Woody Leonhard's no-bull news, tips and help for Windows and Office
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  • MS-DEFCON 1: the .NET patches are causing havoc

    Posted on May 9th, 2012 at 17:23 woody 13 comments

    Every time we have a .NET patch, it seems, there’s something that goes wrong.

    This time, not only do we have installation terminations (see next blog), I’m also seeing reports of endless loops. From a friend, HH:

    Not sure what MS did with the .NET framework patches but the installation takes ages again and again, very annoying… and after 3 hours I still don’t know if something is broken again because the machines are still installing and the Server waits a reboot.

    I’m putting us up to MS-DEFCON 1: Current Microsoft patches are causing havoc. Don’t patch. And I’m beginning to wonder if Microsoft can ever deliver a .NET patch that works. This is ridiculous.

  • Problems printing TurboTax return if you applied latest Windows patches

    Posted on April 14th, 2012 at 11:36 woody 16 comments

    I’m getting peppered from many directions about the bug in MS 12-025 / KB 2653638, the .NET security bulletin that Microsoft just released.

    If you didn’t take my advice, and you installed that patch, you won’t be able to print your TurboTax return.

    As the TurboTax people say, “You are unable to print returns or tax forms in TurboTax for Windows Basic, Deluxe, Premier, Home & Business, and Business after installing the latest Windows update.  You may briefly see a Generating Document message but the paperwork never prints.”

    This from Microsoft (thanks, SB!): “It seems the .Net Framework team has what they need and are tracking down the problem. It’s unclear how widespread this issue may be. So as a precaution, the .Net updates have been down-throttled (they will not be checked or install by default on consumer PCs). “

    In other words, the cow’s outta the barn…

    Taxes aren’t due until April 17, so I guess that gives you some breathing room.

    I hate to sound like a broken record, but you should NEVER automatically install Windows patches. (Except for spam filter updates and MSE definition file updates.) Never. That’s why I created this site years ago.

    I’m moving us up to MS-DEFCON 1: Current Microsoft patches are causing havoc. Don’t patch.

    P.S. I haven’t seen any official acknowledgment from Microsoft on their usual pages, including KB 2671605, which is supposed to document any known issues. The patch has been out for five days, guys….

    I’m reminded of the botched .NET patch that was pushed on Income Tax Weekend four years ago. It broke Quicken, which made it impossible for many people to get their taxes done.

    UPDATE: Thanks to reader Mike (in the comments) who notes that MS has finally updated the KB article that’s supposed to include a list of known problems. “We are currently aware of an issue with printing from a Windows Forms application. After the installation of these security updates, certain Windows Forms applications may not print, or may not honor specified printer settings when they do print. There is no impact on systems that do not use printing functionality from a .NET Framework Windows Forms application. The investigation into this issue is ongoing.” Funny, they don’t mention TurboTax.

    MORE UPDATES: TurboTax has a fix. Still nothing from Microsoft. Thanks for all of your comments here. I’m continuing the discussion over on the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog. Join us! I think you’ll find the first comment (at the bottom) amusing. At least, I did….