It's Patch Tuesday time; make sure you pause Windows Updates

Credit to Author: Woody Leonhard| Date: Mon, 13 Jul 2020 03:56:00 -0700

Yes, with Windows you have to get patched sooner or later. No, you don’t have to do it right away.

Every month Microsoft releases buggy Patch Tuesday patches. Every. Single. Month. Every month we’re admonished to get patched right now, lest the bad guys start mining PCs for juicy morsels. Every month we see the same hype, with the same results.

To read this article in full, please click here

Read more

Most bugs in Microsoft's June patches have been fixed; go ahead and patch

Credit to Author: Woody Leonhard| Date: Wed, 08 Jul 2020 07:48:00 -0700

The most obvious problem with June patches was a conflict between Microsoft’s latest version of Windows and Microsoft’s latest version of Office (er, Microsoft 365) Click-to-Run: If you installed patches as soon as they came out, Outlook wouldn’t run. That bug got cleared up when Microsoft fixed Office a week later, even though Windows was to blame.

We also saw a bunch of belated patches for printers that didn’t work after installing the June Windows updates.

To read this article in full, please click here

Read more

Microsoft Patch Alert: June 2020

Credit to Author: Woody Leonhard| Date: Thu, 02 Jul 2020 06:11:00 -0700

There’s never a dull moment for folks who try to keep Windows and Office patched.

Windows 10 version 2004 continues to make slow inroads among the “Go ahead and kick me” crowd, in spite of its (now documented) lack of update deferral settings, while those of us who are still trying to keep Win10 versions 2009, 2003 and 1809 afloat have our hands full.

June saw two truly innovative patching methods: A fix for a Windows bug delivered as an update to Office Click-to-Run and a fix for a different Windows bug delivered through the Microsoft Store.

If you can’t fix things the normal way, I guess there’s always the back door.

The two printer bugs

All of the Win10 cumulative updates in June broke some printers, some of the time. The damage fell into two heaps:

To read this article in full, please click here

Read more

Microsoft Patch Alert: May 2020

Credit to Author: Woody Leonhard| Date: Fri, 29 May 2020 12:54:00 -0700

With most of the fanatical Windows fan base now circling the trough on the just-released upgrade to Windows 10 version 2004, it’s time for those of us who rely on stable PCs to consider installing the May patches.

While the general outlook now is good, we’ve been through some rough patches – which you may, or may not, have noticed.

Unannounced Intel microcode patch triggers reboots

On May 20, Microsoft released another of its ongoing series of “Intel microcode updates,” all named KB 4497165. Ostensibly intended to fix the Meltdown/Spectre security holes, many of them have a history of problems and hassles not commensurate with the amount of protection they provide (unless you’re running a bank transaction system or decrypting top secret emails).

To read this article in full, please click here

Read more

Microsoft Patch Alert: April 2020, another 'wacky' month

Credit to Author: Woody Leonhard| Date: Wed, 29 Apr 2020 10:02:00 -0700

The patching pace this month returned to normal: We had the Patch Tuesday patches on April 14, followed by the “optional, non-security, C/D Week” patches one week later (Monthly Rollup Preview for you Win8.1 afficionados). With a bit of luck, that’s the last round of confusing “optional” Win10 patches: Microsoft promises we won’t see any more of them.

We also had an out-of-band patch for Office 2016 Click-to-Run, Office 2019 (which is only available as Click-to-Run) and Microsoft 365 Apps for Enterprise (previously known as Office 365 ProPlus). The big concern with those patches falls into the “it’s not a bug, it’s a feature” column.

To read this article in full, please click here

Read more

Microsoft to stop serving non-security monthly updates to Windows

Credit to Author: Gregg Keizer| Date: Wed, 25 Mar 2020 14:03:00 -0700

Beginning in May, Microsoft plans to halt the delivery of all non-security updates to Windows, another step in its suspension of non-essential revisions to the OS and other important products.

The optional updates, which Microsoft designates as Windows’ C and D updates, are released during the third and fourth week of each month, respectively.

“We have been evaluating the public health situation, and we understand this is impacting our customers,” Microsoft said to some understatement in a March 24 post to the Windows 10 messaging center. “In response to these challenges we are prioritizing our focus on security updates.”

To read this article in full, please click here

Read more

Reading between the lines about Microsoft 'pausing optional updates'

Credit to Author: Woody Leonhard| Date: Wed, 25 Mar 2020 06:44:00 -0700

Yesterday, a post on the official Windows Release Information site said that Microsoft will, at least temporarily and starting in May, stop sending out the pesky “optional, non-security, C/D Week” patches we’ve come to expect. 

Those “optional” second-monthly patches are usually laden with many dozens of fixes for miscellaneous, minor bugs in Windows. For example, the second-monthly cumulative update for Win10 version 1903 released yesterday lists 31 different fixes, most of which only matter in very specific cases.

To read this article in full, please click here

Read more

Microsoft Patch Alert: March 2020 brings two ‘sky-is-falling’ warnings, with no problems in sight

Credit to Author: Woody Leonhard| Date: Tue, 24 Mar 2020 10:48:00 -0700

It’s been another strange patching month. The usual Patch Tuesday crop appeared. Two days later, we got a second cumulative update for Win10 1903 and 1909, KB 4551762, that’s had all sorts of documented problems. Two weeks later, on Monday, Microsoft posted a warning about (another) security hole related to jimmied Adobe fonts.

Predictably, much of the security press has gone P.T. Barnum.

The big, nasty, scary SMBv3 vulnerability

Patch Tuesday rolled out with a jump-the-gun-early warning from various antivirus manufacturers about a mysterious and initially undocumented security hole in the networking protocol SMBv3.

To read this article in full, please click here

Read more