3 more botched Windows patches: KB 2803821, KB 2840628, and KB 2821895

Two Black Tuesday patches -- MS 13-052 and MS 13-057 -- and last month's nonsecurity patch KB 2821895 cause a variety of problems

Microsoft's patching problems have hit a new low, with three botched patches now in desperate need of attention. MS 13-052 is supposed to plug security holes in .Net Framework and Silverlight, but it has problems getting along with Configuration Manager 2012 and ConfigMgr 2007), as well as with plug-ins running under Microsoft CRM 2011. MS 13-057 causes black bands to appear at the top of Windows Media videos, and it still hasn't been fixed -- although Microsoft has finally acknowledged the problem. The KB 2821895 Windows 8/Windows RT patch causes false System File Checker reports and hangs; Microsoft acknowledges the problem in its KB article, but the patch is still available.

Somebody please tell me who is in charge?

I've been covering the vagaries of Windows patches for a decade, and I've never seen the situation deteriorate like this. Here are the highlights:

  • MS 13-052/KB 2840628, a critical patch rolled out the Automatic Update chute as part of last week's Black Tuesday disgorge, is throwing out exceptions with plug-ins running under Microsoft CRM 2011. There's a detailed explanation of the problem on the North52 blog. There are also known problems with Configuration Manager 2012 and ConfigMgr 2007. MyITForum documents one problem with ConfigMgr 2007 and two with ConfigMgr 2012. According to MyITForum, Microsoft has acknowledged the problems as "database replication between sites (CAS/Primary/Secondary) with SQL 2012 will fail" and "Software Update point synchronization may fail at the end of the sync process." The knowledge base article has no mention of these problems. But it looks like Microsoft has pulled the patch: My Windows 7 and Windows 8 PCs don't show it. However, there's been no indication of how to fix the problems (aside from some "short time" kludges in the MyITForum article) or whether Microsoft will release a fix for the patch or a new version of the patch.
  • MS 13-057/KB 2803821 (for Windows 7) has been turning the top half of WMV videos black, either on encoding or decoding. As I reported last week, people running Adobe Premier Pro CS6, Camtasia Studio 8.1, and Serif MoviePlus X6 had all reported problems, with a full description and fix offered by one burned customer on the day after the patch was released. It took five days after that fix appeared online, and four days after my article appeared, for Microsoft to acknowledge the problem in KB 2803821. But as I write this, the patch still appears in the Automatic Update queue, checked, ready to be installed on any Win7 machine that's looking for updates.
  • KB 2821895, a Windows 8/Windows RT "servicing stack update" released in tandem with last month's Black Tuesday patches, causes a lot of problems with the System File Checker. After installing the patch, running an sfc /scannow command freezes the computer for up to 10 minutes, then generates many bogus error messages about corrupted files it cannot fix. Microsoft's recommendation is to run the DISM tool to repair Windows, when the only thing that's broken is this botched patch. There's been no fix to the patch, nor a new patch that I can find. If you installed this patch, there's no way to uninstall it. More damning: Right now, KB 2821895 appears in Windows Update as an optional unchecked patch -- Microsoft hasn't even bothered to pull the patch.

This story, "3 more botched Windows patches: KB 2803821, KB 2840628, and KB 2821895," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Get the first word on what the important tech news really means with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog. For the latest developments in business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.

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