Menu
Microsoft reissues patch that crippled Windows PCs

Microsoft reissues patch that crippled Windows PCs

Microsoft re-released a security update after users packed the company's support discussion forum with reports of crippled computers.

Microsoft today re-released a security update that was pulled two weeks ago after users packed the company's support discussion forum with reports of crippled computers.

The update, MS14-045, was originally issued on "Patch Tuesday" -- Microsoft prefers the blander "Update Tuesday" -- on Aug. 12. Within 24 hours, customers started posting messages on an eventually-lengthy thread saying that their systems, mostly PCs running the 64-bit version of Windows 7, had been bricked with an error message and ensuing "Blue Screen of Death."

While some of the affected customers were able to regain control of their computers, others could not, stymied even when they tried to boot their machines in Safe Mode.

Three days later, on Aug. 15, Microsoft quietly told customers to uninstall one of two components that made up MS14-045. The company made the recommendation only in an updated version of the MS14-045 advisory; it did not blog or tweet the news for wider distribution.

Over the weekend of Aug. 16-17, Microsoft pulled the buggy patch from its Windows Update service.

In a blog post today by the Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC), the company recapped the sequence, but did not explain what had gone wrong.

"A small number of customers experienced problems with a few of the updates," the MSRC wrote, referring not only to the MS14-045 issue, but three others, including one that added support for the Russian ruble symbol. "As soon as we became aware of some problems, we began a review and then immediately pulled the problematic updates, making these unavailable to download. We then began working on a plan to rerelease the affected updates."

Last week, someone claiming to be a Microsoft engineer provided more information about the flawed update than has the company in an official capacity. Kurt Phillips acknowledged that the patch had not been tested thoroughly. "We made a fairly invasive change in font handling as part of a security patch and thought we had it tested properly, but there are definitely problems in our test coverage and design process that we need to address," Phillips wrote on the support discussion thread, which as of today contained more than 540 messages and has been viewed nearly 11,000 times.

In the revised MS14-045 bulletin, Microsoft told users to uninstall the original patch if they had not done so already and before installing the fixed version. Microsoft also said that the revamped update would end their boot problems.

"Customers who experienced difficulties restarting their systems after installating (sic) security update 2982791 should no longer experience this problem after installing the replacement update (2993651)," Microsoft said.

To install the repaired update, of course, affected customers must be able to boot their Windows computers, which some cannot.

In an after-the-update-was-reissued twist, one user reported that Windows Update had returned, "An error occurred while checking for new updates for your computer" after trying to fetch the fixed patch.

"Someone on the Microsoft bridge needs to go personally into the engine room and find out what is going on," wrote pacman10 on the discussion thread today. "Or have the engine room staff left? Maybe the engine room broke off the back of the ship last week and has sunk. I don't know."

Susan Bradley, a Microsoft MVP (Most Valued Professional), a volunteer moderator on the Windows Update subsection of Microsoft's support forum, and a noted patch expert who writes for Windows Secrets, said she had seen additional reports about the Windows Update error. "Hang loose," she suggested.


Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Windows PCsMicrosoftWindowssoftwareoperating systems

Featured

Slideshows

Kiwi channel comes together for another round of After Hours

Kiwi channel comes together for another round of After Hours

The channel came together for another round of After Hours, with a bumper crowd of distributors, vendors and partners descending on The Jefferson in Auckland. Photos by Maria Stefina.​

Kiwi channel comes together for another round of After Hours
Consegna comes to town with AWS cloud offerings launch in Auckland

Consegna comes to town with AWS cloud offerings launch in Auckland

Emerging start-up Consegna has officially launched its cloud offerings in the New Zealand market, through a kick-off event held at Seafarers Building in Auckland.​ Founded in June 2016, the Auckland-based business is backed by AWS and supported by a global team of cloud specialists, leveraging global managed services partnerships with Rackspace locally.

Consegna comes to town with AWS cloud offerings launch in Auckland
Veritas honours top performing trans-Tasman partners

Veritas honours top performing trans-Tasman partners

Veritas honoured its top performing partners across the channel in Australia and New Zealand, recognising innovation and excellence on both sides of the Tasman. Revealed under the Vivid lights in Sydney, Intalock claimed the coveted Partner of the Year 2017 (Pacific) award, with Data#3 acknowledged for 12 months of strong growth across the market. Meanwhile, Datacom took home the New Zealand honours, with Global Storage and Insentra winning service provider and consulting awards respectively. Dicker Data was recognised as the standout distributor of the year, while Hitachi Data Systems claimed the alliance partner award. Photos by Bob Seary.

Veritas honours top performing trans-Tasman partners
Show Comments