existing eduroam profile (if you have one) and download a new profile from http://cat.eduroam.org/

If you have any issues with the installation or would like some assistance, please contact the IT Help Desk at help@lbl.gov or (510) 486-4357.

The IT User Support Group would like to notify all Asus users to update their computers as soon as possible.

Asus recently announced the need to patch their computers due to potential “ShadowHammer” malware, see http://go.lbl.gov/AsusShadowHammer. Asus Live Update servers were hacked and malicious code was implanted in their servers. It has been cited that at least 1 million downloads of the malicious code were distributed and hundreds of thousands of installs have been executed.

Asus has a diagnostic tool to determine if you have been infected. Further details are explained on the company’s website, http://go.lbl.gov/AsusLiveUpdateNews. Please take action and protect your computers and your work.

Additional methods to protect your systems:

  • Install a backup application like Druva inSync to protect your data if a rebuild is in order

  • Download and install BigFix so IT User Support can identify if you have been infected

If you desire support, please Request Help.

In early March Google confirmed a serious Chrome security issue. This security vulnerability is a memory management error that can enable the execution of malicious code on a user’s computer, see Google reveals Chrome zero-day active attacks.

IT recommends that users immediately update Chrome by restarting it. Users should verify they are running at least version 72.3.3626.121. The current version is 73.0.3683.86. For your reference Google provides Chrome update instructions here.

Thanks to BigFix, the IT Workstation Support Group will be distributing a communication to users who still have the vulnerability. If you wish to receive proactive communications regarding the health of your computer, you can Download BigFix and install it. If you have further questions about BigFix, please Request Help.


Lab IT has released Microsoft’s latest update to Windows 10, version 1809 (see What’s new in Windows 10, version 1809 for IT Pros). This update is recommended for all Windows 10 users.

  • Installing this update will require a couple of reboots, so be prepared for it to take some time.

  • During the update installation, users will see progress updates with messages such as:

    • Preparing to update…..

    • Downloading…..

    • Installing Update…..

  • This entire process can take up to an hour, but you can continue to work during this time.

  • Windows will notify you that you need to reboot. The reboot can take up to 15-20 minutes to complete, so you may want to choose the option to schedule the reboot for later.

  • After the initial reboot, Windows will automatically reboot a couple of times as part of the update process.

If you want to install this update now, please follow the directions at Get the Windows 10 October 2018 Update.

For general information regarding Windows updates, see Microsoft’s site, Update Windows 10.

Remember: always keep your operating system up to date, your applications patched, and your system rebooted at least once a week!

You asked, we listened! We’re bringing LabTech to you!

April 1 @ 10AM
Bldg. 84 Lobby

Come see us to learn how IT can help you with all your computing needs. We will be offering no-cost consulting on:

  • Scaleable, cost efficient centralized IT services
  • High Performance Computing
  • Virtualization
  • Storage Solutions
  • Software Training
  • Desktop/Laptop/Mobile support
  • Backup and Multi Factor Authentication guidance

For more information see scienceit.lbl.gov.

Apple recently announced that there are a limited number of 13-inch MacBook Pro (non-Touch Bar) laptops from 2017 and 2018 that have defective 128GB or 256GB solid-state drives. Apple suggests that to avoid data loss, these drives be replaced as soon as possible. They have a website to determine if your laptop is affected, see 13-inch MacBook Pro (non Touch Bar) Solid-State Drive Service Program. Enter your serial number to see if the laptop requires repair.

If Apple’s website indicates that your system is affected, IT User Support recommends that you do the following:

  1. Ensure that you have a backup of your computer. We recommend using Berkeley Lab IT’s enterprise backup solution, Druva inSync, but there are other options available.
  2. Entering a help ticket by clicking here: REQUEST HELP. Berkeley Lab IT has a contract with an authorized Apple repair service. There will be no charge for the repair, but there may be some charges for the procurement and shipping.
  3. Alternatively, you can take your system to an Apple Store location to get it repaired at no cost. A Genius Bar appointment is required.
  4. If a loaner computer is needed while your laptop is being repaired, please indicate this in your help request.

Zoom has identified a vulnerability in its Zoom Meeting Client for Mac, Windows and Linux.  This vulnerability is pretty bad, we believe it’s worth you taking the time to upgrade.  The vulnerability could enable execution of unauthorized Zoom commands like spoofing chat messages, hijacking screen controls and kicking attendees off calls and locking them out of meetings.

To address this issue, Zoom has released updated Zoom Meeting Clients for Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, and Android.  Make sure your client is one of these versions:

  • Windows: 4.1.34460.1105 or higher
  • Mac: 4.1.34475.1105 or higher
  • Linux: 2.5.146186.1130 or higher
  • IOS: 4.1.18 (4460.1105) or higher
  • Android: 4.1.34489.1105 or higher


What you should do:

Zoom users should download and install the most recent version of the Zoom Meeting Client.  The update is available here: https://lbnl.zoom.us/download.



Why would this article be featured in IT Spotlight? The Green Gaming Project was a collaboration between Science and IT. Evan Mills and Norm Bourassa, senior scientists from the Building Technology and Urban Systems Division, worked together with a group of avid gamers from the IT Workstation Support Group to measure the energy consumption from gaming systems. This project and IT’s Jimmy Mai’s involvement were recently highlighted in Mother Jones, Video Games Consume More Electricity Than 25 Power Plants Can Produce.

The story began when Evan Mills brought in his MacBook Pro to be repaired by the IT Workstation Support Group. Evan shared his story about measuring energy consumption on his son’s gaming PC. The IT technicians, some avid gamers, engaged in the conversation and were curious about his work. One thing led to another and Mills found a group of willing participants in his project. He had IT staff designing, procuring, configuring, testing and monitoring gaming systems plus the development of server and client software to track GPU consumption since it was not available in the open market. The Workstation Support Group became the one stop shop for Mills and Bourassa and this project became the dream job for Desktop Systems Specialist Jimmy Mai, the lead tester on the project. It was a win-win for the Lab.

If you use a high-powered gaming computer or console, you might want to consult the project results to see what you can do to reduce your carbon footprint, check out http://greengaming.lbl.gov.

Operations computers are managed by the IT Workstation Support Group under the Operations Desktop Support (ODS) program. At this time Operations Mac users cannot install the latest macOS, Mojave. We are currently blocking this macOS until we can confirm that all standard ODS software is compatible with the upgrade. Test results indicate that all software works except for Spirion, a Personal Identifying Information (PII) removal tool. We are waiting on the vendor to release an update. Delivery date not yet published. Once a Spirion update is provided, ODS Mac users will be able to download and install Mojave.

For non-Operations users, always approach major operating system upgrades with caution. Users should always verify:

  • Hardware compatibility
  • Application compatibility
  • Backup capability

RoaringApps (https://roaringapps.com/), a crowd sourcing website provides information on application compatibility with operating system versions. All Mac users should ensure they have a backup of their system before doing any kind of update to minimize downtime if the upgrade fails.

If for some reason you need to help updating your Mac, REQUEST HELP.

What is a browser cache?

A browser uses a local cache (pronounced “cash”) to store copies of recently accessed website information to quickly display data to a user at a later time. Having pages and images cached prevents the browser from having to re-download content, which can greatly increase the speed at which pages are loaded.

Why should you periodically clear the cache?

Sometimes browser performance seems sluggish because the cache gets large and bloated. Websites can also behave erratically if the content on the server has changed from that in the cached copy. This can result in page loading errors, performance issues, and in some cases, security issues. For example, a recent change to the login page for the Lab’s FMS was resolved by clearing the cache. 

Clearing your cache is like rebooting your computer. This is usually the first step to diagnosing a browser issue with a website. Next time you visit a website, your browser will download and cache the latest data. 


Microsoft ceased mainstream updates for Windows 7 on January 13, 2015. Since then, Windows 7 continues to receive extended security updates; however Microsoft will cease all updates to Windows 7 on January 14, 2020. This is detailed in the Windows Lifecycle Fact Sheet (https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/13853/windows-lifecycle-fact-sheet).

IT User Support typically deploys workstations with a planned three-year service life. Because security updates to Windows 7 will stop in less that two years, Windows 7 systems are no longer being deployed. In particular, IT User Support will only deploy new and repurposed systems running Windows 10.  All repurposed systems that originated with a Windows 7 license will be required to upgrade to Windows 10. Windows 10 licenses can be purchased from our software download site, https://software.lbl.gov, for $138.62.

All users should begin to plan for replacing all WIndows 7 installations by February, 2020.

Users may want to consider switching to Chromebooks for office and remote work. These lightweight and inexpensive systems work with all Google G Suite and Microsoft Office 365 applications, and provide remote access capabilities to Windows systems. Chromebooks are very easy to use, and provide excellent security, and cost much less than a comparable Windows laptop.

Users can contact IT User Support for more information by clicking the link below.

REQUEST HELP

RELATED ARTICLES

This project was possible because IT identified affected systems with BigFix. To get BigFix for your computer, please visit software.lbl.gov.

Problem

The IT User Support Group has had several calls from customers this morning regarding the endless reboot loop of their system after installing the latest High Sierra macOS update. Error message is,

“The path /System/Installation/Packages/OSInstall.mpkg appears to be missing or damaged. Quit the installer to restart your computer and try again.”

The system then enters an endless reboot and does not let you log into the computer.

Solution

  1. Ensure you have a backup of your computer
  2. Turn off your computer
  3. Holding down the "Option" key, reboot your computer
  4. From the boot menu provided, select your hard drive, i.e. Macintosh HD or the name of your hard drive
  5. Log into your computer
  6. Open a browser and download the 10.13.2 Combo Update via https://support.apple.com/kb/DL1944?locale=en_US
  7. Install the update
  8. Reboot your computer

If you have any questions. please feel free to contact IT at help@lbl.gov or click on the link below.

REQUEST HELP

Backup Solution

Go to the software download page and request a Druva inSync backup account. For more information see, Backups.

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