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A Microsoft Office update has pranged customised copies of Word. The upgrade for Word version 16.0.6366 renames users' Normal.dotm file. This means a new and empty Normal.dotm is created when Word is restarted after the update is applied, giving people the impression their customizations have been lost. Complaints are landing …
Bad for firing their trustworthy computing group, yes.
Their trustworthy computing group had (as far as I can see) more to do with marketing than with anything that ever made it into production. For all the talent MS has hired, I have yet to see sense make its way into their products, which seems to suggest that the main reason MS hires talent is to deprive the competition of it.
Have seen the presentations they did to business, government and military, and I have seen what they eventually delivered. Even banks couldn't get away with that large a gap between the two.
Wonder if someone captured their MSI and forgot to remove their personal cruft from it... Because I can't think of a single reason why a Windows update would touch Normal.dotm deep in a user folder.
Once had something similar where I ran "discover" to create an MSI and left some temporary setup files in the downloads folder. Tested, it worked. Tested on other machines, it worked. Pushed out to a handful of users via group policy, it worked. Rolled it out - suddenly everyone was pushing a 100Mb setup executable back to their profiles...
"Grasshopper; Tell me more..."
Normal.dotm has the capability of executing VB macros when it is loaded. Therefore it is a potential vehicle for viruses. Whether it is technically possible for an MS update to effect such a change is open to debate. Given the way they have abused the update system recently to override user rejection of W10 upgrade functions - then I would not be surprised at any exploit they used to achieve their ends.
I think you're missing my point. The story is about a windows 10 security patch so there is no rejection of windows 10 involved. If this happened to you then you already have windows 10 installed.
Now, if this also happens to other versions of windows then your theory just *Might* have some vague possibilities, though as yet totally unproven, but until it does happen on a non windows 10 machine then its just making up shit.
And anyway, its about renaming the existing normal.dotm so that it reverts to the system default. How on earth is that an attack vector? Your logic still evades me.
Lotus 123 wasn't a suite, it was a single application. Lotus Symphony was a suite...well, of sorts.
The only problem you'll have with your copy of Lotus 123 is finding a floppy drive so you can enable the copy protection. 123 had copy protection on the floppy, you have "install" the copy protection from the floppy to the HD copy in order to run it. Then "deinstall" to put it back to the floppy. I had a little bit of a pocket money earner at college, ripping out copy protection from software that my fellow students wanted to share among themselves back in the late 1980s.
"Lotus 123 wasn't a suite, it was a single application. "
I couldn't afford Lotus 1-2-3, so I ended up using "As-Easy-As", a shareware spreadsheet that could read/write various wk* files.
When, eventually, I got hold of 1-2-3, I found I still preferred A-E-A !!
Just my 2c :)
Look, I'm not a fan of MS Office and haven't used it for many a decade, but how does this glitch make you want to stop using it if you hadn't already reached that point? The story says it renames the file - Can't you just rename it back again or something? I dunno, maybe that's not possible and I have no way of knowing since I use neither windows 10 nor Office, but, FFS!
Yet another in a long list of examples of why forced updates are a stupid idea, and why I'm avoiding Windows 10 like the plague.
The description of the KB is simply "This update offers improved functionality for Windows 10 Version 1511." Goodness knows what they're installing as "improved functionality" and what applications they are impacting. Lack of transparency has lost my trust in Windows Updates.
LOL Geoff.. .that was a poorly written sentence on my part.
I meant when they were trying to decide between a pc or an Apple box.
I've always leaned towards PCs for my recommendations, but now leaning the other way.
My post was a cluster fakk too, but that's what I meant haha.
Maybe Microsoft is deliberately upsetting everyone who is marginally computer literate (such as being able to make custom initialisation scripts etc.) That way they'll all bugger off to a different OS, and Microsoft can have a field day conning the people who remain into buying expensive service contracts - because there will no longer be a neighbour/sibling/son who knows enough about Widows to assist them.
@Cynic 999 - If so, I would say it is an incredibly stupid strategy when the unwashed masses really do not need a specific OS or application set. If the technically literate migrate to Linux for example, they can assist their family and friends in their migration. Would you trust family member who has been running Linux for about a year or so successfully when they suggest Linux?
My take is W10 will have poor market traction and in a couple of years there will a noticeable uptick to Linux/BSD/Apple as people evaluate their options and get advice from their informal IT department.
'sall ready happening. I'm responsible for 4 newcomers (at their request, I hasten to add. I'm not evangelical about it, it's just that a sizable minority of the non-IT literate also seem to be dead upset with MS of late) to Penguin Territory in the last few months, as against only about 8 in total in the preceding 8 years.
Nothing to do with Word, but after restarting from this update going on, my mobile broadband card (internal pci-e thing) no longer works. Uninstalling the update doesn't change things, and I didn't have system restore points set to roll back to - have to wait 'til back at base now to see if I can get it working again.
Don't know about the Word debacle - but the latest round of "updates" reset all my defaults to MS-preferred ones.
After people complained about it the last time they did an "update".
I think I'm going to set all of my 'net connections to "metered" and stop the updates altogether.
To be fair, one shouldn't keep production VBA in normal.dot -- the code should be in a separate template which should be held in Word's start-up folder.
Keeping code in normal.dot is not a clever thing to do at all. However, this doesn't change the issue in any way that Microsoft shouldn't be messing with the user's own data.
Personally I don't see what all the fuss is about, they obviously already have everyone's data, why don't the just autorestore the documents they overwrote/deleted from the cloud? Honestly can't believe nobody thought of it - or maybe they have and I'm too lazy to read all the comments ;)
MS has now published a KB article to fix this problem:
Short form: Fortunately the file is still there, so all you have to do is rename it back.
Would you please append the link to the end of the article so people can find it more easily.
PS: if people have questions about MS products, they can go to the MS sponsored http://answers.microsoft.com forum. Most of the people providing answers are NOT MS employees, they are unpaid volunteers with "real world" experience, often with the problem you are having.
16 steps to do this, with an IF THEN LOOP embedded? (They cheated by starting again at 1: twice, and I have glossed over step 2 being a three step operation).
I thought that newer operating systems would be easier to use for the layman? Isn't that the objective, No?
Pedant Note: Step 6 will IMO only work the first time this happens. The next time it occurs you will already have a file called NormalBeforeRestore.dotm. The instructions need to say:-
Rename the Normal.dotm file to NormalBeforeRestore <X>.dotm
Where <X> is a positive integer starting at 1 and incrementing towards infinity, until you find a file that does not give you the error message "Error, file NormalBeforeRestore <X>.dotm already exists"
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