June cumulative updates cause multiple problems with network printers

There are reports all over of the Windows June cumulative updates – KB 4560960 (Win10 version 1903/1909), KB 4557957 (Win10 2004), KB 4561608 (Win10 1809/Server 2019) and KB 4561612 (Server 2012) – breaking network printers. Uninstalling the update seems to fix the problem.

First aid kit > help / fix / patch / remedy / recovery

Many admins report that installing the latest June cumulative updates knock out their networked printers. The problem seems to span all common versions of Windows and Server and many printers that have been installed and working in place for years. The bug appears to cause a conflict with older (but very common) PCL 5 and PCL 6 version 2 drivers on printers that are attached to networks, although the details aren’t yet clear. 

Microsoft has acknowledged a bug in the June patches (it isn’t clear precisely which ones) where the USB printer port disappears:

If you connect a USB printer to Windows 10 version 1903 or later, then shut down Windows and disconnect or shut off the printer, when you start Windows again the USB printer port will not be available in the list of printer ports. Windows will not be able to complete any task that requires that port.

This isn’t the same bug.

With this one, installing the cumulative update causes printers attached to a network to vanish, behave oddly, or just crash the machine.

All the information I see to date focuses on the cumulative updates and the PCL 5 and PCL 6 version 2 printer drivers. In at least some cases, changing your print driver to a PCL 6 version 3 driver eliminates the problem. In all cases, rolling back the cumulative update brings back the printers.

Rance_Mulliniks, posting on Reddit, describes the symptoms:

Printing sends to spooler and then it disappears from the queue quickly and does not print. A uninstall and reinstall of the printer and new drivers does NOT fix the issue. Uninstalling KB4560960 fixes it.

Reported symptoms also include system freezes, Excel “totally messed up,” problems with print to PDF, “when I print from an OK station, the stations that can’t print show the job going thru the print queue (Spiceworks).”

User Groka-NT, posting on Reddit, says this:

Network technician for a primarily Ricoh dealership, here. HPs seems to be hit or miss with this issue. Ricoh/Canon/Brother/KM/Kyocera all seem to be experiencing problems.

Specifically, the PCL5e driver is totally fubar, and the PCL6 driver for Universal print seems to work on some and not others, could very well be based on the age of the drivers. After an abundance of service calls these last 2 days, I can confidently say PCL5 does not work at all, regardless of driver age. Installing the newest version of the PCL6 universal driver *does* seem to work. Not a realistic approach to servicing hundreds of clients, but at least new clients setup before the new patch should be okay.

PostScript drivers seem to be working (so far) and we have seen some weird issues regarding print servers having their print spooler being turned off without warning.

Canons using the UFRII driver don't yet seem to be showing signs of errors.

This isn’t a new bug. Patch Lady Susan Bradley, posting on the patchmanagement.org mailing list says:

We opened this case LAST month. In the printer logs we found: “Installing printer driver - failed, error code 0x490, HRESULT 0x80070490. See the event user data for context information" The workaround we found (with zero help from Microsoft I might add) was to "Install the HP Universal PCl6  Driver and check if that works."

The Microsoft support personnel were of zero help in this case.  They just confirmed that the printer driver was having an issue, clearly they did not take this feedback to the Windows 10 team.

It isn’t at all clear what caused the problem in May, nor what’s made it much more common this month.

As expected, there’s no mention at all in the associated Knowledge Base articles, or on the Release Information Status page.

I’d notch it all up to two common Windows update problems:

  1. Microsoft doesn’t test its mainstream patches on a wide enough variety of configurations, and
  2. Complaints made through official channels -- opened support cases, Feedback Hub, Microsoft Answers forum -- fall on deaf ears.

It’s like Déjà vu all over again.

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