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  • MS-DEFCON 3: Time to get the first post-patchocalypse patches patched

    Posted on October 27th, 2016 at 14:36 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Patching Windows 7 and 8.1 has turned a bit more complex than it once was. Basically you need to choose between Group A – the folks who install everything Microsoft has on offer – and Group B, those who only want security patches. With Group A, you use Windows Update. With Group B, you install the security patch manually, then use Windows Update to pick up the other stuff.

    You can do it. Details are in the InfoWorld article I just posted. Comments most welcome!

    Windows 10

    Now’s a good time to let Win10 update itself, with one exception: If you’re still on the Fall Update, version 1511, I say stay there until Microsoft gets a better version of the Anniversary Update, version 1607. Details here. (If you decide to ignore my advice and want to upgrade now, make sure you check out KB 3197099.)

    If you’re already running 1607, there’s a servicing stack update, KB 3199209, which seems to be causing problems for some people. You’re probably better off avoiding it for now.

    Also, be wary if you use the System Center Operations Console. (You probably don’t.) Microsoft has a hotfix for the problem.


    Oy, what a mess. Microsoft’s already pulled one Office patch this month – KB 3198535 caused Excel to halt and catch fire. If you’re using Office 365 Click-to-Run, and you’re having problems with the way backgrounds display on some custom controls, you need to roll back to an earlier version. Otherwise, the current patches appear to be OK.

    I’m putting us at MS-DEFCON 3: Patch reliability is unclear, but widespread attacks make patching prudent. Go ahead and patch, but watch out for potential problems.

    My usual boilerplate advice:

    For those of you who are new to this game, keep in mind that… I never install drivers from Windows Update (in the rare case where I can actually see a problem with a driver, I go to the manufacturer’s web site and download it from the original source). I use Chrome and Firefox, and only pull out IE when I feel very inclined — but even if you don’t use IE, you need to keep up with its patches.