Windows 10 cumulative update KB 3176934 breaks PowerShell

Microsoft's update for version 1607 doesn't fix two widespread problems with Windows 10 Anniversary Update, and it breaks PowerShell DSC operations

Yesterday afternoon, Microsoft released KB 3176934 for those PCs running Windows 10 Anniversary Update. It's the fifth cumulative update for version 1607 (three were released before the product rolled out on Aug. 2) and brings the build number up to 14393.82. You can see the long list of official changes -- primarily bug fixes -- on the Windows 10 update history page.

Anniversary Update customers also received an update to the "servicing stack" -- the subsystem within Windows 10 that handles updates -- in KB 3176936.

There was some hope that the cumulative update would fix one of the two widespread problems with the Windows 10 Anniversary Update that I talked about last week, but no such luck. Based on reports as of very early Wednesday morning, it looks like the freeze problem is still there. In a Reddit thread devoted to the topic, poster zpoon says: "After restart I had it lock up on me within 3 minutes."

Microsoft has closed off discussion about the freeze problem on the main Answers forum thread, so there's nothing new. But the original Reddit thread has been updated to reflect build 14393.82, and there's no joy in Mudville. I haven't seen any reports of a solution on the freeze front.

The second widely reported problem -- that Anniversary Update broke Skype for those who use many popular webcams, including the Logitech C920 -- doesn't seem to have been addressed by the patch either. The MSDN thread on the topic contains no news, only repeated remonstrations about Microsoft's ability to test Windows updates with the Skype team.

There's also a new problem, specific to patch KB 3176934. As the Windows PowerShell Blog reported last night:

Due to a missing .MOF file in the build package, the update breaks DSC. All DSC operations will result in an "Invalid Property" error. If you are using DSC from or on any Windows client, take the following steps:

Uninstall the update if already installed…

If using WSUS, do not approve the update. Otherwise, Use Group Policy to set the ‘Configure Automatic Updates' to ‘2 -- Notify for download and notify for install'… A fix for this issue will be included in the next Windows update which is due out 8/30/2016.

DSC is PowerShell's Desired State Configuration, a set of language extensions and commands that gives admins control over networked computers.

We now have two examples of significant internal patching screwups with build 1607. First, Microsoft's Skype people didn't raise the red flag when they were testing 14393.0 with C920 cameras. Now, Microsoft's PowerShell people didn't raise the red flag when they were testing 14393.82 with DSC. The problem with yesterday's update, it seems, is a simple missing file.

The Skype team had weeks -- months -- to halt the rollout of 1607 or at least warn users in advance that 1607 would break Skype with the C920. The PowerShell team had at least a week to test 14393.82 with DSC. In both cases, Microsoft released patches that broke its own products.

You may recall that Microsoft instituted the Release Preview ring specifically to give admins and developers a chance to test changes to Windows 10 shortly before they're released to the world at large. In this case, Win10 Insiders on the Release Preview ring received not one but two advance warnings about this 14393.82 patch -- KB 3176932, released a week ago, and KB 3176934, which followed two days later. Microsoft has never explained the difference between the two KBs, but they both resulted in systems with version number 14393.82.

In the past I've admonished admins and developers to get on the Release Preview ring, so they can test their wares before Microsoft throws the forced-update switch. Now, it seems, Microsoft's own teams need to get on board as well.

Right hand, meet left hand.

Copyright © 2016 IDG Communications, Inc.

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