July Windows updates, for all versions, are stumbling all over themselves

New cumulative updates for all versions of Windows were released yesterday, July 24. Or were they?

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As we follow the Mad Microsoft Hatter down the July 2018 update rabbit hole, it helps to keep in mind that what you see and hear may or may not be the truth. Yesterday, the fourth Tuesday of the month, brings up an excellent case in point (or perhaps not an excellent case in point).

According to the Knowledge Base articles, six cumulative updates were released yesterday. But according to the official Microsoft Update Catalog, those updates may or may not have been released on July 23, or even July 20. If you look inside the updates, the dates will confuse you even more. And if you try to install or download the updates, you may or may not find them in Windows Update, or the WSUS collection.

One thing we can all agree on: The latest Windows 10 updates include at least one of the bugs that have dogged this month’s patches since they were first released. The “known issues” section of all of the Win10 patches contains this warning:

After you install any of the July 2018 .NET Framework Security Updates, a COM component fails to load because of “access denied,” “class not registered,” or “internal failure occurred for unknown reasons” errors. The most common failure signature is the following:

Exception type: System.UnauthorizedAccessException

Message: Access is denied. (Exception from HRESULT: 0x80070005 (E_ACCESSDENIED))

Microsoft is working on a resolution and will provide an update in an upcoming release.

Here’s my scorecard, as of mid-day today:

Win10 1803 KB 4340917 brings the build number up to 17134.191. The KB article says it was released July 24 and that it’s the third big bug fix in the past two weeks for the, cough, ready-for-business version of Win10. The Update Catalog says the cumulative update was last updated on July 20. If you download the installation file, the components are dated July 22. Are we talking about one, two, or three different versions? 

Win10 1709 KB 4338817 brings the build number up to 16299.579. The KB article says it was released on July 24, and it, too, is the third cumulative update in two weeks. The Update Catalog says it was last updated on July 23. But the download installation file has a date stamp of July 18. Go figure.

Win10 1703 KB 4338827 takes the build to 15063.1235. The KB article says it’s from July 24. The Update Catalog begs to differ, with the 32-bit version last updated July 23 and the 64-bit on July 24. The installation file itself is stamped July 18.

Win10 1607 KB 4338822 goes to build 14393.2395. The KB article says July 24. Update Catalog also says July 24 (surprise!). But the files are stamped July 22.

Win 8.1 The original preview of the August Monthly Rollup, KB 4338831, dated July 18, was re-issued on July 24, but only for Server 2012 R2 for 64-bit machines. If there’s a description of the modification, I haven’t seen it. Telling observation: The July 24 patch has component files that are all dated July 16 (thx, @PKCano).

Similarly for Windows 7. The original preview of the August Monthly Rollup, KB 4338821, dated July 18, was re-released on July 24, but only for Server 2008 R2 64-bit and Itanium machines. The update files themselves are dated July 17.

In addition to those Cumulative Updates, er, Monthly Rollups, the fourth Tuesday saw a large handful of manual-download-only Intel microcode fixes to guard against Spectre v2. We also witnessed a large cluster bomb of .NET patches that may or may not fix some of the bugs introduced by the early .NET, uh, experiences.

Join us for 3-card Monty, Microsoft style, on the AskWoody Lounge.

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