More Windows patches — and warnings about the Win10 1709 update KB 4089848

On Thursday Microsoft released new cumulative updates for all Win10 versions, a couple of Servicing Stack updates, two previews of monthly rollups, a refreshed Windows Update cracker — and absolutely nothing that fixes the flaws in this month’s botched Win7 patch.

Windows logo overlaying hand with band-aid patch
Thinkstock/Microsoft

“Hey, Cortana.” (Pause.) “Is my PC working yet?”

It’s getting to the point that patches come flying out of Microsoft on any odd day. On most odd days, for that matter. Yesterday, Thursday, was no exception. On March 22 we saw all of these new patches:

Cumulative Updates for Win10

All three of the active versions of Win10 got cumulative updates — the second set in the past two weeks:

  • KB 4089848 brings 1709 (Win10 Fall Creators Update) up to Build 16299.334 – seems to have fixed the problem with the January Delta update
  • KB 4088891 brings 1703 (Win10 Creators Update) up to build 15063.994
  • KB 4088889 brings 1607 (Win10 Anniversary Update) up to build 14393.2155 – this one’s a bit surprising because 1607 is due to go off life support in a couple of weeks.

We also got Servicing Stack Updates for two of the three active versions of Win10:

I don’t see any Servicing Stack update for 1709.

Windows 10 patches are stacking up like jets at JFK in a snowstorm.

Problems with KB 4089848

Yesterday’s cumulative update for Win10 Fall Creators Update, KB 4089848, has raised some red flags. It’s still too early to say for sure if there are significant problems, but ...

Poster yvrhnl on AskWoody reports:

KB 4089848 disabled Start Menu, Notification Centre and Settings Menu.  After rollback all enabled again.

Poster Robert in PA on the Microsoft Answers forum says:

I installed the latest Windows 10 update - KB4089848 - today, 3/22/18. The update prevents my HP printer from printing. I deinstalled the update, and my printer started working again … HP LaserJet Pro MFP M426fdw I cannot print from any application when this KB is installed.  The error messages I receive are pop ups that disappear faster than I can write them down.

Poster Washingtonian-in-SD on the Microsoft Answers forum says:

Update installed successfully (verified in Programs and Features); however, since it was installed, all information has been wiped from the installed update history from Windows Update.  

Previews of Monthly Rollups — and no respite for Win7

Yesterday, Microsoft also released two previews of upcoming Monthly Rollups:

Notably, distressingly, there’s no preview of a Monthly Rollup for Win7. You may recall that this month’s Monthly Rollup for Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2, KB 4088875, and  the download-and-manually-install Security-only patch, KB 4088878, have triggered all sorts of problems. Microsoft has acknowledged all of these problems:

  • After you install this update, SMB servers may leak memory.
  • A Stop error occurs if this update is applied to a 32-Bit (x86) machine with the Physical Address Extension (PAE) mode disabled.
  • A Stop error occurs on computers that don't support Streaming Single Instructions Multiple Data (SIMD) Extensions 2 (SSE2).
  • A new Ethernet virtual Network Interface Card (vNIC) that has default settings may replace the previously existing vNIC, causing network issues after you apply this update. Any custom settings on the previous vNIC persist in the registry but are unused.
  • IP address settings are lost after you apply this update.

Apparently in response to the multiple screw-ups, it looks like KB 4088875 now appears as an “Important” update in the Windows Update list, but isn’t checked by default, and doesn’t install automatically, even with Automatic Update enabled. I’m seeing conflicting reports about whether KB 4088875 currently appears on the WSUS list.

To the best of my knowledge, Microsoft hasn’t yet deigned to explain to us mortals what’s going on with the botched patch — but there’s no doubt that you should avoid it.

The Windows Update cracker KB 4023057 is back

I don’t know what KB 4023057 actually does, but it’s been implicated as the impetus of the “accidental” forced upgrades from 1703 to 1709 — which happened even if 1703 was set to defer upgrades — that I reported on two weeks ago. Blame has fallen on a mysterious new, uh, feature called “Update Assistant” that bypasses Windows Update settings somehow, and this KB has been linked to the Update Assistant.

On AskWoody, poster abbodi86 says about an earlier version of KB 4023057:

It evolved from just fixing registry to restore tasks and fix drivers DB, and compatibilty for UAC management. The main purpose or function did not change: re-allow blocked or disabled Windows Update.

Of course, Microsoft’s official description is the usual “Nothing to see here, folks” drivel:

This update includes reliability improvements that affect the update service components in Windows 10 Versions 1507, 1511, 1607, and 1703.

This update includes files and resources that address issues that affect the update processes in Windows 10. These improvements ensure that quality updates are installed seamlessly on your device and help to improve the reliability and security of devices running Windows 10.  When Windows update is available for your device, devices that do not have enough disk…

Only certain builds of Windows 10 Versions 1507, 1511, 1607, and 1703 require this update. Devices that are running those builds will automatically get the update downloaded and installed through Windows Update.

This update is also offered directly to Windows Update Client for some devices that have not installed the most recent updates. This update is not offered from the Microsoft Update Catalog.

I just wish Microsoft would speak plainly. In this case, some Win10 users (not sure which ones) are getting a patch that (apparently?) breaks their wuauserv Windows Update server settings. I assume that its entire reason for existence is to push more people onto the next version of Win10.

When did Microsoft become the enemy?

Keep us posted on the AskWoody Lounge.

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