Microsoft reissues botched Windows 8.1 Update KB 2919355

Both Windows Update and corporate WSUS update servers should see a new patch in the next few hours that fixes installer error 80073712

Microsoft announced, moments ago, that it has re-released Windows 8.1 Update -- note the capital "U" -- and the new version should avoid the error 80073712 plaguing so many customers. If you haven't yet installed Windows 8.1 Update and can't see the new KB 2919355, wait a few hours for it to roll out the update chute. If you have successfully installed Windows 8.1 Update, you shouldn't see anything.

In one of the most polarizing missteps in recent Windows history, Microsoft released a faulty Windows 8.1 patch in the April Black Tuesday crop, then declared that Windows 8.1 users must install the patch before they would receive any additional Windows 8.1 patches. On top of a plethora of problems installing Windows 8.1 Update on Windows 8.1 machines, there were more problems specific to corporate installations running WSUS, Intune, and System Center Configuration Manager to keep client PCs patched.

Corporate Windows admins roared, and Microsoft backed off, pulling the patch from the WSUS update server regimen, fixing the WSUS-specific problems, and reinstating it eight days later all while simultaneously extending the drop-dead patching deadline for WSUS (and Intune and System Center Configuration Manager) corporate customers to August.

There was, and is, no analogous stay of execution for those of us who update Windows through Windows Update or Microsoft Update. If you want to get the May Black Tuesday patches, you have to install Windows 8.1 Update, KB 2919355. I keep hoping that The Powers That Be will grant a stay of execution for "normal" non-WSUS Windows 8.1 customers, but to date, there's been nary a peep.

Windows 8.1 Update itself has not raised any specific problems, as best as I can tell. The difficulty lies with the installer, which tosses off at least a half-dozen different error codes and fails to install Windows 8.1 Update on a large (but unknown) number of machines.

This new version of KB 2919355 is supposed to cure the 0x80073712 installation error. The KB 2919355 article (now up to Version 18.0) gives specific guidance if you hit error 0x80071A91. There's no word about other errors.

Windows Update may offer to re-install KB 2919355 in specific cases without actually telling you it's fixing problems in earlier versions of KB 2919355, in particular if your copy of Windows 8.1 Update came from Microsoft's MSDN or VLSC servers or if your machine needs "to resolve a Windows Update client issue." In any case, if you're offered the patch and install it, the installer is smart enough to only install the small "delta" between your copy of Windows 8.1 Update and the real McCoy.

If you're running Windows 8.1 and Windows Update (or WSUS) do not offer to install KB 2919355; you're fine, no need to take further action. This fix to KB 2919355 only affects the installer. In particular, note that the Control Panel's System applet says you have Windows 8.1 (or 8.1 Pro) installed, even if Windows 8.1 Update is alive and kicking inside your machine. So follow the recommendation in Windows Update, don't rely on any external signs, and don't try to second-guess Windows Update.

This story, "Microsoft reissues botched Windows 8.1 Update KB 2919355," was originally published at 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 on Twitter.

Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

How to choose a low-code development platform